Last month, I was privileged to help lead a workshop in Harare, Zimbabwe, for activists in the Publish What You Pay coalition, focusing on how data can get citizens a better deal from their oil and mining sector.

Through the "Open Data Extractors" project, campaigners from across the global coalition learn how new laws in the EU and the US are unlocking payment data from companies that dig for oil and minerals around the world.

When financial stories make the news, they usually come with a villain attached. People love the “Who” in the fight against corruption. Banks like Goldman Sachs become the Darth Vader of the financial crisis. Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson gets ousted when his offshore deals appear in the Panama Papers.

It’s much harder, however, to tell a story about systemic problems—the “What” and the “How.”

Amid the flipbook churn of links from Twitter, Facebook and email yesterday, I saw two that brought different sides of me into sharp contrast.

One was a picture based on the tumblr The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. The Dictionary is the brainchild of graphic designer and editor John Koenig. Koenig imagines new words for feelings that should have their own word but don't, like the momentary terror when your eyes haven't adjusted to the dark yet, or the wish that someone else's phone buzzing had been yours (those two are mine).  Buzzfeed's Daniel Dalton did a really nice job illustrating some of Koenig's words a few weeks ago, which may explain why the list is showing up in my feeds a lot.

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