The principle of give and take; that is diplomacy— give one and take ten.
–Mark Twain

I fell into this blog as an effort to record the articles, ideas, and insights that come from my regular reading of the news. In fall 2010 it morphed into a supplement to encourage students at the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies to engage and discuss current international events. Since the course considers the skills of diplomacy–including policy research, writing as well as oral presentation to persuade and to lead–my intent is for these posts to be a supplement, light, goad, and spur for students and anyone else patient enough to stick with it.

As one fellow blogger from The Atlantic Online thoughtfully notes:

As you read a log, you have the curious sense of moving backward in time as you move forward in pages—the opposite of a book. As you piece together a narrative that was never intended as one, it seems—and is—more truthful. Logs, in this sense, were a form of human self-correction. They amended for hindsight, for the ways in which human beings order and tidy and construct the story of their lives as they look back on them. Logs require a letting-go of narrative because they do not allow for a knowledge of the ending. So they have plot as well as dramatic irony—the reader will know the ending before the writer did.

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