Saturday, May 04, 2013

The Yuai Council.

Tensions in East Asia are rising. There are territorial disputes between Japan, China, and Korea. North Korea extolls its ill-advised nuclear program. This situation is unfortunate, as no nation or region in the global era can thrive on nationalism and aggression.

In order to promote an atmosphere of peaceful collaborations within the region, I have started, with the founding members of about twenty committed individuals, some humble efforts to research and execute what we can do for the future of East Asia and beyond. We are the members of Yuai Council ( “Yuai” (Japanese word for fraternity) is inspired by the writings of Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, regarded by many as the father of European Union.

The mentor of the Yuai Council is Dr. Yukio Hatoyama, a former prime minister of Japan. Dr. Hatoyama has been pursuing the spirit of Yuai throughout his political career.

The founding members are mainly in the 20s and 30s, and very eager to promote a spirit of friendship in the East Asian region through theoretical and practical research and activities.

If you are interested in the Yuai Council, please contact Ken Mogi at @kenmogi (twitter), or e-mail (kenmogi @ qualia-manifesto. com, please delate space).

Photo: Ken Mogi with former prime minister Dr. Yukio Hatoyama, at a public session in Tokyo, January 2013

Friday, May 03, 2013

The joy of being a native speaker.

The joy of being a native speaker of a language is that you can play with it in an endless pleasure hunting. You can make stupid puns, create new expressions on the spot, and find hidden connections. You can tickle people with what you say.

With a second language it is difficult to do so, although you could certainly try. English is my second language, which I started to learn when I was 12. Thus, it is difficult to tickle people with what I  say or write in the language of Mr. Shakespeare. I hope I can make people ticklish with what I say someday, not through my clumsiness, failure, or misery, but as a fair result of my bold attempt to tickle people on the verbal front in my second language. 

Thursday, May 02, 2013

You can go to sleep but the quality of sleep changes.

For the last 5 years or so I have been watching my favorite British comedy just before going to sleep. Father Ted, for example. The theory was that if you were exposed to something new before sleep, you would be excited. I was afraid that I would then be unable to sleep.

About one month ago, I started to experiment. I read new books, listened to new audio, watched new video. And presto! I could actually sleep, usually after 5 minutes or so (yes, I AM a very sleepy person by nature, especially after a drink or two). I got excited for sure, but sleepiness usually had a control over me. I would be overcome, and lose my consciousness straightaway after closing my MacBook air (or often even before closing the lid, followed by battery outage).

However I noticed something interesting. The quality of my sleep seems to change. I have dreams more often, and there seems to be this vivid sensation all the time. I do not have sufficient data or control to claim that this is due to the exposure to new information before sleep. Even so, I feel like a child.