WHAT would an archaeologist digging in the remains of our cities two millennia from now make of our civilisation? That’s a fine question, posed by long-time US archaeologist Eric Cline in the stimulating epilogue to his new book, Three Stones Make a Wall.
The pace at which these checkout people scan items is hilarious and borderline wizardry, but unfortunately it is also unrealistic for newcomers like myself to keep up. Today I found myself in utter shock needlessly panicking, sweating and wondering whether the whole shop was watching my trembling body struggling to cope with the intense pressure placed upon my bagging skills. My body was buckling. Shutting down. And it was probably funny for the surrounding employees, customers and their children.
In 1700, India, then ruled by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, an autocratic religious zealot, boasted 24.4 per cent of global GDP: a share almost equal to that of Europe's 25 per cent. By 1950, as India became a secular democracy, its share had dropped to just over three per cent.