In a time of transition for journalism all around the world, it's reassuring to know that some of the old ways endure.
For the record, I am sticking with my claim that the simultaneous degradation of air quality, water quality, water supply, food safety, soil quality, and other environment-related variables is the main challenge to China's continued development.
Always write angry letters to your enemies. Never mail them.
For a decade or more after the Vietnam war, the people who had guided the U.S. to disaster decently shrank from the public stage.
Make the important interesting.
I am about as pro-Google a person as you're going to find in the media. I've had friends at all levels of the company since its founding, and still do now.
I have relentlessly beat the drum for Google's 'two-step' authentication systems for Gmail and other services, which radically reduce the likelihood that your account can be hacked from afar.
Over the eons I've been a fan of, and sucker for, each latest automated system to 'simplify' and 'bring order to' my life. Very early on this led me to the beautiful-and-doomed Lotus Agenda for my DOS computers, and Actioneer for the early Palm.
When a company is charging money for a product - as Evernote does for all above its most basic service, and same for Dropbox and SugarSync - you understand its incentive for sticking with that product.
I seem to be one of the few people in journalism who never worked or wrote for the 'Boston Phoenix.' I certainly read and admired it, and feel the same general malaise at news that it is gone.
The demise of Google Reader, if logical, is a reminder of how far we've come from the cuddly old 'I'm Feeling Lucky' Google days, in which there was a foreseeably-astonishing delight in the way Google's evolving design tricks anticipated what users would like.
No one ever really 'learns' from history, because choices never present themselves in exactly the same way, and because you can always choose similarities and differences to fit current needs.
There's no longer any surprise in noting that China has grave environmental problems.
No real-world human being brings to the U.S. presidency the range of attributes necessary for full success in the job.
As many people have chronicled, the decision to fight in Vietnam was a years-long accretion of step-by-step choices, each of which could be rationalized at the time. Invading Iraq was an unforced, unnecessary decision to risk everything on a 'war of choice' whose costs we are still paying.
When I was living in China, I learned to make things hyper-explicit because often they were being read by people whose command of English kept them from picking up what I thought were obvious signals.
I've learned that I need to spell out, even in cases seemingly so blatant, that in fact I am not taking this at face value and am being 'sarcastic.'
Chinese emissions are a problem not just for its own people but also for the world. It has now overtaken the U.S. as the biggest carbon emitter; most of the coal that is burned anywhere on Earth is burned in China.
Contrary to what you might think, China's economy is relatively less efficient, and more polluting, than those of rich countries.
Everyone in the Chinese economic world knows that the country is not going to move out of cheap-workhouse status, toward the realm of 'real' rich-country corporate power and prosperity, unless (among other changes) it begins removing these price distortions.
I am explicitly not opening the giant can of worms that is the ongoing current discussion of patent, copyright, and trademark reform.
Everyone moans about the collapsing U.S. infrastructure.
The hoary joke in the literary world, based on 'Dreams From My Father,' was that if things had worked out differently for Barack Obama, he could have made it as a writer.
Environmental disaster is the gravest threat to China's continued development. That's according to me, but it is not some wacko view.