I’ve been writing for The Economist since 1997, which probably comes to a thousand stories or so.
I also occasionally write stories for our sister magazines or outside publications. For example:
Stumbling over the Past (2013)
How an artist and many private citizens remember holocaust victims with Stolpersteine, little brass plates in the public sidewalk of Berlin and other cities, and how those stones form new human connections.
Sprechen Sie Du? (2013)
A humorous look at a vexing problem with the German language: whether to use the formal or informal “you”.
How Berlin’s architecture blends the tragedy of the past with redemption in the present and renewal in the future.
Juncture (journal of the think tank IPPR)
Germany’s Cool Power (2014)
As German national identity at last becomes more ‘normal’, what does that mean for the country’s view of its role in Europe and the world?
The issue that has been conspicuous by its absence from Germany’s parliamentary campaign: the relationship between Europe and the economic powerhouse that is too small to lead, too large simply to fall into line.
At The Economist we consider a few story categories “special”–either more fun or more soulful–so here is a small sample of those:
This is my favorite story ever. Why are the poor and down-trodden Filipina maids in Hong Kong cheerful and apparently happy, when their rich and successful Chinese employers are reliably miserable and cranky? Lessons for all of us!
Written in the thick of the euro crisis, this is meant to be a cheeky historical comparison between the European Union and the Holy Roman Empire. The parallels really are quite striking, and may offer lessons.
Here I’m profiling a family of Mexicans who came — illegally — to work in California’s fields. I compare them with the Okies that John Steinbeck wrote about in Grapes of Wrath. Why did they come? Does that reason make it right?
What would Socrates think about the way Americans talk to one another today? What would Americans think about Socrates? A thought exercise about American democracy, conformism and individualism, good and bad conversations, and more. This story came out of a thread right here on The Hannibal Blog!
Here I report from the Mecca of the counterculture and the New Age, the hot baths at Esalen in Big Sur on the Pacific Coast. What happened to all those Hippies? Shamans? Yogis? How is the enlightenment-genre doing these days?
A deep dive into the causes of California’s dysfunction, which turns into an investigation of “direct democracy”, California’s fourth branch of government. Of interest to governance and democracy wonks all over the world.
(This special report was on the cover. I also wrote the cover Leader.)
- The people’s will
- Direct democracy: Origin of the species
- Proposition 13: War by Initiative
- Stateside and abroad
- California’s legislature: The withering branch
- Education: A lesson in mediocrity
- How voters decide: What do you know?
- What next? Burn the wagons
Mobility: Nomads at last (2008)
A sociological, anthropological and psychological look at how our mobile technologies, such as mobile phones, WiFi, laptops and so forth, are changing the way we work, live, love, think, speak and write.
- The new nomadism
- Working from anywhere
- A nomadic environment
- Family ties
- Mobility and location
- Nomadic monitoring
- Homo mobilis
- Audio interview
A look at how technology changes the media and society, from Gutenberg to blogs, podcasts, wikis and so forth. Includes a few podcasts we did, which happen to be The Economist‘s first ever!
- Among the audience
- It’s the links, stupid
- Compose yourself
- The wiki principle
- Heard on the street
- Wonders of the metaverse
- The gazillion-dollar question
- What sort of revolution?
- Sources and acknowledgements
- Offer to readers
- Audio interview: Andreas Kluth
- Audio interview: David Sifry
- Audio interview: Chris Anderson
- Audio interview: Jerry Michalski
- Audio interview: Paul Saffo
My dirge about complexity in technology, and promise of simplicity as the ‘next big thing’.
- Make it simple
- Now you see it, now you don’t
- A byte’s-eye view of complexity
- If in doubt, farm it out
- Spare me the details
- The mom test
- Metaphorically speaking
- Hearing voices
- The blood of incumbents
- Author interview
From South-East Asia to China, the past, present and future of business, companies and law. And, of course, those colorful tycoons!