*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Heuristic-hostile Japanese culture.

Heuristic (pron.: /hjʉˈrɪstɨk/; or /hyoo-ris-tik/; Greek: "Εὑρίσκω", "find" or "discover") refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery. Where the exhaustive search is impractical, heuristic methods are used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution; mental short cuts to ease the cognitive load of making a decision. Examples of this method include using a rule of thumb, an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, or common sense.
The Japanese don't much do this.  It's about all you need to know.

What frustrates 'Chris', and 'Timothy Takamoto' and myself, I have summarized my analysis of in a comment following the latter's hilarious rant on 'Useless Japanese Services':
Some would say it is an over-engineered service culture. Some would say that it is a make-work programme so, even though their women are underemployed, they can employ more people than this economy can really justify. I think I know the real reason: to kill heuristics.

If you babysit all ages all of the time, and never teach anyone in school to do their own thinking or research, none of the population will have heuristic skills. Put another way: nobody can rock the boat by thinking for themselves. Scary how much sense it makes...
It's not just the 'meeting for the meeting', or the long hours at work doing nothing to show 'dedication', or the 'process over product' in even something as physical as martial arts: even on foot or bicycle many Japanese have ridiculous target-fixation.  And using any kind of sense when among a crowd of commuters?  No, just as a box of cockroaches.

But even cockroaches know the lights are too damned bright.


  1. 'Meeting for the meeting'... I'd just referred to that post in response to a comment.(shudders) And thank you for putting up the quote about the useless services. Scary how much sense it makes. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I need to start planning for the next meeting.

    1. How far can you regress the meetings for meetings for meetings? Makes me think of the 'The Library of Babel'. Not the best fit, but Borgesian anyway.


    2. Social engineering here is quite grand.

      There's always another level to complete, just beyond this one. But people don't notice 'cause they are too busy trying to jump over the barrels that big gorilla keeps rolling in their direction.

      But there is hope; I've seen cracks in the social Matrix. I mentioned it once before and either you or The Duck responded. Had to bite my tongue at the time, but it'll consist of one (or two) of the trail of posts in the swan song.

      Yes, the rice is different.

      Thank you for introducing me to the Borgesian concept.

  2. Nice whistle....in case you didn't feel like cattle by then.... that about fucking sealed it.

    Buncha new teachers from abroad about to have a cold reality check on the hype and the reality...and the enormous fucking gap between the two.

    1. There's a reason Gaijin here drink more than at home. Well, there's many.

    2. Do they or are they drunks before they go?

    3. You mean self-selecting? A bit of that, sure.

  3. This reminds me of WW2 cattle cars.
    I don't know how I would handle so much proximity to strangers. Hot breaths, pit stank and the touching. I might panic, I would probably require a stronger dose of xanax if I had to use Tokyo public transportation.