This is a collection of discussions such as I would use for assemblies. Mixed in with these are letters from China, more than blog and not as grand or long as Alistair Cooke would have sent from America.     

The content is mine (where it is not, I have made that clear) and I only insist (not ask) that you declare the source and share any rewards if you use my material yourself. Any opinions are mine; I am open to attempts to change those opinions. The situations described are near to my perceptions of what happened. If you can sell this material, you are welcome to 10%. 


It would appear that I write on average a little over twenty essays a year. 2009 and 2011 were clearly quite different, perhaps becasue of work issues, perhaps becasue the newness of living in China was wearing off and maybe the demand for news had fallen away.

Navigation around the essays is achieved in the connected menus hidden under WRITING above. I find this quite difficult to handle on a very small screen but very easy on a large one. I ghave divided years of high output into halves, where my test is that the longest menu produced doesn’t extend off the bottomn of my preferred screen. However, for those using smaller screens, you should be able to move to whatever is adjacent in the list; I have links to ‘previous' and ‘next’ near the top of the general text of each page.

What I have not done with any success, despite experiementing, is supply links to the next or previous of any group of essays on similar subjects. I continue to battle with ways of doing this, but while I can see that, for example, you might want to read only the essays with significant China content and equally definitely not want to read about the running events, the best I can realisitcally do without reducing the page (returning to sidebar in essays) is to include links to related essays as that becomes appropriate. I will continue to work on this, perhaps inlcluding a set of links to related pages at the foot of essays where this is appropriate. 

Websites are not fixed; they morph in response to interaction. I receive very little in the way of response. I am extremeluy grateful to those who have, across the years, bothered to comment. The lack of response does not persuade me that blog roll for responses is appropriate or desirable – I genuinely do not see benefit in making a comment to all when you could make it direct to me: in my head the very public declaration (and so often including mistakes) is far less desirable than direct communication with the author. Where someone makes point worthy of inclusion, I will do so, happily. I encourage people to attempt to change my point of view, to reflect different ones, to question content. I may continue to disagree but that is our mutual privilege, to hold differeing opinions. I would especially welcome new sources of factual content.

This mutability of essays does mean that, just because an essay is dated, say 2013, does not mean it has not been updated five years later. Sometimes I am struck just how close to the eventual history I was; often I have the speed entirely wrong. For example, the essay on plastic bags from 2007 has some action taken in 2017, the essay on the South Chiina Sea has quietened down in the press, but that doesn’t mean it cannot flare up in 2018. My considerations of the move to hybrid or entirely electric cars [157 to 162] shows unexpected speed of change, which I welcome. The politics of immigration [173 onwards] and the disaster which is Brexit are heading to some sort of resolution with a lack of speed that is disappointing unless you are personally involved, in which case you would prefer it to go so slowly that change is imperceptible.

  DJS 20171210

© David Scoins 2017