Re: What is Possum Stew? (Atlantic Monthly accuracy)

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From: John Roberts (
Date: Wed Oct 25 2000 - 21:42:31 PDT

At 12:08 AM -0400 10/26/00, wrote:
>In a message dated 10/25/00 12:44:32 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> writes:
><< A normal self-respecting news publication would never state as
> fact the phlogiston theory of what makes fire burn, but they will continue
> to publish statements like these which economists know are provably false.
> Lisa >>
>hey, jbr, do you know wen stephenson?

I know Wen and Jim Fallows (mentioned below). I have not spoken
to/emailed with Wen for a year or so. I spoke to Jim Fallows (also
writing for The Industry Standard) several weeks ago.

Being part of The Atlantic Monthly was a formative experience. Great
people, high standards, and a sense of trying to be timeless instead
of timely. Part of that is forced by the frequency (two month lead
time makes it tough to "break" news), but it was also a conscious
mode of thought -- things that matter are worth writing and reading
about. Sometimes, especially if the cover story doesn't interest you,
it's like taking your medicine, but you always learn something.

The brief pieces of Cullen Murphy are also brilliant, if you enjoy
dry as vermouth wit *without* bitterness (more bemusement).

>lisa, please tell me you're not saying economists are a homogeneous set. the
>rest of your post re fact-checking i tend to agree with, but not with
>yangkun's assertion that the atlantic is somehow worse than others. i don't
>know how you feel about james fallows, but he is rather largely associated
>with the atlantic.

Again, I won't say The Atlantic (or any other publication) gets
everything right -- just that they do CARE a lot about just that. I
also know the VP of the new ownership group, and I don't think they
are going to let that slip. It is difficult to find a large audience
for this type of discourse, though, which makes running a business a
bit of a challenge. But the magazine has been continuously published
since November, 1857, so they are doing something right (even it's
simply the choice of patrons! ;-).



p.s. Now a father for the first time, with Benjamin Bradley Roberts,
also born on October 21 (like Mr. Klassa's child). What associations
does BBR bring to mind? I think of DDR from pre-Berlin Wall

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