This week, start here:

Noah Brier’s post on the Percolate blog about the organization’s six rules for meetings garnered a lot of well-merited attention this week. Each of the six has its’ own appeal, but most compelling among them is the last: don’t bring computers or phones. We’ve had some success imposing that rule internally in the occasional meeting, and could probably stand to adopt it more frequently.

This comes, of course, on the heels of a study demonstrating that students who use computers to take notes retain conceptual ideas at a much lower rate than their hand note-taking peers.


Matthew Scott wrote a smart piece this week on Medium imploring the CMOs of the future to structure themselves around an organizational capacity for developing video content. He builds on the existing thinking around stock and flow, and drops this particularly thoughtful gem:

for brands, non-video content is basically the stuff you create between the videos (celebrating + anticipating) or as we commonly believe — the stuff you do when you can’t afford to do video content. But what happens when making and spreading video is becoming cheaper and more effective?

You should absolutely read Kate Losse’s piece from The New Inquiry this week on #weirdtwitter in the age of the corporate social media team. If nothing else, you’ll feel a litle less alone in your discomfort with the CPG brands that hop on emerging memes before you do.

We’re pretty unapologetic in our love of civic tech — especially when manifest through organizations like the UK’s Government Digital Service. Naturally, then, we were pretty excited to the cover of Politico feature a brilliant piece this week on Boston’s New Urban Mechanics. This, at the same time that the Wall Street Journal reports that US government agencies are having trouble attracting young, tech savvy talent. Go figure.

Even if you’ve found a job that you love, the team at Superflux is having more fun than you are. This week: an exercise in speculative design in which they challenged student teams to design communications and experiences for a near-future nationalist Switzerland in the mid-2020’s. Esoteric? Yes, at times — but also extraordinarily thoughtful and an engrossing read for designers and communicators.

At long last, all of those things you send to Instapaper or Pocket and never get around to reading can be delivered straight to your door. Sarcasm aside, we like the idea of PaperLater a great deal.

The MIT Tech Review had a great piece on General Electric’s software investment in the grown-up-Internet-of-Things, that’s both a fine read and a good primer on where hardware companies are increasingly devoting their resources.

The always-rich Farnam Street Blog published a smart piece on winning an argument. To jump to the punchline:

If you want to win an argument, ask the person trying to convince you of something to explain how it would work.

The whole, annotated post is quite worth reading.

When Benedict Evans says it, pay attention:

1999: 70m cameras sold, 25bn photos printed
2013: ~1.5bn cameras sold, 500m photos/day on WhatsApp: 180bn/year annualised

This is important.


At long last, the nerd venn diagram* in which typographic obsessives and science fiction afficionados overlap has been drawn. Typesetinthefuture.com is dedicated to ‘typography and iconography as it appears in sci-fi and fantasy movies and TV shows’.

Naturally, the first post is dedicated to Kubrick’s large-looming 2001: A Space Odyssey, and treads precisely where you imagine that it might, including:

There’s no mistaking Eurostile Bold Extended on the receptionist’s language buttons when the Doctor arrives on the space station. Actually, there might be some mistaking it, because it could just as easily be Eurostile’s precursor, Microgramma.

Enjoy your week.