Journal 129 — political polarisation, Russian interference in the US election, the extraordinary world of termites, Agatha Christie & the Aids epidemic

A termite nest in Brazil (Photo By

This week — the threat posed by political polarisation, an analysis of Russian interference in the US election, the extraordinary world of termites, and the life of Agatha Christie.

If you only read one thing — The London Review of Books’ fine piece on the Aids epidemic is worth the time.


Here was a plague | The London Review of Books | Society

A sobering, finely wrought and hugely powerful narrative of the Aids epidemic in the 1980s.

A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come | The Atlantic | Politics

A story about political polarisation in Poland and the warning signs for liberal democracy everywhere. The author of the piece, Ann Applebaum, is in a unique position to write the story, with Polish and American nationality, a celebrated career writing about the former Soviet Union, and a husband who was formerly Poland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Plot to Subvert an Election: Unraveling the Russia Story So Far | The New York Times | Politics

This piece goes back to the beginning and unpacks in meticulous detail and with great clarity, Russia’s interference with the 2016 US Election.

A giant crawling brain: the jaw-dropping world of termites | The Guardian | Science

It turns out termites are absolutely fascinating creatures, and this article explains why.

Queen of Crime | The New Yorker | Culture

A look at the life and work of Agatha Christie, a woman who can lay good claim to being the most widely read novelist in history.


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