Back Online Shortly

Thanks to all who have sent "hey, are your fingers broken, or are you just lazy?" etc queries these past few days. I've been on a project that has crowded out updates here. Back tomorrow, with exciting installments from the beer, aviation, tech-gizmo, GOP debate, Chinese environmentalism, anti-leafblower, password-generation, and filibuster categories. And of course the meaning of anti-Mormonism and "false equivalence."

In the meantime, our current issue is really strong. Plus, sometime soon UCTV will post the video of an interview I did with Elon Musk, at the "Atlantic Meets the Pacific" session at UCSD last week. At least from my perspective it was as engrossing a 40-minute exposure to the possibilities of technology and life as I've heard in a very long time. If they start seeing some traffic to that site, maybe they'll get it posted sooner. If you're looking for example number five zillion of why we love the English-language Chinese press, you can check out the Shanghai Daily on the virtues of the "ignorance is bliss" approach to sex education*. And in the family log-rolling department, Dreaming in Chinese is now out in paperback.

* UPDATE: A reader contrasts Finland's approach and China's.

I'm a Finn and still after living some 33 years in the US I am still often blown away of how the Finns seem to have an extremely (extreme, as seen from the "normal" US point of view) rational way of dealing with life.

Here's the Finnish variant of sex education. Ignorance is clearly not the goal.  Here's a link to a newspaper article. It's a sex education package for schools.  One would expect parents to be upset, but according to the next article, 6500 readers have responded to the article, and 75% of them approve the package.

Not likely to start enlightening students soon here in the Free World?

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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