The new First Casualty

So as you may have noticed, we’ve finally just made the (long-planned) switch from a WordPress-hosted site to one hosted independently — meaning the new blog’s going to be more customizable and will allow for a lot of cool new looks and features going forward. (Case in point: you can now comment via your Facebook or Twitter logins at Feel free to let me know what you think of the new look in the comments section over at!

What does this mean for you? Well, for one, this old version of the blog — which is no longer accessible at, only here at — is now obsolete. Going forward, I’ll be posting at, so if you haven’t bookmarked the site already, please do. Secondly, if you’d subscribed to this blog at any time previously, please re-subscribe now at, via the text box on the top-right of the home page there, in order to keep getting email notifications when new posts go up on the blog. Please go ahead and do it so you can keep up to date and stay part of The First Casualty community!

And, as always, thanks for reading!

– Jay


Back from Internet hell

For an Internet addict like myself, the last couple weeks have been difficult. Access to foreign sites in mainland China is frustrating at best and infuriating at worst. Specifically, aside from the usual litany of blocked social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for example), even the New York Times is blocked, and virtually every other foreign site (including Google) takes five times as long to load as it does in the States. Baidu, meanwhile, appears instantly. Ergh.

I just got back to New York yesterday. But during my winter vacation, I’ve been doing some thinking about how to make The First Casualty a better and funner (yes, I have decided that is a word) blog and Internet destination in 2013. Within the next few weeks and months I’m planning to roll out some new — and, hopefully, interesting — ideas for the blog: new contributors, additional features, and so on. Of course, I’ll be continuing the current features and contributors (depending on their availability) as well.

Additionally, I hope to introduce more original content this year. Much of what I posted last year were links to, and excerpts of, other pieces I found illuminating or provocative. I’ll continue to do so this year, but with an added emphasis on producing more original writing — including longform essays and posts — to provide what is hopefully a useful and unique variant to the cacophony of voices on the Web.

Anyway, I’m open to suggestions. Please comment and question liberally. And thank you for continuing to read.

Technical problems

It seems social media and blogging platforms are just as difficult to use in China as one might expect. I’ve now tried (multiple times) to upload a photo or two to the blog, to no avail. So I suppose I’ll be sticking with text now, for the next few weeks.

Anyway, Happy New Year! I will try to post slightly more often during the next couple of weeks than I have for the last week or so (that is, none at all). But a lot of that will depend on how stringent the…ahem, controls are here.

Gone fishin’


I’m leaving New York (and the country) today and won’t return until just past mid-January, so my posting will be very sporadic for the next few weeks.

December was another record month in blog visits. In fact, of the last four months of 2012, three of them set new blog records for visits (I fell behind a bit in November). As always, thank you all very much for reading and commenting, and now…onward to 2013! Stick around!

Happy New Year.