Most people agree that we need to improve our economic
system somehow. It threatens our planet through excessive
consumption, distracts us with irrelevant advertising,
leaves people hungry and without healthcare, and fuels
unnecessary wars. Yet we’re also often keen to dismiss the
ideas of its...
Democracy was achieved by such a long, arduous and heroic
struggle that it can feel embarrassing – even shameful –
to feel a little disappointed by it. We know that at key
historical moments people have made profound sacrifices so
that we can, every...
The 19th-century designer, poet and entrepreneur William
Morris is one of the best guides we have to the modern
economy – despite the fact that he died in 1896 (while
Queen Victoria was still on the throne), never made a
telephone call and would...
Our assessment of politicians is torn between hope and
disappointment. On the one hand, we have an idealistic idea
that a politician should be an upright hero, a man or woman
who can breathe new moral life into the corrupt workings of
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We live in a world saturated with false glamour. In truth,
the problem does not lie with glamour itself, but with the
things we have collectively agreed to regard as glamorous.
Progress wouldn’t be found in eradicating the whole idea
of glamour from our...
Groups of young men armed with planks of wood roam the
alleyways extorting money. Houses are made of bits of tin,
old doors, the occasional lump of concrete, oil drums and
tarpaulin sheets. Sofa carcasses thrown onto rubbish tips in
the first world are...
There are many guide books suggesting what you might do when
you get to Seville. But they all pretty much agree that you
must go both to the Plaza de España, built for the
Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, and then to the Alcázar
You’ve been in the air for 12 hours. Now this anonymous
box. It was your company’s idea. You’d have a chance to
sleep a little, then catch the next 11 hour flight, before
heading straight into the conference.
You’ve been assigned a room at...
The modern world is in love with entrepreneurship. Starting
your own business holds the same sort of prestigious
position as, in previous ages, making a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem or spearing multiple enemies in battle.
However, what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur
We don’t always feel comfortable admitting it to our
friends; it is embarrassing. But, secretly, the idea of
being famous has great appeal.
Fame is deeply attractive because it seems to offer very
significant benefits. The fantasies go like this: when you
are famous, wherever...