“Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity. For the crowd believes that if it cannot see to the bottom of something it must be profound. It is so timid and dislikes going into the water.”
Friedrich Nietzsche


“there’s no clarity.
there was never meant to be clarity.”

Charles Bukowski


You would think it would be fairly easy to figure out what is important but beyond some massive generalizations – family, time, survival, etc. – discerning what is important and what is not in the onslaught of scraps of information thrown at us is difficult.

I thought of this as winter looms. Just as Death breaks things down to the bare essence, winter does the same. And maybe that is the connection. When things are at their barest, when we are drawn closer to endings rather than beginnings, we inevitably ponder the not only what is important but also possibilities. And in an increasingly technology embedded world clarity – the traction for sensemaking, decision making, progress – seems even more elusive.

I would argue that clarity in a data/AI/technology driven world will come down to human conversations. Words & dialogue. I say this because if we seek to committing to discovering what is important, and making sense of shit, that commitments have structure: request, negotiation, agreement, explanations. All those things are actions we must have with the somewhat overwhelming world in which we live. They are dependent upon clarity, trust, transparency, and people will still depend on speech for effective communication to gain those things.

As we all know, good ideas don’t sell themselves. They need to be herded thru a gauntlet of doubters, skeptics and “change is bad” obstacles. It isn’t easy. I would suggest nothing truly good in Life comes easy. My point here is that clarity does not sell itself. If you want to offer clarity you need to make your ideas strong and relevant to your audience. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out clarity trumps beauty of speech. If you seek clarity, the important stuff does not sell itself. Usually, it is buried behind a bunch of unimportant stuff trying to sell itself. Within that sentence/thought lurks the greater challenge, danger, in the onslaught of lack of clarity – doubt.


“Disinformation isn’t designed to make you believe something false but convincing; it is designed to make you doubt everything true and demonstrable; to make the very existence of unimpeachable facts null and void”


Doubt kills clarity. If you doubt everything, you will never truly find clarity.

With that said, I sometimes wish everyone would take a basic research class and get a grip on the basics of something like conjoint versus discrete research.

Conjoint experiments are where attributes are left to vary freely to create all sorts of product concepts/ideas that may or may not necessarily be represented in the marketplace. In other words, in a conjoint you assess fragments and assemble them into a clarifying thought. The issue here is that sometimes your clarity is not exactly what exists. This is neither good nor bad, just are challenges depending on the context.

On the other hand, a discrete choice experiment is actually aimed to more closely align with actual product definitions in the marketplace where there are some fixed alternatives. Some people like this because it feels more realistic, pragmatic, and clarity is a bit easier to grasp. The issue here is that the answers will almost always simply be a derivative of what exists therefore limiting views of possibilities. This is neither good nor bad, just are challenges depending on the context.

To end that thought I believe the world needs people who are good at both or at thinking just one of these ways. I believe that because as we think there will be some pragmatism and possibilities lurking within the dialogue.

Regardless. All of this means to those of us who love facts, believe in facts, we need to get better at not shouting, but rather articulating truth which is typically a combination of those facts. We can’t just laugh at ‘facts don’t matter’ people, but get angry & fight back smartly, insightfully &, well, artfully. We fact people just need to be better at showcasing lily pads of clarity so that people can become a bit more effective at sensemaking which, ultimately, assists people in choicemaking. I will say, to be fair to everyone, finding clarity in today’s world is almost a job. But if we truly seek to find out what is important, we will most likely have to put in the work. All of us.

“The constancy of the internal environment is the condition for a free and independent life.”

Claude Bernard

Written by Bruce