My Best Teaching Is One-on-One

一対一が僕のベスト

Of course, I team teach and do special lessons, etc.

当然、先生方と共同レッスンも、特別レッスンの指導もします。

But my best work in the classroom is after the lesson is over --
going one-on-one,
helping individual students with their assignments.

しかし、僕の一番意味あると思っている仕事は、講義が終わってから、
一対一と
個人的にその課題の勉強を応援することです。

It's kind of like with computer programs, walking the client through hands-on.
The job isn't really done until the customer is using the program.

まあ、コンピュータプログラムにすると、得意先の方に出来上がった製品を体験させるようなことと思います。
役に立たない製品はまだ製品になっていないと同様です。

Sunday, May 22, 2022

If I Won the Lottery --

I don't play the lottery, as a matter of principle. But if someone I trusted bought me a lottery ticket --

It would have to be someone I trusted who bought me the ticket, because "free" money does things to people. 

If it were someone I didn't trust, I would have to waste a lot of time and probably most of the winnings buying off the interest of the giver of the ticket.

Money always comes with obligations. It's an economic principle. It's in the nature of what money is. 

You can never really have "free" value. Value must be generated, and generating value incurs obligations. 

Rich people simply ignore the obligations, saying they know better what to do with it, burning their charisma to get room to exercise their own will on the value.

And money is a (poor) proxy for value.

And I have never been able to simply ignore obligations when I had any means to respond to them.

-- So, if someone I trusted bought me a lottery ticket, and it hit a jackpot, what would I do with it? 

(This is hypothesis contrary to fact. It ain't gonna happen. But what you do with your free time, what you do with your excess, that's what defines you as a person. That's what demonstrates your true priorities. So what I'm doing here is thinking about what I'd do if I had excess. I'm trying to figure out my current priorities.)

First, I'd make sure my taxes and national retirement/social security obligations would get taken care of. Then I'd pay into as much retirement funds as the tax laws allow, both for myself and for my wife. Then I think I'd pay off my children's school loans. Maybe I'd have enough to fund them in going back for advanced degrees. Maybe I'd invest some in the companies they work for. Maybe I'd send my wife to Europe to study nutrition and cuisine. Family obligations.

But that is not what this is about.

If I had a lot of wealth to use as I saw fit (hypothesis contrary to fact in so many ways), I would use it where I think some gaping holes in our society exist, where I think I could apply myself in meaningful ways. 

It would be tempting to provide extra funding for various Free/Libre software: 

But even just ten thousand here, a hundred thousand there, and a million over there would tend to fritter the money away, so that would not be the first thing I'd do.

It would be tempting, and useful, to start my own distributions of Linux and *BSD operating systems. But, again, it would be easy to try to set up a competitor to Ubuntu and Apple, and that would definitely be an easy way to fritter money away.

It would be tempting to start an English as-a-foreign-language company doing it the right way. So many ways the current approach to teaching English as a foreign language are just fundamentally wrong. But it would be a hard sell, and if I succeeded in the sell, Japanese copycats would spring up all over. That might not be a bad thing, but it would burn money.

It would be more than tempting to start my own social media service, with a fundamentally different business model. Or perhaps buy OSDN for the infrastructure. But focus on making it reasonable for the customer to own their own

  • domains
  • servers, including mail, authoring, financial transaction, etc.
  • authoring and archiving tools
  • publishing

and to provide a base community for the customers to reach out from. But I'd basically be trying to take on Google, even if I'd be doing it right as opposed to them. And if I succeeded, I'd have to fight off Microsoft's attempts to buy me out and/or to embrace and extend me.

I'm getting old. I don't have time for all of that.

I have lots of novels I'd really like to finish and publish. That would not take nearly as much money.

And one thing I'd like to do before I die, if I could somehow arrange the money and time, is to define extensions and revisions to my four favorite CPUs

Wait. Why is the 6847 in this list? It's not a CPU. It's a video display generator -- a VDG. (I will explain.)

But, why? you ask. You think you understand why I want to avoid Intel x86 and AMD64, but we have ATmega and ARM. They're cheap, can be had in a variety of small, medium, and large packages, and they can be programmed in C and other high-level languages.

But you need the high-level languages. ATmega, ARM, RISC-V, and other modern CPUs are hard to work with at the assembly language level. Sure, they have a lot of development tools to help, but you don't want to work on them without the tools. That means you really don't understand what's happening at the low level. You only think you do, and I don't think that's a good thing.

Motorola's CPUs were easy to work with at the assembly language level. Maybe too easy. But it is actually possible for ordinary people, with a little coaching, to read the assembly language source code and get an idea of what's happening in the code. Other CPUs, especially modern CPUs, not so much.

The one problem with Motorola CPUs is that they each had small design flaws that meant that, as you extended and redesigned your product, you eventually hit walls. And getting past those walls meant using programming techniques that made it hard, again, to understand what was going on.

The 6847 VDG was similar. it was really simple to design display controllers with it and it was really simple to program. It was great for getting output on an ordinary TV (back when more homes had TVs than telephones). Which meant you didn't have to buy an expensive monitor to get output from a computer that used one. 

But the display window was small, barely large enough to display even a small paragraph of text. And Motorola never extended the design. (Radio Shack/Tandy did, but that was too many years down the road.) (Oh, well, actually, Motorola did do some design work to extend the 6847 design, a couple of years after they should have, and in the process of trying to play catch-up, the design ended up overkill, too expensive, and too hard to design for and to test. I'll have to try to remember to link something about that here, next time I see the relevant pages out there on the web somewhere.)


  |12345678901234567890123456789012|
  +--------------------------------+
 1| HOW SMALL WAS THE DISPLAY      |
 2|WINDOW ON 6847-BASED DESIGNS?   | 
 3|THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH WOULD NOT   |
 4|FIT IN A SINGLE SCREEN. AND THIS|
 5|PARAGRAPH ALONE WOULD TAKE      |
 6|ALMOST HALF THE SCREEN.         |
 8|                                |
 9| THE SCREEN SHOWED EXACTLY 512  |
10|8-BIT CHARACTERS. THAT'S 16     |
11|LINES, EACH 32 CHARACTERS WIDE. |
12|THE ASPECT RATIO WAS BETTER THAN|
13|WHAT YOU SEE HERE, SINCE THE 32 |
14|CHARACTER WIDTH SPREAD ACROSS   |
15|MOST OF THE TV SCREEN, GIVING   |
16|CLOSE TO 4:3 WIDTH-TO-HEIGHT.   |
  +--------------------------------+
  |12345678901234567890123456789012|

That's a tight screen. 

And lower-case characters were not available in most 6847 designs until about 1985, unless the design included an external character ROM, or unless you switched to graphics mode and wrote all the bits for each character to the screen yourself.

The 6847 was great in 1979 or even 1981. Not so great in 1985.

This is really what I mean by flaws and hitting walls. Motorola could have extended each of these, so that the walls could be easily gotten past by the time the average user was hitting them. 

Wait. If you are familiar with the 68HC- and later series processors, you are saying, but Motorola did exactly that.

Well, yes and no. Except for the 6805 series, Motorola was always on the trailing edge of the market window. They were too slow in extending the designs. And when the entire industry took a hard right turn and ran off into the weeds on the question of where to store parameters, Motorola just ended up following, in spite of the fact that the designs of the 6809 and 68000 were such that it didn't need to happen.

Which is where I want to focus on in my attempts to redesign these.

6805:

The original 6805 could only use the hardware stack to keep return addresses. If you wanted a parameter stack, you had to do that as a software stack, and that meant juggling the software stack pointer with whatever you might have in the X register. Used time and code, and required you to be really careful about interrupts.

So I want to give the 6805 an additional stack, moving the return address stack out of the direct page (the first 256 addresses) and replacing it there with the parameter stack.

Motorola sort-of fixed this in upgrades to the 6805, the 146805 series and the 68HC05 and 68HC08 series and beyond, but what they did was just allow parameters and temporaries to be mixed with return addresses on the return stack, which is exactly where the entire industry veered hard right. It's a dangerous practice. (You can easily end up trying to store return values on top of return addresses and trying to return to data instead of code, and this is exactly one of the easiest places for bad actors to hack their unauthorized way into your system.) And it ends up a bottle-neck in code, since the code has to continually tip-toe around the return address.

Other obvious extensions -- 

Extending the X register, as is done in the 68HC08, is useful, but not the first lack I'd address. 

Also, adding the ability to index off the stack pointer, as is done on the 68HCS08, is very useful, but I'd do that to the parameter stack, which means the parameter stack comes first.


6801:

The 6801 inherited its pushes, pops, and so forth from the 6800, with which it is object-code compatible, which means a single mixed stack unless you want to synthesize a software stack. Being able to push the X register on the return stack helped a little when using software stacks, but it really needs a separate parameter stack as well.

In addition, the 6801 has an add B to X (ABX) instruction which is sort-of useful for accessing fields in records and such, and for deallocating large stack frames, but it doesn't have the matching subtract B from X (SBX), which would have been useful for allocating stack frames.

Furthermore, the unary instructions on the 6801 (like the 6800) do not have direct-page address mode opcodes. If you want to increment or decrement a counter in the direct page, you have to settle for using extended (or absolute) mode, which takes six cycles instead of four, so you end up preferring to pull counters into X or an accumulator instead of fully utilizing the instruction set.

These are the three flaws in the 6801 that I want to fix. They are not even addressed in the 68HC11.

Giving the 6801 wider addressing is definitely a useful feature. This is addressed in the 68HC16, and I think I might address it in my upgrade to the 6801, but, where the 68HC16 gets only four extra bits of indexing (for each of its index registers) and four bits to extend the extended (absolute mode), I'd tend to add an eight-bit extension register for the X register and for the extended addressing mode. I'm not sure whether I'd add eight bits to either stack register, since it doesn't seem too unreasonable to keep both stacks within the first 64K of address space.

 

6809:

The 6809 has direct-mode unaries and two stacks. It's almost perfect. But it has a funny omission in the indexed-mode addressing modes. Where it is able to use an indexed mode to do memory indirect addressing on extended (absolute) mode addresses, there is no such indexed mode for the direct page. That means that indirection through pointers saved in the direct page must be done by explicitly loading the variable into a precious index register. It also means that taking the address of a direct-page variable can't be done with just a LEA instruction. You have to use three instructions, to bring the DP register into the A accumulator, move the offset into the direct page into the B register, and use LEAX D,X or likewise the Y index. 

This severely limits the use of the direct page register as a base for per-process static variables, which is something you really want in processors as capable as the 6809.

I'd definitely widen addressing on the 6809 by 16 bits, either by 32-bit segment registers (similar to the 8086's segment registers, but done right from the outset) or by simply adding 16-bit extension registers similar to the 68HC16's four-bit extension registers. But that's less a design flaw and more an extension feature.

I could then create a true 16-bit version of the 6809 as a follow-up, but not the way it's done in Hitachi's unofficial 63C09 extensions. Those are rather haphazard, and ignore the design of the 6809, tending, rather, to make it look more like the 8086.


68000:

One flaw in the 68000 is in the exception stack frames. This is fixed in the 68010. 

But another flaw in the 68000 is that constant offsets in indexing are limited to 16 bits. This means that relative branches and module tables have a natural limit of plus/minus 32K addresses, which becomes too tight when modules exceed 32K in size. Getting around that requires using an address register, which is not completely bad, but it does tend to discourage good programming practices. This flaw is not addressed until the CPU32.

The flaw in the 68020 is excessive complexity, which is why I would not go that direction. Actually, the CPU32 might be sufficient, by which I mean I would not really need to do anything in particular about the 68000.


6847:

Extensions to the 6847 include gradually more capable versions. Sprites are not necessary for every application that wants 64 characters or more per line or 512 by 384 graphics modes, more colors, lower-case characters, etc.

Also, since I'd want to use these in modern devices, I'd want to add circuitry to directly control LCD or OLED displays.


Tools:

All of these need developer tools -- assemblers, compilers, debuggers, emulators, hardware design tools, and such. Tools also take money to develop.


Conclusion:

If I were making enough at my current job, and had the energy left over at the end of the day, I could work on my novels, or work on a 6805 emulator. I shouldn't really need to win the lottery to do that. If I had the energy. If I were making enough at my current job.

What I probably need to do instead of daydreaming about this kind of stuff is figure out how I can teach private English classes during my days off.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Examining Japanese Semantics: ゆるす (yurusu -- to permit or forgive) -- 日本語の意味を探る〜「ゆるす」(permit もしくは forgive)

Japanese has several words pronounced 「ゆるす」 (yurusu), and, together, they present an interesting take on the concept of forgiveness.
日本語には「ゆるす」と発音される語彙は複数あります。併せて考えれば、(英語の) forgiveness について面白く語るのです。

* The first set of semantics I offer, sometimes written with Kanji as 緩す、 means to loosen (transitive), as in loosening a pet's collar. It is of course related to 緩める (yurumeru), which is a more general word meaning to loosen.
最初に取り上げたい意味としては漢字では「緩す」とよく書かれるのです。これはペットの首輪のようなきついものを緩めるのようなことですね。「緩める」という方が一般的と思います。

* The second, which is the more generally referenced meaning, is usually written as 許す、 or sometimes as 聴す、 when using Kanji. The latter writing refers particularly to 聴く (きく - kiku)、 which means to listen carefully, as you might listen to the music in a performance, or to a defendant's testimony at trial.
その次に取り上げるのは漢字では「許す」もしくは「聴す」と書かれるのです。後者の字は特に注意深く聴くことに関連し、演奏の音楽や裁判の被告人の証言にじっくりと耳を向けることを参照するいみです。

In this set of semantics, ゆるす (許す or 聴す) means
この意味の場合の「ゆるす」(許す・聴す)の意味は次のようなものです。

  • to hear, recognize, and accept a person's requests, desires, requirements, etc.,
    人の願いやら希望やら要求などを聴き、認めて良しとする、
  • to adjust things or allow them to be adjusted so as not to inconvenience said person,
    不都合がないように物事をその人に併せるか、その人に合うようにしておく、
  • to allow said person to do as he or she pleases or thinks, to give license or permission,
    その人の趣味通り、思い通りやっても良いように許可を与える、
  • to put a captive at liberty,
    捕らえ人を開放させる、
  • or to give a degree of freedom to. (This meaning can also be used in engineering and physics when talking about the degrees of freedom an element of a machine has an a particular axis.)
    自由度を与える。(この意味は工学や物理学に使用される意味です。特に、ある機械の一部がその機械の中で特定の軸に対しての自由度です。)

This is the semantic referenced in the word 許可 (きょか - kyoka)、 which is permission, often formal permission. For example, when I need to deliver mail to the huge apartment blocks around the train station, I must go to the police station and get a 駐車許可書 (ちゅうしゃきょかしょ - chūsha kyokasho) -- a parking permit.
つまり、許可そのものです。正式・公式許可も暗黙の許可です。例としてあげれば、駅周辺の大きいマンションに郵便配達に行く前に、警察署に行って仮駐車許可書 (temporary parking permit) をもらっておかないと行けないのです。

The key meaning here is that permission is given or recognized in advance.
「事前の許可」が決め手の意味です。

* The third set of semantics I offer is related to relaxing one's guard, to allow oneself to be set at ease, to open up.
三目のその意味合いは気をゆるす意味、警戒感・緊張感などを緩めることです。落ち溶けることも。

* The fourth is to extend recognition, including in some senses, recognition of value.
四つ目は、受け入れる、認める意味です。場合によってはものの価値を認めるのです。

* The fifth, usually written as 赦す、 generally refers to things which have already happened. The meaning here is to allow one to be forgiven of sins, mistakes, offenses, crimes, etc., which are in the past -- to agree not to seek revenge or further recompense or punishment.
5番目の意味合いは普通は「赦す」で表すのですが、できてしまっているもの、つまり、過去の出来事に対して言うのです。これの意味は過去にある罪、過ち、侵害、犯罪などを赦すのです。つまり、赦す時点よりはもう、報復、賠償(及び返礼)、処罰(または処置)などを求めるのをやめるように承知する。

* The sixth, also usually written as 赦す、 is the resolution, removal, or dismissal of existing responsibilities and/or duties, and the forgiveness of debt.
六番目も「赦す」と書き、既存の責任や義務を解除もしくは解消することも、負債も借金も借りも取り消すことです。

Speaking broadly, we can say that
一般的にまとめると、次の通りに説明できます。

  • 許す has more to do with permission and license on an on-going basis,
    「許す」はこれから先(将来的に)許可や免除を与える意味ですが、
  • where 赦す has more to do with forgiving things that have been done and putting them in the past.
    「赦す」とは過去に在ったものを、終わっているものとし、赦して、これ以上の償いを求めないことです。

I'll note here, that English has parallels in common usage. Informal dialog often fails to distinguish between forgiving things which have happened in the past and giving permission for them to continue in the future.
ここに云っておくけど、英語の普通会話の言葉遣いにすると、似た作用があります。一般的に喋っていると過去に在ったものを赦すことと、諸らいにできるかも知れないものを許すことの区別はしないのがよくあります。

Sometimes, the distinction is not necessary. Every now and then, the ambiguity can defuse a dangerous situation.
場合によっては区別しなくてもいいです。稀にその曖昧性で緊急な危険状況を和らげることもあります。

But making a habit of allowing serious abuse in the name of forgiveness really is not forgiveness at all, even if there seems to be a similarity. There is nothing redemptive in doing so.
但し、赦しを唱えて、習慣的に虐待や不当扱いを良しとするのが、赦しに見えても全く赦しではありません。贖罪と関係ありません。

It's a false similarity. (And I suppose, having said this much, I should write further on how such permission to do evil is actually the opposite of forgiveness, but I'm out of time tonight.)
偽類似です。(ここまでこの話を進めれば、悪を行うようことを良しとするのが赦しの真反対になることを説くべきですが、今晩にしては時間がゆるしません。)

(Erm, actually, last night. Translation took until this morning, and I am really out of time, now. ええっ、実は昨晩でした。訳すのを今朝にかけておわり、今はもう、本当に時間がゆるしません。 I did get some sleep, though. と言ってもある程度の睡眠ができまして、ご心配不要。)

Friday, April 29, 2022

Link to Government Report on Lack of Scientific Standards in Government Reporting

Want to put an unedited link to this for reference.

I mean, I'm not surprised, but I am surprised. And I'm sure this is going to get "explained", and swept under the rug. This is a government organization reporting on the lack of scientific standards in reporting from government organizations:

https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-22-104613.pdf

One of the reasons I'm not surprised is that scientific standards are a lot harder than most people who bandy the phrase about seem to think. (Not really any easier to pin down than "religious standards".)

 

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

There's a rather ironic saying in the southern states of the USA --

Beauty is only skin deep.

Ugly is to the bone.

What you have to recognize when you hear someone say this is that they are presenting a partition they have heard: 

Divide this world into beauty and ugly.

That's it. Nothing else. 

It's the partition of the advertising world. 

And those who say this saying are implicitly rejecting what the advertising world calls beauty.

The beauty used in this world to sell stuff, the beauty that goes on with cosmetics or with personal training or whatever, that's only skin deep.

If that's what beauty is, maybe it's interesting for a little while, but it's not what they want. It's not what we really want.

Maybe I was up too late when I originally posted this to a Facebook group, but I've had plenty of sleep since then. It's still meaningful.

Watch what you buy and what you believe.

True beauty is what the salescrew calls ugly, because they can't make a profit on it.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Are You Meeting with Acephobia? Do People Say You Must Be Asexual? Unemotional?

(This is for people who get questioned over their lack of interest in sex.)

Don't ever believe that you don't have human emotions. Whoever tells you that is either lying for their own power or gain, or trying to use metalanguage you don't use to say something else. 

You can hope for their sake it's the latter, but that's not your problem. Just don't believe them.

The whole social conversation about sex is so skewed that you really can't tell what people are trying to say any more. People claim to be gay or lesbian or even bi-sexual, and yet they claim not to be practicing -- not sexually active. 

Maybe I'm being obtuse, but how can they know if they even have preferences if they don't? It's like saying you prefer the 68000 over the 80x86 (microprocessors) when you've never programmed either. Or like saying you prefer caviar to foie gras when you can't afford either. 

(Okay, the expensive food analogy reveals something about me that some might call bias. Cancel that. Even the CPU analogy will meet criticism, unless you understand that, in my opinion, low-level computer programming is a hobby everyone should try. Hmm. Every analogy I can think of falls a bit short.)

So some people claim to affiliate with the cause of the LGBQT community as a matter of principle more than practice. 

There are other people who claim to be defending the rights of the homosexually inclined, but they themselves are practicing bi-sexual. What do they mean?

Machiavelli and de Sade were not the first, nor were they the last, to assign far more meaning, and less, to sex and gender than can be justified.

It can be sort of understandable sometimes. For too many people, the hormonal flux is the only thing they've experienced that makes them feel good about either themselves or life. Maybe nobody ever hugged them except to try to force them to feel better. Or maybe words of praise were always attached to conditions. Or some other such. So many ways we pervert natural affection.So many ways we pervert love.

There are many ways to express human affection, so many colors. I think that affection which is dependent on gender, on rank in society, on social affiliation, on family connection, or on similar external stuff tends to be tinged with gray. 

Affection of vibrant colors and tints will be born of caring about the other person as a person, not as a member of some artificial group.

Anyway, human emotion has lots of colors. Lots more colors than human sexuality, even.

(And the rainbow flag is now often being used to mute those, even. If you wave it, please be careful not to use it to mute others' colors.)

(Originally published in my talk-about-sex blog: https://joel-rees-about-sex.blogspot.com/2022/02/are-you-meeting-acephobia-do-people-say.html.)

 

Sunday, January 9, 2022

何か発生すると、削除!

------(2週間前)------

ライン共   しっかりしろよ

「何かが発生すると、削除!」

と言う安全性への姿勢(セキュリティポリシー)は安定でも安全でもセキュアでも何でもないやんか

だから、ラインペイポイントなど、なんかの価値がないに等しいと思うしかない。

(ごめん)

ラインのグループが連絡網でした。友達のリストを作り直す暇がない。それがなくなると一番困る。

組と相手の情報を継続できるまでやってくれへんだからこそ、ラインに金なんか任されへん。

わかるかな?

------

というのは、乗っ取られたと言われて、ラインのアカウントが自動的に削除されたようです。乗っ取られたようなことあるはずはなかったけど。

(ああ、明日予定のビショップとの面接はライン上できません。 Zoom でやるしかないかな。直ぐに eメールしないといけない、な。)

------(数日後)------

面接は Zoom上できました。

一応、ラインに連絡して、返事を待っていました。

ラインに依存したくないな。まだ使い続けるほど信頼するかどうか決められません。

------(結局)------

屈服

教会との連絡はラインがなければ難しい、とのこと。

また、ライン(適当な侮辱こちらに想像して)らはアカウントの意味がなんとなくわからないようで、全部のアカウント情報を削除(だけど本当は中途半端なの削除)してから登録し直しました。それ以外の手がわからなかった。

(苦笑) 

削除のボタンを押してから、バックアップの手順がどこかに秘めているようなメッセージが届いた。はっ。削除のボタンを押してからだった、な。

(そう、よ。中途半端。妙に残っている。タブレットの前の電話番号を現在もらっている電話会社の客さんがもしかして、その妙に残っているような情報が見えるかな?)

原因の説明と成り立て:

  1. 以前にタブレットに電話モデムのSIMカードを有効にしていてそのタブレットにラインのアプリ入れてライン連絡ように使っていました。
  2. タブレットの契約を安くするために、電話そのものは違う電話会社の貝殻携帯で続けていた。 
  3. その後、タブレットがパンパンなって、ラインは使えなくなって、スマホン買った。そして、ラインをタブレットから削除してスマホに移動させた。
  4. (タブレットの(電話にならない)電話番号の情報がラインのアカウントに残ってたようです。)
  5. 去年の秋頃その毎月払っていた3千円がもったいなく、シムの登録をその電話会社に返納しました。(関連情報を削除する必要があるということがわからなく、そんなあるはずとは期待もしませんまま。)
  6.  数カ月後、その電話番号が誰か、違う人に使用されることになって、その方は矢張りラインに登録しました。
  7. ラインがその登録を「怪しい!」と判定し、予告も容赦もなくイキナリボクのスマホの登録までさえ、取り消してくれました。セキュリティです、と。 

あのね。ライン共よ。デザイン上の DOS という意味がわかりません? Denial Of Service. 提供される供給を客さんの依頼無く切断。ネットの悪奴らがマルウェアを利用してやるようなことを、このサービスを提供する御社がわざわざやってくれています。

だから、情報がパ、と、文句を言わしてもらいます。

さて。家の娘に頼んで家族のライングループに招待してもらって、家族に回復。

だけど、職場や教会は対面しないと回復できません。

ああ、それは理由がある。以前に参加していたグループを検索するに、ライン社は年齢確認を要求する。…

その年齢確認はね、携帯電話の受話器のパスワードを(courgh)ラインのアプリが出してくれている画面に(...)入力しないと行けないのです。

つまり、ライン社のアプリにそのパスワードを任せるのです。

預けるのです。

良い、ね。いいね。ライン社を信頼してるよね。

not.

というわけで、ラインでの連絡ができなくなった私の友達、ごめんけど、顔と顔を合わせることができるところまで、FBでも携帯電話でも、eメールでもお願いします。(Twitterはそれほど使っていないけどツイッターでも。)ラインはしばらく、ごめんください。

------

(友達の観察ボット GIFへの返事: )

Probably not inappropriate, but I still don't like typing my password for one service and tool into a dialog offered by another service and company that I have discovered I have reason not to trust.

I know, I know, we have nothing to protect and no way to protect it anyway, but you have to set limits and this is one of the places I choose to set mine. 

(和訳)不適切でもないかも。ただ、一つの供給サービスのパスワードを信頼できないとわかってきている別の供給会社のアプリが差し出してくれるダイアログに打ち込むのが兎に角、ためらうもの。 

まさにわかっている。何ひとつも守るべきものもないし、たとえあったとしても守る手段もない。保護できない。だが、線をどこかに引かなあかん。こいところにボクが線を引くことにしています。

Sunday, December 26, 2021

More Driving in Japan, and Some about Why I Live Here

Here's an intersection I regularly pass through, looking north. I passed through it on my bicycle today and thought, well, I drive through lots worse than this every day. Let's take a picture and post it. (If I were driving, I'd be on the left side of the road, not the right side where this picture was taken from.) It's a little weird, but not so weird here.


Unless you're looking really closely, it looks like a psi (Ψ) intersection. 

But hidden over on the left is another road:



This is looking west.

Here's what it looks like across the intersection, looking south.



Here's a rough diagram of the intersection:

 


(You may note that it looks something like the intersection where I got ticketed several months back. Not really, but sort of. 

On that one, the crossing roads are offset from each other, and there is a crosswalk between with a light, and, in spite of the shape of the roads, the main road goes straight instead of curving to the left. And there is the major intersection to the west that often becomes the locus of traffic snarls. Maybe I should draw a diagram of it and insert it in that post. Not today. I have other things I think I need to do.)

No, this is not a "LOOK HOW TERRIBLE JAPANESE ROADS ARE!!!" post. If I wanted to do that, this is not the poster child intersection I'd use, by far. And that is not what I want to say, so I'm not going to take the time to run out to where I work and take pictures of the three or four or five locations that I think are most dangerous on my daily mail route. Be aware that, compared to those, this intersection is no problems at all.

What I want to say is, well, it's going to take me a few paragraphs, please bear with me.

When I first came back to Japan with my wife, I thought I was a pretty decent driver. Not that I thought I was equal to the roads and traffic in Osaka, but I thought I was pretty good at it. Two years driving as a job in the States in addition to what, fifteen, sixteen years of regular daily driving? You know, pride.

I knocked around for a couple or three months looking for work, then friends at church gave me some of their private English students they didn't have enough time to teach. But that was out in the country, and I was teaching in their homes, so I had to drive.

So I went and got a Japanese license. 

At the time, all I had to do was go to the local Japan Automobile Federation office and get my existing Stateside license translated, then take the translation to the nearest office of the Hyōgo Prefectural Police that handled new drivers' license applications for foreigners -- the police office in Akashi. 

About four months later, they changed the law, and I'd have had to take the written test. I think that would have been okay, I had looked over the materials, and I was pretty sure I could pass the written test with a high enough score. Probably. But I would have had to study for a couple of weeks first, and I might have not passed on the first try.

Nowadays, they also require a skills test (driving test). That probably would have been okay, too. Maybe not on the first try, though. Probably would have taken me a couple more weeks, which might have been long enough to have missed the opportunity to take over teaching those classes.

Technically, they don't require attendance at a driving school in Japan, even for true first-timers. But they strongly recommend it for those with no driving experience, and it can be difficult navigating through the application process if you don't have a school to prepare your paperwork for you -- even for those born and raised here. At least, that was how it was. 

I should check if it still is.

Yes, it still is, as of the date I am writing this. You can skip the school if you can pass the tests, even if you were born and raised here. JAF even has web pages detailing two ways to do it. But it is not easy.

Am I glad I didn't have to do any of that?

Yes. I even consider it a blessing that I was able to avoid the tests. I didn't have time or money to fail either test, much less attend a driving school in Japan.

(A blessing, you say? Wasn't it just a matter of timing and chance?)

Well, when my job search Stateside wasn't going well after graduation and my wife said, let's go to Japan, you can always teach English, I -- 

I don't know how to describe this. It was more than a hunch to me, but agnostics and skeptics would see no reason to call it anything but a hunch.

I knew better than to move to Japan, you see. 

I had spent two years in Japan as a missionary. I knew how different the language and customs are here.

And I understood the difficulties a primary breadwinner would have in a foreign country, living with unfamiliar customs, trying to learn a foreign language for real use -- not just to pass a college exam. That is, I had some idea of just how bad it could be.

I have, at some points, compared it to going back to kindergarten and having to do all that again. 

You get a lot of "You should understand this, with your experience." Then, when the language and the hidden assumptions have you doing what they think is the exact wrong thing, and you don't have the words to explain in their language why it's actually the right thing, they start treating you like a kindergartener. And then some of your coworkers start treating you like deadwood and trying to get rid of you. 

I'm not going to tell you just how bad it got with a couple of the companies I worked for when I was determined not to give up, but it got bad enough to sour me on both software engineering and teaching English.

And I had some idea of how bad it could be from experience. I grew up in west Texas, and some of my friends' parents were from the other side of the border. I saw what they experienced. We do the same things to foreigners in the States, even though we have a lot more experience with the melting pot, and we know we should not.

Coming here was completely illogical. Completely against reason. Completely inadvisable.

But I knew I should come with her and I knew it was then, no waiting. 

The license was not the only reason, but it's the only reason I'll bring up here today.

Call it a hunch. Call it guidance. Call it inspiration. Call it revelation. Call it crazy.

It was crazy. Crazy according to the wisdom of man.

No, I do not recommend cross-cultural marriage. Talk to me privately, and I can tell you all sorts of reasons not to do it. 

But God's wisdom surpasses that of mortal man. -- Name those verses? Isaiah 55 and Doctrine and Covenants 1, just off the top of my head. -- I apparently needed this struggle, or something like it. I apparently still need it. Talk to me privately, and I can tell you something about that, too.

Back to driving in Japan, there are all sorts of things that are just different from wherever you learned to drive, unless you learned here. Driving on the left is not even the beginning of it. (Use your horn to say, "Thanks"?)

Those first two years, when I was driving around to teach English, I really was not driving wrong -- or it wouldn't have been wrong in (most of) the US. But I was lucky. No, I had angels watching over me, to keep me from doing myself and others harm by what I didn't understand. 

No, I'm not talking about the time I went on the off ramp and found myself facing traffic. 

Well, I had protection that time, too, and the mistake was partly a result of not being familiar with the roads enough to recognize I was reverting to the US side of the road before I actually made it onto the highway. So I guess I'm talking about that time, too.

But driving for the Post Office these last two years has given me an appreciation for all sorts of little things that work here to make driving here safer and an overall better experience for everyone, many of which would simply not work in the US.

Each country has it's own road rules. 

If I had had a chance, had the time and money, I think I would have liked to have gotten my license here the way my wife did -- take a month to go to driving school and take the practice tests, both driving and written. If I had the time and money now, it would be nice to go back for the equivalent of a commercial license, although I really do not want to drive 20 ton trucks for a living here. It would be a chance to learn more of the language, both verbal/written and non-verbal/non-written, and it would help me figure out better what to do when I get in awkward situations.

On the other hand, constant awareness that I should avoid awkward situations is not a bad strategy at my age, either. 

And, back again to Pharisees and the habits we humans tend to have of depending too much on rules, life is full of stuff where we don't have time or other resources to take the path that appears most optimal. 

We shouldn't deliberately make things harder on each other by choosing less optimal paths when we have a choice, but when the most optimal path is not available, it's better to take a path that is available.

And (as my wife says, I always say one thing too many) this, by the way, is the difference between "The perfect is the enemy of the good." and "Human ideals are no match for the wisdom of God."