senseiman's past comments

  • 1

    senseiman

    I tend to agre that cycling lanes on sidewalks are in principle preferable to lanes on roadways, though in certain circumstances I suspect the cost of the latter is much lower.

    Im not sure it is such a bad policy though. I think one of the main purposes of cycling lanes in Japan is specifically to remove the people who ride fast, and pose the biggest annoyance/threat to pedestrians, from the sidewalks. These lanes will probably accomplish that. Little old ladies and mothers riding mama chari dont really fall into that category and there isnt really much need to remove them from sidewalks at all - they ride so slowly that they arent much different from having a jogger on the sidewalk. I think most people would be perfectly happy to let them continue riding on the sidewalk for that reason. Creating cycling lanes specifically for them to share with fast riding cyclists is more likely to cause problems - speedsters pose as much a threat/annoyance to slow riding mamachari riders as they do to pedestrains (and vice versa - it will be very annoying for anyone looking to ride fast to find cycle lanes clogged with little old ladies riding their groceries home).

    Posted in: Tokyo governor's cycling policy needs a rethink

  • 2

    senseiman

    The anology is entirely accurate. 

    The analogy, on its face, is inaccurate. You are conflating a potential bias problem (shared by cattle ranchers and climate scientists) with actual expertise regarding the subject at question (something climate scientists have, despite the field's limitations, but cattle ranchers in your analogy lack with regard to the question of dietary health, a subject on which they would have no expertise).

    championed by politicians (the least noble class of people known to humankind)

    Well this is just a silly thing to say (not to mention a logical fallacy). What you are saying is basically "Look, a politician supports this. Since politicians are bad, this must be bad."

    Climate science is incredibly complex. Climate scientists readily acknowledge the limitations of their knowledge. What we have to work with is the best estimates possible. We know that temperatures increased significantly over the 20th century and are currently, and fairly consistently, among the highest on record. The best scientific explanation for that is increased CO2 in the atmosphere. Putting more CO2 in the atmosphere is reasonably predicted to cause more climate change in the future, even though they cannot say how much, when, etc.

    how can climate change be causing an increase in the numbers of disease-bearing mosquitos?

    If we are just talking about the mosquitos in the article then I completely agree - climate change had nothing to do with that.

    Posted in: Will global warming make Japan more vulnerable to tropical diseases?

  • 0

    senseiman

    The survey provides the same results you might get if you asked a group of cattle ranchers if beef is good for you.

    That is a badly biased analogy. Cattle ranchers are not experts in dietary health so you wouldn`t ask them that question in the first place. Climate scientists, on the other hand, are people who actually study climate science so it makes sense to guage their opinion on the matter. The alternative is leaving the question open to all scientists, including geologists and others whose opinion on questions of climate science would be no more useful than that of a lay person.

    I take your implication to be that climate scientists, like cattle farmers, have an interest in promoting a certain agenda. Simply asserting the existence of such a bias is not the same as actually refuting the scientific findings that those scientists have made independent of their answers to a survey. The scientific arguments they and the IPCC make are pretty solid.

    In contrast, the comments here against the existence of climate change (admittedly not a representative sample of counter-arguments, but its what we have to go on) amount to:

    1) scientists dont know what they are talking about because it was cold last week. 2) there is lots of ice in the polar regions this year therefore the climate isnt changing. 3) liberal welfare freaks are giving out cell phones for free so people can complain about stuff.

    I think It will take considerably more than this to sway my decision to rely on actual experts on this issue.

    Posted in: Will global warming make Japan more vulnerable to tropical diseases?

  • 5

    senseiman

    The twin debate about raising the consumption tax - which normal people pay - while simultaneously cutting the corporate tax - which only profitable companies pay - just makes me really angry.

    They can`t have it both ways. If the government needs more revenue (and they do) then it is absolutely outrageous for them to be cutting taxes that, for the most part, only affect the wealthy. To be then raising taxes that even the poorest people have to pay to make up for the shortfall is just taking it to a morally indefensible level.

    Posted in: Abe faces another bruising debate over next sales tax hike

  • 10

    senseiman

    Saw the video on tv last night (they cut the last second out) and was disgusted by it.

    I`m so glad to live in a country that has not been saddled with a rule like the 2nd amendment and the absolutely insane gun culture that has formed around it.

    Posted in: U.S. gun tourism grows in popularity

  • 0

    senseiman

    Actually I do remember there being a run on toilet paper in the immediate aftermath of 3/11. I wasn`t anywhere near Tohoku, but for a few days all the supermarkets in my neighborhood were completely out of the stuff - which sucks!

    Posted in: Gov't advises citizens to stockpile toilet paper

  • 6

    senseiman

    My father (then a young army Captain a couple of years away from having me around) was actually one of the first UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights, helping to establish one of their positions there in 1974.

    Good luck to the Philippino troops, and I hope the Fijian troops are rescued. Unfortunately they have in effect become human shields for IS, which is a terrible situation for them to be in.

    Posted in: 75 Philippine U.N. peacekeepers defy Syria rebels after 43 Fijians seized

  • 0

    senseiman

    3,000? That must be almost as many as they devote to apprehending artists who include naughty bits in their works. Glad to see they are taking the issue seriously.

    Posted in: NPA to assign 3,000 more officers to deal with stalking, bank transfer fraud cases

  • 0

    senseiman

    While I applaud the move towards using solar, the structure of this agreement seems ludicrous to me. Particularly:

    it is not possible for a local government to directly purchase electricity generated by a mega solar plant. Therefore, Orix will purchase the electricity as a PPS (power producer and supplier) first, and the government will buy it from Orix

    If I understand this correctly, there exists some arbitrary rule that local governments cannot buy solar electricity from solar power companies, but apparently they can buy solar power from rental car agencies (which is what Orix is).

    This kind of pisses me off because, in addition to making no sense whatsoever on the face of it, Orix is naturally going to be taking a cut out of the transaction for doing nothing more than acting as a middleman to get around some red tape, with that added cost being passed on to taxpayers.

    This needs explaining.

    Posted in: Atsugi City to use solar electricity for public facilities

  • 9

    senseiman

    This is just bringing the obnoxiousness level up to 11. Bad enough when he is going to Yasukuni, where they enshrine all the war dead, but now Abe is specifically going out of his way to support just the war criminals.

    I express my grief at the death of martyrs… who sacrificed their lives to form the foundation of peace and prosperity in Japan today

    Needless to say in fact these people sacrificed their lives in a futile attempt to prevent the foundation of peace and prosperity that exists in Japan today. His words are a truly Orwellian twisting of language.

    Posted in: Abe sent support message to war criminal memorial service in April

  • 4

    senseiman

    Art is not; sorry but that is an obvious truth.

    No it isn`t. Governments the world over, at all levels, fund museums and galleries. Pretty much every city and prefecture in Japan has its own gallery that is supported by the government. It is standard. That holds in most other countries as well and has since at least the 19th century.

    What you are expresing as a truth is obviously merely your own opinion: you don`t want the government to spend money on this stuff.

    Art and state do not mix. Keep them separate and you avoid any controversy.

    That is also simply at odds with the facts. We dont know the opinion of hte person who complained in this instance, but Im guessing that he/she would have blown a gasket at the public display of this art regardless of who was supporting it. Moreover the law he/she invoked doesn`t make any distinction on that basis - its obsenity law that applies both to private and publicly funded exhibitions (etc). So in other words, keeping art and state seperate would do nothing to avoid the controversy in this case, it would just make it more acceptable to you personally.

    Posted in: Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art forced to cover up 'obscene' photos following complaint

  • 6

    senseiman

    But the public should not be forced to support art that many in a community would find objectionable

    Funny, I feel much the same about having my taxes support a police force that devotes resources to shutting down art exhibits more or less on command from random, anonymous prudes.

    Posted in: Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art forced to cover up 'obscene' photos following complaint

  • 6

    senseiman

    Shoutengai like this have been facing hard times since the 1980s, their misfortune isnt directly related to Abenomics. Part of the problem is competition from large retailers/online stores and part of it is the nature of most of the businesses on these streets - too many inefficient family businesses that never update their business model and have fallen hopelessly out of date. The current older generation of small shop owners are retiring and finding that their children dont want to/can`t take over the business so they are simply closing up shop and turning the stores into residences, which has negative effects on the street as a whole. A very viscious spiral most of them are in, except the ones in really big cities (and even there only a select few are doing well).

    Very sad, since most of them are actually quite nice neighborhoods.

    Posted in: Business is bad

  • 3

    senseiman

    It is good to see the industry in decline, I remember seeing a video once of the methods of finning - dumping still living sharks with their fins brutallly chopped off back into the ocean to die slowly and painfully. It really disgusted me.

    If you can't catch your food domestically, maybe it shouldn't be on the menu.

    I wouldnt really agree with this. The problem with finning isnt that the sharks are being caught outside Chinese waters but that it is both inhumane and a threat to shark populations - it would be just as bad if it was all happening within Chinese waters. This principle you are proposing would basically mean that people in landlocked countries shouldn`t eat seafood, which seems kind of arbitrary and pointless to me.

    Posted in: Tide turns for shark fin in China

  • 2

    senseiman

    Its actually surprising how big the difference is compared to other countries, five times more!

    Of course as I sit here watching TV I am bombared by commercials for pachinko and boat racing, interspersed with a few from predato....I mean "consumer" loan companies willing to give these folks more money to feed their habits at modest 20% interest rates.

    Wonderful sinergy there.

    Posted in: Gambling, Internet, alcohol addictions rife in Japan: study

  • 1

    senseiman

    On the news this morning they have had some experts pointing out the simple fact that building neighborhoods on slopes like this inevitably leads to disasters like this. Most of the nieghborhoods hit are new ones built in the past 30 years.

    I suppose it isnt a useful observation in the sense that living in a mountainous country with a large population people pretty much have to live near mountains. On the other hand, these mountains do have naturalriverbeds` which are the locations where most (all?) of these slides occurred, and which had been known to be particularly risky areas to build. Perhaps they should introduce new rules restricting construction in such locations.

    Posted in: At least 39 dead, 7 missing as landslides hit Hiroshima

  • 9

    senseiman

    Huge double standard. Drunk men in Japan can get away with anything.

    While I agree with the sentiment you are expressing, I think the double standard might be said to work the other way. If it had been a drunken male politician in his 50s who suddenly grabbed Asada Mao (or some other young female skater) and started kissing her while she seemed to resist, he probably would have been pulled off her and that would have been the end of his career - clear and public display of sexual and power harrassment.

    In this case though, with the debate on TV most people aren`t even sure if this can be called harrassment. The idea that a guy can be on the receiving end of sexual harrassment is totally new.

    Posted in: Magazine says Seiko Hashimoto sexually harassed skater Takahashi

  • 0

    senseiman

    The one in the photo is actually more depressing looking that most pachinko parlors, which at least have a bit of color. This looks like it is located in a generic high school cafeteria converted to hold pachinko machines.

    Posted in: Pachinko parlor politeness

  • 0

    senseiman

    Robert Whiting in his book You Gotta Have Wa devotes a chapter to the underside of Koshien, more or less the description he wrote in the 1980s sounds about the same as what this article describes (although his book has a bit more sleazy bits in it). Kind of sad that things haven`t changed much in 30 years.

    Posted in: Fanatic fans oblivious to sleazy side of Koshien high school baseball

  • 6

    senseiman

    I felt a lot of sympathy for him watching the video and I hope that he is released. Having said that, the more I see of him on TV, the angrier I get that he was even there in the first place. He sounds like little more than a war tourist looking for a thrill in a country full of misery and despair. They had a journalist on TV who had met him a couple of weeks ago in Syria who said he made him feel very uncomfortable - dressing up in military style clothing and carrying weapons around, which normal people (journalists, doctors, aid workers, etc) no is something that will get you killed. The man is clearly an idiot and only for that reason have I not completely lost all the sympathy I initially felt for him.

    Posted in: Islamic State claims responsibility for detaining Japanese man

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