While today’s Redditors want you to think they’re enlightened savants bringing us the truth against the wishes of an oppressive right-wing government, the truth is that they have declined much like “Anonymous” did at 4chan. They lost their impetus because they became inward looking. On the internet, they’re superstars. In reality they’re boring people with boring jobs, selfish hobbies, inflated self image and an unquenchable anger toward anyone who has more than they do.

The illusion of asymmetric insight makes it seem as though you know everyone else far better than they know you, and not only that, but you know them better than they know themselves. You believe the same thing about groups of which you are a member. As a whole, your group understands outsiders better than outsiders understand your group, and you understand the group better than its members know the group to which they belong.

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In a political debate you feel like the other side just doesn’t get your point of view, and if they could only see things with your clarity, they would understand and fall naturally in line with what you believe. They must not understand, because if they did they wouldn’t think the things they think. By contrast, you believe you totally get their point of view and you reject it. You see it in all its detail and understand it for what it is – stupid.

What it says on the label: facts and details about Japan, in lots of different categories like Japanese customs, history, religion, and even an article on those cool snow monkeys.

Isn't business a lot like Monty Python's search for the Holy Grail? Think about it. We have Arthur as the celebrity CEO, searching for best talent to fill his leadership team. Then the next thing they do is embark on the quest for the elusive strategic objective, I mean, the Holy Grail.  On the quest, they bring in a consultant, Tim the Enchanter, encounter some nasty competition (the French), decentralize and then re-centralize, and eventually get rounded up for fiscal irresponsibility. Isn't the scene where they determine the woman is witch by weighing her with a duck a lot like the way we make decisions in corporations? We'll rationalize anything to justify what we want to do. What about the guards in Swamp Castle who can't quite understand what they are supposed to guard?  Haven't you had conversations and emails just like that?

I have been living in Japan for close to 20 years. I hold an M.A. in Japanese Language and Society from Sheffield University and I have attained Level II of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Still, because my face doesn't fit, waiters and waitresses in shops and restaurants look to my Japanese wife for confirmation of what I have asked for, in spite of the fact they have already complimented me on my language ability. In addition, I am told in all seriousness by people who have known me for years that I use chopsticks well and am asked whether or not I can eat Japanese food.

Tetsunari Iida, a former nuclear engineer who currently heads the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, says that the industry is dominated by a closely-knit nuclear establishment. Those who graduate from universities and graduate from schools with degrees in nuclear power engineering go on to work at power companies, energy-related manufacturers, or municipalities that host nuclear power stations. Everything comes down to personal networks, and who the graduating students go on to work for is largely influenced by the connections and interests of the students' professors. Regardless of whether the employers are public or private organizations, the newly inducted engineers are raised to become full-fledged members of the nuclear establishment.

Recently I came upon a fascinating study by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire. Wiseman surveyed a number of people and, through a series of questionnaires and interviews, determined which of them considered themselves lucky—or unlucky. He then performed an intriguing experiment: He gave both the “lucky” and the “unlucky” people a newspaper and asked them to look through it and tell him how many photographs were inside. He found that on average the unlucky people took two minutes to count all the photographs, whereas the lucky ones determined the number in a few seconds.

How could the “lucky” people do this? Because they found a message on the second page that read, “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” So why didn’t the unlucky people see it? Because they were so intent on counting all the photographs that they missed the message.

Two days before Japan suffered its record earthquake and a devastating tsunami on March 11, Prime Minister Naoto Kan appointed [Takayoshi] Igarashi as a Cabinet adviser on coping with Japan’s population decline and rural-region decay. Igarashi says the disaster has made clear the nation must reduce the role of its capital city to avert an even greater catastrophe.

“I told the prime minister that nationwide dispersal is the first thing we need to do as we rebuild,” Igarashi, a professor at Hosei University in Tokyo, said in an interview after meeting with Kan last week. “We have no idea when the big one’s going to hit Tokyo, but when it does, it’s going to annihilate the entire country because everything is here.”

Billionaires, even low on the Forbes list, have more money than they can spend. Lex's Sarah O'Connor and Edward Hadas discuss why they still strive to increase their fortunes.

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