Debate Housekeeping Note: Watching It 'Cold'


I believe that some of my Atlantic colleagues will be weighing in with real-time color commentary on the debate. I look forward to seeing what they say -- about two hours from now.

As a scientific experiment, or something, I'm just going to watch the session straight, as in Ye Olden Days if they had C-SPAN back then. I'll stay off Twitter feeds or live blogs or The Entire Internet, as if I were blocking out knowledge of Olympic results from London -- and turn off the TV as soon as the candidates are done. Then I'll try to file a "here's how it seemed to me" dispatch without checking everyone else's notes. 

And then I'll check to see what I got wrong.

I am viewing this from Houston, where I have arrived for a big China event tomorrow night with the Center for Houston's Future. I appear to be the only person at the Houston convention-center Hilton who is not part of the 10,000-strong (actual number, not "zillions"-style estimate) contingent for the World Starbuck's Conference that begins here tomorrow. I will hope for good coffee in the morning.

Let the games begin.
* Update: No C-SPAN in the hotel, so going with CNN. Impressively, hotel lobby has Fox on one big screen, and MSNBC on another. FWIW.
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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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