Before building the Great Wall, China was technologically advanced. The Chinese people had accurate clocks, crossbows, compasses, and even successfully deep-drilled for natural gas. Yet when China built the Great Wall for protection during the Ming Dynasty, they began to lag increasingly further behind. By decreasing their interaction with the rest of the world, they wound up missing out on the Industrial Revolution.
It is hard to escape the feeling that this is a uniquely humiliating moment for America. As citizens of the world the United States created, we are accustomed to listening to those who loathe America, admire America, and fear America (sometimes all at the same time). But feeling pity for America? That one is new, even if the schadenfreude is painfully myopic.
Not too long after Donald J. Trump was elected president, a pattern started to emerge on Facebook that had not taken place in the company’s history. Millions of young people started to abandon the social network, either quitting Facebook entirely or deleting it from their phones and other devices… in recent weeks it’s become clear that the exodus was likely a result of something larger. Facebook has become the home of right-wing America, while Twitter and Snap have become the home of the left.
While Americans examine the role of race in their society and how it impacts policing, the underlying factors behind excessive police force and corruption in India are more complicated, including the divisions created by religion, caste, power, and wealth. Some attitudes and structures enabling police brutality date back to colonization and laws put in place by the British. But while India was able to assert its independence more than seven decades ago, it has yet to conclusively address the inequities within its society.
The economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic must not be understood as an ordinary problem that macroeconomics can solve or alleviate. Rather, the world could be witnessing a fundamental shift in the very nature of the global economy.
According to historians, pandemics typically have two types of endings: the medical, which occurs when the incidence and death rates plummet, and the social, when the epidemic of fear about the disease wanes…In other words, an end can occur not because a disease has been vanquished but because people grow tired of panic mode and learn to live with a disease.
The era of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, launched with the promise of largesse, is now likely to go down in history as a period of unprecedented belt-tightening. The 34-year-old known as MBS, already set on reducing his kingdom’s dependence on oil, has now found the insurance offered by the precious commodity pulled out from under his feet.
To say that COVID-19 changes everything is already a cliché. But it’s also true. The pandemic is deepening tension between China and the United States, accelerating the digitalisation of commerce, and shining a bright light on the inequalities that divide our societies. It is also triggering dramatic knock-on effects in the criminal underworld.