Issue 2 ran from 11 January 2012 to 20 February 2012.

Here’s What We Got

From intensely geeky close examinations of a single computing principle to descriptions of a working ethos or a personal battle with distraction, the articles in this issue attempt to reveal a little bit of the dark matter of our work—the things we don’t usually take the time to consider.

Ambiguity is the essence of metaphor, mystery, poetry and humor. Without it we couldn’t write songs, flirt, or tell jokes. It’s a magical aspect of communication. But try telling that to your laptop.

Let’s create the quiet we need. We’re makers. And we’re not making for the sake of adding to the pile. We’re here to make things better, clearer, and easier. We should add calmer and quieter to that list.

How we feel about something has a much stronger role in decision making and comprehension than we’d like to believe. No matter how analytical we are, the emotional brain still decides.

Instead of interviewing one person in this issue, we bring you seven, each focused on three simple questions about the principles that underlie their work.

Argo is a public experiment in developing technical and editorial frameworks for thoughtfully managed topical content projects that don’t require a huge team or a big budget.

People with low literacy skills have always been part of our audience. They’ve always needed their information presented clearly, plainly, and simply so they can succeed in understanding and using it.

Curiosity is tricky. It’s the first thing that pushes us forward, but it’s also one of the first to hold us back: to keep us from shipping good ideas because we’re too busy lusting after unachievable ones.

We don’t often have time to consider all the underlying stuff that gives our work shape, character, and meaning, and that time won’t ever appear on its own. But we can choose it. Even in the crazy spells—and maybe especially then, when we’re making so many important decisions.

A Bit More About This Issue

Our second issue ran through mid-March of 2012.

You can expect a new issue of Contents every six to eight weeks, each with a different editorial theme. At the end of each issue, we’ll publish a set of annotations that links to thematically related material elsewhere, and collects the conversation so far. (You can start by reading the annotations for Issue 1, if you’re hungry.)

This issue was illustrated by Erik Westra, our production director and fixer-in-chief. Please send correspondence to