Going bananas over mobile phones for so many years is turning Japanese into monkeys, according to Sapio (11/23).
Nobuo Masataka, a professor at the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute and author of the monster best seller "Keitai wo Motta Saru (Monkeys With Mobile Phones)," argues that the proliferation of mobile phones has got young Japanese making monkeys of themselves, aping the behavior patterns of chimpanzees.
He says that young Japanese have lost the ability to discern between public and private space. He adds that they have formed what he calls the dearuki-zoku (out and about tribe).
"There's been a dramatic increase in the dearuki-zoku. They don't eat meals at home with family members and you can clearly see with your own eyes the large increase in young people who hang about on the streets together with the same old friends," Masataka tells Sapio. "They make places like Shibuya their territory and rarely head even to places like (nearby entertainment and shopping districts) Shinjuku or Harajuku. They get tired going to new places or meeting new people. If they get hungry while they're strolling around, they simply get food by going into a convenience store, buying something and sitting down outside on the curb to eat it. If not that, then they just hang around for hours in fast food joints."
The primate specialist says the actions of the dearuki-zoku closely resemble behavior patterns in chimpanzees, which tend to travel in groups, walking around for a long time without going to any specific place, then eating and disposing of their wastes in the same place before bedding down on piles of grass whenever and wherever the inclination takes them.
"This ability to loiter on the streets exists only because of the proliferation of mobile phones. Parents let their kids go out because they think they're only a phone call away. And even if the kid doesn't come home, parents don't call them because they believe the child's mobile phone offers them an unbreakable link," Masataka tells Sapio. "Behind this imagined ease of mind, though, lies a breakdown in communications among the family members. Mobile phones have made it possible to connect to family members or other parts of society 24 hours a day, drastically changing the nature of relationships that humans have created through their evolution."
The problem is, Masataka notes, despite having this communication device, there's little real communication going on with parents or children rarely calling each other.
Masataka adds that a tendency for the young to lash out in wild, unprovoked attacks also draws on primate instincts drawn out by over-use of mobile phones that have stopped people from speaking in favor of sending text messages and thus made them more emotional and unable to express their feelings in words.
"Apes will suddenly strike out at people for looking at them. Naturally, apes can't talk and they're expressing their emotions in the only way they can. People prone to rage are doing exactly the same thing," the primatologist says.
Masataka claims that mobile phones have deprived people of brainpower because memory functions now eliminate the need to try and remember phone numbers and GPS functions mean people have no need to learn about their surroundings.
"Mobile phones are now performing tasks that minds once did, such as think and talk. If this continues, people will continue losing their ability to think. Information Technology may have liberated us from a whole series of daily burdens, but IT has also dragged us down. Incidentally, the only people so caught up with mobile phones and use them to send so much mail are the Japanese," Masataka tells Sapio. "Some may criticize me for likening the behavior of humans with monkeys, but having studied primates for so long, I can clearly say that it's a fact the proliferation of IT has made human behavior closely resemble that of apes." (By Ryann Connell)
November 10, 2005
Danno Bakeron Thursday, November 10, 2005
'Fuck your cold, ' he begins, putting the cat toy down for half a second. 'Be in Jimbocho around 4pm to make the pick-up. Use the book festival as cover. Order an 'M Fries' and pretend to sleep at the counter on the second floor of the McDonald’s on Yasukuni.'
That’s dear, sweet ESPY for you. Obscure and demanding. Jump through fruit loops for some pocket cash. But a trip to the Shitamachi means a chance to swing by Akihabara, yes, again, to buy a USB headset. I need to talk to Jay. I don’t talk to Jay nearly enough, and we must hasten the demise of NTT by making real phone calls as pass�as possible.
Time to kill between the here and now. Retracing my footsteps from the other night when Watanabe, Yamazaki, and I were out chasing maid. You see, the massage was only a third of it. We did maid kissa and maid pasta and curry house well before we ever dropped the socks.
Turkey trot down Chuo dori. Make the first left on Hongo dori. Peep the first alley on your right, directly across from LAOX Computer. You’ll see two vending machines full of these...
Behold! Instant oden in a can, man! Being test marketed. Still don’t have the gumption to try it myself, but how bad can it be? A salaryman was happily slurping liquid out of the container just as I looked up...and then gazed into the cold heart of banal evil.
Behind these happy vending machines is the building where the AUM cult used to have their retail shop.
Watanabe remembers, “they used to stand right here, handing out fliers to people walking by.” But they’re long gone, and the place is perfectly harmless now, folks. So here's to good eating in the event horizon of human tragedy.
By Brooks Boliek
WASHINGTON -- Hollywood and Grokster ended their legal war Monday as the recording and movie industries and the P2P service agreed to settle a lawsuit that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
According to a settlement agreement, lead plaintiff Grokster will shut down its infringing service.
While lawsuits against other P2P services like Kazaa continue, the injunction against the lead party is a significant move.
'This settlement brings to a close an incredibly important chapter in the history of digital music,' said RIAA chairman Mitch Bainwol. 'This is a chapter that ends on a high note for the recording industry, the tech community and music fans and consumers everywhere. At the end of the day, this is about our ability to invest in new music. An online marketplace populated by legitimate services allows us to do just that.'
The settlement includes a permanent injunction prohibiting infringement, directly or indirectly, of any of the plaintiffs' copyrighted works. This includes the immediate cessation of the distribution of the Grokster client application, and the cessation of operation of the Grokster system and software, according to a music industry release.
After the settlement was announced, the grokster.com Web site carried a warning that the Supreme Court 'unanimously confirmed that using this service to trade copyrighted material is illegal.' The site includes links to respectcopyrights.com and musicunited.org, entertainment-industry supported Web sites that support intellectual property rights.
The case put an indelible stamp on the rules that control the distribution of copyrighted works on the Internet. It was the biggest copyright case decided by the court since its 1984 decision that Sony Corp. could not be sued if consumers used VCRs to make illegal copies of movies.
Writing for the court, Justice David H. Souter said lower courts could find the file-sharing services responsible by examining factors such as how companies marketed the product or whether they took easily available steps to reduce infringing uses.
He dismissed Grokster's argument that legal uses of the service were important enough to override copyright concerns since very few people use the services for benign uses.
'While there is doubtless some demand for free Shakespeare, the evidence shows that substantive volume is a function of free access to copyrighted work,' he wrote. 'Users seeking Top 40 songs, for example, or the latest release by Modest Mouse, are certain to be far more numerous than those seeking a free Decameron, and Grokster and StreamCast translated that demand into dollars.'
According to copyright industry claims as much as 90% of songs and movies copied on the file-sharing networks are downloaded illegally.
The Supreme Court's ruling sent the case back to the district court for trial, but apparently Grokster didn't have the stomach for the fight as Monday's action ends the case."
The café ESPY (Extra Sensory Perception Youth) in Shimokitazawa. Nice name. Ugly painted walls in yellow, just like all the other franchises here. Potted plant dying across from me. Girl with a bandage and cotton ball taped to her face, dabbing at her cheeks with foundation. They try to pass it off as a deli, and I come in craving pastrami, but all they have is pasta and what’s not pizza – but they call it pizza anyways - on the menu. But I bitch too much. Saving graces and sweet imports on the menu: pints of them and for not too much scratch. Also, we’re near a nondescript apartment block, the best kind. Sure to be a wireless signal here somewhere. Secret acts within four walls. Sure enough, it gets me online. Praying the Bass hasn’t gone skunk before the garlic toast arrives. And it’s not until the second one that I realize it hasn’t happened. Matt Gray should appreciate this. They’re playing Hocus Pocus by Focus on the house stereo.
Two days ago, in a cushy Shibuya noodle shop leeching bandwidth, maybe yours. Light samba with ba-ba-ba vocals swirling around. Who says the kei is passé? Skinny ass Japanese answer to the Olsen twins planted next to me. Flashing Nano and the fake diamonds. Honda-san says over asa gohan: “If she says she wants a Vitton handbag, smack the bitch up.” Next, he explains the particle “de” to me by smashing a cup over my head.
Da Buya: tinkering the opening pages of the Goka Jyu-Pun Senso, a prologue by a happy-sad narrator set in the Meishotai jidai, after they turned Youna into a statue and the Government of Darkness is dealt with. The message comes in from Batty. There’s a Mighty Moguls concert tonight in Shimokitazawa, sharing stage with two other bands - The Neatbeats and The Privates - rounding out the bill.
By the time we get inside, the Mighty are seriously pounding it out. Three chord stupidity: the devil’s music with a wild caveman stomp. A lot of Japanese garage bands do it well enough technically, but tend to play up the vocals. Others merely skip around the edges of real peanut butter R&R. Soul wa ja nai. Not so with Moguls, who jump in wearing tiger print togas screaming, twisting the night away. Duck walk. Ass shaking. Inspirational as always. A trio of dull white guys stand in back, too lame to rock with the rock. Is there a frat nearby? The Animal House would be ashamed.
By two am, the bands are all played out. Time to mix it up. Goodbye Batty and Cherry-san. I’m going to the Prince All Night Dance Party at Loft Plus One. Every one looks at me like I’m nuts. Facial expressions reading, “Prince? You mean that skinny motherfucker with the high voice?”
You’d think people as into black music as they are would get it, but sadly, no. I mean, it should be a fairly short walk from Little Richard to Lovesexy, but turns out the cab from Shimokitazawa to Kabuki-cho is about 2500 yen.