Please Watch This Space

For reasons of, sigh, "work" I cannot do more at the moment than express thanks for a large inflow of fascinating material on the "cheapness" of life, the nuances of halal vs kosher butchery (the things one learns...), the re-emergence of my old employer Jimmy Carter, the superbness of new software, the non-superbness of the press, the particular non-superbness of press coverage of the press, the brewing tensions between Japan and China, the rights and wrongs of the Chinese RMB policy, the rights and wrongs of the Harvard/Peretz arrangement, why self-pity levels are so low in China, and so on. I'll hope to circulate some of this starting tomorrow.

Reminder #1: Why no comments section here, which would let people post these things without me as middleman? Because, ironically, I don't have the time. My experience is that if carefully moderated, comments sections can be a tremendous addition to a site, as with the outstanding community T-N Coates has created -- but if not moderated, they are eventually and inevitably dominated by bullies and trolls. I can't commit the time to moderate a section myself, and wouldn't want anyone else to do it. QED.

Reminder #2: In lieu of comments, I have found it a wonderfully enriching development to hear from people around the world about their reactions to, disagreements with, and additional material on things I have encountered. I think of the picture I posted recently, of the three-year-old face of "cheap Muslim life," as exemplifying the sorts of contacts that would not have occurred in a different era and that, while potentially overwhelming, make me feel very fortunate for the range and quality of interactions that are possible now. My self-allotted five minutes for this update have now expired. Back to work.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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