Brian is a researcher, technologist, and futurist working in Kyoto, Japan as a programmer, web developer, and software engineer. He has a CS degree from VT in VA plus several years experience and a wide interest in many topics. Oportunities and Interest Always Welcome.
 
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Order of Randomness - Hyperlinks of a Blogged Mind
Words about Japan, Technology, Politics, and Entertainment seldom spelled correctly
Wednesday, August 27, 2003 permanent link
  this page has some Japanese commercials and music videos.
Tuesday, August 26, 2003 permanent link
  Protest the movie Kill Bill

I'm pissed. I was really looking foward to the release of Tarantino's newest movie Kill Bill. I really like Pulp Fiction, I really like Uma Thurmon, and I was looking foward to the Japanese pop culture and samurai elements of the film. The first part is due to be released on October 10th, close to my birthday. However I just found out that it will be released in two parts and I'll be damned if I pay to see the movie and then have to wait and then have to pay again, especially just to see what would totally only been a 3 hour movie. I understand Tarantino's reluctance to cut the film to a shorter length, but screw Miramax. I'm going to wait until the second one is released, and rent the DVD for part 1 first. And if the first one isn't out on DVD by that time, I'll wait for both to come out on DVD. I don't want other movies to follow this trend and suddenly we must always pay double with a long wait in between to see any movie. So I ask everyone to join me in protest by refusing to see part 1 until part 2 is released.

The only acceptable alternative other than a single release is to lower the cost of each part by at least 25% and release the second one no less than 1 month later.

Monday, August 25, 2003 permanent link
  New America and the FCC

I found the New American Foundation. It looks interesting, but I'm not sure exactly what there policies are. However their stance on spectrum policy looks like a well thought out position. Relatedly, its time for media reform. Ironically we had some decent rules in place, before they got eroded by the-powers-that-be, so instead of reforming we are actually need re-reform.

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  Another example of how stupid some people are, are the threats by some Japanese against North Koreans boarding this ship. A message to those hot headed Japanese: Hey wake up! These are just kids travelling on a college trip. They don't have a choice, they are required to go in order to graduate. So calm down and relax. Don't make a mistake and take out your frustration about that fool Kim Chong-il on every North Korean. They are just as much victims as anyone else. Pity them and work with them to try and bring about peaceful change in whatever way we can. Try to understand that they are in a difficult situation. They must continue to show some support for the North Korean government so that they can see their family being held hostage there just like the Japanese families. Also many of them have been tricked, liked to, and brainwashed, but most of them are starting to wake up. The next generation, the ones getting on that boat, they don't really support Kim Chong-il, and they realize the truth, but like most young people these days, they are politically apathetic. Maybe when Japan admits its wartime attrocities Korean's will be more receptive to criticism. We know how long thats going to take. The whole world has heaps of blame to go around. Every country and every government has its dark side, but threating citizens is never the smart way to bring about change.
Sunday, August 24, 2003 permanent link
  I watched this movie a while ago, but lost the link. I just found it again. Its really good I think.
Friday, August 15, 2003 permanent link
  When I read this statement about dark matter for the first time, it seemed rather profound.

"The majority of the Universe does not emit light, does not scatter light, does not absorb light, and is not even made out of atoms. It can only be "seen" by its gravitational effects." - from here

Wednesday, August 06, 2003 permanent link
  I recalled someone telling me that Edward Norton had lived in Japan and decided to Google it. I found out that he studied Japanese at Yale and then lived in Osaka for a few months after graduation in 1991 working for The Enterprise Foundation in Osaka, a company that his grandparents founded. A guy has to wonder how many Japanese girls a good looking guy like Ed with some Japanese language might have had fun with back then, especially back in the early 90's when it is widely recognized that there were far fewer foreigners in Japan and the women were far more eager to "meet" foreigners (sorry to be crude, but I'm not making this up). Here is a video clip from this page of Edward Norton speaking Japanese (quick time file). Listen to how the crowd loves it. By the way, I'm not saying Mr. Norton was a bad boy during those days, but I think that he would have had emmense potential to be so. Anyone found any gossip about it? Tell me with the contact links!
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  Japanese Justice

Because of its robots, mobile phones, and other great technology, Japan appears to many technology oriented people to be a role model of the future modern world. However I just got a link reminding me that socially it still has a long way to go. Whether you agree or not about the purpose of the site, the overview of the Japanese justice system is informative, with plenty of links for further reading. As a previous resident in Japan (who is now missing his keitai) I heard talk about how inhumanly strict the jails are and how harsh some of the punishments are for what are considered fairly minor crimes in other countries. However I was not aware about how inflexible and uncaring the courts were. Even worse is that now, thinking back to past comments I overheard, I think that many Japanese don't see a nearly 100% conviction rate as a sign of a flawed system, but as a sign of a nearly perfect system! I hope that many fans of Japanese technology and culture, and many Japanese themselves, become aware of this dark side and try to bring about awareness and change in whatever subtle ways that they can.
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