Politics has never been much of a thing to me. Reading about Presidents and American history has always been important, but contemporary politics just never pulled me in much. Until this fall, of course. Probably like a lot of people.
So then I spent a lot of time thinking about the differences of parties and people and such. Which led to long thoughts. Oftentimes unpleasant, and winding ideas. Which gets tiring.
Then you read a zinger that just sums it all up. Like this, from here:
“The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans believe people are fundamentally bad, while Democrats see people as fundamentally good."
Sounds about right. From that one thought you can pull down nearly all policies and points-of-views. You can see why collaboration is hard. And you begin to understand the outlook of someone different than you in a helpful way.
What's also great about that particular line is that it doesn't place higher importance toward either direction. Neither can be proved wholly right. Or wholly wrong. They just are.
An email train about vintage DDB was happening and I had to add the Porsche work by Helmut Krone. The files online were a little hard to work with so here are some. In the 70s and early 80s you can imagine how inventive these were for car ads. Perhaps still to this day--although how people would take them in would certainly be different. Think of how beautiful the elements of these would be online...
The World Economic Forum begins next week in Davos, where politicians, CEOs, celebrities meet to establish the conventional wisdom over fondue, cocktails, and high-minded debates.
The conventional wisdom at Davos this time last year was that Donald Trump wouldn’t win the Republican presidential nomination, let alone the presidency; the British would bottle out of voting for Brexit; globalization was good; the tides of free trade lifted all boats; politicians should tell at least a semblance of the truth; and diplomacy was an erudite and tactful endeavor. Justin Trudeau’s starry-eyed optimism set the tone.
It has always been easy to mock Davos for its out-of-touch elitism, with delegates swooping in on private helicopters to address big issues like climate change, income inequality, and the gender gap. The Davos consensus is rarely spot on. But its rejection in 2016 was epic and comprehensive. Brexit is on and Trump is in; globalization is on the retreat; nationalism is on the rise; and the soon-to-be-leader of the free world conducts diplomacy and policy on the fly via Twitter. This year at Davos, Xi Jinping and Theresa May will rub elbows with Matt Damon and Shakira, but Trudeau isn’t going.
Strange to say it, this state of affairs might make Davos more relevant, not less. In the contest between liberals and populists, it’s clear where most delegates at the Alpine gathering stand. Rather than getting together every year to confirm each others’ collective vision of the world, the assembled bigwigs, so used to winning, must now come to grips with the unfamiliar feeling of losing, and figure out what to do about it.
So will the globe-trotting glitterati react with humility or hostility? Or will they simply shrug their shoulders, hit the slopes, and hope for the best? That question will define this year’s gathering.
Quartz has a great daily newsletter. But the highlight is always Saturday. On that day their newsletter starts with a few paragraphs about one relevant subject of the week that was, or the week that's coming. Then they cite five great posts from their site and five great posts from other sites.
But it's that brief, sharp, sometimes witty, always relevant, and thought-provoking weekly write-up that starts a Saturday off so wonderfully well that's worth calling out.
Just finished A Visit From The Goon Squad--probably the best fiction I've read in years. The way it's written is what's amazing. The book goes in all directions telling stories of the characters--the surprising ways they all relate with each other, how each life develops, where they end up.
The author was inspired by two things. How Pulp Fiction had an upside down chronology to it--that doing this was possible in storytelling. And The Sopranos: “the sense of movement in all directions, but not necessarily forward.”
There's a chapter in the book that is entirely done in PowerPoint slides. It's a chapter told by a young teenager about her family. Like she's doing a report for school on them. It's amazing how much emotion comes from that chapter. Intentionally lo-fi in design, it's a notably innovative thing. Just like the structure of Pulp Fiction, how will that PPT bit of creativity inspire others?
Sometimes you're so deep in it that it sets up the opportunity for an easy fake.
Here's Duke, thinking about the next set of plays, their strategies, their plans, as they open up the next round of play. So Louisville simply posts up on the opposite side of the court and Duke reacts to that--on the wrong side.
A great example of thinking creatively.
A great reminder not to leave yourself open for an easy bucket.
Reviewing some numbers today and global ad spending rose 5.2% in 2016. Looking ahead, spending is forecast to grow in 2017 but not at the same rate as last year. WARC anticipates a growth rate of 3.6%. (No Olympics or U.S. Presidential election.)
In the U.S., the ad spending growth rate was 5.8% which was the highest rate of growth since 2010. It's always amazing to be reminded that ad spending in the U.S. represents around one third of global ad spending--we spend around $180B advertising to ourselves.
There are no surprises in the breakdown of spending forecasts by medium this year...
Much of my following of Standing Rock was through the updates and prompting of wolf & wilhelmine founder Heidi Hackemer. Which, of course, required all digital. Me, the follower, that is--digital, as stuff arrived in my feeds and channels. She, the doer, was there in the physical. Making change in non-violent ways with lots of other people.
And there it is: doing, versus following. Physical versus digital.
Of course things can be done from the screen. Of course they can. But can it replace what can happen with physical interaction when it really matters? In 2016 it feels like everyone thought it could. Years of Twitter and Alerts, finding Medium, living on screens no matter where we are.
But as we swing into 2017 I think we're all, in the back of our minds, questioning whether it can.