Word magic…

Cavers and miners of the future will spot the Anthropocene as a stratified layer of plastic, which he finds strewn on beaches in the farthest points of the Lofoten Islands. His book is suffused with sadness for this. He finds comfort where he can: in the innocence of children, the company of friends, the light-drenched vividness of surface life, which cries out to be cherished—and in the astronomer who, confined to the dark, patiently turns towards the stars.

—The Economist: ‘Into the underland with Robert Macfarlane

India – nationalism, colonialism, history and the future

Narendra Modi, the prime minister, controls the story of Indian nationalism these days, and has little use for the history of the anti-colonial struggle (which his own heroes, the first Hindu nationalists, largely sat out).

The Congress party, now in opposition, would traditionally stoke the embers of the anti-British campaigns, which it led. But it is trying hard to appeal to new voters, desperate for jobs and otherwise far from the memory of the freedom struggle.

— The Economist, in ‘The politics of apologising for Amritsar

Theresa May, the ‘valiant pugilist’

One senior Conservative MP describes Mrs May’s method of government as “valiant pugilism”. Rapid decision-taking and parliamentary dealmaking are things to which she is particularly ill-suited.

— The Economist, in ‘Missing: the British government

“It’s a fantastic skill, her ability to do nothing,” says one of her former cabinet ministers, almost admiringly.

South Korea – where muslims, gays and a red-light district co-exist

In addition to a tiny Muslim community, the area is home to a vibrant gay scene, a host of foreign restaurants and the remains of a shabby red-light district that used to cater to soldiers from a nearby American army base.

— The Economist, in ‘South Korea’s approach to planning is starkly unsentimental

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