That Which is Unique, Breaks (Alexandria #035)

Adam Sadowski
3 min readNov 29, 2021


Hello fellow readers,

I’m going to try something new where I include fewer articles in an issue. This should make the reading experience less overwhelming. It’ll also bring more rhythm to my process for sending it out.

Let me know what you think!


Featured Article

That Which is Unique,

“The hands that build the ship have knowledge that cannot be fully spoken, only taught by other hands. Each pair of hands must find another pair to learn from, and no pair of hands are the same. The injection mold and metal die machines can make one thousand toys each minute, but they have no hands, they cannot teach. Will the operators of the machines be able to design the next machine, as the child who watches the toymaker might design the next toy? I worry. I hope you understand…”

More Amazing Reads

Understanding “New Power”

“Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.”

How to Build a Transformative Narrative

“For impact organizations working daily on social and environmental challenges, engaging stakeholders is a crucial lever in the attainment of their objectives. However, there’s a significant gap between raising awareness of any issue and triggering concrete action towards its resolution. This challenge is exacerbated when dealing with stakeholders who think differently and don’t naturally subscribe to our goals. Far from being trivial, our ability to rally people to a cause draws on the social and behavioral sciences and the art of storytelling.”

The Interface Phase

“It’s early, but there are clues of what new interfaces might look like. New digital spaces are springing up around the internet and evolving every day. Wallets like MetaMask, Phantom, and Rainbow are changing how we log in, and what we bring with us when we do. Web3 worlds like Decentraland, Somnium Space, The Sandbox, and Cyber are reimagining how we experience and interact online. They’re early components of the Metaverse, sure, but this isn’t necessarily a Metaverse piece. It’s a piece about the evolution of the way that we interact with, and on, the internet. “

Obvious to You, Amazing to Others

“I get this feeling often. Amazing books, music, movies, or even amazing conversations. I’m in awe at how the creator thinks like that. I’m humbled. But I continue to do my work. I tell my little tales. I share my point of view. Nothing spectacular. Just my ordinary thoughts. One day someone emailed me and said, “I never would have thought of that. How did you even come up with that? It’s genius!” Of course I disagreed and explained why it was nothing special. But afterwards, I realized something surprisingly profound: Everybody’s ideas seem obvious to them.”

Small Tools for Shaping

“I’m experimenting with ways to demonstrate the path from a raw idea to a well-shaped pitch. That is, how to go from “I think we should spend time on X” to “here’s a specific concept for X that we’re confident we can ship in six weeks.” Sometimes I have a clear concept in my head from the very beginning, and I just need to sketch it out and write it up. Other times, it’s more of a struggle. A project I just finished was one of those harder cases. This post will give you a tour of these tools and show how I used them to shape a real project.”