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 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.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Problems about mental health in each country

Huff Post reports a problem around the mental health system in Virginia.

Huff Post: Long Before Deeds Case, Virginia Tech Massacre Pointed To Mental Health Service Gaps

According to this, there are some difficulties for functional mental health service: Lack of emergency beds, inadequate assessment of the patients, failure of sharing information among  practitioners.

These errors can also occur frequently in Japan. However, I was surprised to know some things happened in Virginia. Temporary detention order seems to rarely be adopted. I do not know the reason. In any places, there are patients who are needed to compulsory hospitalization, unfortunately. It is also quite rare in Japan that a patient discharge soon after the hospitalization.

Indeed, foreign report about mental health system is a little difficult to understand, since the scheme of public mental health are various be regions. How to deal with the patients with mental disorders often depends on cultural background and social resources available in each area.

In Japan, the landscape of mental health has three characteristics.

(1) Rich beds
Japan has large amounts of psychiatric beds. The number per population is doubled by western countries. There is a historical reason for it. About 90% of the mental hospitals is managed by the private sector. Thus, it is difficult for the government to control mental hospitals. On the other hand, almost all patients are able to be hospitalized without waiting a long time. It is an advantage in Japan.

(2) Familial aid
In traditional Japan, the family was responsible to take care of other members with some disabilities. Even now, compulsory hospitalization to a psychiatric bed requires a consent by a particular family member, as a principle. To maintain the outpatient care of the patients is also a task of the family. Instead, social resources such as Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) or Day & Night Hospitals has not grown enough yet.

(3) Opinion of doctors
In Japan, doctors, including psychiatrists have strong power to determine the strategy of therapy. When a doctor suggests an option, patients and family members are seldom opposed. Psychiatrists are also decisive in compulsory hospitalization. The judges and lawyers participate only in a special case under the Medical Care and Treatment Act.

It is meaningless to consider which system is superior. Each scheme has own argument.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Discussion about the harm of touchscreens for children

Recently, some researchers claim that exposure for excessive time to touchscreens is harmful for children. According to them, children who frequently use the devices with touchscreen can cause motor delays and/or decreased muscle strength. The American Academy of Pediatrics published a warning that children less than 2 years old should avoid these devices.

I think it is a pointless question whether touchscreens are harmful for children. It is no doubt that playing with only one tool for an extremely long time is harmful. There are no exceptions; iPad, other gaming, internet, soccer, baseball, and so on. Balanced activity is necessary for developing both physical and mental abilities, especially in childhood. Playing sports is healthy, although excessive training can cause fractures. If you write a lot of letters in a short term, you would suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.

Actually, human muscle cannot grow up without appropriate exercise. Nowadays, we hardly have an opportunity to handle heavy things. Ancient humans perhaps are more powerful. Instead, we take so rich nutrition that our muscle and skeleton are firmer than our ancestors.

So, will our descendants be not able to handle a pen with a hand in the future? Some Sci-Fi novels describe such aliens who are so weak. It is not a joke. However, I do not know which people are happier.

At least, there are no academic papers to refer to adverse effects of touchscreen use on children, as far as I searched. Indeed, it is difficult to identify the true influence of a certain manner on the development of children. The truth is still unknown.

Overall, it is appropriate not to incline to a certain method to joy a child. Various pleasures should be given to children, not limited to electrics, or athletics.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Downgrade of France by S&P

Standard and Poors (S&P), a representative bond rating company, decided to cut Frances credit rating to double A.

The Wall Street Journal: S&P Cuts France's Credit Rating by One Notch to Double-A

S&P have shouldered for evaluation of the credibility of bonds. The world economy is often strongly influenced by the statement of S&P. In general, the fact that S&P cut the rating of a nation is deemed as a severe crisis of the subject.

However, the current situation is unclear. S&P is criticizing the policy of President Hollande severely. Actually, it is no doubt that S&P dislike Mr. Hollande, as he stands by the side of the socialists, compared to past president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Mr. Paul Krugman, a world famous economist, says that it is only an ideological rating. He states that no one knows the absolute way to recover the economy. I agree with him.

The New York Times: The Conscience of a Liberal - Ideological Ratings

On the other hand, Krugman also has his own ideology. I think he likes big government more than little government. His column on the New York Times has a strong influence on the economy.

Making standard is one of most easy and decisive method to take control of a region. The situation is similar in academism. In psychiatry, DSM made by APA has ultimate power.

What should France do? Hollande seems to be calm. I think he need not be concerned about the rating by S&P. It is the most beneficial way for France to show some other social value other than economic growth. If so, capitalism represented by S&P will not able to interfere them. Of course it is extremely difficult, I expect Hollande to be another type of leader.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Equal payment bill will come in Swiss?

Swiss will be soon facing a big challenge again. A proposal which restricts the amount of salary for  executives will be voted.

Business Insider: A Proposal To Limit Swiss Executive Pay To 12 Times That Of Low-Paid Employees Has Fat Cats Worried

This idea is called 1:12 initiative. The content is that all companies are required to limit the ratio of salaries between the top and the bottom less than 12 times. This proposal was signed up by over than 100,000 people. Therefore, a national vote about this will be held on Nov. 24.

Swiss is also arguing about the introduction of the basic income. It is also a considerable issue, although I do not know the date of the vote.

My past entry: Basic income in Swiss: A challenge?

If these proposals are accepted, Swiss will dramatically change the shape of the nation. Every person can receive money the amount of which guarantee daily life without starving. It will definitely be a great help for poor people. In contrast some leading persons will lose a large amount of money. According to this report above, currently most companies pay their executives salaries that are more than a hundred times of their lowest-paid employees. It is not surprising at all. They will have to correct their earning portfolios immediately if the bill is realized. I guess then most of talented persons will go out from Swiss.

After all, I anticipate that both the two proposals will be rejected. Correction of inequality is a matter necessary to accomplish in developed countries. However, it is too difficult to be achieved by some bills. Our society is complicated. There is no solution that satisfies all.

Nonetheless, the system of the national vote in Swiss is quite interesting. It may help citizens consider the scheme of society and the life in the future.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Effects on the brain of the internet

Widespread of the internet has completely changed the world. We can hardly imagine our daily life without the internet. Thus, there are lots of opinions about using the internet.

Some people emphasize the harm of the internet. In Japan I often hear the opinion that internet search engine makes human dull and thoughtless. Others claim that much information available via the internet is incorrect. In fact, I sometimes meet a client who believes inaccurate knowledge acquired through the internet.

This article also warns the cautiousness of the internet use. I think the contents are well constructed.

Huff Post: This Is How The Internet Is Rewiring Your Brain

The author pointed out 4 cons. and 1 pros. of the internet.

Fact #1: The Internet may give you an addict's brain.
The fact that the internet using may cause a kind of addiction is generally recognized. Also I have an experience. But for my knowledge the evidence has not been enough established. Some biological research has performed to prove this phenomenon. However, it is more difficult to investigate the influence of the internet use than some kinds of drugs such as methamphetamine. Further study is needed. Nonetheless, I believe that the mechanism of addiction related some particular behaviors will be clarified in the future.

Fact #2: You may feel more lonely and jealous.
This is a little surprising side effect of the internet.  Most people using the internet want to connect with other people. It is ironic that they feel lonely due to the internet.
I guess this phenomenon is related to the rise of social network service (SNS), especially real-name SNSs such as Facebook. This type of services  lets the users know the real activity of the others. Then we have to compare with each other. It makes jealousy or other negative emotions. It is quite natural that human relationship often makes us tired.

Fact #3: Internet use may heighten suicide risk in certain teens.
This is a quite controversial matter. The internet lets us obtain vast information. It includes harmful topics.
Some people claim that regulation of the internet access is required for the youth. I partially agree with this opinion. However, it is also essential for the youth to get accustomed to the dangerousness. There is no way to get rid of all harmful information. The internet resembles a knife. Both are beneficial, meanwhile harmful too.

Fact #4: Memory problems may be more likely.
I cannot agree with this part. In fact most knowledge from internet surfing will be lost immediately. But there are many people utilizing internet learning effectively. This difference may depend on the level of concentration. In general, the more information we are given, the more strengthen the connection of the synapses is. It will enhance the ability of memorization.

Fact #5: But it's not all bad -- in moderation, the Internet can actually boost brain function.
I am also doubtful about this conclusion. The research the author refers compares the brain activities during reading a book and internet searching. Actually, the two conditions differ from each other. A display monitor is much brighter than a book. There are lots of meaningless stimuli on the screen while internet searching. I can hardly accept that these stimulations would be beneficial for our brain.

After all, the influence of the internet on the brain is not exactly identified. It is not a point that we determine whether internet is beneficial or harmful. We have to be wise users of the internet.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wolverine real but not impressive

I watched "The Wolverine" for the first time in the airplane in the last month..

This is one of the X-MEN series. I like these movies very much. So I expected this film would be also splendid.

The main field of The Wolverine is Japan. The title of this film was renamed into "Wolverine Samurai" in Japan.

Wolverine came to Japan to meet Mr. Yashida, who was saved by Wolverine in youth. Yashida called Wolverine to give him something good as a reward for his request.

It is life and death. Yashida knew that Wolverine was suffering from his own immortality. On the other hand, he wanted eternal life for the prosperity of Yashida family. He proposed an odd deal to Wolverine.

The deal was not completed. Yashida died soon. However, Wolverine lost his ability of healing factor. He became mortal for the unknown reason. Then, the successor of Yashida was stabbed by a group of assassins. Wolverine attempted to protect the lady Mariko.

This is the storyline. It is not surprising that Wolverine lost his healing ability. If the hero were immortal, the audiences would not be able to be excited with thrill that the hero can be killed. The past work "Wolverine X-Men Zero" was a story when he was young. So all audiences knew that he would survive the tough situation. But this film is a sequel to "X-Men: the Last Stand". Therefore the last scene was not revealed until the end of the movie.

To be honest, I think the plot is too simple. Although the action scenes are amazing, I was not so impressed with the story. Japanese cities described in this film are quite real. Foreign audiences perhaps enjoy it. Some American movies such as "Kill Bill" twisted the image of Japan. It is funny but misleading. In contrast, The Wolverine is sincere.

I am not satisfied completely with this film. "X-Men: First Class" was superior. And "The Last Stand" was supreme.

Personal Rating: 3 (fair)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Forensic mental health WEB conference 2013

Today, we held an internet conference regarding forensic mental health, entitled "Forensic mental health WEB conference 2013".

We have performed this kind of events annually since 2008. Several institutions which engage in forensic psychiatry participated in the conference. The conference is a closed session. Thus, the participants can open detailed discussion with their clinical experiences and statistic data.

Today, we offered some agenda, for example Clozapine use in special hospitals.

Clozapine is one of the medicine which is effective for improvement of the symptoms of schizophrenia. It is now the only solution for treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Its clinical use procedure is strictly regulated since it sometimes causes lethal adverse effect.

Forensic patients are hardly accepted at usual institutions due to their history of the crimes. It sometimes occurs in Japan that a mental clinic refuse to treat an offender with mental disorders. In fact, dealing with troublesome patients with safe needs rich human resource and infrastructure.

In addition, the hospitals can offer Clozapine therapy to patients is limited. The regulation requires some conditions such as a close connection with specialized physicians to provide Clozapine therapy. Only a few hospitals satisfy this regulation in a prefecture.

Therefore, forensic patients taking Clozapine are more difficult to accept in a mental hospital.

Clozapine is a powerful drug. Some patients are much improved with Clozapine. Forensic patients really need Clozapine for their clinical improvement. However, if we give Clozapine to a patient, it will make difficult to find an outpatient clinic in his hometown after discharge. It is quite ironic.

We discussed this problem for one hour. Both the development of a collaborative relationship between the hospitals and the improvement of the skill among psychiatric medication are indispensable. There is no magical solution. Nevertheless we are willing to struggle for a better future.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Same sex marriage

Hawaii is going to legalize same sex marriage, according to Huff Post.

Huff Post: Hawaii Senate To Take Final Vote On Gay Marriage

Now only 14 states in the US have legislation to allow same sex marriage. Thus, the majority of the US seems to hesitate to consider this issue. I remember that a broad argument rose when President Obama made a comment to be the side of gay. I was a little surprised to know that the nation of freedom was so conservative.

To be honest, I have no opinion about same sex marriage. Anyone can get coupled with the sweetheart of him, I think. It is his own choice. I dare not to interfere with him.

To begin with, marriage, as a traditional system, is nearly dead in developed countries. Recently, one-third of the couples is expected to divorce. Marriage as a lifetime contract is not deemed as a common sense, at least in the statistics.

In Japan, the right of inheritance of an illegitimate child is now under discussion. Current law regulates that they can succeed only the half of estate compared with legitimate children from their parents. This scheme is criticized as a discrimination against love children. I agree with this claim. It is no doubt that Japan is far more conservative than the US.

I anticipate that the concept of the family will be vague in the future. Children will have to be nurtured by the society, not only by his family members. Then, whether same sex marriage is accepted will be not so important.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Memories of class

Today I attended a dinner party with my colleagues. We ate delicious Yakiniku beef with quite low cost. I was completely satisfied.

On the seat, we made a conversation about my old memory.

When I was a junior high school student, I met many teachers who were very interesting. I remember some of them very clearly even it was over 20 years ago. They held informative classes at the school. But then I did not notice the true meaning.

For example, I remember a teacher who covered politics. In common, politics is one of the worst classes in junior high school. It was boring. In addition, I was so young that I could not recognize the relationship between policy and our daily life. I think it is not surprising for a schoolboy.

So I nearly fell asleep at the beginning of the class. Then, the teacher wrote a message on the blackboard with big and dirty letters.

"Even if you forgot the policy, the policy would catch you."

To be honest, I could not understand the meaning of this message. Of course I could read the sentence. But I did not imagine the day when I have to consider about policy making of Japan.

Now, our daily life is influenced by the lawmakers considerably. Hiring options such as white collar exemption and regulation of terminable labor contract are critical topics. The organization I belong to will face a crisis of corruption if the Diet makes some bad decisions. Now I know that the policy is easy to save, and also destroy our lives.

Now I am thankful for my teachers. At the same time, I am willing to teach my students about something worth to remember in the future.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Value of Twitter

Since 2000s, a lot of social networking services have launched. There are more than 1 billion accounts on Facebook in the world. Twitter has been listed followed Facebook. Now SNSs are essential infrastructure in daily life for many people.

I use some SNSs actively. I have an account on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and ResearchGate. The other day, I was also interested in LinkedIn.

However, some people describe about adverse effects on SNSs, such as internet addiction, bullying on the internet, and boiling criticism against inappropriate posts. Virtual happening sometimes cause negative effects on our real life.

I often think that we have not been accustomed to utilize the internet, especially SNSs. It is about 1995 that the word "internet" broadly spread. Twenty years is not long enough to evolve a technique to a culture. We have to do trial and error for a while.

Among several SNSs, I like Twitter the best.
Twitter is deemed as a "loose" SNS with the anonymous setting and limitation of posting length. But these characteristics are not the reason why I favor Twitter.

Twitter does not need approval.

When I follow someone's timeline, I never ask the person in advance. If I was followed by others, I need not to know the persons who are interested in my tweets. I seldom send mentions to other users, direct message either.

I do not hope to connect with other people every time.

Twitter is a medium, rather than a communication tool for me. In addition it has a role of a channel to broadcast my opinion, if necessary. I like this kind of availability very much.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Madoka Magica the next movie, whose rebellion?

Today I watched the new movie of Madoka Magica in cinema. The title is "Madoka Magica Shinpen: Hangyaku no Monogatari" [Puella Magi Madoka Magica the new book: a story of rebellion]

Madoka Magica Official Web site

I like this animation so much that I wrote some times about this.

What Madoka Magica tells us
English Madoka Magica
Madoka Magica the movie

However, the story of Madoka Magica was perfectly completed at the end of the scenario. Therefore, to be honest I did not hope the release of sequential series.

So how was the next Madoka Magica?
Extremely surprising!

The beginning of the scene, Madoka and her colleagues, Sayaka, Kyoko, Mami, and Homura are willing to work together as magical girls. Their mission is to purify the nightmares which are made by negative emotion of human. A tiny creature "Bebe" is always accompanied with "Mami Tomoe" the leader of Magical girls for a long time.

If you have seen the original Madoka Magica, you must notice that this storyline is quite irrational.
In the true story, Madoka sacrificed herself to change the rule of the world to vanish a warped relationship between magical girls and witches. Sayaka was dead through the process. Furthermore, Madoka has reincarnated into the absolute entity, Enkan no Kotowari [Circle Rationale].

So it is impossible for the heroines to meet together again!

In addition, it is no other than a black joke that Mami and Bebe are old friends. In the past, Bebe killed Mami! Every guy who saw the scene were strongly shocked. Never forget!

Therefore, it is easy to guess that this opening scene is a fake. Perhaps an illusion.
In the story, Homura was the first person to notice the trick. She tried to reveal the backbone of this ridiculous fantasy.
However, the story would develop in the direction no one can imagine.

I dare not to describe the truth in detail.
But I am convinced that this opening scene is a dream of everyone, not only for the magical girls, but also the audience.

It is a traditional theme not willing to be awakened from a sweet dream in literature. We always see only the things we hope so. As a film, "Matrix" is a good example.
It may be ourselves to make a story of rebellion through having an impossible dream that magical girls are collaborating.

Friday, November 8, 2013

My best computer games (3) Master of Magic

My best computer games (1) OBLIVION
My best computer games (2) Baldur's Gate

Master of Magic was a turn based strategy game created by Simtex. Its system is similar to Civilization, a quite famous series of simulation games. Master of Magic was originally made with MS-DOS, and transplanted into Windows, and PlayStation as "Civizard".

The goal of this game is to conquer the world composed of the two regions, Arcanus and Myrror. The world map is randomly generated as you begin to play.

You can create a wizard who has some magical talents. You choose a total of 5 schools of magic; life, death, nature, chaos, and sorcery. Each school includes 40 unique spells. The more you pick the books of magic, the more powerful spells you can invent in the game. You also choose some special abilities instead of the magical books. These are a lot of variation by making the wizard. It helps the game worthy to play repeatedly.

To accomplish the goal, you have a couple of choices. Defeat all enemy wizards with troops, or complete the Spell of Mastery. You must create a huge army to win the game. The spell of Mastery is extremely difficult to develop. The choice is yours.

This game is so addictive that I played it more than ten times.
Recently I got it with And now I am playing again.
My highest score is about 7200.

Civizard is also now available with PS3. The software is sold at recycle shops. The graphic is more beautiful than the original version. However, Civizard is more difficult to complete because enemy wizards are stronger. In addition, this works slow. So I recommend the GOG version.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Appeal to the Emperor, rude act of Taro Yamamoto

When I was in the USA, an astonishing event occurred.

Mr. Taro Yamamoto, a member of the Upper House, handed a letter directly to the Emperor at a garden party on Oct. 31. He said that he had written the letter regarding the current fear of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. His intention was to appeal the danger of nuclear power.

His behavior was broadly criticized.

A major criticism is that he was attempting to utilize the Emperor for propaganda. The Emperor of Japan is an only symbolic leader of Japan. He does not have a certain force to influence on changing policy. His action is odd as this fact is a common sense. On the other hand, his behavior was broadly picked up by the media. It helped him to be known widely as an anti-nuclear activist. So he achieved his goal on his stance. Many would consider this as a political misuse of the Emperor.

Of course, it is another criticism that handing a letter directly to the Emperor is considered as an extremely rude act.
By Japanese law, any appeal to the Emperor has to be done through the cabinet. The procedure of Mr. Yamamoto's actions are considered as actually illegal. Thus, the Emperor refused to accept his letter. A person nearby accepted the letter at the time.

On the other hand, there are some people who approve Mr. Yamamoto's action. To these people he is deemed as a hero who is willing to do anything for his ideal.

In my opinion, Mr. Yamamoto's action is very naive.

The Japanese have to be extremely cautious in matters in concerning the Emperor. Lessons learned from the WW II suggest that we have to err on the side of caution as it may cause an abuse of political power.

In addition, his basic knowledge regarding the nuclear power is very poor. His comments about nuclear power was irrational. Apparently, nuclear contamination in Fukushima prefecture is a big problem. However, most scientists think that citizens in these places have no significant risk to develop cancer in the future.

I feel that Mr. Yamamoto was naive in both his thought and his behavior. It is shameful that a member of the Upper House would make such a display.

However, I do not believe that his actions warrant his resignation. One rude behavior does not justify extreme punishment. Making sure that Mr. Yamamoto is not reelected IS our responsibility.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Travel to New York (2)

The climate of the New York city was unstable when I visited. I encountered a storm. But after that it was a beautiful sky.

Some people said that England cuisine was quite bad. Another said American cuisine was also bad. I confirmed that the latter was incorrect at least. I enjoyed some meal in New York.

This is linguine I ate at a lunch. Taste good.

The first night in New York I had a dinner at a bar nearby the hotel. The Caesar salad was not bad but crunches of bread were too big.

And it is a hamburger! A soul food of America.

A translator recommended us to visit the restaurant, named Landmarc.

I ate an Angus beef rib-eye steak. Tasted great! It was far different from Ohmi-Gyu, but also ultimate.

By the way, the CNN presented Potato Chips and Butter Pop Corns as very best foods in the world.

I enjoyed staying in New York. It was also informative for me.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Travel to New York (1)

The last weekend I went to New York to visit some facilities of mental health. So, I traveled abroad again just after coming from Belgium. I am so tired.

I landed at New York JFK airport. It was a tiny airport.

New York city is one of the biggest cities I have ever visited. There are tall buildings all around there.

Most buildings had modern shapes. But there were some traditional architectures.

The day of the first I had time to walk around the city. So I visited the Museum of Modern Art.

Lots of pictures, photos, and statues were presented in the place. Unfortunately, most of them were too difficult for me to understand.

The hotel I stayed was gorgeous but not so comfortable.
The room was good.

However, the view was bad. Nothing to see.

Some of my colleagues are annoyed by the elevators which were very slow.
I had noticed the hair dryer was not working well.

The hotel did not equip breakfast service. So I went to another hotel nearby.

The breakfast was very nice. I hoped I had stayed there if possible.

(To be continued)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sequels in October 2013

October 20, 2013
Failure of washing machine

My washing machine is still working just now. But it often troubles. Extremely annoyed when stopped, I made an appointment with a customer service technique. It will be the day tomorrow. Then, I am not confident to explain the symptom occurred on the machine exactly. If it were broken completely, it would be more simple to deal with.

October 14, 2013
Paradox of anti-meeting

Ms. Ushijima tweeted that nobody who was willing to participate in the anti-meeting had come. Besides, someone took her photograph waiting at the place in secret.
She said that it was an ungentle behavior. I agree with her. There is a lot of the criticism expressed by an anonymous. It is not productive to take account of the opinions in such impolite persons, since most of them have no intention to open a mutual conversation.

October 2, 2013
The US budget crisis

Finally, the opposite Republican Party accepted to promote the budget of the USA. It made the US economy work in safe, although several problems were kept unsolved. This event resulted in the victory of Obama administration.
It was predicted. An operation with excessive risk of sacrifice would hardly succeed.