Rake and China Airborne

Some quick thoughts on two things I’ve started, but not yet finished.

Rake is funny – quite funny – and clever, too. I’m only a few episodes into the first season, so it may not hold up over the medium term, but it’s a good start (and the fact that they’re into season three suggests they’re doing pretty well).

China Airborne is by one of my favourite bloggers, James Fallows. I like Fallows’ blogging because he covers complex topics well in his blogs – he doesn’t try to do too much, but gets to the key ideas. In a book format it feels a little sparse, at points. A little as though it’s all narrative, without underlying facts, but perhaps that’s just the part of me that wants to see some hard numbers to support some of his ideas.

He uses a strong technique though; rather than trying to capture all of China, he uses the aviation industry as a way of telling a broader story, about the challenges China faces as it shifts to a different economic framework, and to different drivers of economic growth. That approach works well; the book is fluffy at points, mostly anecdotal, but it tells a bigger picture, and I feel as though I have a slightly better understanding now (halfway through) of a large and complicated problem.

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