Trick or Treat? Give me booze!

October 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Happy Halloween!

Suicide Forest in Japan.

October 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m going to write about Japan, where I come from.

Watch this video *contains some disgusting and shocking pictures*

It is worth watching.

Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

According to WHO, Japan has 36.2 people (male) and 13.2 (female) suicide rate per 100000. For a comparison, the UK has 10.9 for males and 3.0 for females. Russian federation, Sri Lanka, Lithania Hungary etc have higher rates than Japan. SCARY!

If you are interested, click

I came up with a question “Why does Japan have a high suicide rate?”

Personally I think it is a culture-related problem. Japan is an island and its culture has formed by “closed” societies. What I mean is that Japanese people take neighbers seriously, respect others much (sometimes too much) and try to integrate by being “ordinary”. Japanese people do not want to stand out from the crowd. “Being the same, looking the same” is important for them. Probably not much in these days in terms of fashion etc, but in a society as in “working” and “neighbourhood”, it is still like that.

I would not reject the whole concept of those things I mentioned above, I do respect the “apologetic culture” of Japan (Japanese people like to apologise for nothing!)

I think this apologetic culture is making the situations worse for Japan-Korea and Japan-China relations…but I’ll write about this another time…

Anyway, back to the topic, I think it is very sad that people use the most impressive forest for suicide. I have been to Mt.Fuji and its area, it is beautiful, and I want it to be famous for it beauty, not “Suicide Forest in Japan” for sure.

I do not know how to reduce the suicide rate, since it’s a socially and culturally linked problem. It is difficult to change drastically. Government and organisations do have campaigns to stop/prevent suicide, but I think it is not as effective as they expect it to be.

I assume, in some extent, it is almost impossible to reduce the suicide rate – there are always suicides everywhere in every country, because human beings have emotions. It is impossible to change someone’s emotions or feelings completely.

However, of course, we are living and influencing each other (both in good and bad ways), so if we consider others and respect others (but not too much) then the suicide rate will be a little better?

I’m not sure…

I thought about killing my self so many times including seriously or just lightly, but if I thought about my relatives and parents, I could not do it. (Don’t worry I won’t think about it ever again!)

I just would like to tell to those people who are thinking of committing suicide. Think about in 10 years time. You might be happy, you might get out of the problems you have right now, you never know. It’s worth gambling your life than killing your self and being nothing. Furthermore, there are lots of people who can help you, not necessarily your parents/relatives, could be anyone. Don’t give up, and look for help. Someone can surely help you, be optimistic, be positive.

Amanda Todd’s Story.

October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Amanda Todd, a Canadian teen, committed suicide after being bullied online and at school.
She filmed herself and posted the video on Youtube.

*Note this version is not posted by her.

It is quite shocking to watch, especially the very end of the video, when you see her wrist with cuts.

What is cyber bullying?

  • Sending mean messages or threats to a person’s email account or cell phone
  • Spreading rumors online or through texts
  • Posting hurtful or threatening messages on social networking sites or web pages
  • Stealing a person’s account information to break into their account and send damaging messages
  • Pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person
  • Taking unflattering pictures of a person and spreading them through cell phones or the Internet
  • Sexting, or circulating sexually suggestive pictures or messages about a person

Obviously, what Amanda faced was clearly categorised as ‘cyber bullying’.

Statistics of cyber bullying (according to The Harford Country Examiner) are shown as follows;

  • Around half of teens have been the victims of cyber bullying
  • Only 1 in 10 teens tells a parent if they have been a cyber bully victim
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 cyber bullying incidents are reported to law enforcement
  • 1 in 10 adolescents or teens have had embarrassing or damaging pictures taken of themselves without their permission, often using cell phone cameras
  • About 1 in 5 teens have posted or sent sexually suggestive or nude pictures of themselves to others
  • Girls are somewhat more likely than boys to be involved in cyber bullying

It is surprising and dramatic to see how many kids are actually involved in cyber bullying, and  to make matters worse, they do not even realise cyber bullying is serious and illegal.

I guess this is because nowadays children are so familiar with technologies such as mobile phone and computer, and some of them do not seem to understand the difference between real world and virtual world, which is extremely baaaad!

In Amanda’s case, I would not say Amanda did not do anything wrong (I’m not justifying the horrid bullying towards her at all though). Why would she show her topless photo to a stranger in the first place? She should have been aware of “likely events” that might have occured – i.e. this stranger abuses her photo

Once you use the internet for anything such as chat, blogging, facebook, you should be aware and careful with what you do in order to avoid any risks of bullying or abusing.

I hope Amanda’s video and whole story make people aware of cyber bullying and prevents people from doing it.

R.i.p. Amanda

Tattoo-esday.

October 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Freja Beha Ericksen is the coolest woman on earth, not to mention, she is my favourite fashion model.

The reason why Socrates didn’t know his wife was cheating.

October 23, 2012 § 1 Comment

The Triple Filter Test

In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.

One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance that ran up to him excitedly and said,

“Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”
“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied.

“Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”
“Triple filter?”
“That’s right,” Socrates continued.

“Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to filter what you’re going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
“No,” the man said,

“Actually I just heard about it.”
“All right,” said Socrates.

“So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”
“No, on the contrary …”
“So,” Socrates continued,

“You want to tell me something bad about him, even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued,

“You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter – the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”
“No, not really …”
“Well,” concluded Socrates ,

“if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?”
The man was defeated and ashamed.
This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

Can squatting be justified?

October 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

First of all, note that ‘Squatting’ here means as in occupying empty/abandoned places.

In England and Wales, squatting had been LEGAL until the 1st September 2012.

Squatting in a residential building in England and Wales will become a criminal offence on Saturday, meaning squatters could face jail or a fine.

Ministers said it would offer better protection for homeowners and “slam shut the door on squatters once and for all”.

The maximum penalty will be six months in jail, a £5,000 fine, or both.

But campaigners warned the new law could criminalise vulnerable people and lead to an increase in rough sleeping.

Before the new law was implemented on the 1st September 2012, Section 6 Criminal Law Act 1977 stated;

THAT we live in this property, it is our home and we intend to stay here.

THAT at all times there is at least one person in this property.

THAT any entry or attempt to enter into this property without our permission is a criminal offence as any one of us who is in physical possession is opposed to entry without our permission.

THAT if you attempt to enter by violence or by threatening violence we will prosecute you. You may receive a sentence of up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.

THAT if you want to get us out you will have to take out a summons for possession in the County Court or in the High Court, or produce to us a written statement or certificate in terms of S.12A Criminal Law Act, 1977 (as inserted by Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, 1994).

THAT it is an offence under S.12A (8) Criminal Law Act 1977 (as amended) to knowingly make a false statement to obtain a written statement for the purposes of S. 12A. A person guilty of such an offence may receive a sentence of up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.

Signed

The Occupiers

N.B. Signing this Legal warning is optional. It is equally valid whether or not it is signed.

It basically means that squatters are legally occupying the place and it is against the law to enter the premisses without their permission, and if you do so you may be prosecuted.

From the landlord’s point of view, this is such a ridiculous law.

Imagine – wake up one morning and notice your property has been occupied by people you do not even know, and the law and police cannot do anything about it.

On the other hand, squatters may think there is noone living in the place, they do not possess anywhere to live, and it is legal to occupy the place. Why not!?

I understand both views.

I squatted last summer before the new law was implemented, however I do not solely take squatters’ side.

You might consider squatters as dirty, drug addicts, alcoholic, violent, loud etc.

It would be a lie if I say that’s not true at all. I know a few who are discribed like that, but please bear in mind that not all the squatters are ‘dirty, drug addicts, alcoholic, violent, loud etc.’

One interesting case;

There is an empty shop in my local area, and a few people have started to squat there.

It has been empty for ages, because noone was willing to rent and open a bussiness.

The landlord and his solicitor noticed the place was occupied by squatters.

Luckly, they’ve found out that those people are rather ‘nice’ squatters who take care of the place and try to make it look nice as their ‘home’.

The landlord and his solicitor notified to the squatters that they WANT them to stay in the premisses, since it is costly to hire security staff.

They thought it would be better (in terms of cost and security) if they let the nice people to squat their place.

The situation has got better and the relation between the landlord side and the squatters seems to be comfortable.

Of course, this is a very very rare case and as I’ve said no all the squatters are nice people for sure.

The thing I’d like to mention is that whether the new law actually prevents squatters to occupy a place or not.

Or, as BBC reports, is the situation getting worse?

I’ve talked to few squatters after the implemation of  new law, and apparenty it is way harder to find a place to squat.

The thing is though, because commercial buildings can legaly be squatted, it is more likely that they squat in high streets and noticible places.

I’ve seen a big tall business building (ex-clothes shop) squatted by a few right next to the shop that is still alive (in the sense that there is a business in the shop.)

Imagine – your shop is next to a squat – you may worry that the number of your customers might decline.

The new law is not only bad for those people but also squatters.

According to The Empty Homes Agency, there are an estimated 870,000 empty homes
in the UK, and SSentif said some 50,290 families and individuals were classed as homeless in
2011/12, up from 40,020 in 2009/10.

It is probably enough to allocate homeless people in the empty houses in the UK.

The world is f**ked up…

Finally, I leave an article from BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19408949

The new law is bad for tax payers…?

As a conclusion, it is hard to decide squatting can be justified or not…

Probability is deep.

October 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

I find “probability” interesting in the past few years.

If I’m about to ask some embarrassing questionts to you and your mates directly, you all obviously do not asnwer to me.

Let the embarrassing question be “Have you ever cheated on someone?” (although probably this is not that embarrassing unless you are surrounded by your ex-es.)

There is a way to find out a rough estimation for the number of you who have cheated on someone!

If I say to you “Ok, I’ll give you a coin to toss. If EITHER coin shows heads OR you’ve cheated on someone, raise your hands,” you’d feel a lot more comfortable answering the questions.

Ok, 6 out of 10 of you raised the hands.

Let X be the number of people who have cheated on someone before. Let’s call it group C.

The probability of coin toss showing heads is 0.5, therefore, the number of people whose coin showing heads is 5, group H.

Here is the tricky bit – bear in mind that there are some people with coin showing heads AND ALSO cheated on someone before. In a word, there’s an overlapping area between group C and group H if you imagine the Venn diagram.

The probability for those people would be; X/2

because no matter if you have cheated on someone or not, the probablity of getting the coin heads is 0.5.

Since X is 6, 6/2 is 3.

6 – 3 =3

Hence, I can estimate the number of people who have cheated on someone before is 3.

Of course, there are some critisisms about the whole process of finding the estimation using this method.

You might argue it is not always the case that a coin shows heads and tails equally. You might say “It is underestimating that exactly 5 people will toss a coin and gain heads.”

Sure, you are right…

However, we can say “the probability of coin toss showing heads is 0.5” confidently, while we are uncertain of the probability of people cheating on someone.

To make it clear, let’s put it this way;

We sacrifice the risk of uncertainty in coin toss in order to eliminate the uncertainty of not getting accurate answers.

In addition, the example had only 10 people in total, but as the number of candidates increases, the certainty of estimation increases. This is called; Law of large numbers.

Finally, I’d like to conclude – probability is deep…

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