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week8

I found Paul du Gay's study on the Walkman helpful to me in thinking about my final paper. I particularly liked this quote, "We do not live in a one-layered 'sonoferous' reality, in which one factor can exercise its influence on total reality homogenously, but in a multi-layered structure, in which one layer, even if identifiable as such, shifts away from another and no definite causality is found, no heroic height or spiritual depth permitted." This is definitely a lens through which I will examine the idea of noise pollution. Can I even define it?

Todd Joseph Miles Holden and Takako Tsuruki
I felt that deai is almost a natural process facilitated by Japan's widespread and constant use of mobile internet technology. Eighty percent of Japanese people in 2000 had internet capable cell phones. Long commutes, wait times, and the ability to browse through others' lives and connect with people without ever having to physically connect (if you don't want to) seem to fuel the deai culture. A term I liked was "Oppositional 'virtualities.' The basic idea that we can be presented with multiple versions of a person--their message self versus their phone self for example. And along with that comes the question, which reality do you accept? I imagine people sit on trains and text someone portraying themselves in one way and then stepping off the train and interacting with coworkers completely differently.

I did have a problem the conclusion of Simon Partner's book. Throughout the chapter he hinted at the plight of the female worker in Japan, but he continually came up with excuses for why it wasn't so bad after all. I kept expecting him to say, "maybe things weren't so bad on some levels, but overall, the lives these women lead were probably highly stressful and unfulfilling." So only 3% of workers thought their job was hard. Define hard. These women didn't have to use all of their brainpower all day long, but research has shown that repetitive jobs are among the most stressful jobs a person can have. The ultimate conclusion that these women had power as consumers almost made me laugh. Everything he lists as an item the women would buy were items made by the very companies they worked for. They were exploited by the system and then convinced to throw their money back at it. Frankly, I was disappointed.