What British sofa beds – or the lack thereof – tell us about the ’empire of things’

by Rashmee

Posted on January 2, 2021


I have been trying – and failing – to buy a sofa bed for delivery within the next month or two and it’s got me thinking about something that historian Frank Trentmann has called the “empire of things”. Mr Trentmann’s 2016 book ‘Empire of Things’ chronicled the “global advance of goods” from the 15th century. … Continue reading “What British sofa beds – or the lack thereof – tell us about the ’empire of things’”

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‘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”

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From tomorrow, the long dark night gets shorter…literally, at least

by Rashmee

Posted on December 21, 2020


Today being Winter Solstice, every day from now on will be longer and every night will be shorter. Literally. One can but hope that there is a metaphorical brightening as well – that the pandemic, for instance, causes less sickness, misery and heartache. In the meantime, it’s worth taking note of Winter Solstice and what … Continue reading “From tomorrow, the long dark night gets shorter…literally, at least”

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Is that a nargisi kofta you’re chowing down with your pint?

by Rashmee

Posted on December 17, 2020


Coronavirus restrictions in England sent sales of a humble, often unregarded pub snack soaring. Across the land, pubs in “tier 2” tried to comply with rules that they only serve drinks to customers who consume a “substantial” meal. Amid much discussion over what constitutes a “substantial” pub meal, a government minister confirmed that scotch eggs … Continue reading “Is that a nargisi kofta you’re chowing down with your pint?”

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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”

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How to party like it’s 2020

by Rashmee

Posted on December 8, 2020 / The Economist


  The holiday season may be here, but the traditional office party? Not so much. The holiday season may be here, but the traditional office party? Not so much. Social distancing and other pandemic-related restrictions have ruled out the usual end-of-year work celebrations. Gone are the staff lunch, after-hours drinks and team dinner. Remote workers won’t … Continue reading “How to party like it’s 2020”

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Rather than despair, set store by change on the British high street

by Rashmee

Posted on December 5, 2020


  A wave of retail insolvencies is sweeping through British town centres as they reel from the impact of the pandemic. And vacancy rates in shopping centres (and retail parks) are rising. Nationally, the vacancy rate is 13.2 per cent, according to the Local Data Company. Shopping centres have 44,000 units standing empty and that figure … Continue reading “Rather than despair, set store by change on the British high street”

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That pointless but pleasant email? Don’t press send if you care about the planet

by Rashmee

Posted on November 21, 2020


It’s not just paper and all those dead trees. Your online life is also bad for the planet. Especially pointless emails or ones in which the point is purely to be pleasant, courteous, social, even. In an astonishing revelation, the Financial Times has covered the idea that it’s better to limit brief, pointless email exchanges. … Continue reading “That pointless but pleasant email? Don’t press send if you care about the planet”

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It’s worth reading why the half-Indian Marina Wheeler, Boris’s ex-wife, worries about Modi’s ‘New India’

by Rashmee

Posted on November 20, 2020


Marina Wheeler, barrister, former wife of Britain’s prime minister and the mother of four of Boris Johnson’s children, began a recent opinion piece with a reference to her Sikh mother. Dip Singh was displaced from Pakistan in 1947, Ms Wheeler noted. While writing a book about her mother’s forced journey to India, “the fathers of … Continue reading “It’s worth reading why the half-Indian Marina Wheeler, Boris’s ex-wife, worries about Modi’s ‘New India’”

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Is it really all over for the office?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 23, 2020


Many companies don’t expect workers to return to offices until next summer. Those that have allowed employees back are doing so in a phased fashion. London law firm Osborne Clarke, for instance, plans to have up to 25% of workers in the office at any one time. Goldman Sachs executives said last week that about … Continue reading “Is it really all over for the office?”

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