- Colleague Milton Osborne tells me The Irrawaddy is now on sale in Burma. Here's a recent piece surveying China's dam building on the Mekong and beyond.
- A clever cover design for Penguin's new edition of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
- Ten trends to watch for in China in 2013. No. 8 will be bracing for our defence planners: China will be the world's single largest builder of warships.
- You can now get your regular Graeme Dobell fix at ASPI's blog, The Strategist.
- What was the best news to emerge from 2012?
- A traditional Japanese painting technique (Yamoto-e) with modern themes. Quite beautiful.
- Are we in a period of technological stasis, or are there more revolutions coming?
- In a post expressing scepticism about the coming driverless car revolution, transport blogger Jarrett Walker makes a rather profound observation (with my emphasis). Worth reading in full:
Some complete imagined futures are not necessarily achievable, because the future must be evolved. In fact, the evolution of organisms is a fairly apt metaphor for how cities and infrastructure change. As in evolution, each incremental state in the transformation to the new reality must itself be a viable system. We can think of lots of wonderful futures that would be internally consistent but for which there is no credible path from here to there.