mikeylikesit comments

Posted in: Social media is a key source of news and information around the world. Leave up too much bad content and users may be misinformed. Take down too much and users will begin to distrust the platform. What's the answer? See in context

The problem arises when certain tech companies that control advertising and own social media platforms function as virtual monopolies. The problem is compounded when this small handful of companies acts on a similar ideological bent.

If there were a robust internet advertising and social media market, different platforms would set different levels of filters, and people could choose the ones that suit them.

As it is, the likes of Google, Twitter, and Facebook seem very wrapped up in being official government mouthpieces on various issues, even when the “fact checks” they use to discredit and delete posts are themselves demonstrably false. On some issues, there is little space to speak out on any platform where one will get widely heard.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Man arrested for punching woman on train because ‘she wasn’t wearing mask’ See in context

They need to step up and have the balls to say things clearly, make proper rules and implement these ( Japanese people are good at following rules so it shouldn’t be hard to do so )! Either tell the public that it’s compulsory to wear mask on public transportation or just say it’s not!

This would be an un-Japanese response, and it badly misunderstands Japanese culture. Nearly all rules in Japan are written vaguely. Even really, really strict rules, like those against drunk driving, are nebulous when you dig into the fine details of the letter of the law. Hard-and-fast rules are simply not the norm in Japanese culture.

The preferred option is to create strong recommendations that are not quite compulsory, but that everyone is expected to follow. The police, if they could enforce it, probably won’t, but maybe they would if there were a criminal that they wanted to take down. Most people can just expect a lot of social pressure if they buck norms. Japan’s masking requirements and quasi-states of emergency have fit very much within this pattern of vague rule-making.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Fake research can be harmful to your health; a new study offers a tool for rooting it out See in context

Peer review is not designed to catch fake or misleading data.

Umm…then what exactly is peer review designed to catch? The point of peer review is to weed out shoddy research. Fake and misleading data is one of the major reasons for bad research. If peer review isn’t catching that, then what use is peer review?

In the current state of medical research, between half and two-thirds of all published studies in prestigious journals (never mind the truly awful publication mills) prove false. For the general public, this means we are better off doing literally the opposite of what studies recommend.

Beyond this, most people are not equipped to sniff out the statistical shenanigans, data manipulation, and other games played in sham research. Relying on studies not funded by pharmaceutical companies or on the clinical trial being registered is not enough. Researchers are under intense pressure to publish positive results. Careers and grant funding can go down the tube if research fails to produce results.

The entire academic industry is plagued with this pressure to publish, and thus there is extremely high motivation to fake results and low motivation by peers to point out the fakery.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Why are summer fruits such as peaches, plums, nectarines, etc, so expensive in Japan? See in context

Visit a farm or orchard, and the premium cost becomes obvious. The steps throughout the year to produce large, sweet, consistently tasty fruits consume a huge amount of labor. Most farms, unlike in, say, America, aren’t staffed by cheap migrant labor.

Plus, come picking season, a high percentage of ripened fruit is thrown out (sent to a juice factory or given away by farmers to relatives and friends) because of any minor scratch or blemish. Those same fruits would go to the supermarket in other countries, but in Japan they are not top grade, which makes them worth almost nothing.

After witnessing what farmers do, I’m surprised some fruits don’t cost more.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Putin says Russia and North Korea will expand bilateral relations: KCNA See in context

so ANYone want to talk about what a renewed Russia and North Korea relationship means for the world?

without whining about US politics?

There’s the rub. Whether people acknowledge it or not, most of Russia’s recent actions are about U.S. politics. About menial spats among Biden, Trump, and others in the ruling class? No. About American imperialism and hegemony? Definitely. And so it’s impossible to divorce a discussion about Russian-North Korean ties from America because a primary reason for those closer ties is America.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Posted in: No halal foods are served in detention centers for foreign nationals in Japan See in context

It’s immigration detention, not religious detention.

There is no reason the government should pay money (our tax dollars) to Muslim religious organizations for their official stamp of approval.

If the kind of food you want is of paramount concern, voluntarily deport and fight your Japanese visa status from abroad.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: Decrying Nazism – even when it's not there – has been Russia's 'Invade country for free' card See in context

The author misunderstands Russia’s rhetoric. Russia is tapping into past animosities with Ukraine over Ukrainians collaborating with the Nazis in WWII. With whom is Ukraine collaborating now? NATO.

Nazi = NATO. When Russia talks about the denazification of Ukraine, what they mean is breaking Ukraine’s collaboration with Western European and American globalists.

Russia did not want to start off the conflict plainly stating that they were at war with NATO and globalists. “Nazi” has been an effective euphemism. People in Ukraine understand it. People in Russia understand it. Many of the best thinkers in the West still don’t get it.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Why do you think some men grope women on trains? Why can't they control the urge? See in context

Boys grow up in homes where the father is largely absent because of work. Socialization at school largely revolves around organized bullying. Kids are taught to fear failure and avoid risk-taking. Boys and men have easy access to porn, much of which is themed around frustrated, stunted men exhibiting predatory behavior toward women.

Japan doesn’t teach boys how to behave well around women, doesn’t teach them how to date (which is needed in a society that, until two generations ago, still relied heavily on arranged marriages), and immerses them in a sick fantasy world. The better question is how as many boys as do grow up well adjusted. Given the social conditions, it’s surprising there aren’t more aggressive perverts.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Posted in: Why Abe is much more highly praised abroad than in Japan See in context

Because, for all that people brand Abe a nationalist, he was an aggressive globalist.

No surprise that other globalists are eulogizing him.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Posted in: Dining without masks poses a high risk of infection. Since many people feel uneasy, it may not be realistic to eliminate silent meals all at once. See in context

The only pandemic uneasiness kids have is what we adults impose on them. The kids are O.K.

Go to a restaurant these days. Do you see adults imposing talking bans on themselves while eating? No. And that’s despite adults being at a much, much, much higher risk for serious COVID and for transmitting COVID.

Stop projecting fears onto the kids and let them be alive!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: The power and promise of Japanese after-school activities See in context

Naraigoto are fine, but I pity the kids who do calligraphy on Monday, swimming on Tuesday, English on Wednesday, abacus on Thursday, piano on Friday, and soccer on Saturday.

There are far too many kids who are scheduled with lessons of some kind or another four, five, or even six days a week. The most important naraigoto for any child is free playtime and occasional boredom.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: People in some parts of Japan now legally allowed to smile for their driver’s license photos See in context

Allowed to smile for the photo…but only if you keep your mask on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. needs a law to sell off oligarchs' assets See in context

It’s all nice and fine as far as most Americans are concerned when the American government is seizing assets of “bad Russians.” But the reality is that the government is seizing private individuals’ money and property with no due process. The government declares Russia bad, and thus the government empowers itself to seize property. Is this really the path Americans want to go down?

It’s more legitimization of a civil asset forfeiture policy that America already badly abuses.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: What does the word "globalization" mean to you? See in context

Thus political globalization was born: countries would be so inter-dependent upon each other in the global exchange of goods and services, that global economic growth would result, and global peace, security, abundance, and prosperity would be forever more.

War is peace. Tyranny is freedom. Globalization declares this utopia, and yet what we’ve actually gotten in the era of globalization is endless war because nations are so dependent on each other. Any time a country steps out of line with the globalists, America or NATO invades to bring the stray sheep back into the fold. Globalization funds thugs around the world whose countries happen to have natural resources, and then we pay in blood every time one of those thugs bucks the globalist taskmasters.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to push controversial mine for UNESCO World Heritage See in context

A place worked for 400 years by Japanese people, but because Koreans were involved for 40 or 50 of those 400 years, we shouldn’t recognize the place for its archeological and cultural significance?

It’s almost like the Koreans have a boilerplate pre-written with which they can oppose anything Japanese.

A sensible response would be to evaluate the site on its merits and then tell an honest history of it. Dozens, if not hundreds, of heritage sites have histories tied to slave labor, genocide, or other cruelty. That’s not a disqualifying factor. Often, it’s part of what makes the heritage site so vitally important.

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

Posted in: Border restrictions force 300 foreigners to decline Japan teacher jobs See in context

300? That might be the total number last month, but the total number of new JETs and other ALTs locked out of Japan in the past two years is in the thousands.

And now this combined in the U.S. with a job market full of desperate employers offering high wages, which makes the generous JET wage look less attractive. Even someone who hasn’t finished high school yet can get a $15/hour fast-food job in rural parts of the U.S. currently. An entry-level college grad should have little trouble pulling down at least double that.

Albeit, there are a few social science, humanities, and “studies” majors for whom anything over minimum wage is considered good, so maybe JET will still attract a few once travel restrictions cease.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan one of only two countries where Twitter beats Facebook in social media market share See in context

The reason Twitter ranked that highly is because Line wasn’t included in the survey. All of the social media platforms popular elsewhere are small fry in Japan compared to Line.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo changes age limit for kids going into opposite sex’s bath at hot springs and sento See in context

The comment that this change is influenced by prudish America is nonsense.

Compare Japanese and American movies and television. Overall, there’s way more skin and explicit sexual expression in America.

This rule change is a reaction to Japan’s pervert culture. Women are increasingly uncomfortable with any male presence, even a young boy, because some men behave badly.

No rule is ever going to be accommodating and fair for everyone. Families should be able to decide this in their own. Establishments that want to cater to families should be able to set their own rules. As it is, the government is setting a rule that fits the feelings of a few people, but which excludes others. No sensible mother is ever going to send her seven-year-old into the men’s bath alone, which means some families are effectively barred from going.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Despite defense buildup, Japan's arms industry struggles See in context

Imagine if all the money in the world spent on military and instruments of death was spent on the betterment of humankind and the planet!!??

We would be living in a utopia or at least as close as humans can come to utopia…

Laughably naive. Tribes and nations lacking defenses have never fared well historically. The “utopia” that you imagine would only be achieved by creating a desert and calling it peace. (Hint: it’s not really peace if you’ve created a space that has nobody in it.)

Human nature hasn’t been perfected. There will always be conflict between peoples. Arguably, the best way to avert conflict and better civilization is to maintain a strong military.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan enacts record ¥36 tril extra budget to fund economic package See in context

what is a trillion yen in normal money terms? Is it a lot?

It’s about two billion meals at McD’s, or two billion cups of Starbucks. Enough for everyone in Japan to eat out for every meal for about two weeks. Or, if we’re frugal and eat at home, enough to feed everyone in Japan for almost two months.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 70 million years on earth, 40 years of decline: the endangered eel See in context

If only human beings would stop eating other animals.

Did you read the article? The problem is not anyone’s unagi-don. People could stop eating eels, and they would still be endangered. Drained wetlands, dammed rivers, and a toxic soup of pesticides, herbicides, drug residues, and other pollution in the water are what’s killing off eels.

With salmon, we can catch salmon and artificially hatch their eggs to restock rivers and streams where dams prevent the fish from moving freely. Eels don’t reproduce well artificially, and so we have few tools to rescue them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: At least one dead from Omicron as UK boosts response See in context

The article leaves out the one piece of information I'd like to know. Was the poor person who died vaccinated or not?

They always go out of the way to report unvaccinated because the goal is to get more people to take the shot. If they don’t say, then it is obvious: the person was at least double vaccinated.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Posted in: At least one dead from Omicron as UK boosts response See in context

Headline is misleading. The official statement is that the person died with COVID, not from COVID. A meteor could fly out of the sky and smack a person in the head, and that person could die with COVID. That they are not releasing the actual cause of death, just this vague “with” statement is dodgy.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Posted in: Biden reportedly told Kishida he hoped Japan would increase defense spending See in context

I’m sure Biden did. A basic role of U.S. presidents is to ask allies to spend more on defense. This fulfills two agendas for Biden:

One, a portion of increased spending would go toward arms manufactured in the U.S. It’s a boon for the defense industry.

Two, the U.S. pays heavily to maintain the Pax Americana, in which major nations have not gone to war with each other in nearly 80 years because American military might and presence is so great globally. Since the 1990s, the Democrat mode of spending has been to cut military spending to fund domestic spending. Every extra yen Japan dishes out to help maintain balance in Asia is a penny that Biden can repurpose for social spending in his budget games.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Many of the problems Japan faces could be resolved by making use of digital technology ... The key to post-corona growth is to revitalize broader digital investment nationwide. See in context

Digits are Japan’s chief problem. When you use digits, you don’t make babies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Flash mob thefts terrorize U.S. retailers ahead of Christmas See in context

Common thread in most of these thefts: local lawmakers and prosecutors have effectively decriminalized theft. Petty theft has been downgraded to a misdemeanor. No one is held in jail on bail. No one is charged with felonies. No one is put on trial.

Petty theft is essentially a ticketable offense, and police aren’t even bothering with that in most cases. There are too many reports of theft. Police budgets have been cut, while violent felonies are also on the rise. Police can’t afford to track down misdemeanors when they have stacks of felony reports to deal with. Even when they do catch one of these thieves, the person is back on the street same day.

There is a reason prosecutors, police, and lawmakers got tough on petty crimes in the late-1980s and early-1990s with cash bails, mandatory minimum sentencing, three-strikes laws, broken-windows policing, and the like. Yes, those tactics sometimes produce unfair results, but they are responsible for the dramatic decrease in most types of crime during the last two decades. Even Joe Biden has forgotten why he wrote a crime bill in the 1990s with those measures in it because recent crime had been so low. Take away those measures, and crime storms back with a vengeance.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Flash mob thefts terrorize U.S. retailers ahead of Christmas See in context

The robbed stores will have their stock insured against loss.

People are quick to dismiss vandalism and theft with excuses of “the businesses have insurance,” but insurance isn’t a magic wand. Insurance may cover some damages, but it never compensates fully. Even if insurance were to pay 100 percent for smashed display cases and lost stock, does it pay for enhanced security in the future? Does it pay for lost customers who are now afraid to patronize those businesses? Does insurance pay for the hiring and training of new employees because good employees quit out of fear and stress over the thefts? Does it pay for the lower legal demand for that brand’s goods because cheaper options are now on the black market? Does insurance pay for the inevitable hike in insurance rates from next year? Crime costs the store greatly, even with insurance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: China urges Japan to support Beijing Olympics See in context

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who claimed she had an extramarital affair with a former vice premier.

Wow, it’s as if Kyodo is running news stories past Chinese censors for approval. An extramarital affair is a generous way of putting it.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Shinkansen conductor caught playing GPS smartphone game on train…for 10 years See in context

Because this is something that increases the risk of accidents

What is your evidence that this increases the risk of accidents? Ten years with no incidents to prompt any kind of investigation kind of argues to the contrary, that the train remained perfectly safe.

Of course, this guy was the conductor, not the driver, so there is that.

But it also wouldn’t be an unreasonable hypothesis that some kind of game to keep the brain alert and attentive during what is usually a mindless, repetitive job might actually decrease accidents. Short distractions are proven to reduce brain fatigue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: As the shrinking population becomes a more serious problem and if Japan wants to be seen as a good option for overseas workers, it needs to communicate that it has the proper structure in place to welcome them. See in context

A shrinking population is NOT a serious problem -- unless you want it to be.

It’s certainly not, on its own, a rationale for open-door immigration.

But if your government is deeply in debt and heavily leveraged by promised pensions that it has no way to pay, especially with a shrinking population that decreases the tax base, and especially with an economy that has ranged between deflationary and flat for three decades, it is a problem.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

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