Posts

Showing posts from April, 2013

Writing English

Image
Four months have passed since I started this blog. At first, I wondered if I was able to write correct English. I managed to write all posts in English, but my English hasn't improved yet.

The usages of articles and prepositions of English are particularly difficult for many Japanese, which, in many cases, come from Japanese language structure.




This picture was taken by my younger daughter in Shanghai. Although this Japanese is a little funny, this might be better than my English.


Writing English is frustrating for me. On the other hand, I feel, in a sense, an indefinable freedom as if I was liberated from Japanese language and culture that I grew up in for a long time when I write my blog in English.

Dawkins Scale

Image
I dare not to mention this book but a spectrum.

In this book, Richard Dawkins presented 7 milestones from 100% theist to 100% atheist. It's known as 'Dawkins Scale'.


1. Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung: "I do not believe, I know."

2. De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. "I don't know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there."

3. Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."

4. Completely impartial. Exactly 50 per cent. "God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable."

5. Leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. "I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical."

6. De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. "I don't know for certain…

Consilience

Image
Edward. O. Wilson is a highly respected researcher of ants, biology and biodiversity. He is also known as an ecologist and the father of sociobiology.

I haven't read 'Sociobiology', but I read his some books, 'On Human Nature', 'Biophilia', 'Naturalist'.

This book is DIFFICULT to read in a second language but worth reading even if it took long time to read.

At the beginning of this book, knowing Einstein tried to unify physics of micro and macro, he says;

I found it a wonderful feeling not just to taste the unification metaphysics but also to be released from the confinement of fundamentalist religion.

・・・ science is religion liberated and writ large. ・・・Preferring a search for objective reality over revelation is another way of satisfying religious hunger. (Chapter 1)


This words reminds me of Spinoza.


The greatest enterprise of the mind has always been and always will be the attempted linkage of the sciences and humanities. ・・・Consilience is the key …

SAVING 10,000 - Winning a War on Suicide in Japan

Image
My friend recommended this video yesterday.




300,000 Japanese people have killed themselves for past ten years.
Japanese suicide rate is twice that of America, three times that of Thailand, nine times higher than Greece, twelve times higher than the Philippine's.

As far as I know, my two classmates of elementary school and two of junior high school killed themselves when they were around twenty years old. I don't know the reasons. Another friend killed himself when he was 28 years old. The reason was a woman problem.

Tuesdays with Morrie

Image
ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It is also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease". This is an incurable disease for now.

ALS has affected many famous people including Lou Gehrig, Stephen Hawking, Mao Zedong, and also Torao Tokuda, Hideo Shinozawa in Japan. There are more than 8,000 patients in Japan.

By the end, if you are still alive, you are breathing through a tube in a hole in your throat, while your soul, perfectly awake, is imprisoned inside a limp husk, perhaps able to blink, or cluck a tongue, like something from a science fiction movie, the man frozen inside his own flesh. This takes no more than five years from the day you contract the disease. (page 10 in this book)

One day, Mitch Albom happens to know it on a TV news show, that his mentor, Morrie Schwartz, contracted ALS and is dying. He decided to pay a visit soon. They meet for the first time in sixteen years …