A Boring Weekend

                                                 So she sips on almond milk, warming her hands around the mug. Outside, the clouds are hurrying east, as they darken the earth and un-darken it in endless cycles. Her feet are cold and, setting the cup on the writing desk, she pulls on her socks. How nice it feels. Life is good.
   She takes another sip. Faraway in Afghanistan the Taliban is winning -- quickly. Farther off, in Haiti, the president has been assassinated. Closer, Indonesia is running out of oxygen. Then, there is the arts.
   She turns over the cover: this edition is three months old. For nearly 180 years, The Economist has fed fuel to thought, a friend, teacher, scientist for presumably the curious thinker. Book reviews -- often of worthy works. But, so perfectly do these analyses distil their essence, that inclination to read the paperbacks sags.
   She runs a finger down the contents page. Social justice and self-interests. Are these opposing ideas? Does one help the other? Which one comes first?
   Does Covid have the answers?
   Technology -- will we co-exist with artificial intelligence, like with plants? The planet -- more salmon or hydroelectic power?
   And meanwhile, the air is sliced apart, as Jeff Bezos heads for the clouds.
   Do we want our enterprises ruthless? Or do we want them visionary? Take Berkshire Hathaway. Take Microsoft. What defines success? Then there are the Big Techs and Big Pharmas. Can we reconcile both qualities?
   And what of our leaders? Does age persuade our voting preferences? Or gender? Class? Maybe persona.
   It is a dated but excellent magazine.
   Are you a voter? Take the case of Trump. Take the case of Macron. Take the case of Aung San Suu Kyi.
   Is Chinese capitalism, capitalism? Yes and no. Think Jack Ma.
   All things in moderation -- religion, also.
   There is art everywhere. Economist journalists write succinctly, are possessed of balance and clarity, and talk to the point.
   Meanwhile, Donald Rumsfeld dies of blood cancer. The Secretary of Defence who is remembered for his much-quoted conundrums -- notably the "unknown unknowns" -- has been saved the spectacle of Afghanistan's return to its former Islamic rulers.
   Nobody, at the time of print, knows that yet, either, even if suspicion is strong. Nor does America anticipate the flood of Haitian refugees at its borders. And Australia does not know the treachery of Delta.
   But they will.
   

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