Clarity First Newsletter, July 28, 2017

Clarity First
A notebook about how we work and learn and love and live.

The U.S. governance system is clearly laid out wrong. It’s dead from the top. But we can rebuild it from the bottom.

“What did you do to resist the madness, Mommy? Daddy?”

How to change the social sector to effect measurable change.

If you haven’t noticed, the status quo is collapsing. It’s time to focus on facilitating measurable change vs. just perpetuating an institution.
Article: Six Behaviors that Can Change the Social Sector for the Better

“I believe in eliminating the false dichotomy of work versus life and instead infusing work with humanity.”

Article: Research Shows 3 Ways to Bring More Humanity to the Workplace

Breaking apart the subjectivity of good design

Could someone devise a list of principles that define good design? “Design lover and problem solver” José Torre has given it a try. It’s a good one.
Article: How to Identify Good Design in Six Steps

“You can feel inherently that you’re on a train that has a destination.”

Ira Glass offers a master class in storytelling in four 5-minute monologues. It’s full of priceless advice like “Not enough gets said about the importance of abandoning crap.”
Video Series: Ira Glass on Storytelling 

“Everybody goes through that.”

Ira Glass recorded his master class on storytelling in 2003. Eight years later David Shiyang Liu, for Day 6 of his own #30daysofcreativity, made a short form video from one of Glass’s teachings: that everyone who is any good was once frustrated by how they sucked. “I really wish that somebody told this to me.” Liu did the purely animated type and audio treatment in three days using Illustrator and After Effects. Practice. Do it again. We can do this.
Video: Ira Glass on Storytelling, David Shiyang Liu visual treatment.

The unfortunate truth is you’re easy to forget. We all are. 

So, if you’re not consistent with your content marketing, you get forgoten.
Article: Consistency Beats Most Everything Else.

Keeping its perch at the top of the advertising roost is going to get harder, but Google can keep defying the odds.

In the past four years Google has captured the equivalent of at least 40% of total growth in global advertising spending. Here’s why their share is likely to expand more.
Article: Yes, Google Can Keep Dominating Advertising.


I have been telling Spotify in every way I know that I really, really, really like guitarist Bill Frisell. This week the app showed me that it got the message. Smack dab in the middle of it’s Discover Weekly feed it placed guitarist Julian Lage, like a house cat places a gift mouse on your pillow. Check out this masterful rendering of Hagen and Rogers’ Harlem Nocturne, played live with a trio. He even plays a white Telecaster. Thank you, Spotty. I am officially a new fan.

Images of the week

Conceptual artist and photographer Mike Mandel was living in LA in the early seventies. One of the themes he captured there was people in cars. This year he gathered some of those images as a book and a gallery show, People in Cars.

What’s Clarity First?

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