Biden wants the US to be a values-driven leader but is the world buying it?

by Rashmee

Posted on February 16, 2021 / The National


This weekend marks US President Joe Biden’s first month in the Oval Office, which means it is still early days for any concrete foreign policy decisions to have been taken. Thus far, Mr Biden has limited himself to feel-good postures on complex global issues. On February 19, he will deliver a virtual address at the … Continue reading “Biden wants the US to be a values-driven leader but is the world buying it?”

Read More

It really will be the year of the ox. We will all have to pull a heavy load

by Rashmee

Posted on February 10, 2021


/ TAKE UP ONE IDEA Looking ahead to Lunar New Year, Chinese Chunjie, Vietnamese Tet, Korean Solnal, Tibetan Losar, the Spring Festival, the ox is anointed as representative of 2021. I know that the Chinese have very particular meanings for the zodiac calendar (and something called the sexagenary cycle, which is a combination of 10 heavenly stems … Continue reading “It really will be the year of the ox. We will all have to pull a heavy load”

Read More

Slash and burn: Trump’s pyromaniac foreign policy moves on his way out

by Rashmee

Posted on January 20, 2021


Until the end, Donald Trump has remained true to himself (as well as the most churlish portrait of him). On his way out of the Oval Office, he’s lit wildfires of various sorts in the foreign policy sphere. It’s obvious that he wants to make life even harder for incoming President Joe Biden. (‘Take that. … Continue reading “Slash and burn: Trump’s pyromaniac foreign policy moves on his way out”

Read More

Unmasking President Trump’s fatal ignorance throughout the plague year

by Rashmee

Posted on December 29, 2020


I don’t subscribe to The New Yorker so can’t help but be grateful for the Axios story on how the nearly 100-year-old magazine is looking back on the plague year in an eponymous issue, which is almost entirely about America’s unmoored response to the pandemic. Axios says Lawrence Wright offers a 40-page account (paywall). I’ve written before about … Continue reading “Unmasking President Trump’s fatal ignorance throughout the plague year”

Read More

Is the four-day work week nearly here?

by Rashmee

Posted on December 28, 2020


It may sound silly to be talking about work during the holiday season, but soon it will be over and people will be back to working from home (or, as some call it, “living at work”.) That’s when thoughts will turn once again to the length of the work week. But attempts are underway to … Continue reading “Is the four-day work week nearly here?”

Read More

And the country of the year is…

by Rashmee

Posted on December 26, 2020


  Last year, The Economist picked Uzbekistan as its country of the year. The late despot Islam Karimov’s country had a long way to go, it said, “but no other country travelled as far in 2019”. The year before The Economist picked Armenia. The “an ancient and misruled nation in a turbulent region” now has … Continue reading “And the country of the year is…”

Read More

‘Surveillance capitalism’ to ‘infocommunism’: the big tech battle

by Rashmee

Posted on December 22, 2020 / The National


It has been quite an extraordinary year for big tech. Giants of the technology sector cannily leveraged the expanding economic opportunities thrown up by the pandemic. But now they find themselves in the crosshairs of regulatory authorities in Europe, America, the UK and China. Will 2020 come to be seen as an inflection point, when … Continue reading “‘Surveillance capitalism’ to ‘infocommunism’: the big tech battle”

Read More

Populism and the overabundance of PhDs

by Rashmee

Posted on December 10, 2020


  Some little time ago I heard a science journalist on a podcast discussing populism in the context of oversupply – of PhDs. It sounded amusing. To think that someone like me, who has a PhD, would contribute to the sort of political instability that elects Donald Trump in 2016. Turns out, the theory of … Continue reading “Populism and the overabundance of PhDs”

Read More

As Paris pact turns five, climate change is the new cold war

by Rashmee

Posted on December 7, 2020


  This is the week the Paris Climate Agreement marks its fifth birthday. December 12 is the big day. In its young life, the Paris deal has had some hairy moments. Most importantly, Donald Trump pulled out America, the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases. There were fears that other countries would follow but … Continue reading “As Paris pact turns five, climate change is the new cold war”

Read More

10 reasons to feel grateful this Thanksgiving

by Rashmee

Posted on November 25, 2020 / The National


Despite these testing times, American Thanksgiving (November 26) may be a useful moment to take stock. What should we, as a planet, give thanks for in a year that threw up the depressing new word “doomscrolling”? It is true that 2020 has felt like a particularly bad year. It was roiled by two spreading crises, … Continue reading “10 reasons to feel grateful this Thanksgiving”

Read More

Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK