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Old 2009-10-01, 14:06   Link #4161
mg1942
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japan still has their trump card

it's called automation
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Old 2009-10-01, 14:24   Link #4162
Thingle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
japan still has their trump card

it's called automation
Last time I checked, techonological development cannot outpace the rapid catching-up phase of other nations terms of economic competitiveness. Japan can have a robotic future, but it must say goodbye to its days as the 2nd largest economy and just seal itself off Vexille style.
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Old 2009-10-01, 14:31   Link #4163
mg1942
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Originally Posted by Thingle View Post
Vexille style.
That's some sick plot right there

gonna watch stream or download it tonite
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Old 2009-10-01, 15:58   Link #4164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
That's some sick plot right there

gonna watch stream or download it tonite
Ditto. Cheers Thingle, I'm in the mood for some Appleseed and Vexille now.
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Old 2009-10-01, 16:48   Link #4165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinto View Post
The author claims japan is dying. Its just reballancing. There is a limit to all growth (earth/countries have limited resources). I guess the numbers rise and fall until it reaches an equilibirum. But I guess this requires a global equilibrium of the world population too.
The demographic issue is not about a country's population vanishing into thin air (some have worst issues than Japan's).

The major problem is that they will have to deal with some severe reworking of their society during all the next 40 years (until the last babyboomer dies).

Now they are facing the aging of their population in a context where:
1-there are few youngsters.
2-aforementioned youngsters face dire prospects due to the current economy.
3-there are even fewer childrens.
4-and if nothing is done the situation will only get worse.

Note that several countries face the same problem (a few european countries would have their populations shrinking if it weren't for the immigration).

Unlike us the japaneses are not too eager to resort on immigration to solve point 1, due to point 2 as well as the economic and societal costs it incurs. So they are most likely going to cope, relying on automatization, until their population stabilizes (in 40 at least).

To stabilize a population in a foreseeable future, they need to get at least enough children for a columnar age pyramid, or they will get a forever reverted shrinking pyramid.
Given that it takes 20 years in a modern society for a demographic policy to reflect on the working population, it's no wonder they are concerned about each generation being smaller than the previous.
Coincidently a generation (of women) is only fertile for about 20 years, hence the hurry to do something.

So if they want for things to get better in 20 years at least, they have to do something now. Or things will get worse and worse for a whole century.
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Old 2009-10-01, 20:14   Link #4166
Shadow Kira01
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A few days ago.. I had posted in the A Laugh A Day thread regarding the Sony Playstation 3 ad which I thought was funny but it actually turned out that I was right about something. Sony does not find it to be a laughing matter of any type:

Offending PlayStation 3 Ads Aren't PlayStation 3 Ads

Quote:
Sony Computer Entertainment America says the pair of Chilean promos were "totally fake." And so does the president of BBDO Chile, who said in a statement that the spots, one featuring high-ranking Nazi officer Erwin Rommel and the other Joan of Arc, were "never approved" by Sony.
Obviously, there is something wrong with the advertisement as that is has nothing to do with Playstation 3 with the exception of the official logo in the left-hand top corner but that makes little sense. One promo features an American man transferring his heart for Joan d'Arc while the other promo features the same American man transferring blood to a Nazi officer....!?

Cabinet ministers reveal rift over prospects for refueling mission

Quote:
Cabinet ministers revealed a rift Thursday over the prospects for Japan’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, with some disturbed by Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada’s remarks that left room for extending it despite the new government’s plan of not doing so. ‘‘The DPJ’s stance is not to extend (the mission). We won the election by saying so,’’ Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Thursday, responding to Okada’s remarks on Wednesday that he ‘‘basically doesn’t want to extend the mission, but it’s not a complete ‘No.’’’

The mission is set to end in January unless a special law authorizing it is extended. Mizuho Fukushima, minister in charge of consumer affairs and leader of the Social Democratic Party, the DPJ’s coalition partner, also seemed uncomfortable because her party is calling for the immediate withdrawal of the Maritime Self-Defense Force involved in the mission, saying, ‘‘This cabinet should go on with the policy of not extending.’’
Okada seems to be very flexible when it comes to foreign policy as that he is well-versed in the manifesto of the Democratic Party of Japan but unfortunately not everybody agrees as that it is a fact in which the DPJ had won for opposing the refueling mission and also the stance to stand firm on having balanced relations with the United States. Altering this stance may cause internal rife, no doubt 'bout that. Either way, Okada is still on the roll..^^

Turkey: student protester hurls shoe at IMF chief

Quote:
A student journalist threw a shoe at IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Thursday and ran toward the stage shouting "IMF get out!" as the finance official answered questions at a university in Istanbul.

The white sports shoe bounced off another student's head but missed the IMF chief before landing beside him on the speaker's platform. Some students applauded. Strauss-Kahn moved to the side, and a security guard rushed to protect him.

Other guards quickly blocked the man — a student and a journalist with a small left-wing newspaper — from reaching the platform. They pushed him to the floor, covered his mouth with their hands and then dragged him from the hall.
Its been awhile since the last shoe throwing event...

----

Quote:
Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
A BBC editorial puts a different spin on why Japan's population is declining...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldtoni...ng_nation.html
From what I had read, isn't this the same thing as racism?

Japanese Internet Reacts To BBC's Dying Nation Claims

Quote:
Originally Posted by the7k
Why can’t young men wed anymore? I think it is because men can no longer say to women, ‘I can always protect you,’ in this dog-eat-dog world of restructurings and layoffs – such words are now unreal.

Women as a result now target two groups of men: "ikemen" (handsome, cool men), and rich men, the so-called ‘Hills tribe’ (referring to the ultra-prestigious Roppongi Hills residential tower).

But most men have neither money nor good looks, and as a result women will no longer consider them. Surprisingly, I’ve heard of cases where a chosen man will end up dating dozens or hundreds of women.

Since the ikemen and the rich monopolise the women, all that remains is a sterile desert, where normal men can no longer find a partner, so they flee to Akihabara and find love in the arms of an anime character.

- Nikkei Business Publication
I think this is the perfect explanation to the issue of declining birthrates, lack of marriages, and also the growing of the elderly population as opposed to the increasing size of the otaku community which is obviously irrelevant.
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Old 2009-10-01, 20:55   Link #4167
mg1942
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is emigration not an option for some of those guys?
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Old 2009-10-01, 21:00   Link #4168
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Fossil Skeleton from Africa Predates Lucy

Some pretty interesting comments on this one, courtesy of Slashdot. Apparently this is big news again, despite the fact that the skeleton was discovered in the 90's, because scientists are finally trying to make some assertions about evolution based on this skeleton. Only time will tell where that leads...
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Old 2009-10-02, 05:17   Link #4169
Thingle
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Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
That's some sick plot right there

gonna watch stream or download it tonite
That's life imitating art for you.
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Old 2009-10-02, 05:20   Link #4170
Thingle
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Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
Fossil Skeleton from Africa Predates Lucy

Some pretty interesting comments on this one, courtesy of Slashdot. Apparently this is big news again, despite the fact that the skeleton was discovered in the 90's, because scientists are finally trying to make some assertions about evolution based on this skeleton. Only time will tell where that leads...
I heard this on BBC radio before I dozed off... Waiting for the Creationists' long faces on camera now! Hah!
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Old 2009-10-02, 10:11   Link #4171
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quzor View Post
Fossil Skeleton from Africa Predates Lucy

Some pretty interesting comments on this one, courtesy of Slashdot. Apparently this is big news again, despite the fact that the skeleton was discovered in the 90's, because scientists are finally trying to make some assertions about evolution based on this skeleton. Only time will tell where that leads...
They're not "finally trying to make some assertions"... they've been staring at it and *analyzing* it for all those years to make damn sure they weren't off-base about their analysis.

Also, often solutions to enigmas are found in data we've long had in our hands but that no one had money or time to look at. Sometimes it takes the right person to look at it (like when we finally started getting sophisticated cross-discipline research in dinosaurs that blew up the amateurish conceptions of early paleontologists).
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Old 2009-10-02, 13:11   Link #4172
Jinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMvS View Post
The demographic issue is not about a country's population vanishing into thin air (some have worst issues than Japan's).

The major problem is that they will have to deal with some severe reworking of their society during all the next 40 years (until the last babyboomer dies).

Now they are facing the aging of their population in a context where:
1-there are few youngsters.
2-aforementioned youngsters face dire prospects due to the current economy.
3-there are even fewer childrens.
4-and if nothing is done the situation will only get worse.

Note that several countries face the same problem (a few european countries would have their populations shrinking if it weren't for the immigration).

Unlike us the japaneses are not too eager to resort on immigration to solve point 1, due to point 2 as well as the economic and societal costs it incurs. So they are most likely going to cope, relying on automatization, until their population stabilizes (in 40 at least).

To stabilize a population in a foreseeable future, they need to get at least enough children for a columnar age pyramid, or they will get a forever reverted shrinking pyramid.
Given that it takes 20 years in a modern society for a demographic policy to reflect on the working population, it's no wonder they are concerned about each generation being smaller than the previous.
Coincidently a generation (of women) is only fertile for about 20 years, hence the hurry to do something.

So if they want for things to get better in 20 years at least, they have to do something now. Or things will get worse and worse for a whole century.
I think you are right with your point of view. At least if all your pre- and post- conditions become true. However I want to add some input that can change the direction of your chain of arguments.
Statistically nations have baby booms when there is a bad economic situation (or power outage). With bad economic situation I mean really bad. Japan today is just whining from within the comfort of their ivory towers. But the worse the situation gets and the more desperate people become, the nation will turn to other values. This is because commercial values are out of reach and generally less important.
Another factor is automation. Automation will eliminate all hard labour jobs and assembly line jobs in the long run. But the social sector cannot be that easily automated (I know lots of people think that japans robot industry can even master this industry... I say not with comparable efficiency for at least the next 60 years). That shift in the work force may actually contribute to more socializing... a more children accepting atmosphere.
But I also want to talk about things that could worsen your current scenario. Japan relies heavily on export and import. That is natural given the limited natural resources. This however condems them to be ever innovative to survive in a world where emerging powers like China (well in the case of China "emerging" is a little misleading...) compete for global export quota. Of'course this could be a worsening factor in the development of japan's economy and thus japan.
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Old 2009-10-02, 14:08   Link #4173
Anh_Minh
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I'm not sure how far automation can go. Robots are expensive. You have to maintain them, which means you have to train the technicians for it. The materials to build them aren't cheap.

People, on the other hand, are plentiful, and can more or less take care of themselves. They're highly adaptable for a variety of things. And of course, at least in some countries, firing them is less troublesome than disposing of bulky machinery.
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Old 2009-10-02, 16:02   Link #4174
Quzor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
They're not "finally trying to make some assertions"... they've been staring at it and *analyzing* it for all those years to make damn sure they weren't off-base about their analysis.

Also, often solutions to enigmas are found in data we've long had in our hands but that no one had money or time to look at. Sometimes it takes the right person to look at it (like when we finally started getting sophisticated cross-discipline research in dinosaurs that blew up the amateurish conceptions of early paleontologists).
I suppose I wrote that considering those things to be one in the same. They had the fossil for a period of time, they did some analysis and now, after they've come to terms with their findings as accurate, they're presenting their analysis as it relates to the scientific community. Or, at least, that was what I took from the article.

As to the second point, I find it slightly upsetting that we occasionally don't have the money or time to look more deeply into things like this, from a personal point of view. Evolution seems to be one of those subject so many people clamor about, yet a discovery of this magnitude is left to sit on the shelf to cursory analysis for ~17 years. Perhaps I'm reading far too much into the time between when it was discovered and now, and the article did mention that they had spent a good period of time looking for similar remains, but I would have thought there would have been some immediate testing and analysis to produce results, even if later testing proved those results to be false.
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Old 2009-10-02, 16:14   Link #4175
Kakashi
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Letterman admits to having sex with his staff, smoothly done mind.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8286258.stm
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Old 2009-10-02, 16:16   Link #4176
mg1942
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Jay Leno has a lot to say tonite
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Old 2009-10-02, 16:26   Link #4177
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Diabetes Medication May Get New Life as Cancer Treatment

Another interesting story out of the world of science. Metformin, a diabetes medication, is showing signs that it can help treat cancer, and reduce tumor recurrence following chemotherapy. An exerpt from the article:
Quote:
In a study in mice, low doses of the drug, combined with a widely used chemotherapy called doxorubicin, shrank breast-cancer tumors and prevented their recurrence more effectively than chemotherapy alone.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence that metformin, marketed as Glucophage by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and available in generic versions, could be a potent antitumor medicine.

They also lend support to an emerging theory that cancer's ability to survive and resist therapy is regulated by cancer stem cells that drive a tumor's growth and survival.
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Old 2009-10-02, 16:27   Link #4178
james0246
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Originally Posted by Kakashi View Post
Letterman admits to having sex with his staff, smoothly done mind.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8286258.stm
Is it just me, or did Letterman come across as a little badass in this event . I mean, yeah his affair was just bad, but the way he handled this fiasco, not to mention how he helped in a sting operation to catch the extortionist, just seems pretty cool for a 60-70 year old man.
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Old 2009-10-02, 19:06   Link #4179
Shadow Kira01
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Mexico makes record drugs seizure

Quote:
A total of 37 tonnes were confiscated in two separate raids in different parts of the country.

Mexico, one of the world's leading producers of the drug, says the seizure represents a blow to organised crime.

Some 20 tonnes of the psycho-stimulant drug were found on a boat entering the Pacific Coast port of Manzanillo.

A further 17 tonnes were uncovered in the city of Nuevo Laredo, close to the border with Texas.
Bad news.. It sounds as though a lot of people in the underworld of Mexico and the United States are most likely extremely upset and angry, who knows what will happen afterwards.. The current number of casualty over Mexican drug cartels is only around 1600 but now that 37 tonnes of meth had gone missing, the demand and supply of the chemical substance will be messed up or rather to say, the gunfights are going to get worse as that there has become a lack of meth.

Pair jailed over car cocaine deal

Quote:
Kenny later confessed the cocaine had been cut on his kitchen table and that he, along with another unknown man, had taken it to Belfast for which he was paid £500.
The economy must be pretty awful in Northern Ireland. Who would traffick cocaine for 500 euros only? *facepalm* By the way, that tattoo looks pretty cool!! Hope the poor guy won't get the death penalty as that he seems to be in poor financial shape to have pull that off..

Mafia bribed Montreal airport customs agent

Quote:
On Wednesday, a Quebec court judge ruled that Nancy Cedeno, 34, was guilty of accepting money at the Montreal Trudeau International Airport, in exchange for providing drug dealers with confidential information on bag searching procedures.
I wonder how much money the bribe was.. After all, don't employees of airport customs earn quite a lot of money a year..?

Raid targets Puerto Rico drug gang

Quote:
With assault rifles slung over their shoulders, officers in riot gear raided the complex where reputed ringleader Angel Ayala Vazquez grew up and allegedly built a drug empire that shipped thousands of kilograms of cocaine to the U.S. mainland.
Assault rifles.. Riot gear.. Sounds so much like a mission in Afghanistan..

Italy Tax Amnesty Poised to Pass; Opposition Says It Aids Mafia

Quote:
An amendment removing the obligation to report bank clients suspected of money laundering, extinguishing possible charges of false bookkeeping, and extending the amnesty to shareholders in foreign companies was approved in a confidence vote yesterday. The so-called tax shield faces its final vote today.

“We must be realistic,” Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said yesterday. “This money will help sustain economic growth.”
New York police arrest 18 mafia suspects

Quote:
"These defendants not only allegedly operated a highly organized criminal enterprise, but actually attempted to infiltrate and corrupt the NYPD to protect themselves and their profits," said New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
It seems that not everybody agrees with the Italian prime minister when it comes to sustaining economic growth.

The Italian prime minister sure knows how to sustain economic growth..

Int'l school principal, husband nabbed on marijuana smuggling

Quote:
The principal of the kindergarten-junior school of the International School of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo and her husband have been arrested on suspicion of smuggling marijuana into Japan from the United States, Tokyo police said Friday. Shirley Lane, 59, who lives in Tokyo, allegedly had her 62-year-old husband Thomas send a parcel containing 5.9 grams of marijuana to her in late September from Florida.

The marijuana was found by customs officers at Narita airport near Tokyo. The international school in the Sacred Heart school group said Shirley Lane arrived in Japan to take the post last August. Yvonne Hayes, the headmistress of the international school, told reporters Friday she was so shocked she did not know what to say.
What..? Just 5.9 grams and they are in trouble!?

This is obviously not drug smuggling but personal use. Its tough being a school principal nowadays, especially a kindergarten. Nonetheless, some people just take cannabis a little too seriously, even though it doesn't have any negative health effects. However, I wouldn't call it a natural health product either, even though this is the impression I am getting from all the pro-marijuana supporters.

My former sociology professor used to lecture that people in Netherlands always smoke cannabis on family gatherings at least once a week as that the people there consider the grass to be somewhat of a natural health product. It is also known that some European countries encourage the use of marijuana and proves that it is perfectly safe to do so. Speaking of which, somewhere in Amtersdam.. A huge street allows the legal sales of heroin, cocaine, and other chemical substances. The places that sell them are government-operated. However, if you take any of the products sold there outside of the street, it is considered as illegal. Otherwise, it is perfectly okay. I guess this is one of the reasons why the Netherlands are not suffering from a faltering economy, they have extra income...

Man jailed for car theft on date

Quote:
After a restaurant meal, Terrance McCoy said he left his wallet in the woman's car, asked for the keys and drove off, AP reported, quoting the woman.
What the...!?

People work hard to win a date with a girl but this guy works hard to perform grand theft auto..
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Old 2009-10-03, 06:18   Link #4180
Shadow Kira01
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Okada vows Japan's support for Mekong, calls for democracy in Myanmar

Quote:
''We would like to make greater contributions than ever to the Mekong region,'' Okada said in a meeting with his counterparts from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, who urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programs and swiftly return to the six-party denuclearization talks.

Okada also pledged that the new Japanese administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan will actively engage in diplomacy with Asian countries with its ''long-term vision'' to create an ''East Asian community.''
Quote:
The final statement says: ''On the situation in Myanmar, the ministers believed that the upcoming general elections in 2010 would be transparent, democratic and inclusive. The ministers welcome recent positive steps taken by the government of Myanmar in its democratization process, including the release of more than 7,000 prisoners.''

A mention of Suu Kyi, who has been in jail or under house arrest in Yangon for most of the past two decades, was left out of the final version, but Okada made clear in a joint press conference with other foreign ministers that her release is part of Japan's vision for the region.

Okada said he discussed issues related to Myanmar in the meeting with his Mekong counterparts and told them Japan would ''look forward to seeing free and fair elections,'' promised for next year, with the participation of all political parties and ''the release of Aung San Suu Kyi.''
It seems that Myanmar isn't planning to have a full cooperation with Japan aside from promoting regional development and friendship, especially on the issue of Aung San Suu Kyi.
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