"Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business."You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward – reversing cause and effect."I call these the 'wet streets cause rain' stories. Paper's full of them."In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know."
*Coal industry dies*
Journalists: "Learn to code, miners."
*Overfunded tech company dies*
Journalists: "LOL Theranos 2. Suck it, techbro man-babies."
*Overfunded media company lays off 10 people*
Journalists: "Capitalism is evil and this is the end of our democracy."
— Preston Byrne (@prestonjbyrne) January 26, 2019
"One can fly to Japan from anywhere, but from Japan one can only fly to the Third World, and it hardly matters whether one lands in Kinshasa, London, New York or Zurich: they are all places where one must be constantly watchful and distrustful, where one cannot leave a suitcase unattended even for ten minutes, where women strolling home through town at 3am are deemed imprudent, where the universal business model is not to underpromise and overdeliver but if anything the other way round, where city streets are clogged at rush hour because municipal authorities mysteriously fail to provide ubiquitous, fast and comfortable public transport, where shops need watchful staff or cameras against thieving customers, and where one cannot even get beer and liquor from vending machines that require no protection from vandalism. Japan was the world's only really different country when I first visited forty years ago, and it remains so now, despite many misguided attempts to internationalise its ways to join the rest of the world."
"...whose tenure since 2012 has been marked by important institutional changes, as well as new policies both foreign and domestic, and an even broader change in the tone of public life."The tall and confident son of a foreign minister, grandson of one prime minister and nephew of another, Abe could have served out a stint as prime minister with a bit of image-making and a slogan or two, in the manner of most of his Jimintō predecessors."Instead he launched a risky economic policy based on monetary and fiscal laxity that would have caused Mario Draghi and his colleagues at the European Central Bank to commit hara-kiri, instituted a slew of structural reforms that irritated many of his more right-wing supporters by including vigorous support for female career advancement (enlisting his own wife in the cause), and transformed Japanese foreign policy by turning passive dependence on the US into a true partnership."[Abe's] Japan now accepts real responsibilities, e.g. to repel any attempt by China to act on its fanciful claim to the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea instead of begging the Americans to do so, e.g. preserving a dialogue with Putin in order to give him a reason for limiting Russia's support for China (at one point Obama called Abe to try to persuade him to cancel an upcoming meeting, but he didn't budge)."It was not just a question of asserting personal leadership. To change long-settled habits of passivity, Abe established a National Security Council that is not just a gathering place for representatives of the foreign, defence and intelligence bureaucracies, as in most other countries, but an actual policy-making body operated by its own staff, the National Security Secretariat. It has been remarkably effective from the start, formulating Japan's first post-1945 national security strategy and leading successful negotiations with the Chinese."Even after seven very active years, Abe's redirection of Japan's course remains a work in progress: he is still trying to implement the long-desired revision of the constitution that would allow the armed forces officially to do what they are already doing, and still trying to get through the state-funded universal childcare that is the only way to raise fertility, as France and Israel have shown."That policy collides with another right-wing priority, because it necessitates letting in child-carers from other countries, something Abe fully accepts, and which is a result in part of his success in increasing female participation in the labour force."This is just one of the ways in which his actual policies turn out to be not right-wing but merely pragmatic."