An interactive and taboo-free journalism based in Japan

Welcome to TokyoFreePress Sunday, November 29 2015 @ 01:50 AM EST
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Digital Maoism and Six-Word Stories

Jaron Lanier

The phrase Digital Maoism (aka Online Collectivism) was coined by Jaron Lanier, an American computer scientist, composer, visual artist and author, in his May 2005 essay.

Four years later, a growing number of Netizens are becoming fascinated with a new literary format named six-word stories. The slogan there is, "Brevity is a virtue." The one who has led the way to the kiddy stuff since last year gives Ernest Hemingway credit for his inspiration. According to him, the shortest-ever story in the history of literature is the one written by the American Nobel laureate. It goes like this:

For sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.

This crap is supposed to be considered profound simply because it's Hemingway. But I suspect that the new breed of American Netizens owe Japanese haiku poets their literary movement more than they owe it to Hemingway.

As I explained in a TokyoFreePress story titled Seamless Transition from Haiku to Keitai, nothing illustrates the essence of Japanese culture better than their obsession with the myth of homogeneity. In literature, the same pathological trait has translated into the 17-syllable format since the 17th century. Without the delusive belief that all the community members shared the same set of word associations, they would never have thought a minimal number of words would be enough to have their messages get through to the receiving ends. This is how the haiku mentality has taken root in this climate.

The myth was invented in the early 8th century by a couple of successive emperors as a tool for pacifying the Japanese archipelago. Ever since their successors have taken advantage of the mental defect to the fullest by leveraging the same method. Even today the media keep implanting into their audience a logic circuit that always ensures a standardized response to a given stimulus.

To Japanese, it has always been true that "less is more." But before long we will be hearing them say, "Nothing is everything," because the typical distortion of Buddha's tenet is an inevitable consequence of the pursuit of brevity. This is where the world's most hive-minded people are destined.

It is also interesting to know that if you compose a good haiku (there are some,) you'll get a favorable review which is often hundred times longer than your piece, whereas if you choose to give a full-length elaboration on your thought, as I often do, the longest feedback you can expect from your audience is a 17-syllable-long review. Most typically it's as short as 12-syllables: nagasugite yomu-ki ga shinai, or I don't want to read such a wordy piece. It's against this backdrop that manga now accounts for more than 70% of all the printed publication in Japan. And as you may know, manga are much less wordy as compared to comics in the West. Sometimes they have no speech bubbles.

As Lanier feared four years ago, the same thing is happening in America. The country is now rapidly transforming itself from a diverse culture to a hive-minded society. Small wonder that the six-word format is flourishing in the Obama Nation.

Lanier's May 2005 essay discusses a lot about the pros and cons of the Wikipedian way of thinking, but actually Digital Maoism refers to the general attitude of a broader Internet population. So let me give you a different perspective on this trend here.

You are often asked, or ask yourself, these questions - whether you approve or disapprove of things such as:
Democracy as against autocracy
Republicans as against Democrats (in America)
Liberal Democratic Party as against Democratic Party of Japan (in Japan)
War as against peace
Multilateralism as against unilateralism
Resort to military option as against the "keep dancing at the U.N. ballroom" option
Same-sex marriages
Free market system as against centrally controlled economy
Right to carry firearms
Proliferation as against the oligopoly of the nukes

The list of FAQs goes on and on. Actually it's as long as the hyper-extensive agenda of the sufferer of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in the White House.
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Hillary Clinton Should Stop Busybodying Us

Once upon a time we
saw this picture

Recently I stick around in the neighborhood of Yokohama China Town, where I live, because I'm physically too weak to take an excursion every time I eat out, I can't afford to have a meal any more decent than livestock feed, and now it wouldn't make any difference to my health whether or not I avoid oily, stinky Chinese food. That's why these days I have befriended many local Chinese. Since most of them are quite intelligent, I can learn from both mainlanders and Taiwanese much more than I can from my brain-dead compatriots.

Last night I had a talk with a Chinese student working in a nearby eatery. The guy majoring in business administration here told me that he remembers what it was like to see the Tiananmen tumult even though he was a preschool kid in 1989. At the end of our stand talking in Japanese, he concluded: "I think our policymakers are no different from their foreign counterparts. They all stink." I said, "That's why you are studying business administration rather than political science. Is that right?" "You bet," exclaimed the guy.

Actually, if you compare the two governments between China and the U.S., it's almost a toss-up, but in a way Beijing has outdone Washington in recent years. In China their memories of the June 4 massacre are fading away by now. On the contrary the Japanese have yet to get over the scar from WWII because the "umbilical cord" that has connected us to America since 1960 is still there. Now totally eroded, it has started festering all over. As a result our entire nation remains crippled.

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the incident, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly touched on her pet subject, calling on the Beijing government to release all those still imprisoned in connection with the protests, stop harassing those who took part and begin a dialogue with the victims' families. In response, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Clinton's remarks amounted to "crudely meddling in Chinese domestic affairs."

Gang was right. Clinton has no moral authority to give the Chinese her annual lecture on human rights.
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Comparing Truman's Genocide against Hitler's Holocaust

This is to follow up my previous post entitled An Unprecedented Way of Genocide Abetted by the Reputable Anthropologist from a different perspective.

Some of you will say the Holocaust and Truman's version of genocide are not really comparable. Some others may think the Holocaust was more brutal because its victims by far outnumbered the Japanese civilians incinerated in the last days of the war.

I agree that a superficial comparison between the two war crimes does not make a lot of sense. Yet I am inclined to juxtapose them because what I witnessed from 1944 through 1945 was the single most important event in my 73-year life.

Unlike Holocaust survivors or descendants of its victims, not a single Japanese has called atrocities ordered by Harry S. Truman an act of genocide. Even A-bomb survivors and their offspring always stop short of calling the unforgivable crime by that name. There are two reasons for their forgivingness.

Reason 1: The Japanese don't understand that one crime you committed against your enemy does not offset against another committed against you by another enemy. As Ruth Benedict pointed out, they have no moral absolutes. So they always relativize things. Japan's Communist Party is no exception.

In his April 5 speech, Obama said, "As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon (sic) the United States has a moral responsibility to act,". His remarks were well-received here. On April 28 Kazuo Shii, president of the JCP, sent a letter to Obama to express his gratitude for his "initiative."

Earlier this week, Shii received a reply letter, signed by an Undersecretary of State on behalf of the U.S. President, which said Obama was pleased to know the JCP shares with him the same enthusiasm for a nuclear-free world. Shii looked really exhilarated because this is the first letter the U.S. government has ever sent to the communist party. Maybe Obama doesn't know JCP's "enthusiasm" was first ignited by the Soviet Union. JCP-led Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs used to be in favor of nuclear tests conducted by the USSR.

It's regrettable that either president has no brains to understand there's nothing wrong with just possessing or even using the nuke. As is true with conventional weaponry, the real problem always lies with when and where to use it, and to what end. It's all the more tragic because the JCP is the only party that has not officially approved the Imperial Institution and the U.S.-Japanese security treaty. Shii was in a position to have told Obama that the U.S. has a moral responsibility not for using the bombs, but for not using them in Tokyo to decapitate Japan. But he didn't.
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An unprecedented way of genocide abetted by an anthropologist well-versed in the Japanese culture

Tokyo air-raids 1944-1945

Top: The genocide guidebook disguised as an anthropological work
Bottom: Its author Ruth Benedict

I read this book in Japanese translation when I was 13 years of age. Our teacher at the social studies classes was a son of Kazuo Aoki, former minister in charge of the Great East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere in Tojo's junta. He told us to peruse it because we would find our own selves exquisitely described in the reading assignment. As he had promised, I found a lot of stereotypical characterization of "Tanaka San, the Japanese 'anybody'," as Benedict put it, but didn't find myself or my father at all there. I concluded that The Chrysanthemum and the Sword is an anthropological rubbish.

Sixty years later, however, I somehow felt an urge to revisit the same crap because these days things on both sides of the Pacific seem to be unfolding as if people are still suffering the aftereffects from overdose of a toxic agent administered by the author. In recent years it's increasingly evident that people of my generation, and our children and grandchildren alike, feel deep inside that something has remained unsettled and that it's long overdue by now.

As for the U.S., Obama's silver tongue is on a roll more than ever. On April 5 at the Hradcany Square in Prague, Czech Republic, he announced a bold plan to negotiate a new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia by the end of this year. As usual he tried to get around the most sticking points involved in the issue he was talking about.

With the exception of START I signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, any arms reduction deal has not been effectively implemented to date for various reasons. And more importantly, the hypocritical and unrealistic anti-nuke frameworks such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the multilateral talks over the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea have long proved dysfunctional.

To gloss over the real issue, Obama said: "As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act." The empty incantation, of course, heartened equally empty-headed Japanese people, especially the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It's appalling to know these learning-disabled people still think we can undo what we've done in the past. If we could, still we shouldn't - because it's looking away from the ever-changing reality.

In Japan, the approval rating of the coalition government between the Liberal Democratic Party and Komei-to (the party backed by the legitimized cult Soka-Gakkai) has inched up since March thanks to the revelation of the wrongdoing of Ichiro Ozawa, head of the Democratic Party of Japan, although his collusive relations with the construction company is nothing but a sideline business for the crook who has milked Japan's Defense Ministry in the last four decades.

On May 11 Ozawa finally announced to step down as DPJ head to take responsibility for the irregularities he would never admit to. You won't understand his queer logic, if there is any logic at all, until after you read Ruth Benedict's book. This is a typical way a bandit takes responsibility in this country. On Saturday, Yukio Hatoyama, one of Ozawa's henchmen, was "elected" to succeed him as the party head.

As a result, by this fall we will see a general election for the House of Representatives fought between the LDP headed by the grandson of Shigeru Yoshida and the DPJ now headed by the grandson of Ichiro Hatoyama. Yoshida always bragged about his "friendship" with Douglas MacArthur, but in fact, he was one of those who gave the general an indelible impression that all Japanese adults were 12 years old. Ichiro Hatoyama was the first prime minister under the 1955 System. As you already know, the political system known by that name is a trap artfully set up by MacArthur against the Japanese people.

This is an unmistakable sign that this nation has been going around in circles for the last 64 years amid the sea change you've seen everywhere else.

All this indicates that the unviable Japan is really invincible now. This country can't even collapse on its own, let alone change. That's why I made up my mind to part ways with 1.3K yen to purchase The Chrysanthemum and the Sword in its 2005 paperback edition from Mariner Books. I just wanted to have a fresh look into the collusive relations between the two peoples. · read more (2,135 words)
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Politically Correct Ways to Deal with Swine Flu

This is to provide my audience with some tips on how to deal with Swine Flu in the wake of the announcement by the WHO that it raised the alert level to the second highest Phase 5.

Rule 1: It was quite OK to call the disease caused by the H5N1 virus Avian Flu. Don't ask me why. Also it was permissible to call Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy mad cow disease, thanks to the maturity and torelance shown by Hindus. But make no mistake; it's wrong to call the new pestilence Swine Flu. If you break the rule, that will prompt Muslims to slaughter hundreds of innocent piggies, as Egyptians actually did a couple of weeks ago. Instead of putting the undue blame on these pious Arabic people, you should strictly observe this rule. This is the only way to keep peace. By the way, the correct way to refer to the disease is H1N1 Influenza Type A.

Rule 2: Be courageous enough to expose yourself to those people, such as Mexicans, who are likely to bring you H1N1 viruses. If you are American and dare to insist to close the borders with Mexico, you will be labeled a racist. If you are Japanese, don't refuse personal contact with Americans just because they are most exposed to the viruses coming from the south of the border. Always bear in mind that you are obliged to reciprocate their favor of protecting your country against possible attacks from neighboring rogue nations at the cost of American lives.

Rule 3: Wash your hands every nook and cranny every time you came home. If you don't know how to wash your hands, watch Japanese TV. Around the clock every newscaster is repeatedly telling you the procedure you have to go through in the bathroom very precisely. They invariably say you shouldn't be through with the hand-cleansing ritual at least until 15 seconds elapse. But when taking into account the pathological obsession of the Japanese with cleanliness on the outside, I think 12 seconds are enough for foreigners. If you are Japanese and break the rule, the consequence can be graver than just infected with H1N1. You will be considered to have contracted more serious disease by the name of Anti-Conformism. Most probably you will be detained in an isolation ward. As a matter of practice it will be like you are deprived of your nationality.

Rule 4: Don't fail to wear a mask whenever you go out. Here, too, you can count on Japanese newscasters for invaluable tips. They boldly assume that all the TV viewers know how to put on a mask. Yet they think it's expecting too much from the neotenized viewers to assume they are good at undoing it as well. So they quickly add this to their instructions: "When you are back home and removing the mask, never touch other parts of the mask than straps, because its surface can be contaminated by H1N1." Maybe you just have to cross your fingers that straps are not contaminated. There is one thing that even attentive instructors seldom mention; the mask can also serve as a gag that prevents you from transmitting to others another deadly virus named the truth. That is why many Japanese wear a mask throughout the year.
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Reporters without Boarders (or Reporters sans Frontieres) was founded in 1985 in Montpellier, France. Ever since the self-proclaimed press freedom watchdog, now based in Paris, has kept a watchful eye on the mainstream and web-based media worldwide.

In the past RSF earned a good reputation for its relatively unbiased way of providing comparative data about how far reporters of each country were allowed to exercise press freedom. But in recent years RSF has been increasingly discrediting itself.

Let's take a look at the press freedom ranking RSF publishes every year. The following list shows how G-8 countries and China fared in comparison with other countries in 2004 and 2008:

Country Ranking
No. of Countries/Regions on the List 167 173
Canada 18 13
China 162 167
France 19 35
Germany 11 20
Italy 39 44
Japan 42 29
Russia 140 141
United Kingdom 30 23
United States (American Territory) 22 36
United States (Extra-territorial, incl. Iraq) 108 119

Anyone in his right mind will have difficulty understanding how RSF came up with its "Press Freedom Indices" when press freedom is something that you can't readily quantify - unless you are prejudiced against some regimes and in favor of some others.

In fact the press freedom watchdog relies primarily on the statistical figures available to it, such as:how many journalists and bloggers were killed, arrested, physically assaulted, threatened and how many media outlets and websites were censored, blocked, shut down and suspended. That means that RSF has to use arbitrary criteria when it comes to nations where such an overt suppression of free press is not commonplace.

Looking at the apparently politicized ranking, you certainly feel like recollecting what happened in these nine countries between 2004 and 2008.

France sank to No. 35 presumably because the pro-American Nicolas Sarkozy became the 23rd President of the French Republic in May 2007. No other event would explain France's sharp descent.
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Phantom Parade to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Opening of Yokohama Port

Left: Hotel New Grand where Douglas MacArthur
checked in on August 30, 1945 to prepare himself for
the September 2 surrender ceremony aboard the USS
Center: The Second Perry loved New Grand so much
that the hotel survived repeated airraids. By the same
token, the compassionate general acquitted the Emp-
eror of his heinous crime of claiming 3-million Japanese
lives for the absurd cause of preserving the imperial
Right: You don't have to be a good physiognomist to
tell Yokohama Mayor Hiroshi Nakada is a moron who
doesn't understand there was nothing to celebrate in
the forced ratification of the Convention of Kanagawa
150 years ago

I am a Tokyo native and stayed in the capital city for almost 60 years until the burst of the bubble economy somehow brought me to Yokohama, the port city my political blog TokyoFreePress is currently based in. The reason I decided to settle down here was because I thought if someday the modern history of this nation is to be rewritten strictly based on facts, Yokohama should be the right place to witness the milestone. As the emperor-retained historians totally fabricated Japan's ancient history in the early-8th century, this municipality has deliberately taken part in the falsification of the nation's modern history since the 1850s.

On Sunday afternoon, I was sitting at my computer when I heard an exhilarating tune played by a marching band passing by the nearby Yamashita-Koen seaside park. This year the City Hall had been planning to jazz up, more than ever, the annual International Costume Parade to make it the centerpiece of the 150th Anniversary of the opening-up of the port after more than 200 years of sakoku (the seclusion policy.) I knew something to party about has yet to come. But whenever I hear a duple-meter music such as this one, I get a compulsive sensation that makes me act like a Hamelin kid lured by the Pied Piper. The weather was fine, and I was relatively in good shape. So I hit the streets carrying my digital camera with me.

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The Myth of Japan's Technological Superiority - PART 2.2: Prewar and Wartime History of Aeronautics


My father Mineo Yamamoto
Left: Caricatured by political cartoonist Hidezo Kondo
Right: On the eve of WWII in Berlin

It is true that there are a small number of people who are interested in what my father left behind. Ironically though, most of them are non-Japanese. Worse, to a handful of Japanese who know Mineo Yamamoto, he is just a name their fetishes bear. It looks as though a human being by that name has never existed.

In 2004 he was posthumously inducted into the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame, but during his lifetime, he was not rewarded in the right way for what he could achieve, let alone what he couldn't. Sometimes, he received a well-deserved acknowledgment, but recognitions, more often than not, came from a wrong person and for a wrong reason.

In 1973, Emperor Hirohito, demigod-turned the symbol of national unity, decorated him for his prewar and wartime accomplishments in aeronautics and postwar contribution to lay the foundation of Japan's car industry. Throughout his lifetime, though, my father could not conceal his contempt for the Emperor. But unfortunately for him, by that time Alzheimer's had started affecting his brain so seriously that he couldn't refuse to accept the decoration. My mother dragged him to the Imperial Palace.

As his eldest son, I was adversely affected by a fallout from his disdain for the Emperor. When I was 6 or 7 years old, he already started giving me an enormous pressure to make me get into the fast track to a top-notch scientist. I would later call his excessively demanding and coercive education method a double-edged sword. Totally defenseless, I finally collapsed after a futile attempt, for most of my formative years, to regain my own self. It took a long feud between us until I came to realize his aberrant obsession with the idea of making a first-rate scientist out of an ordinary kid was not so abnormal as it looked. He certainly knew that would have been the only way to avoid sacrificing his offspring for Hirohito if the Manhattan Project had delayed for ten years or so, or Japan had become nuclearized before the U.S.

Up until the war defeat, the emperor was so cold-hearted as to let his 3 million subjects die just to protect him and his kin against the barbarians from the West. When his shogun and samurai finally succumbed to the Allied Powers, he transformed himself into something that would wince at a single drop of Japanese blood shed to defend whatever his subjects want to defend. In 1945, I was a 9-year-old kid but I think I was also a victim of this bastard.

Last year fell on the 70th anniversary of the legendary plane that set the world record for flight range. But no other newspaper than The Japan Times commemorated the anniversary.

I very much appreciated the Japan Times article written by staff writer Akemi Nakamura. But she wasn't quite accurate on one point; she subtly misquoted me as telling her: "[Mineo Yamamoto Cyber Museum I launched in 2007] is one of the things I'm doing to tell people about the aircraft. It's our task to preserve the intellectual legacy that my father and his colleagues left." To me, preserving hardware, or software, is the smallest part of man's endeavor to hand down the intellectual legacy, which is often intangible, from a generation to the next.

In the same article Ms. Nakamura quoted Shigezo Oyanagi, director at Misawa Aviation and Science Museum, as saying, "The plane's technology was not particularly outstanding." The question the director couldn't have answered is, "Then, what was particularly outstanding of Koken-ki?" Oyanagi boasts that he built Japan's only full-scale "replica" of Koken-ki several years ago. But this is nothing but a mock because you can't actually fly it. Ms. Nakamura should not have expected any discerning remark from a fetishist such as Oyanagi. Kazuyoshi Suzuki, a senior curator at Japan's largest National Museum of Nature and Science, once scornfully told me that the full-scale "replica" is nothing but a pricey toy Oyanagi built at the expense of the taxpayers of Aomori Prefecture, where his museum is located. Suzuki was (uncharacteristically) right.

Suzuki's museum is run by a quasi-governmental entity. His projects must be funded much more affluently than Oyanagi's. So can I expect him to outdo the fetishist in the Aomori museum in one way or the other? That's what my late mother must have assumed some ten years ago when she generously permitted Suzuki to take away all the materials (drawings, reports, 35mm films, etc.) my father had left behind. But when I visited him in 2007, I found out that was not the case at all. It's not only that none of these materials were exhibited there, but also he effectively admitted that because of the "budget and manpower constraint" chronically facing him, most of these materials were thrown into the storage in the basement and left there unattended.

Last year I met the president of a publishing company (names withheld) who is well-versed in Japan's history of aviation. His company has published some Koken-ki-related books. He whispered to me that in a sense Suzuki had been telling me the truth. According to the president, more than 100 curators are working for the national museum, but Suzuki is the only guy working on aviation. Besides, his area of responsibilities includes IT, robotics, dinosaurs and many other areas. I asked the president: "What the heck, then, are all other guys working on?" His answer: "Please keep this strictly to yourself. Other people are working solely for the Emperor and his kin." . · read more (514 words)
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Money is Not My KPI; Prostitution is Not My KSF

To almost all professional writers, the Key Performance Indicator is money. Consequently, their Key Success Factor is artfully disguised prostitution. Let us face this fact very squarely. Otherwise we would be further undermining our freedom of speech.

I don't necessarily think it's wrong for one to make his living from prostitution. Basically it's none of my business. If I had to give him an advice, however, the following would be it:

Just stop writing, if once in a while, to think there were times when great writers never chased after money, if sometimes money chased after them.

I would tell him this not because by heeding my tip, he would become a great writer, but because the worst type of prostitute is one who doesn't think he is a prostitute.

Believe it or not, I don't intend to tell my sour-grapes story here, but my KPI and KSF are 180-degrees different from professional writers'.

This is not to say I need not closely measure my own performance so that I can improve the quality of this blog. I do need to improve it both in terms of writing skills and content. That I don't habitually trade trash for cash, alone, doesn't mean I'm a great writer. And after all I'm not doing all this just for vanity's sake.

Because of some shortcomings involved in the statistical function of my blogging software named Geeklog, I have been using a more advanced analysis tool named Google Analytics (GA) since the beginning of this year.

Unfortunately, though, I can't afford the prohibitively high cost to take an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) measure. So I've had to substitute my own trick to improve the traffic every time I identify a problem. Over time I've found out my cheap trick, such as using eye-catching (sometimes un-PC) words and phrases, more often than not, outdo pricey SEO tools. Another reason I don't go for an SEO software is because it tends to artificially inflate access counts to make money-driven site owners happy.

Below here I'll show you how I am evaluating my own performance as an independent Web journalist against my own measurement criteria.

Traffic Overview

Aside from the readings on GA, the stats page of Geeklog tells me that 1,086,068 people have "hit" my website since I launched it 56 months ago. It's true Geeklog tends to largely overstate my performance in this respect because it can't exclude my own accesses as well as spammers'. Besides, by a rule of thumb, you can arrive at the number of visitors by dividing the number of hits by something like 3-5.

All in all, the reading on Geeklog is conservatively estimated to translate into 150,000-200,000 real visitors or 450,000-600,000 page views. Yet I think this is something when taking into account the fact that I have always avoided prostituting myself. More specifically, I have taken no-nonsense approach toward socio-political issues and taken up issues of lasting relevance, rather than just responding to media-salient topics of the time, which are often red herrings.

Analysis by Country

The largest number of visitors came from the United States. This is exactly what I intended when launching my blog because freedom of speech isn't really dead in that country. The following chart shows the top 10 countries in the last 3-month period:

Rank Country Visits
1 U.S. 877
2 Japan 500
3 Canada 117
4 U.K. 73
5 China 63
6 Australia 51
7 Singapore 32
8 France 28
9 Germany 27
10 Philippines 19
· read more (881 words)
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Some Netizens are Still at War for Their Independence

One of my American friends is a literary agent. She is a very intelligent person. A couple of days ago I received a mail from her in which she commented on some of my recent pieces like this:

"I particularly found fascinating your writing about your father, his knowledge about airplanes and his unheeded warning to the Japanese command of the need to develop an air force. I think in order to tell your father's story to the widest possible audience you have made the right decision to do so online. [But] you may find that the impact of what you are publishing online leads a publisher to contact you to write a book based on this information."

I know her comment was well-intended. But I am afraid she misunderstood me. Firstly, the fact that Japan did not have its Luftwaffe (Air Force) was the smallest part of my father's problem. Secondly, I'm fighting against my own enemies, not my father's. It's just that most of my foes happen to be the descendants of those who stood in my father's way. And lastly, but most importantly, I have no intention to use my website as a stepping stone to something more "real."

After the "dot-com bubble" burst in the early-2000, we saw signs that new crops of Netizens were emerging on the horizon of the cyberspace. In February 2005, Steve Chen and two other young men founded YouTube, LLC. In December 2006, TIME magazine selected You as its Person of the Year. These events gave us a good reason to be upbeat about our future.

But this didn't last long. We've been experiencing a serious setback in the Internet-driven revolution ever since.

In November 2006, Google Inc. acquired YouTube, LLC. Its co-founders may have earned $1.65 billion from the deal, but we Netizens lost much more than that because Google's move actually signaled a counterrevolutionary move to defuse the fledgling Netizens' Republic.

For the part of TIME magazine, it picked Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama as the persons of the years 2007 and 2008, respectively, as if to retract its previous support to independent bloggers, selfless Wikipedians and open-source software developers.

Obviously, the likes of Google and TIME are trying to artfully domesticate and neutralize these wild animals so that the old media empires can claim dominance over the emerging Netizenry. Indications thus far are that the media establishment wants to see independent Netizens eventually go extinct.

In order to show you my way of analyzing the current situation of this warfare, let me try classifying the millions of videos you can watch on YouTube into 9 different categories as below:

Category Description/Examples
1 Stepping Stone Examples include Paul Potts, a former employee of a carphone warehouse company and Susan Boyle, a Scottish church volunteer.
2 Auditioning Most famously the YouTube Symphony Orchestra was formed through online audition to stage a concert at Carnegie Hall earlier this month. I don't think this is what the co-founders had in mind when they employed the "Broadcast Yourself" slogan.
3 Promotional Many people are advertising their books, CDs and DVDs, for free, in order to broaden their audiences.
4 Rerun Many people have uploaded TV programs ABC, CNN, etc. have run in the past.
5 Rare Film Footage or Recording My own video about the legendary aircraft falls on this category.
6 Political Campaign by Independent Maverick Republican Ron Paul is the best example. I have embedded some of his videos in this blog.
7 Musical Performance by Amateur or Semi-Pro Innumerable people are generously sharing their performances just for fun. I have favorited dozens of them on my YouTube channel. A smile-inducing video uploaded by German girls is embedded below as an example. A world filled with their music makes your life really worth living.
8 Educational You can watch tutorials, lectures, religious preaches and many other visual presentations of educational materials. You may generically call them a visualized Wikipedia. Among other things, I found Daniel Barenboim's masterclass series (embedded below) quite impressive, although I don't particularly want to be a master of the instrument.
9 "Vlog" Some people are working on visualized versions of their blogs.

· read more (354 words)