Another Japan in the World

Jun Aruga's blog.

Reflecting on 2020


Happy New Year 2021! In the past I have been writing articles about my year of reflection in Japanese. But this time changing my mind, I would do in English as other articles for some reasons.

Reflecting on 2020, first I focused on bioinformatics as well as the past. I met people in the Debian Medical team in February in person, then started communicating with them in Debian, working with bio-tools, reviving the Fedora Medical group.

Second, in October there was a turning point. I completely changed my plan and strategy of my life, traveling and spending around 10 days in Náchod and Kutna Hora. As I wrote it on the past blog [1], I started adopting the theory of the triune brain to my life, that is prioritising low level desires called reptilian brain and paleomammalian (mammalian) brain more than high level desires called neomammalian (human) brain. As a result, my life has changed. For example, I wrote my new healthy habits that I am improving on [1]. I realised the basic needs and the comfortability of the daily living environment are important to spend time for high level needs. After improving some things in my house, as I felt a limitation of the house, finally I moved to the new house last week that is just a few minutes walk from the previous one. Now I am really happy.

Let me reflect 2020 by the questions.

The impactful events?

There are 3 impactful events in 2020.

  1. Met people from the Debian Medical team in February in Berlin.
  2. 10 days in Náchod and Kutna Hora in August.
  3. Moved to the new house in December.

The best books?

An Intuitive Way of the Modern Economics

From economics.

An Intuitive Way of the Modern Economics / Shinichiro Naganuma [2], 現代経済学の直観的方法 / 長沼伸一郎 [2]

Sorry this is only Japanese book. But you can find similar topic's book in English. If I can translate it, the title is "An Intuitive Way of Modern Economics". It was really an interesting and impressive book. It's a beginner's book of macro economics.  It's about the history of modern economics in the past 200 years. The reason I was interested in this book is because I felt a crisis about the values of neoliberalism called sharefolder capitalism as a sense of the reality. So, I thought I had to understand why capitalism needs sustainable growth. I have to propose the realistic ideas of post capitalism to people I know.

The book explains the economic systems and the flow. Adam Smith (classical economics), John Maynard Keynes (Keynesian economics), neoliberalism and Marxian economics. For other topics, money creation, trading. world currency and etc. The great thing about this book is that it is like watching an impressive movie.

I realise how people's values, ethics and nation's actions come from the economic system strategy. Even present. We spend a lot of time earning money in our life that is called "work". So, understanding economics is impactful, rethinking how I work. This book is also a good preparation to read books about the future of capitalism or post capitalism.

Lifespan - Why We Age - and Why We Don't Have To

From bio-science.

Lifespan - Why We Age - and Why We Don't Have To / David A Sinclair. [3]

This book was published September 2019. New detailed report in Aging Biology. A hard science book. Eating less is important for aging less. After changing my eating habits, maybe I am the most slim in my life now, keeping healthy. My tip for less eating is eating high nutrition foods such as brown rice and tofu avoiding white sugar and wheat. In the book it's not written about avoiding wheat.

The Door into Summer

From novel.

The Door into Summer / Robert Anson Heinlein

It's an old SF novel. A beautiful plot.

Interesting discovery?

I revisited Czech culture through history in 2020.

When studying the history of the past 100 years in Czech Republic. I could understand where Czech people's unique behaviors come from. For example, why is Open Source more popular in Czech Republic? I think the key is an alternative culture keeping a distance from the authority. The stories of Václav Havel [4], the first president of the Czech Republic, and the rock band called "The Plastic People of the Universe" [5] taught me it. What I did read is a Japanese guide book of Havel's book "Power of the powerless" [6]. Now I am reading the original book. [7]. Havel said something like "the matter is not people, but the system.". I can see the system comes from an economics system here. Havel has great insights and cognitive abilities.

It seems that the classical music Má vlast [8] / Smetana is a heart of Czech people. And it's one of my favorite classical musics now. I already listened to it 15 or 20 times. On [8], it seems that it is performed on the 12th May every year on Prague Spring International Music Festival [9].

Interesting Netflix movies?

  • Dark: Netflix original SF movie from Germany. Thoughtful plot. You are not bored. Beware of lack of sleep!
  • Sherlock: It's not Netflix original but from BBC. I watched it before in English subtitles. But it was good to understand it deeply when I watched it in Japanese subtitles on Netflix.


Daigo Umehara's Lecture at Keio Univerity

In the past, as I shared on the blog [1], I have been inspired by Daigo Umehara who is a pioneer and well-known professional gamer in the world.

I think his talk or focus is about avoiding an approval emotion as extrinsic motivation, and enhancing intrinsic motivation. How the approval emotion prevents us from making a "big" difference and the happiness.

This video of Jiyuna's English interpretation for the Daigo Umehara's Japanese lecture inspired me so much and it looks helpful for me to know how to explain the mindset in English.

I can see this paradigm in Japanese culture, because it is about the the idea of "道" (called Michi or Dou = It's like a path to pursue to raise the mindset). For example , you may know the word Jujutsu (柔術) and Judou (柔道) [2]. Both are recognized as a fighting sports. But Jujutsu is more like a strategy (術). Judou is more like a philosophy to pursue something not caring about an external motivation or a reward. It's a behavior to raise the level of consciousness.

Daigo's Lecture at Keio Univerity (English Interpretation)

I also found the English translation that is still a part of the entire content.

I think even a greater part is Q and A part after the lecture which is only in the original Japanese video.