Issue: August/September 2020

Acts of remembrance

Commemorating those lost in the pandemic has not been possible. But we can mourn through music

Overrated: Intellect

"An intellectual is someone who looks at a pink party balloon and thinks of Jeff Koons"

Underrated: Instinct

If you are instinctive, you think for yourself, and find chance beautiful

Prophets and messiahs

Deep inequality, a mismanaged pandemic, widespread violence and a tanking economy. How did Brazil get into this mire?

D’où parles-tu? The post-truth world

Power, illusion and the open society: how postmodernism undermines our foundational concepts

Be less kind

‘Common-sense kindness works through the golden rule—do as you would be done by. Wokeness replaces this delicate reciprocal balance with a sort of moral socialism—a blank cheque for whoever shouts loudest’

The importance of talking about nothing

Covid-19 is forcing abrupt change on Japanese office life and traditions

Can a white conservative be trusted?

There is particularly fertile ground for mistrust in an era in which fear has become a dominant public perspective

Tristram Shandy and the consolations of comedy

The story of “A COCK and a BULL . . . And one of the best of its kind, I ever heard”:

How to prevent the next pandemic

‘I have been reporting as a science journalist for years that the world is at increasing risk of pandemics like this; that this was predicted; that we know what we need to do to prepare and we simply haven’t done it; and that more and worse pandemics are coming so we need to do that, now’

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"