Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Look back to 2013 (2)

Look back to 2013 (1)

July 25, 2013
Challenge of Julian Assange to Senator

Assange got lost in the election. But he seems not to lose the ambition to enter the political world. He often makes a comment in response to some political events.

The Register: Assange fails in bid for election to Australian Senate

August 3, 2013
Mr. Berlusconi is sentenced to 4 years

Berlusconi was banned from the Italian parliament in this November. It is almost impossible for him to come back. He declared that he would not abandon his political activity. Although he still has vast estate and social relationship, the way to recover will be difficult.

The Guardian: Berlusconi tries to bring down the Italian government – and is humiliated in parliament

August 9, 2013
Recent news about psychiatric examination

Recently, I heard a case that an examiner would be asked to prove that the victim had not been able to resist against the command of the offender. Generally, it is extremely difficult to distinguish such a process of the mind. We should be cautious to interpret the result of psychiatric examination.

August 18, 2013
Game of Thrones

I am continuing to watch the second season. Compared to the first season, gore scenes are reduced. However, The mercilessness of King Joffrey is more emphasized. I am curious about his end.

September 8, 2013
Tokyo is the host of 2020 Olympic

Getting the seat of 2010 Olympic host is the most joyful news in Japan in 2013. Most Japanese are excited to hear the result. On the other hand, after Governor Inose resigned, his successor has not been determined. Even the candidates are not clarified. We will meet some confusion about it in the next year.

Sunday, October 20, 2013
Failure of washing machine

My washing machine is still vulnerable. I asked an engineer to maintain it again.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Look back to 2013 (1)

I have much experience in this year, so thankful to all persons concerned. Now I look back to my past entries, add some information to update them.

January 1, 2013
My goal of this year

As a result, I made a certain decision with some risk. I am not sure my decision will result in a success or not.

January 15, 2013
Good Old Games

This is my favorite entertainment in this year. Heroes of Might and Magic 3 and Master of Magic are the games I most frequently played recently. It is disappointing that there are no new games to be a match for them.

January 29, 2013
The secondary first speech of Mr. Shinzo Abe

Abe administration is still alive now. It is for the first time for Japanese politicians to keep the seat of Prime Minister during more than one year after the resignation of Junichiro Koizumi. Some people criticize Abe for his conservative ideology. But I admire him although I disagree with his policy to some extent.

February 23, 2013
Failure and recovery of my Let’s Note AX

My lovely PC works well. By the way, a new model of Let's note AX series was published several months ago. The newest one equips IPS display which provides a wider view angle, which is suitable for a convertible machine  as I mentioned. High cost is a disadvantage.

March 4, 2013
PC remote control crime cases

The suspect is still under investigation by the prosecutors. Whether he is the true criminal or not is unknown. I hope the court will make a fair judgement.

April 4, 2013
Books of treasure

I am shameful to report that I have read through none of them except I am now reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" partially. This is easy reading. A lot of episodes of famous peoples such as Lincoln are included.

April 7, 2013
iPad mini, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire

Some new versions of each tablet have been released. Their specs are amazing, although usability seems not be changed. I have not bought ones yet. Current machines are still alive without any discomfort in my pocket.

May 29, 2013
Yahoo will get Hulu?

The attempt of Yahoo to buy Hulu has failed.

The register: No sale, Yahoo! Hulu goes off the auction block

In Japan, Hulu endeavors to provide local TV dramas, tied up to cinema productions, such as SPEC and Time Scoop Hunter. Apart from American dramas, they are also fun.

(To be continued)

Sequels in December 2013

December 18, 2013
Governor Inose and responsibility of a politician

After all, Inose was forced to resign from the governor of Tokyo. In addition, he has a risk to be persecuted as breaching the Public Offices Election Law.

Tokyo will meet the next election early in 2014. The candidates have not been fixed. The election will cost over $100 million, regardless to the winner. Although I do not know his policy exactly, I am quite doubtful that it is beneficial for the citizens to have condemned Inose broadly.

December 6, 2013
South Korea participates in TPP

The US is welcoming Korea to join in TPP.

Yonhap News Agency: U.S. says TPP, KORUS FTA are core parts of its economic policy in Asia

The exact content of TPP is not clear. The diplomats of each country are toughly negotiating each other.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Supplement cannot serve you beneficial

An academic article warns the ineffectiveness of multi vitamins and other supplements.

Anals of Internal Medicine: Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

In this document with an exaggerated title, Guallar et al. refers three articles which clarified that several supplements had not been beneficial to prevent chronic diseases. The authors conclude that the vast normal people should not take supplement for health.

It should be pointed out that this article is only an editorial. Editorials are not usually evaluated by other researchers before publication. As far as I assess, the level of reliability as a review of this article is low, since the authors have not searched the past studies comprehensively. Reading this article we cannot know whether there are some studies which is opposed to the claim of the authors.

Nonetheless, I agree with this paper in the gist. In general, taking supplements has minimal effect to improve your health.

This article caused a broad discussion not only in the US but also in Japan. There are many opinions about this matter in an internet forum attached with the reference article. I read through it to notice some readers made points.

First of all, basic customs of diet considerably differ in each country. American people tend to take more fat than Japanese. In contrast, Japanese are fond of eating fishes which include protein. Since most of the participants of the past investigation referred were Western, this result is not easy to adapt to Japanese.

Second, as the authors commented, there are a few people with congenital deficiency of metabolism. For those patients, supplementary therapy is indispensable. In addition, perhaps there are persons who can receive the benefit for some other reasons. This kind of results of small specific samples tend not to be clarified in a mega survey.

After all, it is no doubt that supplements cannot completely substitute for usual diet. There is no elixir in the world. I hope the users take supplement in appropriate manner without being deceived.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Trauma deleting therapy with electric shock

Recently, an amazing article was published. Kroes et al. at Radboud University presented an evidence regarding the effectiveness of electroconvulsive therapy on traumatic memory in Nature Neuroscience.

Nature Neuroscience: An electroconvulsive therapy procedure impairs reconsolidation of episodic memories in humans

They stated in this article that any specific memory fixed on a brain in the past could be deleted with electroshock. Electroshock to the human brain is utilized as a therapy for severe depression or psychosis. And it is well known that temporary amnesia often occurs to the patient after the therapy. However, we could not choose the memory to be deleted with electroshock.

According to the researchers, the memory in a remembering process is vulnerable. It resembles the fact that a hard disk in a process of writing information is easily broken due to power trouble. They demanded the participants to recall a traumatic memory just before the electroshock. As a result, the memory which the participants had tried to remember was successfully erased. The authors concluded that this result can be taken into practice of trauma care.

Since this is a preliminary study, I am not easily to believe the conclusion. In addition, some people may claim that deletion of the very memory should not resolve the problem of the patients with stress disorders. Nonetheless, it is possible that this kind of therapy will help such patients. As a clinician, I hope any effective therapies for the patients are soon realized.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Resale via auction, good or evil?

Recently, I read an article regarding the pros and cons of resale. In this document, two lawyers were claiming their own opinions.

There are some professional resellers in Japan. I guess the situation is the same in foreign countries. They buy some items which are sold for a limited time. A ticket for a sport event is a good example. In Japan, some licensed character goods whose amount are limited are also popular. They do not intend to use it by themselves, instead, they present it in an auction. Then, several persons who missed to get it declare to be willing to buy it. The price will rise. The resellers earn money from the auction.

Are the resellers good, or evil? My answer is that this kind of people are acceptable.

People who dislike resale point out some problems. According to them, the price of the item is raised inappropriately. But it means that the original seller has failed to set an adequate price for the item. The reseller has a role of modifier of the price.

Second, ordinary people cannot get the items because the reseller monopolize them in advance. In a result, only rich customers can acquire the items. Opposers deem it as unfair. However, if there are no resellers, those items are monopolized by enthusiasts who have time to buy them immediately after the beginning of the sale. For example, a famous game soft is sold at a game shop. Some people make a line in front of the store far before the time of opening. This phenomenon was observed at the launch of a new iPhone. As a result, ordinary businesspersons could not get one on the first day. They are busy at morning!

I admit the statement of opposers partially. Most resellers seem not to pay the tax for the profit. But this fact is hardly caught by the government. If reselling market gets massively bigger, the original social system would be no more working. For example, a lot of flight tickets are sold by resellers. Nowadays, persons who buy flight tickets with a list price are extremely rare. It is a little unpleasant.

I think that the biggest concern of the people who dislike resellers is a jealousy for them. Resellers look like free riders. Paying a higher cost than a list price is hardly acceptable for everyone. The fact that the excessive cost we paid is transferred to the reseller is far from satisfactory.

Nonetheless, reselling may be justified, at least in the economic point of view. Furthermore, all items should be sold by auction, essentially. An auction is a resort to optimize the market.

Actually, we can introduce such a system in our society with modern technology, if we hope so. But I think it is not realistic. One of the reasons is human emotion. And the other is that, we would get tired if there were no list prices.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

People blaming Kindle Fire sale

A new version of Amazon Kindle Fire was released in November 2013. Kindle Fire HDX attracted attention for its superior spec and low cost. It equips quad-core CPU and full HD display. Its cost performance may be superior to Nexus 7 by Google.

I have one Kindle Fire HD in the previous model. I dare not to buy a new one because the current device works well. Nonetheless, this new product interested me. I guess many enthusiasts in Japan bought one on the day of launch.

However, Amazon started a discount sale at Christmas. This sale was held only for two days. The price was decreased by $50 in some models.

It is understandable that Amazon decided to perform a Christmas sale. On the other hand, it is extremely rare that a digital device is officially discounted soon after the beginning of the sale in general, since the initial price of a hardware is set as low as possible. I think Amazon's sale is quite ambitious, even if this attempt is temporal.

Some people heavily criticized Amazon for its discounting. Once several reviews with low score were lined at the review board on website. After the end of the sale, these reviews seem to be deleted.

The reviews perhaps bought it with usual price. In their sense, they lost $50. I partially understand their fury.

However, it is not cool to blame the sale of Amazon. Amazon did not do any damage to other buyers. Presenting such emotions as to envy other consumers at public space is a little childish behavior.

To begin with, value of an item is diminishing immediately after you gain it. It is no difference in anything, from a house to a gadget. The only thing we can do is to enjoy it as much as possible at the time we get it.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Four types of your boss

This is a sequel to my past entry.

This classification I introduced in the entry is so helpful that I sometimes use it to consider what to deal with my colleagues. Of course, nobody is clearly categorized into a particular type. Nonetheless, thinking based on such a specific point of view lets me some new idea for better understanding of a person.

Then, I invented another classification system of your boss. This method will be more helpful to evaluate your boss, rather than colleagues.

There are two points you should focus on: attitude to work, and ways to deal with work.

(1) Is he an idealist, or realist? In other words, when you propose a plan which is difficult to accomplish, what is the reply of your boss? Does he dare to take risks?

(2) Does he rely on you or not? Is your performance always supervised? Does your boss grapple even a simple task with his own? Or he asks of you to do and entrust you?

Answering these questions may be easy for you because it may be what you are always concerned. Given the answers, 2*2 matrix is created.

Realist - Self regulated
This type is deemed as a little nervous. He always checks your performance. He dislikes your own decision. He is fond of controlling the situation, or he is simply afraid of the failure.
To be honest, a person with this character is not suitable for a leader. Thus, you should consider that this position that you obey his order is only temporary. You can report your process to him in detail. Ensuring him not to fail may relieve him and avoid any unnecessary troubles.

Realist - Leaving to others
This type has a hands-off policy. He may be irresponsible. He often commands but does not expect amazing performance. As a subordinate, you need not worry about the relationship with him at least in usual work. You may do your job. One of the critical problems with this type is lack of decision. Therefore, he cannot determine what to do in a difficult situation. At this time, you should take a leadership instead of him without hesitation.

Idealist - Self regulated
This type is like an artist. Some great entrepreneurs are categorized into this type. He is difficult to make a good relationship. He gets angry for a tiny reason. He cannot rely on his colleagues but not for anxiety but for his own attachment to work. Only a few persons can collaborate with him. So if you identify your boss as this type, you should choose immediately whether you will follow him or not.

Idealist - Leaving to others
This type is the least common. He is so enthusiastic that he fascinate many people. He is an optimist. He is also easy to forget the past. Although he asks of his subordinates to achieve a lot of work, he is not sure about the result. You should do your best. And report it whenever you did well. Do not be afraid of a failure. Your boss is no more concerned about it.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Love never dies, a grudge of Andrew

Today I watched the movie titled "Love Never Dies".

Official site "Love Never Dies"
Amazon.com Love Never Dies Blue-ray

This musical work is created by Andrew Lloyd Webber and opened in London in 2010 for the first time. It is a sequel to "The Phantom of the Opera", a world famous long running musical. It describes the story ten years after the event occurred at the opera house. The main characters, including Phantom, Christine, and Raoul, are not altered from the previous one.

It will be held in Japan in 2014 spring. I have already bought a ticket. One of the cast as the Phantom is Masachika Ichimura, the first actor as the Phantom in the previous work.

Official site in Japan "Love Never Dies"

To be honest, the storyline is cruel. In other words, it is too realistic. The desire of the Phantom to acquire Christine again has no longer diminished, although he abandoned her to show true love in the end of the previous work. Raoul is drunken and indulged in gambling, maybe due to the pressure of the life with Christine. He is typically suggesting a crisis of a middle aged man. And the mind of Christine is fluctuating between the Phantom and Raoul. Her words are not that of a girl, but an adult woman.

Above all, this is a kind of a melodrama, in contrast to the previous work as a pure love story. This idea is ensured at the middle of the storyline. I dare not to write about it, however I believe that everyone agrees with me.

What it the purpose of Andrew? He has completely destructed the image of the Phantom of the Opera. Instead, he delivered a cheap, but real love and hate between man and woman. I guess that this work contains the irony that love is not eternal at all. Sarah Brightman, the first Prima Donna of the Phantom of the Opera, was the ex - wife of Andrew. Did he want to bury the memory of her accompanied with the Phantom of the Opera?

The stage of Love Never Dies is the US, different from the Phantom of the Opera. Some scores are also more modern than the previous work. Perhaps Andrew offered a modern thought of mind through this work. Likely to say, we have to face the reality, do not have a dream of true love.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Working from noon to 6 o'clock

We work unconsciously 8 hours a day. Is it the best considered from the respect of creativity? Some cognitive scientists deny our custom.

The Atlantic: Why the 9-to-5 Day Is So Tough on Creative Workers

According to this article, our brain begins to work effectively since 4 hours after waking up. In the afternoon, the peak time of creativity is continuing for only a few hours. The author concludes that we should work only from noon to 18 o'clock.

It is generally accepted that we cannot be aware enough to engage in tough task immediately after getting up. It is true in my own experience. I was told to wake up at least 2 hours before taking an examination in my childhood. However, it is surprising that it takes 4 hours to maximize our mental performance.

On the other hand, the fact that mood of human is fluctuating in a day should be considered. In general, we tend to be excited at late afternoon. Morning is the worst time for us to make efforts. Especially in a depressive state, some patients experience this kind of mood swing. It is the same in healthy people. It does not result from your laziness that you do not want to go to office in the early morning.

After all, I have to completely agree with the opinion of this article. This theory is rational in physiological point of view. Introduction of 6 hours work instead of 8 hours in a day makes us more creative.

Actually, Kellogg had adopted this scheme once, according to this article (in Japanese).  However, the employees finally chose more income than the rest time. The 6 hour shift was withdrawn in 1985.

There is a dilemma between money and time. It is unavoidable. Recently it has been pointed out that the productivity is quite low in Japan. Considering this, perhaps we should reform the system of working.

OECD. StatExtractsLabour productivity levels in the total economy

Friday, December 20, 2013

IELTS the second

I received my score of IELTS I took for the second time.
The overall score was 6.5.

To be honest, I felt this challenge had resulted in failure. So I was surprised to know the score had been much improved than the past.

Meanwhile, I am anxious about the unpredicted fluctuation of the scores. I am not sure whether I will achieve a higher score in the future.

Hmm, I shall make more effort.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Categorizing your boss

There is a large amount of methods of categorizing people into some stereotypes. Especially, these techniques are introduced to help you to construct a good relationship with your colleagues. For example, several life-huck articles recommend you to categorize your boss into some types.

To be honest, I am doubtful about the effectiveness of these categorizing methods. Nonetheless I was impressed with some of them.

As a popular categorizing, I introduce "Type 4 Personality". This method is also widespread in Japan.

Social Leadership Development Blog

According to this, you distinguish the type of a person based on the two factors:
(1) Strong Self Assertion
(2) Strong Expressed Emotion

Controller (assertive and non-emotional)
He always claims his own opinion strongly. But he seldom makes an expression about his emotion. So he likes to control the team strictly. He has a belief that only highly integrated teams gain success. He is intolerant to an intrusive behavior of the teammates. He is a strong leader. His excessive leadership sometimes brings a conflict in the team.

Promoter (assertive and emotional)
He has a strong opinion about the victory. In addition, he always yells about his policy. He loves festivals, discussions, and collaborations. He is glad whenever someone admires him. He is good at motivating his teammates. However, some persons dislike his loudness and his excessive interference.

Analyzer (non-assertive and non-emotional)
He is quite humble and deliberative. He is unlikely to lose self control. He is fond of thinking about the system rather than a human mind. He looks clever. And indeed his words are informative. However, he is not charismatic. So sometimes he looks like unreliable. Some person feels that he resemble a machine.

Supporter (non-assertive and emotional)
He is quite humane. His sympathy aids all team members very much. He never commands strongly, but everybody is willing to obey him. He looks like a friend rather than the boss. His voice sound so kind that you trust him. Unfortunately, he cannot take a leadership in a stormy situation.

An advantage of this method is intuitiveness. You can use this with ease.
By the way, I am a controller.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Governor Inose and responsibility of a politician

Naoki Inose, the Tokyo Governor, is heavily blamed about a money scandal.

Japan Today: Tokyo governor admits receiving Y50 mil from scandal-hit Tokushukai

According to several reports, Inose received 50 million yen ($500,000) from Tokushukai hospital group, which is also suspected to be involved in a scandal regarding past elections. He insisted that he had borrowed this massive money as a personal loan. But, people opposing to him do not believe his excuse at all. If this is a donation from Tokushukai for him, he is deemed as breaching Public Offices Election Law.

Mainichi: Gov. Inose could face criminal responsibility if 'loan' claim turns out bogus

To be honest, I am indifferent about whether Inose is guilty or not. Japanese legislation around general election is so strict and vague that most candidates could be accused if a prosecutor desires so, I think.

Now, lots of people claim that he should resign. Some criticize his recklessness. In a past case about Olympic, Inose was blamed for his careless comment.

My past entry: Complications around the comment of Mr. Inose about Olympic

I wonder if carefulness is a point to evaluate a politician.

Who is the most cautious person in Japan? I believe prosecutors and bureaucrats are. They never speak their own thoughts in a public space. They always work on the basis of the hierarchy of their organization. So they seldom make an error. Therefore, they have been reliable in traditional Japan for a long time.

Then, do you want a politician to behave like a prosecutor, or a bureaucrat? I never do.

The absolute condition of a politician is a vision for the future. He should be ambitious, idealistic, and optimistic. If not, we cannot have a dream.

Being brave is often accompanied with carelessness. An excellent leader sometimes takes a mistake. His subordinates can compensate it, even if they are troubled with it.

I do not know about the failure of Inose exactly. Also in foreign countries, it is frequent that a politician is forced to resign due to a scandal. I am quite doubtful it is truly beneficial to alter the boss every time after this kind of issue.

My past entry: Resign of Schavan: suspicious charge of plagiarism


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Internet will die in 2014?

Kaspersky lab made a terrible prophecy about the internet.

The Voice of Russia: Death of global web: Internet will end in 2014 - Kaspersky Lab

According to Alexander Gostev, an expert at the Kaspersky Lab, the next year will the end of the world wide web. He comments that each nation will have to restrict the access to the internet for some reasons.

Indeed, China has a control upon using the internet now. The Russian government seems to be going to establish a similar legislation.

It is not surprising. Free access is usually opposed to the reign of a certain government. Recently, I heard the news that the Egyptian government prohibited the internet access. Although Japan is one of the most opened countries regarding the information, there was the era of national isolation for 300 years.

He also referred to Bitcoin. This P2P currency is accompanied with a great risk for the world economy. The right of coinage is an essence of a nation. If this decisive power is attacked by the internet, a nation will become extremely vulnerable. You can understand this matter remembering the influence of hyper inflation actually occurred in some countries.

My past entry: Bitcoin

The Gostev's idea is hardly to be dropped. The fact that Kaspersky is one of the most reliable antivirus defenders also enhance the credibility of his thought.

My past entry: Antivirus software for Windows

Nonetheless, it is difficult to believe the coming death of the internet.

It is certain that attempts to enclose valuable information in a certain region will accelerate. Some SNSs such as Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and so on are competing each other to gain the customers. Each service is hesitating to give the information including it. In addition, a lot of providers are willing to develop pay-per-view services. The internet is no more a flat world.

On the other hand, massive power to break the border is rising. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have shaken the entire world. Both the US and Russia have a tough time to deal with these two persons. It is the power of the internet. Anonymous also could breach the barrier created by a government.

Therefore, I cannot believe that a nation can take a control on the internet and the whole individual in 2014. Rather, the meaning of the nation will be forced to change, I predict.

It is interesting that Obama made a speech to emphasize the importance of programming skill for the youth. Perhaps can he see the future?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Twitter withdrew the change of block function

A few days ago, Twitter changed a function of its application. But it immediately put back to the original one. Twitter decided to withdraw the change just four hours after its introduction.

TNW: Twitter’s new policy lets blocked users can follow and read your tweets [Update: U-turn]

BBC: Twitter backtracks on blocking changes

The argued function is "blocking". In previous function, blocked person could not display the blocker's tweets on his timeline. Twitter changed the style completely. In the new scheme, blocker would no more see the activities of the person whom he blocked, however blocked person could keep following the blocker's tweets. This new function is to be so called "mute" instead to "blocking".

This change was widely criticized by users. Twitter mentioned that it responded to the users' voice to put back the function.

The original purpose of the change was for the blocker to keep unnoticed the thing by the user who was blocked. Twitter attempted to avoid that the blocker would be attacked much more due to the fact of blocking. I think that the opinion of Twitter is reasonable.

To begin with, Tweets are visible for any people unless the tweets are locked. Thus, there is no way not to show his activities to a person who dislikes him. Blocking has no power to prevent any annoying behaviors. On the other hand, it is easy for a user not to see the tweets he dislikes. The new blocking system would offer the function to shut out these kinds of tweet.

Why was this change unacceptable for many users?

To be honest, I could predict vast disagreement against this change. Most users are accustomed to the current function of Twitter. Twitter is quite a simple application. So even minimal changes are paid attention to. Some users are so conservative that they refuse to change. In addition, aggressive image of previous blocking is strong, especially for long-term users. Twitter might have misunderstood the emotion of users.

An established rule is hardly changed, regardless of its rationality. I am afraid that Twitter will have difficulty to grow up more.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Total optimization and subopitimization (3)

Total optimization and subopitimization (1)
Total optimization and subopitimization (2)

Japanese society has a unique characteristic about optimization. I named it "reverse adaptation".

In general, individuals make efforts for their own benefit. Then, suboptimization occurs. This is why a leader has to regulate the organization for the purpose of total optimization.

However, Japanese people tend to achieve total optimization from the beginning. For example, Japanese like to make a line when they have to wait for a seat. According to the thought of suboptimization, you should get your own seat, being indifferent to others. At last, every person pursuing the seat will make a quarrel. Therefore, a leader to set a rule is needed. In contrast, Japanese dare not to intrude other people. We are behaving not to break the harmony, maybe unconsciously.

This characteristic of Japanese made our society extremely lawful. The crime rate is as low as incredible for foreigners.

The situation is the same in the working place. We are always concerned whether our own behaviors would make a trouble to colleagues. Even leaving the office alone at early time is hesitated, since other workers might mind it. Some workers tend to assist their colleagues after the end of their own task. Extra working without fee is ridiculous in individual point of view, however some companies are considerably helped by such volunteers to some extent.

I believe that one of the reasons why Japan has accomplished a great recovery after the WW II is this spirit. Though we are not conscious to total optimization, our usual behaviors are likely to prior for total optimization to our own gain. It is a virtue of Japanese.

However, this kind of characteristics cannot always work effectively.

Nowadays, inflexibility of Japanese society is deemed as a barrier against innovation. We had achieved extreme adjustment for economic growth in the last century. Ironically this history of success makes us avoid from further change.

Ryoichi Tobe, a Japanese historian, named this phenomenon "excessive adjustment", in his book "The essence of failure". This book written in Japanese describes the history of the Japan army in the WW II in detail. According to him, the Japanese attempted to adapt to the situation too much, that resulted in the final failure.

Excessive adjustment is also used in the context of psychiatry. I am wondering that Japanese has this characteristic taking more value on total optimization than suboptimization. So I will call it "reverse adjustment".

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Total optimization and subopitimization (2)

Total optimization and subopitimization (1)

Generally speaking, there are two abilities required to form an organization: considering and performing. These two actions are definitely different. Referring to PDCA cycle, "Plan" and "Check" are sections of considering, and "Do" and "Action" are performing sections.

A person for consideration is demanded to have a gigantic eyes and look around the whole organization. First, he has to set the final goal. Then, he tries to enumerate the factors to be required to achieve the goal. The connections of each sector also should be tuned. Overall, a planner must commit total optimization.

On the other hand, the mission of the performers is to carry out their own tasks. They are commanded to make profit with sacrifice as small as possible. The only thing they are concerned is the cost effectiveness of their work. Thus, they tend to pursue suboptimization.

In an effective company, these two functions are supporting each other. The workers in charge can focus on their own task. The administrator adjust the balance among each team and section. Cooperation between consideration and performance makes an organization happy.

Then, how do they elect the roles of each employee?

In most companies, there are two ways for the employees to promote in the organization: so called, white collar and blue collar, commander and soldier  The former is expected to be a leader at the time of entry. The latter is not expected, instead obedience to the order of the former is needed. Essentially, there is no difference of value between them. Commanders and soldiers are both indispensable in a war. However, talent as a commander is more difficult to acquire than that as a soldier. Thus, the white collar gains more salary, in general.

I think that the difference of these two roles are not well distinguished in some Japanese companies. They employ many rookies. Some of them are conscious of the issue I mentioned, however other not. Being a leader requires special ability. Indeed, how to be a leader is quite controversial. Nonetheless it is clear that we cannot become a leader without somewhat mindfulness. However, some of them who have not thought to be a leader are forced to be promoted. Although he is experienced, he does not know how to deal with his new mission, total optimization. Therefore he is willing to get his own task as a soldier, in addition to manage the whole team. And he will have a breakdown due to overwork.

I met several clients who experienced above. Factory workers, system engineers, and even physicians tend to be trapped by this matter. In Japan,  commanders promoted from a soldier is respected. Playing managers are also high estimated. However, it requires extremely sophisticated skill to accomplish both total optimization and suboptimization. We should be cautious.

(To be continued)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Total optimization and subopitimization (1)

There are two words describing the goal of an attempt of adjustment: Total optimization and Suboptimization.

Suboptimization is a status in which most components are effectively working in a certain part of the whole organization. However, this word is always used to describe a malfunction, in contrast to total optimization. In other words, the concurrence of suboptimization often causes a total failure.

For example, imagine the situation that each department of one company is eager to gain much more money. The sales department is willing to optimize the items. The advertisement department optimizes the budget to emphasize a certain content. The management department cuts human resource to minimize related cost. After all, the result is far from satisfactory. The reason is that lack of the connection between each department due to loss of communication.

There is one more example relevant to my job. An old woman visited a hospital with common cold. The doctor prescribed her antibiotics. Actually, antibiotics have no effect on viral infection. Nonetheless, it is justified in some situations, for instance, for a patient who are vulnerable to dual infection. Thus, many doctors tend to prescribe antibiotics for the patient to avoid the worst scenario. However, excessive use of antibiotics can grow up some strong mutative bacteria. When antibiotics-resistant one is spread to a ward of a hospital, many patients will die. This is a disparate consequence.

Then, can you reject using antibiotics to your grandmother, if it would result in her immediate death? Nobody would agree. It is a dilemma. Human is not strong enough to accept their own sacrifice for total optimization in the future.

Therefore, total optimization should be developed by a political power. Distribution of resource, no-profit department, and investment for the future are needed to be determined in the headquarter. The leader is responsible for these decisions.

I think that one of the weaknesses of Japan is maladjustment of this matter. There are two topic among them: playing managers and reverse adaptation.

(To be continued)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Guidebooks of computer games

I like to read guidebooks of computer games.

In my childhood, soon after Family Computer was released by Nintendo, some publishers began to sell guidebooks for playing the computer games. Some of them were well written with the idea and great effort of the writers. I was also impressed with the pictures drew by illustrators other than the original game's.

We sometimes bought a guidebook without the game itself due to the lack of money. Someone wrote a senryu: "Sofutoyori sakinikatteru kouryakubon" [You buy the guidebook before the software]. I was satisfied to know the information about the game instead of playing it.

Some computer games are quite difficult to play efficiently due to the complexity of their system. It is necessary to get a guidebook to understand such a game. For example, "Wizardry 4 The Return of Werdna" is one of the most difficult computer games as far as I know. A total of three guidebooks was required to complete this game.

Today, I received a guidebook of "Master of Magic", one of my favorite games as I wrote. Because this English guidebook is out of sales, I was a little troubled to get it.

However, I noticed that some descriptions of this book were wrong. Maybe the software was reformed after the release of this book. Softwares are more easily to revise than books. It is painful for both the publishers and readers.

Actually, I have already two Japanese guidebooks, one of which I posses now. This one is that I was given by the Japanese provider of this game after I sent an email reporting an error of the program. This is one of my treasures.

Nonetheless, to understand another point of view to conquer this game is quite fun for me.

Nowadays, selling guidebooks of computer games is getting harder to harder. The main reason is the develop of the internet. Recently we can see several websites in which summarized information about the games are available. Many consumers voluntarily make these sites. And publishers hardly overcome them. I remember the anecdote that Britanica Encyclopedia was forced to withdraw due to Wikipedia.

In spite of reduced value, game guidebooks have some kinds of the taste. I will keep my favorite guidebooks forever.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Religious matter in Japan

Today, I attended an academic conference with my colleagues. There I met a researcher came from the Czech Republic. He had developed a monitoring service for schizophrenic patients and presented a brand new method for relapse prevention. It was very exciting to listen to him.

After the lecture, we talked about the culture of Japan and Czech. He mentioned that Japanese people were so practical. Instead, the Czech has experienced several wars due to the conflict of ideologies, such as religion. He seemed to be interested in the productivity and tolerance of Japanese.

Actually, the Japanese celebrate Shinto, Budda, and also Jesus Christ occasionally. Buddhists are so tolerate to other religions that they hold a ceremony for the person who had invaded the sanctuary of Buddhist, as I wrote. It seems that Japanese are indifferent to a particular ideology.

On the other hand, Japanese is much concerned about some kind of habits. We take great care of the hierarchy in the society. Impolite people are severely blamed. Strangers are likely to be excluded in some regions. I am doubtful that all Japanese are open minded.

In addition, Japanese tend to worry about some detail. Japanese craftspersons acquire extremely good techniques after a long term training. The masters of some Japanese traditional culture, such as Judo, Kado (flower arrangement), Shodo (lettering), are deemed as demi-gods.

Some people say that Japanese have their own religion. It means no particular faction. The Japanese traditional lifestyle itself is quite religious. Thus, we tend to show allergic reaction to a religious topic, especially a matter of new cults.

There is another hypothesis about the Japanese sense of religion. It is eclecticism. We always combine valuable things into traditional ones. Buddhism is familiar with this thought. This concept may be a key to accept other cultures.

I love this concept. I would like to admire the point of view of other persons. It will help to grow me up.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Visible difference in a market

Chikirin, a famous Japanese blogger, introduced an episode.

Chikirin's diary: Write your own message into the sentence (in Japanese)

Recently she published an e-book via Kindle titled 'The way to grow Chikirin's diary'. It contains various tips bloggers should recognize, from concepts to writing skills. Jazzy-T, a Japanese blogger, reported gaining page views as ten times as before just after adopting Chikirin's suggestions. Chikirin was glad to know this. And then she proposed to us writing an entry with the same theme of his.

The theme is an assumption: you found a market you had never visited where very expensive goods were on sale. It was a so called luxury store. Consumers were also upper classes. Then, a six year old girl requested organic foods to a saleslady.
What do you think in this situation?

This kind of experience often occurs in Japan. The other day, I had an opportunity to eat breakfast at Imperial Hotel Tokyo. The American breakfast costed $30! To be honest, I usually pay only 3$ for breakfast. While the meal was delicious, however I did not think the cuisine was worth paying ten times of my usual foods.

I was surprised to know the fact that there were persons who were willing to pay such high cost.

Meanwhile, I wondered if foreign people would have the same kind of thought.

Most Japanese people share a similar sense of value. In Japan, there are few nobles. Although the difference of the wealth is widening, people suffering from absolute poverty is rare. Most of the people belong to the middle class in Japan. The homogeneity is what made me surprised.

In the western countries, the difference of the class is more obvious. I guess European nobles never enter a street market. Even if they do, they would not be surprised, as they know themselves. Too obvious matters are not perceived.

It is the same in developing countries too. The workers in a factory perhaps never possess the goods just they are producing. Furthermore, there are items they cannot buy with money regardless of the amount in such countries.

After all, it is an extraordinary experience that I saw an item not worthy for me to buy in a global point of view. Homogeneity, opportunity, and availability of money are all required for encountering such situations.

I am so lucky to touch another sense of value without no risk, I think.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Modern slavery in Amazon.com?

Recently, Amazon.com, an internet retail company has been criticized regarding the environment of workers.

Don’t Support Wage Slavery: Boycott Amazon.com Corporate and the Washington Post

Time Tech: Read more: Amazon Employees Carried Out of 115-Degree Warehouse by Paramedics

According to the reports, the employees are forced to stay working in a warehouse with the extremely tough situation. They are not allowed to rest and even going out is restricted. The reporters also referred to the low reward.

Similar criticism is seen in Japan, some big companies such as Watami, a franchise of pub diners, and Uniqlo, a low cost apparel industry, are facing to broad criticism.

It is no doubt that the right of workers should be protected. Then, are these companies evil? IT is a little difficult question.

First, whether they adhere the regulation or not is quite decisive. Breaking the legislation is absolutely inappropriate. Then, as far as they obey the law, is it OK?
Second, the contract between the employee and employer is also definitive. There is no problem if the both sides have accepted the condition of the work contract. But is it true? For example, in developing countries, some local citizens may have no choice other than working at the place even in the disadvantageous condition. Is it fair?

Some people take account of these points, declaring "fair trade". They dare not to buy the products made from the exploit of the workers.
So, is it a sincere act?
If we never buy items from Amazon, however, Amazon would be bankrupted. At the time, all the employees will be fired. Is it an admirable consequence?

Finally, all we have a desire to get valuable things with less cost. This kind of desire perhaps makes the supplying companies more competitive. As a result, personal expenses will be cut down. We are the cause of slavery!

After all, I do not blame any companies. No one wants to be poor. Capitalism helped us to be rich. Meanwhile we have to accept the warp accompanied by this system. The only thing we can do is to be engaged with our own work sincerely.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Railway accidents, a terrible worry

Today I had an extremely negative image.

Recently, traffic accident frequently occurs in a certain route of the railway. I hear the news of stopping the train every week. Yesterday, I intended to go to the destination via the train. But this railway got unavailable due to an accident. So I had to change my route. It took me spend additional time.

I am not sure but I guess most of this kind of accident is caused by suicide, throwing in front of a train. In Japan, diving is one of the common ways of suicide, even not as frequent as hanging. It is quite problematic that there are lots of places where we can easily dive into the railway. Many stations have not equipped a barrier on the edge of the platform.

In addition, mass media tend to report the fact of suicidal case in detail. The scene with a particular name of the station may encourage the impulse to suicide in the persons who potentially have a desire to die.

I am also concerned about a court case that a railway industry pursued the family members of a person who was suffering from dementia to be killed by a train. The judge accepted the claim that the financial damage of the railway company due to this accident should be compensated by the family, in according to the duty to protect the demented patient from the accident.

I think this decision is ridiculous. Furthermore, I have a terrible imagination. Knowing about this news, someone would have an intention to revenge his family members through his own fatal accident. It is no other than sequential tragedies. I truly hope that someone would not become a victim any more.

Friday, December 6, 2013

South Korea participates in TPP

South Korea is willing to participate in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The National Business Review: Korea suddenly wants into TPP, resumes FTA talks with NZ

TPP is an economic alliance among the nations. The participants are encouraged to get rid of any barrier, either economic or other social, to proceed free trade. Now, the US, Canada, Japan, and other several countries have declared to join in.

In Japan, a wide discussion was burned up before the political decision to participate in TPP. Some economists warned that Japan would be exploited by the US. Others were afraid of the damage traditional farmers would suffer due to import of low cost crops.

South Korea had not shown any curiosity to join TPP. It seemed that Korea was much concerned about rather Free Trade Agreement (FTA), bilateral  alliance, than TPP. The most crucial reason why Korea has changed the policy is requirement of growing export. Korean economy strongly depends on export. However, FTA with China or Japan is not progressing now. South Korea had no choice than joining TPP.

Some insist that South Korea should not participate in TPP because that help Korea to keep good relationship with China. During FTAs works effectively South Korea had no disadvantage due not to join TPP. However, it seems to be difficult for Korea to handle the situation without TPP now.

The Diplomat: Korea Should Stay Out of the TPP – For Now

Decided to join TPP, South Korea will be not able to control the regulation regarding the trade in TPP, because it is too late to take part in the argument. South Korea will face to the tough time, I am afraid.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Walking Smartphone is dangerous?

NTT docomo, Japanese biggest company of telecommunication will release an application to prohibit the use of a Smartphone while walking.

NTT docomo - New functionality to stop yourself using a Smartphone while walking

This software sense the tremor of the Smartphone to warn the user about the risk of traffic accidents. NTT docomo aims to reduce the accidents due to loss of attention.

Regarding driving car, using a mobile phone has been illegal already in Japan. Meanwhile, talking with a hands-free gadget is allowed. And there is no regulation about using phones while walking.

Indeed, this idea is cool. However, I am wondering how dangerous usage of a Smartphone on the road is.

Many years ago, some people criticized Walkman, portable music player made by Sony, for the reason of covering the ears. They suggested that a person listening music would not be able to hear a horn. However, I have not heard someone was crashed due to music players.

Of course, there is a difference between sight and hearing. Human behavior strongly depends on the sense of sight. Crossing a road with gazing a monitor instead of looking around is very risky.

By the way, how about Google Glass? Is it safe? Google must have done a lot of experiments. Nonetheless, we have to pay attention about it. Google car will be more secure. The times are always changing.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cloud Gap

Nowadays, the word "Cloud" is extremely common in our society. Of course it means Cloud Computing. But its definition is very wide. Banking is also one of the clouds. We use the cloud systems unconsciously every day.

One of the beneficial services in the cloud is online storage. In the past, we had to equip hard discs in the office to keep important data. We hardly accessed to the data from the outside of the office. There were considerable risk of vanishing data due to some troubles of machines. Now, we can upload the data immediately after gaining it. We can refer the data without being concerned about where the data is placed. It likes to watch a cloud.

However, cloud storage has a disadvantage. It is that we cannot utilize the storage when we have no connection with the internet. This is an obvious matter, but it is sometimes decisive.

First, I work at a hospital. And it is prohibited to use WiFi in the hospital to avoid the malfunction of the medical machines. Thus, I cannot search the cloud drive in the hospital. It is so inconvenient.

Second, in foreign countries, I am often confused to notice that the there is no internet connection. I hear that there are lots of Free WiFi spots, however actually I had to make great efforts to establish a connection. Tethering with my mobile phone is also available, but it cost a lot. Some people buy a pre-paid Sim card to attach their own Smartphone. It is also bothering.

Several services are constructed with an assumption that all of the users are able to connect the internet. This idea is troublesome. Several years ago, Koei released some PC games with an internet security system as a copy protection. Whenever I play the game, I had to connect to the server of Koei to let the program run. This process strongly annoyed me. It was not surprising that this infamous system was cancelled a few months after the launch. Recently, I heard that Xbox  one by Microsoft would introduce a similar system. I am afraid that Microsoft would be criticized by the gamers.

The cloud system has been established as an essential infrastructure. In contrast, I think that the mobile networking system is not utilized completely. In Japan congestion of the electric waves is growing to a big problem. Each mobile phone company is struggling to enhance their circuits. I name the phenomenon as "Cloud Gap". I predict the situation will continue for some years.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Antivirus software for Windows

As a Windows user, which software should I choose against malware is a troublesome issue. Although I have installed several security softwares ever before, none of which is decisive.

To begin with, being attacked by a malware is a rare experience for an individual who is not concerned with some special works. Thus, we cannot refer to our personal experience to determine the software to adopt.

Then, we sometimes watch special issues focused on security softwares. In some articles, several specialists investigate the softwares to compare the quality of them. However, these articles also can be inclined to one or some particular software. Softwares made by a small company is not even possible to be introduced.

Besides, it is not only the quality of detection of malware for security software to be evaluated but also some other features. In other words, most internet security companies tend to add multiple function other than antivirus on the software because antiviral ability is difficult to distinguish from competitors. Several companies advertise additional function such as password administration, registry maintenance, and so on.

From my own experience, almost all software does not differ from each other. I will write my impression below;

Norton Antivirus
Norton by Symantec is one of the most popular internet security software. It includes lots of function. However, I have experienced an erroneous move by auto input system that my e-mail address was inputted intentionally at a public space.

Virus Buster
Virus Buster by Trend Micro is my first antivirus software. In Japan, it is criticized regarding its burden to the computer. But I was not so serious about this matter.

McAfee is often bundled with other softwares. It makes me unhappy. The reason is that some troubles tend to occur when uninstalling McAfee.

Just System made Kaspersky is one of my favorite companies. The detection rate of virus is said to be splendid. However, when I set up the Window Home Server, it caused some troubles.

ESET smart security
I used this one for a year. It was not impressive but no disadvantage I noticed. It has gained high reputation on the internet.

Virus Security Zero
This software is sold as "Virus Security Zero" by Source Next in Japan. Once introduced, you need not pay additional fees for continuation of using it. It may be a great advantage. I do not know the true quality of it.

Once the ultimate software is established, someone will create a new virus which overcomes the king. After all, periodic change of the security software is recommendable.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Colored leaves in Kyoto

I went to Kyoto on this weekend to attend an academic conference.

It was a considerably cold, but Kyoto was just covered with full of colored leaves. Everything was beautiful.

This is an epigram which is argued in the internet. What is the meaning "Now life is living you"?

This is Honganji temple. So solemn.
By the way, local government of Kyoto has decided to reform the description of the places, as I knew at a newspaper. For example, from "Hongan-ji" to "Honganji temple". In Japanese "ji" means temple, but it may be hard for foreigners to understand the real meaning of the former description. It is cool decision I think.

I visited Kyoto Gyoen national garden. It took over 30 minutes from Kyoto station on foot. I experienced a fair exercise.

It was extremely wide inside the garden.

And there were a large amount of trees.

Some of the trees had changed red or yellow.

This is a maple tree. Maple-tree viewing is a popular leisure in autumn in Japan.

The gardens are illuminated in several temples so that you can walk around to enjoy colored leaves at night. However, the streets are extremely crowded. Unfortunately, I was also not able to enter the garden at night. I heard that Kyoto citizens dare not to walk around at this term.

And then I stayed at a temple inn. It was so sophisticated. In addition, the landlady was very kind.

I have visited Kyoto for several times. As this was a tiny trip, I would like to stay longer in the next visit.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sequels in November 2013

November 23, 2013
Bose quiet comfort 3

The after day I was astonished to know that I could hear nothing from the headphone. The fact was that I attached the wrong cable to my smartphone. After that, this product works very well. I enjoy listening to English Audiobooks in a train without stress.

November 17, 2013
Equal payment bill will come in Swiss?

As I predicted, this proposal was rejected. About two-third of voters were opposed to the policy of equal payment.

The Wall Street Journal: Swiss Voters Reject High-Pay Initiative

It is not surprisingly that economic industries are pleased to know the result. If the proposal were accepted, most companies in Swiss would have to decide the exodus from Swiss.

November 8, 2013
My best computer games (3) Master of Magic

Yes, it is splendid. I completed the game several times.
I found a tip. Beginning with the condition of continents as small, you will make it easy to conquer other wizards. They have difficulty to find fitting lands to grow a bigger town. Starting with Lizardmen make easier to overrun. But you cannot get a higher score with this strategy.
Beginning with 11 books of light magic is also a good choice. The first spell you have to select is incarnation. Summoning Trin the chosen first is a decisive way. Enough grown, he can defeat any army alone.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Case of cannibalism in Brazil

A psychiatric evidence seems to have decided that the criminals in the murder cases with cannibalism in Brazil were mentally normal.

Surgiu: "Canibais" de Garanhuns não têm distúrbios mentais (in Portuguese)

The criminals were arrested in the town of Garanhunsin in April 2012 for murdering multiple persons and eating their fresh. Over one year after the arrest, they are proven to be legally responsible.

BBC: Brazil murder suspects 'confess to cannibalism'

I dare not to give any comments about this case, since I can hardly understand the essence of a case based on public news. I do not know whether the result of the investigation is rational.

Actually, it is quite difficult to determine whether a behavior strongly bound to a certain culture is pathological or not. Cannibalism is never accepted at least in developed countries. However, it was common in some ancient cultures. Some cultural or religious ideologies are hard for us to be distinguished from delusion.

A Norway massacre case occurred in 2011 also brought about wide discussion. The conclusions of two different psychiatric examinations differed from each other. Finally the criminal was sentenced 21 years imprisonment as a sane defendant. I wonder how to interpret his warped thoughts.

Culture and Thoughts will alter through the time. It makes the issue more complicated. It is possible that a certain idea extremely usual at now would be deemed as insane in the future.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Grand coalition in Germany

A huge administration was born in Germany. The Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to agree with the opposite Social Democrats Party to form an alliance.

Global Post: Germany's biggest parties agree to form 'grand coalition'

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its regional sister party, led by Merkel, have kept the majority since the last general election. Nonetheless, the Merkel administration seems to require much power to determine the policies which are difficult to control.
Some of the contents of the contract of this coalition has been published. They include more investment of public budget to transport infrastructure and raising the minimum wage. There policies reflect the ideology of big government. I think Merkel had to compromise a lot to negotiate to the opposites.

By the way, also in France Hollande in Socialist Party won the seat of the Prime Minister. Of course Obama in the US leads Democrats Party which aims to cover broader social insurance. It seems that the world politics is inclined to social democracy rather than neo-liberalism.

Nowadays, every politician is difficult to perform strong leadership because his supporters are more vulnerable due to the increasing speed of the change of society. But it is stable that there is a certain amount of poor people. Social insurance is an extremely serious issue for them. I think that it is one of the reasons for the rise of socialists.

However, it is not sure whether socialism could solve this great problem. We must be cautious not to let both capitalism and socialism run out of control.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Silent majority of questionnaire survey

I seldom believe questionnaire surveys.

There are lots of such surveys published on newspapers, magazines, and also internet. But in my opinion, almost all articles are far beyond the fact. The reason is that they do not define the target.

Every survey has a goal. In a questionnaire survey, we should decide the subject. The unique condition of the subject is that we would be able to know the fact with the data gathered from this subject. They require to represent the real target we want to pick up. If this condition were not adhered, the result of the questionnaire would be useless.

Most public surveys do not meet this criterion. Thus, they are pointless.

For example, a popular newspaper investigated the tendency of the readers regarding the policy. A writer asked for the reply via the internet. So many responses had come. The writer summarized the data with pleasure. As a result, most of the readers were revealed to have an aggressive thoughts in the policy making.

This process includes a fatal error. Persons who are willing to reply to the survey tend to be concerned with the policy making. Therefore, the majority of the respondents seemed to be aggressive. However, the vast majority of the readers did not respond this questionnaire. After all, the total image of the readers could not be proven.

This is an issue so called 'Silent majority'. There are lots of similar situations. Some social network services are filled with dirty words. But it does not mean that the users of the internet are impolite. The fact is that polite persons avoid leaving a comment on such a board. Also, several surveys showed the fact that consumers want low calorie hamburgers. However, there are almost no popular low calorie hamburgers. That is, the vast majority of hamburger lovers dare not to answer the questionnaire. And they are fond of oil-rich one.

As a researcher, I have experienced to conduct several questionnaire surveys. I Always struggle to define the target, and attempt to gather all responses of the targeted subjects. This is the most difficult point to perform a qualified survey. As I know its difficulty, I hardly trust this kind of surveys.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The worst thing in our lives

Imagine what is most desperate thing in human beings.
Poverty, war, disaster, or discrimination?

There are lots of unhappy things in the world. We have overcome some of them during long history.

I am confident that Japan is the happiest place to live. We feel extremely safe in Japan. The probability to be involved a serious crime is quite low. In addition, no wars in which Japan participated have occurred since the end of WW II. We are proud of the fact that Self Defense Force in Japan has killed nobody ever before. It is extremely rare for citizens in Japan to be starved. We can get a large amount of foods every day. Japanese people are polite and lawful. We have no worry to be tricked by a vender. In addition, the Japanese health care system is excellent. Japan has almost the top of life expectancy in the world. Japan is one of the lowest groups of the infant death rate.

What a happy life as a Japanese!
However, there is a terrible pitfall.

Japan is a suicide rich country as I mentioned in the past. Recently, the death rate of young people has increased. We must consider what it means.

Some people consider this phenomenon indicates the degradation of Japanese. According to them, Japanese has been accustomed excessively to the peace. We cannot imagine the people who live in developing countries. Yes, it is a reasonable interpretation, I think.

On the other hand, there is another hypothesis that can explain the growth of suicides in younger age. Younger people in Japan are getting difficult to be hopeful for the future. Our parents had experienced the era of rapid growth of the economy. In the 1960s, Japan was so poor, but quite energetic. Those lived in the age could believe that the future would be happier. So they made efforts. It is no doubt that the prosperity in Japan owes to those people.

However, today's Japan has several problems in the society. Elder people are increasing, meanwhile the birth rate remains low. The national debt is rapidly growing. We are not sure whether we would be able to receive the pension when aged. Economically shrinking is the destiny of Japan. Nowadays health care for elder people is paid much attention. Caregivers will be insufficient. I heard some miserable cases of murder by a caregiver result from severe fatigue due to long term nursing.

Some evidences suggest that youth in Japan has difficulty to be hopeful. It is an extremely severe problem. In addition, whether aged people will spend a happy life with their family without annoying each other is uncertain.

The death is the absolute enemy of human. However, we may be going to wish the death not so delayed. It is quite ironic and also despondent.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bitcoin fraud case in New Jersey

E-sports entertainment, an online game company was alleged to $1 million settlement for a fraud. According to the attorney, this company offered a software including malicious program to the users.

The State of New Jersey: Acting Attorney General Announces $1 Million Settlement Resolving Consumer Fraud, Unlawful Access Claims Against Online Gaming Company 

E-Sports Entertainment settles Bitcoin botnet allegations

The function of this malware is novel. This program works on the computer to mine Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a kind of internet currency, as I mentioned past. We can gain this virtual money through running a special program which creates a code to protect the environment of the whole Bitcoin system. The criminal had intended to make the computers of the consumers send the gained coins to his own wallet.

I was so surprised to know this crime for some reason.

First, this incident has some characteristics as a cyber crime. You know such an anecdote: you would be extremely rich if you cheat the program of banks to send $1 from each account of other people, and no one would notice the fact he lose $1. The Bitcoin case resembles this story. Different from bank computers, personal ones are more vulnerable. In addition, the criminal could choose the targets. Actually, the amount of income had reached only $3,500. However, if not revealed for a long term, the criminal would have earned more.

Second, according to the attorney, this crime was consented by the founder of E-sports entertainment. If it is a crime of the whole company, I would hesitate to trust online companies after this. E-sports Entertainment has published a comment to be opposed to the allegations  by the state of New Jersey on the web site. I do not know the truth.

ESEA: New Jersey Settlement Response

Despite the comments above, I feel that this case is a pretty trifling. This kind of programs is called as BOTs. They are often utilized in some online Role Playing Games, mainly as an automatically working avatar to harvest some items in the virtual world. I know that some people earn money with real money trading. There seems no difference in these cases.

The settlement upon E-sports includes the minimum $375,000 payment and supervision in the future. I will be cautious to the activity of this company and online currency.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Bose quiet comfort 3

Today, I bought a noise cancelling headphone, named "Quiet Comfort 3" by Bose.

Actually, this is my third noise cancelling device.

Several years ago, I bought one for the first time. It was an earphone type device. But unfortunately it was soon broken.

The headphone type device is hard to carry due to its size. Instead, it is easy to equip without pain for a long time. So I tried using a mobile headphone the next. Even now I use it. However, the quality of the sound was not satisfactory.

Today, I decided to spend money. Actually, Bose hardwares are so expensive.

Some items unofficially imported are sold with low cost via Amazon.co.jp. But some reviewers comment that they did not work well.

This model is a mobile type. Nonetheless, it is much larger than that I used before.

As I tried in a store, noise cancelling performance was incredibly excellent. I hardly heard any noise around me when equipped. I expect I will listen to English movies in a train without any stress.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Like to do and good at doing

It is a traditionally discussed matter.

We have something we like to do. Someone like to play sports. Others like to learn history. Another person may like to play the piano, but he perhaps do not like to read a novel. A matter like to do is quite various in each person.

Thus, some people say we should do the thing we do like.

On the other hand, it is also true we have our own advantages. Someone is good at writing. Another speaks well. You may be a strong Judo warrior, meanwhile you cannot swim. The strength is also various.

Then, which should be more focused, especially to choose our job? There are lots of opinions about this question.

In my opinion, I recommend you to refer to the thing you are good at, not like to do, at least in the initial setting. I agree with Mr. Tetsuyuki Ohishi, a Japanese nomad writer.

In Japanese proverb, "Mitsugo no tamashii hyaku made."[As the boy, so the man.] Generally speaking, it is true. Indeed, both the thing you like and the thing you are good at seem to be eternal. However, there is a critical difference between them. When you feel that you really like something, it is an emotion you have. Emotion is a strong flow of the human mind, but unfortunately, sometimes vulnerable. In contrast, if you are good at doing something, it is a characteristic of you. Character includes physical or genetic factors to some extent. They are quite lasting.

Therefore, if you choose a job that you really like to do, you would perhaps change to dislike to do it. Instead, when you choose a job that you are good at, there is low risk for you to change to bad at this.

It is one more thing you should remember. You can know what do you like. But you cannot know what are you good at. Whether you are good at a thing or not is evaluated by someone else. The reason is that the advantage is a relative concept. For example, even if you feel you are not a good engineer, when no one is superior to you, the employer would hire you at a large amount of the fee.

Like or dislike is absolute and subjective standard. Only you can decide the matter. In contrast, you cannot see what is the advantage of you.

After all, I recommend you to try many things. Never try, never gain. Thinking produces nothing about this matter. When you get a good appraisal, it may be your mission, even if you dislike it.