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Dec 14

A New York Times blogger has some fun:

17 Things I Learned From Reading Every Last Word of The Economist’s “The World in 2013” Issue

I’ve been telling people I read The Economist since college. Sometimes I actually even do read it, but not as often as I say I do — and not as often as I quote stuff from “London’s influential Economist,” as they call it on NPR. (Which I also listen to, by the way — I am very well-informed!)

Like many people who sometimes travel in high-powered circles, I am a complete fraud. I have no idea how I got here. This is an especially familiar condition in Washington, where I live, and where the impostor syndrome is like our psychological common cold. So a lot of people lie about reading The Economist here. We probably have the highest number of lied-about subscribers. Because it’s important to come off smart and worldly and cognizant that Lagos will overtake Cairo to become Africa’s biggest city in 2013. Also, that 2013 will be the first year since 1987 that will have all digits different from one another. And it could be a really big year for neutrinos.

Reading The Economist also makes you feel smart. Recall the Simpsons episode when Homer is handed a copy of the magazine on an airplane. “Look at me, I’m reading The Economist,” he boasts to Marge. “Did you know that Indonesia at is a crossroads?”..

9. What would a proper reading of The Economist be without at least one exploration of Canada’s improved trade relations with China? And what better way to tell that story than with, what else, pandas? Turn to Page 56: a story headlined “Pandering to China?,” which portrays our endangered friends as a kind of ursine Rorschach test. “When you look at the face of a giant panda bear, what do you see? Zoo visitors, who line up in their millions for the 300 pandas in captivity worldwide, see a cute and cuddly animal. Environmentalists see a clownlike face as a potent symbol in the fight to preserve endangered species. Chinese officials, who have traded on the panda’s cuteness and rarity for centuries, see a useful diplomatic tool. And Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister who engineered a 10-year loan of a pair, starting in 2013, sees confirmation that his government’s China policy is at last showing positive results.” This otherwise sweet story includes this one note of poison. China might not be all that into Canada after all — panda love notwithstanding. “Canadians’ sense of their importance contrasts sharply with one recent assessment by a Canadian Sinologist in Beijing that ‘Canada is a distant speckle in the Chinese consciousness.’ ” Now that is one harsh Canadian Sinologist…

Readers of 3Ds will be aware that The Economist is often referenced here. One does though try to read the pieces. As for Gamesmanship, actually in this case Lifemanship:

Six words will suffice.

EXPERT (Who has just come back from a fortnight in Florence): And I was glad to see with my own eyes that this Left-wing Catholicism is definitely on the increase in Tuscany.

THE CANTERBURY: Yes, but not in the South.

‘Yes, but not in the South,’ with slight adjustments, will do for any argument about any place, if not about any person. It is an impossible comment to answer…

Merry Christmas!

Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger

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