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Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media


I click Google’s first suggested link. It leads to a website called 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 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.”


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




Freshen up: readers' photos on the theme of green



The Roches



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.



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


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スクリーンショット 2017-02-24 18.42.09


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

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.




 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。


 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?

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



Animal Soul by Robert Bahou


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'Filthy glamour': could polluted Marylebone Road help fix London's air?


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?



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.


As a GP, I wish I could call time on the 10-minute appointment








イングランド内のNHSの診療活動の中でサイコロジカル・セラピィやカウンセリングを受けることができる。NICE(National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)のガイドラインでは、最も推奨されるサイコロジカル・セラピィは、Cognitive Bavioural Therapy (CBT)CBTの形式は、Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)におけるStepped Careの中で、受診者の状況に応じてカウンセリングの段階が別れる。

Stepped care for people with common mental health disorders commissioning guide



Translated self help IAPT materials




スクリーンショット 2017-02-16 9.15.19


Charterhouse in London opens to public for first time in 400 years

The Charterhouse





スクリーンショット 2017-02-12 10.53.24


 土曜日もとても冷え込んだので午後遅くに暖炉に火をつけたら、Tan Tanが。

Tan Tan by the fire place

 太目の彼は長くは居なかった。で、金曜日に暖炉に炎があるのを観てパニックだったAi Aiが、火勢を落としたら寛ぎ始めた。

スクリーンショット 2017-02-12 10.53.56

Ai Ai by the fire place


A battle without a fight


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スクリーンショット 2017-02-11 14.44.56

Smile and nod: Trump was not wearing translation device in Japan PM's speech

通訳イヤホンなし、日本語にうなずく 会見でトランプ氏

 朝日新聞、速攻。重箱の隅をつつく様だが、「they spoke quite extensively」を「2人は会見の前に広く話をしていた」って、「熱心に」とした方がすっきりすると思うな。

フリーアナウンサー・吉田照美さん 権力者に対する風刺ができない世の中は危険



TOTO chanの幸せ

スクリーンショット 2017-02-10 20.34.55

今週末、この冬2度目(かな)の寒波襲来。この冬初めての暖炉(ガス)。猫達にとって、引き取られてから初めての暖炉、どんな反応があるかと。予想していたようにAi Aiはパニック、食べ物以外は興味のないTan Tanは全くの無反応。TOTOだけ、優雅に暖炉の暖かい火を楽しんでいる。


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スクリーンショット 2017-02-09 15.01.25


TOTO drinks water in her elegant style 1 (video)

TOTO drinks water in her elegant style 2 (video)


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