Interesting, thoughtful stories

I watched this when it was first broadcast a few years back. Riveting, and just tragic. All the more relevant to me as I’m currently living in Japan, on a 6 month sabbatical from work, in a tiny 1R apartment (basically a hotel room) in an old block in Fukuoka. I hardly see my neighbours but I guess that’s not unusual in a big city.

I do know that when I looked down from my balcony (I’m on the 6th floor) - I could see that the balcony below was completely filled with trash. That was about 2 months ago, and I noticed last week that it had been cleared. I can only hope that this was a good sign for whoever was living there.

Given the social and work pressures that are well reported, and the subcultures such as gaming, anime etc, I can well imagine how these lead to people becoming hikikomori. I wouldn’t use the word “choosing” - similar to addictions I think it’s just something that some people can be predisposed to.

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There is also the factor of having housing, food, and people to deal with the world for you. I doubt many of them are poor or without family.

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True indeed. The programme focuses on what happens when they are eventually left alone - the full synopsis:

It’s estimated over a million Japanese live as “hikikomori,” recluses totally withdrawn from society. Some hikikomori may even go for decades without leaving their house. While in the past the phenomenon was most commonly associated with young men, recent data has revealed a much wider demographic of people whose confidence in themselves, and in society, has been shattered. As the parents or relatives hikikomori so often depend on entirely become too old to care for them, many now face a dire situation, left alone and unable to cope.

The opening line of the documentary:

“On this visit, the property’s occupant was still alive. A recluse, he’s isolated himself for over three decades”

Emphasis mine. It doesn’t go well later on.

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I wasn’t aware - but then wasn’t surprised after reading this - about the same phenomenon in South Korea. Some very interesting insights here:

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This post by Ed Zitron might fit in here:

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I don’t know where else to put this, so I’m going to put it here. One of my favorite YouTubers for years has been Rob Scallon. If you’re into music at all, his videos are great. And he does a variety of stuff. Original music, weird instruments, goofy experiments, music education, all kinds of stuff. I had noticed he wasn’t posting as much over the past year. And he just posted why. Hopefully this helps remove some more stigma from mental health issues.

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Is public consolidation the counter to Pa. water privatization frenzy?

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I keep trying to wrap my head around this. Like, I thought Graham’s Number was a really, really big number, but I could kind of understand how the number of Knuth’s up arrows were increasing explosively from g(1) to g(64), but this just seems like pure sorcery to me.

For comparison, here is the relatively tiny Graham’s Number, which is already too large to write out all of the digits in the entire observable universe no matter how small you write each digit…

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I think this was part protest/part performance art? It is certainly interesting…

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Trigger warnings: plenty of them. Domestic violence etc. Heads up, please.

I found this article enlightening, terrifying, inspiring, and all too familiar in some ways. And now I’ve read it twice through. It’s powerful. In the end, it’s more positive than negative.

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Hah…I just finished reading that myself. Totally agree: a fair, messy, complicated tale told well, and with a great ending.

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