For Reference

On the correlation between guns and crime, click here
On legalization of drugs, click here.


Progressive paradox and transparency

Progressives laudably seek to oppose injustice by deploying government power as a countervailing force against the imagined opressive and exploitative tendencies of market institutions. Yet it seems that time and again market institutions find ways to use the government’s regulatory and insurer-of-last-resort functions as countervailing forces against their competitors and, in the end, against the very public these functions were meant to protect.

Democracy in America, The Economist on the paradox of progressive ideology.
Well written, but the author seem to forget that progressives do have a solution to this paradox, namely transparency. This is precisely why it was so disgusting when progressives comes out against Wikileaks. Finger pointed at you and your crew, Obama.

Posted from Android

X’mas present for Norwegian Wood / ノルウェイの森へのクリスマスプレゼント

X’mas present for Norwegian Wood

K-Yゼリー 100g ローション

At the very least have a merry x’mas.

The movie was exquisitely shoot, composed acted. The scene where they walk back and forth in the tall grass of Kyoto therapy wearing pajamas was a tour de force. As for the story telling however, I felt it was difficult to relate to the feelings that characters were going through, mainly because there wasn’t sufficient explanation for the cause of the intense emotions they were feeling. It could have been a better movie had i read the novel, but thats a presumption a movie director and screenplay writer should not make. Even towards the very end I felt only very weak emotional attachment or any fascination with the characters, making a supposedly character driven movie a failure.



















p.s. Hat tip to Hayashida for the pointer on Article 13.

My favorite American President

Found a great quote about Jefferson, my favorite American president.

“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House — with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” John F. Kennedy’s April 29, 1962 dinner honoring 49 Nobel Laureates (Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations, 1988, from Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, p. 347) hat/tip:

Much of my knowledge of Jefferson comes from The Jefferson Hour, a podcast of a humanities scholar impersonating jefferson to talk about his time and occasionally our time. When i first discover the show i loved it so much i went back and listened to all the previous shows that i could find. It was great even thought i no longer listen to it.

On the merit of success and failure

Being having a lot of interesting conversations lately.
My chat with a friend last night reminded me of two posts i wrote on success, failure and free will.

The fundamental view that form the bases of both post (not a radical view at all, its a view share by philosophers in general) is that since success, failure or whatever attainment a person result in is cause by the accumulated interaction between the genes and the environment (good and bad). And that both the genes that conceived and the environment that raised us are the result of chance. Therefore neither success nor failure should form the podium to condescend from or the pit to be condescended to.

Why is Taiwan so in love with Japan?

This is going to be a short and “speculative” post, meaning i am not going to do the research to back up my claims. its all going to be base on my impressions and general understanding. Why? Because its 9am and i havent slept.

So, what is Taiwan so in love with Japan? was one of many topics discussed last night. I personally  have heard this question asked quite a few times, and its almost without exceptions from a Japanese.

my speculative answers to the question below:

1. Its because Japan were better colonial rulers than the subsequent Chinese KMT*.
This claim is of course base on my impression. It is also possible that such impressive was fueled by propaganda from the anti-KMT movement.

2. Its because Taiwanese nationalist like to empathize their Japanese and dutch colonial history to build a Taiwanese national identity that is distinguished from the mainland Chinese. Every wonder why the name “Formosa” is used as much as it is? Because its a name given to Taiwan from their dutch colonial masters. The cable news channel launched  by senior member of the pro-independent nationalist DPP is of course named Formosa TV.

3. As the first Asian country to industrialize, Japan is able to start their culture development first. That means Japan compare to other Asian countries have a more developed fashion industries, pop culture industries, and have a domestic market that is in general more culturally sophisticated. When post-industrial Taiwan can afford to pay attention to culture and other sophistication they look to the United States and Europe then Japan as the only non-western alternative culture center.

*I distinguish the post-colonial KMT as Chinese and foreign because it was not democratically elected by people of Taiwan. Obviously time have changed, KMT in its current state is unquestionably Taiwanese, not Chinese.