timtak's past comments

  • 2

    timtak

    An organisation that does the government's work for them.

    I read some articles that said organised crime organisations are underworld governments for regulating and policing illegal activities such as, predominantly cartels, gambling, prostitution and in other countries, drugs. These activities while illegal retain a demand. If there were no organised crime then the the people involved would be ratting, betraying, and murdering each other. Upon this analysis I can see why Japan does not attempt to eradicate organised crime completely, in the short term, and why they do the government's work. In the face of disaster, there is never enough help.

    This does not mean to say that anyone approves. Even the yakuza members say “I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to glorify the yakuza." The yakuza exist as a result of the "holism" that is claimed to exist in Japan. The decision to punish something is not taken upon the basis of whether it, in isolation, is good or bad but upon the result that punishment will have upon the whole. It would be good if we lived in a society that had no need for them, and to move in that direction. Is the way to get there by idealism, or in small real politic steps? Have the Japanese given upon getting there?

    Armao, F. (2001, April). A ‘standard’ Crime: Why Mafia Win Success. Presented at the European Consortium for Political Research Joint Sessions, Grenoble. Retrieved from http://ecpr.eu/Filestore/PaperProposal/4392d2f7-68b2-4da1-84c4-e3301c046a1e.pdf Lotspeich, R. (2000). The Nature of Organized Crime: An Economic Perspective. Low Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement, 9(3), 35–66. Milhaupt, C. J., & West, M. D. (2000). The Dark Side of Private Ordering: An Institutional and Empirical Analysis of Organized Crime. The University of Chicago Law Review, 41–98. Retrieved from http://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5018&context=uclrev#

    Posted in: Yakuza quick to mount rescue operations in Kyushu

  • 0

    timtak

    This is really scary.

    Posted in: Gov't eyes shopping vouchers, promotions to boost consumption

  • 2

    timtak

    RIP. Prince was a genius. He was also a quirky guy who could be perplexing to work with apparently. Here is Kevin Smith, director of Dogma (which Prince liked, and in which God is portrayed as a woman), talking about making a documentary about Prince. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LhcParuzpc. I hope that some of the music in Prince's vaults will now be released.

    Posted in: Musician Prince dies at his Minnesota home at 57

  • 3

    timtak

    The emergency alert that my phone makes is only in Japanese but non-Japanese can familiarise themselves with it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZn_0PMDehs but the app that badsey3 linked above will do the trick. Cool. (http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/emergency/safety_tips.html).

    I translated my employers "This is not an emergency only a drill" announcement into English but they did not use the English translation.

    Article Unavailable

  • 1

    timtak

    Wow, that it is cool. I heard that dogs could smell cancer on people's breath. But if there were a quick puff on this machine then it might allow early detection.

    Posted in: Fujitsu develops sensor device that quickly measures gas components in people's breath

  • 2

    timtak

    I wish Japanese companies would continue to care about Japanese companies, and not about shareholders who might be said to be attempting to benefit from usury, which originally meant any interest on loans. I think that wealth creation via money manipulation rather than through creative labour is a bad idea.

    Posted in: Japan discovers 'good' corporate governance, American style

  • -2

    timtak

    One of the biggest factors to influence CO2 emissions is the price of oil which is at record lows, making it cheap for everyone to be using a lot of it, in spite of the fact that we are supposedly at somewhere near, or past, peak oil, oil has never been cheaper. The low price of oil is presumably because there is over supply. The low price of oil, and therefore presumably its high consumption, may also be because, correct me if I am wrong (I am not an economist) the currency that must be used to purchase it has been printed with abandon.

    Article Unavailable

  • 3

    timtak

    Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders was released today and Japan's rank fell to 72, from 61 last year from a high of 11 in 2010 https://rsf.org/en/japan. It is very sad.

    Posted in: U.N. rights expert sees threats to press independence in Japan

  • 0

    timtak

    “I think the Japanese people understand that it’s not easy for a senior administration official, let alone a president, to visit this place,”

    I think that a lot of Japanese are under the misapprehension that most people, including Americans, regret the dropping of the bomb. I got my students into a online debate with US air force cadets and my students were pretty surprised that almost all their debate partners still thought that the bombings were a good idea.

    Article Unavailable

  • -1

    timtak

    I figure that I will be able to get to other people or shops in most diasters, but remain concerned about airborne dangers -- particularly new flu viruses -- which might deter me from shopping, so all I have in my "kit" is a gas mask which was 50USD used from ebay. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nihonbunka/12302360234/ I have just ordered another one for my wife from (no affiliation) http://www.ebay.com/itm/262274161566

    Posted in: Do you have an emergency survival kit for use in the event of an earthquake or some other natural disaster? If so, what is in it?

  • 2

    timtak

    My phone warned me of the tremor before it hit Yamaguchi. It was a strange rising chirp. I could have jumped under a table had I been indoors and known what the sound meant. Here it is. Your phone will let you check the sound which could save your life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZn_0PMDehs

    Article Unavailable

  • 3

    timtak

    I saw a Lamborghini in Kurume three weeks ago. But, what with all the Tesla posts above I had a look at the "Tesla launch" videos on YouTube, e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpaLgF1uLB8 This is an American car I would like to drive.

    Posted in: Luxury or bust for foreign automakers in Japan

  • 5

    timtak

    I am scrapping my Subaru WRX tomorrow morning because I ride my bike all the time. I had it 17 years. It never broke down, carried four people and two dogs and remains faster point to point than that Lamborghini, and @ 5.6 seconds only half a second slower than a Countach 0-60 mph. In year after I bought it was UK Car Magazine's car of the decade.

    "they’re not very interesting to drive.”

    :-) He just wants to show of his beamer which are expensive just for that sake.

    Posted in: Luxury or bust for foreign automakers in Japan

  • 1

    timtak

    Or you could do exercise and eat vegetables.

    Posted in: U.S. experts urge aspirin against heart disease, colon cancer

  • -12

    timtak

    The judge looked at it as if the guy was destroying his own property i guess.

    My guess is that the judge looked at the father with compassion rather than thinking, "I don't care how much this guy has suffered already" (!) and for that reason he justice system works so beautifully well.

    Posted in: Man gets 4 1/2 years in prison for house fire in which 4 of his children died

  • -10

    timtak

    @Cleo I think that there is likely to be a two way (or rather holistic again) interaction between the justice system and the violence. I am unsure why you think that the arrow of cause points only one way.

    I don't think that the lack of violence in Japan is any sort of stereotype but a reality for which I am very grateful.

    Another paper on holistic decision making that is downloadable is Choi, I., Nisbett, R. E., & Norenzayan, A. (1999). Causal attribution across cultures: Variation and universality. Psychological Bulletin, 125(1), 47. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.316.4107&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    Personally I think that "holism" is imagination. If you look at the language of this case "three children 4.5 years", then it just does not add up. "1.5 years per life!?" But if you see the guy, heard and imagined the reports of how he tried to save his children, his reaction to their death, and his subsequent behaviour in custody, and imagine all that, then one might rightly reach the conclusion that they accused has suffered enough to warrant this sentence. In the video in my mind, this father has already received three life sentences.

    Posted in: Man gets 4 1/2 years in prison for house fire in which 4 of his children died

  • -12

    timtak

    Non-Japanese line up to pour scorn on the Japanese justice system, which results in a country with far less violence than any other place on earth. Yeah! But, no, that is just as scornful of me. It is difficult isn't it? The trick is working out why the Japanese justice system is so good, so much better, even though superficially it would not appear to seem so.

    My guess is that forgiveness (as in this case), and taking a broader view are two important elements in the mix.

    The research below found that in a comparison between Chinese and American newspaper reporting of murders, the Chinese reports were more likely to report on more societal and historical factors leading to the murder whereas the American reports were more likely to concentrate on the (bad) character of the criminal. I am not saying that the Chinese criminal justice system is great (i know little about it) but I think that this holistic approach to culpability exists in Japan likewise.

    Choi, I., Dalal, R., Kim-Prieto, C., & Park, H. (2003). Culture and judgement of causal relevance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(1), 46. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/84/1/46/

    In any event it is important to to lose sight of the fact that Japan is doing criminal justice right. I think that in the face of the barrage of negativity (at the time of writing all the above comments are negative, for instance) even they lose sight of themselves, which is a tragedy of immense proportion.

    Posted in: Man gets 4 1/2 years in prison for house fire in which 4 of his children died

  • -1

    timtak

    We have a big garden, so a mini goat might be a good idea. DMM rental fees start at 15000 per goat month with ('since they are herd animals) a minimum quantity of two. No lonely goats via DMM. Isn't that nice? Here is the DMM page. http://www.dmm.com/rental/iroiro/yagi.html

    Posted in: Rent-a-goat service now available in Japan

  • -2

    timtak

    @Fadamor As coprolites show, contra inuit and tribal cultures that remain today (which are only seemingly paelo) real paelo peoples for tens of thousands of years prior to the recent agricultural revolution were poor at catching game other than shellfish, probably scavenged fast predictor kills in groups, most of the time ate the occasional frog, mouse ot beetle but in the main vast quantities of vegetable matter (when in season fruits). They were so hungry they ate bark and grasses too. Vegetable matter fills you up and has few calories. But you won't get a real paleo diet at MacDonald's. The vegetarian Mogumogu Mac has been discontinued! It is a real shame. Japanese love vegetables and that may be why they are giving MacDonald's a miss.

    Posted in: McDonald's Japan wonders where its customers went

  • -1

    timtak

    He has a handsome face, brilliant career in electronic engineering, and was a martial artist (Taekwondo) winning prices for both his research and his fighting skills. I guess he became rather over-confident, and now this.

    I hope that the victim is not traumatised.

    Posted in: Assistant professor arrested for filming up girl's skirt

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