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Xeno23Apr. 16, 2014 - 11:53AM JST
We're all gonna get soooo burned out by this race; it'll be ridiculous. The wannabe candidates will flame out early and all we'll have left is a handful of monied mouths who'll soon run out of stuff to say, unless they turn to gasp policy issues.
Maybe as we get really bored, a couple of darkhorses will show up late in the game and make things interesting, which would be a good strategy, actually. If candidates are smart, they'll play a longer hand. And the culture war hand-waving? That's gonna be a circus.
Posted in: 2016 presidential race off to an early start
Xeno23Apr. 02, 2014 - 11:35AM JST
Get it when you're still young enough for any correction to last for a reasonable length of time.
Quite a number of my later middle-aged friends had it done, and it was great for a while, until their eyes started to naturally change. In a couple of cases this was only a year, or two, and then they had to wear glasses again. So, was it worth it?
My own optometrist, who's highly trained, and regionally known as a top specialist, told me not to do it. I'd need glasses in a year again anyway.
Posted in: What do you think of lasik eye surgery?
Xeno23Mar. 29, 2014 - 03:18AM JST
I don't get why not being "plugged-in" is somehow better than being so - seems like an outdated notion to me. I'm never far from a device that's on and connected. Even when I'm sitting quietly reading, it's with an e-reader. I'm not particularly distracted by my devices, they serve my needs, I don't serve them. I can tune out quite nicely, and still have my smart phone in my pocket.
Posted in: In our plugged-in culture, with all its devices, how often each week do you switch off, tune out or enjoy some time alone without any electronic distractions?
Xeno23Mar. 17, 2014 - 05:12AM JST
In any discussion on the future of power supply technology, making arguments based on existing infrastructure to oppose future infrastructure is not rational. Most existing infrastructure is old, and nowhere near the state of the art. Remember, this is technology we're talking about, anything older than six months is probably already obsolete. Basically, if you aren't up on the latest developments, you don't know what you're talking about.
This is true for projected renewable energy technologies just as much as it is for projected nuclear technologies. A lot of very reputable studies have been conducted in the past few years which project that 100% reliance on renewable sources is feasible. But also, Generation IV nuclear reactor technologies are so much safer, reliable, efficient and easier to maintain, it makes current reactors look like dinosaurs.
The real key to the issue is to NOT stop technology development for irrational reasons, so we have a choice in the future of power supply, and a capacity for meeting our needs. Yes, we should take steps to mitigate risks in our current infrastructure - that's entirely rational. And if it means shutting down aging reactors maybe that's the correct thing to do.
We also have to recognize there's a significant cost and bring-up gap when implementing a new technology, so in the mean time, something has to fill the gap, or we decide to just do without for a while. Or use an otherwise undesirable technology for a limited time. The range of solutions isn't the problem, our will to engage them, or our ignorance and irrationality in not engaging them is the problem.
Posted in: Thousands rally in Tokyo against nuclear power
Xeno23Mar. 13, 2014 - 04:03AM JST
Wait what? Given the overwhelming complaints about American hegemony and over-reaction in other areas seeing America take a more nuanced approach is bad? It's only just starting, vis military budget cutbacks, but if we're seeing the first steps toward an America that doesn't jump first and ask questions later, wouldn't this be a logical extension of that? Isn't that a good thing?
I have no illusions about America projecting its power; no naivete about the whys or wherefors - nor the hyperbole, the politics, the vested interests, the hypocrisy, etc. but isn't a less overweening America what everyone wants? Aren't American ultimatums and line-drawing things people hate?
Posted in: Japan, U.S. differ on China in talks on 'gray zone' military threats
Xeno23Mar. 13, 2014 - 03:34AM JST
A large part of it has to be language. To say Japanese or Westerners love their partners any more, or less, is silly. People are people and love is love.
From what I know, there just isn't an equivalent word in Japanese for how Westerners use the word "love". Americans in particular like single syllable words they can load up with huge amounts of meaning, variable on inflection, that can also be casually delivered. This doesn't mean the sentiment is casual; it's just shorthand for a whole bunch of stuff.
It seems to me that suki, daisuki, or aishteiru aren't the same ready expressions as the Western "love", not because they aren't equally loaded, or don't mean love, but because casual delivery isn't comfortably accomplished. Of course, we can argue forever over whether or not, Japanese culture even allows for this kind of glib communication. For example, If it needed an expression, there would be one.
One of the primary reasons Westerners say "love you" so much is to quickly touch base; it's a ping. It's also an incremental acknowledgment and reinforcement, and that's not nothing. Even if it's second nature. But if that's not part of one's cultural imperatives, then so what?
Posted in: How come Japanese couples don't say "I love you" to each other as often as their Western counterparts?
Xeno23Mar. 02, 2014 - 04:23PM JST
Five years, because that gives you four years, eleven months, and two weeks to do nothing. Or maybe it just takes that long for the two guys doing the work to start at the northernmost tip of Hokkaido, and work their way down to the southernmost tip of Kyushu...
Safety manuals are great. I knew a coworker who labored diligently away on one for two years, and when it was finished, so much of it was obsolete, it was summarily canned. He had to start a new one.
Posted in: Bridge and tunnels to be inspected every 5 years
Xeno23Mar. 02, 2014 - 04:11PM JST
What the heck does that mean: "...today's world situation"? Is English suddenly more important today than it was yesterday? Or, I dunno, twenty years ago? Given today's world situation, wouldn't Chinese be a better focus?
The whole English education in Japan thing seems like a red herring, or a convenient hullabaloo to me. It's the same rallying or hollering points it's been for, what, thirty years, more? Has there been any substantial improvement?
Posted in: English education is an issue of critical importance for Japan in view of today's world situation. A simple and powerful initial step would be to raise university exam levels to the global standard.
Xeno23Mar. 02, 2014 - 03:56PM JST
Back when I was a computer engineering manager in Silicon Valley, and was collaborating with Japanese firms, whenever my counterparts said they were "puzzled" what it really meant was "we think that's wrong". No one in the Japanese government is puzzled by this. Like, they're sitting around, heads tilted, scratching their pates, and going "Hehhh?" Not.
Posted in: Japan says it is puzzled by new China WWII national days
Xeno23Mar. 02, 2014 - 03:41PM JST
Any pizza after ten pm and half a dozen beers is great. Before that, with fewer beers, it's usually just good.
Posted in: What's the difference between a good pizza and a great pizza?
Xeno23Feb. 27, 2014 - 11:32AM JST
Are we so afraid of an irrational minority that we have to enact laws to stifle them? Just so we'll feel safe in our grasp of a historical truth? Do we believe our knowledge can be hijacked, intellectually mugged, threatened to the point that we, ourselves, will abandon it?
Do we genuinely worry there won't be enough rational, correct, truthful voices, or available fact and evidence to effectively counter such crazy hollerings? Is the possibility the entire world won't remember so imminent and dangerous, we have to do something like this?
If the answer isn't "no" to any and all of the above; then there's a way bigger problem.
Posted in: Should Holocaust denial be a crime?
Xeno23Feb. 13, 2014 - 10:58AM JST
I went looking for the source article, and found a few references, but couldn't find if Mr. Cossa said anything further. The question is whether this is true, or not. If I were the PM of Japan, I'd sit down with the PM of S Korea and say: Look, let's work on resolving this. What, exactly would it take?
I fully expect there'd be no immediate answer, so I'd suggest a cooperative research committee designed to understand what a strong majority of S. Koreans AND Japanese would find satisfactory. It cannot be a committee comprising politicians or other civil leaders, it has to be composed of academics: sociologists, psychologists, economists, historians, etc.
There could be an advisory panel of civil leaders attached to the effort BUT, and this is really important: the proceedings have to be contained, and an objective study of the topic cannot be hijacked. After the initial study is complete, a program vetting its conclusions with the public would be engaged, and any necessary cycles of revision carried out.
Once a definitive course of action is found to be satisfactory, and mutually agreeable to all parties, the governments MUST lock it down as the official word henceforth. Both governments would have to say: here's the deal, now shut up, and let's get on with other business. One of the critical points everyone would have to agree on is that it's going to be painful, to some extent, for everyone - so toughen up, and get real.
The same could be done with China.
Posted in: The Japanese seem to be of the view that whatever they do will not be enough to satisfy the Koreans, so why bother?
Xeno23Feb. 01, 2014 - 03:31AM JST
I worked with their first record label, and was on the promotions team for their first LA show at The Whiskey A Go Go in 1981. Frankly, I'm amazed they've lasted so long. Most of us thought they were a soon-to-pass gimmick band. Still have a demo pressing of Too Fast For Love.
Gotta say, not really a fan, but that was a good show. I was always more a Black Flag, Dead Kennedys kind of guy. For a very short time, there was a crossover Punk-Metal approach to the Crue in LA, but that didn't last long.
Posted in: Motley Crue to retire, plan 72 goodbye concerts
Xeno23Jan. 25, 2014 - 04:19AM JST
Noting that this is just a statement, and otherwise means nothing, artificially imposed goals are a kind of prejudice - well intended maybe, but ultimately counter productive. What the government should do is put teeth into equal opportunity laws, so that anyone who's qualified has a shot at a given job regardless of gender, race, creed, etc.
Fulfilling goals like this always ends up in such a weight of unsatisfactory situations that it exacerbates prejudices. Merit and qualification should be the only considerations. Add stiff penalties for violation of equal opportunity, and you have your solution.
Posted in: The government should urge companies to set goals for appointing women to managerial and executive positions.
Xeno23Jan. 25, 2014 - 03:58AM JST
Interesting. A lot can be read into these comments, but there's very little to gainsay or criticize, and they have an uplifting spin as well as a vague admonition. Perhaps an indicator that her behind-the-scenes people and handlers aren't idiots - which would be refreshing, no? How many face forward politicos can we say that about?
Posted in: Kennedy weighs in on topic of wartime history
Xeno23Jan. 09, 2014 - 03:30PM JST
This article says nothing about one of the primary reasons companies are considering this: vacation accrual is a $ compensation that must be carried on financial ledgers - it affects OpEx and P&L. By getting rid of this, an expense is mitigated, if not hidden. I worked for one large company that went this route, and they openly admitted this was one of the drivers.
After a year in place at the aforementioned company, in all the departments I had visibility into, the effect was that people took LESS vacation time, and were more stressed out about what it meant to go on vacation. With an accrued vacation balance, an employee had a bit of a stick, since the company couldn't gainsay that compensation in any way.
Laws in my locale still require vacation allowance, but with this new format the company has an improved bargaining position, and the employee has less leverage. This wasn't lost on any of the people I knew.
Posted in: U.S. workers, employers test 'unlimited vacation'
Xeno23Jan. 09, 2014 - 03:02PM JST
People can say whatever they want when it makes no difference, but I suspect the number would change if there was a significant upside to their business. Business people are business people all over the world, so if something is good for business, the tune can change in no time.
How many of these poll respondents even have an opportunity for doing business with a Japanese concern? Those who don't shouldn't be included. Unless, of course, the point is to stir up a bit of noise - in which case, done.
Posted in: 60% of Chinese execs say they cannot work with Japanese firms
Xeno23Jan. 09, 2014 - 02:47PM JST
For those who question a professional's choice of a small caliber: during WW2 the OSS frequently issued .22 caliber semi-automatic pistols for assassination missions. For a trained pro, it's not the size of the bullet, it's where you put it.
If used expertly, a small caliber bullet is a good choice for a lot of reasons. For one, it doesn't leave a lot of mess, won't have immediately noticeable effects, is less likely to alarm bystanders, and if the pistol is suppressed, it makes very little noise.
By the way, a .38 or 9mm bullet isn't much bigger than a peanut either; it's the charge of the propellant that's more important.
Posted in: Was Kyoto's 'Gyoza King' shot dead by a Chinese hit man?
Xeno23Jan. 06, 2014 - 03:01AM JST
Wouldn't "proactive pacifism" be about disarmament and express measures to defuse flash point situations? Whatever happened to the idea of Japan being a spokes-nation for peace? Wouldn't that be a global role everyone would applaud?
It seems the people of Japan learned the lessons of WW2 and have taken them to heart, but not the government - see the JT article on popular opinion on Abe's recent Yasukuni visit. But then, has any government really learned the lessons of WW2? Some of the more obvious lessons, sure, but resort to arms, brinksmanship, intolerance, and sabre rattling... doesn't look like it to me.
Given the effort behind this, it may well happen, but will it result in everyone's worst fears? Probably not. There are too many international vested interests in powerful sectors that wouldn't like seeing a militarily resurgent Japan. Besides, how much can Japan do? How puissant could a Japanese military become?
The only thing that would provide a genuine threat is if Japan openly deployed nukes - and that's pretty unlikely. Imagine Abe trying to get that approved...
Posted in: Abe says it is time to revise pacifist constitution
Xeno23Jan. 06, 2014 - 02:34AM JST
I had a friend in college who always said pot didn't get her high - we all thought she was full of beans. Maybe not. There's always been talk of mitigating the high for medical marijuana, so I wonder how many medicinal users would suddenly vanish if that became a requirement. Getting a pass for medical use pot is a joke in the USA - pretty much anyone over 21 can get it - at least on the West Coast.
Posted in: Scientists discover hormone that blocks marijuana buzz
Apr. 17, 2014 - 03:43PM JST
Good idea, but there would probably not be enough space to show them all.
Posted in: Contaminated water leaks from container at Fukushima plant
harald, they are not referring to the current method of hunting but the fact that they…
Posted in: Lawmakers demand gov't 'redesign' whaling program
Apr. 17, 2014 - 03:42PM JST
They forgot to mention that the new distance based pricing only applies if you have an…
Posted in: Everything you ever wanted to know about Tokyo's toll road system
Apr. 17, 2014 - 03:38PM JST
OMG..it's happening so often here...
Japan need to change parenting culture..
Posted in: 6-year-old boy dead, 3-year-old girl in coma after being swept away in river
Apr. 17, 2014 - 03:37PM JST
Why didn't they invite Ishihara to go during his 13 years as Governor? I wonder...
Posted in: Tokyo governor to visit Beijing