Written by

Chris Gonzales


Alex Cornell

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

* * *

Illustration: Andrew Colin Beck

Illustration: Andrew Colin Beck

We Need to Literally Declare War on Climate Change »

If you only read one thing in this week’s Quality Linkage, make it Bill McKibben’s New Republic piece where he argues that we — not as a nation, but as a planet — need to quickly and unanimously mobilize against climate change the same way all of America did back in WWII:

Day after day, week after week, saboteurs behind our lines are unleashing a series of brilliant and overwhelming attacks. In the past few months alone, our foes have used a firestorm to force the total evacuation of a city of 90,000 in Canada, drought to ravage crops to the point where southern Africans are literally eating their seed corn, and floods to threaten the priceless repository of art in the Louvre. The enemy is even deploying biological weapons to spread psychological terror: The Zika virus, loaded like a bomb into a growing army of mosquitoes, has shrunk the heads of newborn babies across an entire continent; panicked health ministers in seven countries are now urging women not to get pregnant. And as in all conflicts, millions of refugees are fleeing the horrors of war, their numbers swelling daily as they’re forced to abandon their homes to escape famine and desolation and disease.

World War III is well and truly underway. And we are losing.

I agree. Climate change is the single most pressing issue of our time, and I don’t say that lightly.

As McKibben says later in the article:

In this war that we’re in—the war that physics is fighting hard, and that we aren’t—winning slowly is exactly the same as losing.

How Jeff Sheldon Stays Inspired and Comes Up with New Ideas »

Jeff has been killing it on the Ugmonk blog lately. In this post, he discusses how he approaches the capturing and application of ideas. My favorite bit is this part about the importance of “bad” ideas:

Even if you’re thinking, “This is the dumbest idea ever,” write it down. You never know what it might lead to. Sometimes those “dumb” ideas are the creative spark for another idea that you never would have thought of.

Example: The idea to create leather mousepads was originally just an afterthought. We were selling our natural leather journals that wear in over time and thought it might be fun to see how a mousepad would evolve the more it was used. I wasn’t sure if anyone else still used a mousepad, but we decided to do a super small run of them as a test. And here we are years later with our mousepads as one of our biggest sellers! Who would have thought?

You never really know where inspiration will come from.


Bias Will Destroy Your Company (But It Doesn’t Have To) »

For all you business owners and managers out there, here’s Karla Monterroso of Code2040 on the importance of training employees in the areas of diversity and inclusion, and how easily deep-seated biases can be killing morale in the workplace without your knowledge:

I have been in companies where white people have told me that before training, whenever they said the words Black and Latino, they would whisper them. Whisper. Them. If you can’t even name a race or ethnicity out loud, how the hell are we supposed to create operations and systems that address bias?


I want you to picture bias like pollution. Everyday you will emit a certain amount of pollution into your workplace, whether you want to or not. It will slip into the cracks of everything you produce and destroy the culture of your companies. Now I want you to picture that the pollution is going to kill your company in 20 years if you don’t do something about it. Is your plan still one training that you optionally do with your workforce whenever they deign to participate in it?

Photo: Kyle Huff

Photo: Kyle Huff

This is the Rail Park. »

Mike Smith of design studio Smith & Diction wrote a thorough case study detailing how they overhauled the visual identity for the Rail Park, a three-mile park in Philadelphia that connects 10 neighborhoods and runs through 50 city blocks:

Hundreds of people walk over it every day. It soars above city streets block by block by block. It cuts through the main artery of this city. But many don’t look up and few look down. A majority of Philadelphian’s don’t even know it exists. But it does and it goes on living and growing without a single care. It’s got views better than Drake’s album; it’s almost impossible to take a bad photograph. It’s for friends, for lovers, for paint, for plants, for steel, for swings, for art, for history, for education, for imagination. This is the footprint of a sleeping giant. This is a connection that will make commutes carless. This is a historic link to the future of green space in Philadelphia.

The way they approached the logo alone is worth the read. Love it.

How to Overcome Procrastination »

I enjoyed this short video by Shopify Studio creative director and producer Stuart Langfield, in which he analyzes why our monkey brain makes us procrastinate and feel bad about it later, even if we realize it’s happening.

The solution with the most potential? Mindfulness meditation.

* * *

Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.