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Photo by Mitul Grover.

The world is wonderful. The world is terrible. Let’s choose again.

The world is richer, healthier, and more educated than it has ever been. In the last 150 years, we broke out of the Malthusian trap; eradicated smallpox; invented sliced bread, the automobile, the Internet, and the smartphone; and put a man on the Moon. And yet the awe-inspiring scientific, technological, and social progress has not benefited everyone equally.

Today, 737 million people are extremely poor.

821 million are undernourished.

2.2 billion do not have access to safe drinking water.

1 billion cannot read or write.

The unprecedented inequality is a choice. Extreme poverty is a choice. We, the rich, healthy, educated citizens of high-income economies, have decided that the rest of the world should stay poor. …

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Photo by Kyaw Tun.

The covert battle between the ethical and the conventional.

I’ve been thinking about fish lately. I am not a fan of fish as food. I love cheap kaiten sushi and my Mum’s pike and carrots in foil. But that’s it, all other fish is yuck.

My Dad’s not a fan of fish as food either. But he loves fishing. A few days ago I woke up to our WhatsApp chat filled with big, dead, bloody fish he had caught that morning. He looked so happy and proud.

But my heart skipped a beat. …

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Shibuya, Tokyo.

I was about to hop on a plane and start a new life in Europe. Then a global pandemic hit.

6 AM. My alarm rings. It’s Tuesday morning, and I am not going to work. So I snooze. For an hour. All’s fair in wars and pandemics.

7 AM. My alarm rings again. It’s still Tuesday. I snooze for another hour, but my well-honed sense of guilt and duty finally gets the better of me. I browse my Twitter feed sleepily. Email before breakfast is taboo. There’s no telling what sort of news The New York Times broke to me overnight. “Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain…”, says the notification. Oh God, he’s dead, isn’t he? (Don’t worry, he’s fine.)

But there’s an email I dread even more. …


Ernesta Orlovaitė

Bookworm (but I sometimes go on real adventures) · Obsessive thinker · Inconsistent writer · “You live and learn. At any rate, you live.” — Douglas Adams

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