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Posted in: Women in Tokyo strongly back single-sex transport amid security fears: global poll See in context

Women-only cars is a good stopgap, but doesn't end the problem. Creating male-only cars would make some people feel good about fairness, and perhaps mitigate some risk of false/mistaken accusations, but then all the non-offender guys would get in those cars and leave the mixed car an even more dangerous place. Completely segregating the cars would totally work, but then people couldn't travel with their opposite gender siblings/partners/friends/co-workers/etc. Teaching men to respect women is the sort of thing that people love to call for, for some reason, but never leads to anything really changing.

I think the problem won't go away until the trains are less crowded. That's hard to do with current infrastructure. But on the up side, self-driving automobiles are coming. They're supposed to be so efficient with routing, road-training, speed-matching, etc that they can greatly improve the throughput of even Japan's narrow streets. Shoot, there's no reason they have to be full-sized sedans. They could be little one person pods that put Kei cars to shame, traveling two abreast in a lane. I don't think it'll replace subways, but by 2030, maybe shifting 15% of the ridership off the subways is possible. Maybe investing in more tunneling for streets (Boring Company style) can shift more.

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Posted in: Japanese government separated families by deporting 47 Vietnamese See in context

Normally the wife of a lawful resident could apply for lawful residency, but she overstayed, had a deportation on the books already, and used a false ID to reenter. Normally they could both leave together, but he is a refugee. Normally the child could go with the mom, but he speaks only Japanese....

This is an edge case. There will always be edge cases. No matter where you draw a line, there's always someone who gets bisected by it.

You could try to make lines fuzzy, give the law the ability to make humanitarian exemptions... but that always seems to invite discrimination, and sometimes corruption. An exemption is by nature subjective, up to the whims of a crazy judge; who knows what he's thinking. And if you drew the line so far out there that no tragedies like this could ever occur, you'd end up letting outright criminals stay and other people would have to bear that burden.

This is just the nature of governing, the organizational equivalent of a natural disaster. In theory any given casualty is preventable, but in every case, if you decide not to live by the sea to avoid the tidal wave, you end up on the mountain and someone gets crushed by a landslide. All you can do is try to steer things into the best outcome for the greatest number, and when a tragedy inevitably gets someone, maybe run a donation drive.

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Posted in: University professor tweets sexual harassment is his hobby See in context

I think that employment contracts should come with a "delete your twitter" clause.

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Posted in: Man, presumed dead, returns home a year after family cremated wrong body See in context

So... what was he up to for that year? Lived with his mistress? Crazy yakuza mission? Went to Brazil? Became a monk? Assumed someone else's identity and lived in another man's house?

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Posted in: Health-conscious parents look to escape soiled diaper blues See in context

It seems the problem here is that the facilities do not have daily garbage pickups and feel that this would be a financial burden. There are ways to make a weekly pickup feasible without letting the dumpster breed bacteria and stink up the area for a week.

I used to work in a laboratory setting that had to deal with things worse than human waste. We had a way for bagging things that didn't allow air to escape. Then we autoclaved it at the end of the day. For certain other materials that regulation didn't require we autoclave, but would be unsanitary to leave out, we kept chilled until it was time for disposal.

If sanitizing on site or keeping the waste chilled sounds too expensive, an airtight bag alone would be sufficient. Just seal the bag, leave it in the dumpster, place a warning sign on the dumpster. Problem solved.

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