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Journal 195

Deep-sea coral formations at the Wagner Seamount

This week — deep-sea mining, Thatcher and Johnson, the decade tech lost its way, and a freelancer killed in the field.

If you only read one thing — The New Yorker on Narendra Modi is worth the time.


Thank you for reading Journal in 2019, it's hugely appreciated.

There is so much brilliant journalism out there that deserves to be found, enjoyed, celebrated, and supported. There's also never been a more important time for the dissemination of high quality journalism, work that most effectively meets the most essential objectives of that profession*.

I've got big plans to grow Journal's output in 2020, in terms of both original Journal content, and new formats to help share and tell the best writing around.

For anyone who'd like to help support these objectives, Journal's continuing existence, and growth, I've set up a Patreon page -

Happy New Year.


Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi’s India | The New Yorker | Politics

An arresting and disturbing story about the past, present, and future of Narendra Modi's politics. The story's climax is the proposal that, with his reelection 2019, Modi "uncovered a terrible secret at the heart of Indian society: by deploying vicious sectarian rhetoric, the country’s leader could persuade Hindus to give him nearly unchecked power."

20,000 Feet Under the Sea | The Atlantic | Science

A story about deep-sea mining efforts that are starting to coalesce into action at scale from multinational mineral mining organisations. As one oceanographer puts it - "We’re about to make one of the biggest transformations that humans have ever made to the surface of the planet. We’re going to strip-mine a massive habitat, and once it’s gone, it isn’t coming back.”

Conspire Slowly, Act Quickly | The London Review of Books | Politics

David Runciman reviews a volume of Margaret Thatcher's biography and compares her political moment with the present, and Boris Johnson's government.

The Decade Tech Lost Its Way | The New York Times | Technology

An account of how a positive vision for technology's impact on society curdled over the course of a decade, narrated by people at the centre of the industry - from the Arab Spring, to the slow-down of Moore's Law, to the launch of Instagram.

Death Of A Freelancer | The Huffington Post | Life

The tragic story of a freelancer killed whilst reporting in South Sudan sheds light on the vulnerability of those reporting in conflict zones without the backing of a major media organisation.

*For more on those objectives -


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