2012年01月31日

内向的な子供を「シャイ」と呼ばないで


Don’t Call Introverted Children ‘Shy'
( TIME )

Imagine a 2-year-old who greets you with a huge smile, offering a toy.
Now here’s another child who regards you gravely and hides behind his
parent’s leg. How do you feel about these two children? If you’re
like most people, you think of the first child as social and the second
as reserved or, as everyone tends to interpret, “shy.” From a very
young age, we categorize children as one or the other, and we usually
privilege the social designation. But this misses what’s really going
on with standoffish kids. Many were born with a careful, sensitive
temperament that predisposes them to look before they leap. And this
can pay off handsomely as they grow, in the form of strong academics,
enhanced creativity and even a unique brand of leadership and empathy.

One way to see this temperament more clearly is to consider how these
children react to stimuli. When these children are at four months, if
you pop a balloon over their heads, they holler and pump their arms
more than other babies do. At age 2, they proceed carefully when they
see a radio-controlled toy robot for the first time. When they’re
school age, they play matching games with more deliberation than their
peers, considering all the alternatives at length and even using more
eye movements to compare choices. Notice that none of these things --
popping balloons, toy robots, matching games -- has anything to do with
people. In other words, these kids are not antisocial. They’re simply
sensitive to their environments.

But if they’re not antisocial, these kids are differently social.
According to the psychologist Elaine Aron, author of the book
Psychotherapy and the Highly Sensitive Person, 70% of children with a
careful temperament grow up to be introverts, meaning they prefer
minimally stimulating environments -- a glass of wine with a close
friend over a raucous party full of strangers. Some will grow up shy as
well. Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Shy people fear
negative judgment, while introverts simply prefer less stimulation;
shyness is inherently painful, and introversion is not. But in a
society that prizes the bold and the outspoken, both are perceived as
disadvantages.

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2012年01月27日

米議会のソーパオペラ ハリウッドからシリコンバレーに移る政治力


Washington SOPA Opera: Lobbying Power Shifts from Hollywood to Silicon Valley
( TIME )

Hollywood loves a good yarn about pirates on the high seas. Piracy
online? Not so much. Every day, people around the world effectively
steal countless movies, songs and other copyrighted content through
websites offering illegal downloads. The big movie and music studios
have fought this thievery for years, with some success. They hounded
Napster out of business. Their high-profile (if unpopular) lawsuits
against music downloaders -- remorselessly targeting people of all age
groups -- produced a clear deterrent effect. Major websites like
YouTube are quick to take down copyrighted content when asked. But the
music and movie industries have struggled to combat overseas-based
pirate sites that are mostly beyond the reach of U.S. law. So they have
turned to Congress for help, and rallied support for two measures: the
House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
Both would create new legal powers to give American companies --
including TIME’s parent company, Time Warner, which supports this
legislation -- the ability to fight back against these foreign
“rogue” sites.

The problem is that Silicon Valley hates Internet regulation. And its
dot-com business leaders, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
and Google chairman Eric Schmidt, particularly hate these bills. They
liken provisions that would block links to pirate website from Google
search results to the online censorship of Beijing and Tehran. They say
a measure that would force advertisers to cut off their payments to
pirate sites is open to abuse and misapplication, and could drive
innocent web companies out of business. And they accuse Hollywood of
exaggerating the economic harm it’s suffering. In the new print issue,
I’ve done a fuller rundown of the arguments the two sides are making
about the merits of passing SOPA, PIPA or some variation of the two,
which all-access subscribers can read here.

Silicon Valley also has a weapon that is perhaps even more powerful:
the ability to shape public opinion in a hurry. Yesterday’s blackout
by Wikipedia and related protests by countless other sites drove this
issue into the consciousness of millions of Americans who have never
picked up a copy of Roll Call in their lives, and wouldn’t otherwise
have known or cared about the SOPA fight. Now it looks like a burst of
public outrage -- Google says that 4.5 million people signed an anti-
SOPA petition yesterday -- has members of Congress running scared.
Whether the studios can regain the political momentum in this fight
should reveal just how much, when it comes to the Washington influence
game, the balance of power has shifted from Hollywood to Silicon Valley.

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2012年01月24日

コスタ・コンコルディア号の沈没とイタリアの安全規則


The Sinking of the Costa Concordia and Italy's Rules of Safety
( TIME )

In the wreck of the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that rent its hull
against the offshore shallows of the Italian island of Giglio, the
world was treated to an exhibition of both the best and the worst of
the Italian approach to disaster.

On one side stands the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, who seems
to have thrown procedure to the wind when he reportedly diverted the
1,500-cabin luxury liner from the deep water route usually traveled by
ships of its size and pulled the vessel to within 150 m from shore.
Prosecutors allege that Schettino chose the maneuver to provide
inhabitants of the island with a multi-story spectacle of deck lights,
a show-off stunt enhanced by a blast of the ship's sirens. At least
eleven people were killed when the nearly 310-m long vessel capsized
dramatically not far from shore less than an hour later. Another 28 of
the more than 4,200 people on board remain missing.

Such careless concern for the rules of safety is tragically common in
Italy, albeit usually on much smaller scales. "There is a permissive
interpretation of the rules concerning safety," says Gianfranco
Pasquino, professor of political science at the University of Bologna. "
We know that some of the rules are perhaps irrational. Some cannot be
implemented. And others have loopholes, here and there. And so we rely
on our own sometimes flawed judgment to decide what can and should be
done."

So what is the good side to all of this? While passengers on the ship
may have experienced the worst of Italian disaster response, what
waited for them onshore was among its best. Citizens of the tiny island
greeted the bedraggled evacuees with donated clothes and blankets.
Others sailed forth on small boats to rescue passengers who had yet to
arrive. And still more opened their homes to those who had nowhere to
stay. "There was a lot of support from the Italians onshore," says
Pasquino. "This is the way Italy works. When the rules and standards
fail, we have to make up with our personal generosity."

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2012年01月20日

台湾の馬総統再選 強化される中国との関係


Taiwan Re-Elects President Ma, Bolstering Ties to China
( TIME )

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou was re-elected Saturday, a win that will
preserve the cross-strait status quo and likely lead to closer ties
with China. Ma, a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party, or
Kuomintang (KMT), fended off a formidable challenge from Tsai Ing-wen
of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), beating his rival by about
6% and securing a second term. The hard-fought campaign saw the
incumbent tout the economic advantages of economic integration with
China, while the challenger, Tsai, sidestepped her party’s traditional
focus on independence to tackle issues like inequality, unemployment
and the environment. “The victory belongs to all Taiwanese,” Ma told
a thousands-strong crowd clustered under umbrellas at a rally in
Taipei. “They told us that we are on the right track.”

Ma swept to power in 2008 promising improved ties with China. He
quickly restored air, shipping and mail links between the neighbors
and, in June 2010, signed a landmark trade deal aimed at attracting
investment and making it easier for Taiwan businesses to operate in the
mainland. Today the relationship between China and Taiwan is the best
it’s been since 1949, when retreating Nationalist forces fled to
across the strait. Over the course of the campaign, Ma returned again
and again to mainland ties, warning that a change in government would
anger Beijing. “You don’t want to provoke China,” the President said
at a pre-election press conference. “That will not bring any good to
Taiwan.”

The election was closely followed by the U.S., which is bound by
Congress to help arm Taiwan, and, of course, by China. Both powers
bristled at the policies of Tsai’s DPP predecessor, Chen Shui-bian and
are wary of disrupting the slightly brittle status quo. The U.S. did
not endorse a candidate, but China made its stance abundantly clear. An
editorial in the state-run Global Times warned that a change of
government would wreak havoc on Taiwan’s economy, sending stocks
crashing and causing businesses to “turn their back on the island in
droves.” Several high-profile Taiwan business leaders also threw their
weight behind the incumbent. Terry Gou, chief executive of electronics
giant Hon Hai, campaigned for Ma, and Chang Yung-fa, chairman of
Evergreen Group, said a KMT loss carried the risk of economic collapse.
Tens of thousands of Taiwan expatriates, many of whom live and work in
China, flew home to vote, presumably bolstering the KMT cause.

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2012年01月17日

囚人を大量釈放したビルマは本当に歴史の角を曲がったのか?


Burma’s Mass Prisoner Release: Has the Regime Truly Turned a Corner?
( TIME )

One by one, they emerged. On Jan. 13, 651 inmates were granted amnesty
in Burma, many of them prominent political prisoners, the latest reform
in a country whose leaders have surprised even skeptics with their
rapid pace of change. Burma’s opposition, led by Nobel Peace Prize
laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has said repeatedly that it will not support
the lifting of international sanctions on members of the country’s
political and military elite until all prisoners of conscience are
released. However this month, Australia announced that it would begin
easing some of its targeted financial restrictions on certain Burmese,
and the European Union, Japan and other nations are beginning
discussions on whether they want to do the same. And today, the U.S.
restored full formal diplomatic ties with a state that seemingly months
ago still appeared a pariah.

Under the leadership of President Thein Sein -- a retired general who
took office last year after orchestrated elections in late 2010
replaced a long-ruling military junta with a quasi-civilian regime --
several rounds of political prisoners have been released. But this
latest amnesty is by far the most extensive -- and one opposition
spokesman told exile media he believes that all (or nearly all) of
those considered political prisoners by his party are now free.
Although Thein Sein stated publicly last year that there were no such
things as prisoners of conscience in Burma, only inmates who have
“broken the law,” presidential advisor Nay Zin Latt told me late last
year that “whatever term you use, political or whatever, these people,
they will be released.”

Friday’s prisoner amnesty caps a transformative week in the recent
political history of Burma, or Myanmar, as it is officially known.
First, Suu Kyi announced formally that she would be running for a
parliamentary seat in April’s by-elections, representing her National
League for Democracy (NLD) party. Given that the veteran opposition
leader was released from house arrest only in late 2010 and that the
NLD was technically a banned organization until earlier this year, Suu
Kyi’s candidacy is a watershed moment. (The NLD won elections in 1990,
which the then ruling junta ignored, choosing instead to hold their own
flawed polls two decades later that ushered in Thein Sein’s regime.)
Then on Jan. 12, the Burmese government signed a ceasefire with ethnic
Karen rebels who have been battling the central authority for more than
six decades, making their campaign for autonomy one of the world’s
longest-running insurgencies.

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