May 2020 Favorites

21 min read

We are what we repeatedly do, therefore, excellence is not an act but a habit



TV Shows

  • Beastars 1 N – This is a really good Japanese animation TV show about a world where herbivores and carnivores coexist with each other. The main characters are a wolf and a rabbit.
  • Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness 1 N – After this show was recommended by multiple people on multiple occasions I started watching it. And it’s that good. Crazy, bizarre, but good.
  • Community, 4 5 6 N – I finished watching this show a second time and it was not one bit less funny than the first time. I think it might be the funniest TV show ever produced.
  • The Hollow 2 N – I didn’t think this show would have a second season. Not because it’s not good—quite the opposite—but the story looked like a concluded story arc. But the managed to deliver another fantastic season.
  • Scissor Seven 2 N – This extremely funny, animated, Chinese TV show about a quite unsuccessful assassin and barber with memory loss is one of my highlights of this year. The animation style is fabulous. It changes during an episode all the time. Sometimes characters look cute, then ugly, or powerful, while always keeping the characteristics of a character. Some people probably don’t even notice the change of style.
  • Final Space 2 N – Don’t be fooled by the cute animation style. This space saga is dark. You can get scared of the space watching it.
  • After Life 2 NRicky Gervais is really a master combining comedy and tragedy in this TV show filled with whimsical characters.
  • Abstract: The Art of Design 2 N – I finally finished this fantastic TV show. I tried to not do it because now I probably have to wait another two years for the next season. At least the last episode ended strong with Jonathan Hoefler. It’s the best documentaries about Designers I’ve ever seen.
  • Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj 6 N
  • La Casa de Papel 2 N – Damn, I seldom had some much fun watching a money heist TV show. And it’s also good to learn some Spanish.
  • Suits 7 N – It’s always entertaining to watch this TV show, even though I usually don’t understand the legal stunts the characters perform. 😬 Sad they had to remove two characters from the show because of Meghan Markle marrying into the Royals.


  • Extraction N – Don’t expect too much story, but it’s a quite nice Action and was fun to watch.
  • Rams – A nice documentary by Gary Hustwit about the famous industrial designer Dieter Rams. Hustwit made the movie this month a few days for free.

Music & Podcasts


I didn’t make a lot of progress in my current books this month, because I used the time to transfer my previous read books into my new Zettelkasten system and properly digest the books before continuing reading new books.



Stuff & Things


Tantalus: The highest power is— Thyestes: No power, if you desire nothing.

Seneca, Thyestes, 440

Some really true words in this Tweet by David Perell. Some service in the cloud is just other peoples computers. If you want to own your publication and creative work, have your own website, and use open technologies. This tweet made me thinking about starting a monthly newsletter:

Own your distribution. If you write online, focus on these two platforms:

  1. Email.
  2. Websites.

Remember AOL? Remember MySpace? Remember Yahoo? Companies come and go but your email list and personal website will still be valuable in 10 years. Invest in the long-term.

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.

The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of our identity.

Time magnifies the margin between success & failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. Good habits make time you ally. Bad habits make time your enemy.

Dieter Rams about the danger to lose control over the digital world:

Wir müssen achtgeben, jetzt, dass wir die digitale Welt beherrschen und nicht von ihr beherrscht werden.

Dieter Rams, Rams

We have to be careful now, that we rule over the digital world, and are not ruled by it.

Dieter Rams, Rams

Jordan B Peterson explains why Zebras have stripes: Not to camouflage against the environment but the herd. Lions are not able to target individual Zebras when they stay with the herd. He uses this as an analogy to explain similar human behavior:

The rule for human beings is: Keep your damn stripes on, so the lions don’t get you. […] If you want to remember one thing from my class about human motivation that’s a good thing to learn: People camouflage themselves against the herd. And they like to be in the middle of the herd […] That’s what people are trying to do all the time.

Jordan B Peterson about the fact that persistency is more important than success for habit change:

You come, you have a problem, your life isn’t what it could be. Fine, let’s see what it could be like if we changed it. Well, figure out how to change it, that’s gonna be a negotiated dialogue. […] I can help you figure it out maybe, we can talk about it, but you are the person who has to decide if the things that you’re aiming for get you out of bed in the morning. […] And you have to understand that you gonna be bad at it, but it doesn’t matter, because bad is fine. Persistent is what you need to be. If you persist with tiny improvements, you win.

Jordan B Peterson about Totalitarianism and ideology and that a system usually fails on all levels at the same time:

That happens if you are an ideologue. You identify really hard with that plan. The problem is, if something comes up to confront it, well how do you act? You can’t let go of the plan, because you drown. Then you cling to it rigidly. Well, that’s no good, because then you can’t learn anything. If that’s you, you are a totalitarian. You are not gonna learn anything. You are gonna end up in something that is close enough to hell so that you won’t know the difference. And you might drag anyone along with you. That happened plenty of times, it’s the whole story of the 20th century. It happened over and over and over, and it happens in peoples states, it happens in their business organizations, it happens in their cities, it happens in their provinces, it happens in their states and it happens in their psyches. All at the same time. You can’t blame the manifestation of that sort of thing on any of those levels. When a society goes down that way it goes down everywhere at the same time. It’s not the totalitarians at the top and all the happy people striving to be free at the bottom. Not at all. It’s Totalitarianism on every single level of the hierarchy.

Jordan B Peterson about obstacles as an opportunity:

Then you think exactly what are you? You are not the chaos, you are not the plan. Maybe you’re the thing that confronts the obstacle. And I would say, that’s the categorical lesson of psychology in so far as it has to do with personal transformation. That’s what you always teach in psychotherapy. […] You are the thing, that can confront the obstacle to the plan. […] The obstacle is not only an obstacle but opportunity itself. Well, then your whole view of the world can change. Well you might think, I got this plan, and something came up to object to it. It’s possible that that thing that is objecting has something to teach you that will take you to the place where you develop an even better plan. That’s a nice framework to use. Are you so sure this is a problem? Is that the only way you can look at it? Or is it an opportunity?

He continues that even a hard fate like the death of a loved ones offers an opportunity to be a role model and take over responsibility:

You want to be the useful person at a funeral. […] You want to be the person on who’s shoulder people cry. […] It is really something to be the reliable person at a funeral.

Jordan B Peterson explains the Oedipal mother from Sigmund Freud’s theory: A person in co-dependence trying to keep others dependent:

I love my child, I love my mother, so much that I couldn’t survive should anything happen to them. It’s like you … have some serious thinking to do about that! You really want to curse someone with that kind of love? I couldn’t live without you. My god, get away from me! Really, it’s terrible!

He continues how important it is for a person to let others reach independence. Keeping a person dependent is toxic, oedipal behavior:

That’s the oedipal mother. I forgive you no matter what you do. Really? No matter what I do? You are not my friend. That’s for sure. Not at all. It’s a horrible thing to do to someone. […] That’s the oedipal mother, that’s one of Freud’s major discoveries. […] The devouring force of love. You want the person to be able to stand on their own and the price you pay for that is that you stand on your own.