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.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for IMG_1190A.jpg

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to