Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sequels in August 2013

August 18, 2013

I have completed to watch the first season of Game of Thrones. It is quite a dark fantasy in which some lovely persons were killed brutally. I expect the sequel, meanwhile I am afraid of continuing to watch it.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

In Japan, over 30 persons were charged for uploading a photo of impolite behaviors. Most of them were severely penalized.
There are many hypotheses to offer an explanation why they cause such a silly case repeatedly. According to an opinion, they are internet-native, so they are unconscious to the real shape of the internet. They tend to use some Social Network Services (SNSs) for only connecting with members of themselves. Therefore, they could not understand that the internet is opened unlimitedly. In addition, they could not hear the news of the punishment for the person who had uploaded an inappropriate photo, because their network was limited in their closed relationship. I understand the explanation at all.   
On the other hand, some companies began to make a contract with employees not to behave impolitely. I heard that a contract form included that not to enter refrigerator. It is so funny, but serious matter for them. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Soon after the news released, New York Times made a comment not to be willing to sell their company. It seems to be a statement for stakeholders. However, this suggests they also afraid of the management crisis. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

After all, Mr. Manning was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment. His lawyer expects that he will be released in the near term. I think that this judgment is relatively favorable for him.

Friday, August 30, 2013

X-Men and psychiatry (3)

X-Men and psychiatry (1)
X-Men and psychiatry (2)

In X-Men: The Last Stand, the story begins with an episode of young Jean Grey. Charles Xavier (Professor X) and his friend, Erik Magnus Lehnsherr (Magneto) attempt to encourage her to enter the school for gifted youngsters. Her parents seem to wonder whether the explanation of Xavier is trustworthy. In my opinion, However, their hesitation is only mimicking. They must want to send Jean into an isolated facility. Maybe the parents have been damaged a lot because of Jean's strange behaviors.
This situation is as if the parents accept to hospitalize their child involuntarily. So, I cannot avoid being filled with tears whenever watching this scene.

Then, "the cure" is invented, which can suppress the ability of the mutants. The members of X-Men are shaken. Is the mutation to be cured? They have controlled the power to contribute to the society. If the power is to be eliminated by a medicine, what is their dream?
We sometimes meet a patient who has a kind of delusions. Some of them are afraid to lose the psychotic symptoms. If the delusion disappears, he has to notice that he is only a person, not a superhuman. Treating such patients, we should be cautious.

The heroine, Jean Grey has two personalities: one is polite and superficial, and the other "Phoenix" is wild, aggressive, and quite destructive.
Using the term of psychiatry, she is suffering from dissociative identity disorder.
The main personality Jean cannot recognize the entity of Phoenix, but Phoenix knows Jean and hates her weakness. Thus, her fury and envy killed Cyclops, the lover of Jean.

It seems that Jean has also borderline personality. She always feels alone. She behaves politely but she is not satisfied at all. So, she wants Wolverine besides Cyclops.
Professor X tries to seal her real ability. He hypnotizes her to control her destructive instinct. But Wolverine opposed to Professor to let her free.
It is a metaphor of controlling one's psychotic symptoms by coercive means such as seclusion.
On the other hand, Magneto accepts the power of Jean as itself. He resembles "Anti-psychiatry". Both approaches of the two giants results in the ruin. Professor is killed by Jean, and Magneto abandons her. It looks like the patterns of failures to deal with offenders with mental disorders, even too stereotyped.

This film told me a lot of things about the difficulty of psychiatry. I recommend to watch it to whoever is willing to engage in this region.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

X-Men and psychiatry (2)

X-Men and Psychiatry (1)

Well, there are some common points between the mutation in X-Men series and mental disorders.

(1) Sudden onset
Some mutant abilities occur all at sudden. It confuses the person who acquires the mutation so much.
Mental disorders are also not predictable.

(2) Genetic factors
Mutation is explained as transformation of a gene. The relationship between lots of mental disorders and genetic factors are proven. Thus, if occurred, the parents tend to blame themselves and his/her partner.

(3) Potentially awesome
Some mutants possess a great power. They try to use the power to change the world.
Mental disorders are deemed as gifted in some contexts, such as shamanism. There are also talented patients with developmental disorders.

(4) Usually quite troublesome
Although some mutations give the person incredible power, most of the mutants are annoyed by his/her own mutation. Some of them cannot control themselves. It causes more troubles.
Mental disorders are also serious problems for the patients, of course.

(5) Sometimes discriminated
Mutants have to conceal their own ability to avoid being abused by other people. Unfortunately, patients with mental disorders are often stigmatized. It is quite problematic.

(6) Curability is controversial
In X-Men 3 (The Last Stand), the method to eliminate mutation, "Cure" was invented. Whether the mutation is to be cured is the main theme of this work.
In the real world, some mental disorders are completely curable. However, most of them are difficult. Some associations of the patients claim that mental disorders should not be cured, but to be alive with.

The last point is a complicated issue. It lets X-Men 3 quite suggestive.

(To be continued)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

X-Men and psychiatry (1)

I love American comics movies as I wrote past. My favorite is X-Men series.

There are 5 films of X-Men movies. The newest one "The Wolverine" is coming soon in Japan. To be honest, I could not wait for it so I pre-ordered a BD of it via

There are many fascinating factors of X-Men. Marvelous abilities the heroes possess are quite gorgeous. SFX is amazing. The storyline is deep and great. Moreover the metaphor under the setting of this series is suggestive.

The heroes of X-Men are mutant. They have extraordinary abilities, such as splendid power, healing factor, manipulating something, telepathy, and so on. However, their abilities seldom make them happy. Mutants are discriminated in the society. In addition, some of them cannot control their own power. It sometimes causes a tragedy.

It is a common interpretation that mutant is a metaphor of minorities such as black or homosexuals. If you belong to some kind of minorities, you will sympathize with mutants. X-Men are the symbol of bastards. They are splendid, but are never accepted.

So, I supposed that mutants are the same of mental disorders.

This assumption is quite fittable. After watching X-Men 3, my hypothesis became to a confirmation.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cook own meal

To be honest, I cook very badly. Nonetheless I often cook by myself. The most important reason for it is that I am responsible for my product. I never fail to eat my meal.

My concepts of cooking are quite simple.

(1) Easy to cook
I cannot wait for cooking. Over an hour is too long for me to make something to eat.

Fried rice is one of my favorites. This is Thai-taste spicy rice.

(2) Full of vegetables
One of the disadvantages in eating out is lack of vegetables. Therefore, I use a large amount of vegetables in my menu.

This is Japanese Curry with boiled Pork. I used a couple of onions to make curry.

(3) Low cost
Some food materials are quite expensive. In contrast, I can cook some menu with low cost.

This is Okonomiyaki, originally a local food in western area in Japan. You can make it with flour, cabbage, and an egg.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Life imprisonment is inhuman, ECHR says

Today I knew the news that the European Court of Human Right (ECHR) decided a month ago that a life sentence without possibility of parole was illegal.

The Guardian: Whole-life jail terms without review breach human rights - European court

The European convention on human rights prohibits inhuman and degrading treatment in article 3. According to the ECHR, whole lifetime imprisonment without consideration of release or review is violating this article.

This decision criticized the life sentence to Mr. Vinter, who murdered his family members sequentially, judged in England and Wales. The life sentence without parole is no more adopted in European countries other than England and Holland.

Cabinet members in the UK are annoyed to hear the decision. They seem to strongly believe the necessity of whole lifetime imprisonment.

The Guardian: Tory ministers condemn ECHR ruling on whole-life prison sentences

In contrast, the death penalty is selectable in Japan even now. In a decade ago, Ministers of Justice tended to hesitate ordering the execution. However, after Fuzoku Ikeda Elementary School case, in which a serial killer murdered 8 schoolchildren and injured more, call for the ultimate punishment has been strengthened.
On the other hand, there is no life sentence in Japan. A criminal sentenced to imprisonment for an unlimited term tends to be released after 25 to 30 years. Some researchers claim that Japan should introduce life sentence instead the death penalty.

What a difference!

In my opinion, the death penalty should be ceased. The reason is not its cruelty, but incompansatability. Any human makes a mistake. To be killed by a nation wrongly should be avoided in any way.

I do not know whether life sentence is inhuman. There are a few people extremely dangerous and hardly to change their mind. But I guess that it is also cruel for the workers who treat the criminals to take care of them without considering of their possibility of redemption.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Blogger Summit 2013 in Shibuya (2)

Blogger Summit 2013 in Shibuya (1)

So, I went to a Bloggers' event yesterday.
It seemed that about 500 people participated in the conference.

The conference included a total of 6 sessions which took one hour respectively. Some speakers talked about their experience and opinion in Each session. The theme is below;

(1) The history of blog during ten years
(2) From Personal Blogs into Blog Media
(3) Blog services in the future (sponsor session)
(4) Video Bloggers
(5) The balance between Blog and Life
(6) Meaning of Writing a Blog

All of the panelists were famous, some of whom I knew well. One of the panelists in each session except session 4 was a woman. It may be an intention of the administrator.

I got some valuable ideas from each session.

First of first, successful bloggers are quite fond of writing a blog. Of course it is quite natural, for quitted bloggers would not be invited to this conference. Nevertheless, the presenters seemed happy to publish their opinions. Some bloggers said that the blog was definitely himself.

And continuity is also a power. A presenter recommended to continue writing if you wanted to be admired. According to her, most of the competing blogs vanished for some years.

It is also referred that techniques can change the world. For example, permanent link is deemed to be an innovation to make blog valuable. If this scheme were not established, it would be doubtful if blog archives are so useful.

Criticism via internet was also argued. I was impressed with the opinion that words of abuse were thankful, as it means that one person had already read your blog to make a comment.
Actually, some tweets about the event were introduced at the meeting. Some of them were quite severe. However, the presenters replied to them sincerely.

In Japan, bloggers are not likely to name themselves as bloggers. So, this event "Blogger Summit" seemed a little odd to some people.
The administrator compared blogger to driver. Nowadays driving is a common skill in the society. Some people never drive a car. On the other hand, some people like driving very much. There are also some professional drivers. It is as the same as bloggers. Anyone wants to express something can write a blog. The development of IT has enabled it.

The conference had some disadvantages. Question time was not prepared at all. I would be glad if I had heard about making a blog effectively in daily life in detail. The presenters were all extraordinarily talented. They lacked the sense of citizen who is not engaged in blog so much. On the other hand, only few participants can earn money with blog. Most of us write a blog as a hobby.

Above all, it was an exciting conference. I appreciate the administrator, presenters, staffs, sponsors and all participants.

See you, bloggers!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Blogger Summit 2013 in Shibuya (1)

As I mentioned past, yesterday I attended the Blogger Summit 2013.

The conference was held at Belle Salle Shibuya First, a conference hall.
It was a huge tower.

This building was constructed by Sumitomo RD.

The title of the conference is displayed.

The hall is quite large. The promoter said there would be a thousand of participators.
I arrived at the hall 30 minutes before the opening. The front seats were occupied.

Gradually, participators were coming.

The promoter was Mr. Motohiko Tokuyuki. He is a pleasant man. I saw him the other day for the first time, to appreciate him.

Several companies, including some famous global ones sponsored this event. It is the reason why we did not have to pay the entry fee.

Furthermore, some amenities were presented. These were, a notebook, energy drink, a series of seals, and a round fan.

In the back of the hall, there was a branch for selling something to eat.

The promoter published that 1,012 people had applied to this conference. According to him, about one-third of them had cancelled, so 700 people might visit here.

A total of 6 sessions was performed for 6 hours. I was a little exhausted.

After the conference, dinner party was held. Kentucky Fried Chicken offered foods for free.

Coca-Cola, Sapporo and Suntory Beer were also available.

I left the hall soon after the beginning of the dinner party. I hope the party grew.

I will write about the content of the conference tomorrow.

(To be continued)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Trilemma of employment

When I saw that some people wrote about working, I noticed that there was a trilemma of employment.

The three conditions which cannot be fulfilled together are below;

(1) Stable employment
Traditionally, lifetime employment has been common in Japanese society. Most of young people belonged to a company immediately after graduating from a university. They worked until the mandatory retirement age. After that, they received a pension from the government. It was a typical model of working life. Even now, lifetime employment is a popular option for some people.

(2) Chance of promotion
Maybe you have a dream. It may include money, reputation and power. Promotion is one of the means to get all of them. Therefore, we are motivated in front of chance of promotion.

(3) Stressless environment
Nobody seeks agony. Working till midnight, working during holiday, and working without a salary are quite terrible. In such situations, we may feel being exploited. It is no doubt that working without stress is admirable.

Then, can these three conditions be satisfied at the same time?
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult.

In traditional Japan, stable employment and chance of promotion are guaranteed to all employees. Many people working in a company had a dream to be a president. If it was not realized, they could get a large amount of retirement money at the age of 60. However, they had an obligation to obey the order of the company. Overworking  without fee (so called "service Zangyo") were usual. Demand of the boss was absolute. Recently, such a paternal companies has been blamed as "black company".

On the other hand, some foreign-affiliated firm offer another workstyle. There are lots of promotion in such companies. You can rest everytime as long as you earn an adequate profit. Your boss does not control you. However, you would be dismissed if you fail to accomplish a goal. Your status is quite unstable, so called "Up or Out".

So is there stable and comfortable position? Some officials are applicable to this. But it is rare in Japan. There are lots of "Mac Jobs" in developing countries. They do the same task every day. No promotion is promised for them. But they are hardly dismissed because workers are lacking.

After all, stable fascinating and stress-free job does not exist. You should determine your priority of your own to choose a job.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Keyboard trouble repaired with update of the BIOS

One day, the keyboard of My PC began not to work correctly, all at sudden.
When I hit several keys sequentially, some letters did not appear.

I confirmed that it was a mechanical error, for this PC was for mobile use and I always equipped it in my business bag.
Therefore, I called for a help of the customers' center of Panasonic.

The result was far from my imagination.
An operator of the technical support asked me to update the BIOS.
After updated, this malfunction vanished immediately. My keyboard worked quite smooth.

He taught me that Windows 8 often rewrote some drivers of the machine without permission. It may cause an error. The adaptations of newly BIOS can repair this kind of errors.

I was impressed that the customer support made use for me.

Panasonic is situated in a peril. To be honest, I do not like this machine so much. Nonetheless, Panasonic is a lovely company for me.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Skype English schools

Mastery of English is a dream whoever wants to go abroad. As English is the golden standard language in the world, it is indispensable to learn English.

It is said that, especially, Japanese are not good at English. One of the reasons is that we seldom talk to foreign people in the community. It was precious to speak with native English speakers in Japan. Therefore, many English schools have been established.

These English schools were a little expensive. However, in recent years online schools with low cost launched. These schools have some characteristics. The training fee is quite low. Most of them set the headquarters at Sebu island, Philippine. The teachers are all Filipinos. And the training lectures are performed with Skype and internet connection. These schemes help them to reduce running cost.

So called "Skype English" is widespreading. A lot of schools are available now. I tried a couple of them. The teachers are quite pleasant. Their pronunciation is clear, compared to native speakers. Some students are afraid of their foreign accents. But I am not concerned about it.

Now I am trying to practice about some English examinations with Skype English.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Banned books list in library

Today I found a list published by the American Library Association (ALA). The name of the list is "Banned and Challenged Books".

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

This is a list of the books some users demanded to be gotten rid of from a library. There are numerous books equipped with libraries. It is no doubt that some people get angered by one of them. Especially, parents with young children are sensitive to harmful books. I guess this list includes a lot of the parents' opinions.

The top of the list is the Harry Potter series. These are world famous fantasy novels. The hero Harry was a lonely boy. But one day he was notified that he was the son of a great wizard. Then, he entered a magical school and he had a destiny to fight against a wicked sorcerer.
It is quite impressive novel with fantastic flavor. All of the series was cinematized. I watched them with applause.

However, the series are criticized.

One of the reasons is that the series include magical theme. I hear some Christians dislike this kind of plots. It seems demoniac for them.

Of course, the more famous a book is, the more criticism rises. "Chocolate War", "Alice" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", which are quite popular, are also listed.

I heard that the true intention why the ALA published the list is to encourage the librarians. Librarians have to face this kind of criticism to protect the freedom of expression. So the ALA suggests they are attacked frequently with the list. The ALA also can show the concern about the criticism through the publication of this list. It is quite cool method.

In Japan, "Toshokan Senso [Library War]", a SciFi novel series describing the battle of the librarians against censorship is also popular. Although I have not read them, I feel this storyline is quite real for us.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Game of Thrones

Recently, I began to watch the series of "Game of Thrones".

IMDb: Game of Thrones
Wikipedia: Game of Thrones

These are fantasy drama TV series created by HBO. The original story was written by Mr. Geroge R. Martin, as "A Song of Ice and Fire". I knew this title before, for was advertising it via Kindle. So I was interested in it, but had not read.

The story of Game of Throne is quite complicated. There are a lot of people appeared in this story. The main issue is a battle to become a ruler of seven kingdoms. Some relatives of the king are very ambitious. Some ladies wonder if they are truly loved. Even in the fantasy world, it is not different from the real that everyone is worried about their own lives.

I bought a box of blue-ray discs of the first season. The English version is cheaper than Japanese one. Unfortunately, it is too difficult for me to understand the elocution in English. So I watched a Japanese version DVD which I rented first.

The graphic is extremely beautiful. It is interesting that some erotic scenes are included. I heard that the original story had more aggressive expression, such as a marriage of children. Nonetheless, there are sexual scenes with nude breasts of women in every chapter. I feel it is a little excessive. We cannot let children watch this.

The series will be continued longer. I expect the sequel.


(**more sequel)

Friday, August 16, 2013

White collar exemption

The Abe administration intends to introduce the white-collar exemption.

Japan Press Weekly: Abe wants to allow white-collar exemption to save corporations from overtime payment

The white-collar exemption is a system for an exception of the regulation set by the Labor Standard Law. According to the scheme, working people who are highly specialized, such as an administrator, is not limited at working time and place. They cannot receive overwork  payment. It enables them to choose the working style.

Traditional labor was physical labor. It may be true that many laborers were exploited by the capitalists. Labor standard is established to protect the blue collared workers. In Japan, excessive working over 40 hours per week should be paid by overtime payment.
However, this theory does not fit for white collared workers. They need not long time work. The performance is determined due not to working time, but to their ability. Therefore, payment per time is not applicable to them.

Mass media are critical against this policy, as same as past discussion. Mr. Abe tried to introduce the white-collar exemption once in 2006, but to fail.

Tokyo Shinbun: No overtime payment experiment for over $8m earners

In Japan, the issues of nominal managers were burned up in late 2000s. Most of workers engaged in management are not allowed to receive overtime payment because they can manage their own overtime working. However, there were a lot of "nominal managers" in Japan, who is given quite narrow  discretion. They were almost same as normal workers. Some "nominal managers" filed a suit claiming that they had right to get overtime payment. They included the heads of the franchise stores, such as McDonald's and 7-Eleven. At last they won and most companies began to pay the overtime fee for them.

In the background above, the white-collar exemption is infamous in Japan. Labors association is strongly opposed to the scheme.

My opinion is that, the white-collar exemption is  quite natural policy. There are few jobs of which the value is calculatable with working time in Japan. Indeed, most administrators and specialists are working not concerning about the Labor Standard Law. The actual situation will not change after the introduction of white-collar exemption.

On the other hand, there are some people who spend working time with useless tasks in the company. Stay at the office is essential for them to get money. It is quite harmful to make more profit.  I understand the mind of employers not to pay for them. However, the white-collar exemption is not applicable to such low cost workers.

After all, there is no tool to change the society with only one scheme.
The labor market in Japan is extremely complicated. I have no answer to raise the profit without pain.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Abenomics and consumption tax

The government has published that Japan's GDP growth rate is 2.6% in the second quarter in 2013.
For some analysts, it is a disappointing result.

Quartz: Japan’s sagging growth reveals a few hitches in the Abenomics plan

The economic state in Japan is improving due to Abenomics, the policy of the Prime Minister. Mr. Abe describes there is three arrows composed of Abenomics. They are, massive quantitative easing, fiscal policies to stimulate demand, and growth strategy. Among them, the first arrow made a great success. The Yen weakened and the mean stock pile in Japan rapidly increased. Some investors were much delighted. However, the growth strategy has not found its goal, as far as I understand. To begin with, it is quite difficult to show the right way for sustainable economic growth in the modern era.

After all, Abenomics equips an illusionary gold clothes. Indeed, fool's gold is also gold. And the economy is influenced on fantastic expectation to some extent. I think it is the time to reform the organization in Japan which keep the society from real growth.

One of the concerns that Abe administration is wondering about is the consumption tax. The past Noda administration has decided to raise the sales tax rate gradually. The ruling liberal democratic party (LDP), which Mr. Abe belongs to, accepted this policy. The LDP planned to raise the consumption tax before. Therefore there is no reason to hesitate to raise the tax. The amount of debt in Japan has reached 1 trillion Yen.

The Japan Times: A first: Nation’s debt tops ¥1 quadrillion

However, some politicians and economists are opposed to raising the tax. They claim that raising the tax will cause the reduction of motivation of consumers, and it leads to deflation much more.

It may be a rational criticism. The opinions of economists are varied. Nonetheless, I think a consumption tax should be raised. The sales tax rate has to be up, sooner or later. If the decision is retracted, reputation of Japan in the international relationship would be damaged. I am afraid that undecidable politics in Japan will be branded.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Life expansion and attitude in the US and Japan

An interesting survey about aging was performed in the USA.

Living to 120 and Beyond: Americans’ Views on Aging, Medical Advances and Radical Life Extension

Some suggestive results is in this report.

According to this report, the majority of American people do not want to extend his/her life with medical care. It may result from the bad image of prolonging life with some machines, or real adverse effects of medication. However, they seem to think that other people hope so.
What does it mean?

A similar situation is heard in the context of information about the untreatable disease.
In Japan, some surveys show that most people want to know the truth about their own remaining life. However, they seldom tell the truth to their family.

It also seems that the American people are quite optimistic about the future. American society is going to be aging one. Most people are not afraid of it.

Japan and some European countries have become aging society. The low birthrate and decrease of population weaken the national power, especially in an economic context. The US has accepted immigration from other countries for a long time ago. So perhaps American people are not concerned about the population composition itself.

On the other hand, in Japan, another survey shows that young people are satisfied with the current situation. According to Mr. Noritoshi Furuichi, a young sociologist, however, this result is extracted from the absolute despair in young people. He said that hopelessness about the future makes a person being satisfied with the current situation. It is a serious hypothesis.

I do not know what makes the difference in the attitude for the future of the two countries. I think the nationality cannot explain it enough.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blogger Summit coming

I applied to Blogger Summit 2013 which will be held on August 24.

Blogger Summit 2013 (in Japanese)

This is an event for bloggers to discuss and make a communication for each other. The conference will be held at Shibuya, Tokyo. The key speakers include Mr. Motohiko Tokuriki, Mr. Daisuke Tsuda, Mr. Masato Kogure, and a lot of famous bloggers.

As you know I am not a famous blogger, but a nameless one. On the other hand, I guess few persons writing a blog in English will attend the conference. The official language of this conference is Japanese. So native English speakers hardly participate in the event. I hope some English bloggers living in Japan whom I know will attend the conference.

According to the email I received, over 600 persons have applied to attend the conference. Moreover, the commissioner is willing to let the participants to invite persons who read blogs.

If you hope to attend this conference, I am glad to invite you.
I expect we will enjoy this time. And I will report the conference on this site later.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

To be confident not to be confident

Many people have some troubles in their business and daily life. Among them, I guess lack of confidence is the most frequent problem they feel.

A person who doesn't confident tend to feel that all other people than him are confident about the task they face. Then, people without confidence would avoid the challenge. It results in a failure, because he has not tried. It is obvious.

Lack of confidence is also widespread in people with mental disorders  Who have anxiety disorders or avoidant personality traits are typical. They regret the potential failure before the result is determined. They hardly try anything without adequate assurance.

I never recommend them to tackle with confidence. I do not advise them to prepare for the task in advance, either. They make the situation worse.

Confidence itself has no evidence. Nobody predicts the future exactly. Whether the attempt will succeed or not cannot be proven before the real trial. If you succeed, the experience of success will become the confidence.

So, I recommend you to try without confidence. The idea that the success should be predictable robs you of the confidence. Try without confidence. If fail, stop it. That's all.

On the other hand, pretending to be confident is preferable. Most human trust a presenter of confident. The human includes yourself.

Some people think that they would feel more shameful if failed. It is a point. It is quite natural to want to avoid shame. However, we often disguise our own mind, especially after the failure. We tend to think as if we predicted the failure.
Therefore, at least in a business situation, to be confident and to express the prediction clearly are important, even if it makes you to take a risk of shame. After failed, you would learn more about it with a temporal shame.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sherlock Homes and license of detective

The UK is a great country. There are a lot of products in the UK. Among them, I love Sherlock Homes.

Mr. Sherlock Homes is a world famous character in the novels  written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He is the most popular detective. His logical thinking style fascinates a lot of people.

He was born in the late19th century, but even now some creators are trying to produce new works related Sherlock Homes.

"Sherlock Homes" and "Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows" are the movies published in 2009-2011 in which Mr. Robert Downey Jr. acted a role of Sherlock Homes. In this series, Homes and Watson are described as tough guys, changed from previous images. Many action scenes are included in them.

In 2010, BBC broadcasted "Sherlock" as a TV series. This series is drastically arranged from the original one. The story is set in modern England. Dr. Watson is a blogger! Several high-tech machines are involved in the plot.

Of course I like Sherlock Homes very much. I have visited Baker Street where Sherlock Homes lived in.

Unfortunately, if Sherlock Homes revived now, he would not be able to work well. The England and Wales have decided to make a legislation upon private investigator.

BBC News: Private detectives to need licence

The Home Office in the UK is planning to give licenses for particular detectives who have passed the check.
Sherlock Homes has Cocaine dependency. So he would never be allowed to gain a license. How miserable!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Recent news about psychiatric examination

Recently, some news about psychiatric examination are focused.

Ms. Amanda Bynes, a famous actress in the US, was hospitalized in a psychiatric ward. She will appeal that she is well, but her parents seem to hesitate to let her free. She said she was suffering from eating disorder and she also have arrested for possession of illegal drugs.

Mirror: Amanda Bynes due in court fighting for freedom from psychiatric hospital

The Judge decided to re-investigate the mental status of Mr. Chad De Soto, who committed mass murders in Guam, to prepare for upcoming trial. The request of the attorney was accepted. He has been examined once, but the result has not been published.

Guam Judge will allow expert witness

On the other hand, Mr. Anders Behring Breivik who was imprisoned for a cruel terrorism applied for the university of Oslo, that caused a discussion. He has been examined twice by the mental health experts. Finally he was determined to be capable to stand a trial. He also wanted to be a defendant. Now he is willing to learn politics, perhaps to enhance his ideology.

Stars and Stripes: Norway mass killer applies for college courses

As far as I know, mass media seldom report the mental status of their offenders precisely. So I dare not to make any comments about them.
In general, however, it can be said that sensational crime often twist scientific opinion, especially among criminal responsibility. I hope to be politically neutral during psychiatric examination.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tricking employees in franchises

Recently, several cases that an employee acts inappropriately in the store occurs frequently in Japan.

For example, a part timer working at a convenience store took a photograph in which he lay in a cooler, instead of the ice cream. He uploaded the photo to the internet. He might think that he was just joking, but many people criticized his behavior. After that the head of the franchise made an apologize and dismissed the store itself. At last this convenience store was bankrupted.

There are other news. A man working at a hamburger store published a photo that he lay on a hamburger. Another man pushed a barcode reader into his crotch. I remember a case that an employee working at a beef bowl store heaped a bowl with extremely large amounts of beef to call it "tera sized!".
In each case, the employer decided to punish the criminal.

This kind of behavior seem to become a fashion in Japan. JCast news summarized them (in Japanese).
There are a lot of comments to the site. Most of them blame the criminals severely and claim that harsh punishment should be adapted to them. Their tone annoyed me. They seem to want to exile all the criminals. Actually, most of the criminals are normal, and rather stupid boys, I think.

I am interested in the reason why the criminals cause many troubles one after another.

I guess that the criminal intended only making a fun. To begin with, it is doubtful that these behaviors are worth to be called crimes.
Then, the criminal must not want to make a critical trouble after his trick.

Most of whom make an idea of this kind of trick gain the information via the internet. If so, it is no doubt that they have seen the undesired result from this trick. Nonetheless, they did act the behavior, to be punished.
Maybe, they did not consider that they would be identified. At least, they thought that they were not associated with the cases with punishment at all.

It is a little dangerous.
I think it is possible that the people who blamed the criminal strongly would be involved in a similar case.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mr. Bezos buy The Washington Post

Mr. Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder of Amazon has decided to buy The Washington Post, a famous newspaper in the US.

This purchase is by Mr. Bezos himself. He will become the sole owner. Amazon did not participate in this deal.

The Washington Post is a long lasting newspaper which was established in 1877. Its circulation is the 5th in the US. So this news is astonishing. 

The executives of The Washington Post welcomed the deal, for Mr. Bezos committed that he would not interfere the editing policy of The Washington Post. The domination of Mr. Bezos may let The Washington Post free from the influence of  traditional media organization.

On the other hand, Amazon itself is entering into the news industry. Recently, Amazon gained an exclusive interview with Mr. Barack Obama, the president of the US. This event outraged any other media.

Amazon is one of great companies. However, attacked by the media is not desired even for Amazon. It seems Amazon will try to have an influence on the news industry. I cannot think that this trend is not associated with the purchase by Mr. Bezos.

Actually, I love Amazon very much. But it is no good for us that Amazon becomes too gigantic.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Does breastfeeding enhance the intelligence of a child?

Breastfeeding is beneficial for the brain of children, is it true?
This opinion has been supported by some researchers for many years. However, to prove the precise effect of breastfeeding on the development of children is quite difficult. To perform a randomized controlled trial is almost impossible for the reason of ethical issue. The results of the experiments with animal models is hardly adapted to human. Moreover, this kind of discussion tends to cause emotional conflicts.

Recently, an article published in JAMA pediatrics, one of the top journals in this region, has become the center of public attention. Maybe the birth of a royal baby in the UK has enhanced the public concern to this matter.

Mail Online: Breastfeeding 'can enhance a child's IQ': Longer a mother chooses to feed baby the better their intelligence scores aged seven

Live Well: Breastfeeding boosts intellect in kids

According to this article, a cohort study showed that the mean IQ score of the breastfed children is higher than the bottle fed children by 4 points at the age of 7.
One of the originality of this article is that several possible biases were excluded with statistic techniques.

Infant Feeding and Childhood Cognition at Ages 3 and 7 Years: Effects of Breastfeeding Duration and Exclusivity.

Unfortunately, I have no account of JAMA pediatrics. So I could not read the whole article. Thorough investigation is needed to evaluate an academic article. Therefore, it is difficult for me to make any comments. Nonetheless, there is a quite simple question about this result.

How much important is the 4 points of IQ?

To be honest, IQ is only one standard. And, IQ is not a fixed number for a person. If you took multiple examinations to evaluate your IQ, the results would be varied. This difference may be statistically significant. However, the clinical value of the result is unknown.

It is also possible that some biases are not able to be evaluated properly. It is impossible to eliminate all of confounding factors with post hock analysis.

By the way, there are 412 articles found at the PubMed, a standard portal site of medical articles, with the keywords “breastfeeding” and “Intelligence”. It means that the relationship between them is concerned in pediatricians to some extent. In contrast, 206 articles are found with the keywords “influenza” and “schizophrenia”, indeed 14,742 articles about “cancer” and “fish”.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Demonstration in Taiwan against the military

A big demonstration occurred in Taiwan.

Today, over ten thousand people gathered at Taipei to protest against the abuse by the military.
A 24 year old guy died after a punishment of the military on July 4 2013. He had only 3 days left before completion of conscription term. He was found to possess a mobile phone with cameras which was prohibited. So he was forced to exercise in the hot sun to be fatal.

After his death, the military began to investigate this accident. The forensic report has determined that his death was not an accident but a result from faults of the military. Thirty three persons responsible for the case have been penalized already, of which 15 was charged. The defense minister has also resigned. Moreover, President Ma Ying-Jeou apologized officially. Nevertheless, citizens seem not to calm down.

The participants reached two hundred thousand, according to the sponsor. It is common that the scale of activity tends to be overestimated. Even if the real number of participants were one-tenth, however, it is no doubt that this demonstration is gigantic. The population in Taiwan is only 23 million. Over 0.1 % of all the Taiwanese have been activated. It was impossible in Japan even after the 3.11 accident of atomic power plants.

The government of Taiwan seems to face a difficult situation to deal with the military. Participation in the military service is a duty of citizen in Taiwan. However, this system of conscription will be terminated in 2014. I guess one of the reasons is hatred of the citizens. This demonstration may be also an expression of disbelief for the military.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Mr. Berlusconi is sentenced to 4 years

Now, it is Italian turn.
Mr. Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister of Italy, was sentenced to 4 years. It seems that he will be imprisoned only for 1 year due to an amnesty.

CNN: Silvio Berlusconi sentence: Is this the end for 'Il Cavaliere'?

Mr. Berlusconi had occupied the seat of prime minister for a long time. Meanwhile, he was infamous for his impolite behaviors. He was alleged to commit several crimes including mafia collusion, false accounting, tax fraud, and sex scandals.
The highest court judged he was guilty of tax fraud. Some other suspicions are being tried now. Whether he is deprived of his civil rights or not has also not been decided.

There are lots of politicians who were pursued all over the world. Some of them are imprisoned. We tend to think that a politician is familiar to crimes, compared to a citizen. But is it true?

Also in this case, some people claim that this trial is influenced too strongly by the political power. It easily occurs that a politician would try to disgrace others of opposite side with a suspicion of a crime. After the change of the ruling party, politicians occupied the seats in the past will face a danger of arrest. It is obviously harmful to both politicians and citizens.

In my opinion, politicians who committed a crime which was not so cruel need not be imprisoned. Additional levy is adequate against a financial crime. The disgrace itself is so severe punishment for them.


Friday, August 2, 2013

The 136 year sentence for Mr. Bradley Manning

On July 30, Mr. Bradley Manning, who leaked thousands of secret files belong to the US government to Wikileaks, was under sentence of maximum 136 years imprisonment.

Bradley Manning faces 136-year jail sentence for leaking files

Mr. Manning was found guilty of the 20 crimes identified by the court. The total term of the imprisonment will be over his rest life. This 25 year old man hardly gets back into society.

However, he was acquitted of aiding the enemy, extremely heavy crime. The court did not admit that his behavior was equal to an act of terrorism. This verdict struck the US government.
The US administration has pursued some other whistleblowers. The aim of the government is prevention, or threatening against more leakage cases. It is painful for the government to fail to make an example of a guilty case of aiding the enemy.

The Wall Street journal: Manning Acquitted of Aiding the Enemy

Nonetheless, it is horrible that a person who committed only a leakage is going to be jailed for life. Mr. Manning did not kill any person, nor damaged any property. After knowing that, Mr. Edward Snowden will never be back to the US forever.

This trial took only 8 weeks, since it began in June 3. Even if 3 years had passed after the incident, it is quite speedy. In Japan, it would take many more years.

It is also surprising that Mr. Manning is only 25 years old man. A young man ignited the US to terminate his own social life. Maybe it is one of the negative aspects of post internet era. I am doubtful he is sincerely willing to cause this result. His acts are illegal, but if he was dominated by transient indignation, it would be rational to give him a chance of repentance.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Argument against the comment by Deputy Prime Minister about the Nazis

Mr. Taro Aso, the vice prime minister, has caused a dispute. In a symposium in Tokyo on July 29, he referred to the Nazis during declaring to the necessity of revision of the constitution. Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso says government can learn from Nazi's example

The Diplomat: Taro Aso on Japanese Constitutional Reform: Learn from the Nazis

Several news sites expressed the comment of Mr. Aso as below: “The German Weimar Constitution changed, without being noticed, to the Nazi German constitution. Why don’t we learn from their tactics?”

Indeed, it is quite a questionable statement, if you take him at his word. However, a politician must not be willing to introduce the Nazis for the purpose of admiration of it.

The fact is that Asahi Shinbun published the full text of the statement of Mr. Aso in detail.

Asahi Shinbun: the statement around the revision of the constitution in detail (in Japanese)

He referred to the Nazis at the beginning. He said, “Some people refer to two-third (of the diet members have to agree with the revision of the constitution). But, Hitler rose and won the majority from the democracy in Germany.”

He seemed to offer an example of a failure of democracy with Nazis. Based on this part, it is clear what we should learn from it.

Every statement has its own context. If picked up, a piece of comments can be interpreted in any way. It is quite dangerous.

On the other hand, it is certain that this speech was hard to understand. Even if it is possible that Asahi Shinbun did not dictate his statement exactly, Mr. Aso is also infamous as a person who often makes a slip of the tongue. I do not know the fact, for I did not listen to his speech directly.

Some people claim it was his silly joke. If so, is it an extremely imprudent behavior? It is not the so simple problem. Of course I shall not mimic the Nazis. However, we have to analyze the theory of the Nazis, for the purpose of the real democracy. Current situation at which a mention to the Nazis is deemed as a taboo is a little questionable, I think.

After all, Mr. Aso retracted his remark today. He said that he had no intention to admire the Nazis at all and that it was quite sorry that his comment had been misunderstood.

The Mainichi: Aso retracts remark citing Nazis as example for constitution change