Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sequels in Mar. 2013

MAR 26, 2013

Election Administration Committee in Hiroshima entered an appeal to the Supreme Court about the decision by Hiroshima High Court as negating the result of past general election.
This appeal is predictable. They have to claim that their work was to be justified. I will watch the final judge of Supreme Court.


MAR 17, 2013

The first plan presented by Cyprus government was denied at the Diet. Instead, deposit over 100,000 euros is taxable for up to 60%, according to The Huffington Post. It is a nightmare for riches. Lots of concerns about the matter remain. The crisis of euro economy has not ended yet.


MAR 12, 2013

According to this article, EU revised the bill about this matter, not to ban all porn movies on the internet. Needless to say, this decision does not mean that violating women’s right is allowed.


MAR 4, 2013

The prosecutor indicted the suspect for some crimes about PC remote control. This means that the prosecution is convinced of his guiltiness. But the situation is still unclear. Defense lawyers are ready to fight.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Compleity around reward and punishment

Yesterday I introduced a question about attitude toward others in the context of war.
It is frequently discussed and now controversial.


Traditionally, we are willing to reward, good or bad. If you got a pretty gift, you would be happy and say thanks. If intruded, you would get angry, or escape. It is our instinct for survival.

In general, unofficial revenge is a crime. But in fact, when we are harmed by another, we want to retaliate against the offender. It is a natural emotion. Why?
All human have learning ability. If we had a hard time, you would not be willing to rush into the same situation. Then, revenge is a deterrent against recidivism.
Everyone has an experience of burning. So we are careful with the fire.
Punishment is a means to modify human behavior. From spanking a child to imprisonment penalty by a judge, there are innumerable punishments.
On the contrary, we are willing to do the same thing that we were past rewarded. Adequately rewarded behavior will be enhanced. It is difficult to withdraw alcohol or tobacco because these kinds of substance stimulate the brain directly to enhance the reward system.

Behavioral therapy is also based on this theory above, established by Mr. B. F. Skinner, an American psychologist.

Behavioral therapists are trying to analyze the targeted behaviors (usually unwilling ones; e.g. self-harm or smoking) of the client to make a plan to modify them. To delete a certain behavior, a therapist gives the client a punisher just after the behavior. Then the frequency of the behavior will be decreased.
(Needless to say, “punisher” must not be dangerous. The concrete contents of behavioral therapy are tailor-made and determined in advance, based on the consent of the client.)

Educational programs in school, performance-based pay systems are also based on the theory of behavioral therapy.

Then, we are back to the beginning.
Should criminals be punished?

Absolutely, yes! Evil behavior is not acceptable. They should be deleted. It’s a general answer.

However, recently I have experience exceptional cases, gradually increasing.

For example, recidivism by criminals is a big problem in every country. We cannot deal with the matter effectively. One of the factors is poverty. Almost all surveys suggest the relationship between crime and poverty.
So, if we deliver money for criminals, what will happen?

Based on behavioral model, people will commit more crimes, when rewarded.

Then, I have another question.
Nowadays, a lot of poor people are given money by the government. If the government stops the supply, what will happen? I am certain that the crimes will increase.

This imagination is so rough that we cannot reach the conclusion easily. It is not true at all that poor persons are willing to do wrong things.
I think that ancient reward and punishment model has some limitation. And in a modern complex society it is difficult to describe the whole structure of the society. For example, Japan is one of the safest regions, but the Japanese penal law is not so strict. The other day I introduced the book “Drive”in which the author said reward is not a good way to motivate people. In the context of psychotherapy, enhancement of motivation is a hot topic.

To punish the foe is an emotional justice, printed in our brains. But whether it is the fittest way to solve the problem is to be considered.

Friday, March 29, 2013

War begins? Current situation in China and North Korea

Recently, worry about the war is rising around Japan.

North Korea declared truce of Korean War nullified and provoked South Korea and United States repeatedly, even referred to usage of nuclear weapons.

The New York Times: North Korea Declares 1953 War Truce Nullified

Aljazeera: North Korea warns of 'simmering nuclear war'

On the other hand, Mr. Xi Jinping, the new President of the People’s Republic of China, has an aggressive attitude to Japan. Some reporters say China is considering to send troops to Senkaku islands.
Now Mr. Xi Jinping controls all of the Communist party, the Chinese government, and army of China. So he is ready to carry out his plan, if he hopes so. However, it is doubtful that China would gain enough benefits by attacking Japan.

Mr. Soichiro Tahara, a leading Journalist in Japan says that Japan has well contributed to the development of China in his mail magazine. China admitted this fact, so China is hardly willing to be hostile to Japan, according to him.
I agree with him. Moreover, conquering Japan is not so beneficial for China. Japan is a narrow country. Natural resources are poor. Financial status is not good. (But Japan has vast net foreign assets.) If conquered Japan, China would be suffering from severe headache as a governor.

How about North Korea? I think North Korea does not have the power to fight against the United States, as North Korea knows. So as far as both sides are rational, war would not occur.
However, North Korea is a despotic nation.
In general democratic nation is unlikely to cause war rather than despotic nation. One of the reasons is that thoughts of people are various. Democratic administration hardly can unite the will of citizens.
But Mr. Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea, is a dictator. Pushed to the wall, for example nearly losing status in his empire, he might lose rationality to push the forbidden button. It is the worst scenario.

Actually, no one wants the battle with North Korea. Benefit from North Korea is zero, or even minus. South Korea would be annoyed by a flood of refugees.

According to Mr. Kazuhisa Ogawa, a military analyst, feeding North Korea for a while, to negate the troublesome nation gradually, is the most reasonable strategy.

Of course the conclusion is unpleasant. Is it a good thing to be kind for a foe? Or it makes the status worse? It's a difficult problem. Behavioral science is struggling to solve this dilemma.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mr. Livedoor released

Yesterday, Mr. Takafumi Horie, past president of Livedoor was paroled.


Mr. Horie was an entrepreneur to establish Livedoor, an IT Company. He was so ambitious that he declared that he would grow up his company to the world biggest one. He had tried to be a Diet member of lower house. He also tried to purchase Fuji television, a popular TV station. But his behavior angered mass media. At last he was arrested in 2006 as a window dresser of financial reports.

After his arrest, Japanese stock piles got dilapidated, so called “Livedoor shock”. Some people said he was too greedy. Some claimed his case was an intrigue of prosecutors and mass media.

I do not know whether his behavior about the case was an evil one or a simple mistake, for this is quite technical matter. Assessing based on his descriptions of mail magazine and Twitter, I think Mr. Horie is just honest to his own desire.

It is said that his arrest withered young Japanese. the Number of young people who prefer to create business rather than be employed by a company is decreased in Japan. Maybe, many people thought risk takers were not rewarded in Japan.

Recently, Mr. Horie himself is concerned about space rocket to go out from the atmosphere. He says he is not interested in IT business now. Actually, he sells weekly mail magazine even during imprisonment to earn 100 million yen by year. He considers that the fastest way to make a dream come true is to get money and gather companions. He is unique and pure guy. I am interested in his action in the future.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Taiwan visiting for the second time

I visited Taiwan again, for business this time.



The institutions we visited are very fine and well constructed.
And I am thankful that workers there were willing to welcome us.
A forensic mental health system for patients with addiction in Taiwan is very interesting. I will write a report about this.

Taiwan is very friendly to Japanese. They are influenced by Japan. I found several objects from Japan.
This is "UFO catcher", a prize game machine.


On the other hand, Taiwan has unique historical culture.

After the working, I visited the National Palace Museum (Kokyu Hakubutsukan) at Taipei. About 700,000 amazing artifacts are preserved in this huge building.
Taking photographs is prohibited in the museum, except at the entrance hall.


I also visited Hsing Tian Kong ( Xingtian Temple).



This temple is dedicated to Guan Yu, a general in "Romance of the Three Kingdoms".
Guan Yu was said to be a fair and loyal man. So he is set up as a god of trade now.
Actually, I do not like Guan Yu so much. I think he was a little arrogant. Nonetheless Guan Yu is one of ancient superhero.

I am satisfied to look into Taiwan very much. I want to visit there again and again.

(For the first time: Journey in Taiwan)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Negated voting by Hiroshima high court

The Hiroshima high court determined that past result of general election in Dec. 2012 was invalid due to significant disparities in the weight of votes.

The Mainichi: Hiroshima court rules Dec. election invalid over vote disparity

In Japan, there has been some arguments about disparities in the weight of votes since 1990s. There are chronic disparities in votes, double in the lower house and even 5 times in the upper house. Some activists filed suits against the government repeatedly. Recently, the Supreme Court judged current circumstance as a violation of the constitution. Courts, however, had not negated the result of the election. This is the first time of declaration about the invalidation of voting by a court.

All parties published some comments after this judge. Some parties claim that the court decision is welcomed. It is a little ridiculous. I think that every lawmaker is responsible for the situation unimproved for a long time.

However, it is not so easy to change the system of voting by lawmakers themselves. They are concerned with the next election. It is acceptable that they are not willing to make any change to reduce the probability of reelection.

On the other hand, we citizen is also responsible. As I wrote before, voting rate is quite low in Japan. To claim about the disparity of the weight of votes without voting by ourselves is also ridiculous.

Now I am interested what the Supreme Court will judge about this. Generally Supreme Court in Japan is conservative I think. If the Supreme Court admits the decision of the High Court, Diet must be serious about this matter.


*sequel

Monday, March 25, 2013

Resign of Schavan: suspicious charge of plagiarism

Ms. Annette Schavan, German Educational Minister resigned in Germany because of plagiarism of her doctoral thesis which she got in 1980.


Mr. Bruno Bleckmann, a professor of ancient history at the university, announced the decision to deprive her academic title on Feb. 5th 2013, declared that Ms. Schavan had systematically and deliberately presented intellectual efforts throughout her entire dissertation that were not her own.


This scandal of course shook Merkel Administration. Ms. Schavan denied wrongdoing and indicated she would take legal action against the university. However, she resigned from Educational minister on Feb. 9th 2013.


Actually, I feel this episode quite suspicious.

Ms. Emi Kawaguchi-Mahn, a Japanese journalist, wrote about it in detail.


According to her, Mr. Heidingsfelder and his company investigated the paper of Ms. Schavan. He claimed that politicians should be perfect, at the interview in Hamberger Morgenpost. However Ms. Kawaguchi said that she felt belief of Mr. Heidingsfelder wicked.

I agree with her.
First, no person is perfect. If we voted for only completely competent persons, no one would be a politician. No one make decision. I think it is childish to have the belief that politicians should be perfect.
Second, almost all academic research papers have referenced part to some extent. Every research is a sequel to past one. It is nearly impossible to refer all origins specified.
Third, if Ms. Schavan truly plagiarized in her paper, Düsseldorf University must be responsible for letting her get doctoral thesis.

I hear sometimes about this kind of scandal of politicians also in Japan. Mass media report scandals repeatedly. But how is the meaning to reveal past behavior of politicians? Is it much more important than the ability of policy-making? We must consider about it.

In ancient Greek, citizens could vote for a person whom they wanted to exile (Ostracism).
However, it is said that Greek got weakened because talented men were exiled by the partial hostility of citizens repeatedly. At last citizens abandoned Ostracism.
We are not different from the Ancient Greeks, aren't we?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Motivation 3.0 and doctors

Yesterday, I introduced the book “Drive”, in which the author claims that internal motivation is derived from three elements. These are autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Book Review - Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Then, I noticed that there is an occupation which equips all of the three elements.

What is it? It is mine, a doctor.

The work of doctors is very autonomous. In Japan even residents soon after acquiring doctor license are responsible for the health of their patients. They make decision of treatment by themselves. The boss cannot interrupt the judgment of the doctor in charge in clinical practice. (Of course, we often discuss the strategy of treatment in a clinical conference regularly.) I remember that I was surprised at the influence of my order when I began to work at a hospital for the first time.

And, mastery of clinical medicine has been a way of life forever. We cannot control human life at all. Medicine has a history of thousand years. Nonetheless medical science is now developing, never completed. I guess almost all doctors are fond to learn more and more. A person without desire for improvement of his own knowledge and skills of medical science should not be a doctor.

Purpose of medicine is quite evident. Improving human life is worthy without doubt. But the purpose is not measured easily. There is a dilemma between mortality and quality of life. We have to find our own goals with patients together. The work is ethical and philosophical.

Then, the doctor is a work of motivation 3.0, isn't it?

I think I am blessed and happy to live as a doctor.
However, the way of doctors is also changing.

The cost for health care is increasing in almost all countries. Optimizing medical care system is needed. But there is a trap in it. It is possible that management of medical practice will introduce doctors to motivation 2.0. System with rewards and penalty can reduce the motivation of doctors.

In Japan, traditional philosophy of the doctor was altruism. Many doctors worked extremely hard for low amount of rewards. Some sacrificed themselves due to exhaustion. Instead, Doctors were fully respected by the citizens.
The current trend is changing. Patients are not satisfied to medical care in Japan. Sense of the values of modern doctors is various.

Are Good old days lost? Or new do we need new philosophy? I feel motivation 3.0 very near to me in this issue.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Book Review - Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" was written by Mr. Daniel H. Pink, who was a famous speechwriter and also wrote “Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself”.

I read it in Japanese. The title in Japanese version is “Motivation 3.0”. It is well translated I think.

The author claims that we have been controlled by motivation 2.0. Motivation 1.0 is human instinct for survival. And motivation 2.0 is a scheme based on rewards and punishments. We believed that motivation was made from rewards. However, it is not true. According to the author, motivation 2.0 often interfere internal motivation, to reduce creativity.
Motivation 3.0 presented by the author is composed of three elements. These are, “autonomy”, “mastery”, and “purpose”. Managing circumstance to enhance these three elements makes us work more effectively. Concrete tips to do are written in this book.

As you know, maintaining motivation is so difficult that we often abandon a certain task which is truly important. This book tells us how to encourage our team to accomplish a creative work. It is very suggestive.

This book criticizes the traditional idea about management. The author hates the word “management” itself. Administrating individuals with supervision and commands is not cool way to improve the outcome, the author says. His opinion is against traditional economic theory. Microeconomics explains various phenomena in the world with incentives of human. Behavioral therapists also use reinforcement with rewards and punishers for behavior modification of the clients. It is interesting that both economics and behavioral science is evolving. It seems that modern behavioral economics and cognitive behavioral therapy (e.g. Mindfulness) have introduced the thought similar to motivation 3.0.

This book is easy to read. However, theoretical background is not described enough. Criticism against motivation 2.0 was a little weak. Reading it as a scientific paper, it is not satisfactory. Nonetheless this is an exciting and fascinating book.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ask someone, or examine by yourself

Imagine a situation that you want to know something you are not familiar.
There are two choices. Ask someone or examine by yourself. Which is better?

It is an old question about learning.

Ask someone;
Pros:
1. It is very easy and quick, if you know a friend who is familiar with what you concern.
2. You can ask repeatedly in detail to understand deeply about the matter.
Cons:
1. When asked to wrong person, it will not work, often harmful.
2. You robbed a certain time of your friend. Some would be annoyed.

Examine by yourself
Pros:
1. You can learn about it as far as you wish. You need not disturb anyone.
2. If the matter is so rare that no one around you knows about it, or you hope not to be known that you are concerned about it, you have no choice other than do it yourself.
Cons:
1. In many cases, examining takes much more time.
2. Learning from books, videos, or websites is usually one-way. You can hardly check your understanding.

Old days for students, ask for help to someone was deemed to be poor behavior for students. Learning from textbooks in a library was ordinary method. And persons with vast knowledge are respected. Possessing valuable books were also important.
However, information technology has changed the world. Now wide knowledge itself has no value. No one can compete against Google search. Cost for information is reduced dramatically. Some amateur bloggers often write more detailed article than specialists. Everyone can become a scholar.
On the other hand, development of social networking let us ask for help to someone who are far away from us. Cost for asking was also decreased.

In the modern age the question above is nearly meaningless.
The true question is: Do you know someone you can trust about the matter? Or have you literacy about it?

Now, the information is not to be asked for but to be evaluated.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A riddle

Today I present you a riddle.
This is quite a simple one. I heard about it at noon broadcasting in elementary school. I do not know who created the riddle. I heard the question only, so I have not been told about the true answer, but I am confident about my own answer.
I will arrange the riddle, into English version.


She was my mother, a true beauty.
Every day he loved her and took good care of her.
End of summer, she died. He wept so heavily.
Damn it! At last he buried me alive!

So, who am I?



If you know the answer, please don’t write it clearly, for other visitors.

Actually, I think this riddle is not suitable for children. What did the speaker think at this time, it is another riddle.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Power Saving Applications for Android

For smartphone users, battery saving is a critical issue.
If battery is exhausted, your attractive smartphone will turn into a heavy block.

I use Galaxy S III by Samsung. This model is equipped a battery with 2,100mAh. This is relatively rich but not satisfactory. When I use Galaxy S III for internet browsing and e-mail checking, the battery cannot last full day. I have never used an iPhone but the situation is similar I guess.

So, I decided to introduce some application to save battery.

In general, battery-saving applications are classified into 2 categories; functional modulator and connection shutter. Some applications equip both functions.

Functional modulators modify automatically some function of smartphones. For example, they darken the touch screen, shut down blue tooth, and kill other active applications. I tried some of them. However, the effect on battery life is unclear. To begin with, I usually turn off any functions manually after using. Moreover, these applications often work erroneously. I have experienced that I could not turn off Wi-Fi of my smartphone.

The latter is stronger. This type of application makes smartphone disconnect to the internet (also 3G connections) continually. Synchronizing is made by a certain minute. You know that network connection consumes battery severely. So these applications can save battery effectively.
One disadvantage is loss of immediate connection. I tried Juice Defender, Deep Sleep, and others. All of them are not able to receive e-mail offered by mobile phone companies (Sp-mode mail by NTT DoCoMo) just in time. Some applications equip white list system, with which you can register some applications whose connections are not interrupted by the application. But these systems did not work correctly, as far as I tried.

After some trials and errors, I adopted Green Power. This application equips both functions above. I disabled synchronizing but let 3G connection free. The Battery lasts almost one day.
If you know more excellent application, please tell me about it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Surviving companies in future

Riskmonster inc. has conducted an interesting questionnaire.
“Which company will survive next 50 years in Japan?”

A total of 1,000 people responded via internet in Feb. 2013.
The best reliable company is Toyota, automobile company. Honda and East Japan Railway Company (JR) followed.

Companies gained many votes are very famous, leading ones in Japan. Many youngsters want to belong to these companies.
Nonetheless, I am a little anxious about these companies in the future.

Most of listed companies belong to manufacturing industry. Japan has developed as an industrial country. But now many industrial companies in Japan are struggling because of high labor cost and strong competitors in developing countries.
Panasonic, listed up as 9th in the questionnaire, is $8.5 billion in the red in 2013.

It is often occurring that an excellent company falls down. Japan Airline (JAL) was deemed to be essential in Japan, but bankrupted. Tokyo Electronic Power Company (TEPCO) was also an invulnerable company, but rushed into the inferno after 3.11 earthquake and tsunami disaster and following Fukushima atomic power plant accident.

Unfortunately, the Riskmonster did not describe the contents of this questionnaire in detail clearly. Whether the choices are specified is unclear. So, I cannot examine the value of the result.

Actually I can hardly predict the future. It is uncertain whether I am still alive 50 years after now. Almost everything will change dramatically. Even if most companies would bankrupt, I believe that some more fantastic companies would bear instead.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cyprus banks tax for depositors

Deposits in banks are frozen to be lost in Cyprus.

Cyprus government has decided to levy on deposits in Cyprus banks. The rate of levy is up to 9.9% for depositors who leave more than 100,000 euros in Cyprus bank.

Cyprus parliament meets on painful EU bailout deal

According to an evaluation of fiscal status in Cyprus performed in Jan 2013, 17 billion euros will be needed to save Cyprus from financial crisis. European Union (EU) rejected to pay all of this money. So Cyprus accepted to raise tax for depositors to gain partial financial support from the EU.

For depositors it is no other than a calamity. The New York Times also criticizes this policy.

Cyprus Goes After the Little Guy: The New York Times

However, it is not only citizens in Cyprus but also foreign investors to be attacked. Legislation about finance in Cyprus was so loose, that many entrepreneurs established FX industries in Cyprus to gather a large amount of money.

Financial traders tend to move their money from time to time for safer and effective condition on their investment. They may only have misunderstood about the risk of Cyprus. Such a terrible game!

Fortunately it is unlike that the crisis of Cyprus would influence other EU countries, even if the situation is still cautious.

Modern era is dramatic. The financial system is so vulnerable that we will be involved easily. Protect yourself.


*sequel

Friday, March 15, 2013

Google Reader withdrawal

Google announced that they would stop providing service of Google Reader, a service of news feed reader, in Jun 2013. They said that it was a part of “A second Spring of Cleaning.”

Google has a lot of free services, some of which were terminated. For example Google Health was a service to offer information of health, hospital and pharmacy for users. But it had been discontinued and data of users were deleted completely on Jan 2ND 2013.

Google Reader was deemed as a powerful tool to collect knowledge for individuals seeking newly information, such as bloggers. So it may be astonishing that the service will end for them. Some of a site started a campaign to collect signatures not to end the service. “Google:Keep Google Reader Running” gathered over 75,000 signatures.

Google explains decreasing of users as a reason for discontinuing Google Reader. Actually, there are many social network services (SNS) with which we gather both interesting and precise information now. Also Google has established “Google plus” as an SNS. So value of the news feed is decreasing gradually.
However, the real reason is different, some blogger says. According to them, nowadays it is difficult to monetize Google Reader effectively, and Google has no room to keep services which do not pay.

If it is true, Have Google changed to be evil? In the future, will Facebook or Twitter change as same? Does the world of internet so severe?

Actually, I am not familiar to Google Reader so much. Nonetheless I am sorry to say farewell to Google reader.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Roomba has come

Yesterday, Roomba was delivered to my home.

Roomba® is vacuum cleaning robot produced by iRobot Inc. It runs across rooms automatically to sweep floor with brushes attached and absorb dusts into their box.

Website of iRobot Inc.

I charged the battery of Roomba yesterday. A full electronic charge of Roomba takes 18 hours. And I booted Roomba today.


Wonderful!

Roomba moves exactly across the rooms. At corners of a room Roomba reduces its speed not to bump against a wall strongly. It can sweep almost everywhere of the rooms, including on a carpet. It is a little noisy but not so much than vacuum-cleaner.
When the electronic charge is nearly exhausted, Roomba goes back to charge-dock automatically. Scheduled sweep is also available with some kinds of Roomba. So using Roomba, I will need not clean my home up on my own.

Housework is heavy task not only for women but also for men. Washing machine lets us free from washing task. And Roomba has rescued us from suffering of sweeping work. It will help us, especially young women, to go out to get a job.

However, Roomba or other robots may deprive many more people of their cleaning job in the future.

Roomba is a convenient tool. But it makes us struggle for more creative works.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Porn movies extinction in EU?

Today a little terrible news appeared on my timeline. Report says EU may ban all of porn movies from the internet.

EU To Vote On Proposal That Could Ban All Online Pornography

EU parliament will decide to ban all forms of pornography to protect the rights of women.
According to Huffington Post, reported on the news more detailed, to be worried about is abuse of the new legislation.

European Porn Ban: EU Proposal Seeks To Regulate Internet, Ban 'All Pornography In The Media'

Regulation against subculture is not so simple. There are some problems about this matter I think.

1) Is prohibition of a certain expression good?
Freedom of expression is commonly accepted as human right all over the world. Of course, an expression which is likely to invade other people must be restricted. But to distinguish illegal porn movies form arts is very difficult. Many examples of trial exist about it.

2) Is pornography invading right of women?
There is a lot of wicked movies or photography which abuse women. They must be erased completely. On the other hand, some women are willing to strip to exhibit themselves. Moreover there are porn movies also for women now.

3) Does the prohibition of pornography reduce the cases of sexual abuse?
It is controversial whether pornography drives men to sex offenses or not. Even if it is true, it is doubtful that extinction of porn movies makes sex crime cases reduced. If porn is prohibited, the illegal sex industry would rise.

I guess that no one is opposed to eradicate invasion of right of women. For the purpose to make the means effective and reasonable is needed.


*sequel

Monday, March 11, 2013

English Madoka Magica

I am now watching “Puella-Magi Madoka Magica”.

About this marvelous animation I need not explain. If you have not watched, I strongly recommend it.

Last year I bought a series of blue ray discs at Taiwan with very low price. And now, I bought the DVD set in English version. Amazon.co.jp sells imported one in Japan. Amazingly, this one is far cheaper than the Japanese version. You can select Japanese voice also in English DVDs.


The reason I bought another one is to learn English with these DVDs.

In general, English voice actors are not suitable for Japanese animation, I think.
Japanese girls look like younger. And in Japanese animation, they are as if little girls. English language spoken by English adult actress sounds too matured.
But voices in Madoka Magica are quite fitted to the figure of heroines.

English spoken in this story is easy to listen. Grammar is not so difficult. Pronunciation is very clear. I know the storyline, so I can understand the conversation of the personalities.
I am very satisfied with English Madoka. I recommend this for animation lovers to learn English.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My dream, better than past

Everyone has a dream. I am not an exception. However, my one is not similar to others.

Become a professor, become a president, become a millionaire, become a hopeful bride, and so on. These are reasonable and ambitious dreams. But, I imagine their afterward.

My dream is to be better than yesterday.

To accomplish my dream, I must develop myself every day. I have to overcome a problem with which I could not deal with the past. And a big obstacle in front of me is to be defeated in the future.

If tomorrow is better than today, I can alive with hope.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to believe in the future. My power of the body is decreasing after my 20s. Mental energy will be exhausted in the near future. I will have to compensate lost potential for something other, which may be experienced, personality, or spirit.

Any human lose a lot of things in their life, especially in later life stage.
I hope I will believe in myself even at the moment of death. It is my ambition.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Prepare to TOEFL started

I decided to take an examination of TOEFL.

TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language is a standard of evaluating the ability of English. Students want to study abroad have to certify their English ability with TOEFL. It includes 4 regions of English utilizing, reading, listening, speaking and writing.

Compared TOEIC, TOEFL is not so common in Japan. However, in world view, TOEFL is more popular as far as I know.

Today, I read a textbook about TOEFL to recognize its quality as a tool for learning English.

The range of Questions in TOEFL is very wide. It examines not only English ability, but also some kinds of abilities demand for scholars. For example, in the speaking section, you are demanded to claim about your own opinion. The conclusion itself is not scored. But the process to the conclusion is looked into. The logical and clear expression is needed to get a high score. To be frank, I can lie about my opinion in TOEFL. Persuasive explanation is preferred.

Some people say that it is no use to prepare for examination, but I disagree. I think that training for TOEFL helps me to improve my skill in debate.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Free textbooks, my opinion

I think textbooks for some kinds of the specialty should be delivered for free.
For example, there are many popular textbooks about medicine. In psychiatric region, Kaplan & Sadock’s is most essential one. Almost all beginner psychiatrists are struggling for reading and understanding this. It costs about $90 in Amazon.com.

In general, books for limited readers tend to be expensive. The reason for this publishing cost. Bestsellers are printed well. If publisher print a large amount of books, the cost for each book will be decreased. Paperback hit the market with cheap price. Besides, books dealing a maniac theme are not selling well. So publisher cannot print a lot. The price increases. Academia textbooks are one of the examples.
Moreover, few people can write books about maniac themes. Few people can edit them. Personal expenses tend to be increased as well.

However, the environment around publishing has changed. Desktop publishing with PC or Kindle Store are now available. Digital publishing made cost for print free. Risk for dead stock is avoidable. That mean we can create a book of maniac themes with extremely low cost.

Now, personal expenses can be cut down. Writers of textbooks are professors of the university in general. They do not write textbooks to earn money to live. They teach their pupils to get money. Writing textbooks are one of tools to teach pupils, or raise their reputation. Many professors want to publish their own textbooks, even for free.
I also have written some textbooks as a co-author. I received no money for this task.

If textbooks are delivered to many pupils for free, they can learn about their specialty, not be annoyed by financial problem. Better education can improve whole society.
I want to write another textbook of psychiatry for free, to deliver whoever want to learn about psychiatry.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Second opinion

We sometimes hear the word “second opinion”.
It means to listen to another person about the problem, usually a medical matter.

Medical science is extremely derived to many kinds of specialty. No doctor knows all of the human body and mind. For example, I am a psychiatrist and can introduce myself as a physician in Japan. But I cannot treat a patient with severe pneumonia as well. As well, most physicians cannot treat severe depression like I can.
So no one can treat a whole human. But doctor in charge is to be consulted by his patients. When the patient is suffering from a certain disease which the doctor in charge is not familiar to, he would consult another specialist. It is a second opinion.

It is often misunderstood about the purpose of a second opinion. The patient met another specialist should visit the doctor in charge again to discuss the strategy of treatment. Even if he thought that the specialist doctor was superior to the doctor in charge (it is ordinary, as a specialist is superior to a generalist in the specific matter!), he should not apart from the doctor in charge. Otherwise it would be simply changing doctors.

However, in Japan it happens frequently.

One of the reasons is health insurance in Japan. All Japanese belong to national health insurance (or insurance for employees). Patients can visit any doctor, anywhere they like, to be treated by health insurance. All physicians are obliged to treat any patients in front of them. In Japan free access to health care is certified. This is one of the unique character of the Japanese social health system.
So a patient who does not believe the doctor in charge can change his doctor with free.

Therefore, patient-and-doctor relationship is hardly established in Japan, especially in urban areas. For patients, it is advantageous to choose the best doctor for him. On the other hand, it is difficult to give continuous therapy for a long time, which makes the problem around chronic disease more complicated. In psychiatric region, some patients change doctors very frequently, they are called “doctor shopping”.

In general, a second opinion is hard to function. When you were given an advice, which you do not agree with, you perhaps want to get a second opinion. But it is not second opinion, but you merely want to find someone to agree with you.

Monday, March 4, 2013

PC remote control crime cases

Japanese police is implicated in a crime game now.

In 2012, a juvenile guy was arrested because he was deemed to make a notice of a massacre at the internet. He made a confession about his crime, to be punished with the observation by the probation office.

Similar cases of notice of murders occurred subsequently. Some of the suspected were found to not guilty.
One person was prosecuted with the suspect of attempt for airplane bombing. However, it was found that the evidence showed that the PC of the suspect had been cracked by a malware which could manipulate it. It showed the possibility this suspect was innocent. So the prosecution was cancelled.

Then, some mysterious reports were sent to some mass media and lawyers.
In these reports, the author introduced self as the true culprit. And it was proved to be true, as the reports said about the series of crimes in detail. The cracker made a malware to control PCs of other people, to make them out to be blackmailers.

Everybody was astonished about it.

The cracker sent more reports including defiant puzzles, insulting the police.

On Feb 10, one person was arrested. The suspect is continuing to deny the crime still now. The prosecutor is investigating him.
Today, a would-be true culprit published his comment via internet. It is possible that he was just pretending to be the cracker for a fun.
The situation is still chaotic.

A case of PC remote control: Wikipedia (in Japanese)
*This Wiki describes the cases extremely in detail. It is also amazing.

Police False Arrests in Remote Control Virus Case Criticized: Japan Crush

These series of case are very horrible. I feel that as if Sci-Fi.
And many considerations are given to us.

The first suspected is truly innocent but the person confessed to the offense he had not done. It is possible that investigation of police and prosecutors forced him to make a lie. This is also terrible matter.

Mass media in Japan tend to report the cases as if the suspect were true criminal when the suspect is arrested. I think this is a vicious habit. Even if the suspect was proved to be innocent, it is difficult for him to recover his social honor.

Moreover, these cases show that we are all not able to be apart from crime. Cybercrimes and terrorism is nearer to us now.


(*sequel)

(**more sequel)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Evernote cracked, modern risk for security

Yesterday, I found my Evernote application was not working. I immediately changed my password of Evernote.

Actually, Evernote had been hacked and 50 million passwords were stolen.

Evernote hacked - almost 50 million passwords reset after security breach

Network security is a very important matter now. We are highly dependent on internet connection. If the internet were crippled during one day, a lot of people would be critically damaged.

Needless to say, most companies are taking measures against network cracking. However, I experienced some surprising cases recently.
For example, Sony was hacked and had to stop the service of PlayStation Network for a few months occurred in 2011.

PlayStation Network outage: Wikipedia

The cracker has not been clarified. Some members Anonymous were arrested to be released soon because of lack of evidence.
I cannot imagine the loss of Sony caused by the case. Cost for check and maintain of system, civil action and compensation and chance loss of sales are almost incalculable.

On the other hand, I do not know the merit for the cracker.

In general, goal of the professional crackers is to acquire personal information of customers. I heard some providers buy lists of personal information from crackers. But Sony or Evernote is too big to be dealt with. How much is the cost of the list of customers of Sony?

Nowadays, big data including personal information is growing more and more. At the same time, security risk and the scale of the accident are greater than they ever have been. We face great risk in exchange for convenience.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Life-work balance, a paradoxical word

Recently, I sometimes hear the word “Life-work balance”.

I do not know whether you use this word or not in other countries.
In Japan, all men worked hard at highly developing age after WW II to 1970s. Industriousness was a great virtue. I remember that a popular commercial song said “Do you work 24 hours?” in my childhood.

However, the sense of values had changed gradually since 1980s. Some people died after overwork. Women were struggling to get a high class job to fail.
And price bubble occurred in 1988. Some people spent enormous money for worthless purpose. A lot of people borrowed money to buy land.
In 1991, Japan bubble corrupted. Japan began to wander in economic maze. Over 30,000 people committed suicide in a year.

And now, we have not escaped from severe depression yet. Prime Minister Mr. Abe promises to save Japan from fiscal crisis. But the prognosis is unknown.

Now, not a few people take account on life-work balance.
I guess one of the reasons is that we know to make the effort is not always successful.
“Money does not make us happy. Effort does not bring money to us.”
“Do not work so hard. Attach greater importance to quality of life of you.”
So life work balance is important, they say.

However, I am doubtful for this kind of thought above.
From the beginning, life and work are not opposite concepts to each other. Of course, work is a part of life. If you thought that work was apart from life, you would be a ghost at work time!

There are three components in human life. They are, work, family and hobby. Moreover, one-third of life is sleeping. Then work cannot be independent from life itself. It is only one-fourth of life. The problem is how to deal with it.

Second, so called successes are all workaholic. Their “life-work balance” is distorted. Should you not copy them? My answer is “Yes”. If you hope for success, you must distort some balance of your life. It makes your own life unique.
Successes mean they control their life for their own desire. They cannot think about life-work balance.

Drop your balance. And you will do you should do.