John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge on what the Coronavirus crisis has revealed about about the state of The State in the west. Spoiler alert: not in great shape; China on the march. [Caveat: blew me away in April but haven’t re-read since so might be bollocks now, but probably isn’t.]
Rutger Bregman on how the ideas “lying around” become more absorbable during crises. From Keynes to Friedman to Piketty and now, in the middle of the biggest societal shakeup since the second world war, Mazzucato (maybe). [This one I’ve re-read a few time since now and still holds up.]
Devin Gordon introduces AIQ — Athletic Intelligence Quotient — modelled by a US company who claim they can predict how likely an athlete is to succeed, and how. Featuring cool illustrations from Karan Singh.
Adam Ramsay’s beautiful piece explores how political extremism feeds on an epidemic of disconnected, immobilised, depressed men.
Anne Applebaum examines the various motivations of Trump’s collaborators and compares them with Stasi-era collaborators in USSR-era Eastern Germany.
Fascinating piece on the unsustainable practices and subsequent unravelling of the fashion industry in the run up to the Covid crisis. Brilliant interactive design from Shannon Lin.
Paul Wood’s wild story on Saudi billionaire Any Khawaja, who claims to have sold a payments gateway to the Trump 2016 election campaign in order to disguise hundreds of millions of dollars in Saudi & Emirati money as small donations.
When Bitcoin mines came to Iceland, a local burglar syndicate started prospecting for warehouses full of computers … by tracing local electricity grid spikes. Mark Seal’s brilliant retelling of a very modern crime spree.
Benjamin Wallace-Wells meets Gabriel Zucman, a peer of Thomas Piketty, whose work focusses on tax evasion and the principle of nations taxing wealth, not just income.
Jesse Frederik’s superb deconstruction of why Blockchain, the much-vaunted digital ledger technology that aims to solve almost everything, is really mostly bullshit.
Evan Osnos examines the emerging global contests between China and the USA, from all perspectives — political, economic, cultural, social, and even sporting.
Stephen Armstrong chronicles the rise of the Collison bothers, the Irish entrepreneurs behind Stripe — the payments platform increasingly underpinning global online commerce.
Wade Davis’s brutal diagnosis of America’s decline, signalling the end of a century of hegemony and the tragic passing of a torch to totalitarian China.
May Jeong profiles the extraordinary Michael Taylor — a former US marine who exfiltrated Nissan CEO from house arrest in Japan while hidden in a cargo box.
Evan Osnos’s epic profile of the Democratic presidential nominee, from his tragic beginnings in Washington to his emergence as a compromise candidate primed to take on Donald Trump.
Bianca Bagnarelli tells the story of a Canadian Blockchain millionaire who “died” mysteriously in India in 2018, taking hundreds of millions of investor funds with him.