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Head to Fort Clonque for a slow-paced English adventure

WE’RE FLYING low over the English Channel, looking down at a fortress almost camouflaged on the rocky shore of a tiny island. Conversation is impossible above the din of the engine, so the 10 other passengers and I sit in silence throughout the descent, watching the waves get closer as the plane approaches the cliff upon which our pilot apparently intends to land. Propeller blades whirring, the plane lands bumpily onto a landing strip beside the tiniest tin shack of an airport I have ever seen.

Within minutes of stepping off the plane, I climb into a taxi that will take me across Alderney, an island of three and a half square miles, to the fortress I spotted from the air. I notice the taxi’s short license plate, reflecting a car-owning population of just 2,013 on an island that inhabitants affectionately describe as “2,000 alcoholics clinging to a rock.” Alderney, a self-governing island owned by the British Crown, is the nearest of the Channel Islands to both the British and French coasts, lying just a few miles from each.

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THE ROBOT ECONOMY Next time you stop for gas at a self-serve pump, say hello to the robot in front of you. Its life story can tell you a lot about the robot economy roaring toward us like an EF5 tornado on the prairie. Yeah, your automated gas pump killed a lot of jobs over the years, but its biography might give you hope that the coming wave of automation driven by artificial intelligence (AI) will turn out better for almost all of us than a lot of people seem to think.