Piotr Gierszewski comments

Posted in: Yes, but is it art? See in context

Technically even alcoholics sleeping in bushes represent specific culture, so of course it is.

A similar statue to the one in the picture is in Brussels (it is a symbol of Brussels). I even have a metal miniature of that statue in my home. The statue in Brussels represents baroque era in European arts (represented by traits such as richness of ornamentation and frivolous portrayal of people). I also think the statue refers to 'putto' (image of a chubby male child, popular in baroque). Baroque as a form of religious art was an answer to the newly formed Protestantism which caused many Roman Catholics to leave the church. The statue of the picture is probably an echo of the original peeing boy.

Since I am studying sociology which is a multidisciplinary science (which is close to subject such as history or anthropology) I find this and every other work of art, that literally everything can be an object of cult (it's just a matter of socialization - the time when a child learns cultural codes). Codes once written in a child's mind can be hardly changed. That's why it's impossible to fully migrate to another culture.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Scientists seek permission for experiments with animal-human embryos See in context

The development of medicine is a key to the future of humanity. For example the decline of infant mortality is one of the reasons for humanity development since XIXth century.

I personally had a few traumatic experiences associated with health during my childhood (such as phimosis and burst appendix - probably because of genetic factors, since both of my sisters had their appendix operated as well). If it wasn't for medicine I would have died from peritonitis caused by burst appendix in 2003 (thanks to an immediate surgery I am still alive and I just have an 8 stitch scar on my belly).

I approve every research which makes human life a bit better. Imagine yourself - if people stopped Michelangelo from doing his research on human anatomy, we wouldn't have the basic knowledge about human organs. Well, someone has to do these things, even if they are gross. Some sacrifice is needed to improve medicine. But of course I think about a meaningful improvement, such as growing organs for people who need them not making soap from human fat, or pointless tortures of animals because of ritual slaughter practiced in some religions.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Abe to tout nuclear exports at central Europe summit See in context

One thing - people use the term POST-communist countries rather than EX-communist (ex is used usually for describing people with whom we had relationship, like ex-wife, ex-friend; not historical periods). It's also a term which isn't used so often nowadays, since the economical transformation happened during the 1990s, and know Poland, Slovakia, Czech and Hungary are all in European Union structures.

Countries from central Europe are very interested in nuclear power because if we won't build enough power plants soon, there will be an increase in the electricity cost and eventually power shortages. It's not a problem now, but it is going to be in the next 20-30 years.

Last but not least - for the last 50 years this particular part of Europe was blocked from the west by the symbolic iron curtain and played a role of protectorate for the Soviet Russia. Because of no contact between soviet countries and western Europe many negative stereotypes about Slavs were strengthened, but I hope that people will be able to overcome this negative image, which was created in XIXth century when the regional societies were mostly dominated by peasantry.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Encounter with an American school lunch See in context

Well, it would be very simple if only eating habits were responsible for being overweight. There are genetic factors, that's one thing. But second thing is the passive culture, where kids sit during classes, sit in a car or a bus, sit in front of the TV, computer, console, sit on the toilet. Always sitting, never doing anything else. But it's not just physical activity, brain activity also burns calories (the brain itself consumes presumably 20 watts of energy, while the whole organism needs 100 watts). Since I'm a neurotic person myself my brain is quite active all the time, and I never had problem with weight. Also, I walk a lot, and it makes me a bit healthier.

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Posted in: The grave of Christ – Japanese town solves many of world’s mysteries See in context

The more I know about religion, the more I'm convinced that you can't simply remove all of these weird beliefs from society. People often do strange things, and abstract faith gives sense to the oddities of human behavior. People expect the world to make sense. Without faith it's quite impossible to think that the reality makes sense. The greatest scientific minds gave answers to many things, but nobody was able to give sense to human existence. Even atheists who theoretically don't believe in anything, and don't need faith, are much more often believing in all sorts of superstitions: about the unlucky 13, sinister 666, black cats, walking under the ladder and else.

All in all, I prefer maintaining my own religion (I'm a Christian), because it gave my life some greater sense, and I don't need all of these bells and whistles. I have a distance to my religion, I don't treat it as a source of ultimate truth or anything. It's just my filter, which I use to see a reality which is understandable to me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Safety upgrades at Hamaoka plant See in context

People are too scared of nuclear power. So far nuclear plants are the most ecological resource of energy (it produces only steam), of course there is radioactive waste but you can just dump it on the shores of poor African countries so there is no problem for the local environment.

Also, the worst catastrophe of a nuclear plant in Chernobyl happened because people intentionally turned off all of the security systems to squeeze as much electricity from it as possible. And I don't think anyone is going to repeat such a risky experiment any time soon.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Posted in: Boy Scouts approve plan to accept openly gay boys, but not leaders See in context

It's great that Anglo-Saxon countries try to repair their older mistakes, but still historically the original psychology simply moved the religious doctrine on its field of research and the psychology should be blamed in the first place for making gay people social outcasts. Without psychology there wouldn't be even a word for same sex relationships. Just 100 years ago, the same states which are now proud of being "gay friendly" were almost as strict in the sexual field as the modern Arab world. Yet some people are disturbed that the society doesn't want to change its mind in a blink of an eye.

Second thing is that this so called "homophobia" didn't come out of thin air, it was created as a result of the negative label people gave to the gay people, which was fueled by psychological doctrine (which now serves almost like a "religious" moral codex). But now people suddenly changed their minds and it's a problem that there are still many people who believe in the traditional point of view. I know there are even psychologists in many areas which "cure" homosexuality. But in fact, they are not curing anything and making the poor man or woman a victim of the system, in which they are labeled negatively.

Last but not least: It's not that otherwise people would be perfectly fine with sexual minorities. It's quite common for a man (especially male) to hate all the things he doesn't do or doesn't identify with. There's nothing we can do about it. People with limited point of view often expand their local thoughts to a global scale, but it has nothing to do with the real picture. But many people are hurt in the process.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Bad eggs See in context

The problem of nationalists is that they don't want to solve their problems. They hate everyone who is not identical to them, and want everybody else to be their slaves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Nearly there See in context

The weather on the picture is good. It looks like they have good conditions to safely reach the peak.

Mountains are so exciting - especially when you live in a lakeland, like me. I'm used to the views of Pomeranian lakeland and when I traveled to the mountains once (which weren't as high as the Mount Everest), it was fascinating to see these all of these giant hills and highlands. On a flat terrain the view is mostly blocked by surrounding trees. Although the perspective of climbing a steep slope or steep stairs without handrails is quite terrifying for me, so I usually crawl on them and hug every tree.

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Posted in: Hashimoto says S Korean troops guilty of wartime sex abuse See in context

It looks like someone enjoys reopening the historical wounds which should be already cured and dumped into the ash heap of history.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't - but not Ishihara - backs away from Hashimoto's comfort women comments See in context

I think I don't have to explain that war is not a state of love and tolerance but fear and anger. In my personal opinion, comfort women were one of the consequences of the brutality of war. But it's not justifiable in the moral way.

Japanese comfort women are not a unique phenomenon, it's a common thing during wartime that men have to satisfy their sexual needs. During WW2 Russians and other soldiers who didn't have access to any 'comfort women' were just raping local women. In Poland we use a term "stalinki" for the children who were born because of Russians raping Polish women. German women were also often raped, because it was a symbolic "punishment" for the German nation. Not to mention Americans, and gang rapes on German women.

Last but not least: Hashimoto says that the 'comfort women' were good, but on the other hand they were bad. I think that man needs to make up his mind.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: What's up there? See in context

Edit: the sun is not burning, the glowing is the result of nuclear fusion.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: What's up there? See in context

A burning ball of gas, responsible for life on Earth. When it will stop burning, it would be the real end of the world. But until then human race will either extinct or transform into other species.

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Posted in: Rainbow Pride See in context

Japan is very decent to allow such parades to happen. Those people, participating in such events, I think they are actually proving the point of people who are against them - I mean they promote the negative image of themselves. But well, if they want to do so, who cares.

If you'd ask me "do parades like this make any change", I'd say that they are convincing the already convinced. I'm myself a believer and I was taught that homosexuality is a sin. I'm not a fundamentalist, but this matter makes me feel uncomfortable.

Comte said in his books that if a sociologist wants to describe something, he should have complete knowledge about observed phenomenon. I don't have the complete knowledge about homosexuality, and I don't think there is a single person in the world who would knew everything on this subject, but my personal observations prove that the modern homosexual pride and the gay rights are a PR plague caused by the world war 2, where homosexual people were mass murdered among Poles, Jews and representatives of other nations. After the war western European countries had to do something to not be associated with Nazi and their negative image. Prohibiting nationalistic rhetoric, fighting antisemitism and approval for gay people were the three main elements. And of course, the European Union.

I don't neglect that images of homosexual behavior can be found in every historical era, in many cultures. Though themselves they don't have a big effect on tolerance for gay people in wider society. For example, Iran which has a rich culture about homosexual relations has also a very strict religious laws which prohibit this kind of relationship.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: First day on the job See in context

The Japanese ideal of a worker: life devoted to never ending work (resulting in death from overwork), military-like discipline, zero creativity, maximum efficiency.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan 4th in world liar rankings See in context

It's not that just some people are more evil and they lie more often. It's usually a result of a long historical process, and very strict social control which forced people to be hypocritical.

In society everyone's an actor who gets a certain role to play. In Japan which used to be highly bureaucratic when it comes to family, some men had the possibility to decide about the life and death of other family members, practically without any justification. With this attitude people were just objects of trade.

Basing on this fact I presume people often had a choice to either lie or die, which perhaps became later the factor of natural selection. On the other hand this constant feel of threat from the householder created a whole system of honorifics which are present even today. I doubt there is a nation which has more honorifics than Japan. Maybe also the Japanese culture with its horrifying monsters is a psychological reproduction of the fear of people, who can decide about your life and death.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe vows to change constitution, reestablish 'proud Japan' See in context

Many words were spoken, but time will tell whether they really meant something... I just hope this change in the constitution won't release a bunch of radicals who will happily murder everyone standing on their way (because historically that was the main reason for World War 2 in Europe, where Nazi party was almost bankrupt, and Hitler was compared to a hairdresser).

Whatever people say about the current political issues, I think nothing significant is going to change in next few years. Unless there will be an "accident", and something quite unexpected will happen.

We all are aware that there is a nationalistic tension between the Chinese, Korean and Japanese nations (which is constantly reminded to people of each of these nations). However each of these nations shares quite similar cultural base. Since unfortunately nobody is able to delete nationalism and military ambitions from anyone's minds, I just hope the Asian nations will be able to maintain a healthy distance from each other, for everyone's sake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S., Japan review plans for retaking disputed islands See in context

The best solution would be to give these islands to a third party. Historically many areas which witnessed many wars and different reigns developed own culture. But since the islands are uninhabited that doesn't make any sense. Why won't people just call this terrain "no man's land", anyway? That would be the best consensus (and probably the only consensus possible).

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Posted in: Next autumn's look See in context

These dresses look very... protective. Lots of black which is the psychological "protective layer", and whats more: sunglasses, which I perceive as tools used by insecure people to hide from the public.

Perhaps this is a negative opinion of mine, but with my sociological knowledge I would say this form of fashion pretty much resembles the current political situation in the area. The military turmoil and the uncertainty about diplomatic relations (especially the insane politics of North Korea) creates an unwanted tension in the life of many people.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Dust storm shrouds Tokyo in haze See in context

I suppose this is the price of technological boom. Until someone will make engines fueled with water, oxygen or hydrogen. Thankfully in my area the air is a lot cleaner (I can hear the maritime polar air mass whistling outside).

-3 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Miracle pine See in context

You can call it a "miracle" pine but since it apparently doesn't have the title of "natural monument" it doesn't have more value than just the value of a cultural symbol.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Fit and freezing See in context

Nice. There are people in Europe who like to swim in the Baltic sea in winter (when the water is freezing) and they are called "walruses".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe calls for 'resolute' action against N Korea See in context

America has already tried to defeat Korea, when it was one state, during the World War 2. We all know how it ended. Korea was separated into a democratic south part and communistic north part.

So I'd say the goal should be not to defeat the North Korea, but to create a situation when the North Korea would be absorbed by the southern neighbor. Such scenario happened to Germany, which was divided into democratic and communistic part. But the key element was the weakening of communist power, leading to the official termination of Soviet Union. And I doubt this will happen in a peaceful way. Especially with communist China creeping around and being a passive beneficiary of the current political state in Asia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Mt Fuji may erupt by 2015, says Ryukyu University professor See in context

Oh, this is bad! Fortunately I live on the other side of the globe.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Posted in: Hot chocolate tastes better in an orange cup See in context

Orange color is is said to be associated with food. Even in language, the word describing orange color also means a fruit (I know it works for Polish and English, not sure about the Japanese). Orange dishes boost hunger. If you want to eat less, you should eat on a blue dishes - blue color is associated with unhealthy things.

If someone is interested in this particular topic, the psychological influence of colors, there is a whole specialization of psychology called the "color psychology". It's quite popular in Europe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Which English words or expressions really annoy you? See in context

I get furious whenever I read a colloquial sentence with the word "sh*t" in it. And the word "whatever" with emotional emphasis.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: S Korean man stabs himself at airport to protest arrival of Japan envoy See in context

Some people will do anything for least attention.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Praying for success See in context

Prayers are prayers, they make people feel more comfortable; still the work has to be done.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Serial tree killer on the loose in 5 prefectures See in context

I did read a Norwegian book mentioning an insane person who liked to cut down trees because they were "immortal", but, I didn't know that there are real people who do such things. There is one difference though, this serial tree killer in Japan might not be insane, but simply work on commission of someone who'd like to pay a high price for such a sacred timber. Usually everything which possesses an extraordinary symbolic value, like works of art, endangered species, sacred trees and so on, is a subject of the desire of various collectors.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Imperial illumination See in context

I saw similar bridges in Paris, but this one is more elegant. It would make a great setting for a film.

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