In your special Wireless Issue, many marvels of modern wireless technology were considered [Aug. 27]. However, the revolutionary M-Pesa mobile-banking service in Kenya was left out. M-Pesa has changed the lives of ordinary Kenyans by providing a microfinance platform for every individual with even the most basic phone. It has brought banking to rural communities and now plays a crucial role in the everyday lives of Kenyans.
In response to the concerns about the "education agents" that Chinese applicants use to get into U.S. universities ["A U.S. Degree at Any Cost," Aug. 27]: Why is this any worse than the widespread use by American applicants of essay and interview coaches, application editors, SAT tutoring and exaggerated extracurricular activities? Admissions officers at U.S. colleges are also known to accept fudged applications, so long as they are from a family willing to pay full tuition. The corruption would need to stop at the source: the admissions offices.
Born under the one-child policy, individuals of the current generation of Chinese youth are considered their family's only hope, and this makes sense of the huge investment on education. As a student in Hong Kong, I'd say more and more mainland Chinese students are choosing to study here because of geographic proximity and shared culture, coupled with a freer society. This also appears to be a more affordable option for less wealthy families.
Hannah Beech's Essay reminded me of how quickly American and British media jumped into suspicion when Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen won the gold medal in London ["London Bridge," Aug. 27]. It does not seem as though the U.K. is a country with, as Beech wrote, "a national strategy of losing graciously."
Celebrating the Games
Catherine Mayer did a wonderful job describing British athletes' incredible achievements in the Olympic Games ["We're Unbelievable," Aug. 20]. The event transformed the spirit of gloomy defeatism into shining victory. The nation can look back with pride at these Olympic Games held in London for the third time.
Syed Rashid Ali Shah,
Vroomshoop, The Netherlands
Stein Is Funny
Judging from a few letters you published criticizing Joel Stein's column [Inbox, Aug. 13], it seems that some people don't appreciate his kind of humor. The reason we renewed our TIME subscription is the Awesome Column, which to us is, well, awesome. Please keep it as is, or better: turn it into a truly weekly column.