Doing it his way

No, this is not about the US president’s choice of songs for his inaugural ball (or Sinatra’s daughter’s reaction to it).

It’s about a 10-year-old boy in Japan who decided he didn’t want to be “the nail that sticks out and is pounded in” by following societal norms that made him miserable. He decided to do things his own way.

“Japan’s 10-Year-Old Philosopher, Published Author, and Grade School Dropout” (from Tofugu)

Reading this, I sometimes thought he was just being a self-centered pre-teen, and sometimes that he was a lot more self-aware than many adults I know. It’s complicated.

One great debate topic:

“I think schools should be places you can go if you want to. People who like schools can go to school, like my sister. It means school is a good fit for them. So, I’ve never thought about changing the environment in schools. I didn’t “fit” school, so I chose not to go. It’s that simple. What needs to change is “yourself,” not schools or other people.”

I also was not aware of the Rocket Project for Talented Children. It’s great to see programs like this in Japan.

“Say whatever you want, but say it well!”

“a misspelling is a lack of respect”

I like the Edgar Allen Poe decoration hanging from their rearview mirror (though doing that appears to be illegal in many US states … how about in Japan?). But then, so is graffiti

What are some differences between graffiti and street art? Would you like to see more of the latter around the streets of Tokyo?

Two articles to read about street art in Tokyo:

Explore the Street Art and Murals of Tokyo’s Tennozu Isle” (from Spoon and Tamago)

“Street artists in Japan try to wipe out conservative views toward graffiti” (from Japan Times)

Humans vs. AI

A Japanese insurance company replacing workers with AI was in the news a week or so ago:

“Japanese insurance firm replaces 34 staff with AI” (from BBC)

And then there’s the hotel in Kyushu (within the Huis Ten Bosch theme park) where 90% of the workers are robots:

These stories reminded me of one man’s quest to fight automated advertisement e-mails. I don’t recommend dealing with your frustrations the same way, but he sure is funny:

And new year’s debates

Three debate topics for the new year, connected to shopping and “stuff”:

  • Stores and shops should close on January 1st.
  • “Lucky bags” are a waste of money.
  • The “otoshidama” age limit should be 18.
  • “Osechi” is an old tradtion that should be abolished.

Here are a few articles that may help: