Reihan: Goodbye!

This will be last day filling in for my friend, colleague, and co-author Ross Douthat, who will be returning from his adventures abroad next week. Though I strongly suspect I've driven away the lion's share of Ross's audience over the last couple of weeks, I hope you'll come back for what will be his triumphant return, for your sake: I think of myself as a pretty discerning judge of these things, and I genuinely think Ross's posts are unmissably excellent. You might say, "But Reihan, you're Ross's crony and comrade, and thus you can't be trusted!" Consider this: which came first, the chicken or the egg? The "egg" in this case was the unmissability, and it definitely came first. I have now dropped a logic bomb. Please be seated, as the aftershocks will continue to rattle your teeth for many hours.

There's a lot more I'd like to discuss with you: Matt has a post that parallels some of my own thoughts on David Brooks' latest, Shellenberger and Nordhaus, and the Republican future. I was impressed by Dani Rodrik's post on "a progressive trade agenda," which offers a lot of room for right-left consensus, particularly when we draw on the insights of Tadashi Nakamae on the (un)sustainability of export-driven growth. The brilliant Mark Graham has (briefly) reemerged with a characteristically bizarro paean to one of the child stars of Kid Nation. And of course there's always more to say about opening the social graph, with Tim O'Reilly leading the way.

Late last year, I purchased a copy of Everyware, Adam Greenfield's manifesto on ubiquitous computing. I lost the book. But now I've found it! Ubicomp strikes me as one of the most important subjects of our time. The book is a mixed bag, to be sure, but it's also an excellent introduction. Given the extent and the destructiveness of extreme poverty and the ecological crisis, perhaps this will strike you as absurd. I tend to think that these issues are interrelated in ways that will become increasingly clear. That is to say, increasingly clear after you've hit your head with a hammer several times, which is my morning ritual.

Also, I wanted to press for the making of Hollywood's first Bollywood crossover/buddy cop adventure film. It seems high time we saw something like this: the scenario is easy to imagine, what with the involvement of Muslim extremists in the Bombay underworld and the Bombay underworld's stranglehold over the film industry. Imagine a tough-as-nails American FBI agent infiltrating this "colorful" yet spectacularly corrupt world, falling hard for one of the local stars or starlets, teaming up with a canny Indian commando. This could go smashingly well, whether as screwball, dramedy, or even straight action-adventure. Some years ago, I had an idea for a movie called "Outsourc'd." To my great chagrin, the movie has since been made in what will likely be a far superior form ("Outsourced"). Fortunately, I have three other "secret projects." But not even an army of goons wielding hot pokers could get those treatments out of me. I know how Hollywood works: by pouring molten lava into the maws of loose-lipped rubes like yours truly. This hayseed is hiring a lawyer first.

But that's enough of that. Though I'm not much of a blogger (I much prefer writing ill-tempered un-rhymey rhymes), I've helped bring together a group of smart and mostly amusing people at The American Scene, Ross's old hangout. It's a neat group that posts on a wide variety of subjects, some of which might be of interest to you. We're about to relaunch with the aid of a new CMS, which should have things working smoothly and attractively (very important, as you know) in the near future. So do come for a visit if you have the time.