Saturday, February 7, 2015

The villains named themselves with English words intentionally

Al-Qaeda, Aum-Shinrikyo, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Islamic State.

I jot down some of armed extremist groups, just in alphabetical order. How do they feel respectively? How do they sound respectively? Every word has its own nuance, whatever language it is. Familiar words tend to leave a familiar impression on us. Does the last group mentioned above sound more familiar than the first 4 groups to English-speaking people?

I am 47 years old. More than 34 years have passed since I began to learn English as a second language in a junior high school. I'm old enough to realize that the masterminds of self-styled "Islamic State" have named their own group with familiar English words intentionally. They have done so with confidence in order to make it easier to recruit young people brought up and educated in advanced countries.

Generally speaking, young people are reckless idealists. And the information technologies are flourishing, especially in advanced countries. The masterminds of self-styled "Islamic State" recruit young people via the Internet, threaten governments via the Internet, and make videos of killing public to horrify people via the Internet. Technologies are always like a double-edged sword.

On the globe, there must not be a place villains can call their own.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What a poor memory I have!

I wonder how we store a tremendous amount of information in our own brain. Our memory is sometimes as vague as a mirage.

In the afternoon, a couple of days ago, I jogged down the hill to the Misaki fishing port at the southern end of the Miura Peninsula in Kanagawa Pref. It's a gentle hill leading to the coast. This terrain is very exceptional in the Japanese Archipelago, which is long and narrow, and relatively full of mountains.

When I started jogging at Misakiguchi Station, I surely thought that I had never been on this road. On the way to the port, one restaurant of a major chain came into view. In front of me was the restaurant on the downhill with the Pacific Ocean in the background. This view made me remember that I drove my subcompact car on this road over 20 years ago. I took my girlfriend there for a drive in my younger days. What a poor memory I have!

The Miura Peninsula, which is at the mouth of Tokyo Bay, is the place where the U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry disembarked in 1853 to demand by force opening of the Japanese ports to the U.S., and also the place where the U.S. Navy Base, formally called Fleet Activities Yokosuka, is located today under Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

I upload my messages at this blog mainly here in the Miura Peninsula in Japan.