Have headphones blurred the line between immersion and disconnection?

Photo by Chase Baker

Last month, I signed up to run a half marathon. Having never run a proper race before, I started to imagine what the atmosphere on race day would be like. One of the things that puzzled me was whether I should wear my headphones or not while running. I’m used to running with headphones and listening to audiobooks or sometimes music as a way to distract myself and prevent me from overthinking my run. Yet, I imagined that a race was an amazing experience to be a part of and wanted to enjoy it fully. …


‘Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has had an idea’ Nolan Bushnell

I started writing a newsletter during the lockdown in France. Immediately, I had to find an answer to a tough question — what should I write about? It was particularly tough because I felt like people wouldn’t be interested in whatever I wrote. There’s so much content out there, and so much more published every day that it’s difficult to find your space and your voice. But if that experience taught me anything, it’s probably that we’re way more creative than we think, and I don’t mean this…


Caligula’s rule offers insights about how defiance and obstinacy can lead to one’s downfall.

© Tim O’Brien

As I was reading Camus’ Caligula, though I struggled to understand the main protagonist’s nature, I couldn’t help being reminded of Trump. He shares the mysterious and surly trait of the emperor’s temperament. With regards to truth, Caligula states that “Everything around me is lies, and I, I want to live in truth!”. Trump has ceaselessly called out the “fake news media”, claiming that only he is right, that only he tells the truth.

Caligula is Rome’s most infamous emperor. History remembers him for his extravagance, his arbitrary killings and his incestual relationships ; or to put it simply, his…


This article reflects solely my views and in no way that of the United Nations, my supervisors or my colleagues.

Boris Johnson speaking at the 2019 United Nations General Assembly

The United Nations General Assembly high-level week is a very unique moment in world politics. For a few days, heads of state and/or government, ministers and ambassadors unite in New York to engage in bilateral meetings, side-events, hallway confrontations, and address the General Assembly. Some of these addresses have become infamous, among them are Qaddafi’s 90-minute address in which he tore the United Nations Charter or Khrushchev’s ‘shoe-banging incident’.

While some of the 196 speeches have become prominent episodes in…


From Diplomacy to Globalization, wine and politics are more intertwined than you may think.

The Judgement of Paris

To commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of the U.S Independence, in 1976, a British wine-seller organised a wine tasting between French and American wines. The test would compare White Bourgogne and Red Bordeaux to Californian Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons. The wines would be blind-tasted by Michelin-starred chefs, the Secretary General of the Grands Crus Classes and several famed critics.

This was quite odd, as back in 1976 Californian wines were rather unknown in Europe. It was almost a joke for French winemakers and critics to be asked to compare French and American wines. When asked how Californian wines were viewed at…


Though the Coronavirus crisis is unquestionably tragic, as far as startup creation goes it’s pretty valuable.

7 Questions To … Mathias Pastor, Director @The Family

© Mathias PastorThe Family

What’s The Family?

The Family is a long term minority & strategic shareholder for lots of different ambitious European businesses. So our core focus is on helping startups & founders to grow. And usually we’re the first people to trust founders — often before their friends or moms take them seriously.

What do you work on?

So my job is mostly to pick some of the companies we partner with. I pick 20 to 50 new companies a year with which to work. I…


“Mont Ventoux is a special mountain” Alberto Contador

685 years ago, the Mont Ventoux witnessed “one of the great moments that oscillate indecisively between the epochs” as Italian Philosopher Petrarch ascended the Mountain in what appears to be the first known account of someone climbing a mountain solely for pleasure. A truly modern feat.

@Jean-March Rosier on Wikipedia

On April 26 1336, Petrarch departed from the village of Malaucène in Southern France and climbed to the summit with his brother and two servants. After arriving at the summit, he opened his copy of Saint Augustin’s Confessions and, in book 10, stumbled upon the words:


“Chess is life in miniature.”

Like a lot of kids, one of my first extracurricular activities was the school’s chess club. I have few memories from that time, only that of losing at a tournament and claiming that I had mistaken a piece’s position on the board. A few years ago, I had a chess craving. So I bought a chess book, a board and challenged my siblings and parents on holidays. That eventually faded…

Then there was the Queen’s Gambit: Netflix’s super successful TV Show portraying Beth Harmon’s rise from child prodigy to World Champion. While I didn’t restart…


“Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest” Haruki Murakami

While there are many benefits to remote work, a clear downside is that you can quickly become sedentary if you’re not cautious. To prevent my daily activity from being limited to walking from my bed to my desk, I started running. Running was not entirely new for me. I was somewhat used to running in the past, whether as a warm-up when I played sports or on Sunday evening jogs with friends. However, I had never run by…


NGOs across India are empowering sex workers towards a life of freedom.

Two months ago, a colleague and I were given the opportunity to visit Sahaara Charitable Society to talk to their CEO and employees and visit their educational and all-in-one centers (education, nutrition, healthcare, counseling) in Navi Mumbai’s Red-Light District. This was a truly interesting, inspiring and humbling experience. I naturally felt compelled to share what I learned during my visit and to highlight the amazing work the organization does.

Sex Work in India

Estimates of the number of commercial sex workers in India vary greatly from 3 million to up to 20…

Simon Pastor

🇪🇺🇫🇷🇺🇸 @YaleMPP I write about politics, data & society • Data Science Fellow @BLS_gov • Previously @LSEGovernment, Institut Montaigne, CitizenLab, UN 🇺🇳

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