LONDON Love&Hate 愛と憎しみのロンドン

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ペンは剣より強し。そのペンが剣を背後から操り始めたら:トランプの勝利は、情報操作

2017.02.26
RobertMercer.jpg
(ガーディアンから無断拝借)

今日のオブザーヴァ紙に、「今」のアメリカの政治を、そして世界列強の武闘右派を操作しているらしい黒幕として、アメリカ人ビリオネアのことが大きく取り上げられている。

Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/robert-mercer-breitbart-war-on-media-steve-bannon-donald-trump-nigel-farage

 かなり長いが、読んでいてとても得体の知れない恐怖感を感じてしまう。晩ご飯を驕られたくらいで政権にしっぽを振る日本のメディアが太刀打ちできることは決してないだろう。

I click Google’s first suggested link. It leads to a website called CNSnews.com and an article: “The Mainstream media are dead.” They’re dead, I learn, because they – we, I – “cannot be trusted”. How had it, an obscure site I’d never heard of, dominated Google’s search algorithm on the topic? In the “About us” tab, I learn CNSnews is owned by the Media Research Center, which a click later I learn is “America’s media watchdog”, an organisation that claims an “unwavering commitment to neutralising leftwing bias in the news, media and popular culture”.

On its website, Cambridge Analytica makes the astonishing boast that it has psychological profiles based on 5,000 separate pieces of data on 220 million American voters – its USP is to use this data to understand people’s deepest emotions and then target them accordingly. The system, according to Albright, amounted to a “propaganda machine”.

It is creepy! It’s really creepy! It’s why I’m not on Facebook! I tried it on myself to see what information it had on me and I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ What’s scary is that my kids had put things on Instagram and it picked that up. It knew where my kids went to school.

These Facebook profiles – especially people’s “likes” – could be correlated across millions of others to produce uncannily accurate results. Michal Kosinski, the centre’s lead scientist, found that with knowledge of 150 likes, their model could predict someone’s personality better than their spouse. With 300, it understood you better than yourself. “Computers see us in a more robust way than we see ourselves,” says Kosinski.

“The danger of not having regulation around the sort of data you can get from Facebook and elsewhere is clear. With this, a computer can actually do psychology, it can predict and potentially control human behaviour. It’s what the scientologists try to do but much more powerful. It’s how you brainwash someone. It’s incredibly dangerous.


Mercer invested in Cambridge Analytica, the Washington Post reported, “driven in part by an assessment that the right was lacking sophisticated technology capabilities”. But in many ways, it’s what Cambridge Analytica’s parent company does that raises even more questions.

Emma Briant, a propaganda specialist at the University of Sheffield, wrote about SCL Group in her 2015 book, Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change. Cambridge Analytica has the technological tools to effect behavioural and psychological change, she said, but it’s SCL that strategises it. It has specialised, at the highest level – for Nato, the MoD, the US state department and others – in changing the behaviour of large groups. It models mass populations and then it changes their beliefs.


In the course of the US election, Cambridge Analytica amassed a database, as it claims on its website, of almost the entire US voting population – 220 million people – and the Washington Post reported last week that SCL was increasing staffing at its Washington office and competing for lucrative new contracts with Trump’s administration. “It seems significant that a company involved in engineering a political outcome profits from what follows. Particularly if it’s the manipulation, and then resolution, of fear,” says Briant.

Bio-psycho-social profiling, I read later, is one offensive in what is called “cognitive warfare”. Though there are many others: “recoding the mass consciousness to turn patriotism into collaborationism,” explains a Nato briefing document on countering Russian disinformation written by an SCL employee. “Time-sensitive professional use of media to propagate narratives,” says one US state department white paper. “Of particular importance to psyop personnel may be publicly and commercially available data from social media platforms.”

How do you change the way a nation thinks? You could start by creating a mainstream media to replace the existing one with a site such as Breitbart. You could set up other websites that displace mainstream sources of news and information with your own definitions of concepts like “liberal media bias”, like CNSnews.com. And you could give the rump mainstream media, papers like the “failing New York Times!” what it wants: stories. Because the third prong of Mercer and Bannon’s media empire is the Government Accountability Institute.

“Look at this,” he says and shows me how, before the US election, hundreds upon hundreds of websites were set up to blast out just a few links, articles that were all pro-Trump. “This is being done by people who understand information structure, who are bulk buying domain names and then using automation to blast out a certain message. To make Trump look like he’s a consensus.”

 Scaremongerになりたくはないが、今の世界の不透明さが、ほんの数人の欲望の方向に突き進んでいるのは、怖い。

[追記:2月27日]
ふざけるな! 森友学園問題の最中に安倍首相が官邸担当記者を集め、赤坂飯店で馴れ合い会食! 疑惑追及封じか
http://lite-ra.com/2017/02/post-2951.html

スポンサーサイト

緑の魅力:カエル

2017.02.26
カエル(とカメレオン)が駄目な人は、閉じた方が良いかと。









Freshen up: readers' photos on the theme of green
https://www.theguardian.com/community/gallery/2017/feb/26/freshen-up-readers-photos-on-the-theme-of-green

GreenFrog.jpg

 可愛い。

The Roches

2017.02.25
Roches.jpg
Rochesのファースト・アルバム)

このブログに迷い込んでしまった人達が知っているとは思えないRoches。この姉妹三人組の長姉が亡くなったそうだ。

Maggie Roche obituary
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/feb/02/maggie-roche-obituary

Maggie Roche, who has died aged 65, was the eldest of the trio of singing sisters the Roches, whose songs bridged the gap between American folk and pop styles. Maggie brought her low alto voice to the harmonies she wove with her sisters, Terre and Suzzy, in her quirky, often funny but always heartfelt songs.

 彼女達の音楽は全く覚えていないが、ファースト・アルバムを初めて聴くとき、とてもわくわくしていたな。文化九州に忙しかった年齢の頃に出会った音楽家は、そろそろ鬼籍に入る年齢になってきているんだな。

 最近のポップス・ロックには全く追いつけず、追いつこうとも思わないが、初めて、エド・シーランの音楽に親しみを持てた。

Ed Sheeran - Castle On The Hill [Official Lyric Video]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qp5vcuMIlk

 基本、フォーク音楽は好きだ。今、聴きたいのは、しみじみ噛み締められるプロテスト・ソング。

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Dorisに翻弄されて:大嵐ドリスとの一日

2017.02.24
スクリーンショット 2017-02-24 18.42.09
(キングス・クロス駅、2017年2月23日)

 2017年2月23日、イギリスは、「ドリス」と名付けられた大嵐に翻弄された。日本語でも書こうかとは思ったのだが、時間切れ。大したことを書いている訳ではないので、時間のある時にどうぞ。

I am sure all of you who live in the UK for the moment had your own experience by the Storm Doris on 23rd of Feb. I had too and, frankly, pretty frustrating but at the end of the day, Doris brought me a wonderful surprise which compensated my day.

Photos through the day
https://www.flickr.com/photos/89578620@N00/albums/72157677245541643

Because an interesting meeting was planned at hospital where I work, I needed to go somewhere in Herts. On the way to King's Cross Station, the weather looked good and I thought Doris had already gone to the continent.
At King's Cross, some trains, in particular to go to Leeds, were already cancelled, but a train I was going to catch would depart on time and it did. I felt convinced that my day would go without any problem. I was wrong. The train stopped for 30 or 35 minutes at a station. When I arrived at the hospital, the meeting was nearly over.

Then, I was asked to join another meeting which I did not expect. Although the meeting was taken place in at another place (10 minutes walk from the hospital), I was happy to join them. It was quite an interesting one and I learned something new. Then, we left the place and we found there were some trees fell down by the high wind caused by Doris and the road was sealed off by police. Luckily, we were allowed to walk back to the hospital.

When we got back, I needed to talk to my supervisor. As always, it was good to receive thoughtful advice, but I was also thinking about going back to London earlier rather staying there till late.

So, I was running to the station and more or less 30 people were there. I must say that the facility of the station is absolutely poor and user-unfriendly, no cozy waiting space for commuters. It was heiling, raining, sun shining and rainbow, and freezing. Doris was absolutely cruel for us.

Finally, a train arrived from Cambridge and it took me over an hour and a half to get back to King's Cross. At my arrival, I took some photos of anxious passenger and sent them to my friend (E) who commutes from the town to London. She immediately sent me a text that she was drinking at a pub above the station with her husband (N).

Last time I met them was more than a year ago, so it would be nice to say hello to both of them. I was heading to the pub. In front of the pub, a guy was standing as a floor manager and it was him (S) with whom I lost contact nearly 5 years. Jaw dropped, we just looked at each other for a second and hugged each other.

E was coming to me and asked me if I would know of S who, according to E, N and she met as his regular customers some time ago. So, if Doris had not hit the UK, I might not have met my friends all together.

At their table, when E and I started to enjoy blaming the ill-equipped train network in the UK, N said to us, [Please don't tell me how wonderful the Japanese train system is. I know that and I don't want to hear about it now].

However, my blessed day by Doris did have another twist. The underground station was closed and I could not get a taxi, or buses. I decided to walk to Euston and finally got on a bus which was overcrowded. At Great Portland Station, two men started shouting at each other and the driver terminated the bus. So, I walked home.

I know many people had much worse experiences than mine. What I do hope since then is that the train system in the UK should be improved with no excuses.

Have a great weekend.


地名の発音は難しい:オイシュトン、ってどこ?

2017.02.22
今朝、所用でマリルボーン・ロードを東西に運行しているあるバスを待っていた。若い男女の2人連れが、次々に到着するバスに乗り込んで運転手に何かを尋ねてはバスの外へでて来ることを繰り返していた。旅行者が、行きたい場所への最短のバスルートが判らないのだろうと思い、どこへ行きたいのかを訊いた。男性の返答は、「オイシュトン」。

 は?

 そんな地名、ロンドンで聞いたこと無いぞ、と一瞬思う。しかし、彼らの英語の発音にドイツ語圏の響きを感じたので、ドイツ語の発音で「オイ」になる綴りをこれまた瞬時に考えて、「You mean, Euston?」と訊くと、そうだと。

 ユーストンの地名の由来は全く知らないし、でも考えてみるとにたような地名は他に聞いたことはない。ユーストンの綴り、ドイツ語だと確かに「オイシュトン」になるが、ロンドンに来て以来、Eustonはユーストンなので、オイシュトンと発音する人が居るとは考えたこともなかった。

 そんなことをイギリス人の友人に話したら、同じ英語圏でも発音の仕方の違いはあるし、その一例としてニュー・ヨークのHouston Streetの発音は「ヒューストン」ではないと教えてくれた。興味が湧いたのでググったら、今年の1月下旬にニュー・ヨーク・タイムズがドンピシャの記事をポストしている。

Why Is Houston Street Not Pronounced Like the Texas City?
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/nyregion/houston-street-pronounce.html

Q. Most transplants to New York quickly learn that the Lower Manhattan street is pronounced HOW-stun, instead of HUE-stun, like the city. But why is it pronounced that way?

A. Because the city and street trace their names to two very different Mr. Houstons, according to Gerard Koeppel, author of the 2015 book “City on a Grid: How New York Became New York.”

“Houston the city is named after Sam Houston,” i.e., the politician who secured the independence of Texas from Mexico, Mr. Koeppel said. “Our street was named after a fellow named William Houstoun, who was a prominent Georgian, from a long line of Scotsmen.”


 ロンドン、及びイングランドに来る予定をしていて知っておいた方が良いかなという面倒な発音は、Leicester Squareはレスター・スクゥエアとか、Birminghamはバーミンガム、とか。異邦人が慣れない地名の発音に悩まされるのは、世界共通。

Animal Soul: 犬と猫の肖像写真

2017.02.22
AnimalSoul.jpg

僕が購入したのは犬が表紙で、この猫は裏表紙。久しぶりのジャケ買い。でも、素晴らしいのは表紙だけではない。犬達、猫達の表情のなんて豊かなことか。なんて凛々しいことか。なんて愛らしいことか。日本のアマゾンでは販売されていないようなので、洋書専門店や、写真集の専門店で見かけたら、是非、この写真集を開いてみて欲しい。犬・猫好きにはたまらない一冊だと思う。

Animal Soul by Robert Bahou
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1498570909/animal-soul

AnimalSoul2.jpg

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ナイト・フロッグ:指先にのるカエル

2017.02.22
NightFrog.jpg
(ガーディアンから無断拝借)

カエルのポストは4年ぶり。

 インドのケララ州で発見された指先に余裕でのるほど小さいカエル。

https://www.theguardian.com/news/gallery/2017/feb/21/best-photos-of-the-day-rule-britannia-and-mini-frogs#img-16

 地球の自然の複雑さには、いつも驚くことしかできない。この小ささで、心臓や肺、カエルなりの脳みそがこの小さな身体におさまる形で命として存在している驚異と美しさ。そんな自然の豊かさ、偉大さを顧みない人類。

About This Blog

2017.02.20
1999年のクリスマス・イヴにロンドンに来て以来、家族、友人、知人に無理やり送りつけていたプライヴェイト・メイル・マガジンをまとめる目的で始めたブログ。
 同じ島国のイギリスと日本、似ていると感じることもあれば、今でも驚かされることも結構ある。ということで、これからも不定期に面白いと思ったこと、興味を惹かれたことなどをアップしていければ、と。

 最近、メイル経由で質問を戴くことが増えていて、お越しくださる人には感謝します。ただ、例えば、「ロンドンに行こうかと思っているんですが、どうでしょうか?」のようなまる投げの質問の返答は、「行きたいかどうか判らないなら、止めたほうがいいのでは」、です。また、ご自分が知りたいことを僕が知っているとは思い込まないでください。質問されるのは構いませんが、質問された方の期待に沿うことは僕の「義務」ではありません。


2012年9月1日

 要望を受けてしばらくトライアルしてみて、スカイプによる心理カウンセリングを正式に始めました。興味をお持ちの方はHPから問い合わせてください。

http://www.iamlisteningtoyou.net/

ロンドンの大気汚染は、世界最悪

2017.02.16
'Filthy glamour': could polluted Marylebone Road help fix London's air?
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/15/marylebone-road-london-air-pollution-crisis-sadiq-khan

ロンドンの大気汚染は、どうやら北京や上海よりも酷いらしい。欧州連合からは、最後通達のような警告が送られてきたそうだ。

European commission issues 'final warning' to UK over air pollution breaches
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/15/european-commission-issues-final-warning-to-uk-over-air-pollution-breaches

Britain has been sent a final warning to comply with EU air pollution limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) or face a case at the European court of justice.

If the UK does not show Brussels how it intends to comply with EU law within two months, a court hearing with the power to impose heavy fines could begin later this year, as the Guardian revealed last week.

“Thousands of lives are lost each year yet the British government simply sits on its hands and does nothing. If the threat of hefty fines and legal action is not enough, then what on earth will compel the government to act when we leave the EU?


 大英帝国、一度、とことん、落ちることのできる限界のどん底まで落ちてみた方が良いのではないかと思う。

NHSシステムの中で気をつけること:予約を忘れるな!

2017.02.16
Your appointment is important to us, if you do not contact us by this date, you will be discharged from our service and your GP/referrer informed.

上の文章と同じ、または同様な表現をNHSの診療予約を確認する手紙で読んだことがある人はいるかなと思う。最近、運良くGPの予約が取れたとしても、診療時間は一人につき10分。しかもその10分で相談できるのは一つの症状のみ。複数の健康不安を抱えている場合は、その症状毎に予約を取らなければならない。

As a GP, I wish I could call time on the 10-minute appointment
https://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/views-from-the-nhs-frontline/2017/jan/30/10-minute-gp-slots-pressure-doctors

 昨年の初夏にしたたかに打ち付けた肘が、12月になって再び痛み始めた。なんとかGPとの予約を取り、相談できた。治療は投薬ではなく、フィジオセラピィが良いだろうということで、「自分で予約するように」とのこと。

 まず、ウェブで登録。翌日に携帯電話にメッセイジが送られてきて、初回は電話で問診。問診が終わった翌日に送られて来た手紙の中に書かれていたのがトップに書いたもの。予約は自分で取れ、予約をしなかったらGPに連絡するよ、と。言い換えると、予約をしなければ治療を拒否したとみなし、後日やっぱりその治療が必要になったとしても、予約はまた最初から、ということだろう。

 連日報道されるNHSの状況を考えれば、治療を受ける意志を見せない患者にかまっている予算も時間もないということなのだろう。

 体調を崩さないように予防に集中することで、現在のイギリスでの生活をサヴァイヴァルするしかないのだと感じる最近。

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