Urban Future (2.0)
The new UF blog is up and running now, with a few teething problems expected. The platform is much more reliable than the old one, but its idiosyncrasies still require some getting used to. Comments, especially, might be troublesome at first.
The intention is to use it as a platform for material that isn’t (in one way or another) off the wall. There’s nothing much up yet except some tentative posts on the structure of history, urbanization, economic development, and the recent regime transition. (There’s also a product promo, providing a clue to the underlying economic base of the blog, which is still extremely embryonic at this stage.)
Urban Future (2.0) is my work blog, which means it will be connected up to e-publication projects – realized and prospective – with a Shanghai dimension. Hopefully that will be mostly synergic, rather than intrusive. Self-marginalization will be restrained by the commercial reality-principle over there, so the content only comes in vanilla flavor right now. (If I can keep it vaguely respectable, blogging gets included in billable time.) A few rum-soaked raisins will probably creep in, but anything too intoxicating will end up here (in Outer Darkness).
It’s not exactly clear at this stage how specialization between these blogs will work, so there’s an experimental aspect. The neater the crystallization into artificial good twin / bad twin schizophrenia, the smoother it should run. It might end up being necessary to run light side / dark side versions of the same post on occasions. ‘Politeness’ in this contexts starts from Outside in criteria of minimal civility, then super-adds sensitivity to the norms of present day metropolitan China and those of low-friction trans-national commerce. It is easier, at least at first, to investigate the edges of these normative systems here than over there. (More on this topic later.)
Decorous commentary on China, history and economics is especially welcome, and the range of discussion should gradually expand, with some responsiveness to reader interest. Anyone with the irresistible urge to howl like a werewolf – even about UF content – is advised to do that here, where the risk of immediate deletion, whilst by no means negligible, is considerably smaller.