Clarity First Newsletter,
February 4, 2022

“Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.” – Sister Corita Kent

Love & Work

A notebook about how we work, learn, love and live.

Here in Western Massachusetts it’s raining. The forecast was for snow, but it’s raining again. Our beloved Prospect Mountain is closed due to the rain, and tonight temperatures will drop, likely leaving ice behind where snow had been. Sigh.

So, Debbie and I are housebound, a condition that does have its own coziness and reward.

Happy Friday.


Blockchains give us the power to organize around something other than just maximizing returns for shareholders.

“Governments, corporations, and non-profit organizations just can’t seem to crack society’s biggest challenges.

“It’s true that these entities have done much good in the world, but they also have serious structural flaws. Governments can be unresponsive and vulnerable to special interests. Nonprofits struggle to make meaningful impact because their philanthropic backing is often unreliable and hard to scale. Corporations are great at innovation, but increasingly captured by a financial system that treats them as wealth-extracting machines.

“Simply managing these institutions better won’t cut it. To sustain large-scale innovations for the public good, we’re going to have to change the way we organize ourselves. And for that, we need new types of organizations.”

Reimagining Value on the Blockchain

“Building these new organizations requires rethinking some basic assumptions about organizational purpose and economic value. The good news is, we’re in the early days of a technology revolution that will help us do just that.

“The blockchain represents a third wave of the Internet— an ‘Internet of Value.’ This new technology decentralizes computing so that it’s hard for intermediaries like Google, Amazon, and JP Morgan Chase to act as gatekeepers for economic transactions. The resulting freedom won’t just level playing fields. It creates space to redefine the very notion of what we consider valuable in the first place. Blockchains give us the power to move transactions to new economic networks that organize themselves around something other than just maximizing returns for shareholders.” – Gideonro

Article: Token Engineering is the Future of Organizational Design

Diversity, Organizational Health

What the plant kingdom can teach us about creating a more equitable science world.

“In my life as a plant cultivator and my work as a biologist and author, I have found the relationship between plants and humans deeply inspiring for thinking about the relationships that humans could have with each other. As I lay out in my book Lessons from Plants, the natural world offers us a template and inspiration for a more equitable society — where the needs and contributions of every individual matter equally, relationships among individuals are critical for supporting the collective, and diversity is a driver of sustainable growth. These lessons are particularly necessary in STEM, where monoculture has done some of its deepest damage.

“The cost of this monoculture has never been clearer than now. In the course of this pandemic, the historic and current underrepresentation of Black, Indigenous, and Latino individuals in STEM has contributed to a disproportionate death toll in those communities. America’s long history of biomedical racism has led directly to bad health, lack of access to quality health care, and, in some, to an understandable distrust of public science. And STEM’s current whiteness allows these trends to persist. How do you break up this dangerous monoculture?” – Beronda L. Montgomery

Article: Towards Polyculture


The U.S. doesn’t have enough COVID tests—or houses, or immigrants, or physicians, or solar panels. We need an abundance agenda.

Getty; The Atlantic

“Altogether, America has too much venting and not enough inventing. We say that we want to save the planet from climate change—but in practice, many Americans are basically dead set against the clean-energy revolution, with even liberal states shutting down zero-carbon nuclear plants and protesting solar-power projects. We say that housing is a human right—but our richest cities have made it excruciatingly difficult to build new houses, infrastructure, or megaprojects. Politicians say that they want better health care—but they tolerate a catastrophically slow-footed FDA that withholds promising tools, and a federal policy that deliberately limits the supply of physicians.

“In the past few months, I’ve become obsessed with a policy agenda that is focused on solving our national problem of scarcity. This agenda would try to take the best from several ideologies. It would harness the left’s emphasis on human welfare, but it would encourage the progressive movement to ‘take innovation as seriously as it takes affordability,’ as Ezra Klein wrote. It would tap into libertarians’ obsession with regulation to identify places where bad rules are getting in the way of the common good. It would channel the right’s fixation with national greatness to grow the things that actually make a nation great—such as clean and safe spaces, excellent government services, fantastic living conditions, and broadly shared wealth.

“This is the abundance agenda.” –  Derek Thompson

Article: A Simple Plan to Solve All of America’s Problems

Corporate Responsibility

“During the pandemic, people have become more sensitive to the environmental impact of their shopping decisions—and companies are responding.”

“All over the world, business leaders and analysts have been pondering which of the consumer behaviors accelerated by the pandemic will persist and deepen and which will recede. (A new) survey, conducted more than a year after the first outbreak of COVID-19, suggests that eco-friendly consumerism is here to stay.” – Amy Emmert

Article: The Rise of the Eco-Friendly Consumer


Building community by sharing stories

LA’s KQED asked their own journalists to share the stories of the experiences that laid the foundation for their work in public media. Then they turned those stories into short comic strips and posted them on one page. “While their responses have ranged from delightful to deeply touching, all of them are moving. They remind us that journalism and public media is about connection: making friends, honoring the memories of loved ones or searching out pathways to share the stories of disadvantaged people in our world communities in order to promote understanding.”

This month they’re inviting their listeners to “tell us the effect public media has had on your life or how you found your way to the KQED community.” A cool idea done well.

Web page: KQED Origin Stories

Futures Thinking

Even the most advanced technology can’t solve the fundamental issues with predictions.

“Rulers from Mesopotamia to Manhattan have sought knowledge of the future in order to obtain strategic advantages—but time and again, they have failed to interpret it correctly, or they have failed to grasp either the political motives or the speculative limitations of those who proffer it. More often than not, they have also chosen to ignore futures that force them to face uncomfortable truths. Even the technological innovations of the 21st century have failed to change these basic problems—the results of computer programs are, after all, only as accurate as their data input.

“There is an assumption that the more scientific the approach to predictions, the more accurate forecasts will be. But this belief causes more problems than it solves, not least because it often either ignores or excludes the lived diversity of human experience. Despite the promise of more accurate and intelligent technology, there is little reason to think the increased deployment of AI in forecasting will make prognostication any more useful than it has been throughout human history.” – Amanda Rees

Article: The History of Predicting the Future

Personal Development, Creativity

“Creating something is pure, and it’s honest. There is no noise, no small print, no hidden agendas.”

So Yi-jung from the K-drama Boys over Flowers (??? ??) in his pottery studio.

“What is it that had such a hold over Bohemians that they rather bought another canvas for their last pennies than bread or firewood?

“Why do people still study arts fully knowing how difficult it will be to make a living of it? Why do they work on their short stories through the night when they have to get up early?

“Because art is awesome. So let’s remind ourselves why in the end it’s always all worth it.”

Article: 6 Reasons Why Making Art is so Good for You


Article: Are Screens Robbing Us of Our Capacity for Deep Reading?

Article: Here’s a Reading List of Emerging Tech Predictions for This Year

Article: How the Coronavirus Will Reshape Architecture


Jiggy is an Irish band that celebrates their musical ancestors with glee. In this short film they feature hundreds of dancers from around the world who are seemingly dancing to the same Irish jig. This is so much fun.

Video: Silent Place

Image of the Week

“In a dense swampland in Georgia, just north of the Florida border, you find the headwaters of the Suwannee River. The Suwannee is known as a ‘blackwater river’ because of its dark-brown waters laden with organic material. This river system has been called one of the most pristine in the United States, but some environmental pressures are putting that distinction in jeopardy.

“Unlike other blackwater rivers, the Suwannee maintains its inky color along its entire 400-kilometer (250-mile) journey to the sea. When the river finally meets the Gulf of Mexico along Florida’s Big Bend—that portion of coast where the state’s panhandle curves to meet its peninsula—its dark waters act like a tracer, revealing whereby the river water mixes with the sea. That mixing was on display on February 20, 2015, when the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 captured this view.

“NASA Earth Observatory image by Dr. Alice Alonso, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.”

Web Page: Suwannee Blackwater River Meets the Sea

What’s Love & Work?

Love & Work is the weekly newsletter by me, Mitch Anthony. I help people use their brand – their purpose, values, and stories – as a pedagogy and toolbox for transformation. For five years, 360 issues, I called this letter Clarity First. But as of this anniversary – August 20, 20121 –  I renamed this labor of love as Love & Work. It will still be a “notebook about how we work, learn, love and live”, but the new name, inspired by a statement by Freud, reflects this mission more accurately. Learn more.

If you get value from Love & Work, please pass it on.

Not a subscriber? Sign up here.You can also read Love & Work on the web.

Leave a Comment