My weekly collection of the provocative, intriguing, or curious, in a world where the house is falling down. The contextual, the cultural, and other things that catch my eye.

More on the coronavirus: this week a focus on some of the social and cultural stories relating to the virus.

Photo: Filippo Venturi

The pandemic is a portal into a new world. A long, fine essay on the view from India by the writer Arundhati Roy.

How the zakat is helping people survive in Pakistan. The Muslim ‘tithe’ is supporting those who can’t work during lockdown. (Thanks to Sue Robinson).

Learning from the epidemiologists. But be ready to be depressed: there are millions more viruses out there, Dennis Carroll tells Nautilus.

It’s a perfect moment to be a digital anthropologist. Caitlin McDonald on some of the things we’re learning as we’re forced online. (Podcast, 35 mins).

What’s the relationship between disruption and doom? Electric Literature talks to speculative fiction writer Ted Chiang.

Looking out my back door. Italian photographer Filippo Venturi shoots the lockdown view from his windows.

This week’s COVID-19 obituary: Cristina was one of the distinctive voices of the post-punk label Ze.

_“The whole world’s at sixes and sevens, and why the house hasn’t fallen down about our ears long ago is a miracle to me.” (Thornton Wilder)