These things helped and influenced me – and they could help and influence you. There are lots of resources for learning concepts, and then there is other stuff.

I begin with the most accessible ones and it gets more challenging (~needs more previous understanding) from there. Skimming this page for the words I formatted bold gives you a rough idea.


  • The Only Thing You Need to Get Good At (hint: it is a framework for doing everything else, namely stoicism). Lots of good things on that site.
  • The concept of Radical Candor (or “How to be a good boss”). How to communicate in a work environment.
    Also, Thoughts on Gender and Radical Candor (how gender influences boss-employee relationships).
  • Better Disagreement, on how to discuss and how not to discuss. This is essential.
  • Again: humans are poor at logical reasoning most of the time. To batch-quote Julia Galef and the ensuing Twitter thread, “reasoning’s a skill, like tennis – no one’s good without practice. Being mad at dumb arguments is like being mad at novices for playing bad tennis. But people have a sense of how good they are at tennis and want to improve. Less so with arguments.” (If you’re interested, read the thread with its comments; the analogy is imperfect, but I still found it to be more accurate than what many people think of rationality.)
  • Make Good Art – a commencement speech with eloquent advice to artists by Neil Gaiman.


Platforms (websites, wikis, YouTube channels)

The site of Mark Manson, because he’s a great thinker and bullshit-free writer. Want to know yourself better? What about society? His articles on relationships and social phenomena belong to the fastlane to enlightenment. He is the NYTimes bestselling author of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” (there’s a helpful article of the same name), a blogger and internet entrepreneur.


Derek Sivers at writes on entrepreneurship, life and useful psychological concepts to use on yourself. His FAQ section can be a very good place to start. I don’t always agree with every little thing he writes, but in most cases I closed the tab with an improved perspective on life and myself. His writing (and speaking) is simple and helpful. There are also detailed notes for the last 230+ books he’s read, on business, psychology and much more – his tiny summaries and detailed notes are available for free.


Tim Ferriss is a household name in self-help literature (and in Silicon Valley). When at some point in the 2000s he was working 16-hour days, 7 days a week on his business, he decided reality is negotiable, and started challenging some basic assumptions of life and business: Do I have to please all my clients? Do I have to be available all the time? Do I have to have meetings? Do I have to do my to-do list, or can I just ignore it? Does it have to be me doing this? I’m not a full-on fan of his crowd of digital nomads, and neither of the motivational stuff everywhere, but it successfully gets you to challenge assumptions. He’s at his best when he specifically questions common assumptions. Maybe start with this interview that Derek Sivers conducted.


Scott Alexander’s blog Slate Star Codex is just great. He has also contributed to, see below. My favorite post of his (and one of the far too few I’ve read multiple times) is called Meditations on Moloch.

At, you’ll find hassle-free financial advice in German from someone who has no obvious incentive to sell you bullshit (unlike most “financial advisers” who only earn from the things they recommend you). The author set out to find out what the best ways would be to invest money for a future of independence, without taking on unjustified risk. Now, he blogs about it. He’s still not a “professional”, but that doesn’t change the quality of his arguments.

And while you’re at it, go take a look or three at the r/financialindependence Subreddit. Don’t know Reddit? Check out this video by Evan Puschak (see previous paragraph).

By the way, recommended subreddits: r/financialindependence for anyone (mainly US), r/Finanzen for Germans, and if you’re into it, r/Screenwriting. is “a community blog devoted to “refining the art of human rationality.” This is the most challenging of my recommendations, but at, there’s an edited and clarified version. It’s an ordered string of 300+ essays on learning how to think well (find truth, make winning decisions) in a systematic way.
Topics of interest include decision theory, philosophy, self-improvement, cognitive science, psychology, artificial intelligence, game theory, metamathematics, logic, evolutionary psychology, economics, and the far future. If you want a sampling of the content on the blog, you could read posts on beliefswordscognitive biasesevidence, probabilitydecision theory, excuses, task avoidancereductionismevolutionquantum physics, ethicspoliticsdisease, and procrastination. Also, free will.

I am currently translating Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Sequences from LessWrong to German, so if you’d like to, then start reading here.


Books and documentaries

Book recommendations (these will grow a lot as I remember more):

  • Lessons from a Stoic by Seneca (on what you should let go and how to live well).
  • Models by Mark Manson (the only book on relationships and dating that is worth reading).
  • Do the Work by Steven Pressfield (on how to get things done).
  • Doing Good Better by William MacAskill (on effective altruism).
  • Notes on Directing by Frank Hauser and Russell Reich.

Documentary recommendations:

  • The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer.
  • The Salt of the Earth by Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders.
  • Searching for Sugar Man by Malik Bendjelloul.
  • Citizenfour by Laura Poitras.
  • The Imposter by Bart Layton.
  • War Photographer by Christian Frei.
  • Cartel Land by Matthew Heineman.


Other Stuff

Perspective Daily is the first constructive, solution-oriented and ad-free online medium from Germany. We write articles looking forward. It is not enough to just report on problems, but we ask daily: How could this be better? This also means: more focus on the background information and on the relationships between issues, while interacting with the readers online.” (That’s a quick translation by me. The site is Germany-only so far. Young media startup, truly a great concept and execution so far. All of intellectual Germany holds great discussions, sometimes on podiums with big names, and usually they just end in shoulder-patting and buffet. No action. PD invites action.)

Ali Mese’s GrowthSupply is a big list of free online stuff that can help in many tasks in business, marketing, design & coding, productivity and learning. Save your projects from failing for the most pedestrian reasons, like some mechanical tasks being too damn boring. Think everything from HTML5 templates and invoice generators, free SEO analysis, social media tools, to the best free stock photography and learning platforms. It’s a big toolbox, but less abstract than the one you’re looking at right now.

App/software recommendations (all for Android):

  • GoodTime (best, simplest app implementation of the Pomodoro concept that I’ve used).
  • Tide (Pomodoro + white noise/atmosphere audio, works well for me).
  • Any.DO is the only To-Do-list app I ever liked (works in the browser, too).
  • WriterDuet for screenwriting.
  • TreesizeFree to make space on your PC, or in detail: to quickly inspect your PC’s directories and identify big files and folders (mostly to delete or move them).