In the summer of 1963, Mollie Orshansky, a forty-eight-year-old statistician at the Social Security Administration, in Washington, D.C., published an article in the Social Security Bulletin entitled "Children of the Poor." "The wonders of science and technology applied to a generous endowment of natural resources have wrought a way of life our grandfathers never knew," she wrote. "Creature comforts once the hallmark of luxury have descended to the realm of the commonplace, and the marvels of modern industry find their way into the home of the American worker as well as that of his boss. Yet there is an underlying disquietude reflected in our current social literature, an uncomfortable realization that an expanding economy has not brought gains to all in equal measure. It is reflected in the preoccupation with counting the poor--- do they number 30 million, 40 million, or 50 million?"

Orshansky's timing was propitious. In December of 1962, President John F. Kennedy had asked Walter Heller, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, to gather statistics on poverty. In early 1963, Heller gave the President a copy of a review by Dwight Macdonald, in The New Yorker, of Michael Harrington's "The Other America: Poverty in the United States," in which Harrington claimed that as many as fifty million Americans were living in penury.

The federal government had never attempted to count the poor, and Orshansky's paper proposed an ingenious and straightforward way of doing so. Orshansky had experienced poverty firsthand. Born in the South Bronx in 1915, she was one of six daughters of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants who barely spoke English. Her father, a plumber and ironworker, was often unemployed, and Orshansky and her sisters wore hand-me-downs and slept two to a bed. Sometimes the family stood in relief lines to collect food. Nevertheless, Orshansky attended Hunter College High School, which was then a school for gifted girls, and went on to Hunter College, where she majored in mathematics and statistics. In 1939, she joined the U.S. Children's Bureau, now part of the Department of Health and Human Services, and studied children's health and nutrition.

... In the nineteen-sixties, many economists believed that economic growth and government intervention would eliminate poverty. Between 1964 and 1973, as Johnson's Great Society programs went into effect, the poverty rate fell from nineteen per cent of the population to 11.1 per cent. But, while the nation's inflation-adjusted gross domestic product has virtually tripled since 1973, the poverty rate has hardly budged. In 2004, the most recent year for which figures are available, it stood at 12.7 per cent, a slight increase over the previous year, and in some regions the figure is much higher. The horror of Hurricane Katrina was not just the physical destruction it wrought but the economic hardship it exposed. In New Orleans, the poverty rate in 2004 was twenty-three per cent, a fact that George W. Bush noted in his address from New Orleans' French Quarter on September 15th, when he said, "We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action." (Six months later, the Bush Administration has yet to present an anti-poverty plan.) According to the Census Bureau, many cities are even poorer than New Orleans. In Detroit in 2004, the poverty rate was 33.6 per cent; in Miami, it was 28.3 per cent; and in Philadelphia it was 24.9 per cent. (In New York, it was 20.3 per cent.)

The persistence of endemic poverty raises questions about how poverty is measured. In the past ten years or so, significant changes have been made in the way that inflation, gross domestic product, and other economic statistics are derived, but the poverty rate is still calculated using the technique that Orshansky invented. (Every twelve months, the Census Bureau raises the income cutoffs slightly to take inflation into account.)

This approach has some obvious shortcomings. To begin with, the poverty thresholds are based on pre-tax income, which means that they don't take into account tax payments and income from anti-poverty programs, such as food stamps, housing subsidies, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Medicaid, which cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars a year. In addition, families' financial burdens have changed considerably since Orshansky conducted her research. In the late fifties, most mothers didn't have jobs outside the home, and they cooked their families' meals. Now that most mothers work full time and pay people to help them take care of their kids, child care and commuting consume more of a typical family budget.

Another problem is that the poverty thresholds are set at the same level all across the country. Last year, the pre-tax-income cutoff for a couple with two children was $19,806. This might be enough to support a family of four in rural Arkansas or Tennessee, but not in San Francisco, Boston, or New York, where the real-estate boom has created a shortage of affordable housing. According to Jared Bernstein and Lawrence Mishel, economists at the liberal Economic Policy Institute, in Washington, D.C., the average rent in working-class neighborhoods of Boston is about a thousand dollars a month, which for a family of four with a poverty-level income leaves just six hundred and fifty dollars a month for food, clothing, heat, and everything else. Bernstein and Mishel argue that in some cities the poverty thresholds should be twice their current level.

Such considerations suggest that the official measures understate the extent of poverty, but the opposite argument can also be made. The poverty figures fail to distinguish between temporary spells of hardship, like those caused by a job loss or a divorce, and long-term deprivation. Surveys show that as many as forty per cent of people who qualify as poor in any given year no longer do so the following year. Middle-class families that suffer a temporary loss of income can spend their savings, or take out a loan, to maintain their living standard, and they don't belong in the same category as the chronically impoverished. One way to remedy this problem is to consider how much households spend, rather than how much they earn. If in the course of a year a household spends less than some designated amount, it is classified as poor. Daniel T. Slesnick, an economist at the University of Texas, has tested this approach using figures that he obtained from the Department of Labor's Consumer Expenditure Survey, which tracks the buying habits of thousands of American families. Slesnick calculated that the "consumption poverty rate" for 1995 -- that is, the percentage of families whose spending was less than the povertyincome threshold -- was 9.5 per cent, which is 4.3 per cent less than the official poverty rate. Subsequent studies have confirmed Slesnick's findings.

In 1995, a panel of experts assembled by the National Academy of Science concluded that the Census Bureau measure "no longer provides an accurate picture of the differences in the extent of economic poverty among population groups or geographic areas of the country, nor an accurate picture of trends over time." The panel recommended that the poverty line be revised to reflect taxes, benefits, child care, medical costs, and regional differences in prices. Statisticians at the Census Bureau have experimented with measures that incorporate some of these variables, but none of the changes have been officially adopted.

The obstacles are mainly political. "Poverty rates calculated using the experimental measures are all slightly higher than the official measure," Kathleen Short, John Iceland, and Joseph Dalaker, statisticians at the Census Bureau, reported in a 2002 paper reviewing the academy's recommendations. In addition to increasing the number of people officially classified as impoverished, revising the Census Bureau measure in the ways that the poverty experts suggested would mean that more elderly people and working families would be counted as poor.

Conservatives would prefer a measure that reduces the number of poor people. "The poverty rate misleads the public and our representatives, and it thereby degrades the quality of our social policies," Nicholas Eberstadt, of the American Enterprise Institute, wrote in a 2002 article. "It should be discarded for the broken tool that it is." In February, the conservatives appeared to make some headway when the Census Bureau released a report on some new ways of measuring poverty that could cut the official rate by up to a third.

... Consider a hypothetical single mother with two teen-age sons living in New Orleans' Ninth Ward, a neighborhood with poor schools, high rates of crime and unemployment, and few opportunities for social advancement. The mother works four days a week in a local supermarket, where she makes eight dollars an hour. Her sons do odd jobs, earning a few hundred dollars a month, which they have used to buy stereo equipment, a DVD player, and a Nintendo. The family lives in public housing, and it qualifies for food stamps and Medicaid. Under the Earned Income Tax Credit program, the mother would receive roughly four thousand dollars from the federal government each year. Compared with the destitute in Africa and Asia, this family is unimaginably rich. Compared with a poor American family of thirty years ago, it may be slightly better off. Compared with a typical two-income family in the suburbs, it is poor.

The concept of relative deprivation was first described by Adam Smith in "The Wealth of Nations," in a passage on the "necessaries" of daily life:

By necessaries I understand not only the commodities which are indispensably necessary for the support of life, but what ever the customs of the country renders it indecent for creditable people, even the lowest order, to be without. A linen shirt, for example, is, strictly speaking, not a necessary of life. The Greeks and Romans lived, I suppose, very comfortably, though they had no linen. But in the present times, through the greater part of Europe, a creditable day-laborer would be ashamed to appear in public without a linen shirt, the want of which would be supposed to denote that disgraceful degree of poverty which, it is presumed, nobody can well fall into, without extreme bad conduct. Custom, in the same manner, has rendered leather shoes a necessary of life in England.

For decades, economists overlooked Smith's analysis, and it was left to sociologists and anthropologists to study the impact of relative deprivation. During the Second World War, Samuel A. Stouffer, a sociologist at the University of Chicago, and a team of researchers compared the levels of job satisfaction reported by members of the military police, a profession in which few people were promoted, and members of the Army Air Force, where there were frequent opportunities for advancement. To the researchers' surprise, the policemen reported greater happiness in their jobs than the airmen. One possible explanation, the researchers speculated, is that the policemen tended to compare themselves with colleagues who hadn't been promoted, whereas the "reference group" for the airmen was colleagues who had been promoted. "The more people a man sees promoted when he is not promoted himself," the Cambridge University sociologist W. G. Runciman wrote in 1966, in his book "Relative Deprivation and Social Justice," "the more people he may compare himself to in a situation where the comparison will make him feel relatively deprived."

More recently, three economists at the University of Warwick published the results of a survey of sixteen thousand workers in a range of industries, in which they found that the workers' reported levels of job satisfaction had less to do with their salaries than with how their salaries compared with those of co-workers. Human beings are also competitive with their neighbors. Erzo Luttmer, an economist at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, recently found that people with rich neighbors tend to be less happy than people whose neighbors earn about as much money as they do. It appears that, while money matters to people, their relative ranking matters more.

Relative deprivation is also bad for your health. In a famous study conducted between 1967 and 1977, a team of epidemiologists led by Sir Michael Marmot, of University College London, monitored the health of more than seventeen thousand members of Britain's Civil Service, a highly stratified bureaucracy. Marmot and his colleagues found that people who had been promoted to the top ranks -- those who worked directly for cabinet ministers -- lived longer than their colleagues in lower-ranking jobs. Mid-level civil servants were more likely than their bosses to develop a range of potentially deadly conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, lung cancer, and gastrointestinal ailments.

Initially, some critics suggested that these results could be attributed to differences in behavior: members of the lower ranks were more likely to smoke and drink and less likely to exercise and eat healthily than their better-paid superiors. To test this theory, Marmot and his team have been conducting a follow-up study of civil servants, which began in 1985 and continues to this day. This survey has confirmed the results of the first study, and has also suggested that less than a third of the difference in patterns of disease and mortality can be ascribed to behavior associated with coronary risk, such as smoking or lack of exercise. "The higher the social position, the longer people can expect to live, and the less disease they can expect to suffer," Marmot explained in a recent paper. "This is the social gradient in health."

The British findings have been replicated in other parts of the world, including the United States. Amartya Sen, who won the 1998 Nobel in economics, has pointed out that African-Americans as a group have a smaller chance of reaching old age than Indians born in the impoverished state of Kerala, who are much poorer. Part of the reason may be the high rate of homicide deaths among young African-American men, but African-American women also have higher mortality rates than women in Kerala. "So it is not only the case that American blacks suffer from relative deprivation in terms of income per head vis-a-vis American whites," Sen wrote in his 1999 book, "Development as Freedom." "They also are absolutely more deprived than the low-income Indians in Kerala."

The epidemiological studies don't explain how relative deprivation damages people's health; they simply suggest that there is a connection. One possibility is that subordination leads to stress, which damages the body's immune system. In the animal kingdom, where there are bitter fights over relative status, there is evidence supporting this hypothesis. The neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky has described how dominant baboons in troops on the African plains verbally and physically abuse their subordinates. When Sapolsky analyzed blood samples from low-ranking baboons, he found high levels of a hormone associated with stress. Other scientists have shown that dominant rhesus monkeys have lower rates of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) than monkeys further down the social hierarchy, and when dominant female monkeys are relegated to a subordinate status their rate of heart disease goes up.

"Given the animal results," Angus Deaton, a Princeton economist who is an expert on poverty, wrote in a recent paper about relative deprivation and mortality, "the degree to which low rank is harmful to an individual is likely to depend on the number of people of higher rank, because each such person is in a position to deliver the threats, insults, enforced obeisance, or ultimate violence that generate stress. Individuals who are insulted by those immediately above them insult those immediately below them, generating a cascade of threats and violence through which low-ranked individuals feel the burden, not just of their immediate superiors, but of the whole hierarchy above them."

Poor health may be the most dramatic consequence of relative deprivation, but there are more subtle effects as well. Although many poor families own appliances once associated with rich households, such as color televisions and dishwashers, they live in a society in which many families also possess DVD players, cell phones, desktop computers, broadband Internet connections, powerful game consoles, S.U.V.s, health-club memberships, and vacation homes. Without access to these goods, children from poor families may lack skills -- such as how to surf the Web for help-wanted ads -- that could enhance their prospects in the job market. In other words, relative deprivation may limit a person's capacity for social achievement. As Sen put it, "Being relatively poor in a rich country can be a great capability handicap, even when one's absolute income is high in terms of world standards." Research by Tom Hertz, an economist at American University, shows that a child whose parents are in the bottom fifth of the income distribution has only a six-per-cent chance of attaining an average yearly income in the top fifth. Most people who start out relatively poor stay relatively poor.

Since relative deprivation confers many of the disadvantages of absolute deprivation, it should be reflected in the poverty statistics. A simple way to do this would be to classify a household as impoverished if its pre-tax income was, say, less than half the median income -- the income of the household at the center of the income-distribution curve. In 2004, the median pre-tax household income was $44,684; a poverty line based on relative deprivation would have been $22,342. (As under the current system, adjustments could be made for different family sizes.)

Adopting a relative-poverty threshold would put to rest the debate over how to define a subsistence threshold. As long as the new measure captured those at the bottom of the social hierarchy, it wouldn't matter much whether the income cutoff was set at forty per cent or fifty per cent of median income. If poverty is a relative phenomenon, what needs monitoring is how poor families make out compared with everybody else, not their absolute living standards.

Academics have proposed a relative-poverty line before; notably, the British sociologist Peter Townsend, in 1962, and the American economist Victor Fuchs, who is now an emeritus professor at Stanford, in 1965. Nobody has taken the idea very seriously. "I still think that it is the right way to think about poverty, especially from a policy point of view," Fuchs told me. Unfortunately, few politicians and poverty experts agree. Liberals fear that shifting the focus of policy away from hunger and physical need would make it even harder to win support for government anti-poverty programs; conservatives fear that adopting a relative-poverty rate would be tantamount to launching another costly war on poverty that the government couldn't hope to win.

Neither of these fears is justified. Many Americans are skeptical about government anti-poverty programs, because they believe that the impoverished bear some responsibility for their plight by dropping out of high school, taking drugs, or committing crimes. Raising public awareness about relative deprivation could help to change attitudes toward the poor, by showing how those at the bottom of the social hierarchy continue to face obstacles even as they, along with the rest of the society, become more prosperous. The Times recently reported that more than half of black men in inner cities fail to finish high school, and that, nationwide, almost three-quarters of black male high-school dropouts in their twenties are unemployed. "It doesn't do a poor person any good to say 'You are better off than you would have been thirty years ago,' " Fuchs said. "The pathologies we associate with poverty -- crime, drug use, family disintegration -- we haven't eliminated them at all."

The conservative case against a relative-poverty line asserts that since some people will always earn less than others the relative-poverty rate will never go down. Fortunately, this isn't necessarily true. If incomes were distributed more equally, fewer families would earn less than half the median income. Therefore, the way to reduce relative poverty is to reduce income inequality -- perhaps by increasing the minimum wage and raising taxes on the rich. Between 1979 and 2000, the inflation-adjusted earnings of the poorest fifth of Americans increased just nine per cent; the earnings of the middle fifth rose fifteen per cent; and the earnings of the top fifth climbed sixty-eight per cent.

"RELATIVELY DEPRIVED: How poor is poor?"
The New Yorker, Issue of 2006-04-03

[Bookreview] CHANCES ARE: Adventures in Probability, by Michael Kaplan and Ellen Kaplan, Viking. 319 pages. $26.95.

The authors choose their examples cleverly and explain them through arresting metaphors. Take Bayes' theorem, a highly influential formula to measure confidence in the probability of a single event based on the experience of many events (say, the probability that the sun will rise tomorrow). Presenting the theorem entails a fair amount of math, as do many of the ideas in the book, but after unloading a page of equations, the authors explain the complexities of weighted probability combinations this way: "Casanova's chance of seducing the countess depends on how swayed she is by charm times the likelihood that he will be charming plus how repelled she is by boorishness times the chance that he will be a boor."

Bayes' theorem, like the bell curve, turns up in unexpected places, most strikingly the courtroom. "Chances Are" includes a chapter on efforts to apply probabilistic reasoning to legal argument and to the presentation of evidence to a jury. Many intriguing case studies follow, most showing that lawyers cannot be trusted with numbers, and that juries cannot understand them.

Doctors are not much better. In a dismaying test of probabilistic reasoning, doctors and hospital administrators were asked to grade four cancer-screening programs. Program A reduced the death rate by 34 percent, Program B produced an absolute reduction in deaths of 0.06 percent, and Program C increased the patient survival rate from 99.82 percent to 99.88 percent. Under Program D, 1,592 patients would have to be screened to prevent one death. The doctors and administrators strongly recommended Program A, but, in fact, the four sets of numbers describe the same program.

Before scoffing, chew on the now famous Monty Hall problem, named after the host of "Let's Make a Deal." A contestant knows that concealed behind three doors there are two goats and one new car. The contestant chooses Door No. 1. The beaming host opens Door No. 3 to reveal a goat, and then asks the contestant if he would like to change his choice to Door No. 2. Two doors add up to a 50-50 proposition, obviously. So why bother? Because the odds have actually shifted. The chances are now two out of three that changing to Door No. 2 will obtain the car.

In the 17th century, governments took advantage of the average citizen's inability to assess probability by selling annuities, a type of insurance policy in which the buyer, in essence, bets that he will live longer than most other people. As with all casino bets, the house held an edge. The government possessed mortality statistics, regarded as state secrets, and used them to rig the odds. It also relied on basic psychology, "the instinctive belief that everyone dies at an average age -- except me."

William GRIMES
"[Books of The Times] 'Chances Are . . . '"
"Wonders Are Possible. Alas, the Odds Are Another Story"
The New York Times, March 31, 2006

Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.

And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.

Because it is the most scientifically rigorous investigation of whether prayer can heal illness, the study, begun almost a decade ago and involving more than 1,800 patients, has for years been the subject of speculation.

The question has been a contentious one among researchers. Proponents have argued that prayer is perhaps the most deeply human response to disease, and that it may relieve suffering by some mechanism that is not yet understood. Skeptics have contended that studying prayer is a waste of money and that it presupposes supernatural intervention, putting it by definition beyond the reach of science.

At least 10 studies of the effects of prayer have been carried out in the last six years, with mixed results. The new study was intended to overcome flaws in the earlier investigations. The report was scheduled to appear in The American Heart Journal next week, but the journal's publisher released it online yesterday.

In a hurriedly convened news conference, the study's authors, led by Dr. Herbert Benson, a cardiologist and director of the Mind/Body Medical Institute near Boston, said that the findings were not the last word on the effects of so-called intercessory prayer. But the results, they said, raised questions about how and whether patients should be told that prayers were being offered for them.

... In the study, the researchers monitored 1,802 patients at six hospitals who received coronary bypass surgery, in which doctors reroute circulation around a clogged vein or artery.

The patients were broken into three groups. Two were prayed for; the third was not. Half the patients who received the prayers were told that they were being prayed for; half were told that they might or might not receive prayers.

The researchers asked the members of three congregations -- St. Paul's Monastery in St. Paul; the Community of Teresian Carmelites in Worcester, Mass.; and Silent Unity, a Missouri prayer ministry near Kansas City -- to deliver the prayers, using the patients' first names and the first initials of their last names.

The congregations were told that they could pray in their own ways, but they were instructed to include the phrase, "for a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications."

Analyzing complications in the 30 days after the operations, the researchers found no differences between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not.

In another of the study's findings, a significantly higher number of the patients who knew that they were being prayed for -- 59 percent -- suffered complications, compared with 51 percent of those who were uncertain. The authors left open the possibility that this was a chance finding. But they said that being aware of the strangers' prayers also may have caused some of the patients a kind of performance anxiety.

"It may have made them uncertain, wondering am I so sick they had to call in their prayer team?" Dr. Bethea said.

The study also found that more patients in the uninformed prayer group -- 18 percent -- suffered major complications, like heart attack or stroke, compared with 13 percent in the group that did not receive prayers. In their report, the researchers suggested that this finding might also be a result of chance.

One reason the study was so widely anticipated was that it was led by Dr. Benson, who in his work has emphasized the soothing power of personal prayer and meditation.

Benedict CAREY
"Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer"
The New York Times, March 31, 2006

The brains of highly intelligent children develop in a different pattern from those with more average abilities, researchers have found after analyzing a series of imaging scans collected over 17 years.

... It was only in following the scans as the children grew older that the dynamism of the developing brain became evident. The researchers found that average children (I.Q. scores 83 to 108) reached a peak of cortical thickness at age 7 or 8. Highly intelligent children (121 to 149 in I.Q.) reached a peak thickness much later, at 13, followed by a more dynamic pruning process.

... The I.Q. was tested when the children entered the program. Further tests were not needed because I.Q.'s are so stable, Dr. Rapoport said.

Nicholas WADE
"Scans Show Different Growth for Intelligent Brains"
The New York Times, March 30, 2006

OGI, Nigeria -- Whatever secrets the turgid brown depths of the Sacred Pond of Ogi may keep, there is one they betray quite easily: why it is so infuriatingly hard to wipe even one disease off the face of the earth.

Ogi is one of the last areas of Nigeria infested with Guinea worm, a plague so ancient that it is found in Egyptian mummies and is thought to be the "fiery serpent" described in the Old Testament as torturing the Israelites in the desert.

For untold generations here, yardlong, spaghetti-thin worms erupted from the legs or feet -- or even eye sockets -- of victims, forcing their way out by exuding acid under the skin until it bubbled and burst. The searing pain drove them to plunge the blisters into the nearest pool of water, whereupon the worm would squirt out a milky cloud of larvae, starting the cycle anew.

"The pain is like if you stab somebody," said Hyacinth Igelle, a farmer with a worm coming out of a hand so swollen and tender that he could not hold a hoe. He indicated how the pain moved slowly up his arm. "It is like fire -- it comes late, but you feel it even unto your heart."

Now, thanks to a relentless 20-year campaign led by former President Jimmy Carter, Guinea worm is poised to become the first disease since smallpox to be pushed into oblivion. Fewer than 12,000 cases were found last year, down from 3 million in 1986.

... A Pond's Dangers

In 2001, Jacob Ogebe, a field officer for the Carter Center Guinea Worm Eradication Program, was trying to track down every pond in the area surrounding Ogi. He treated each with Abate, a mild pesticide that left the water potable, but killed the microscopic fleas that carry Guinea worm.

But slowly, he realized that Ogi's villagers were misleading him. He heard rumors of a sacred pond, but no one would take him to it. "They kept leading me to other places," he said. "Then one day, I was treating another pond, and I got lost and discovered it."

Though it is only a triangular puddle about 20 feet on each side in a heavily trodden grove of trees, the villagers revere it. "We have laws here, so no one dirties it," Gabriel Egba, the pond's high priest, said in an interview on its edge.

The rules are painted on a metal sign. The sacred water may not be sold or bartered. Any animal that drinks must be killed. Anyone who bathes, fishes, urinates or dips an oily pot in it is to be fined. Fines range from 35 cents to a live goat.

The pond teems with whiskery fish, turtles and snakes. More important, villagers say they believe that the souls of their ancestors also dwell in it, and Mr. Egba officiates at the sacrifices of roosters and rams for anyone wishing to talk to them.

After Mr. Ogebe found the pond, he said, villagers tried to dissuade him from treating it. "Some of them offered me money to hide it," he said. "But I told my boss at the Carter Center. Then, each time I went to the village, people followed me around. There were threats on our lives."

But by November 2003, the Carter Center's office in Jos, the regional capital, had persuaded village leaders to treat it. Nigeria's political leaders, constantly on the defensive against foreign accusations that the government here is inept or corrupt, had developed a sudden interest in the country's increasingly successful Guinea worm eradication campaign. The Carter Center's office was able to send in its biggest gun, short of a visit from Mr. Carter himself: Gen. Yakubu Gowon, who ruled Nigeria from 1966 to 1975.

For General Gowon, whom Mr. Carter had met in 1997 and asked to join his work, the Guinea worm campaign had become a point of personal pride. At 32, he took power in a coup against military rulers who had overturned Nigeria's first democratic government, and he crushed a war of secession in Biafra that cost a million lives. Now in his 70's, he is an elder statesman with his own foundation, the Gowon Center, modeled on Mr. Carter's.

He feels, he said, "a sort of guilt" that he did nothing about the disease while he was in office. "It was never reported in those days," he said. "If we had known, I would have done something about it."

On the day of his visit to Ogi, he was greeted politely beneath the village's central tree and was personally invited to pour the Abate into the pond. But when he and the other dignitaries walked the several hundred yards through tall grass to it, they found many of the village's women forming a human wall around it.

"They had colors rubbed on their faces to show resistance," like Indian war paint, Mr. Ogebe said. "They were chanting songs of their refusal."

Sarah Pantuvo, General Gowon's Guinea-worm eradication director, said the women shouted: "This disease is a curse from our ancestors, it has nothing to do with the pond water! If we let you touch anything, the ancestors will deal with us. We heard them crying all night!"

"I was very angry," Ms. Pantuvo said.

But General Gowon tried to defuse the situation, telling the women: "You, the women who fetch water from this pond, were not consulted about treating it? You should have been."

He assured them that the Abate would not harm the fish, and he told them that if their ancestors were benign, they would not want their children to be sick, and would like the pond treated.

But the women would have none of it. "Why don't you go treat AIDS instead?" they shouted.

Finally, he backed down, saying he would return when the women were ready.

That evening, he visited Matthew Ogbu Egede, the paramount chief of the area around Ogi. Chief Egede was mortified.

"I am a Christian," he said in an interview. "I don't believe in anything about juju. These people objected out of ignorance. The devil made them object."

He convened a meeting of "the elites," a local chiefs council. Furious, they ordered the village to accept the pesticide treatment and pay a fine of "one very mighty native cow, plus goats, yams and kegs of palm wine," Chief Egede said. The council sent the general an effusive letter of apology.

"As Socrates of the old Greek people took a cup of hemlock poison from his people for the love of his state, so have you borne our people's churlish misbehaviour," it said, further comparing him to William Tyndale, who translated the Bible into English and was martyred for heresy, and to St. Polycarp, who smiled as he was burned at the stake.

Mr. Ogebe was allowed to treat the pond. Slowly, cases of Guinea worm disease died out in the area.

Donald G. McNEIL Jr.
"On the Brink: Guinea Worm | A Long Crusade"
"Dose of Tenacity Wears Down a Horrific Disease"
The New York Times, March 26, 2006

Performance-enhancing drugs, not divine inspiration or intensified weight training, were behind Mr. Bonds's late-career home-run surge, according to "Game of Shadows," a devastating new book by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams. They are the investigative reporters for The San Francisco Chronicle who broke article after article in 2004 about a nutritional supplement company called Balco (Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative) and its distribution of performance-enhancing drugs to some of the biggest names in sports. Their articles helped galvanize the national debate about steroids and contributed to the push for Congressional hearings about baseball's drug problems and stepped-up efforts to purge the United States Olympic team of drug cheats.

... The stats themselves were surreal. "Over the first 13 seasons of his career," Mr. Williams and Mr. Fainaru-Wada write, "from 1986-1998, Bonds hit .290 and averaged 32 home runs and 93 RBI. He hit one home run every 16 at-bats. But in the six seasons after he began using performance-enhancing drugs -- that is, from 1999 to 2004, between the ages of 34 and 40 -- Bonds's batting line averaged .328, 49 and 105. That represented 17 additional home runs and 12 additional RBI per year. He would hit a home run every 8.4 at-bats."

"Books of The Times: 'Game of Shadows'"
"Barry Bonds and Baseball's Steroids Scandal by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams"
The New York Times, March 23, 2006

LONDON, March 21: The Archbishop of Canterbury opposes teaching creationism in school and believes that portraying the Bible as just another theory devalues it, he said in a newspaper interview published Tuesday.

"I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories," the archbishop, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, told The Guardian. "Whatever the biblical account of creation is, it's not a theory alongside theories. It's not as if the writer of Genesis or whatever sat down and said, 'Well, how am I going to explain all this?' "

The issue of what children should be taught about how the world began has been sharply divisive in the United States, where many evangelical Christians believe that creationism -- the belief that the world was created by God as recounted in the Book of Genesis -- should be on the curriculum, alongside or instead of the theory of evolution.

Some American Christians -- including, apparently, President Bush, who spoke approvingly about it last year -- also favor teaching the theory of intelligent design, which holds that the world is so complicated that its inception could have been orchestrated only by an intelligent spiritual force. Although the question has come up in Britain, there is nothing here like the American evangelical movement and no move to give creationism or intelligent design equal footing with evolution in schools.

The archbishop, the leader of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion, which includes the American Episcopal Church, made it clear that in his view, science is compatible with religion.

"For most of the history of Christianity, there's been an awareness that a belief that everything depends on the creative act of God is quite compatible with a degree of uncertainty or latitude about how precisely that unfolds in creative time," he told The Guardian.

In January the official Vatican newspaper said a decision by a judge in Pennsylvania that intelligent design should not be taught as a scientific alternative to evolution was "correct."

Asked specifically whether creationism should be taught in schools, the archbishop responded, "I don't think it should, actually." But he added that opposing creationism in the curriculum was "different from discussing, teaching about what creation means."

"For that matter," he said, "it's not even the same as saying that Darwinism is the only thing that ought to be taught. My worry is that creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it."

"Anglican Leader Says the Schools Shouldn't Teach Creationism"
The New York Times, March 21, 2006

The sick children are Bedouin. Until recently their ancestors were nomads who roamed the deserts of the Middle East and, as tradition dictated, often married cousins. Marrying within the family helped strengthen bonds among extended families struggling to survive the desert. But after centuries this custom of intermarriage has had devastating genetic effects.

Bedouins do not carry more genetic mutations than the general population. But because so many marry relatives -- some 65 percent of Bedouin in Israel's Negev marry first or second cousins -- they have a significantly higher chance of marrying someone who carries the same mutations, increasing the odds they will have children with genetic diseases, researchers say. Hundreds have been born with such diseases among the Negev Bedouin in the last decade.

The plight of the community is being addressed by an unusual scientific team: Dr. Ohad Birk, a Jewish Israeli geneticist, and two physicians, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip, and Dr. Khalil Elbedour, himself a Bedouin from Israel.

They work together in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba at a genetics center with two neighboring branches, the Genetics Institute of Soroka Medical Center and the Morris Kahn Human Molecular Genetics Lab at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Dr. Birk heads both institutions, which work to identify the mutant genes that cause these diseases. In the last two years, the center has identified eight mutant genes not previously associated with a disease, as well as dozens of new mutations in other genes that were already associated with diseases.

The findings are passed on to interested families who are given premarital genetic counseling and prenatal testing. More than 20 couples chose to end pregnancies over the past year, after doctors diagnosed in the fetuses terminal diseases that usually kill within the first few years of life.

But there are risks. In a small, closed society in which secrets are hard to keep, there is the danger of stigmatizing carriers and their families, subsequently lowering their chances for marriage should word get out that a genetic disease runs in the family.

The researchers try to minimize that risk by approaching families confidentially through their family doctors and offering them discreet testing, even in their own homes. Extensive genetic counseling is provided before and after testing. Results are given only in person by genetic counselors who walk individuals and families through the science and emotions of the process.

The researchers are also working closely with local Muslim leaders to spread a message about the benefits of genetic testing.

Many of the diseases among the Bedouins are not only rare but extremely severe. One such disease is aplasia cutis, in which babies are born with no skin on their skull. Some babies are born with neurological-spastic diseases and die within a few months. Other inherited conditions are blindness and severe mental retardation.

... The team is focusing on Mendelian diseases, the relatively rare type caused by disorder in a single gene. But Dr. Birk said the research might also help the team members find genes that combine to cause more common problems like diabetes, epilepsy, asthma and obesity.

The findings on Mendelian disease could be used by the major Bedouin populations in neighboring Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia with similar gene mutations. But so far, Dr. Birk said, scientists in those countries have refused offers to collaborate.

"It's so essential and basic that we should be working together," he said. "It's funny. The only Middle Eastern people we are collaborating with are the Palestinians."

The cooperation sometimes falters. On a recent morning an exasperated Dr. Abuelaish stormed into Dr. Birk's office. He was furious that Israeli soldiers at the crossing from Gaza into Israel had made him wait two hours to pass through and then asked him to take off his shirt to make sure he was not wired with bombs.

Still, Dr. Abuelaish declares, "Medicine does not know borders."

"A Hunt for Genes That Betrayed a Desert People"
The New York Times, March 21, 2006

それでは,想像力を使って最も古い時代まで戻り,太古の海に漂う原始的 なアメーバ様の動物を想像してみよう.

…もしこの動物が生き延びるとすれば,都合のいいものと悪いものを選別して, それぞれに異なった反応をする能力を進化させなければならない──この刺激 に対しては「アイタ!」,あちらに対しては「アチチ!」,こちらには「ウォー!」 でもって反応するのである.

…けれども,この動物の生活がより複雑になっていくにつれて,自らに影 響を与えているものについての何らかの種類の内なる知識をもつことが実際に 有利さを与えるときがくると想像してみよう.動物は,より精巧な計画と 意思決定のための基盤として,それを使いはじめることができるようになる. したがって,動物は,体の表面での感覚的刺激と,それをどのように感じ るかについての心的な表象を形成する能力を必要とする

そこで,長い話を短く切りつめれば,結果として,そこに,体表で起こってい る出来事について私たちがおこなっている感覚と知覚という非常に異なった読 み取り方に役立つ二つの並行的な経路が発達したのである.一つは,その 刺激が私に何をしており,それを私がどのように感じているかについての,影 響負荷的で,様態特異的で,身体中心的な表象を提供するものであり,も う一つは,外部世界についての,より中立的で,抽象的で,身体とは独立 した表象を提供するもののである

結論は,進化的な時間がすぎるうちに,ゆっくりとではあるが顕著な変化があっ たということである──あるいは,そう私は論じてきた.起こったことは,感 覚作用の全体の「私物化(privatization)」である.つまり,感覚反 応のための命令信号が,体表に到達する前に切りつめられてしまい,刺激のあっ た場所にまではるばる行きつく代わりに,入ってくる感覚神経のしだいしだい に近い地点までしか到達しなくなり,ついに最後には,このプロセス全体が, 脳の内部でループを形成して,外の世界から遮断されることになるのである (…).(pp.98-104)

なぜなら,ナディアがそのように描くことができたのは,本当は彼女が未 発達な言語やその他の弱みをもっていたからこそであると仮定してみよう. いやむしろ,もっと一般的に,そのような絵を描くのに,典型的な現生人類の 心を必要としないだけではなく,典型的な現生人類の心を持っていなかったに 違いないというのが本当だと仮定してみよう.(p.136)

物がどのように見えるかをナディアが正確に記憶することを可能にしたの は,まさにこの概念化の欠如であったと,セルフェは信じている.これに 対してナディアと同年齢の正常な女の子は,たとえばウマを見るときに,それ を「ウマ」というカテゴリーの表徴と見る──したがって,その記憶を断念す る──が,ナディアは,それがつくりだす最初の視覚的印象を単純に受けとめ るだけなのである.(p.137)

ほうとすれば,つまるところ,自然主義的絵画の喪失は,詩の到来に対し て支払わなければならなかった代価だったのかもしれない.人類はショー ヴァの絵画かギルガメッシュ叙事詩のどちらかをもつことができたが,両方を もつことはできなかった.(p.145)

実際には,まず体毛の喪失が起きたというのが,私の仮説である.言っ てみれば,こうした初期人類のあるものたち──実際に私たちの祖先となった 人々──が,十分な体毛を欠き,しだいに寒くなってきたというまさにそ のおとのために,体を暖かく保つ技術を発達させるよう衝き動かされたと いうことである.しかし,あとでわかったことだが,それ以降,こうした個体 ──および無毛という特性──が実際に繁栄したのである.なぜなら,本当を 言えば,こうした文化的な革新が予想もしていなかった重大なおまけをも たらしたからである

その結果は,体毛の喪失という生物学的な後退──それが,文化的な 革新のための前提条件であったかぎりでは──が,実際に,生物学的な適 応度において正味の利得をもたらしたということである.したがって,無 毛は,収支決済してみれば,進化的には適応的な特性であることが証明され, それゆえに,遺伝的なレベルで集団内に広がりはじめたということになるだろ う.(pp.182-183)

…明らかに彼ら[チンパンジーは実際に丸暗記によって課題を学 習したのである.ファラーの結論は,チンパンジーが「図形記憶」に関し て実際に超人的な能力──「写真的記憶力」──をもっているというも のであった.(p.187)

要するに,規則──ならびに抽象一般──の使用は,ある状況で世界につ いて獲得した知識を別の状況に応用することを可能にする.この能力こそ, まさしく,私たち人類の賢さと創造性の根拠なのである.
チンパンジーが規則の学習や抽象的思考になると,実際には驚くほど遅れてい るという証拠がしだいに増えつつある.(p.189)

しかし,今度は,言語進化の初期段階において,これが何を意味したかについ て考えてほしい.もし,言語を使うことの効果が実際に記憶力を衰えさせ, 一方で衰えさせられることの効果が言語使用の促進であるならば,良循環,あ るいは雪だるま効果──言語使用におけるあらゆる前進にともなって,さ らなる前進がより起こりやすいような条件をつくりだしていく──の潜在的な 可能性があるということになるだろう.言語「ミーム」(ソフトウェア のウイルスに引き比べてほしい)は,人間の心という環境を巧みに操って,自 らがより普及しやすいようにしてきたのであろう.(p.193)

ここまで論じてきた健康管理手段の多くは,本当をいえば,不確実な未来 に横たわる危険から身を守るためにデザインされた予防的な手段なのである .痛みは,あなたがまさに必要とする場合に体に休息を与えることを確実 にするために方法である.免疫システムの使用をできるだけ控えるのは,たま たま新たな攻撃が起こった場合にそれに対抗する資源を持っていることを確実 にするための方法である.あなたの治癒システムは基本的に用心深いものにな る傾向があり,時には,「後悔するより安全第一」の原則が働いているかのよ うに,用心深すぎることさえある.
さて,この原則は,もしあなたが,どんなことが待ちかまえているか予測 できないとすれば,そのときには,明らかに理に適ったものである.雨が 降るかどうかはっきりしないときに,あなたに傘をもっていくよう助言したり, どこまで走らなければならないかがわからないときに,あなたに走るペースを 落として駆け足にするよう助言したりするのと同じ原理である.

ブレツニツは,「痛みの耐久力に及ぼす希望の効果」についての最近 の論文を,「義務の旅現象(tour of duty=兵役服務)」と呼ばれるこ とになったものについての議論から始めている.第二次世界大戦において,ド イツ上空を夜間に出撃した米国の爆撃機の乗員は激しい犠牲に見舞われ,毎晩 のように爆撃機と乗員が失われた.士気の低下は避けがたく,低い士気はさま ざまなストレス関連病をもたらした.心理学者が救援のために招集された.彼 らは,問題の主たる原因がこの苦難にいつ終わりがくるかわからないというこ とにあると推測した.彼らの勧告は,乗員に対して,彼らにいつ義務の旅が終 わるかについて特別な情報を与えよというものだった.
四○回の出撃が非公式な平均であった.しかし今や,空軍兵士は四○回出撃す ればそれ以上はないと告げられた.その効果は劇的だった.兵士たちは, そんなに長く持ちこたえなくともいいと知っただけで,以前にはけっして見ら れないほどうまく対処できるようになったのである.(p.238)

…なぜイエスは,そもそもこうした非難から自らを弁護しなければならない立 場に弟子たちを追い込まなければならなかったのか.もしイエスが,神の 子として,彼が主張する通りに心や物質に及ぼす力を本当にもっていたとする なら,まったく違った種類の出し物を演じるのは,きっとたやすいことでなけ ればならなかったはずである
考えてみてもほしい.もし魔法の妖精があなたに,そういた力を与えてく れたとしたら,あなたはどんなことをするだろうか.間違いなくあなたは, 何から始めたらいいのか,なかなかわからないだろう.しかし,あなたがやっ てのけることができるあらゆる不思議な事柄をさしおいて,そうした力を, ふつうの奇術師の真似をすることに使おうと一瞬たりとも考えるだろうか. そうした力をもたないほかの人間ができるような類の奇術的な効果を提供する だろうか.帽子からウサギを取り出したり,ハンカチを消したり,あるいはご 婦人をノコギリで半分に切るといったことまでするだろうか.机を動かしたり, 密封された封筒の中身を読んだり,インディアンの霊と交信したりするだろう か.そんなことはないはずだ.私はあなたが実際にはふつうの奇術師や安っ ぽい霊媒から距離をおき,連想によって疑いをかけられる余地が絶対にないよ うに骨を折るだろうと想像する.
私はイエスの奇蹟のすべてが,まるっきり,このようなミュージック・ホール の演芸の類だと言っているわけではない(ただし,ブドウ酒を水に変えた り,魚の口からコインを取り出すといったことは,どれもあからさまに職業的 奇術師の教則本通りのものである).しかし,驚くべきこととみなさなけ ればならないのは,その一部がそうであるということ,さらにいえば,少なく とも報告がもう少し信頼できる奇蹟のなかでさえ,まったく異なった次元のも のがあまりにもわずかしかないということである.(pp.272-273)

一部の懐疑論者は,この出来事に関する聖書の記述の正確さに対して,『旧約 聖書』の預言者が,何世紀も先に何が起こるかを「あらかじめ語る」ことなど できたはずがありえないという理由に基づいて,異議申し立てをするべきだと 思っている.しかし,そうした懐疑主義は,的はずれだと私は思う.なぜなら, 注目すべき要点は,将来を預言することそれ自体には,預言者がその予言 がいつどこで実現されるかを決定しないままにしているかぎり,なんら奇跡的 な事柄を必要としないということである.たとえば,数十万人の人間から なるひとつの部族には,たとえば,三○○年の間に一○○万人以上の赤ん坊が 生まれることを考えれば,そうした誕生の内の一人が,多少とも予言されたと おりに「起こる」かもしれない可能性は比較的高いだろう.それは,どこかで 誰かに起こらなければならないだろうというものではなく,それは単に,もし, どこかで誰かに実際に起きたときに,それほど感心するほどの理由はない ということに過ぎないのだ.
しかしながら,注目すべきもう一点は,たとえば,どこかで誰かが雷に打たれ たという事実にはなんら驚くべきことはないかもしれないが,それでも,打た れた当人にとっては非常な驚きであろう.数週間ごとに誰かが宝くじに当たっ ているということには,誰もそれほど大袈裟に感銘をうけることはないが,自 分の幸運を信じられない思いの特定の個人がいることはほとんど間違いない─ ─その誰かは,「なぜ私なの」と問わざるをえない.宝くじに当たっ た当人や親しい友人にとって,この巡り合わせの歯車は,運命が自分に微笑ん でいる圧倒的な証拠を提供してくれたということになる可能性がきわめて高い だろう.

ある人物が自分自身についてもっているイメージは,その人の心理学 的な発達にとって決定的な影響をもっている.自分の人生をいかなるものにし ようと試みるかについての選択を形成するだけでなく,それは──そのことの ゆえに──,しばしば,自己強化的なものとなる.自分が王になるべ き生まれだと信じている人間は,王様のように振る舞おうと試みるだろう.自 分が可能性のある全てのチベットの赤ん坊の中から将来のダライ・ラマとして 選ばれたことを知っている男は,自分が成長してその役になることを認めるだ ろう.(pp.278-280)

若きイエスについての記事は実際に,一人の少年が,きわめて早熟 であるうえに,いくつかの点で自惚れ屋で,傲慢でさえあったことを物語っ ている.ヤコブの本(ほぼ同時代の「黙示録的福音書」で,イエスの兄弟によっ て書かれたと推測されている)によれば,「驚くべき子供時代」を通 じて,イエスは,人を騙すことで,遊び友達に怖れと尊敬を引き起こした という.(p.281)
細かい糸を付けておき,引っ張って落とすことでカップを壊す….袖のなかに ビスケットを隠しておいて,壺の中から取り出す….それをすることで,あな たは,少なくとも,もしそうした力をもっていたらどういう感じがするかわか る.しかし,それ以上に,あなたがそれを自分がやっているふりを続ければ, あなたが実際に特別な力をもっているともし信じたとき,他の人々はどう反応 するかを知ることができる.そして,あなた自身が心底から自分がそうい う力をもっている(たとえ,表面的にはこの正確とはいえないやり方にお いてであるにせよ)と考えるべき理由をもっているのだから──そし て,いずれにせよ,つづけるのだから──,これで,まあいいのである .(p.283)

翌日,驚くべきことが起きた.朝食の時に,母親は食器棚を開け,すべての金 属食器が曲げられているのを発見したのだ.ロバートは,それが自分とは何の 関係もないのだと抗議した.しかし,父さんはこう言ったのだ.「どうし て知っているわけがある──たぶん,あの子は無意識にやったんだ …」.食器が曲げられていることは否定できなかった.それに,無意識で やってしまったとしたら,どうしてそれを知ることができよう.ロバート が,自分は本物の超能力者であるに違いないと気づいたのは,そのときだった

これが,この少年の物語である.そのあと,私は父親と話をした.「そうです. あの子は間違いなくパワーを持っています.何度も繰り返しそれを実証してき ました.でもまだ子供です.子供というものは簡単にやる気を失ってしま うので,励ましてやる必要があります.それで,ごくまれにだけですが, 私(父親)は,家のまわりで不思議なことが起こるように手配して,息子 の自信を取り戻させようとします…」.彼もまた,それをごまかしとは呼 ばず,一種の霊能的「押し上げ」だと言った.(p.286-287)

しかし自然の宇宙は,実際には,つねに法に従っていたかもしれない が,けっして,あらゆる側面で自明なほど法に従っているわけではない .そして,そうであると信じたい人々の欲求,決定論への信仰,すべ てが許されるわけではなく,中心が確かに保たれているということは,説明を 試みる彼らの成功によって絶えず確認されなければならなかった
そこで,裁判所は,社会のために,問題を自らの手で処理した.ちょ うど今日,物事の説明がつかないときに私たちは科学の諸機関が事実を試験に かけることを期待するように,法的行為の全目的は認知的な制御を確立するこ とではないかと,私は提案したい.言い換えると,裁判所の仕事は,混沌 を飼い慣らし,偶然の世界に秩序を導入することであった──そしてとく に,ある種の見たところ説明がつかないように思える出来事を,犯罪とし て定義し直すことによって,意味のあるものにすることだった. (p.323)

なぜ人々は他の人間を嫌うのか.私たちは自分に害をなしたあるいはなすかも しれない他人を嫌うからというのが明らかな答えだと,あなたは思うかもしれ ない.しかし,驚くほど異なった答えが名乗り出てくる.私たちは,他の人々 を,彼らが何かしたからではなく,私たちが彼らに何をしたかのゆえに嫌 う傾向がある.言い換えると,敵意や嫌悪は自己充足的なのである .私たちは,自らの行動の結果として,敵対的な態度を発展させるのであ り,おこなうことによって学ぶのである.

しかし,それにはもう一つの側面,この「おこなうことによって学ぶ」 に対するもう一つの側面がある.心理学者が発見したことは,ちょうど敵 意が自己充足的であるのと同じように友情も,愛もそうなりうる ということである.(pp.376-377)

ジョゼフ・ハインリッチとロバート・ボイドは,理論的モデルをもって,もし 人間がこの両方の被暗示性を実際に示すのであれば──いわば,もし 人間が多数派の真似をするという心理的偏向(ハインリッチとボイド はこれを「同調伝達」と呼んだ)の両方をもつのであれば,これら二つの要因 だけで,人間集団の安定した特徴としての協調行動の普及を説明するのに 十分であることを示したのである.

民主制にとって不可欠な条件の一つは個々人が選択権を行使することだが, その民主制はブロック投票に対して,おそろしく脆弱だというのが,本当 のところなのだ.そして,被暗示性がもたらしやすいものとはまさしく, 個別の選択者をブロック投票者に変えてしまうことなのである.もし人々 がカリスマ的指導者,ヒトラーや毛沢東に従い,また人々が大衆に従うのであ れば,彼らは,カリスマ的指導者に従う大衆に従うというところにたどりつく だろう.そして,なんということか.誰もが独裁政権の下僕になっているのだ. (pp.396-397)

ニュートンはダイアモンドという名のイヌを飼っていた.話によれば, ある日このイヌがロウソクを倒し,いくつかの論文に火をつけ,「何年分もの 未完成の営為」を台なしにしてしまった.「あー,ダイアモンド,ダイアモン ド!」とニュートンは叫んだ.…にもかかわらず,ダイアモンドの悪ふざ けは,歴史の流れを変えることはほとんどないだろう.けれども,ダイア モンドがチョーサーのイヌで,『カンタベリー物語』を燃やし てしまったと想像してみてほしい.この損失は本当に取り返しのつかない ものになってしまったことだろう.(p.414)

要約すれば,利他行動の全景を見渡す最も有効な方法は,実は,それ を血縁利他行動と互恵的利他行動という離れ小島の点在ではなく,すべてがそ の根底において一つの遺伝的特性,すなわちこの特性を共有する他者に対 して利他的に振る舞うための特性にほかならない特性をもつ連続的につながっ た可能性の大陸とみることだと私は言いたいのである.あるいは,もっと 大袈裟にいえば,助けてくれると期待できる者を助けてくれると期待でき る者を……助けるための特性である.この繰り返しは実在するもので,意 味がある.それは,血縁淘汰と互恵性が結びついたときに何が起こるかを 正確に反映している.そしてそれは,その特性が進化的に成功する確率を かなり増大させるに違いない.(p.426)


鉄幹の時代だけではなく現代も,テーマ喪失の時代と言われてから久しい.但 しテーマはいつの時代にだってない時代はないので,それに敏感であるか 鈍感であるかの違いだけだろう.(p.78)

人を恋ふる歌  与謝野鉄幹



血写歌  与謝野鉄幹







地におちて 大学に入らず 聖書よまず
     世ゆゑ恋ゆゑ うらぶれし男

われ男の子 意気の子名の子 つるぎの子
     詩の子恋の子 あゝもだえの子

日本人は兎角若隠居に成りたがり候癖あり,つまり小成に安んじ候也 .」(与謝野鉄幹)(p.183)

いつの春か わかきけなげの ひとり子を
     もてあましたる 国の小ささ

あめつちに 一人なる師の みひつぎを
     星夜[ほしよ] こがらし 寒きに守る

我をしも をさな児のごと おぼす人
     手とらす人は いまさずなりぬ

師が御名は 世ひと皆知る たはれ男の
     わが名は師のみ 知りておはせし

夜となれば わが殺しける 幾百の
     恋のすだまの 十万に泣く

わざはひか たふときことか 知らねども
     われは心を 野ざらしにする

おどけたる 一寸法師 舞ひいでよ
     秋の夕の てのひらの上

あなかしこ 楊貴妃のごと 斬られけむと
     思ひたちしは 十五の少女

大空の 塵とはいかが 思ふべき
     熱き涙の ながるるものを

「女よ」  (与謝野鉄幹)


「平凡」  (与謝野鉄幹)


「虚空」  (与謝野鉄幹)


小生の詩は,短歌にせよ,新体詩にせよ,誰を崇拝するにもあらず,誰の糟粕 を嘗むるものにもあらず,言はば,小生の詩は,即ち小生の詩に御座候ふ. (与謝野鉄幹)(p.264)

桑原武夫の第二芸術論は直接には俳句にむかって書かれたものだった. それに対してより敏感に反応したのは歌人の方だった.歌人は現在も 折りに触れてこの滅亡論へ戻っていく.歌人のエリートの証のように と言ったら言いすぎだろうか.かつてのマルクス主義者が『資本論』を片手に さげて論を展開していった臭味がどこか漂うような気がするのである. (p.270)

老いたるは 皆かしこかり この国に
     身を殺す者 すべて若人

鉄幹は長男の光が結婚する時,「女の人がヒステリーを起こすのは,経済 がどうにもなんない時だから,お金に困らせないように」(『晶子と寛の 思い出』与謝野光著)と言ったという.晶子は時々ヒステリーを起こしたらし い.鉄幹は自分の歌を売り込んで金とはしない人だったとも記されている. 晶子は生活のためにそれをしていたわけで大いに同情するが,時々庭に出 て大声をあげていたという風聞も含めて,鉄幹の微妙な立場が見えている. (p.277)

めす呼びて 餌を拾はす をんどりに
     拍手贈りぬ 人のをみなは

「女」  (与謝野鉄幹)

癖のあるこそ [おなご]はよけれ
すねるのもよい 無理もよい
宵の笑顔が 壹分なら
泣いたまぶたに 五両だぞ

一、小学校教員たることも,また小官吏たることも決して人間の恥にあらず, 世に生まれながら何の職業にも就かぬ事が尤も恥なり学問が若し不適 当ならば農夫となるべし,丁稚ともなるべし,独立自活の出来るほど安心 は無し.(pp.350-351)

[とほ]あまり 三とせ経ぬれば そのかみの
     放逸の子も 父を思へり

そのうえに 字を習へとて 我母の
     行きて採りこし 加茂川の砂

石一つ 餘事を題する こと勿れ

時として 異邦に似たる 淋しさを
     我に与へて 重き東京

そんな中で大正三年十二月の末,晶子と夫婦喧嘩をして鉄幹が家出をするとい う小事件があった.喧嘩の理由は定かではないが,晶子が小林天眠(政治)に 宛てた十二月二十七日付の手紙が残されている. 小林様,悲しきことになり候.(中略)良人にヒステリーが私をにくませ 候.私自らももとよりわろしとしり居り候へど,さりとも私の恋は子にめんじ てなどと云はず,子が親をおもへるより幾倍の大きさに思へる人には,何をめ んじてゆるしてくれてもよろしからずや. 子どもにめんじて帰ってくれなどと言わず,その幾倍も愛している自分のこと を思って帰って欲しいと言っているのはいかにも晶子らしい.(後略) (pp.416-417)

人の子が 人の世に倦み 霧島に
     神を見んため 入れる路かな

秋めきて 病める蚕の 透きとほる
     身の悲しみを 我れも知るかな

われ未だ まことに人を [いか]らせず
     その証には よき[かたき]なし

わが時は 失はれたり 涙もて
     築きしものぞ すべて流るる

誠之助の死  (与謝野鉄幹)




産屋なる わが枕辺に 白く立つ

ともかくも この海鼠には 形あり
     猶まとまらぬ 我に比べて

噛みくだき Kの音のみ 吐き散らす
     百舌一つ来て 秋明り行く

わが少女 人に祝はれ 今日嫁ぐ
     親が忍びし 恋に似ぬかな

若き手に 新しき世を 開くとも
     愛し合へるは 親に劣るな

寂しけれ 生死の差より 大いなる
     その世と今日の 我が変わりざま

共に生き 共に死なで 自らの
     反故とひとしき 世の初りぬ

青空の もとに楓の ひろがりて
     君亡き夏の 初まれるかな

人の世に 君帰らずば 堪へがたし
     かかる日すでに 三十五日

冬の世の 星は君なりき 一つをば
     云ふにはあらず ことごとく皆

鎌倉に 拝む大仏 われよりも
     若しと今は 見え給ふかな

青井 史

AMID all the justified, and long overdue, concern about truth in memoir -- and in nonfiction books generally -- a peculiar condition of American literary culture has been overlooked: a radical mistrust of generalization reigns. This is especially the case at magazines and newspapers, wheresweeping statements, speculation and intuitive leaps have long been suppressed. And now, in the wake of the James Frey affair, Oprah Winfrey and others are calling for publishers to verify the factual accuracy of their books. Let us, then, put the question of written accuracy in perspective. Let us imagine for a moment what Western intellectual history would be like if the awesome figure of The Fact-Checker had stood astride culture from (almost) the beginning. . . .

First, congratulations from all of us here at The Jerusalemite on Saul of Tarsus' selection of "Genesis" for his book club. This is huge. We just have a few queries about "Exodus" before it goes to press:

p. 12: "and the waters were divided." Could we say: "apparently the sea was at very low tide that day"? Also, would Y-u please just take a look at Y--r notes again and make sure this really happened?

p. 23: " 'I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people." Our lawyers suggest these changes: "I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a highly sensitive, and at this particular moment, irritable people, which is understandable, what with the heat and all the walking." O.K. by Y-u?

Dear St. Luke,

Thank you so much for sending us this uplifting article. I hope you will forgive me -- I mean, I know you will forgive me -- if I question just one infinitesimal point.

In 12:15 you write: "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions." Are you aware of the recent University of Samaria study concluding that an abundance of possessions raises the serotonin level, extends the life span by 10 years, increases sexual potency and creates a sense of happiness and self-worth? We deeply respect your indifference to earthly life, but perhaps you would be compassionate enough to address these points? We're going to get a lot of epistles.

Dear Marcus Aurelius,

Mike from fact-checking here. Piece looks great, but we have a few questions.

p. 18: "No man can rob us of our free will." This is way too general. What if when I'm leaving work today someone smashes me over the head with a bottle, throws me in the trunk of his car, takes me home, ties me up and locks me in his closet? My will might be free, but what am I going to do with a free will if I'm stuck in somebody's closet? Are you really wedded to this one?

p. 19: "Think of the country mouse and of the town mouse, and of the alarm and trepidation of the town mouse." Everybody's pretty confused here, though I definitely get the idea. How about we lose the rodents and do something a little more straightforward. "Think of the country and of the town, and of the fact that with the money you pay for a tiny studio on the Upper West Side, you can buy a two-bedroom split-level in peaceful White Plains." Bingo?

Dear Authors of the Declaration of Independence,

Wow. I can't wait to see this one in print. Major question, though. Right at the beginning of the second paragraph, you write: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Whoa. Is there a professor somewhere who can back that up? A respected English philosopher you can quote? Your statement is much too categorical. For example, let me play a skeptical reader. I'm handsome, rich and intelligent. My impecunious neighbor is an incontinent moron with rotten teeth. Which of us deserves the most slaves? So could we rework, maybe thus: "In our opinion, which not every person shares, we think, but can't say for sure, that all men are created equal, more or less." Please make this change. Piece is in our "Best New England Inns" issue, which everyone reads.

Dear Professor Marx,

Enclosed please find the page proofs for "The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte." Many thanks for allowing us to change the title to "Autumn Leaves." Page numbers and queries follow.

p. 1: first and second sentences: "Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce." Not sure how a person can occur twice. And how can a fact be first "tragic" and then "farcical"? They assassinated Julius Caesar, which is tragic. Is it funny if they murder him again? Did Hegel really "forget" to add the thought about tragedy and farce? How do you know? How could he forget to add what seems to be your idea? If the thought had occurred to him, wouldn't he have "added" it? Or would he just have forgotten it? If the latter, doesn't it seem to you that he would have remembered it later? And what if a fact started off as farcical? Would it be farcical the second time around? Or would it be tragic, and then farcical again?

Dear Walter Pater,

May I say, on behalf of all of us here in the checking department, that the conclusion to your "Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry" surpasses even your thrilling previous contribution to these pages, "Great Marble Behinds." We have just one question:

p. 3: Speaking about the importance of experience and sensation to aesthetic receptivity, you write: "To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life." First off, you're not endorsing smoking, are you? Legal department says that's a big no-no. And can a flame be "hard"? Or do you mean to imply something else? If so, isn't it somewhat implausible to imagine a person walking around with a "hard flame" for his entire life? Maybe take out "always" and change to: "burn, from time to time, with this friendly, gemlike flame"?

Dear Edmund Wilson,

Duncan the fact-checker here again. Following are a couple of quick queries about your introductory essay to "Patriotic Gore."

p. 2: Discussing nations' expansionist ambitions, you write: "In a recent Walt Disney film showing life at the bottom of the sea, a primitive organism called a sea slug is seen gobbling up smaller organisms. . . . Now, the wars fought by human beings are stimulated as a rule primarily by the same instincts as the voracity of the sea slug." Name of film? Do you mean the whale in "Pinocchio"? If not, name of slug? And who, exactly, gets "gobbled"? Unlucky Mr. Sea Horse, innocent Mr. Squid, etc.? N.b. we have no problem if it's a shellfish.

Lee Siegel is the author of "Falling Upwards: Essays in Defense of the Imagination," which will be published in the fall. A collection of his television criticism will appear next year.

"Humor: One Small Question About 'Exodus'"
The New York Times, March 12, 2006

IN February of 1968, Daniel Trussoni, "a cocksure country boy from a family who thought war would make him a man," arrived in Vietnam. Rather than remain an ordinary grunt in the 25th Infantry Division, he volunteered for a "suicide mission" that would afford him a measure of glory as well as higher pay. What it cost him, and his family, is the subject of a memoir, "Falling Through the Earth," the first book by his daughter and namesake, Danielle Trussoni. Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures Under Ground" provides the author with an apt title; not only had her father been a "tunnel rat," hunting the Vietcong in their notorious subterranean city, but like the eternally young and bemused Alice, Trussoni anticipates revelation from a plunge that will deliver her to the other side of the world. There she intends to make sense of the father whose demons removed her childhood from the family hearth and set it, precariously, on a barstool in a neighborhood dive called Roscoe's.

FALLING THROUGH THE EARTH: A Memoir, by Danielle Trussoni, 240 pp. Henry Holt & Company. $23.

Trussoni already understood herself as a daddy's girl when, 11 years old, she happened upon a page in her mother's diary. Drawn in colored pencil was a bar graph that "quantified how much" her mother believed the various members of the family loved her. While Danielle's younger sister rated a 9 out of a possible 10 and her brother scored just a bit higher, Danielle and her father each got a 4. "Mom had balanced the books," Trussoni concluded, "and the two of us didn't measure up." In retrospect the graph would appear to be an ingenuous effort by her mother to predict the damage of the divorce her husband and children didn't know she was plotting; in the moment it confirmed Trussoni's perception that she and her father were bound together, in opposition to the rest of the family.

Despite the fact that custody of all three children went to his wife, when Dan Trussoni moved out, Danielle followed him: to the other side of the tracks; to a motherless kitchen; to smoke-filled evenings spent in the company of barflies; to lonely nights made lonelier still by the sounds of "married women, divorced women, women with kids, women with tattoos, women with twin sisters: more and more women. . . . screeching and moaning from his bedroom"; and, eventually, to what she believed to be the source of all these dislocations -- her father's experience in Vietnam. Kathryn Harrison's memoirs include "The Kiss." Her most recent book is "Envy," a novel.

'Falling Through the Earth: A Memoir,' by Danielle Trussoni
"The War at Home," Review by KATHRYN HARRISON"
The New York Times, March 12, 2006

IT began, fittingly enough, in intimate conversations among friends. Relational psychology -- based on the idea that connection, not individuation, is the key to human nature -- emerged out of discussions among a small group of female psychologists and psychiatrists in the mid-1970's. All of them lived and worked in the Boston area, a kind of Metaphysical Club in Birkenstocks and wooden jewelry.

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING: The Relational Revolution in Psychology, by Christina Robb, 454 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $30.

In "This Changes Everything," Christina Robb sets out to tell their story, and it gets off to an engaging start: "In 1975, inside a radius of about five miles, three revolutionary projects were afoot," she writes. Robb, a former Boston Globe reporter, focuses in turn on Carol Gilligan, author of the feminist classic "In a Different Voice," about the moral decision making of girls and women; Jean Baker Miller, a trailblazer in the psychology of women who advocated a warmer, more reciprocal relationship between patient and therapist; and Judith Lewis Herman, a clinician and researcher whose work (sometimes done in collaboration with Lisa Hirschman) called attention to sexual violence within the family.

At the heart of each of these projects was the assumption, as Robb puts it, that "the connections between and among everything and everyone are at least as important as what they connect." This idea went hard against the grain of traditional psychology, which held up the independent, autonomous (and invariably male) self as the pinnacle of development and the primary object of study. Drawing on their personal experience and on their involvement in the women's movement, these thinkers started a homegrown movement of their own. When she sat down to write what would become "In a Different Voice," for instance, Carol Gilligan was a 39-year-old unpublished part-time assistant professor of psychology at Harvard. The essay, Robb tells us, was "Xeroxed and handed and mailed from friend to friend" before it was finally published in an education journal and, in 1982, as a book.

"This Changes Everything" is full of such intriguing details; Robb meticulously documents the process by which an insight grows into a school of thought. Her early chapters evoke the heady excitement of a time when a total transformation of society seemed possible and even inevitable. The title is borrowed from an exchange between Robb and Jean Baker Miller, who says to the author, "I just hope you really understand, and can get it across, that this changes everything."

Robb needs no convincing. She often refers to her subjects by their first names, noting that of the dozens of psychologists she interviewed "several of them had become friends" by the time she started the book, "and are closer friends now"; the book itself is dedicated to three "pioneers of relational psychology." Such partiality, candidly acknowledged, might not pose a problem, except that Robb seems to be actively courting the approval of those she writes about. She is less an inquiring reporter than a faithful scribe, recording their pronouncements without question or challenge.

And there is much here that calls out for challenge, beginning with the increasingly dubious concepts that have followed on the theorists' original observations. "Relational asking," "connected knowing," "being-in-relation," "self-in-diversity," "en-couraged," "feeling-thoughts" -- these grotesqueries describe "a new way of doing science," according to Robb, "a standpoint that is a true alternative to objectivity." This alternative is something called "holding": "Instead of experimenting and then concluding that something is or is not true, the 'holding' scientist holds on to her or his experience of relationship with the subject and makes deductions in the context of that relationship."

This sounds like something far less than science, but Robb grants it a generous benefit of the doubt. Her indulgence extends even to the more portentous utterances of Gilligan, who speaks of working on "the Edge," in the vital mode she calls "To Be," trying to head off "the Accident," when the desire for connection collides with an unfeeling patriarchy. Robb not only fails to analyze, or at least adequately explain, this windy nonsense, but ventures to add some of her own, writing of Gilligan: "She found the lost treasure of women's voices underwater. Then she hid her knowledge of women and girls there to keep it safe." By now the feeling-thoughts of many readers will verge on exasperated annoyance.

And yet the idea that relationships are critical to our mental health is an important one -- so important that the movement that produced it deserves the tribute of a trenchant examination. What is the intellectual back story on the study of relationships, for example? Despite Robb's contention that "we can't even show love exists if we turn to psychology much before" the arrival of Gilligan et al., the field had in fact cultivated a rich body of work on one such connection, the mother-infant bond: from the "wire monkey" experiments of Harry Harlow, to the attachment theories of John Bowlby, to the psychoanalytic formulations of D. W. Winnicott. It was Winnicott who said that, viewed apart from a mother, "there is no such thing as a baby" -- a stark statement of the indispensability of relationships made more than three decades before the relational "revolution."

Also neglected or dismissed are contemporary skeptics of this school of thought. Although Robb warns that it is "under assault," she offers dark innuendo in place of a vigorous defense. Of conservative commentator Christina Hoff Sommers, a forceful critic of Gilligan, Robb writes, "I believe her work is a protective mask for masculinity and its privileges." More troubling, Robb does not grapple with a growing body of reputable research that undercuts some of these psychologists' most familiar claims, like the notion that girls suffer a dramatic loss of self-esteem at adolescence.

And finally, while we're assured that relational psychology "changes everything," the book provides very little evidence of its real-world effects. Instead we get empty testimonials: the theorists' ideas will "revolutionize society as well as psychology," Robb writes, paraphrasing Jean Baker Miller. Robb, of course, concurs: "And as the years of my preparation for this book went on, every psychologist and psychiatrist, every social worker, every patient or client I interviewed echoed her, often in the same words. And I began to notice that they were right."

Robb has written what amounts to an authorized biography of the movement, with all the bland boosterism and careful avoidance of controversy the genre requires. The book has the feel of a project perhaps too long in the making; the author's lengthy immersion in the material, and her close identification with her subjects, has left her unable to discern these thinkers' broadest blind spot: an idealization of relationship that denies the very real value of autonomy. Anyone who has watched a young child revel in her ability to finish a task "all by myself," who has felt relief at the end of an unhappy relationship, who has savored a solitary afternoon, knows that humans hunger for independence as well as connection.

It's a point made persuasively, if inadvertently, by Gilligan herself. At one point, her recent departure from Harvard is broached. Gilligan explains that she took a professorship at New York University because she needed a place where she felt "free," where she would not be (in Robb's words) "alternately idealized, valorized, vilified, trivialized or ignored."

All the things, that is, that people do to one another in relationships. Even the queen of connection needs her space. Annie Murphy Paul is the author of "The Cult of Personality: How Personality Tests Are Leading Us to Miseducate Our Children, Mismanage Our Companies and Misunderstand Ourselves."

'This Changes Everything: The Relational Revolution in Psychology,' by Christina Robb
"Band of Sisters," Review by ANNIE MURPHY PAUL"
The New York Times, March 12, 2006

"IT is a life that develops weird types," Clarence King once said of his work as a mountaineer geologist in the mid-19th century. No one King met during his wide-ranging travels, however, could have been stranger than he. The intriguing subject of a new biography by Robert Wilson, the editor of The American Scholar, King was a bewildering mixture of extraordinary achievements, surprising failures and secret passions.

THE EXPLORER KING: Adventure, Science, and the Great Diamond Hoax -- Clarence King in the Old West, by Robert Wilson, Illustrated. 303pp. Scribner. $26.

The first director of the United States Geological Survey, King gained fame for his role in some of the nation's most ambitious geological undertakings, from surveying Yosemite to climbing the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada. He also played a central part in exposing the notorious "Great Diamond Hoax" of the early 1870's, a scheme to trick investors into buying land that had been salted with uncut diamonds. By undermining this scam, King quite likely saved thousands of people millions of dollars -- and, in the process, made himself into a national hero. But behind those achievements was a man who was as unorthodox as he was talented: A hardened mountaineer who routinely risked his life leaping over crevasses and skidding down mountainsides, King had a weakness for Romantic prose and flamboyant dress, pairing tight-fitting doe-skin trousers with pale violet gloves. In an era of strict racial segregation, he married a young black woman in secret, hiding their 13-year relationship from his family and friends and, until he was dying, even his real name from his wife and five children.

From an early age, King, the only surviving child of a devoted, widowed mother, used his exceptional intellect and charm to vault obstacles that would have defeated a less confident man. Though he never received a high-school degree, he applied and was admitted to the scientific school at Yale, where he impressed his professors and fellow students with his zeal not just for science but for adventure. While many of his classmates resigned themselves to lives spent in laboratories, King set his sights on the American West, nurturing a passion for "the lofty laws of creation, the connection of the material with the human, the aesthetic and the eternal, and the cosmic relations of God's earthly planes."

Soon after he graduated, King headed west, determined to join the California Geological Survey -- "in any capacity from blow piper to mule driver." After surviving vigilantes in Bloody Kansas, a buffalo stampede in Nebraska and angry Indians in Utah -- where Brigham Young himself encouraged King and his companions to greet the Utes with "a biscuit instead of a bullet" -- he finally reached California and talked his way onto the survey. In California, King found the adventurous life he had dreamed of leading, but also hardship and danger. He endured hunger, exhaustion and brutal cold. He was chased by Mexican bandits and attacked by Indians who, until interrupted by soldiers, had planned to torture and kill him by staking him to the ground and lighting a fire on his chest.

As King's adventures grew, so did his reputation. He became famous back east, and he formed friendships with some of the country's most celebrated young intellectuals. Among his closest friends was John Hay, who would become secretary of state for both William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt and who called King "the best and brightest man of his generation." Another friend, Henry Adams, wrote in his classic autobiography, "The Education of Henry Adams," that none of King's contemporaries "had done so much, singlehanded, or were likely to leave so deep a trail."

If King's trail is deep, however, it was also muddy. His penchant for, in Wilson's words, wandering "off the factual path" presented a serious challenge to his biographer. (An entire chapter of "The Explorer King" is titled "Tall Tales.") In an effort to capture his elusive subject, Wilson employs some unusual devices. For instance, he begins each of the book's four parts with a story, as if narrated by King himself, three of which, Wilson explains, "are fictional re-creations of anecdotes that King often told his friends" and "are in no sense literal retellings." While well told, these fictional accounts are jarring in a work of nonfiction. Even within the chapters themselves, Wilson is frequently forced to admit that a story he's just told about King's life may not be wholly true. "We can never know whether this really happened as King says it did," he writes after a vivid description of a particularly dangerous climb.

Although Wilson makes every effort to be honest with his readers, King did not, and in many cases King's own version of events is all we have to rely on. But perhaps such uncertainty is fitting for a man who, in Adams's memory, was "saturated with the sunshine of the Sierras," a man who left behind a hazy impression of vitality and originality and the memory of a life that was often stranger than fiction.

Candice Millard is a former writer and editor for National Geographic magazine and the author of "The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey."

'The Explorer King,' by Robert Wilson
"Geology's Indiana Jones," Review by CANDICE MILLARD"
The New York Times, March 12, 2006


「勝瑞さん今日は.私はホームページも持っていないし,手続き費用につ いて公開するつもりもありません.それは,債務者は千差万別で,保 有資料も全くないものから,報酬を分割で決めても支払わないで連絡がつかな くなる者までさまざまで,信頼を築くことが困難な人たちが多いからです. また,登記などと違って,債務整理は定型的な側面よりも手続き的な側面 が多く,その費やす労力も債務者によって異なりますだから報酬も 一律に決めたくないのです.したがって着手金なども,面接して具体的内 容等の事情を聞いた後に決めることにしています.私は相談料等は頂きません. 債務者と着手金や解決金が折り合わなければ受託しないだけです.それに,訴 訟までして過払い金を取るのと,七割程度で電話一本で解決するのとで労力が 異なるのは明白です.慈善事業で債務整理をしているわけではないので, ホームページ等で報酬を公開されて,高い安いと評価されるのも困ってしまい ます.」

手続き価格については,この司法書士の意見が弁護士を含めて,独占業務 資格者たちの大半の本音であろう.しかしながら,この司法書士は依 頼人に対して圧倒的な強者であることに気がついていない

独立した個人が「平等な条件」で,申し込みと承諾をし,その対立する意思の 合致により契約が成立するというのが,近代市民法の示す正義であり,民主制 社会を支える私的自治の基本原理でもあるが,この近代社会の原則を忘れてい る.

「公開するつもりもありません」というには,いろいろ理由もあるだろうが, 少なくとも消費者の「申し込み」に対して,取引条件を明示する義務はあ るだろう.義務というより,それでは有効な承諾を得られず意思表示を後 に取り消されても文句は言えない.

「債務者は千差万別で,保有資料も全くないものから,報酬を分割で決めても 支払わないで連絡がつかなくなる者までさまざまで,信頼を築くことが困難な 人たちが多い」から一律の価格は設定できないというのは分かりやすいようだ が,それは業務上の変動リスクを,依頼人に全て負担させているというこ とになる

「したがって着手金なども,面接して具体的内容等の事情を聞いた後に決める ことにしています」ということは,困窮した依頼人を面前に,一方的に供 給者サイドがその場その場で恣意的に価格を決めるということになる困窮した多重債務者を相手に,恣意的に金利を決める貸金業者と,どこが 違うのかということにもなりかねない

土俵に上がって平等な条件で相撲をとるのなら,強者は弱者に対しそれなりの 配慮をすべきなのである.消費者契約法や,労働基準法,貸金業法,利息制限 法を知る法律家は,それら特別法の基礎に流れる公平公正な取引の基本原則を 忘れてはならないだろう.

「慈善事業で債務整理をしているわけではないので,ホームページ等で報酬を 公開されて,高い安いと評価されるのも困ってしまいます」と言われるが,私 も慈善事業などするつもりはないが,ただ「高い安いという評価」の機会 を,まず消費者国民に与えて,その消費者の自由な選択によって,自己の提供 するサービスを評価してもらいたいのである.それが正義と考えている. とかく自己の提供するサービスの内容やその価格,特に価格に対して, 一般公衆をその顧客としながら,その匿名の多数の顧客に対して,司法書 士や弁護士はその公開に消極的であるその理由は,契約上の供給側 の優位性を維持しつつ,困窮した顧客を面前に,自己に有利な価格交渉をした いと考えているからである

弁護士会や司法書士会に持ち込まれる紛議事件の大半は報酬に関するものであ る.とすると,弁護士会や司法書士会は広告に関し表現の品位などよりも, 貸金業法に金利等取引条件の明示が規定されているように,弁護士,司法書士 の広告には,その提供するサービスの価格または取引条件の明示を義務付ける ようにするべきだろう.このような事前規制こそが必要なのではないか.

「司法書士界 縦横無尽」

The scoring errors disclosed this week on thousands of the College Board's SAT tests were made by a company that is one of the largest players in the exploding standardized testing business, handling millions of tests each year.

The mistakes, which the company, Pearson Educational Measurement, acknowledged yesterday, raised fresh questions about the reliability of the kinds of high-stakes tests that increasingly dominate education at all levels. Neither Pearson, which handles state testing across the country, nor the College Board detected the scoring problems until two students came forward with complaints.

"The story here is not that they made a mistake in the scanning and scoring but that they seem to have no fail-safe to alert them directly and immediately of a mistake," said Marilee Jones, dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "To depend on test-takers who challenge the scores to learn about system failure is not good."

These were not the first major scoring problems that Pearson has experienced. The company agreed in 2002 to settle a large lawsuit over errors in scoring 8,000 tests in Minnesota that prevented several hundred high school seniors from graduating. It also has made significant scoring errors in Washington and Virginia.

After those problems, company officials had assured clients that they had vastly improved their quality control. But the new problems on the October SAT turned out to be the most significant scoring errors that the College Board had experienced.

Pearson said yesterday that the SAT errors, which affected 4,000 students out of 495,000 who took the October test, arose partly because of excessive moisture that caused the answer sheets to expand before they were scanned at the company's large test-processing site in Austin, Tex.

Another factor, the company said, was that its scanners did not pick up some lightly marked answers.

The company said in a statement that it was taking steps to make sure that "this unfortunate situation will not happen again."

Chiara Coletti, the College Board's vice president for public affairs, said yesterday that the College Board has continuing confidence in Pearson.

"Pearson says they now understand the technical issues fully, and we know they can control for those issues now," she said. "We are confident of that because our operations people have been talking to their operations people steadily."

The College Board has said that most of the students affected had higher scores than were reported to colleges. The scores were off by as many as 400 points out of a possible 2,400 on the three-part exam covering mathematics, reading and writing, although most errors were smaller.

Pearson said yesterday that it had examined the scoring of all the subsequent SAT's, which were administered in November, December and January, and found no further problems.

But some critics were not reassured. Shawn Raider, the lawyer who represented the Minnesota families who successfully sued Pearson, questioned whether the company had made good on its promise to improve its procedures.

"They certainly said in the course of our lawsuit that they not only were going to, but already had, implemented new quality control measures," he said.

The Pearson testing unit, a subsidiary of Pearson PLC, the giant publishing company that also owns The Financial Times, was awarded the contract for scanning the SAT answer sheets in 2003, taking over some functions previously performed for the College Board by the Educational Testing Service. They began the work last year.

It was one of many contracts that have helped make Pearson a giant in a field that has grown enormously since President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Law in 2002, spurring demand for state testing.

For 20 years, Pearson has worked on the Texas testing program that was the template for Mr. Bush's national testing initiative.

Nationally, the company scored more than 300 million pages of answers last year and about 40 million individual tests.

SAT Errors Raise New Qualms About Testing
The New York Times, March 10, 2006

In the new movie about Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America, founded in 1607, the paramount Indian chief Powhatan asks Capt. John Smith where his people came from. The sky?

Responding to the question, translated by an Indian whose smattering of English probably came indirectly from the earlier failed Roanoke colony in North Carolina, Smith replies: "The sky? No. We come from England, an island on the other side of the sea."

The dialogue continues as the interpreter puts Smith's reply in Powhatan's own words, Virginia Algonquian, a language not spoken for more than two centuries. Like most of the 800 or more indigenous languages of North America when Europeans first arrived, Powhatan's became extinct as Indians declined in number, dispersed and lost their cultural identity.

But a small yet growing number of linguists and anthropologists has been busy in recent years recreating such dead or dying Indian speech. Their field is language revitalization, the science of reconstructing lost languages. One byproduct of the scholarship is the dialogue in Virginia Algonquian for the movie "The New World."

More than moviemaking is behind the research. A revival of ethnic pride and cultural studies among Indians has stimulated Indians' interest in their languages, some long dead. Of the more than 15 original Algonquian languages in eastern North America, the two still spoken are Passamaquoddy-Malecite in Maine and Mikmaq in New Brunswick.

In other cases, the few speakers of an Indian tongue are the old people, never their grandchildren, and so the research is a desperate attempt to save another language from burial with a departing generation.

The passing of a language diminishes cultural diversity, anthropologists say, and the restoration of at least some part of a language is an act of reclaiming a people's heritage.

Blair A. Rudes, a linguist at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, who specializes in reconstructing Indian languages, said several Algonquian communities in the East had efforts under way to recover their lost languages and return them to daily use.

"What turns out to be really important is just that they learn some piece of the language because it is reclaiming their heritage," Dr. Rudes said. "So much was lost that reclaiming any of it is a major event."

Ives Goddard, who is a curator for linguistics and anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution, said, "The loss of languages continues, and it's a worldwide phenomenon."

At least half the world's estimated 6,000 languages, Dr. Goddard said, have so few remaining speakers that they are threatened with extinction. By 2100, he predicted, "there will be fewer than 3,000 languages still spoken."

When the director of "The New World," Terrence Malick, decided that for authenticity Powhatan should speak in his own language, he called in Dr. Rudes, who has worked with Dr. Goddard in reconstructing the defunct Algonquian language of the Pequot of Connecticut. He is also engaged in language restoration for the Catawba of North Carolina and is collaborating with Helen Rountree, emeritus professor of anthropology at Old Dominion University, on a dictionary of Virginia Algonquian.

Dr. Rudes was asked what Powhatan and his daughter Pocahontas would say and how they would say it. It was a daunting assignment.

The related Algonquian languages were among the first in America to die out, and no one is known to have spoken Virginia Algonquian since 1785. Like many other Indians, except some cultures in Mexico and Central America, Algonquian speakers had no writing system, and their grammar and most of their vocabulary were lost. Just two contemporary accounts -- one by Captain Smith and the other by the Jamestown colony secretary, William Strachey -- preserved some Virginia Algonquian words, including ones that have passed into modern English as raccoon, terrapin, moccasins and tomahawk.

Clearly, even the wits of the celebrated roundtable at the namesake Algonquin Hotel, who had something cutting to say about everything and everybody, would have for once been at a loss for words in the presence of Powhatan and Pocahontas. Unless, perhaps, the two happened to wear their moccasins and the soup of the day was terrapin.

The first challenge for Dr. Rudes was the limited vocabulary. Smith, the colony leader, set down just 50 Indian words, and Strachey compiled 600. The lists were written phonetically by Englishmen who were not expert in linguistics and whose spelling and pronunciation differed considerably from modern usage, making it difficult to determine the words' actual Indian form.

Dr. Rudes had to apply techniques of historical linguistics to rebuilding a language from these sketchy, unreliable word lists. He compared Strachey's recorded words with vocabularies of related Algonquian languages, especially those spoken from the Carolinas north into Canada that had survived longer and are thus better known.

This family of Indian tongues, in one respect, reminded linguists of the Romance languages. Each was distinctive but as closely related as Spanish is to Italian or Italian to Romanian. Comparisons with related languages revealed the common elements of grammar and sentence structure and many similarities in vocabulary.

A translation of the Bible into the language once spoken by Massachusetts Indians offered more insights into the grammar. The Munsee Delaware version spoken by coastal Indians from Delaware to New York, including those who sold Manhattan, may be dead, but its grammar and vocabulary are fairly well known to scholars.

"We have a big fat dictionary of Munsee Delaware," said Dr. Rudes, who adapted some of those words when needed for Virginia Algonquian. Recordings of the last Munsee Delaware speakers, a century ago, were a valuable guide to pronunciations.

Another research tool was what is called Proto-Algonquian. It is the hypothetical ancestor common to all Algonquian speech, 4,000 words that scholars have compiled from the surviving tongues and documentation of the extinct ones.

The reconstruction involves educated guesses. Strachey set down words for walnut, shoes and two kinds of beast, "paukauns," "mawhcasuns," "aroughcoune" and "opposum." In Proto-Algonquian, similar words are paka-ni (meaning large nut), maxkesen (shoe), la-le-ckani (raccoon) and wa-pa'oemwi (white dog).

From this, Dr. Rudes reconstructed the Virginia Algonquian words pakan, mahkusun, arehkan and wapahshum," or pecan, moccasin, raccoon and opossum.

When he started the project, he was handed the movie script for the parts to be translated. "I had to rewrite terms for the dialogue," he said. "For example, we often use nonspecific verbs, 'He went to town.' In Algonquian, you have to tell the mode of travel, 'He walked to town.' "

The peculiar sentence structure required changes in the Indian translation. Pocahontas would not have said to Smith, if she ever actually did, "I love you." She would have used the verb for love, with a prefix meaning you and a suffix for I. "It is one of the few languages that give greater importance to the listener than the speaker," Dr. Rudes said.

Then there was the problem of creating dialogue reflecting what the Indians would have understood in the early 17th century. This also required changing the script for the initial Powhatan-Smith conversation.

In a paper summarizing his methods, Dr. Rudes said the original script had Smith saying: "The sky? No. From England, a land to the east." At the time, though, a land to the east was for the Indians more myth than reality, he noted, but they probably had already heard about "white-skinned people who lived on islands in the Caribbean."

So Smith's reply was changed to "We came from England, an island on the other side of the sea," and the translator then used documented words of Virginia Algonquian for sky, no, island and sea. The spelling was slightly modified to account for Strachey's misspellings and conform to similar words in other Algonquian speech. Because the word signifying a question is not known in Virginia Algonquian, Dr. Rudes borrowed the word sa from a related language.

Of course, Powhatan's interpreter could not be expected to have a word for England. He presumably did his best to reproduce what it sounded like in Algonquian, Inkurent, to which he added the general locational ending -unk, meaning at or in. He also followed the practice of naming the place first and adding the word for "we come from there." The translation thus reads: "Sa arahqat? Mahta. Inkurent-unk kunowamun - mununag akamunk yapam."

William M. Kelso, director of archaeology of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, which owns the Jamestown fort site, said that he could not assess the language of the dialogue, but that the costumes, armor, arms and nearly all aspects of the fort were realistic.

Dr. Kelso and other archaeologists found the remains of the three-sided Jamestown fort in 1996. Their goal between now and the 400th anniversary celebration of Jamestown next year is to excavate the well at the site, search for artifacts and look for the foundations of the colony's storehouse and church. At the festivities next spring, some of the words of celebration may echo the Virginia Algonquian of 1607, the resurrected language of Powhatan and Pocahontas.

John Noble WILFORD
"Linguists Find the Words, and Pocahontas Speaks Again"
The New York Times, March 07, 2006

Providing the strongest evidence yet that humans are still evolving, researchers have detected some 700 regions of the human genome where genes appear to have been reshaped by natural selection, a principal force of evolution, within the last 5,000 to 15,000 years.

The genes that show this evolutionary change include some responsible for the senses of taste and smell, digestion, bone structure, skin color and brain function.

Many of these instances of selection may reflect the pressures that came to bear as people abandoned their hunting and gathering way of life for settlement and agriculture, a transition well under way in Europe and East Asia some 5,000 years ago.

Under natural selection, beneficial genes become more common in a population as their owners have more progeny.

Three populations were studied, Africans, East Asians and Europeans. In each, a mostly different set of genes had been favored by natural selection. The selected genes, which affect skin color, hair texture and bone structure, may underlie the present-day differences in racial appearance.

The study of selected genes may help reconstruct many crucial events in the human past. It may also help physical anthropologists explain why people over the world have such a variety of distinctive appearances, even though their genes are on the whole similar, said Dr. Spencer Wells, director of the Genographic Project of the National Geographic Society.

The finding adds substantially to the evidence that human evolution did not grind to a halt in the distant past, as is tacitly assumed by many social scientists. Even evolutionary psychologists, who interpret human behavior in terms of what the brain evolved to do, hold that the work of natural selection in shaping the human mind was completed in the pre-agricultural past, more than 10,000 years ago.

"There is ample evidence that selection has been a major driving point in our evolution during the last 10,000 years, and there is no reason to suppose that it has stopped," said Jonathan Pritchard, a population geneticist at the University of Chicago who headed the study.

Dr. Pritchard and his colleagues, Benjamin Voight, Sridhar Kudaravalli and Xiaoquan Wen, report their findings in today's issue of PLOS-Biology.

Their data is based on DNA changes in three populations gathered by the HapMap project, which built on the decoding of the human genome in 2003. The data, though collected to help identify variant genes that contribute to disease, also give evidence of evolutionary change.

The fingerprints of natural selection in DNA are hard to recognize. Just a handful of recently selected genes have previously been identified, like those that confer resistance to malaria or the ability to digest lactose in adulthood, an adaptation common in Northern Europeans whose ancestors thrived on cattle milk.

But the authors of the HapMap study released last October found many other regions where selection seemed to have occurred, as did an analysis published in December by Robert K. Moysis of the University of California, Irvine.

Dr. Pritchard's scan of the human genome differs from the previous two because he has developed a statistical test to identify just genes that have started to spread through populations in recent millennia and have not yet become universal, as many advantageous genes eventually do.

The selected genes he has detected fall into a handful of functional categories, as might be expected if people were adapting to specific changes in their environment. Some are genes involved in digesting particular foods like the lactose-digesting gene common in Europeans. Some are genes that mediate taste and smell as well as detoxify plant poisons, perhaps signaling a shift in diet from wild foods to domesticated plants and animals.

Dr. Pritchard estimates that the average point at which the selected genes started to become more common under the pressure of natural selection is 10,800 years ago in the African population and 6,600 years ago in the Asian and European populations.

Dr. Richard G. Klein, a paleoanthropologist at Stanford, said that it was hard to correlate the specific gene changes in the three populations with events in the archaeological record, but that the timing and nature of the changes in the East Asians and Europeans seemed compatible with the shift to agriculture. Rice farming became widespread in China 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, and agriculture reached Europe from the Near East around the same time.

Skeletons similar in form to modern Chinese are hard to find before that period, Dr. Klein said, and there are few European skeletons older than 10,000 years that look like modern Europeans.

That suggests that a change in bone structure occurred in the two populations, perhaps in connection with the shift to agriculture. Dr. Pritchard's team found that several genes associated with embryonic development of the bones had been under selection in East Asians and Europeans, and these could be another sign of the forager-to-farmer transition, Dr. Klein said.

Dr. Wells, of the National Geographic Society, said Dr. Pritchard's results were fascinating and would help anthropologists explain the immense diversity of human populations even though their genes are generally similar. The relative handful of selected genes that Dr. Pritchard's study has pinpointed may hold the answer, he said, adding, "Each gene has a story of some pressure we adapted to."

Dr. Wells is gathering DNA from across the globe to map in finer detail the genetic variation brought to light by the HapMap project.

Dr. Pritchard's list of selected genes also includes five that affect skin color. The selected versions of the genes occur solely in Europeans and are presumably responsible for pale skin. Anthropologists have generally assumed that the first modern humans to arrive in Europe some 45,000 years ago had the dark skin of their African origins, but soon acquired the paler skin needed to admit sunlight for vitamin D synthesis.

The finding of five skin genes selected 6,600 years ago could imply that Europeans acquired their pale skin much more recently. Or, the selected genes may have been a reinforcement of a process established earlier, Dr. Pritchard said.

The five genes show no sign of selective pressure in East Asians.

Because Chinese and Japanese are also pale, Dr. Pritchard said, evolution must have accomplished the same goal in those populations by working through different genes or by changing the same genes -- but many thousands of years before, so that the signal of selection is no longer visible to the new test.

Dr. Pritchard also detected selection at work in brain genes, including a group known as microcephaly genes because, when disrupted, they cause people to be born with unusually small brains.

Dr. Bruce Lahn, also of the University of Chicago, theorizes that successive changes in the microcephaly genes may have enabled the brain to enlarge in primate evolution, a process that may have continued in the recent human past.

Last September, Dr. Lahn reported that one microcephaly gene had recently changed in Europeans and another in Europeans and Asians. He predicted that other brain genes would be found to have changed in other populations.

Dr. Pritchard's test did not detect a signal of selection in Dr. Lahn's two genes, but that may just reflect limitations of the test, he and Dr. Lahn said. Dr. Pritchard found one microcephaly gene that had been selected for in Africans and another in Europeans and East Asians. Another brain gene, SNTG1, was under heavy selection in all three populations.

"It seems like a really interesting gene, given our results, but there doesn't seem to be that much known about exactly what it's doing to the brain," Dr. Pritchard said.

Dr. Wells said that it was not surprising the brain had continued to evolve along with other types of genes, but that nothing could be inferred about the nature of the selective pressure until the function of the selected genes was understood.

The four populations analyzed in the HapMap project are the Yoruba of Nigeria, Han Chinese from Beijing, Japanese from Tokyo and a French collection of Utah families of European descent. The populations are assumed to be typical of sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Europe, but the representation, though presumably good enough for medical studies, may not be exact.

Dr. Pritchard's test for selection rests on the fact that an advantageous mutation is inherited along with its gene and a large block of DNA in which the gene sits. If the improved gene spreads quickly, the DNA region that includes it will become less diverse across a population because so many people now carry the same sequence of DNA units at that location.

Dr. Pritchard's test measures the difference in DNA diversity between those who carry a new gene and those who do not, and a significantly lesser diversity is taken as a sign of selection. The difference disappears when the improved gene has swept through the entire population, as eventually happens, so the test picks up only new gene variants on their way to becoming universal.

The selected genes turned out to be quite different from one racial group to another. Dr. Pritchard's test identified 206 regions of the genome that are under selection in the Yorubans, 185 regions in East Asians and 188 in Europeans. The few overlaps between races concern genes that could have been spread by migration or else be instances of independent evolution, Dr. Pritchard said.

Nicholas WADE
Still Evolving, Human Genes Tell New Story
The New York Times, March 07, 2006

JUDITH RICH HARRIS calls "No Two Alike" a "scientific detective story." The mystery is why people -- even identical twins who grow up in the same home with the same genes -- end up with different personalities. The detective is Harris herself, a crotchety amateur, housebound because of an illness, who takes on the academic establishment armed only with a sharp mind and an Internet connection. Harris the author scrupulously follows clues; Harris the protagonist drives the story forward through force of character, arriving at a theory of personality that could be said to describe herself.

NO TWO ALIKE: Human Nature and Human Individuality, By Judith Rich Harris, 322pp. W. W. Norton & Company. $26.95.

Eight years ago, Harris's book "The Nurture Assumption" set academic psychology on fire by attacking the notion that parenting styles shape children. Scholars, irked by this upstart former textbook writer and grad-school reject, scorned her argument. In her new book, Harris tries to embarrass her critics while synthesizing her work into a theory of personality. "No Two Alike" is two books: a display of human weakness, and a display of scientific courage and imagination.

Every detective has a favorite method. Harris's is behavioral genetics, which attempts to tease out the genetic bases of behavior. To sort genetic from environmental factors, you study people with the same genes but different environments: identical twins raised apart. Or you study people with different genes but the same environment: adoptive siblings raised together.

Using this method like scissors -- holding one variable steady while slicing against it with the other -- Harris shreds popular theories of personality formation. Does home environment -- parenting style, marital harmony, the use or rejection of day care -- shape a child's personality, making her more agreeable, less aggressive or more extroverted? Nope. Research shows that twins don't turn out more alike if they're raised together than if they're raised apart. Nor do adoptive siblings. And when you compare apples to apples -- making sure that each parent-child unit in a study is as genetically related as any other -- being raised in one home rather than another, on average, makes no difference.

Maybe a certain type of home environment affects children with some genes one way and children with other genes the opposite way? Sorry, says Harris, the data show no such patterns. Furthermore, she writes, since twins raised together have the same genes and environments, gene-environment interactions can't explain why they turn out differently. Do kids turn out differently because parents treat them differently -- based on birth order, for example? If so, you'd expect siblings raised together, in manifest birth order, to differ more than siblings raised apart. But they don't.

If parents don't shape children, what does? Harris realigns her scissors and cuts again. She looks for studies that pit the influence of parents against the influence of the larger environment. Children raised in Canada by parents born in Hong Kong become Canadian. When parents have an accent but most of the neighborhood doesn't, their children lose the accent. The village, not the family, prevails.

Why? Because that's what makes evolutionary sense. If your parents raise you poorly, Harris argues, you're better off diluting the damage. If they dote on you, you're better off adjusting to the tougher social world in which you'll have to find your way. Throughout most of human evolution, parents had little time for children old enough to run around. They learned from one another and from watching adults.

From this evolutionary logic, Harris builds a theory of personality based on three systems in our brains. The socialization system absorbs language, customs and skills, making us more alike. Mommy and Grandma wear dresses; you're a girl, so you want a dress too. The relationship system distinguishes people so we can deal with each one appropriately. Crying gets milk from Mommy but not Grandma; Billy is gentle, but Bobby hits people. Even random differences are important: Anne helped you with your homework, but her twin sister owes you a dollar. You find ways to tell people apart because you have to.

Harris offers a variety of interesting evidence for these systems: brain scans, animal studies and neurological diseases that knock out one system but not the other. She sprinkles her book with humor, but spends much of it savoring acrimonious relationships. No grudge is forgotten; no enemy spared. They key to understanding this behavior, and the mystery, is her third system: status.

Hence the status system. Your socialization system figures out how to conform to your group. Your relationship system figures out how to get along with each person. Your status system figures out how to compete. It monitors people's reactions, gathering information about how smart, pretty, weak or talented they think you are. It looks for virtues, activities and occupations at which you're most likely to best your peers. It notices tiny differences between the way people regard you and the way they regard others in your peer group, or even your twin. By choosing pursuits based on these differences, it magnifies them. It drives you to be different.

This is the paradox behind the book's subtitle. Human nature causes human individuality; the mental systems that we share are also the ones that distinguish us. But if these three systems are, as Harris concludes, the "perpetrators" of individuality as we know it, the mystery of how we got here gives way to the mystery of where we're going. The perpetrators remain at large. The evolutionary forces that gave us distinctive personalities don't end here. Human nature isn't finished with human individuality, or with itself.

Harris attributes half of our traits to genes, noting the roughly 50 percent personality correlation between identical twins. She figures that "evolution provided humans with a certain amount of plasticity in behavior so they can profit from their experiences." When hominids developed "subtle and multidimensional" abilities to read minds and adjust behavior, it became "advantageous to be able to modify patterns of social behavior on a long-term basis."

Ultimately, however, long-term behavior modification is at odds with itself. As our minds become subtler and our occupations less stable, short-term modifications suited to the situation at hand become more advantageous than permanent modifications. This is already happening, according to her theory. The reason parental influence doesn't control children's behavior outside the home is that they adjust to context. "Children are capable of generalizing -- of learning something in one context and applying it in another -- but they do not do it blindly," Harris observes. At home, where you're the younger sibling, you yield. At school, where you're one of the bigger kids, you don't. And unlike other animals, you can shuffle your self-classifications. In seconds, you can go from acting like a girl to acting like a child to acting like a New Yorker.

In short, the evolutionary logic that makes us different from one another will gradually make us different from ourselves, context by context. Personality -- behavior that is "consistent across time and place," as one textbook puts it -- will fade. We'll miss characters like Harris, the little woman from New Jersey who boasted of giving psychologists a "wedgie" and tried to solve the puzzle of human nature. There won't be another one like her.

Bookreview: No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality, by Judith Rich Harris
The New York Times, March 05, 2006

明治以降,音楽は西洋流のドレミファソラシドで教えられていて,この音階か ら外れると音痴とされます.でも日本古来の歌はそれに収まらない音がある. なぜ我々が合わせなければいけないのか.自由に歌って,楽器の方が歌に合わ せればいいことなのに,西洋楽器が大事にされ,それに合わないと音痴だとい う.社会のあらゆる構造が実はそうなっている.それをやめましょうというの が僕のテーマです.

維新後,侍たちがドレミファソラシドにどう対応し,官軍マーチ(ヤッパンマ ルス=日本行進曲)を作ったか.そこに西洋文化と日本文化の大きなきしみが あるはずだが,みんな気づいていない.法律や民主主義,資本主義もそう.無 理に合わせようとするから,ぎくしゃくする.まず,人々の暮しがあって,そ れに合うような制度や法律ができるべき.計量法一つとっても,曲尺(かねじゃ く)を使っているのに,使用を禁じて罰則を加えたりした.それを平気でやっ てしまうシステムこそ変です.

海外旅行にはパスポートがいりますよね.国がわれわれを守ってくれるはずな んです,そう書いてありますから.でも表紙には菊の御門のようなものがあり ます.皇室が守ってくれるわけではないのに,なぜそこにそれがあることに, だれも疑問を持たずに世界中に行っているのか.

それは日の丸よりも菊の御門こそ日本のしるしということ.戊辰戦争では,菊 の御門の官軍と日の丸を掲げた旧幕府軍が戦っている.日の丸は賊軍の旗だっ たのに,新政府で国旗になった.そういう明治期のずれが,大して疑問をもた れないまま「靖国問題」まできてしまった.その官軍には,アメリカからの売 り込みがありました.南北戦争で勝った北軍の武器が余り,それが持ち込まれ たわけです.官軍は北軍の軍服を着る.その軍服を文部省が学生服にする.女 学生にはセーラー服.これも水兵ですね.外国で修学旅行の学生が軍隊と思わ れて問題になったこともある.

みんな気づかずに,学生服だと思っている.立ち止まってもう一回考えて,と いいたい.そこで,北軍の詰め襟の制服を学ぶために着ているんだ,戦争のた めに着ているのではない,というふうに自覚すればいいわけです.

なぜ命がある,なぜ生きなきゃいけない,家庭は,親子は,夫婦は──ってい う,日本なら長い間受け継いできた日本なりの知恵があるはずです.そうした 想像力がないから平気で残虐な事件を引き起こしてしまう.

《2003年12月,日本で地上デジタル放送が開始.テレビのデジタル化でチャン ネル数が飛躍的に増え,近い将来,テレビ局の経営にも大きな影響を与えると 言われる》 テレビもそう.最近でも,ライブドアを持ち上げたりこき下ろしたりしている のを見ていると,何なんだ,と思いますね.そして似たようなことを各局でやっ ている.何か食っているか悪ふざけしているか.開局の時からつき合ってきた 僕としても,恥ずかしさと同時に責任も感じます.テレビだけが悪いとは言い ませんが,おかしくなってきたこの国をめざめさせるのは,お金や数字じゃな くて,やはり言葉です.

永 六輔




In Genesis, Joseph's jealous older brothers strip him of his coat of many colors and throw him into a pit in the wilderness. Brutal brother-on-brother violence dominates an opening section of John Steinbeck's "East of Eden," and in Annie Proulx's short story "Brokeback Mountain," the cowboy Ennis del Mar describes an older brother who "slugged me silly ever' day."

This casual, intimate violence can be as mild as a shoving match and as savage as an attack with a baseball bat. It is so common that it is almost invisible. Parents often ignore it as long as nobody gets killed; researchers rarely study it; and many psychotherapists consider its softer forms a normal part of growing up.

But there is growing evidence that in a minority of cases, sibling warfare becomes a form of repeated, inescapable and emotionally damaging abuse, as was the case for Mr. Smith.

In a study published last year in the journal Child Maltreatment, a group of sociologists found that 35 percent of children had been "hit or attacked" by a sibling in the previous year. The study was based on phone interviews with a representative national sample of 2,030 children or those who take care of them.

Although some of the attacks may have been fleeting and harmless, more than a third were troubling on their face.

According to a preliminary analysis of unpublished data from the study, 14 percent of the children were repeatedly attacked by a sibling; 4.55 percent were hit hard enough to sustain injuries like bruises, cuts, chipped teeth and an occasional broken bone; and 2 percent were hit by brothers or sisters wielding rocks, toys, broom handles, shovels and even knives.

Children ages 2 to 9 who were repeatedly attacked were twice as likely as others their age to show severe symptoms of trauma, anxiety and depression, like sleeplessness, crying spells, thoughts of suicide and fears of the dark, further unpublished data from the same study suggest.

"There are very serious forms of, and reactions to, sibling victimization," said David Finkelhor, a sociologist at the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, the study's lead author, who suggests it is often minimized.

"If I were to hit my wife, no one would have trouble seeing that as an assault or a criminal act," Dr. Finkelhor said. "When a child does the same thing to a sibling, the exact same act will be construed as a squabble, a fight or an altercation."

The sibling attacks in Dr. Finkelhor's study were equally frequent among children of all races and socioeconomic groups; they were most frequent on children 6 to 12, slightly more frequent on boys than on girls, and tapered off gradually as children entered adolescence.

As violent as sibling conflicts are among humans, they are seldom fatal, as they can be among birds and a smattering of other animals.

Siblicide is common among birds of prey, including tawny eagles, brown pelicans and kittiwakes. A Pacific Ocean seabird known as the blue-footed booby pecks at its siblings and pushes them out of the nest to die of starvation while the parents stand idly by. A baby black-crowned night heron in Minnesota was twice observed swallowing the entire head of a younger nestmate until it went limp and looked close to death. Embryonic sand tiger sharks eat one another while they're still in the womb.

Piglets are born with a special set of temporary "needle teeth" to attack their littermates in the struggle for the mother's prodigal frontal teats; the runts kicked back to the hind teat sometimes starve on its thin milk.

On the Serengeti Plain of Tanzania, spotted hyena pups, who are usually born in pairs, bite and shake each other almost from the moment they leave the womb. When the mother's milk is thin, the struggles often end with the death of one pup from wounds or malnutrition -- especially, curiously enough, if the pups are the same sex.

Baby animals, researchers theorize, fight mainly to establish dominance and to compete for scarce food. Human children, on the other hand, fight not only over who got the bigger bowl of ice cream but also over who decides what game to play, who controls the remote, who is supposed to do the dishes, who started it and who is loved most.

Beyond Rivalry, a Hidden World of Sibling Violence
The New York Times, February 28, 2006

"Visible Proofs" highlights, among other stories, the case of Kirk Bloodsworth, a former commercial fisherman from Maryland who was the first person on death row to be exonerated by DNA evidence. In 1985, Mr. Bloodsworth was convicted of raping and murdering a 9-year-old girl, based largely on the testimony of five witnesses who said they had seen him with the victim.

"When I was sentenced to death, the courtroom erupted into applause," Mr. Bloodsworth, now 45, said in an interview. "I was hated." Yet Mr. Bloodsworth did not commit these crimes. In 1992, DNA testing demonstrated that sperm isolated from the victim's underwear could not have come from Mr. Bloodsworth, given signature differences between his DNA and that found in the sample.

Mr. Bloodsworth was freed in 1993.

His case was among the first worked on by the Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 by the lawyers Peter J. Neufeld and Barry C. Scheck.

Post-conviction DNA testing has now exonerated at least 170 people, according to the Innocence Project. "Visible Proofs" appears at a moment when forensic findings wield enormous influence in the courtroom and in public imagination. Films and television shows like the hit series "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation" have glamorized the image of the field as well.

Solving Puzzles With Body Parts as the Pieces
The New York Times, February 28, 2006

Why is this so? For the first time in human history, it's possible to give tentative answers that are based on a scientific account of mental processes. In addition to the old psych-lab tests, researchers now have access to technology such as MRI and PET scanners. These can report where brain activity takes place, and can begin to answer questions about why our minds work in the way that they do. One example has to do with emotion, which is regulated in part by the frontal cortex of the brain, the last part to expand as mammals evolved. The orbitofrontal cortex, just above and behind the eyes, is "one of the most consistently active areas of the brain during emotional reactions," Jonathan Haidt tells us. "The neurons in this part of the cortex fire wildly when there is an immediate possibility of pleasure or pain, loss or gain." People who suffer damage to the frontal cortex can lose most of their ability to experience emotion while retaining their ability to think rationally. But they don't therefore see the world with crystalline logic, so that life suddenly becomes simple. On the contrary, Haidt reports: "They find themselves unable to make simple decisions or set goals, and their lives fall apart. When they look out at the world and think, 'What should I do now?' they see dozens of choices but lack immediate internal feelings of like or dislike. They must examine the pros and cons of every choice with their reasoning, but in the absence of feeling they see little reason to pick one or the other."

Philosophers have expounded on happiness for a long time, but only relatively recently have psychologists taken much of an interest. The study of "positive psychology," as it is called, was launched by Martin Seligman, of the University of Pennsylvania, in the late nineteen-nineties, and began with the realization that the study of psychiatry had a huge bias toward every form of illness. "The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," the basic reference work of the psychiatric profession, was (and is) a chronicle of everything that could possibly go wrong with the human mind, from psychosis to schizoaffective disorder to mania --- a harrowing catalogue. But where was the study of the mind when it was working satisfactorily? Where was the study of a healthy emotional life and successful adaptation to circumstances? In short, what had psychology to say about happiness? Haidt is a member of the positive-psychology school, and his book, which has in its packaging some of the trappings of self-help, is much more intelligent than it looks from the outside. One of the key questions --- going straight to the heart of the Enlightenment ambition for us to be happy here and now, in this life --- is whether happiness is a default setting of the brain. That is to say, are we, left to our own devices, and provided with sufficient food and freedom and control over our circumstances, naturally happy?

The answer proposed by positive psychology seems to be: It depends. The simplest kind of unhappiness is that caused by poverty. People living in poverty become happier if they become richer --- but the effect of increased wealth cuts off at a surprisingly low figure. The British economist Richard Layard, in his stimulating book "Happiness: Lessons from a New Science," puts that figure at fifteen thousand dollars, and leaves little doubt that being richer does not make people happier. Americans are about twice as rich as they were in the nineteen-seventies but report not being any happier; the Japanese are six times as rich as they were in 1950 and aren't any happier, either. Looking at the data from all over the world, it is clear that, instead of getting happier as they become better off, people get stuck on a "hedonic treadmill": their expectations rise at the same pace as their incomes, and the happiness they seek remains constantly just out of reach.

According to positive psychologists, once we're out of poverty the most important determinant of happiness is our "set point," a natural level of happiness that is (and this is one of the movement's most controversial claims) largely inherited. We adapt to our circumstances; we don't, or can't, adapt our genes. The evidence for this set point, and the phrase itself, came from a study of identical twins by the behavioral geneticist David Lykken, which concluded that "trying to be happier is like trying to be taller." Contrary to everything you might think, "in the long run, it doesn't much matter what happens to you," Haidt writes. Consider the opposing examples of winning the lottery or of losing the use of your limbs. According to Haidt, "It's better to win the lottery than to break your neck, but not by as much as you'd think. . . . Within a year, lottery winners and paraplegics have both (on average) returned most of the way to their baseline levels of happiness."

The psychological study of happiness might seem to be something of a bust. Mainly it tells us things that people have known for a long time, except with scientific footnotes. In the end, the philosophy and the science converge on the fact that thinking about your own happiness does not make it any easier to be happy. A co-founder of positive psychology, Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi, made people carry a pager, and told them that every time it went off they should write down what they were doing and how much they were enjoying it. The idea was to avoid the memory's tendency to focus on peaks and troughs, and to capture the texture of people's lives as they were experiencing them, rather than in retrospect. The study showed that people were most content when they were experiencing what Csikzentmihalyi called "flow" --- in Haidt's definition, "the state of total immersion in a task that is challenging yet closely matched to one's abilities." We are at our happiest when we are absorbed in what we are doing; the most useful way of regarding happiness is, to borrow a phrase of Clive James's, as "a by-product of absorption."

The trouble is that asking yourself about your frame of mind is a sure way to lose your flow. If you want to be happy, don't ever ask yourself if you are. A person in good health in a Western liberal democracy is, in terms of his objective circumstances, one of the most fortunate human beings ever to have walked the surface of the earth. Risk-taking Ig and worried Og both would have regarded our easy, long, riskless lives with incredulous envy. They would have regarded us as so lucky that questions about our state of mind wouldn't be worth asking. It is a perverse consequence of our fortunate condition that the question of our happiness, or lack of it, presses unhappily hard on us.

PURSUING HAPPINESS: Two scholars explore the fragility of contentment
The New Yorker, Feb. 27, 2006

THE wrong people usually win the lottery. Rarely do the numbers line up for the visionary builder who longs to subsidize his dream city or the doctor who would use her winnings to found a hospital. Usually fortune rewards a lummox with a pencil mustache who wants a platinum-plated R.V. For that reason, it's exhilarating to see that Matthew Stewart, an Oxford-educated philosopher whose studies presumably taught him the folly of waiting for providence, contrived to create his own good luck. He helped build up a successful management consulting firm, and the proceeds of its sale allowed him to devote himself to a "life of contemplation."

Matthew STEWART, THE COURTIER AND THE HERETIC: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World, 351 pp. W.W. Norton & Company. $25.95.

Spinoza posited "a universe ruled only by the cause and effect of natural laws, without purpose or design." The God of this universe was a noninterventionist whose essence and pervasiveness might best be described as Nature -- capital N -- in what Camille Paglia would call the "chthonic" sense. Given God's noninterference policy, Spinoza believed the modern state had the responsibility of looking after the common man, and the common man had the responsibility of looking after himself. In all this, Spinoza saw freedom and, Stewart writes, "anticipated later philosophical and scientific developments by two and sometimes three centuries." (When Einstein was asked if he believed in God, he said, "I believe in Spinoza's God.")

Review by Liesl SCHILLINGER
'The Courtier and the Heretic,' by Matthew Stewart: Great Minds Don't Think Alike
The New York Times, February 26, 2006

Snap judgments about people and places can be remarkably accurate, and there is no substitute for simple logic and reflection in determining questions like which alarm clock or cellphone is the best value.

But many more important decisions -- choosing the right apartment, the optimal house, the best vacation -- turn on such a bewildering swarm of facts that people often throw up their hands and put the whole thing temporarily out of mind. And new research suggests that this may be a rewarding strategy.

In a series of experiments reported last week in the journal Science, a team of Dutch psychologists found that people struggling to make complex decisions did best when they were distracted and were not able to think consciously about the choice at all.

The research not only backs up the common advice to "sleep on it" when facing difficult choices, but it also suggests that the unconscious brain can actively reason as well as produce weird dreams and Freudian slips.

"This is very elegant work, and like any great work, it opens up as many questions as it answers" about the unconscious, said Timothy D. Wilson, a psychologist at the University of Virginia and the author of the book "Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious." He was not involved in the research.

In the study, the research team, led by Ap Dijksterhuis of the University of Amsterdam, had 80 students choose among four cars based on a list of attributes for each, like age, gasoline mileage, transmission and handling. After presenting the attributes in quick succession, the researchers instructed some students to think carefully about the decision for four minutes and distracted others by asking them to solve anagrams.

When the list of characteristics was four items, students were more likely to pick the best functioning vehicles if they reasoned through the decision, rather than if they were distracted. But with 12 attributes, the distracted anagram solvers tended to make wiser choices, the study found.

The unconscious brain has a far greater capacity for information than conscious working memory, the authors write, and it may be less susceptible to certain biases.

"One example is people who like a house for its space but don't properly weigh in the effect of commuting distance until they're spending two hours on the train every day," said Dr. Dijksterhuis. The unconscious brain might give the commuting more weight, he said.

The researchers developed a "complexity score" for 40 products and assets based on how many of each item's attributes people took into account. Cars, computers and apartments were at the top, dresses and shirts in the middle and oven mitts and umbrellas at the bottom.

Using that scale, the psychologists surveyed students who had recently bought some of those items and found that the more the buyers thought about their purchases of simple objects, the more satisfied they were. But the opposite was the case for complex purchases, where the more time spent in conscious deliberation, the less satisfied the students were.

In a survey of shoppers outside furniture and department stores, the researchers found a similar relationship between the amount of time shoppers spent thinking about simple and more involved decisions and their later satisfaction with their purchases. The research is only a stab at characterizing a process that is mostly unknown, psychologists say.

Benedict CAREY
The Unconscious Mind: A Great Decision Maker
The New York Times, February 21, 2006

The kentia palm (Howea forsteriana) is found in the wild only on a single remote island in the South Pacific. Based on a recent study, Dr. Baker and his colleagues have concluded that roughly two million years ago, an ancestral species of palm tree living on the island split in two, and one became the kentia palm.

The idea that members of a species living side by side can split into two species is controversial. Some scientists have presented evidence that the process has produced several species of plants and animals, but their ideas have met with intense skepticism.

Two new studies in the journal Nature -- one on the kentia palm and a second on fish in a Nicaraguan lake -- are impressing some leading skeptics, however.

One reason for the skepticism is that another way for forming new species is well supported by evidence. When a population becomes isolated by a geographical barrier, it can evolve into a new species.

Mathematical models have suggested this process -- known as sympatric speciation -- can happen under certain conditions. And scientists have discovered a handful of cases in which, they argue, sympatric speciation took place. Fruit flies from a species that originally lived on hawthorns in the United States, for example, have shifted to apples in the past 150 years. Their DNA suggests that they are diverging from the hawthorn population.

Palm Trees and Lake Fish Dispel Doubts About a Theory of Evolution
The New York Times, February 21, 2006

"If popular culture has taught us anything," Daniel H. Wilson says, "it is that someday mankind must face and destroy the growing robot menace." Luckily, Dr. Wilson is just the guy to help us do it.

In his new book, "How to Survive a Robot Uprising," Dr. Wilson offers detailed -- and hilariously deadpan -- advice on evading hostile swarms of robot insects (don't try to fight -- "loss of an individual robot is inconsequential to the swarm"); outsmarting your "smart" house (be suspicious if the house suggests you test the microwave by putting your head in it); escaping unmanned ground vehicles (drive in circles -- they'll have a harder time tracking you); and surviving hand-to-hand combat with a humanoid (smear yourself with mud to disguise your distinctive human thermal signature and go for the "eyes" -- its cameras).

If all else fails, reasoning with a robot may work, Dr. Wilson says, but emotional appeals will fall on deaf sensors.

Should you prevail, he offers in a grim addendum: "Have no mercy. Your enemy doesn't."

But he is no foe of robots, Dr. Wilson said in a telephone interview from Portland, Ore., where he is living while he waits for Paramount to decide whether to make a sci-fi comedy out of the book, which it has optioned.

Cornelia DEAN
Scientist at Play: Daniel Wilson, "If Robots Ever Get Too Smart, He'll Know How to Stop Them"
The New York Times, February 14, 2006

Jesus, for his time and place, was notably unsexist. In Samaria, when he talked with the woman at the well --- this is the longest personal exchange he has with anyone in the Bible --- his disciples "marvelled"; a Jewish man did not, in public, speak to a woman unrelated to him. In another episode, in Luke, Jesus is dining with Simon the Pharisee when a "woman in the city," a "sinner" --- presumably a prostitute --- enters the house, washes Jesus' feet with her tears, dries them with her hair, kisses them, and then anoints them with balm from a jar. Simon says to Christ that if he can accept that tribute from such a person then he is surely not a prophet. Christ answers that the "sinner" has shown him more love than Simon has.

According to some scholars, Christ's equanimity regarding gender was honored in some early Christian communities, where women served as leaders. But by the second century, as the so-called "orthodox Church" consolidated itself, the women were being shunted aside, along with the thing that they were increasingly seen to stand for: sex. It was not until the twelfth century that all Roman Catholic priests were absolutely required to be celibate, but the call for celibacy began sounding long before, and the writings of the Church fathers were very tough on sex. By the fourth century, Christ's mother was declared a virgin. Chastity became the ideal; women, the incitement to unchastity, were stigmatized.

As such, she was a tremendous success. Europe, once it was converted to Christianity, was not content to have all those holy people in the Bible confine their activities --- or, more important, their relics --- to the Middle East. And so the Magdalene, among others, was sent west. After the Crucifixion, it was said, infidels placed her in a rudderless boat and pushed it out to sea, in full confidence that it would capsize. But, piloted by the hand of God, the Magdalene's bark arrived at Marseilles, whereupon she undertook a career of strenuous evangelism and converted southern Gaul. Eventually, however, she tired of preaching and retreated to a cave in a mountain near Marseilles, where she wept and repented her foul youth. She wore no clothes; she was covered only by her long hair (or, in some paintings, by an appalling sort of fur). Nor did she take any food. Once a day, angels would descend to carry her to Heaven, where she received "heavenly sustenance," and then fly her back to her grotto. This went on for thirty years. Then, one day, her friend Maximin, the bishop of Aix, found her in his church levitating two cubits above the floor and surrounded by a choir of angels. She promptly expired.

This is a summary of various stories, but most of them can be found in "The Golden Legend," a collection of saints' lives written by a thirteenth-century Dominican, Jacobus de Voragine, who later became the archbishop of Genoa. After the Bible, "The Golden Legend" is said to have been the most widely read text of the Middle Ages. On its basis, sermons were composed, plays written, altarpieces painted, stories told by the hearth fire. The Magdalene, according to some sources, became France's most popular saint after the Virgin Mary. In the eleventh century, an especially fervent Magdalene cult grew up in the Burgundian town of Vezelay, whose church claimed to have her relics --- an assertion undoubtedly influenced by the fact that Vezelay was on one of the main routes to Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, Christendom's third most important pilgrimage site (after Jerusalem and Rome). Vezelay soon became another important pilgrimage site, substantially benefitting the local economy. In 1267, the monks of Vezelay had the Magdalene's relics dug up from beneath the church --- an event attended by the King.

Some people, though, wondered how the Magdalene's body got to Burgundy, when the legend said that she had died in Provence. The Provencal Prince Charles of Salerno, a devout man, was especially pained by this relocation. And so in 1279, only twelve years after the Vezelay exhumation, a new set of Magdalene relics was discovered, in the crypt of St. Maximin, near Aix-en-Provence. St. Maximin became a competing pilgrimage site. As time passed, five whole bodies of the Magdalene, together with spare parts, were discovered in various locales. Her saint's day, July 22nd, became a major holiday. In Viviers, it was said, a peasant who dared to plow his fields on that day was struck by lightning. Numerous professions --- winegrowers, gardeners, sailors, barrelmakers, weavers --- took her as their patron saint. Church after church was named after her, as were many baby girls.

The crucial development in Magdalene scholarship was the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library. Biblical scholars had understood for a long time that the orthodox Church was just the segment of the Church that won out over competing Christian sects, notably the so-called Gnostics. But, apart from what could be gathered from the Church fathers' denunciations of these supposed heretics, students of early Christianity knew little about them. Then, one day in December of 1945, an Arab peasant named Muhammad Ali al-Samman drove his camel to the foothills near the town of Nag Hammadi, in Upper Egypt, to collect fertilizer for his fields, and as he dug he unearthed a clay jar about three feet high. Hoping that it might contain treasure, he broke it open and, to his disappointment, found only a bunch of papyrus books, bound in leather. He took the books home and tossed them in a courtyard where he kept his animals. In the weeks that followed, his mother used some pages from the books to light her stove; other pages were bartered for cigarettes and fruit. But eventually, after a long journey through the hands of antiquities dealers, black marketers, smugglers, and scholars, Samman's find was recognized as a priceless library of Gnostic writings --- thirteen codices, containing fifty-two texts --- recorded in Coptic (an early form of Egyptian) in the fourth century but translated from Greek originals dating from between the second and fourth centuries. In time, the books were confiscated by the Egyptian government and moved to the Coptic Museum in Cairo, where they remain today. (They were published in 1972-77.) Actually, they were not the first Gnostic texts to be discovered. Others had come to light in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but most of them were not published until after the time of the Nag Hammadi discovery.

The key text is the Gospel of Mary. As the treatise opens, the Risen Christ is preaching to his disciples. There is no such thing as sin, he says. Also, the disciples, in their quest for the divine, should follow no authorities, heed no rules, but simply look within themselves. Having delivered these lessons, Jesus departs, leaving his disciples quaking with fear. No sin? No rules? If they teach these doctrines, they may end up getting killed, like him. At that point, Mary Magdalene takes over. "Do not weep or grieve or be in doubt," she tells the others. (This and the following quotations from the Gnostic texts are Meyer's translations.) Peter then says to the Magdalene that they all know Jesus loved her more than any other woman, and he asks her if there is anything that she learned privately from the Saviour. The Magdalene responds by describing a vision she had of the soul's ascent to truth --- a story she shared with Jesus. (She adds his comments.) Four pages are missing from this passage, and some readers may not regret their loss. Accounts of Gnostic visions are sometimes like people's descriptions of their dreams: bizarre yet boring --- and long. The Magdalene's story seems to have struck her audience that way. "Did he [Jesus] really speak with a woman in private, without our knowledge?" Peter now asks his brothers. "Should we all turn and listen to her? Did he prefer her to us?" Mary bursts into tears and asks Peter if he thinks she's lying. Another disciple, Levi, interrupts: "Peter, you always are angry. . . . If the Savior made her worthy, who are you to reject her?"

This text exemplifies the principle for which Gnosticism was named. In Greek, gnosis means "knowledge." To the Gnostic communities, it meant a kind of spiritual understanding --- the goal of all believers --- that was achieved only through intense self-examination, typically accompanied by visions. The Gospel of Mary shows the Magdalene as an expert in this practice. It also presents her as a leader, full of confidence and zeal. Another of the Gnostic texts, "Pistis Sophia" ("Faith Wisdom"), takes the form of a dialogue between Jesus and the disciples. Of the forty-six questions put to Jesus, thirty-nine come from the Magdalene. Peter finally complains that no one else has a chance to speak. Another feature, then, of the Gnostic portrait of the Magdalene is the quarrel between her and Peter. Jesus repeatedly defends her, and that is the final, critical point about the Gnostic Magdalene: Jesus' preference for her. In another Gospel, she is referred to as his "companion," whom he often kissed. Some readers have taken this to mean that she was his mistress or wife, but kissing was common among people in the Middle East at that time, and the companionship seems to be based on Jesus' conviction of her superior understanding. When the disciples ask him, "Why do you love her more than all of us?," he answers, uncomfortingly, "If a blind person and one who can see are both in darkness, they are the same. When the light comes, one who can see will see the light, and the blind person will stay in darkness."

So, while the orthodox Church was busy eliminating women from positions of power, the Gnostic sects seem to have been following a different route. One of their texts says that Jesus had seven women as well as twelve men among his disciples. The Gnostic pantheon includes female divinities. But Exhibit A is the Magdalene: her leadership and Christ's endorsement of it. This is not to say that the Gnostic Gospels portray a gender-blind community. In another passage in which Peter complains about the Magdalene --- "Mary should leave us," he says, "for females are not worthy of life" --- Jesus replies, "Look, I shall guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter heaven's kingdom." This statement, a disappointment to many admirers of Gnosticism, has been explained by scholars as a reflection of the ancient belief, accepted even by the forward-thinking Gnostics, that women stood for earthly matters, while men were more in touch with the divine. Jesus is saying that his female disciples, despite their sex, will become spiritual. Peter clearly does not agree. So the authority of women was a point of conflict among the Gnostics, too.

We know how the orthodox Church --- which, not incidentally, claimed its apostolic mission from Peter --- solved this problem, and the fact that the Gnostic communities seem to have been solving it otherwise was one of the reasons that they were regarded as heretics. In any case, it was in the fourth century, at the moment when the orthodox Church was finally, after centuries of persecution, achieving stability, that the leaders of a Gnostic community near Nag Hammadi, apparently feeling that they were now in serious danger, put their most precious books in a jar and buried it in the hillside.

Their problem wasn't just women, though. As Elaine Pagels explains, the Church's whole effort at this time was to create an institution, and certain Gnostic principles --- above all, the rejection of rules and hierarchies --- were utterly incompatible with institutionalization. Pagels also points out that Gnosticism, for all its egalitarianism, was elitist. To qualify, you had to set yourself, over a long course of study, to discovering the divine within yourself. This was not for everyone, and the orthodox Church wanted everyone. Accordingly, the Church did not ask people to search for the divine --- their priest would tell them what the divine was --- and it assured them that as long as they confessed certain prescribed articles of faith and observed certain simple rituals, they, too, could enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Without these reasonable, followable rules, Pagels writes, "one can scarcely imagine how the Christian faith could have survived."

THE SAINTLY SINNER: The Two-thousand-year Obsession with Mary Magdalene
The New Yorker Magazine on line, February 13, 2006

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (AP) -- A self-proclaimed "Mafia wife" said Monday that her family history was improperly used as the model for the TV series "The Sopranos" and that her late husband once told her he had murdered former Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa.

Lynda Milito, 59, said her husband Louie Milito told her in 1988 during an argument that he had killed Hoffa in Detroit and dumped his remains near York's Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

Louie Milito, a high ranking member of the Gambino crime family, disappeared two weeks after that conversation and is presumed dead.

"I really do feel that Louie did it," said Lynda Milito, who has written one book about her life titled "Mafia Wife" and is writing another that includes the Hoffa claims.

Hoffa was last seen July 30, 1975 at a restaurant near Detroit. Hoffa was on his way to a meeting with New Jersey Teamsters boss Anthony Provenzano and a Detroit Mafia captain, Anthony Giacalone, and investigators believe Hoffa was killed to prevent him from regaining the presidency of the Teamsters labor union.

Last February, investigators ripped up the floorboards of a home in Detroit after a former Delaware Teamsters official was quoted in a book as saying he had shot Hoffa inside the house. The FBI later determined there was blood on the floorboards but it was not Hoffa's.

Hoffa's son, James P. Hoffa, is now president of the Teamsters.

"Lynda Milito claims she and her mobster husband had ducks in their pool, just like Tony Soprano"
CNN on Line, Monday, February 13, 2006

"We have a policy against racial profiling," Raymond Kelly, New York City's police commissioner, told me. "I put it in here in March of the first year I was here. It's the wrong thing to do, and it's also ineffective. If you look at the London bombings, you have three British citizens of Pakistani descent. You have Germaine Lindsay, who is Jamaican. You have the next crew, on July 21st, who are East African. You have a Chechen woman in Moscow in early 2004 who blows herself up in the subway station. So whom do you profile? Look at New York City. Forty per cent of New Yorkers are born outside the country. Look at the diversity here. Who am I supposed to profile?"

Kelly was pointing out what might be called profiling's "category problem." Generalizations involve matching a category of people to a behavior or trait-overweight middle-aged men to heart-attack risk, young men to bad driving. But, for that process to work, you have to be able both to define and to identify the category you are generalizing about. "You think that terrorists aren't aware of how easy it is to be characterized by ethnicity?" Kelly went on. "Look at the 9/11 hijackers. They came here. They shaved. They went to topless bars. They wanted to blend in. They wanted to look like they were part of the American dream. These are not dumb people. Could a terrorist dress up as a Hasidic Jew and walk into the subway, and not be profiled? Yes. I think profiling is just nuts."

One of the puzzling things about New York City is that, after the enormous and well-publicized reductions in crime in the mid-nineteen-nineties, the crime rate has continued to fall. In the past two years, for instance, murder in New York has declined by almost ten per cent, rape by twelve per cent, and burglary by more than eighteen per cent. Just in the last year, auto theft went down 11.8 per cent. On a list of two hundred and forty cities in the United States with a population of a hundred thousand or more, New York City now ranks two hundred-and-twenty-second in crime, down near the bottom with Fontana, California, and Port St. Lucie, Florida. In the nineteen-nineties, the crime decrease was attributed to big obvious changes in city life and government-the decline of the drug trade, the gentrification of Brooklyn, the successful implementation of "broken windows" policing. But all those big changes happened a decade ago. Why is crime still falling?

The explanation may have to do with a shift in police tactics. The N.Y.P.D. has a computerized map showing, in real time, precisely where serious crimes are being reported, and at any moment the map typically shows a few dozen constantly shifting high-crime hot spots, some as small as two or three blocks square. What the N.Y.P.D. has done, under Commissioner Kelly, is to use the map to establish "impact zones," and to direct newly graduated officers-who used to be distributed proportionally to precincts across the city-to these zones, in some cases doubling the number of officers in the immediate neighborhood. "We took two-thirds of our graduating class and linked them with experienced officers, and focussed on those areas," Kelly said. "Well, what has happened is that over time we have averaged about a thirty-five-per-cent crime reduction in impact zones."

For years, experts have maintained that the incidence of violent crime is "inelastic" relative to police presence-that people commit serious crimes because of poverty and psychopathology and cultural dysfunction, along with spontaneous motives and opportunities. The presence of a few extra officers down the block, it was thought, wouldn't make much difference. But the N.Y.P.D. experience suggests otherwise. More police means that some crimes are prevented, others are more easily solved, and still others are displaced-pushed out of the troubled neighborhood-which Kelly says is a good thing, because it disrupts the patterns and practices and social networks that serve as the basis for lawbreaking. In other words, the relation between New York City (a category) and criminality (a trait) is unstable, and this kind of instability is another way in which our generalizations can be derailed.

Why, for instance, is it a useful rule of thumb that Kenyans are good distance runners? It's not just that it's statistically supportable today. It's that it has been true for almost half a century, and that in Kenya the tradition of distance running is sufficiently rooted that something cataclysmic would have to happen to dislodge it. By contrast, the generalization that New York City is a crime-ridden place was once true and now, manifestly, isn't. People who moved to sunny retirement communities like Port St. Lucie because they thought they were much safer than New York are suddenly in the position of having made the wrong bet.

The instability issue is a problem for profiling in law enforcement as well. The law professor David Cole once tallied up some of the traits that Drug Enforcement Administration agents have used over the years in making generalizations about suspected smugglers. Here is a sample:

Arrived late at night; arrived early in the morning; arrived in afternoon; one of the first to deplane; one of the last to deplane; deplaned in the middle; purchased ticket at the airport; made reservation on short notice; bought coach ticket; bought first-class ticket; used one-way ticket; used round-trip ticket; paid for ticket with cash; paid for ticket with small denomination currency; paid for ticket with large denomination currency; made local telephone calls after deplaning; made long distance telephone call after deplaning; pretended to make telephone call; traveled from New York to Los Angeles; traveled to Houston; carried no luggage; carried brand-new luggage; carried a small bag; carried a medium-sized bag; carried two bulky garment bags; carried two heavy suitcases; carried four pieces of luggage; overly protective of luggage; disassociated self from luggage; traveled alone; traveled with a companion; acted too nervous; acted too calm; made eye contact with officer; avoided making eye contact with officer; wore expensive clothing and jewelry; dressed casually; went to restroom after deplaning; walked rapidly through airport; walked slowly through airport; walked aimlessly through airport; left airport by taxi; left airport by limousine; left airport by private car; left airport by hotel courtesy van. Some of these reasons for suspicion are plainly absurd, suggesting that there's no particular rationale to the generalizations used by D.E.A. agents in stopping suspected drug smugglers. A way of making sense of the list, though, is to think of it as a catalogue of unstable traits. Smugglers may once have tended to buy one-way tickets in cash and carry two bulky suitcases. But they don't have to. They can easily switch to round-trip tickets bought with a credit card, or a single carry-on bag, without losing their capacity to smuggle. There's a second kind of instability here as well. Maybe the reason some of them switched from one-way tickets and two bulky suitcases was that law enforcement got wise to those habits, so the smugglers did the equivalent of what the jihadis seemed to have done in London, when they switched to East Africans because the scrutiny of young Arab and Pakistani men grew too intense. It doesn't work to generalize about a relationship between a category and a trait when that relationship isn't stable-or when the act of generalizing may itself change the basis of the generalization.

Before Kelly became the New York police commissioner, he served as the head of the U.S. Customs Service, and while he was there he overhauled the criteria that border-control officers use to identify and search suspected smugglers. There had been a list of forty-three suspicious traits. He replaced it with a list of six broad criteria. Is there something suspicious about their physical appearance? Are they nervous? Is there specific intelligence targeting this person? Does the drug-sniffing dog raise an alarm? Is there something amiss in their paperwork or explanations? Has contraband been found that implicates this person?

You'll find nothing here about race or gender or ethnicity, and nothing here about expensive jewelry or deplaning at the middle or the end, or walking briskly or walking aimlessly. Kelly removed all the unstable generalizations, forcing customs officers to make generalizations about things that don't change from one day or one month to the next. Some percentage of smugglers will always be nervous, will always get their story wrong, and will always be caught by the dogs. That's why those kinds of inferences are more reliable than the ones based on whether smugglers are white or black, or carry one bag or two. After Kelly's reforms, the number of searches conducted by the Customs Service dropped by about seventy-five per cent, but the number of successful seizures improved by twenty-five per cent. The officers went from making fairly lousy decisions about smugglers to making pretty good ones. "We made them more efficient and more effective at what they were doing," Kelly said.

TROUBLEMAKERS: What Pit-bulls Can Teach Us about Profiling
The New Yorker Magazine, Issue of February 06, 2006

On June 8, 1954, Alan Turing, a forty-one-year-old research scientist at Manchester University, was found dead by his housekeeper. Before getting into bed the night before, he had taken a few bites out of an apple that was, apparently, laced with cyanide. At an inquest, a few days later, his death was ruled a suicide. Turing was, by necessity rather than by inclination, a man of secrets. One of his secrets had been exposed two years before his death, when he was convicted of "gross indecency" for having a homosexual affair. Another, however, had not yet come to light. It was Turing who was chiefly responsible for breaking the German Enigma code during the Second World War, an achievement that helped save Britain from defeat in the dark days of 1941. Had this been publicly known, he would have been acclaimed a national hero. But the existence of the British code-breaking effort remained closely guarded even after the end of the war; the relevant documents weren't declassified until the nineteen-seventies. And it wasn't until the eighties that Turing got the credit he deserved for a second, and equally formidable, achievement: creating the blueprint for the modern computer.

Turing was twenty-three when he dispatched the decision problem. Just as he was finishing his work, discouraging news reached Cambridge from across the Atlantic: a Princeton logician named Alonzo Church had beaten him to the punch. Unlike Turing, however, Church did not arrive at the idea of a universal computing machine; instead, he used a far more arcane construction known as the "lambda calculus." Still, Turing decided that he might profit from studying with the more established logician. So he made his way to America, crossing the Atlantic in steerage and arriving in New York, where, he wrote to his mother, "I had to go through the ceremony of initiation to the U.S.A., consisting of being swindled by a taxi-driver."

At Princeton, Turing took the first steps toward building a working model of his imaginary computer, pondering how to realize its logical design in a network of relay-operated switches; he even managed to get into a machine shop in the physics department and construct some of the relays himself. In addition to his studies with Church, he also had dealings with the formidable John von Neumann, who would later be credited with innovations in computer architecture that Turing himself had pioneered. On the social side, he found the straightforward manners of Americans congenial, with certain exceptions: "Whenever you thank them for anything, they say 'You're welcome.' I rather liked it at first, thinking I was welcome, but now I find it comes back like a ball thrown against a wall, and become positively apprehensive. Another habit they have is to make the sound described by authors as 'Aha.' They use it when they have no suitable reply to a remark."

In 1938, Turing was awarded a Ph.D. in mathematics by Princeton, and, despite the urgings of his father, who worried about imminent war with Germany, decided to return to Britain. Back at Cambridge, he became a regular at Ludwig Wittgenstein's seminar on the foundations of mathematics. Turing and Wittgenstein were remarkably alike: solitary, ascetic, homosexual, drawn to fundamental questions. But they disagreed sharply on philosophical matters, like the relationship between logic and ordinary life. "No one has ever yet got into trouble from a contradiction in logic," Wittgenstein insisted. To which Turing's response was "The real harm will not come in unless there is an application, in which case a bridge may fall down." Before long, Turing would himself demonstrate that contradictions could indeed have life-or-death consequences.

As the Enigma evolved, Turing continued to devise new strategies to defeat it. Known at Bletchley as the Prof, Turing was famed for his harmless eccentricities, like keeping his tea mug chained to the radiator and wearing a gas mask as he rode his bicycle to work (it helped to alleviate his hay fever). He impressed his colleagues as a friendly, approachable genius, always willing to explain his ideas, and he became especially close to a woman he worked with, playing what he called "sleepy chess" with her after their night-shift code-breaking. Having convinced himself that he was in love with her, he proposed marriage, and was eagerly accepted, even after he divulged his "homosexual tendencies" to her. But he later decided it wouldn't work and broke off the engagement. It seems to have been the only time in his life that he contemplated a heterosexual relationship.

Shortly before Christmas, 1951, Turing was walking along Oxford Street in Manchester when his eye was caught by a nineteen-year-old working-class youth named Arnold Murray. The encounter turned into an affair of sorts, with Murray coming to Turing's house on several occasions, having dinner with him, and then spending the night. A month later, Turing was invited by the BBC to take part in a radio debate on the question "Can Automatic Calculating Machines Be Said to Think?" (He had already received some rather breathless publicity on his ideas about artificial intelligence from the British papers.) On one of the days that the program aired, Turing came home to find that his house had been burglarized. The burglar, as he suspected, was an associate of Murray's who was confident that a homosexual would never go to the police. But Turing did go to the police. After some initial dissembling about how he came by his information about the culprit's identity, Turing volunteered the details of his affair to the startled detectives. Turing was charged, under the same 1885 act that led to the prosecution of Oscar Wilde, with "gross indecency." This crime was punishable by up to two years' imprisonment, but the judge, taking into account Turing's intellectual distinction (though knowing nothing of his activities during the war), sentenced him to probation, on the condition that he "submit for treatment by a duly qualified medical practitioner."

The treatment of choice was hormonal. Earlier, American researchers had tried to convert gay men to heterosexuality by injecting them with male hormones, on the theory that they suffered from a masculinity deficit; surprisingly, this only seemed to intensify their homosexual drive. So the opposite approach was tried. By giving homosexuals large doses of female hormones, it was found, their libido could be destroyed in as little as a month. This chemical castration had the side effect of causing temporary breast enlargement, as Turing found to his humiliation, and his lean runner's body took on fat.

CODE-BREAKER: The Life and Death of Alan Turing
The New Yorker Magazine, Issue of February 06, 2006

 日本郵政公社の郵政民営化に際し,簡易保険部門が国債などの債券 管理業務を外部委託する入札で,「資産管理サービス信託銀行」(東 京)が1円で落札していたことがわかった.郵政公社が事前に算定し た予定価格数十億円を大幅に下回った.簡保が保有する債券は国債だけで50 兆円以上に上り,銀行側は1円で落札しても多額の手数料収入が別に見込める ため,赤字にはならないとしている.

 入札対象となったのは,準備期間を含め07年10月の民営化から2年間, 簡保が保有する国債や公社債などを一括して管理する業務.民営化を機に初め て外部委託する.有価証券の管理や決済業務は大規模なシステムやノウハウが 必要で,外部に委託した方が効率化が図れるためだ.業務が専門的なため,入 札参加者を有価証券管理に特化した国内信託銀行3行に限る指名競争入札とし た.

 昨年12月26日の入札日に2行が1円,別の1行が5000万円と,想定 していた価格を大きく下回ったため,郵政公社は落札者の決定を保留.価 格の妥当性や業務能力などを総合的に審査し,1月20日付で,みずほフィ ナンシャルグループなどが出資する資産管理サービス信託銀を選んだ

 90年代には,大手情報通信会社がシステム機器の受注をねらって,ソフト ウエア開発を相次いで1円で落札した事例が問題となった.最近では財務省発 注のオークション運営業務で1円落札があり,公正取引委員会が昨年12 月,不当廉売の恐れがあるとして文書で警告したばかり

 簡保の債券管理業務で1円入札した背景には,国債の管理に伴う手数料収入 がある.簡保が保有する国債の利払い手続きなどは,国の委託を受けた日本銀 行が行っている.しかし,信託銀行がその事務手続きを日銀からまとめて請け 負うことで,これまでは発生しなかった数十億円規模の手数料が日銀から支払 われるという.日本郵政公社は,「1円でもコスト度外視とはいえない. 管理能力なども総合的に判断し落札者を決めた」という.

 一方,業界関係者からは「簡保事業との取引確保を優先し,採算を度外視し ている」「ほかの金融機関の委託料と比べ公平ではない」といった意見も出て いる.独占禁止法では不当廉売を禁止しているが,資産管理サービス信託銀は 「契約内容の取材には応じられないが,不当廉売には当たらないと考えている」 としている.

「郵政公社の債券管理 数十億円予定,1円で落札」
asahi.com 2006年02月02日07時28分

ILLEGAL BEINGS: HUMAN CLONES AND THE LAW, by Kerry Lynn Macintosh. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. 288pp. Hardback. £ 16.99/$29.95. ISBN: 0521853281.

Reviewed by Zvi H. Triger, The College of Management, School of Law, Rishon LeZion, Israel. Email: zvit [at] colman.ac.il.

So why are we so afraid of human clones? Macintosh identifies five false notions that she believes "reinforce and inspire stereotypes about human clones:" first, that human cloning is an offence against God and nature; second, that cloning human beings objectifies and commodifies them; third, that human clones are copies of other human beings and therefore lack individuality; fourth, that being a form of asexual reproduction, cloning threatens the survival of humanity because it undermines genetic diversity; and finally, that human clones might suffer from serious birth defects and have an extremely low life expectancy.

Having discussed these objections, Macintosh turns to analyze anticloning legislation. Among the states that enacted bans against human cloning are Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, North [*167] Dakota, and South Dakota. Macintosh argues that the various laws were inspired by the five objections analyzed in the first part of the book (and proved false). She argues that these laws are unconstitutional, because they violate the Equal Protection Clause by creating what Macintosh calls "existential segregation," meaning "they are intended to prevent the birth and existence of human clones" (p.98).

Macintosh locates this legislation within the historical context of antimiscegenation legislation and maintains that in the same way that antimiscegenation laws tried to prevent the birth of mixed-race children, so as not to threaten racial segregation, anticloning laws have a similar effect. Nowadays, Macintosh seems to imply, the fear is directed towards non-traditional family structures: for example, single-parent or same-sex parent families. Recently such families have been able to adopt or to have children with the assistance of a surrogate mother (only in some jurisdictions), but the idea that these families might have genetically related children without outside assistance is perhaps too outrageous for some, and it is definitely too challenging for the heterosexual/patriarchal social order.

ISSN 1062-7421
Vol. 16 No.2 (February 2006), pp.165-167

Over the years, more than a dozen different studies in several countries have looked for a connection, and almost all have found none.

But scientists have found several factors that do affect workloads in maternity wards.

Most births occur in the summer and in September and October, said Kathleen Capitulo, the director of the Kravis Children's Hospital and Women's Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

There are also weekly cycles. Most childbirths occur later in the week, she said, because many women prefer having labor induced before the weekend, full moon or not.

Really?: The Claim: Baby Deliveries Are in Sync With the Moon
The New York Times, January 31, 2006

ON the afternoon before the opening of the Group of 7 summit meeting in 1983, James Baker, the White House chief of staff, dropped in on Ronald Reagan to deliver a briefing book. The United States was the host of the conference, the only one held on American soil during the Reagan presidency; the administration had pre-emptively billed the meeting as a triumph; and Baker, worried about his boss's lack of preparation and aware that "Reaganomics" wasn't universally popular, had taken a lot of trouble compiling the briefings, which were both concise and comprehensive. On returning the next morning, Baker was furious to discover that the book lay exactly where he had left it - and confronted his boss with his failure to do his prep. Reagan's unflustered reply: "Well, Jim, 'The Sound of Music' was on last night."

Review by Adrian WOOLDRIDGE
Bookreview:'President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination,' by Richard Reeves
The New York Times, January 29, 2006

Liberals and conservatives can become equally bug-eyed and irrational when talking politics, especially when they are on the defensive.

Using M.R.I. scanners, neuroscientists have now tracked what happens in the politically partisan brain when it tries to digest damning facts about favored candidates or criticisms of them. The process is almost entirely emotional and unconscious, the researchers report, and there are flares of activity in the brain's pleasure centers when unwelcome information is being rejected.

"Everything we know about cognition suggests that, when faced with a contradiction, we use the rational regions of our brain to think about it, but that was not the case here," said Dr. Drew Westen, a psychologist at Emory and lead author of the study, to be presented Saturday at meetings of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Palm Springs, Calif.

The results are the latest from brain imaging studies that provide a neural explanation for internal states, like infatuation or ambivalence, and a graphic trace of the brain's activity.

In 2004, the researchers recruited 30 adult men who described themselves as committed Republicans or Democrats. The men, half of them supporters of President Bush and the other half backers of Senator John Kerry, earned $50 to sit in an M.R.I. machine and consider several statements in quick succession.

The first was a quote attributed to one of the two candidates: either a remark by Mr. Bush in support of Kenneth L. Lay, the former Enron chief, before he was indicted, or a statement by Mr. Kerry that Social Security should be overhauled. Moments later, the participants read a remark that showed the candidate reversing his position. The quotes were doctored for maximum effect but presented as factual.

The Republicans in the study judged Mr. Kerry as harshly as the Democrats judged Mr. Bush. But each group let its own candidate off the hook.

After the participants read the contradictory comment, the researchers measured increased activity in several areas of the brain. They included a region involved in regulating negative emotions and another called the cingulate, which activates when the brain makes judgments about forgiveness, among other things. Also, a spike appeared in several areas known to be active when people feel relieved or rewarded. The "cold reasoning" regions of the cortex were relatively quiet.

Researchers have long known that political decisions are strongly influenced by unconscious emotional reactions, a fact routinely exploited by campaign consultants and advertisers. But the new research suggests that for partisans, political thinking is often predominantly emotional.

It is possible to override these biases, Dr. Westen said, "but you have to engage in ruthless self reflection, to say, 'All right, I know what I want to believe, but I have to be honest.' "

He added, "It speaks to the character of the discourse that this quality is rarely talked about in politics."

BenedictT CAREY
Findings: A Shocker: Partisan Thought Is Unconscious
The New York Times, January 24, 2006

 高裁判決の理由欄で,一審判決の一部の項目だけを示して「引用する 」と書き,それに続けて控訴審の判断を追加する,「引用判決」 と言われる手法について,最高裁第一小法廷の泉徳治裁判官は19日, 「つぎはぎ的引用は避けるべきだ」と異例の苦言を述べた.土地の明 け渡しをめぐる訴訟の判決の補足意見で述べた.

 この裁判では,二審・高松高裁判決が一審・松山地裁判決を部分的に引用し たが,独自の判断部分と引用部分の事実認定が一部で矛盾していると上告審で わかった.

 泉裁判官は「つぎはぎ的に引用すると,論理構成や時系列に矛盾が生じるお それがある.二審判決を読んだだけでは全体の趣旨が理解できず,わかり やすい裁判という観点からも望ましくない」と指摘.「コンピューターを 使えば文章ごと簡単に書き写せるし,その部分を太字にするなどして区別すれ ば,二審独自の判断部分の中にとけ込ませることもできる.自己完結型の 判決文にすべきだ」と提案した.

 「引用判決」のスタイルは70年代以降広がり,現在もよく使われている. しかし,当事者などから「わかりにくい」と苦情が相次いでおり,司法研修所 は04年,「控訴審判決を見ただけで,内容の理解が容易となるようにすべき だ」と提言する研究をまとめている.

asahi.com 2006年01月19日

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 - The Supreme Court removed an obstacle on Tuesday to state efforts to authorize physician-assisted suicide, ruling 6 to 3 that John Ashcroft, the former attorney general, acted without legal authority when he threw the federal government's weight against the Death With Dignity Act in Oregon five years ago.

With the new chief justice, John G. Roberts Jr., in dissent in the most high-profile case since he joined the court, the decision lifted a major barrier to state initiatives like the one in Oregon, which has the only assisted-suicide law in the country. [News analysis, Page A16.]

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's majority opinion did not say that Congress could not act to block such laws, only that it had not given Mr. Ashcroft the "extraordinary authority" that he claimed when he threatened Oregon doctors who followed the state law with losing their federal prescription-writing privileges.

While the court's decision was based on standard principles of administrative law, and not on the Constitution, it was clearly influenced by the majority's view that the regulation of medical practice belonged, as a general matter, to the states. Mr. Ashcroft acted contrary to "the background principles of our federal system," Justice Kennedy said in his 28-page opinion.

The decision on Tuesday upheld rulings by two lower federal courts. Mr. Ashcroft, while attorney general, appealed to the Supreme Court in November 2004. His successor, Alberto R. Gonzales, embraced his position and pursued the appeal after the justices agreed last February to hear the case.

Chief Justice Roberts did not write a dissenting opinion, instead signing a dissent written by Justice Antonin Scalia. For those eager for any hint about the new chief justice's predilections, his silent joining of this strongly worded opinion was intriguing. When the case was argued on Oct. 5, his second day on the bench, Chief Justice Roberts was an active participant but did not tip his hand.

Justices Reject U.S. Bid to Block Assisted Suicide
The New York Times, January 19, 2006

Sport utility vehicles may seem indomitable as they plow along, but despite their bulk, children who ride in them are no better protected than those riding in ordinary cars, a new study finds.

Writing in the current issue of Pediatrics, researchers say they have found little difference in injuries when looking at crashes involving passenger cars and S.U.V.'s, which on average weigh 1,317 pounds more. The lead author of the study was Dr. Lauren Daly of the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.

Risk: In S.U.V., Children Aren't Necessarily Safer
The New York Times, January 19, 2006

In a study being published in the January issue of The Annals of Neurology, researchers report that vibrating insoles allow diabetics with numb feet and stroke victims with uncertain balance to stand quietly without swaying and losing their balance.

The random vibrations, which were so subtle that people did not have any conscious awareness of them, effectively stimulated the neurons on the bottom of their feet. That provided their wobbly balance system with missing information about how their stance was changing moment to moment.

An earlier study using the vibrating insoles had a similar result, said James J. Collins, a professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University who led the research. In that experiment, the vibrations helped elderly subjects stand as steadily as most 20-year-olds.

John Milton, a neuroscientist at the Claremont Colleges in California and an expert on human movement who is familiar with the research, said it had great potential.

Vibrating Insoles Help People Regain Balance
The New York Times, January 19, 2006

In the past, a doctor cared only for a patient's health and well-being. Yet with increasing understanding of infectious and genetic diseases and improving treatment for them, physicians are recognizing the extent of their responsibilities not only for a patient's health but for the public health.

In the future, doctors may even decide to violate patients' rights to privacy to protect the lives of a third parties.

In the future, the courts might rule that doctors should break patient confidentiality to warn family members of genetic risks.

Genetic Testing Creates New Versions of Ancient Dilemmas
The New York Times, January 19, 2006

ROME, Jan. 18 - The official Vatican newspaper published an article this week labeling as "correct" the recent decision by a judge in Pennsylvania that intelligent design should not be taught as a scientific alternative to evolution.

"If the model proposed by Darwin is not considered sufficient, one should search for another," Fiorenzo Facchini, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Bologna, wrote in the Jan. 16-17 edition of the paper, L'Osservatore Romano.

"But it is not correct from a methodological point of view to stray from the field of science while pretending to do science," he wrote, calling intelligent design unscientific. "It only creates confusion between the scientific plane and those that are philosophical or religious."

The article was not presented as an official church position. But in the subtle and purposely ambiguous world of the Vatican, the comments seemed notable, given their strength on a delicate question much debated under the new pope, Benedict XVI.

Ian FISHER and Cornelia DEAN
In 'Design' vs. Darwinism, Darwin Wins Point in Rome
The New York Times, January 19, 2006

"We want to do for biology what Intel does for electronics," said George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard and a leader in the field. "We want to design and manufacture complicated biological circuitry."

While much of the early work has consisted of eye-catching, if useless, stunts like the blinking bacteria, the emerging field could one day have a major impact on medicine and industry.

For instance, Christina D. Smolke, an assistant professor at the California Institute of Technology, is trying to develop circuits of biological parts to sit in the body's cells and guard against cancer. If they detected a cancer-causing mechanism had been activated, they would switch on a gene to have the cell self-destruct.

Jay D. Keasling at the University of California, Berkeley, with part of $42.6 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is trying to take up to 12 genes from the wormwood tree and yeast and get them to work together in E. coli bacteria to produce artemisinin, a malaria drug now extracted from the wormwood tree.

J. Craig Venter, the maverick scientist who sequenced the human genome, wants to create microbes that produce hydrogen for use as fuel.

To be sure, scientists have been putting genes into bacteria and other cells for three decades. The term "synthetic biology" seems to include various activities, some of which are not altogether new.

"This has a catchy new name, but anybody over 40 will recognize it as good old genetic engineering applied to more complex problems," said Frances H. Arnold, a professor of chemical engineering at Caltech.

Some synthetic biologists say they will go beyond genetic engineering, which often involves putting a single foreign gene into a cell. The human insulin gene, for instance, is put into bacteria, which then make insulin for use as a drug. But there have been genetic engineering projects involving multiple genes, so the number of genes alone is not enough to define synthetic biology.

Rather, the difference seems more about mind-set. "We're talking about taking biology and building it for a specific purpose, rather than taking existing biology and adapting it," Professor Keasling of Berkeley said. "We don't have to rely on what nature's necessarily created."

Also new is an engineering approach - the desire to make the design of life forms more predictable, like the design of a bridge. That could be because many leaders of the field are not biologists by training.

Ron Weiss of Princeton is a computer scientist. Michael Elowitz of Caltech trained as a physicist, and Drew Endy of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a structural engineer. Mr. Endy and colleagues at M.I.T. have started a "Registry of Standard Biological Parts." The parts, called BioBricks, are strings of DNA that can perform certain functions like turning on a gene or causing a cell to light up.

In theory at least, these components can be strung together to build more complex devices, just as an electronic engineer might put together transistors, resistors and oscillators to build a circuit. Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Texas used some BioBricks to engineer bacteria so that a sheet of them could capture an image as photographic film does. The microbes were altered so that those kept in the dark produced a black pigment while those exposed to light did not.

Some scientists envision that biological engineers will one day sit at computers writing programs for cells, like software developers. But the code would be written in sequences of DNA, rather than computer language. When finished, the programmer would press the "print" button, as it were, and the DNA would be made to order.

The field is also starting to attract some investment. In June, venture capitalists put $13 million into Codon Devices, a startup company in Cambridge, Mass., that is developing a way to synthesize long stretches of DNA far less expensively than existing methods. The founders include Professors Church, Endy and Keasling.

Professor Keasling is also a co-founder of Amyris Biotechnologies, which is helping make the malaria drug. And Mr. Venter has started Synthetic Genomics to work on his energy-producing microbes.

What make the engineering approach possible are the inner workings of a living cell. Genes, made of DNA, contain the instructions for producing proteins, which carry out most functions in cells. Some proteins can bind to DNA, turning particular genes on or off. This interplay, which is one way that cells regulate themselves, is not too different from how electronic circuits function, with one transistor turning another on or off.

To make the blinking bacteria, for instance, Mr. Elowitz designed the biological equivalent of an electronic oscillator. It uses three genes that trump one another like the rock, scissors and paper in the children's game. Gene X makes a protein that turns off Gene Y. Gene Y makes a protein that turns off Gene Z. And Gene Z makes a protein that turns off Gene X.

So if Gene X is on, it will turn off Gene Y. But the absence of Protein Y allows Gene Z to turn on. Protein Z then turns off Gene X, allowing Gene Y to turn on, turning Gene Z off, and so on. So the three genes turn on and off in an endless cycle.

To make the bacteria blink, Mr. Elowitz programmed a gene for the production of a fluorescent protein to be turned on whenever Gene Z was off.

Some newer efforts involve trying to manipulate entire colonies of microbes to cooperate with one another. They take advantage of something called quorum sensing, a natural communications system that bacteria use to determine whether there are enough of them present to mount an attack.

The bacteria secrete a particular chemical into their environment that they and their brethren can detect. When many bacteria are present, the level of this chemical in the environment increases. The concentric circle bull's-eye pattern was made by engineering E. coli to respond to a quorum-sensing chemical from a different microbe.

Some bacteria were programmed to produce a green fluorescent protein at high concentrations of the chemical. Others were programmed to produce a red protein if exposed to a somewhat lower concentration.

The bacteria of both types were mixed together and spread on a surface. In the center were placed some microbes that emitted the chemical, which diffused away from the center. The bacteria closest to the center were exposed to a high concentration. Those programmed to respond to high concentrations turned green. Some of the bacteria further away turned red.

The work, published in Nature in April, was led by Mr. Weiss of Princeton and Professor Arnold at Caltech. Mr. Weiss, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and molecular biology, is now trying to use similar principles to help control the differentiation of stem cells into different types of tissues in different locations.

"That's how the body develops its organs," he said, "by relying on cell-to-cell communication."

The two scientists also published a paper in Nature the same month in which they used quorum sensing to control bacterial populations artificially, by engineering the microbes to turn on a suicide gene if the concentration of the quorum-sensing chemical grew too high. As soon as the first cells started killing themselves, the concentration of the chemical would drop, so the remaining cells could recover.

The demonstrations, however clever, also illustrate problems inherent in designing biological circuits, as opposed to silicon ones. One is that living things are always dividing and evolving.

Indeed, the population-control system breaks down within days because some of the bacteria mutate so that the suicide gene is not switched on.

Those bacteria, having a selective advantage, quickly take over the colony, said Lingchong You, lead researcher on the project at Caltech and now an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Duke.

Another challenge is that the genes of the circuit can interact with the native bacterial genes in unexpected ways.

There is also great variability among living creatures. The blinking bacteria, for instance, do not light up in unison, but at greatly varying rates. Even a newly formed daughter cell will not blink in sync with its mother cell, despite being almost identical genetically.

"You write the same software and put it into different computers, and their behavior is quite different," Mr. You said. "If we think of a cell as a computer, it's much more complex than the computers we're used to."

For that reason, some scientists say, it might be difficult ever to make biological engineering as predictable as bridge construction.

"There is no such thing as a standard component, because even a standard component works differently depending on the environment," Professor Arnold of Caltech said. "The expectation that you can type in a sequence and can predict what a circuit will do is far from reality and always will be."

The unpredictability could lead to safety risks. What if the novel organisms were somehow to run amok? In addition, the same technology could be used to synthesize known pathogens based on their published DNA sequences.

Scientists have already created a poliovirus from scratch and more recently recreated the 1918 pandemic flu virus.

"It's quite clear this technology could be dangerous" if misapplied, Mr. Endy of M.I.T. said.

Custom-Made Microbes, at Your Service
The New York Times, January 19, 2006

Einstein was wrong.
Einstein was right.
He was wrong about being wrong.

New Doubts Are Cast on Einstein's Cosmological Constant
The New York Times, January 12, 2006

Later, the scientists found cells that fired when the monkey broke open a peanut or heard someone break a peanut. The same thing happened with bananas, raisins and all kinds of other objects.

"It took us several years to believe what we were seeing," Dr. Rizzolatti said in a recent interview. The monkey brain contains a special class of cells, called mirror neurons, that fire when the animal sees or hears an action and when the animal carries out the same action on its own.

But if the findings, published in 1996, surprised most scientists, recent research has left them flabbergasted. Humans, it turns out, have mirror neurons that are far smarter, more flexible and more highly evolved than any of those found in monkeys, a fact that scientists say reflects the evolution of humans' sophisticated social abilities.

The human brain has multiple mirror neuron systems that specialize in carrying out and understanding not just the actions of others but their intentions, the social meaning of their behavior and their emotions.

"We are exquisitely social creatures," Dr. Rizzolatti said. "Our survival depends on understanding the actions, intentions and emotions of others."

He continued, "Mirror neurons allow us to grasp the minds of others not through conceptual reasoning but through direct simulation. By feeling, not by thinking."

The discovery is shaking up numerous scientific disciplines, shifting the understanding of culture, empathy, philosophy, language, imitation, autism and psychotherapy.

Everyday experiences are also being viewed in a new light. Mirror neurons reveal how children learn, why people respond to certain types of sports, dance, music and art, why watching media violence may be harmful and why many men like pornography.

How can a single mirror neuron or system of mirror neurons be so incredibly smart?

Most nerve cells in the brain are comparatively pedestrian. Many specialize in detecting ordinary features of the outside world. Some fire when they encounter a horizontal line while others are dedicated to vertical lines. Others detect a single frequency of sound or a direction of movement.

Moving to higher levels of the brain, scientists find groups of neurons that detect far more complex features like faces, hands or expressive body language. Still other neurons help the body plan movements and assume complex postures.

Mirror neurons make these complex cells look like numbskulls. Found in several areas of the brain - including the premotor cortex, the posterior parietal lobe, the superior temporal sulcus and the insula - they fire in response to chains of actions linked to intentions.

Studies show that some mirror neurons fire when a person reaches for a glass or watches someone else reach for a glass; others fire when the person puts the glass down and still others fire when the person reaches for a toothbrush and so on. They respond when someone kicks a ball, sees a ball being kicked, hears a ball being kicked and says or hears the word "kick."

"When you see me perform an action - such as picking up a baseball - you automatically simulate the action in your own brain," said Dr. Marco Iacoboni, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies mirror neurons. "Circuits in your brain, which we do not yet entirely understand, inhibit you from moving while you simulate," he said. "But you understand my action because you have in your brain a template for that action based on your own movements.

"When you see me pull my arm back, as if to throw the ball, you also have in your brain a copy of what I am doing and it helps you understand my goal. Because of mirror neurons, you can read my intentions. You know what I am going to do next."

He continued: "And if you see me choke up, in emotional distress from striking out at home plate, mirror neurons in your brain simulate my distress. You automatically have empathy for me. You know how I feel because you literally feel what I am feeling."

Mirror neurons seem to analyzed scenes and to read minds. If you see someone reach toward a bookshelf and his hand is out of sight, you have little doubt that he is going to pick up a book because your mirror neurons tell you so.

In a study published in March 2005 in Public Library of Science, Dr. Iacoboni and his colleagues reported that mirror neurons could discern if another person who was picking up a cup of tea planned to drink from it or clear it from the table. "Mirror neurons provide a powerful biological foundation for the evolution of culture," said Patricia Greenfield, a psychologist at the U.C.L.A. who studies human development.

Until now, scholars have treated culture as fundamentally separate from biology, she said. "But now we see that mirror neurons absorb culture directly, with each generation teaching the next by social sharing, imitation and observation."

Other animals - monkeys, probably apes and possibly elephants, dolphins and dogs - have rudimentary mirror neurons, several mirror neuron experts said. But humans, with their huge working memory, carry out far more sophisticated imitations.

Language is based on mirror neurons, according to Michael Arbib, a neuroscientist at the University of Southern California. One such system, found in the front of the brain, contains overlapping circuitry for spoken language and sign language.

In an article published in Trends in Neuroscience in March 1998, Dr. Arbib described how complex hand gestures and the complex tongue and lip movements used in making sentences use the same machinery. Autism, some researchers believe, may involve broken mirror neurons. A study published in the Jan. 6 issue of Nature Neuroscience by Mirella Dapretto, a neuroscientist at U.C.L.A., found that while many people with autism can identify an emotional expression, like sadness, on another person's face, or imitate sad looks with their own faces, they do not feel the emotional significance of the imitated emotion. From observing other people, they do not know what it feels like to be sad, angry, disgusted or surprised.

Mirror neurons provide clues to how children learn: they kick in at birth. Dr. Andrew Meltzoff at the University of Washington has published studies showing that infants a few minutes old will stick out their tongues at adults doing the same thing. More than other primates, human children are hard-wired for imitation, he said, their mirror neurons involved in observing what others do and practicing doing the same things.

Still, there is one caveat, Dr. Iacoboni said. Mirror neurons work best in real life, when people are face to face. Virtual reality and videos are shadowy substitutes.

Nevertheless, a study in the January 2006 issue of Media Psychology found that when children watched violent television programs, mirror neurons, as well as several brain regions involved in aggression were activated, increasing the probability that the children would behave violently.

The ability to share the emotions of others appears to be intimately linked to the functioning of mirror neurons, said Dr. Christian Keysers, who studies the neural basis of empathy at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and who has published several recent articles on the topic in Neuron.

When you see someone touched in a painful way, your own pain areas are activated, he said. When you see a spider crawl up someone's leg, you feel a creepy sensation because your mirror neurons are firing.

People who rank high on a scale measuring empathy have particularly active mirror neurons systems, Dr. Keysers said.

Social emotions like guilt, shame, pride, embarrassment, disgust and lust are based on a uniquely human mirror neuron system found in a part of the brain called the insula, Dr. Keysers said. In a study not yet published, he found that when people watched a hand go forward to caress someone and then saw another hand push it away rudely, the insula registered the social pain of rejection. Humiliation appears to be mapped in the brain by the same mechanisms that encode real physical pain, he said.

Psychotherapists are understandably enthralled by the discovery of mirror neurons, said Dr. Daniel Siegel, the director of the Center for Human Development in Los Angeles and the author of "Parenting From the Inside Out," because they provide a possible neurobiological basis for the psychological mechanisms known as transference and countertransference.

In transference, clients "transfer" feelings about important figures in their lives onto a therapist. Similarly, in countertransference, a therapist's reactions to a client are shaped by the therapist's own earlier relationships.

Therapists can use their own mirror system to understand a client's problems and to generate empathy, he said. And they can help clients understand that many of their experiences stem from what other people have said or done to them in the past.

Art exploits mirror neurons, said Dr. Vittorio Gallese, a neuroscientist at Parma University. When you see the Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini's hand of divinity grasping marble, you see the hand as if it were grasping flesh, he said. Experiments show that when you read a novel, you memorize positions of objects from the narrator's point of view.

Professional athletes and coaches, who often use mental practice and imagery, have long exploited the brain's mirror properties perhaps without knowing their biological basis, Dr. Iacoboni said. Observation directly improves muscle performance via mirror neurons.

Similarly, millions of fans who watch their favorite sports on television are hooked by mirror neuron activation. In someone who has never played a sport - say tennis - the mirror neurons involved in running, swaying and swinging the arms will be activated, Dr. Iacoboni said.

But in someone who plays tennis, the mirror systems will be highly activated when an overhead smash is observed. Watching a game, that person will be better able to predict what will happen next, he said.

In yet another realm, mirror neurons are powerfully activated by pornography, several scientists said. For example, when a man watches another man have sexual intercourse with a woman, the observer's mirror neurons spring into action. The vicarious thrill of watching sex, it turns out, is not so vicarious after all.

Cells That Read Minds
The New York Times, January 10, 2006

New York Times technology reviewer David Pogue is at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show, posting blog entries and daily video updates. Willard S. Boyle, 81, and George E. Smith, 75, invented the imaging microchip, known as a charge-coupled device, in 1969. The chip converts light particles, or photons, into packets of electrical charges that are nearly instantaneously shifted in rows to the edge of the chip for scanning.

"People don't know the nuances of C.C.D.'s but they know they have a camcorder and satellite images of the weather," said William A. Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineering, the nonprofit society that oversees the $500,000 award, which the two men will split. Mr. Wulf noted that the imaging chip also paved the way for live television broadcasts from portable cameras.

Barnaby J. FEDER
Two Win Prestigious Engineering Award
The New York Times, January 04, 2006

Evolutionary biologists generally agree that humans and other living species are descended from bacterialike ancestors. But before about two billion years ago, human ancestors branched off.

This new group, called eukaryotes, also gave rise to other animals, plants, fungi and protozoans. The differences between eukaryotes and other organisms, known as prokaryotes, are numerous and profound. Dr. Lynch, a biologist at Indiana University, is one of many scientists pondering how those differences evolved.

Eukaryotes are big, compared with prokaryotes. Even a single-celled protozoan may be thousands of times as big as a typical bacterium. The differences are even more profound when you look at the DNA. The eukaryote genome is downright baroque. It is typically much bigger and carries many more genes.

Eukaryotes can do more with their genes, too. They can switch genes on and off in complex patterns to control where and when they make proteins. And they can make many proteins from a single gene.

That is because eukaryote genes are segmented into what are called exons. Exons are interspersed with functionless stretches of DNA known as introns. Human cells edit out the introns when they copy a gene for use in building a protein. But a key ability is that they can also edit out exons, meaning that they can make different proteins from the same gene. This versatility means that eukaryotes can build different kinds of cells, tissues and organs, without which humans would look like bacteria.

When explaining this complexity, most scientists have proposed variations on the same thing: natural selection favored it because versatility gave a reproductive advantage. But Dr. Lynch argues that natural selection had little to do with the origin of the eukaryote genome.

"Everybody thinks evolution is natural selection, and that's it," Dr. Lynch said. "But it's just one of several fundamental forces."

In a paper accepted for publication in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, Dr. Lynch argues that eukaryotes' complexity may have gotten started by chance.

Natural selection is the spread of genes as a result of their ability to raise the odds of survival and reproduction. But when the peculiar features of eukaryotes first arose as accidental mutations, Dr. Lynch argues, they were probably harmful.

Once an intron was wedged into the middle of a gene, a cell had to be able to recognize its boundaries in order to skip over it when making a protein. Some mutations to the intron made it difficult for the cell to recognize those boundaries. If the cell couldn't edit out the intron, it produced a defective protein. If natural selection had been strong in early eukaryotes, all introns would have been eliminated.

Evolutionary biologists have long recognized that natural selection is a matter of probability, not destiny. Just because a mutated gene raises the odds that an individual will reproduce is not a guarantee that it will spread in a population.

Think about flipping a coin. It has 50 percent chance of coming up heads or tails. If you flipped it twice, you wouldn't be surprised to get two heads. But you would be surprised if you flipped it 1,000 times and got 1,000 heads.

Likewise, natural selection works more effectively as populations get bigger. In small populations, it is not so reliable at spreading beneficial genes and eliminating harmful ones.

When natural selection is weak, genes can become more common simply thanks to chance.

The random spread of genes is known as genetic drift. Dr. Lynch argues that genetic drift is much stronger in eukaryotes than in prokaryotes. Several factors are responsible, including the bigger size of eukaryotes. Even a single eukaryote cell may be 10,000 times as large as the typical bacterium. Far fewer eukaryotes can survive in a given space than prokaryotes, leading to smaller populations of eukaryotes.

Dr. Lynch argues that early eukaryotes experienced strong genetic drift. Their population may have shrunk. Natural selection became weak, and genetic drift became strong. Genes that were slightly harmful to the proto-eukaryotes became widespread.

Dr. Lynch dismisses claims by creationists that complexity in nature could not be produced by evolution, only by a designer.

"In fact, a good chunk of what evolutionary biologists study is why things are so poorly designed," he said. "If we needed a bigger genome, there would be a brighter way to build it."

From Bacteria to Us: What Went Right When Humans Started to Evolve?
The New York Times, December 27, 2005

Cute cues are those that indicate extreme youth, vulnerability, harmlessness and need, scientists say, and attending to them closely makes good Darwinian sense. As a species whose youngest members are so pathetically helpless they can't lift their heads to suckle without adult supervision, human beings must be wired to respond quickly and gamely to any and all signs of infantile desire.

The human cuteness detector is set at such a low bar, researchers said, that it sweeps in and deems cute practically anything remotely resembling a human baby or a part thereof, and so ends up including the young of virtually every mammalian species, fuzzy-headed birds like Japanese cranes, woolly bear caterpillars, a bobbing balloon, a big round rock stacked on a smaller rock, a colon, a hyphen and a close parenthesis typed in succession.

The greater the number of cute cues that an animal or object happens to possess, or the more exaggerated the signals may be, the louder and more italicized are the squeals provoked.

"Cute cuts through all layers of meaning and says, Let's not worry about complexities, just love me," said Dr. Dutton, who is writing a book about Darwinian aesthetics. "That's where the sense of cheapness can come from, and the feeling of being manipulated or taken for a sucker that leads many to reject cuteness as low or shallow."

Quick and cheap make cute appealing to those who want to catch the eye and please the crowd. Advertisers and product designers are forever toying with cute cues to lend their merchandise instant appeal, mixing and monkeying with the vocabulary of cute to keep the message fresh and fetching.

That market-driven exercise in cultural evolution can yield bizarre if endearing results, like the blatantly ugly Cabbage Patch dolls, Furbies, the figgy face of E.T., the froggy one of Yoda. As though the original Volkswagen Beetle wasn't considered cute enough, the updated edition was made rounder and shinier still.

"The new Beetle looks like a smiley face," said Miles Orvell, professor of American studies at Temple University in Philadelphia. "By this point its origins in Hitler's regime, and its intended resemblance to a German helmet, is totally forgotten."

Whatever needs pitching, cute can help. A recent study at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at the University of Michigan showed that high school students were far more likely to believe antismoking messages accompanied by cute cartoon characters like a penguin in a red jacket or a smirking polar bear than when the warnings were delivered unadorned.

Experts point out that the cuteness craze is particularly acute in Japan, where it goes by the name "kawaii" and has infiltrated the most masculine of redoubts. Truck drivers display Hello Kitty-style figurines on their dashboards. The police enliven safety billboards and wanted posters with two perky mouselike mascots, Pipo kun and Pipo chan.

Behind the kawaii phenomenon, according to Brian J. McVeigh, a scholar of East Asian studies at the University of Arizona, is the strongly hierarchical nature of Japanese culture. "Cuteness is used to soften up the vertical society," he said, "to soften power relations and present authority without being threatening."

Madison Avenue may adapt its strategies for maximal tweaking of our inherent baby radar, but babies themselves, evolutionary scientists say, did not really evolve to be cute. Instead, most of their salient qualities stem from the demands of human anatomy and the human brain, and became appealing to a potential caretaker's eye only because infants wouldn't survive otherwise.

Human babies have unusually large heads because humans have unusually large brains. Their heads are round because their brains continue to grow throughout the first months of life, and the plates of the skull stay flexible and unfused to accommodate the development. Baby eyes and ears are situated comparatively far down the face and skull, and only later migrate upward in proportion to the development of bones in the cheek and jaw areas.

Baby eyes are also notably forward-facing, the binocular vision a likely legacy of our tree-dwelling ancestry, and all our favorite Disney characters also sport forward-facing eyes, including the ducks and mice, species that in reality have eyes on the sides of their heads.

The cartilage tissue in an infant's nose is comparatively soft and undeveloped, which is why most babies have button noses. Baby skin sits relatively loose on the body, rather than being taut, the better to stretch for growth spurts to come, said Paul H. Morris, an evolutionary scientist at the University of Portsmouth in England; that lax packaging accentuates the overall roundness of form.

Baby movements are notably clumsy, an amusing combination of jerky and delayed, because learning to coordinate the body's many bilateral sets of large and fine muscle groups requires years of practice. On starting to walk, toddlers struggle continuously to balance themselves between left foot and right, and so the toddler gait consists as much of lateral movement as of any forward momentum.

Researchers who study animals beloved by the public appreciate the human impulse to nurture anything even remotely babylike, though they are at times taken aback by people's efforts to identify with their preferred species.

Take penguins as an example. Some people are so wild for the creatures, said Michel Gauthier-Clerc, a penguin researcher in Arles, France, "they think penguins are mammals and not birds." They love the penguin's upright posture, its funny little tuxedo, the way it waddles as it walks. How like a child playing dress-up!

Endearing as it is, Dr. Gauthier-Clerc explained that the apparent awkwardness of the penguin's march had nothing to do with clumsiness or uncertain balance. Instead, he said, penguins waddle to save energy. A side-to-side walk burns fewer calories than a straightforward stride, and for birds that fast for months and live in a frigid climate, every calorie counts.

As for the penguin's maestro garb, the white front and black jacket suits its aquatic way of life. While submerged in water, the penguin's dark backside is difficult to see from above, camouflaging the penguin from potential predators of air or land. The white chest, by contrast, obscures it from below, protecting it against carnivores and allowing it to better sneak up on fish prey.

The giant panda offers another case study in accidental cuteness. Although it is a member of the bear family, a highly carnivorous clan, the giant panda specializes in eating bamboo.

As it happens, many of the adaptations that allow it to get by on such a tough diet contribute to the panda's cute form, even in adulthood. Inside the bear's large, rounded head, said Lisa Stevens, assistant panda curator at the National Zoo, are the highly developed jaw muscles and the set of broad, grinding molars it needs to crush its way through some 40 pounds of fibrous bamboo plant a day.

When it sits up against a tree and starts picking apart a bamboo stalk with its distinguishing pseudo-thumb, a panda looks like nothing so much like Huckleberry Finn shucking corn. Yet the humanesque posture and paws again are adaptations to its menu. The bear must have its "hands" free and able to shred the bamboo leaves from their stalks.

The panda's distinctive markings further add to its appeal: the black patches around the eyes make them seem winsomely low on its face, while the black ears pop out cutely against the white fur of its temples.

As with the penguin's tuxedo, the panda's two-toned coat very likely serves a twofold purpose. On the one hand, it helps a feeding bear blend peacefully into the dappled backdrop of bamboo. On the other, the sharp contrast between light and dark may serve as a social signal, helping the solitary bears locate each other when the time has come to find the perfect, too-cute mate.

Natalie ANGIER
The Cute Factor
The New York Times, December 27, 2005

Let me try to be more precise: Einstein is far and away the most famous and beloved scientist of all time. We revere him not only as a scientific genius but also as a moral and even spiritual sage whose enduring aphorisms touch on matters from the sublime ("Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind") to the playful ("Gravity cannot be blamed for people falling in love").

After Israel's first president, the chemist Chaim Weizmann, died in 1952, the Israeli cabinet asked Einstein if he would consider becoming the country's president. Einstein politely declined - perhaps to the relief of the Israeli officials, given his avowed commitment to pacifism and a supernational government. (While awaiting Einstein's answer, David Ben-Gurion, the prime minister, reportedly asked an aide, "What are we going to do if he accepts?")

But I suspect that we will never see Einstein's like again, because he was the product of a unique convergence of time and temperament. Besides, Einstein didn't think he lived up to his own reputation either. "I am no Einstein," he once said. Of course, such modesty only makes us admire and miss him more.

Essay: Einstein Has Left the Building
The New York Times, January 01, 2006

Justice Antonin Scalia's wit is widely admired, and now it has been quantified. He is, a new study concludes, 19 times as funny as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Who's the Funniest? Transcripts of oral arguments at the United States Supreme Court have long featured the notation "[laughter]" after a successful quip from a justice or lawyer. But until October 2004, justices were not identified by name, making it impossible to construct a reliable index of judicial wit.

That has now changed, and Jay D. Wexler, a law professor at Boston University, was quick to exploit the new data to analyze the relative funniness of the justices. His study, which covers the nine-month term that began that October, has just been published in a law journal called The Green Bag.

Justice Scalia was the funniest justice, at 77 "laughing episodes." On average, he was good for slightly more than one laugh - 1.027, to be precise - per argument.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer was next, at 45 laughs. Justice Ginsburg produced but four laughs. Justice Clarence Thomas, who rarely speaks during arguments, gave rise to no laughter at all.

Of course, what passes for humor at the Supreme Court would probably not kill at the local comedy club. Consider, for instance, the golden opportunity on Halloween this year when a light bulb in the courtroom's ceiling exploded during an argument.

It takes two justices, it turns out, to screw up a light bulb joke.

"It's a trick they play on new chief justices all the time," Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who joined the court that month, said of the explosion.
"Happy Halloween," Justice Scalia retorted.
And then, the kicker. "We're even more in the dark now than before," Chief Justice Roberts said.

On the other hand, in a January argument in a statute-of-limitations case, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy made an amusing observation about the absurdity of modern life.

"Recently I lost my luggage," Justice Kennedy said. "I had to go to the lost and found at the airline, and the lady said has my plane landed yet."

Professor Wexler concedes that his methodology is imperfect. The court reporters who insert the notations may, for instance, be unreliable or biased.

The simple notation "[laughter]" does not, moreover, distinguish between "a series of small chuckles" and "a joke that brought the house down." Nor, Professor Wexler said, does it separate "the genuine laughter brought about by truly funny or clever humor and the anxious kind of laughter that arises when one feels nervous or uncomfortable or just plain scared for the nation's future."

Partisans of particular justices may raise objections as well. The raw numbers for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who produced 12 laughs, understate his wit, as he missed more than 30 arguments in the term because of illness. He died in September.

Justice Ginsburg's poor showing may in part be a matter of misperception based on her grave mien.

"It is widely believed that Justice Ginsburg doesn't even laugh herself, much less make others laugh," Professor Wexler, a law clerk for her in 1998 and 1999, wrote. "I can attest that she does, in fact, laugh. Maybe not often, perhaps not loudly or with great vigor and the wild waving of arms, but laugh she does."

Justice Scalia's numbers may similarly overstate his wit, if only because the courtroom expects quips from him and may laugh at the least provocation. Also, he tried hard.

"He plays to the crowd," said Pamela S. Karlan, a Stanford law professor and Supreme Court advocate who has garnered her own share of laughter notations in the transcripts.

Sometimes, the laughter that apparently filled the courtroom is hard to comprehend. Chief Justice Roberts, for instance, got a laugh for this observation at an October argument on assisted suicide: "The relationship between the states and the federal government has changed a little since Gibbons v. Ogden," a landmark decision in 1824 about national regulation of the economy.

Lawyers get laughs sometimes, too, but it is a dangerous business. In the guidebook the court provides to lawyers preparing to argue before it, there is this stern warning: "Attempts at humor usually fall flat."

Thomas C. Goldstein, a Washington lawyer who appears before the court frequently, said humor "is a land mine."

"You have to follow the justices' lead," Mr. Goldstein said. "You have to be a straight man."

Lawyers confuse one justice with another surprisingly often, and those mix-ups are, of course, an opportunity for humor.

Last November, Sri Srinivasan, a government lawyer, apologized to Justice David H. Souter for referring to him as Justice Scalia.

"Thank you," Justice Souter said, with characteristic self-deprecation, "but apologize to him."

The New York Times, building on Professor Wexler's pioneering work, analyzed the available transcripts for the term that began this October. The mood under Chief Justice Roberts has brightened, the analysis found, with the average number of justice-generated laughs per argument rising to 2.9 from 2.6 the previous term.

In the current term, the Times analysis found, there has also been movement in the funniness-of-individual-justices department. Justice Breyer has taken the lead, at 28 laughs, edging out Justice Scalia, with 25. They also tied in the largest-number-of-jokes-in-a-single-argument category, each squeezing five into a single hour.

Chief Justice Roberts made a strong early showing, coming in third, with 13.

"It looks like he'll be competitive," Professor Wexler said in an interview.

Justice Clarence Thomas continues to bring up the rear, with what is shaping up to be another jokeless term for him.

A "laughter" notation is relatively common, having been awarded 1,676 times since 1979. "Mirth" has made only six appearances, all in 1987 and 1988.

Professor Wexler said the new data could be refined further, given that some justices ask more questions and thus give themselves more opportunities to provoke laughter. As with baseball batters, the true test is not in the absolute number of hits but in success divided by opportunity.

But Professor Wexler said he had decided not to pursue laughter-per-question research.

"That's not going to happen," he said. "Unless I get a grant."

Jonathan Corum contributed reporting for this article.

So, Guy Walks Up to the Bar, and Scalia Says...
The New York Times, December 27, 2005

 みずほ証券がジェイコム株の誤発注により巨額の損失を出した問題 で,欧州系金融機関のUBSグループ,日興コーディアルグループ,米リーマ ン・ブラザーズ証券が14日,同株の取引で得た利益を全額返上する方向で金 融庁などと協議を始めた.3グループあわせると同株の売買で得た利益は約1 40億円にのぼる.野村証券など,他の証券大手も同様の検討を始めた.ただ, みずほ証券に利益を返還した場合には,課税される可能性があるため,業界内 に受け皿を作る案も浮上している.

 利益の返還について,リーマンは14日,「誤発注という単純なミスに乗じ て,利益を得るべきではないと考えている」と説明した.また,UBSも同日, 「適切な終結を図るべく,当局や東京証券取引所などと協議をしている」との コメントを発表した.

 ジェイコム株の大量保有を自ら公表して利益額が明らかになっているのは計 6グループ.UBSは発行済み株式の2.6倍にあたる3万8198株を取得 して約120億円の利益を得た.日興とリーマンは,いずれも3000株余り を取得して各10億円前後の利益を得ていた.

 みずほ証券は,13日に日本証券クリアリング機構を通じて,1株91万2 000円で強制的に現金決済した.その結果,取得額との差額が各グループの 利益となっていた.同株の平均取得価格は59万4979円だった.

 3グループのほかには,米モルガン・スタンレー(約14億円),スイス系 のクレディ・スイス・ファースト・ボストン(約9億円),野村証券(約3億 円)も同株取引で利益を得ている.野村は14日,「適切,かつ柔軟な対処を 協議,検討していく」とし,利益返上に前向きに対応していく考えを示した.

 みずほ証券の損失は405億円で,6グループの利益(合計170億円)を すべて返上しても全体の約42%にとどまる.株保有を公表していない証券会 社や個人投資家の立場は不明だ.

 返上の協議に入った日興は,「超法規的な手法で(みずほに)返すと市場の 秩序を壊す」(同社幹部)として,みずほ証券に直接返還することには否定的 だ.このため,日本証券業協会は,市場の信頼維持などを目的とした基金など を用意する案の検討を始めた.

asahi.com 2005年12月14日20時29分

Unscrupulous traders passed them off as one of the most prized objects of all time: unicorn horns.

The ancient Chinese, Greeks, Romans and other peoples had accepted the unicorn as real, and the arrival of the beautifully spiraled objects seemed to prove the animal's existence. The supposed horns sparked huge interest because they were said to have the power to cure ills and neutralize poisons.

Kings and emperors, eager to foil assassins, had cups and eating utensils made of the precious horns. A London doctor advertised a drink made from powdered tusks that could cure scurvy, ulcers, dropsy, gout, consumption, coughs, heart palpitations, fainting, rickets and melancholy.

The horns became an icon of power, both earthly and divine, in part because of their religious associations. In medieval times, the unicorn was seen as a symbol of great purity and of Christ, the motif common in religious art. The fantastic beast appeared in many thousands of images, Mr. Bruemmer wrote, and "All carry a horn that is unmistakably a narwhal tusk, the only long, spiraled horn in all creation."

Churches put small pieces of "unicorn horn" in holy water, giving ailing commoners hope of miracle cures. Meanwhile, the bishops of Vienna carried staffs made of the precious ivory, while St. Mark's Basilica in Venice displayed a horn wreathed in purple velvet.

By the 17th century, the deception began to falter amid the expansion of New World exploration and multiplying reports of bizarre whales that bore long tusks. Ole Wurm, a Danish zoologist, investigated the matter and in 1638 exposed the horn's true origins in a public lecture.

As the unicorn myth died a slow death, the reputation of the narwhal grew larger than life. Explorers claimed its tusk could punch holes in thick ice, and that males battled with their long tusks for supremacy. In 1870, Jules Verne told how a narwhal could pierce ships "clean through as easily as a drill pierces a barrel."

It was a shock. There, contrary to all known precepts of tooth anatomy, they found open tubules leading down through the mazelike coating to the tooth's inner nerves and pulp.

"That surprised us," recalled Frederick C. Eichmiller, director of the Paffenbarger Research Center. "Tubules in healthy teeth never go to the surface."

Extrapolating from a count of open tubules over one part of the tooth's surface, the team estimated that the average narwhal tusk had millions of openings that led down to inner nerves.

"No one knew that they were connecting to the outside environment," Dr. Nweeia said. "To find that was extraordinary."

His collaborators include Naomi Eidelman and Anthony A. Giuseppetti of the Paffenbarger Research Center, Yeon-Gil Jung of Changwon National University in South Korea and Yu Zhang of New York University.

Increasingly, the investigation centers on how the whales use their newly observed powers. One central unanswered question is how sensory abilities in males might relate to herd behavior and survival.

The scientists, noting that the males often hold their tusks high in the air, wonder if the long teeth might sometimes serve as sophisticated weather stations, letting the animals sense changes in temperature and barometric pressure that would tell of the arrival of cold fronts and the likelihood that open ice channels might soon freeze up.

William J. BROAD
It's Sensitive. Really
The New York Times, December 14, 2005

LONGEVITY LAB Michael R. Rose became known in the 70's when he manipulated the life spans of fruit flies.

All this was accomplished within 12 generations by accelerating the evolutionary processes in a laboratory setting.

These days Dr. Rose, who is 50, breeds fruit flies at the University of California, Irvine, where he is a professor of evolutionary biology. From there, he also directs the Intercampus Research Program on Experimental Evolution for the University of California system.

Dr. Rose, who was born in Canada, was in New York recently to promote his book "The Long Tomorrow: How Advances in Evolutionary Biology Can Help Us Postpone Aging."

Q. You are an evolutionary biologist by profession. As a researcher trained mostly in Canada and England, are you astonished by the American battles over Darwinism?
A. Not since coming to California. In 1987, the first day I ever gave a class at Irvine, there was a riot in my classroom. I was introducing the basic principles of evolution, and pandemonium broke out - yelling, students pounding the tables. That was the day I learned about evolution in America.
Recently, I was watching President Bush speak on the potential bird flu epidemic. Pandemic bird flu is exactly a question of evolutionary biology because grave danger will come only if the virus evolves into a form that can spread from human to human.
Of course, Bush couldn't use the word evolution. There were a few key points where I was waiting for him to use the word. Nope! The virus would "develop" the ability to move from human to human. He couldn't use the word evolve because that's a dangerous word.
People in the United States probably don't realize they risk their lives by rejecting evolutionary biology. In the case of avian flu, this could kill people very directly. With aging, the essential tools for solving it are located in evolutionary biology.

Q. You are known in the genetics world for manipulating the life span of fruit flies. Can you describe your very famous experiment?
A. My experiment was to let my flies reproduce only at late ages. This forced natural selection to pay attention to the survival and reproductive vigor of the flies through their middle age.
The flies evolved longer life spans and greater reproduction over the next dozen generations. This showed that natural section was really the ultimate controller of aging, not some piece of biochemistry.

Q. How did you stop fruit flies from breeding?
A. By discarding their eggs. In my experiment, only those females who reached 50 days of age were allowed to breed.
Obviously, only those females who lived that long, and who could still breed, contributed offspring to the next generation. After about 12 generations, you had longer-lived flies.
Sometimes, journalists have said to me, "Wow, this is what all my friends are doing," and I said, "Right, that's why it's called the career woman experiment." If everybody is like the female neurologist who waits until she is established in her profession before she reproduces, and this goes on for generations, then we will evolve longer life spans - very slowly.
It would take centuries to get a really significant effect. Long before that ever happens, we will have medical interventions that will be far superior.

Q. What will it take to increase human life span from present levels?
A. There's not going to be one magic bullet where you take one pill or manipulate one gene and get to live to 500. But you could take a first step, and then another so that in 50 years' time, people take 50 or 60 pills and they live to be 200.
Leaving aside F.D.A. approval, it looks like we are about 5 to 10 years away from therapies that would add years to our present life span. For now, pharmaceuticals will be the primary anti-aging therapy.
After another 10 years or so, the implantation of cultured tissues will become common - especially skin and connective tissues. Reconstructive surgery is certain to become more effective than it is today.
Eventually, we will be able to culture replacement organs from our own cells and repair damage using nanotech machines. All of this will increase life span.

A Conversation With Michael R. Rose: Live Longer With Evolution? Evidence May Lie in Fruit Flies
The New York Times, December 06, 2005

Kathleen Sullivan is a noted constitutional scholar who has argued cases before the Supreme Court. Until recently, she was dean of Stanford Law School. In legal circles, she has been talked about as a potential Democratic nominee for the Supreme Court. But Ms. Sullivan recently became the latest prominent victim of California's notoriously difficult bar exam. Last month, the state sent out the results of its July test to 8,343 aspiring and already-practicing lawyers. More than half failed -- including Ms. Sullivan.

But it's unusual for the exam to claim a top-notch constitutional lawyer at the peak of her game. "She is a rock star," says William Urquhart, who last year recruited Ms. Sullivan to join his firm, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges LLP. "Practically every lawyer in the U.S. knows who Kathleen Sullivan is." If anyone should have passed, Mr. Urquhart says, it is Ms. Sullivan. "The problem is not with Kathleen Sullivan, it is with the person who drafted the exam or the person who graded it."

Ms. Sullivan, 50 years old, did not return phone and email messages seeking comment. Her firm said she wasn't reachable over the weekend because she was at a remote location.

Mr. Urquhart says he does not know Ms. Sullivan's score, but knows she spent little time preparing because she was inundated with work for the firm and Stanford Law School, where she now runs the school's constitutional law center. Ms. Sullivan plans to take the test again, according to Mr. Urquhart. "She'll prepare more next time," he says. "My advice to her is that she should look at 15 bar questions and 15 sample, perfect answers. That is all she'll need to pass."

The California test, by all accounts, is tough. It lasts three days, as compared with two or 2 day exams in most states. Only one state -- Delaware -- has a higher minimum passing score. According to the National Conference of Bar Examiners, just 44% of those taking the California bar in 2004 passed the exam, the lowest percentage in the country, versus a national average of 64%.

Former Gov. Wilson describes his need to take the bar exam four times as "frustrating." He blames his difficulties on his penmanship, which he says was not messy, but very slow. "To put it in the simplest terms, if I had not learned to type, I would never have passed it," says Mr. Wilson.

A spokesman for former Gov. Brown, who is currently mayor of Oakland, Calif., says several of his classmates from Yale also failed the exam, some of whom went on to be judges and prominent lawyers.

James BANDLER and Nathan KOPPEL
Raising the Bar: Even Top Lawyers Fail California Exam -- Former Stanford Law Dean Becomes Latest Victim; A Mayor Tries Four Times
The WALL STREET JOURNAL, December 5, 2005; Page A1

 NHKの一連の不祥事を受けて設けられた第三者組織「NHK"約束"評価委 員会」(辻正次委員長ら3委員)は2日,信頼回復度を測る方法をまとめた.

 NHKが掲げた六つの「約束」のうち,「受信料にふさわしい,豊かで良い 番組を充実する」との項目については,「NHKの放送事業にいくらまで なら支払ってもよいか」,視聴者数千人に対し,総合,教育,衛星など五 つのチャンネル別に具体的な金額を聞く.仮想評価法(CVM)と呼ばれ る手法で,自然環境など本来はお金に置き換えられないものに値段をつけ てもらうことで,多数の意見を反映した評価が得られるという.受信料不払い 者の意識分析なども試みる.

 同委員会は,「約束」の達成度を視聴者の視点で評価することを目的に今年 6月に設置された.結果は来年6月に発表する予定だ.

「NHKにいくら払える? 評価委,信頼回復度を測定へ」
asahi.com 2005年12月02日

Within seconds, they could actually feel their waists begin to shrink.

It would have been a great advance in the world of weight loss - if only it had been real. But the shrinking feeling was just an illusion, created by scientists who wanted to study how the brain creates body image, people's perceptions of their own size and shape.

The researchers, led by Dr. H. Henrik Ehrsson of University College London, fooled 17 people into feeling as if they were getting skinnier by outfitting them with gadgets that stimulated a tendon in each wrist to create the false sensation that both hands were moving inward.

The subjects wore blindfolds and placed their hands at their waists, and then the stimulators were turned on, while an M.R.I. scanner measured activity in different parts of the brain. For the subjects, the feeling that their wrists were flexing inward was so powerful that they felt their waists had to be getting smaller.

Their study is published today in the journal Public Library of Science Biology (www.plosbiology.org).

The technique is a variation on the Pinocchio illusion, an experiment first done - and named - in 1988 by another researcher, James R. Lackner of Brandeis University, in which stimulation of wrist tendons convinced blindfolded people who were touching their noses that their noses were growing.

Dr. Ehrsson said he had tried the tricks on himself.

"It's a very funny sensation," he said. "The nose is my favorite. It really feels like your nose is getting longer. You start giggling."

The first time people feel the illusions, "they're very surprised and shocked," Dr. Ehrsson said in a telephone interview.

"The illusion happens as a result of a conflict between senses," Dr. Ehrsson said, explaining that the wrists feel as if they are moving, but the palms of the hands, resting against the waist, do not. "The brain has to interpret the conflicting sensory information. The brain hates ambiguity. It always tries to come up with an explanation."

Not everyone experiences the illusions, he said; some people feel nothing.

The point of his experiment was to use the illusion as a tool, to force the brain to change its perception of body size so that the scientists could use a scanner to spy on the mental work in progress. This kind of mapping to find the origins of body image had not been done before, Dr. Ehrsson said.

"It's a little bit of a forgotten sense," he said. "We know about touch, pain and position, but the sense of size of body parts has been a mystery. There are no receptors in skin or muscle that tell the brain the size of body parts, so the brain has to figure it out by comparing signals."

He said the research might shed light on anorexia, in which people can be wasting away, and yet still see themselves as fat. Shown body images on a screen and asked to adjust them to match their own size, people with anorexia often overestimate and create images that are way too large.

"They seem to have a perception deficit," Dr. Ehrsson said. "We don't know if it's the cause of anorexia, probably not, but it's clearly part of the problem."

The study showed that while subjects were experiencing the shrinking-waist illusion, they had high levels of activity in the posterior parietal cortex, a region that processes sensory information from different parts of the body.

The people who felt the most shrinkage in their waists had the highest levels of parietal activity.

Dr. Lackner said the new study was of "major physiological significance," and proof that the brain was continuously mapping and remapping body dimensions.

Dr. Ehrsson's finding was not surprising, since other studies had shown that people with brain injuries in that area had sensations suggesting that the sizes and shapes of parts of their bodies had changed.

Also, in rare cases, people with migraine headaches suffer from the "Alice in Wonderland syndrome," in which they feel as if parts of their bodies are shrinking.

Denise GRADY
Experiment Gives Illusion of That Shrinking Feeling
The New York Times, November 29, 2005

WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 - Seeking concessions like those that airlines got from pilots, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration called Monday for mediation in talks with unionized air traffic controllers, saying contract discussions were near an impasse.

The controllers' union responded by saying good progress was being made, and charged that the agency was trying to throw the task of resolving the differences to a Republican-controlled Congress unfriendly to organized labor.

Matthew L. WALD
F.A.A. Calls for Mediation in Talks With Controllers
The New York Times, November 29, 2005

This effort has produced an increasingly clear picture of the rise of insects. Their success, scientists now recognize, did not occur overnight. The oldest living lineages of insects - which include bristletails and silverfish - number only 900 species today. These early insects may not have been able to become very diverse because they didn't have wings. When insects later evolved the ability to fly, they gained the ability to explore more territory and find new kinds of food - giving rise to more species.

Early flying insects grew wings that stuck straight out - as illustrated by mayflies and dragonflies, the oldest flying insects alive today. By 300 million years ago, other insects had evolved folding wings. This innovation may have given a new boost to the diversity of insects. Such an insect could keep its wings safely tucked away as it crawled through leaf litter, squeezed under tree bark or even dived into water.

It is unlikely that insects would have enjoyed their great success without the success of plants, which evolved from algae about 450 million years ago. Plants set the table for insects. They provided a vast amount of food for the taking, spurring the evolution of all manner of insect mouthparts for nibbling, sucking and drilling.

The assault of insects prompted the evolution of sophisticated chemical weapons in plants. But the insects evolved defenses against them. Some insects, like monarch butterflies, can recycle poisons from plants they eat, making themselves poisonous to birds and other predators.

As Dr. Grimaldi and Dr. Engel make clear, though, vegetarianism is hardly the rule among insects. Some of the most successful lineages eat other insects, drink the blood of mammals and birds, or lay their eggs inside unlucky hosts.

A Pair of Wings Took Evolving Insects on a Nonstop Flight to Domination
The New York Times, November 29, 2005

Like most anonymous sperm donors, Donor 150 of the California Cryobank will probably never meet any of the offspring he fathered through sperm bank donations. There are at least four, according to the bank's records, and perhaps many more, since the dozens of women who have bought Donor 150's sperm are not required to report when they have a baby.

But two of his genetic daughters, born to different mothers and living in different states, have been e-mailing and talking on the phone regularly since learning of each other's existence last summer. They plan to meet over Thanksgiving.

The girls, Danielle Pagano, 16, and JoEllen Marsh, 15, connected through the Donor Sibling Registry, a Web site that is helping to open a new chapter in the oldest form of assisted reproductive technology. The three-year-old site allows parents and offspring to enter their contact information and search for others by sperm bank and donor number.

"The first time we were on the phone, it was awkward," Danielle said. "I was like, 'We'll get over it,' and she said, 'Yeah, we're sisters.' It was so weird to hear her say that. It was cool."

For children who often feel severed from half of their biological identity, finding a sibling - or in some cases, a dozen - can feel like coming home. It can also make them even more curious about the anonymous father whose genes they carry. The registry especially welcomes donors who want to shed their anonymity, but the vast majority of the site's 1,001 matches are between half-siblings.

The popularity of the Donor Sibling Registry, many of its registrants say, speaks to the sustained power of biological ties at a time when it is becoming almost routine for women to bear children who do not share a partner's DNA, or even their own.

"I hate when people that use D.I. say that biology doesn't matter (cough, my mom, cough)," Danielle wrote in an e-mail message, using the shorthand for donor insemination. "Because if it really didn't matter to them, then why would they use D.I. at all? They could just adopt or something and help out kids in need."

The half-sibling hunt is driven in part by the growing number of donor-conceived children who know the truth about their origins. As more single women and lesbian couples use sperm donors to conceive, children's questions about their fathers' whereabouts often prompt an explanation at an early age, even if all the information about the father that is known is his code number used by the bank for identification purposes and the fragments of personal information provided in his donor profile.

Donor-conceived siblings, who sometimes describe themselves as "lopsided" or "half-adopted," can provide clues to make each other feel more whole, even if only in the form of physical details.

Hello, I'm Your Sister. Our Father Is Donor 150
The New York Times, November 20, 2005

This week in the magazine, Atul Gawande writes about who pays the price when patients sue doctors. Here, with Daniel Cappello, he talks about the costs and consequences of medical malpractice.

[Cappello] You are a general surgeon. How often can you anticipate being sued in your career?
[Gawande] The statistics say that I should expect to be sued about once every six years. Now, there is some evidence that if you're a nice guy and communicate well with your patients you get sued less. It's not because you're a better doctor; it seems to be because patients feel more loyal to you.

You write that many doctors have become extremely forthright with patients about mistakes, because doing this might make them less likely to sue.
There was a study in Kentucky which suggested that apologizing to patients would reduce the likelihood of their suing. I'm a little troubled by this idea, because the attraction of it to physicians is that maybe, even if a patient is badly hurt by an error, he won't seek money if you're more straightforward about the fact that an error occurred. To me, the scenario brings up all the problems with our current system. The malpractice system makes error almost automatically an adversarial matter, a battle separating doctor and patient. It discourages honesty. At the same time, if a devastating error has occurred, then patients deserve assistance, too.

What is the toll of malpractice on doctors?
The financial toll is under one per cent of our expenses. The real toll, I think, is in two places. One is in hindering our ability to honestly address injuries to patients from complications. There are two or three per cent of patients who will be hurt by serious complications in care; about half of those will be the result of error. And because these cases have the potential to become all-out battles in court, we often lose our human instincts to apologize, to grieve, to still be doctors for our patients.
The other cost is in our ability to improve. Almost every case, when it's settled, is sealed, and it can become hard to know what the patterns of failure in medicine are. In the airline industry, if there's an accident, they can do an investigation and share information and figure out when there are certain patterns that suggest what things can be done to improve safety. We really haven't been able to do that.

Bad Medicine
The New Yorker, November 14, 2005

Washington -- How did American interrogation tactics after 9/11 come to include abuse rising to the level of torture? Much has been said about the illegality of these tactics, but the strategic error that led to their adoption has been overlooked.

The Pentagon effectively signed off on a strategy that mimics Red Army methods. But those tactics were not only inhumane, they were ineffective. For Communist interrogators, truth was beside the point: their aim was to force compliance to the point of false confession.

Fearful of future terrorist attacks and frustrated by the slow progress of intelligence-gathering from prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Pentagon officials turned to the closest thing on their organizational charts to a school for torture. That was a classified program at Fort Bragg, N.C., known as SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape. Based on studies of North Korean and Vietnamese efforts to break American prisoners, SERE was intended to train American soldiers to resist the abuse they might face in enemy custody.

The Pentagon appears to have flipped SERE's teachings on their head, mining the program not for resistance techniques but for interrogation methods. At a June 2004 briefing, the chief of the United States Southern Command, Gen. James T. Hill, said a team from Guantanamo went "up to our SERE school and developed a list of techniques" for "high-profile, high-value" detainees. General Hill had sent this list - which included prolonged isolation and sleep deprivation, stress positions, physical assault and the exploitation of detainees' phobias - to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who approved most of the tactics in December 2002.

Some within the Pentagon warned that these tactics constituted torture, but a top adviser to Secretary Rumsfeld justified them by pointing to their use in SERE training, a senior Pentagon official told us last month.

When internal F.B.I. e-mail messages critical of these methods were made public earlier this year, references to SERE were redacted. But we've obtained a less-redacted version of an e-mail exchange among F.B.I. officials, who refer to the methods as "SERE techniques." We also learned from a Pentagon official that the SERE program's chief psychologist, Col. Morgan Banks, issued guidance in early 2003 for the "behavioral science consultants" who helped to devise Guantanamo's interrogation strategy (we've been unable to learn the content of that guidance).

SERE methods are classified, but the program's principles are known. It sought to recreate the brutal conditions American prisoners of war experienced in Korea and Vietnam, where Communist interrogators forced false confessions from some detainees, and broke the spirits of many more, through Pavlovian and other conditioning. Prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation, painful body positions and punitive control over life's most intimate functions produced overwhelming stress in these prisoners. Stress led in turn to despair, uncontrollable anxiety and a collapse of self-esteem. Sometimes hallucinations and delusions ensued. Prisoners who had been through this treatment became pliable and craved companionship, easing the way for captors to obtain the "confessions" they sought.

SERE, as originally envisioned, inoculates American soldiers against these techniques. Its psychologists create mock prison regimens to study the effects of various tactics and identify the coping styles most likely to withstand them. At Guantanamo, SERE-trained mental health professionals applied this knowledge to detainees, working with guards and medical personnel to uncover resistant prisoners' vulnerabilities. "We know if you've been despondent; we know if you've been homesick," General Hill said. "That is given to interrogators and that helps the interrogators" make their plans.

Within the SERE program, abuse is carefully controlled, with the goal of teaching trainees to cope. But under combat conditions, brutal tactics can't be dispassionately "dosed." Fear, fury and loyalty to fellow soldiers facing mortal danger make limits almost impossible to sustain.

By bringing SERE tactics and the Guantanamo model onto the battlefield, the Pentagon opened a Pandora's box of potential abuse. On Nov. 26, 2003, for example, an Iraqi major general, Abed Hamed Mowhoush, was forced into a sleeping bag, then asphyxiated by his American interrogators. We've obtained a memorandum from one of these interrogators - a former SERE trainer - who cites command authorization of "stress positions" as justification for using what he called "the sleeping bag technique."

"A cord," he explained, "was used to limit movement within the bag and help bring on claustrophobic conditions." In SERE, he said, this was called close confinement and could be "very effective." Those who squirmed or screamed in the sleeping bag, he said, were "allowed out as soon as they start to provide information."

Three soldiers have been ordered to stand trial on murder charges in General Mowhoush's death. Yet the Pentagon cannot point to any intelligence gains resulting from the techniques that have so tarnished America's image. That's because the techniques designed by communist interrogators were created to control a prisoner's will rather than to extract useful intelligence.

A full account of how our leaders reacted to terrorism by re-engineering Red Army methods must await an independent inquiry. But the SERE model's embrace by the Pentagon's civilian leaders is further evidence that abuse tantamount to torture was national policy, not merely the product of rogue freelancers. After the shock of 9/11 - when Americans desperately wanted mastery over a world that suddenly seemed terrifying - this policy had visceral appeal. But it's the task of command authority to connect means and ends rationally. The Bush administration has too frequently failed to do this. And so it is urgent that Congress step in to tie our detainee policy to our national interest.

M. Gregg BLOCHE and Jonathan H. MARKS
Op-Ed Contributors: Doing Unto Others as They Did Unto Us
The New York Times, November 15, 2005

Q. Were orangutans using tools?
A. It turned out Suaq had an amazing repertoire of tool use. They shape sticks to get at honey and insects. Then they pick another kind of stick to go after the scrumptious fat-packed seeds of the neesia fruit. One of them figured out that you could unleash the seeds with a stick and that was a big improvement in their diet.
Lean times are rare at Suaq, not only because the forest is productive, but because the orangutans can get to so much more food by using tools. So they can afford to be more sociable.

Q. How did you discover that the tool use is socially transmitted?
A. Well, one way to prove it is to see if the orangutans use tools everywhere the neesia tree exists. This was in the late 90's. Swamps were being clear-cut and drained everywhere, and the civil war in Aceh was spreading.
I felt like an anthropologist trying to document a vanishing tribe. It turned out that in the big swamps on one side of a river, the orangutans do use tools, and in the small swamp on the other side, they don't. Neesia trees and orangutans exist in both places. But the animals can't cross the river, so the knowledge hadn't spread. At that point, the penny dropped and I realized their tool use was cultural.

A Conversation With Carel van Schaik: Revealing Behavior in 'Orangutan Heaven and Human Hell
The New York Times, November 15, 2005

These scientists in Terre Haute hope the iguanas will also help shed some light on an even more fundamental question: why sleep even exists.

"Sleep has attracted a tremendous amount of attention in science, but we really don't know what sleep is," said Steven Lima, a biologist at Indiana State.

Dr. Lima belongs to a small but growing group of scientists who are pushing sleep research deep into the animal kingdom. They suspect that most animal species need to sleep, suggesting that human slumber has an evolutionary history reaching back over half a billion years.

Today animals sleep in many different ways: brown bats for 20 hours a day, for example, and giraffes for less than 2. To understand why people sleep the way they do, scientists need an explanation powerful enough to encompass the millions of other species that sleep as well.

"One of the reasons we don't understand sleep is that we haven't taken this evolutionary perspective on it," Dr. Lima said.

Sleep was once considered unique to vertebrates, but in recent years scientists have found that invertebrates likes honeybees and crayfish sleep, as well. The most extensive work has been carried out on fruit flies. "They rest for 10 hours a night, and if you keep them awake longer, they need to sleep more," said Dr. Giulio Tononi, a psychiatrist at the University of Wisconsin.

The parallels between fruit flies and humans extend even to their neurons. The two species produce, during part of the night, low-frequency electrical activity known as slow-wave sleep. "The flies surprised us with how close they were in many ways," Dr. Tononi said.

Discovering sleep in vertebrates and invertebrates alike has led scientists to conclude that it emerged very early in animal evolution - perhaps 600 million years ago. "What we're doing in sleeping is a very old evolutionary phenomenon," Dr. Lima said.

Scientists have offered a number of ideas about the primordial function of sleep. Dr. Tononi believes that it originally evolved as a way to allow neurons to recover from a hard day of learning. "When you're awake you learn all the time, whether you know it or not," he said.

Learning strengthens some connections between neurons, known as synapses, and even forms new synapses. These synapses demand a lot of extra energy, though. "That means that at the end of the day, you have a brain that costs you more energy," Dr. Tononi said. "That's where sleep would kick in."

He argues that slow waves weaken synapses through the night. "If everything gets weaker, you still keep your memories, but overall the strength goes down," he said. "The next morning you gain in terms of energy and performance."

Dr. Tononi and his University of Wisconsin colleague, Dr. Chiara Cirelli, present this hypothesis in a paper to be published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews. Dr. Tononi believes it can be tested in the future, as scientists document sleep in other animal species. "It would be a very basic thing that would apply to any brain that can change," he said.

It has been almost 600 million years since human ancestors diverged from those of flies. As those ancestors evolved, their sleep evolved as well. Human sleep, for example, features not only slow-wave sleep, but bouts of sleep when the eyes make rapid movements and when we dream. Rapid eye movement, or REM sleep, as it is known, generally comes later in the night, after periods of intense slow-wave sleep.

Other mammals also experience a mix of REM and non-REM sleep, as do birds. Sleep researchers would like to know whether this pattern existed in the common ancestors of birds and mammals, reptilian animals that lived 310 million years ago. It is also possible that birds and mammals independently evolved this sleep pattern, just as birds and bats independently evolved wings.

Answering that question may help scientists understand why REM sleep exists. Scientists have long debated its function, suggesting that it may play important roles in memory or learning. In the Oct. 27 issue of Nature, Jerome Siegel, a sleep expert at the University of California, Los Angeles, argues that REM does not play a vital physiological role like slow-wave sleep. He points out that brain injuries and even medications like antidepressants can drastically reduce REM without any apparent ill effect.

"People who don't have REM sleep are remarkably normal," Dr. Siegel said. "There's no evidence for any intellectual or emotional problems."

So why do mammals and birds have REM sleep at all? "The best answer I can come up with is that it's there to prepare you for waking," Dr. Siegel said. "When the important work of sleep is done, REM sleep just makes you as alert as you can be while you're asleep."

One advantage to being alert but immobile is that you may be better able to escape a predator. Dr. Lima and his colleagues argue in the October issue of Animal Behavior that sleep may have been profoundly shaped during evolution by the constant threat of predators. From this perspective, it is strange that animals would spend hours each day in such a vulnerable state. "It's so stinking dangerous to be shut down like that," Dr. Lima said.

It is possible to imagine an alternative way to let the brain recover: only put small parts of the brain to sleep at a time. But Dr. Lima and his colleagues present a mathematical model suggesting that shutting down the whole brain at once may actually be safer.

"You may be better off just shutting down and sleeping all at once, and do it quickly," Dr. Lima said. "Even though you're fairly vulnerable while you're asleep, your overall vulnerability in a 24-hour period may be lower."

Birds appear to be able to defend against predators with a variation on this strategy. When they feel safe, they sleep with their entire brains shut down, as humans do. But when they sense threats, they keep half their brains awake.

Dr. Lima and his colleagues have demonstrated this strategy in action with several bird species, including ducks. "All we did was put our ducks in a row, quite literally," said Niels Rattenborg, a colleague of Dr. Lima's, now at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany. "The ducks on the interior slept more with both eyes closed, and the ducks on the edge slept with one eye open. And they used the eye that was facing away from the other birds."

To give each side of the brain enough rest, the ducks at the ends of the row would stand up from time to time, turn around and sit down again. This allowed them to switch eyes and let the waking half of the brain go to sleep.

The Indiana State team is now studying iguanas to see if they sleep with half their brains, as well. Previous studies have shown that lizards keep one eye closed for long periods of time, but it has not been clear if they have also been half asleep. Monitoring iguana brains with electrodes may give the scientists an answer.

If reptiles and birds turn out to sleep this way, it may be evidence that it is an ancient strategy. It is even possible that the earliest mammals also slept with half a brain. "It's possible that early on in mammal evolution they may have lost it for some reason," Dr. Rattenborg speculated. "It may have conflicted with other functions."

On the other hand, some species of whales and seals sometimes swim with one eye closed while the corresponding hemisphere of the brain produces slow waves. Scientists are still debating whether they are actually asleep in this state. If they are, that suggests that the ancestors of marine mammals reinvented half-brain sleeping. It may have re-emerged as an adaptation to life in the ocean, an environment where predators can come out of nowhere.

Down for the Count
The New York Times, November 08, 2005

When a person is lying, distinctive changes occur in the digestive tract, researchers have determined. The standard polygraph test, often criticized as inaccurate, may be improved if it is combined with a test for the stomach changes, they say.

But when 16 volunteers were hooked up to heart and digestive tract monitors, the researchers were surprised to find that lying had a closer correlation with stomach changes than with heart changes.

When the subjects lied, their heart rates increased, but it also did so at other times. On the other hand, lying was consistently associated with a decrease in the slow waves of the digestive tract.

Vital Signs: Indicators: Gut Reaction: Lying Is Tied to Digestive Changes
The New York Times, November 08, 2005

Living with an unrelated adult, especially an unrelated man, substantially increases the risk that a child will die violently, researchers reported yesterday.

According to the study, children who live with adults who are not biologically related to them are nearly 50 times as likely to die at the adults' hands as children who live with two biological parents, the researchers said.

The study, published in the November issue of Pediatrics, examined the cases of all children younger than 5 who died in Missouri from 1992 to 1999. For their data, the researchers used the records of the Missouri Child Fatality Review Program.

Of the children studied, 149 died from injuries inflicted by an adult who helped provide care. The authors compared the children who died violently to a comparison group of 298 children who died of natural causes.

Of those who died violently, 37 lived in households with two biological parents and no other adults. The rest lived with one or more unrelated adults who helped with child care.

Children in single-parent households or with foster or stepparents were at no greater risk of dying at their hands than children who lived with two biological parents. But the presence of male adults unrelated to the victims sharply increased the risk of fatal maltreatment.

In homes with unrelated adults, 84 percent of the killers were unrelated to their child victims, and 94 percent of those unrelated adults were men. The researchers said their findings ran to counter to the widespread belief that single-parent households increased the risk of injury.

Nicholas BAKALAR
Unrelated Adults at Home Increase Risk for Children
The New York Times, November 08, 2005

 たばこを吸う人の7割はニコチン依存症で,このうち7割は禁煙を試み ながら失敗している――.大阪府立健康科学センターの調査でこんな結果 が出た.今年6月,全国の20〜79歳の喫煙者2600人にアンケートを郵 送.回答があったうち,現在も喫煙をしている1666人(男性872人,女 性794人)について分析した.

 「禁煙や本数を減らそうと試みてできなかったことがあったか」など10項 目の「ニコチン依存症スクリーニングテスト」に答えてもらったところ,67. 4%が依存症と判定された.男性は67.1%,女性は67.8%だった.

 このうち,「禁煙したいですか」という質問に「はい」と答えたのは62. 1%.また,70.6%が,今までに「試みたことがある」と答えた.いずれ も,「依存症ではない」と判定された人の約1.7倍だった.

 また,過去1年間に医療機関を受診したうち,依存症と判定された人の32. 3%は,禁煙を勧められていたが,実際に禁煙方法の説明を受けるなどの指導 を受けたのは,その16%にとどまった.

 調査をまとめた中村正和・健康生活推進部長は「ニコチン依存を断ち切 るのは難しい.禁煙治療を欧米のように医療保険の対象にし,普及を図る必要 がある」と話す.

asahi.com 2005年11月07日06時04分



安永4年(1775年)の正月,[上杉]鷹山は数え年で25歳になった.これは厄 年である.このとき,彼は「厄年は迷信である.厄払いの行事は全廃すべし」 と,思い切った決断を下している.

男は15歳,25歳,42歳,62歳,女は13歳,19歳,33歳が厄年とされ,この年に は災厄を被るからというので,祈祷をしたり,あるいは親戚や友人が集まって 宴会を開き災厄を除くのが習慣となっていた.これは今日でも一部残されてい る.ところが鷹山は,すでに200年前にこれが無意味であると喝破しているの である.彼は次のように説いた.

厄年などというものは昔はなかった.後世,巫女などがつくり出したことで あって,それを凡俗の者たちが信用している.知識人が信ずべきものではない. ところが,大勢の者がこれを信じているので,信じない者の方がかえって嘲ら れたりしている.これが誤りであることを知っている人でも,そのためになか なか否定し切れないでいる.

そもそも人間は天地の気を受けて生まれるものであり,寿命の長短は天命であ る.ある年に限って吉凶などあるはずがない.仮に吉凶があるとしても,それ をどうすることもできなかろう.そのために厄払いの行事をするなどというこ とは,一笑に付すべきことである

天道は良い行ないをした者には福を与え,悪い者には禍を与えると言われてい る.人々はその行いによって,運命が定まるものである.『悪いことをしてお いて,天に祈ったところで何の意味もない』と昔の聖人も言っておられる.ど れだけ祈祷をしても,天に背き人に害を及ぼした者は,決して天罰を免れるこ とはできない.また徳を積み,人のために尽くした者は,祈らなくても天の恵 みを与えられるに違いないのである

私は厄年にあたるが,これを気にこれまでのつまらない行事をやめることにす る.これは愚俗の者たちの迷いを憎むのみではなく,無用な行事によって,国 全体では相当の浪費となるので,それをも改めさせたいからである.」 (pp.103-105)

鈴村 進
『名指導者 上杉鷹山に学ぶ』



右 三条御遺念有間敷候事

天明五巳年二月七日   治憲[上杉鷹山]  花押
    治広殿  机前

内閣府の規制改革・民間解放推進会 議(議長=宮内良彦・オリックス会長)内で,司法改革問題を議論している専 門ワーキング・グループ(WG)が法曹人口の拡大問題に関して,最終的, 司法試験合格者を年間(9千人)程度にする提案を法務省などに示していた ことが四日分かった.これを達成するため,まずは,当初掲げられていた 「法科大学院修了者の七割から八割の試験合格」を図る制度整備を行うべきと している.法科大学院を経ない形の受験,いわゆる「バイパス」に関しては, 修了者組と比べて現行試験組が不利益にならないような措置を取るとした.人 口規模の目標を現在の「三千人」から一挙に三倍にする案が同会議で採用され れば,弁護士会の一部から「粗製濫造」などと反発も出てきそうだ.

『週刊・法律新 聞』2005年11月11日(1653号)

いつの世にも,早くに文学の魔力に とりつかれてしまい,まんべんない勉強になど精を出していられなくなる少年 はいた.文学に熱中するとどうなるか.おそらくそのほとんどが挫折する
まんべんない勉強に適応できなかったから,文学に熱中することになった者も 多いからである.そういう者は,文学の困難にうちあたったときに,やがて文 学も嫌になってしまう.そうするとその先にどこへいくのか.
一方まじめに学校を卒業して就職するコースなら,人によって違いこそあれ, それぞれ無難と見える人生を生きることができる.かれらは,パスポートをもっ ている.
ごく少数の者だけが,この困難を乗り越えていく.それは才能の有無に依る, ということになるが,その者が資力や性格に積極性があるか,体力があるか, 経済力を持ち合わせているか,ということがある.たとえばどこにいても目立 つとか,いつも集団でリーダーになっているとか,そういうことも,才能と微 妙にからみあっている.というか,才能はしばしばそういう外的,とも見える 要素とともにあって,発揮されることになる.(p.28)

春の鳥 な鳴きそ鳴きそ あかあかと
外の面(とのも)の草に 日の入る夕べ

かくまでも 黒くかなしき 色やある

美しき かなしき痛き 放埓の
薄らあかりに 堪へぬこころか

君かへす 朝の舗石 さくさくと

身の上の 一大事とはなりにけり
紅きダリヤよ 紅きダリヤよ

煌々と 光りて動く 山ひとつ
押し傾けて 来る力はも

作品は予期できない場で生まれる.すべての医療器具がそろい,名医のい る前で危機が来るわけではない.いつだって,救急医療なのだ.部品が足 りなくて妙な仕上がりになったりするものなのだ.入念にお化粧し,ドレスアッ プして出てきたお見合い用の娘なんかではない.(p.219)

今の子供たちはあまりに自分の欲する童謡やその他を,その学校や親た ちから与へられて居りません.それは今の世の中があまりに物質的功利的であ るからでもあります
私たちの子供の頃は今から考へましても,それはなつかしい情味の深いもので した.あの頃子供であった私たちがいかほど大人になりましても,いつまでも 忘れられないのは,幼い時母親や乳母たちからきいたあの子守唄の節まはしで す.

あの野山の木萱のそよぎからおのづと湧いて出たと云ふ民謡や,かうした純日 本の童謡やが,次第に廃れてゆく心細さはありません.私は一方さうしたいつ までも新らしい,而かも日本人としての純粋な郷土的民謡を復興さしたいと云 ふ考を持ってゐますにつれて,おなじやうにかうした童謡をも今の無味乾 燥な唱歌風のものから元の昔に還さなければならないと思ってゐます.」 (pp.257-258)

「それが,この頃の子供たちになると,小さい時から,あまりに教訓的な, そして不自然極まる大人の心で詠まれた学校唱歌や,郷土的のにほひの薄い西 洋風の翻訳歌調やに圧へつけられて,本然の日本の子供としての自分たち の謡を自分たちの心からあどけなく歌ひあげるといふ事がいよいよ無くなって 来てゐるやうに思ひます」(pp258-259)

かれの目から見れば,明治の文化官僚が敷いた路線は,まずその凡庸・拙 劣さにおいて我慢ならない代物だったにちがいないわたしたちには, 明治の学校唱歌が懐かしいものとなっているから,おもしろがって歌ったりす ることができるが,白秋は,これら唱歌の現役時代に出会っているのであ る.(p.259)

金魚     (北原白秋)








言葉     (北原白秋)










筑摩書房, 2005年

専門外の領域に踏み込んで幸せを 感じない人間がどこにいるだろうか.(p.5)

では,プラトンのイデアを神経科学の用語で定義すると,どのような ものになるだろうか.筆者は次のように定義しようと思う.
脳内に蓄積されている,それまでに見たすべての寝椅子の本質的な特徴 の表象であり,脳は恒常性の追求を通して,すでにその中からすべての寝椅子 に共通する特徴を選択している」.
この脳および神経表象の見地からの定義は,すべての人が気に入るものではな いかもしれない.この定義では,外界に脳とは無関係に存在する理想形 (イデア)はないことになるからだ.でも実際に,後に明らかになる理由 によって,生まれたときから視覚世界にさらされてきた脳がなくては,理想形 を視覚的に想像することが神経科学的にみて不可能なのである.
それゆえに,プラトンのイデアを,脳の機能および機能の仕方に基づかず に定義することはありえないのである.(pp.95-96)

インパルスがシナプス間隙(神経細胞間の接触地点)を越えるのにかかる時間 は0.5ミリ秒から1ミリ秒で,視覚信号が皮質に到着するまでにかかる時間は, 最も速いもので35ミリ秒,約70〜80ミリ秒後にはほとんどの信号が皮質に到着 している.
それでは,非常に短い時間枠について調べた場合に,私たちみんなが存在 すると思い込んでいる「統合」というものを見出すことはできるのだろうか
色,形,動きを知覚するのにかかる相対的時間を測定した最近の実験 によって,実はこれらの三つの属性が同時に知覚されているのではない ことが明らかになった.動きよりも前に形が,形よりも前に色が知覚 され,動きに対する色の先行時間は約60〜80ミリ秒だったのである.
このことから,空間的に分散した並列処理システムに加え,知覚シス テムそのものが機能的に特殊化しており,視覚には時間的階層がある ことがわかる.
この結果は非常に奇妙であり,非常に短い時間に変化する二つの属性,た とえばある物体の運動方向の変化と同じ物体の色の変化を同時に見た場合,脳 はまず色の変化を記録し,そのあと運動方向を記録することになる.なぜ なら,脳は動きよりも先に色を知覚するからである.
このことは事実上,脳がある時間tに知覚した色を時間t+1に起こる運動方向に 付随するものとみなしているか,あるいは逆に時間tにおけるある物体の運動 方向と時間t-1におけるその物体の色とを結び付けていることを意味する.
広義に解釈すれば,非常に短い時間枠では,脳は同時に起こったことを結 びつけることはできないと見ることができる脳が結び付けているの は処理システムの結果であり,したがってリアルタイムに結び付けているわけ ではないのである.(pp.142-143)

色は,後に見ていくように,脳の構築物であり,外界に色が存在している のではない.このことは,はるか昔にニュートンが気づいていた ことである.ニュートンは次のように述べている.「正確に言えば,光線 には色はついていない.この色やあの色の感覚を呼び起こす一定の力と性質が あるだけなのである」と.(pp.170-171)

セミール・ゼキ (河内十郎・監訳)
『脳は美をいかに感じるか:ピカソや モネが見た世界』

Rousseau's early years are familiar to us from his "Confessions," but in "Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius," Damrosch fleshes them out and corrects the record; Rousseau may have pioneered the art of autobiography, but he did not necessarily get his facts right. Born in Geneva in 1712 to a Calvinist watchmaker, he lost his mother as an infant. A decade later his father abandoned him. Early on, Rousseau distinguished himself for his lack of discipline; his was a sort of hit-and-run adolescence, untainted by formal education and wildly itinerant. It reads like a picaresque, half Sterne, half Cervantes.

Damrosch diagnoses dyslexia - Rousseau could think only at his own pace, and away from his desk; he wrote with immense difficulty - but attention-deficit disorder sounds more like it. In any event he was in no realm a stellar student. He was a lousy linguist, and could neither dance nor fence. He struggled with music. (The last did not stop him from composing, badly.) He proved somewhat more adept at petty theft; his various scams include one on which "The Music Man" appears to have been based. At 15 he defected to Turin where - evidently Rousseau was one tough customer - two baptisms were required to make him a Roman Catholic. His first adventure with the church came complete with his first encounter with a male seducer. On the subjects of both sex and religion he remained squeamish. (He would reconvert in l754.)

By the time he turned up in Paris in the early 1740's Rousseau had proved himself unfit as a diplomatic secretary, a monk's interpreter, a tutor, a bureaucrat. But along the way a funny thing happened. "To know nothing at almost 25, and to want to learn everything," he noted, "is to commit oneself to making the best use of one's time." On his own and between scams and scenes, he had begun to imbibe books.

Success brought society to the doorstep of the man who claimed to abhor it. Over a 16-month period before his 50th birthday, Rousseau produced three magisterial tomes. The rapturous (and eventless) "Julie" became the best-selling novel of the century. In it Rousseau put passion on the page - on all 800 of them, in fact. Repeatedly he managed to turn his failings to his advantage. His common-law wife gave birth to five children, each consigned to a foundling hospital. (Rousseau explained later that they would have interfered with his work, which was no doubt true, if not necessarily the opinion of their mother.) From his remorse came the child-rearing guide "Emile." The protopreacher of family values was neither exactly a husband - he never legally married - nor father.

In "The Social Contract," Rousseau did nothing less than turn a political system on its head. He pronounced the people sovereign, and one citizen as good as another. He wrote religion off as a form of tyranny. Perhaps the ultimate tribute to that bombshell came later from Napoleon: "It would have been better for the peace of France if this man had never existed." In its author's lifetime the book did a great deal to validate his persecution complex. The church led the charge. Rousseau fled to England, where - outfitted in striped robe and velvet, gold-tasseled hat - he did not exactly fit in with the natives.

"'Jean-Jacques Rousseau': An Unruly Mind"
The New York Times, November 06, 2005

In those days, most people who applied to schools like Harvard were admitted because people who weren't from the right social class didn't bother applying. But Jews, for reasons that are not clear, never got the message. They applied to Harvard, Yale and Princeton even though they weren't really wanted. And because many were so academically qualified, they increasingly got in.

They didn't go to college to compete in the social arena or enter the elite student clubs. From 1900 to 1930, about 1,200 Jews entered Yale and not a single one was elected to a senior society.

They went because they were ambitious and often brilliant, and they brought with them a value system at odds with the WASP chivalric code. The Jews were more likely to prize work, scholarship, verbal dexterity, ambition and academic accomplishment.

In 1952, more than 37 percent of Harvard freshmen had fathers who had not attended college. By 1996, less than 11 percent did. In 1954, 10 percent of Harvard freshmen had fathers who worked at blue-collar jobs. Forty-two years later, only 5 percent did.

In 1996, only about 3 percent of the American labor force was in one of the highly credentialed professional occupations (doctor, lawyer, professor), but nearly a third of Harvard freshmen that year were children of such professionals.

The main beneficiaries of the new admissions policies, Karabel notes, were "the children of families that, while lacking the wealth of the old upper class, were richly endowed with cultural capital." In 1956, the sons of business executives outnumbered the sons of professors by four to one at Harvard. By 1976, there were nearly as many freshmen from academic households as from business households.

"'The Chosen': Getting In"
The New York Times, November 06, 2005

But six of the rafters said they belonged to churches or synagogues, four attending weekly. Alan Gishlick, with silver-painted toenails sticking out of his Tevas and a shoulder tattoo of a Buddhist word puzzle meaning "Knowledge makes me content," said he was a "devout Christian."

"Ultimately, creationism is not just bad science to me, it's bad Christianity, it's Bible worship," said Mr. Gishlick, 32, a paleontology Ph.D. "There's just no reason to look at these patterns of layered sediment, or in the fossil record, or at the stars, and think that what you're seeing isn't what you're seeing. God doesn't require you to be stupid, to deny what you see, to deny what you know."

Ms. Epperson, who sings in the choir at her Presbyterian church and brought her Bible along on the trip, said, "The more you learn about science, the more magnificent God is. "I can look at a rainbow, and I know that white light can hit water droplets and it gets dispersed and the light spreads out and has lots of different colors," she said, "and I also say, 'Thank you, God, for the rainbow.' "

She said she asked God whether her role as an evolution advocate was meant to be her mission. "I say, 'God, if this is wrong, if I'm wrong, please strike me with lightning, because I don't want to be walking down the wrong path.' "

"Seeing Creation and Evolution in Grand Canyon"
The New York Times, November 06, 2005

昭和61年(1986)年夏,静岡県浜松市海老塚地区で,山口組系の暴力団一力一家 の事務所立ち退きを求める住民と同暴力団が対立し,訴訟や傷害事件にまで発 展する事件が起きた.

住民は機動隊に守られながら,三年越しにわたる粘り強い運動を続け,組解散 には追い込めなかったものの,組事務所撤退だけは実現させた.

法廷での和解成立を受け,組員たちは,事務所ビルに神棚だけ残して,歴代組 長の名札や組名入りの提灯,山口組綱領などをダンボール箱に詰め,次から次 へと乗用車で運び出した.

当時のマスコミは一斉に「暴力団追放へ大きな一歩」と報じた.撤退の翌日, 通学路を歩く児童たちの写真を載せ,あるいはテレビで流し,「三年ぶりに安 心して通学」と住民の勝利を持ち上げた.

たしかにそのとおりだろう.住民は一致団結して暴力団に勝った.事務所撤退 を勝ちとった.が,これは特異なケースではないだろうか.暴力団は本当に負 けたのだろうか.

意外に知られていない事実がある.和解成立は昭和63(1988)年2月.そのお よそ3年あとの平成2(1990)年11月,追放運動の先頭に立った一人が,別の暴力 団員を使って,自分の経営する会社から意見の合わない役員を追放し,彼らに 謝礼1000万円を支払っていたという事実が,ヒョンなことから明るみに出たの である.

住民の運動が盛り上がってきたころ,ビラまきや陳情の先頭に立っていた人物 が,じつは自分の会社で暴力団を雇っていた.この事実は住民を驚かせた.同 時に追放運動の成果を半減させることにもなった.つまりこの社長は,表と裏 をうまく使い分けていたのである.

逆にいえば,暴力団はいつも,こんなふうに忍び寄ってくる.これが手口なの だ.(pp.188-189) 「会社のつぶし方」も,私にはていねいに教えてくれた.

若い連中を送り込んで,その会社の取引先を調べるんや.で,一社ずつ電話 していく.うちもあの会社の手形を預かってるんですが,危ないらしいいう噂 は本当ですか,とかなんとか聞くわけや.これは効くで.みんな浮足立ってお ろおろしよる.その会社の信用は丸つぶれや.これで攻めると,たとえ健全経 営の会社でも,そら,だんだん傾いていく理屈や」


どんな会社でも,必ず生命線いうもんがある.そこと取引していることで経 営が安定する.そういう取引先が,その会社の生命線いうわけやな.それを押 さえるんや.その生命線を抱きこむんや.これがコツよ.そこに頭の切れる若 いもんをもぐらせて,ゆっくりその会社の整理に入っていく.社長,これは頭 の悪いヤクザにはでけへんで」(pp.229-230)


 たばこを吸う人の7割はニコチン依存症で,このうち7割は禁煙を試みなが ら失敗している――.大阪府立健康科学センターの調査でこんな結果が出た. 2005年6月,全国の20〜79歳の喫煙者2600人にアンケートを郵送.回答があっ たうち,現在も喫煙をしている1666人(男性872人,女性794人)について分析 した.

 「禁煙や本数を減らそうと試みてできなかったことがあったか」など10項目 の「ニコチン依存症スクリーニングテスト」に答えてもらったところ,67.4% が依存症と判定された.男性は67.1%,女性は67.8%だった.

 このうち,「禁煙したいですか」という質問に「はい」と答えたのは62.1%. また,70.6%が,今までに「試みたことがある」と答えた.いずれも,「依存 症ではない」と判定された人の約1.7倍だった

 また,過去1年間に医療機関を受診したうち,依存症と判定された人の32.3 %は,禁煙を勧められていたが,実際に禁煙方法の説明を受けるなどの指導を 受けたのは,その16%にとどまった.

 調査をまとめた中村正和・健康生活推進部長は「ニコチン依存を断ち切るの は難しい.禁煙治療を欧米のように医療保険の対象にし,普及を図る必要があ る」と話す.

asahi.com 2005年11月07日

Few Justices in recent history have arrived at the Supreme Court from a more provincial background than Anthony Kennedy. Before he moved to Washington, seventeen years ago, his professional life had been spent almost entirely in Sacramento. He was born there in 1936, and when his father, a lawyer who had his own practice, died two years after Kennedy graduated from Harvard Law School, he returned home to take over the family business. When President Reagan nominated him to the Supreme Court, in 1987, Kennedy was fifty-one years old and still lived in the house where he grew up.

His inclinations were hardly those of an insular man, however. While Kennedy was a teen-ager, his uncle, an oil driller, hired him to work summers on rigs in Canada and Louisiana. Before he graduated from college, he spent several months studying at the London School of Economics, where he was struck by the range of student opinion and the vehemence of political debate. "At the political union, you had to sit in the room according to your place on the ideological spectrum, and, to give you an idea of what it was like, the Communists, --the Communists!-- were in the middle," Kennedy recalled recently. "It was a different world, and I loved it." As an attorney in private practice, he maintained his father's ties with California's Republican Party; in 1973, he volunteered to draft a tax-cutting referendum for Governor Reagan, which lost at the polls. At the same time, he obtained a license to practice law in Mexico and helped a client establish one of the first maquiladoras--American-owned factories--there. While serving as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in the late nineteen-seventies, he accepted an appointment from Chief Justice Warren Burger as supervisor of the territorial courts in the South Pacific, which entailed travelling to Guam, Palau, Saipan, American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

In fact, Kennedy has a passion for foreign cultures and ideas, and, as a Justice, he has turned it into a principle of jurisprudence. Over the past two years, he has become a leading proponent of one of the most cosmopolitan, and controversial, trends in constitutional law: using foreign and international law as an aid to interpreting the United States Constitution. Kennedy's embrace of foreign law may be among the most significant developments on the Court in recent years?the single biggest factor behind his evolution from a reliable conservative into the likely successor to Sandra Day O'Connor as the Court's swing vote. Kennedy continues to oppose racial preferences and to argue for expansive Presidential powers. He was a principal author of the unsigned majority opinion in Bush v. Gore. But he also wrote the two most important pro-gay-rights decisions in the Court's history and has at least tentatively affirmed his support for Roe v. Wade. Conservatives regard these decisions as a betrayal. In 2003, James Dobson, the founder and director of the influential evangelical group Focus on the Family, called Kennedy "the most dangerous man in America."

The United States Supreme Court has made references to foreign law since the earliest days of the Republic. During the tenure of Chief Justice John Marshall, the Court was often called on to interpret treaties and weigh controversies involving ships on the high seas, and the Justices frequently cited the laws of other nations in their decisions. In 1829, for example, Marshall analyzed both Spanish and French law to settle a claim by an American who had bought a parcel of land once owned by Spain and later included in the Louisiana Purchase. Contemporary commercial disputes also cross borders, and the Justices rely on foreign and international law, as well as on American statutes, to adjudicate them. In the past two years, the Court has considered such questions as whether Mexican trucks must abide by American safety rules under nafta, whether the American family of a Holocaust victim could recover art seized by the Nazis in Austria, and whether a United States district court should compel the American computer-chip-makers AMD and Intel to provide documents to each other in a European antitrust dispute. "When it comes to interpreting treaties or settling international business disputes, the Court has always looked to the laws of other countries, and the practice has not been particularly controversial," says Norman Dorsen, a professor at New York University Law School.

However, beginning in the late nineteen-nineties, the Court's more liberal members began citing foreign sources to help interpret the Constitution on basic questions of individual liberties--for which the laws of foreign democracies tend to be more progressive than those at home. In 1999, Justice Stephen Breyer protested the Court's refusal to hear the appeal of a prisoner who argued that spending more than two decades on death row amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, and thus violated the Eighth Amendment. Quoting legal opinions from Jamaica, India, Zimbabwe, and the European Court of Human Rights, Breyer observed in a dissenting opinion in Knight v. Florida that "a growing number of courts outside the United States . . . have held that lengthy delay in administering a lawful death penalty renders ultimate execution inhuman, degrading or unusually cruel." More recently, in an opinion concurring with the Court's decision to uphold the affirmative-action program at the University of Michigan Law School, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg relied on the United Nations' International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. (In speeches, O'Connor has endorsed the use of foreign sources, but she has rarely mentioned them in constitutional-law opinions.)

Had the practice of citing foreign sources been confined to liberal--and, in the current political arrangement of the Court, less influential--Justices, it would have remained a phenomenon primarily of academic interest. But, in 2003, Kennedy drew on several foreign sources in the context of a majority opinion in one of the Court's most important cases in recent years. In Lawrence v. Texas, the Court ruled, six to three, that states could not criminalize sodomy between consenting adult homosexuals, thus overturning a seventeen-year-old precedent on the subject, Bowers v. Hardwick. In his opinion, Kennedy noted that a committee advising the British Parliament in 1957 had recommended the repeal of laws punishing homosexual conduct, that Parliament had repealed them ten years later, and that in 1981 the European Court of Human Rights had ruled that laws against gay sexual activity violated the European Convention on Human Rights. "Authoritative in all countries that are members of the Council of Europe (21 nations then, 45 nations now)," Kennedy wrote, "the decision is at odds with the premise in Bowers that the claim put forward was insubstantial in our Western civilization." (In 1996, Kennedy had written the Court's opinion invalidating Colorado's statewide anti-gay-rights ordinance.)

Earlier this year, in his opinion for the Court declaring the death penalty unconstitutional for juvenile offenders, Kennedy invoked the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child. Writing for the five-to-four majority in Roper v. Simmons, Kennedy observed that only seven other countries have executed juvenile offenders since 1990--Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, Congo, and China. "It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty," he wrote, adding, "It does not lessen our fidelity to the Constitution or our pride in its origins to acknowledge that the express affirmation of certain fundamental rights by other nations and peoples simply underscores the centrality of those same rights within our own heritage of freedom."

Kennedy's reliance on foreign sources has prompted a vigorous backlash, both on and off the Court. "When Kennedy, who's hardly a liberal, started citing these international sources, that's when the subject exploded in the broader political world," says Dorsen, who in 2003 founded the International Journal of Constitutional Law to compare the use of foreign precedents by courts around the world. In dissenting opinions in the sodomy and juvenile-death-penalty cases, Justice Antonin Scalia, who was joined on both occasions by Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas, condemned any reference to foreign authority by the Supreme Court. "The basic premise of the Court's argument--that American law should comport to the laws of the rest of the world--ought to be rejected out of hand," Scalia wrote in the death-penalty case. "What these foreign sources 'affirm,' " he went on, "is the Justices' own notion of how the world ought to be, and their diktat that it shall be so henceforth in America." This spring, fifty-four conservatives in the House of Representatives sponsored a resolution criticizing the use of foreign sources by the Supreme Court, and, in August, Representative Steve King, a Republican from Iowa, completed an investigation of the Justices' foreign trips, based on the disclosure forms that they are required to file. "Between 1998 and 2003, the Justices took a total of ninety-three foreign trips," King told me. "And the implication is that there are at least a couple of Justices, chiefly Kennedy and Breyer, who are more enamored of the 'enlightenment' of the world than they are bound by our own Constitution."

The debate over foreign law and the Constitution thrusts the Supreme Court into the perennial struggle in American politics between internationalists and isolationists. More important, perhaps, Kennedy's unlikely transformation into a tribune of legal multiculturalism offers a striking lesson in the unpredictability of the Court. If O'Connor's replacement, presumably John G. Roberts, Jr., turns out to be a dependable conservative, Kennedy's influence on the Court is likely to grow. With John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer to his left and Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, and (possibly) the new Justice to his right, Kennedy's vote may increasingly determine the Court's decisions.

Every summer for the past fifteen years, Kennedy and his wife, Mary, have rented an apartment in Salzburg. Kennedy speaks serviceable German, navigates the winding cobblestone streets with ease, and only this year acquired a coveted pass allowing him to park his car in the old part of town. On the evening I arrived in Salzburg, Kennedy, who is a devout Catholic, invited me to join him and Mary at a Mass that his friend Wolfgang Berger, a local lawyer, organizes every year. It took place in the Mullnerkirche, which, even with its spectacular gilt altarpieces, qualifies as only a modest parish church by Salzburg standards. ("Salt was the oil of the Middle Ages," Kennedy explained. "That's why the city is called Salzburg?city of salt?and that's where the money for all these churches came from.") Just before the service, which was in German, he leaned over and whispered, "You won't understand a word, but I find with sermons that's not always a bad thing."

Like many visitors to Salzburg, Kennedy is a classical-music fan, and Berger had arranged for a performance of Haydn's "Theresienmesse" by a local orchestra and choir, which were seated in the balcony. Kennedy told me that he rarely attends the famous Salzburg Festival, which coincides with his annual visit. "The tickets are way too expensive," he said. Kennedy, who is six feet three inches tall, with a high forehead and a crown of blondish-gray hair, looks patrician, but he is, according to financial-disclosure reports, the least wealthy member of the current Court, with cash, stock holdings, and life insurance worth between seventy-five thousand and a hundred and eighty thousand dollars.

Before Kennedy joined the Supreme Court, he moonlighted as a law professor, teaching mostly night classes at the McGeorge School of Law, a branch of the University of the Pacific, in Sacramento. "I competed with 'Monday Night Football' for years," he said. He first went to Salzburg in 1987, to teach for McGeorge as part of a summer program that the school hosts at the University of Salzburg. He returned in 1990 and has taught every summer since. He takes the job seriously. After Mass, as we stepped outside into an evening drizzle, Mary Kennedy said, "Tony likes it when it rains. It means his students study harder."

Kennedy's class met for the first time the following morning, and he began his lecture by saying, "Welcome to our class, with the modest title 'Fundamental Rights in Europe and the United States'--all in three weeks." A ripple of laughter passed through the room, in a renovated wing of an eighteenth-century building on campus. Kennedy is a natural teacher; in front of his students, as in his opinions from the bench, he expresses himself in plain English, rather than legalese. In Salzburg, he proudly told me that his class included twenty students from schools around the world, as well as ninety or so from McGeorge.

As Kennedy explained the structure of the U.S. Constitution to his class, he hinted at his own approach to interpreting the document. "Here you are in Europe," he said to his American students. "And you might think, Gee, look at this culture, look at these churches, look how old everything is. But you have the oldest constitution in the world. We have a legal identity, and our self-definition as a nation is bound up with the Constitution." But the document itself was not the only constitution Kennedy had in mind. "There is also the constitution with a small 'c,' the sum total of customs and mores of the community," he said. "The closer the big 'C' and the small 'c,' the better off you are as a society."

Unbeknownst to most of the students, Kennedy was making an oblique reference to one of the most contentious issues in constitutional law. A little more than a year after he joined the Supreme Court, he made a fateful choice about the meaning of the phrase "due process of law." In a 1989 case about parental rights, Michael H. v. Gerald D., the majority opinion, written by Scalia, asserted, in effect, that the due-process clause protected only what the Framers of the Constitution intended it to protect, and nothing more. If the Framers did not regard, say, the right to have an abortion, or the right to engage in homosexual sodomy, as worthy of protection (as surely they did not), then the Supreme Court should not do so, either. Kennedy disagreed with Scalia's "imposition of a single mode of historical analysis," joining an opinion by O'Connor that endorsed a more flexible notion of due process. That brief opinion has turned out to be a reliable guide to Kennedy's jurisprudence. On the bench, his view has been that the Court is obligated to consider the evolving standards of society--the constitution with a small "c"--in addition to the words of the Constitution, which are what matter to Scalia.

As Kennedy worked his way through each constitutional provision, he compared it with other nations' views on the same subject. When he came to states' rights, he said, "Margaret Thatcher was very interested in this, because she wanted to know what the American experience taught about what would happen in the European Union." Kennedy noted that the existence of separate federal and state governments allowed losing political parties in national elections to gain power and experience at the local level. "Compare Japan," Kennedy said. "For close to thirty years, no leader of the opposition party has ever held an important office."

When Kennedy referred to another country, it was often to show how its system had been influenced by the United States. He said that he had told the judges at the European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg, that they should provide more than cursory opinions to go with their rulings. "If you're interpreting phrases like 'liberty,' you have to do it in a way that commands the allegiance of the people," he said. Near the end of his class, Kennedy mentioned a trip to Poland that he had made last September. He had been invited to meet with the law faculty of the University of Warsaw, but when he arrived he was told that it was orientation week for the students and they, too, wanted to meet with him. "So I went to the students, and I said I was Justice Kennedy, and I wondered if they had any questions for me. Well, they started asking the most sophisticated questions I could imagine, and I finally asked them what was going on. Was this some little strategy they had decided on in advance? And they said no, they had been studying our constitutional history for nine years. Later, the rector told me the students in Poland knew our constitutional history backwards and forwards."

The Berlin Wall fell a year after Kennedy joined the Court, and the political developments that followed from Communism's collapse had a profound effect on his approach to interpreting the Constitution. Kennedy's first sustained encounter with foreign law came when he began to advise emerging democracies?including Czechoslovakia and Russia--on their constitutions and the rule of law. "I never thought I'd live in an era when we had new constitutions being founded," Kennedy told me. "I never thought we'd be in demand, but suddenly we were." In the early nineties, dozens of projects were created to export American legal expertise and ideas. International organizations, universities, and private groups began arranging meetings between American judges and their foreign counterparts. New York University sponsors frequent international judges' conferences at its Villa La Pietra, in Florence, and every year Paul Gewirtz, a professor at the Yale Law School, brings senior judges from around the world to New Haven. Most of the Justices on the Supreme Court have participated in some of these exchanges. (The exceptions are Souter and Thomas, who generally avoid foreign travel.)

Kennedy happened to spend his summers in the city where the most important international judges' conference takes place. The Salzburg Seminar was founded in 1947, by three young Harvard graduates who thought that Europe needed a place for the study of American ideals. They raised a few thousand dollars and rented the Schloss Leopoldskron, an eighteenth-century palace that had fallen into disrepair after being seized by the Nazis. The seminar became known as the "Marshall Plan of the mind," and it remains a meeting place for scholars and judges. Since 1971, nine Supreme Court Justices have attended sessions at the Schloss, many of them several times. Kennedy has participated in four seminar events, and even during summers when he is not officially involved, he visits the Schloss frequently to meet with foreign colleagues.

Kennedy went to the Schloss after his class, to have lunch with Richard Goldstone, a former justice of the South African Constitutional Court, who was in Salzburg to deliver a lecture and, like Kennedy, was eager to meet his foreign counterparts. Goldstone is among the world's most widely admired judges; the former chief war-crimes prosecutor for the United Nations, he is now a member of an independent commission investigating the oil-for-food scandal at the U.N. The Schloss Leopoldskron has tight security by Salzburg's relaxed standards, but not because of the jurists who congregate there. The palace was the setting for several scenes in "The Sound of Music," the 1965 movie, and endures more or less constant traffic from fans. (A sign on the wall closest to the street reads, in English, "Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted--Including Tour Groups.") The two men dined on the second floor, in a room adorned with mirrored panels and gilt sconces, which had been reproduced on a soundstage to create the von Trapp ballroom.

"Do you know any of the Russian judges?" Kennedy asked Goldstone. "They are so resilient."

"I've met good and bad," Goldstone replied. "Now the court belongs to the President"--Vladimir Putin.

Kennedy mentioned that he belonged to the board of an American Bar Association group that advises judges and lawyers in China, where he travels about once a year. "There was a dinner for one of their vice-premiers," he said. "I knew that I had to give a gift. We don't have a budget for these things, so I went down to the Supreme Court gift shop, and I found one of these calendars. It was in a nice leather case, and it had some anniversary from American constitutional law for every day of the year. So we're at this dinner, and I present the calendar to him, and he's so pleased, so I just say, 'When's your birthday? Why don't you look it up?' And he says whatever the date was and hands the calendar to the interpreter. So the interpreter just stands there. He looks at me. He looks around. There was this silence. Clearly, he doesn't know what to do. So I say, 'Read it, read it.' And the entry is for Dennis v. United States, affirming prison time for eleven American Communists. There was this silence again. My security guy headed to the door. Then the guest of honor just laughed and laughed." Kennedy laughed, too, adding, "I am not a world-class diplomat."

Later, he told me, "Judges check each other out. We're a guild, just like physicians or military people are guilds." Kennedy regards the use of foreign law by the Supreme Court as an inevitable effect of an increasingly interconnected world. "It really began with the Holocaust, when international law started to concern itself with how nations treated their own citizens," he told me. "Country A is concerned with how Country B treats its own citizens. So you had the beginnings of things like the European Court of Human Rights. They became the new kids on the block, but no one really knew what they did. Gradually, their work started to become known around the world. Then you started to have formal exchanges of judges." Beginning in the nineteen-seventies, as part of a program sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers, a rotating group of Supreme Court Justices has met every four or five years with their counterparts in England, Canada, and, on one occasion, India. "When it began, I don't think any of us had ever been inside the House of Lords," Kennedy said. "It was novel. Now it's routine. And then you have informal exchanges, like in Salzburg. You can't help but be influenced by what you see and what you hear."

Kennedy suggests that judges' use of foreign law today is a response to the availability of global sources of information, in the same way that lawyers during the progressive era began using "Brandeis briefs" in response to the advent of social-science research. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Louis Brandeis, then a Boston lawyer, began filing briefs with the Supreme Court which relied not only on judicial precedents but on empirical data, which was then beginning to be collected in a systematic way. His victory in the landmark 1908 case Muller v. Oregon, which upheld restrictions on the working hours of women--the Court's opinion noted Brandeis's references to "bureaus of statistics, commissioners of hygiene, inspectors of factories, both in this country and Europe"?changed the way lawyers and judges conceived of evidence.

The Bowers case, which Kennedy's Lawrence decision overturned, was rendered in 1986, the year before he was nominated to the Supreme Court. "When Bowers was being argued, the European Court of Human Rights had just decided Dudgeon v. United Kingdom, which went exactly the way the defendant wanted our court to go," Kennedy said. "Yet the lawyers didn't even cite it in their briefs. Now, maybe they didn't know about the case. People didn't look at those cases routinely in those days. Or maybe they thought our court would have been offended that they cited a foreign case to us. But that would never happen today. We know we have to be aware of what's going on in the world. Of course, it's not binding on us, but we can't pretend that it doesn't exist. Today, no lawyer would think of not telling us how courts around the world have approached the same question."

Clearly, it would require almost willful ignorance on the part of Supreme Court Justices not to be aware of judicial activity in other countries. The European Union translates and publishes opinions from nearly fifty nations, and the two most frequently consulted legal databases in the United States, Lexis and Westlaw, carry foreign opinions from dozens of countries. (The high courts of many countries now also routinely post their opinions on the Internet.) In many American courts, including the Supreme Court, foreign nations and international organizations regularly file briefs citing their own laws. Kennedy's opinion in the juvenile-death-penalty case mentioned friend-of-the-court briefs submitted by the European Union and the Human Rights Committee of the Bar of England and Wales. "The way American and foreign courts are connected is not much different from the way corporations are connected," says Anne-Marie Slaughter, the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, at Princeton, who examined the effects of globalization on the American judiciary in her 2004 book, "A New World Order." "The opinions are out there, easy to get, and the briefs are being filed. If the Justices didn't cite them, it would be like pretending the rest of the world didn't exist."

On every subject for which the Court has so far cited foreign views, notably gay rights and the death penalty, the Justices in the majority have inclined in the liberal direction. "The United States is probably the most conservative democracy in the world," Goldstone said. "The death penalty, gender, welfare--you name it. I think it would be fair to say that the most conservative member of the South African Constitutional Court would be left of the most progressive member of the United States Supreme Court. So, in looking at what other democracies are doing, it would mean looking to the left, not to the right. I think conservatives in the United States are saying, 'Don't do it, because it gives us bad answers.' "

Yet it would be a mistake to regard the dispute over foreign law and the Supreme Court as simply another iteration of America's conservative-liberal split. Kennedy and Breyer, the two Justices most prominently associated with the controversy over foreign law, have considerable political differences. In January, Breyer conducted a public debate on the subject with Scalia, an unprecedented encounter between sitting Supreme Court Justices. At the law school of American University, in Washington, D.C., before a crowd of about four hundred, with hundreds more watching the event online, Scalia declared that foreign laws were irrelevant, because "we don't have the same moral and legal framework as the rest of the world, and never have." Breyer responded that, though foreign laws could never be binding on an American court, they were still worth examining. Foreign judges "have problems that often, more and more, are similar to our own," he said. "They're dealing with texts that more and more protect basic human rights. If here I have a human being called a judge in a different country dealing with a similar problem, why don't I read what he says, if it's similar enough? Maybe I'll learn something."

Kennedy offers a more tactical reason to cite foreign law. "Let me ask you this," he said to me from across a lacquered coffee table in a Chinese-themed sitting room at the Schloss. "Why should world opinion care that the American Administration wants to bring freedom to oppressed peoples? Is that not because there's some underlying common mutual interest, some underlying common shared idea, some underlying common shared aspiration, underlying unified concept of what human dignity means? I think that's what we're trying to tell the rest of the world, anyway." In other words, Kennedy believes that by invoking foreign law the United States Supreme Court sends an implicit message to the rest of the democratic world that our society shares its values. "The European courts, in particular the transnational courts, have been somewhat concerned, and some feel demeaned, that we did not cite their decisions with more regularity," he said. "They cite ours all the time. And, basically, they were saying, 'Why should we cite yours if you don't cite ours?' " He went on, "If we are asking the rest of the world to adopt our idea of freedom, it does seem to me that there may be some mutuality there, that other nations and other peoples can define and interpret freedom in a way that's at least instructive to us."

Kennedy's argument amounts to a corollary to President Bush's policy of exporting freedom. The difference is that Kennedy believes that American evangelism for freedom is more likely to succeed if it includes listening as well as lecturing. "Liberty isn't for export only," he said. This is what especially riles his critics: the notion that the shifting enthusiasms of foreign judges could affect the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. Cosmopolitanism on the Court is seen by many as elitist and un-American. Robert Bork, whose failed nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987 led to Kennedy's appointment, says, "The class that is commonly called the intelligentsia is composed of people who may not do very good intellectual work but who make their living with words and ideas. Judges belong to that class and respond to its values, which they impose as constitutional law. Our Justices are said to be engaged in a worldwide constitutional conversation. It more closely resembles a worldwide constitutional convention."

This view is echoed by conservatives in Congress, including Tom Feeney, a Florida Republican, who is the chief sponsor of the resolution condemning the Supreme Court's use of foreign law. "When judges intermingle with other elite jurists, there is a tendency to want to be part of the club," Feeney said. "And it's a very elite club. It's perfectly defensible to say that you want to be governed by an oligarchy of philosopher kings. But five wise, elite Justices imposing policies on us from the bench is not the constitutional democracy that the Framers gave us." In May, Kennedy testified before a House committee about the Supreme Court's budget, and he mentioned in passing that, like many lawyers, he conducted legal research on the Internet. This prompted Tom DeLay, the House Majority Leader, to tell an interviewer from Fox News Radio, "We've got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States. That's just outrageous, and, not only that, he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet. That is just incredibly outrageous."

When I asked Kennedy about DeLay's comments, he smiled and replied evenly, "The nature of the United States is that we're diverse." But a few weeks earlier, near the end of the Court's term, in June, Kennedy had given a more pointed retort. For a reunion of Chief Justice Rehnquist's law clerks, he made a brief video, during which he was taped sitting at his computer. He said that he was doing a little research. He signed off by saying goodbye in several languages.

Kennedy turned sixty-nine in July, but it's easy to see why he rarely figures in the speculation about retirement that clings to other Justices. He's extraordinarily fit for his age. Last year, while on vacation in Greece, he and his wife came across a group staging a reenactment of the ancient Olympic Games, and Kennedy entered the hundred-metre dash. His height gave him an advantage in the race?which was run barefoot but not, as in ancient Greece, nude?because, he said, pointing to his thigh, "the toga they gave me only came down to here." Even so, he didn't win. "They put me with forty- and fifty-year-olds," he said. "I didn't have a chance." He seems enthusiastic about his likely new colleague, John Roberts, who has argued thirty-nine cases before the Court. "He was a marvellous oral advocate," Kennedy said. "So we feel like we know him in that regard."

When the Court reconvenes next month, Kennedy could hold the balance of power on questions pertaining to church-state relations, gay rights, and, especially, abortion--all issues likely to come before the Court during the next several years. Yet, in such cases, conservatives' fears about the liberal influence of foreign law on Kennedy's views could turn out to be misplaced. Church-state traditions in other democracies vary widely. Some nations, like England, have state religions; others, like France, have a secular orientation but subsidize and regulate religious education. Kennedy has generally sided with his conservative colleagues on the separation of church and state; in June, he voted to allow the posting of the Ten Commandments at the Texas state capitol and in a Kentucky courthouse. (The full Court allowed the display in Texas, which has been in place for decades without drawing much attention, and rejected the one in Kentucky, which is newer and more controversial.)

Foreign law is more likely to affect Kennedy's positions on gay rights and abortion. His opinions in the Colorado and Texas cases have made him the Court's most visible defender of gay rights, but his support for gay marriage, a subject many expect the Court will eventually take on, seems far from certain. In the Lawrence decision, Kennedy cited a consensus in "Western civilization" against punishing homosexual sodomy. But foreign traditions of tolerance for homosexual activity have not led to broad international support for gay marriage; only Belgium, Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands currently permit gay people to wed. That does not seem like the kind of mandate that Kennedy will feel compelled to join.

Kennedy's views on abortion have long been ambiguous. In 1989, he joined an opinion by Rehnquist that appeared to call for overturning Roe v. Wade; then, in 1992, in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Kennedy joined Souter and O'Connor in an opinion that reaffirmed the core of Roe?that is, the right of a woman to terminate an early-term pregnancy. Since then, Kennedy has generally been counted as an abortion-rights vote, along with Souter, O'Connor, Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyer, but that may not be an accurate inference. Over the past decade, Kennedy has repeatedly expressed his concerns about abortion. Dissenting from a 2000 ruling that upheld the conviction of anti-abortion protesters for trespassing, he criticized the majority for denying "these protesters, in the face of what they consider to be one of life's gravest moral crises, even the opportunity to try to offer a fellow citizen a little pamphlet, a handheld paper seeking to reach a higher law." That same year, Kennedy wrote an uncharacteristically vitriolic dissent to the Court's decision to strike down a Nebraska law banning late-term (or partial-birth) abortion?what he called "a procedure many decent and civilized people find so abhorrent as to be among the most serious of crimes against human life."

Kennedy's reservations about abortion are reflected in foreign statutes. Most other countries have more restrictive abortion laws than the United States, as Scalia pointed out in his dissent in this year's juvenile-death-penalty case, noting that the United States is "one of only six countries that allow abortion on demand until the point of viability." He accused the Justices in the majority of cherry-picking foreign laws to suit their predispositions, writing, "To invoke alien law when it agrees with one's own thinking, and ignore it otherwise, is not reasoned decision-making, but sophistry."

When I mentioned abortion to Kennedy, I said, "You will probably be the single vote preserving Roe v. Wade."

"Perhaps, perhaps not," he replied.

Unlike some of his colleagues, Kennedy arrived at the Court without a formal judicial philosophy to help him decide each case. He has absorbed the diverse lessons of a changing world. As we concluded our talk in Salzburg, I showed him a piece of paper that his friend Wolfgang Berger had given to me at the Mass several days earlier. It was an English translation of the readings for the service, from the Book of Wisdom 12:13, which included the lines "For there is no God, other than you, who cares for everyone, to whom you have to prove that your sentences have been just." Throughout the verse, I said, God was portrayed as a judge.

"The fascinating thing I thought about when I read this was that He has considerable discretion," Kennedy said. "There's also no appeal."

Jeffrey TOOBIN
"SWING SHIFT: How Anthony Kennedy's passion for foreign law could change the Supreme Court"
The New Yorker, October 31, 2005

Rosa Parks, a black seamstress whose refusal to relinquish her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Ala., almost 50 years ago grew into a mythic event that helped touch off the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's, died yesterday at her home in Detroit. She was 92 years old.

"Rosa Parks, 92, Founding Symbol of Civil Rights Movement Dies"
The New York Times, October 25, 2005

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (AP) - Women made up 7 percent of inmates in state and federal prisons last year and accounted for nearly one in four arrests, the government reported Sunday.The number of women incarcerated in state and federal prisons in 2004 was up 4 percent compared with 2003, more than double the 1.8 percent increase among men, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported. In 1995, women made up 6.1 percent of inmates in those facilities.

The total number of people incarcerated grew 1.9 percent in 2004 to 2,267,787.

That figure includes federal and state prisoners, as well as 713,990 inmates held in local jails, 15,757 in United States territorial prisons, 9,788 in immigration and customs facilities, 2,177 in military facilities, 1,826 in Indian jails and 102,338 in juvenile facilities.

The country's state and federal prison population, 1,421,911, which excludes state and federal prisoners in local jails, grew 2.6 percent in 2004, compared with an average growth of 3.4 percent a year since 1995.

"Number of Women in Prisons Is on Rise"
The New York Times, October 24, 2005

Mao is not only a historical figure, of course, but is part of the (tattered) web of legitimacy on which the People's Republic rests. He is part of the founding mythology of the Chinese government, the Romulus and Remus of "People's China," and that's why his portrait hangs in Tiananmen Square. Even among ordinary Chinese, Mao retains a hold on the popular imagination, and some peasants in different parts of China have started traditional religious shrines honoring him. That's the ultimate honor for an atheist - he has become a god.

Mao's sins in later life are fairly well known, and even Chen Yun, one of the top Chinese leaders in the 1980's, suggested that it might have been best if Mao had died in 1956. This biography shows, though, that Mao was something of a fraud from Day 1.

The authors assert, for example, that he was not in fact a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party, as is widely believed, and that the party was founded in 1920 rather than 1921. Moreover, they rely on extensive research in Russian archives to show that the Chinese party was entirely under the thumb of the Russians. In one nine-month period in the 1920's, for example, 94 percent of the party's funding came from Russia, and only 6 percent was raised locally. Mao rose to be party leader not because he was the favorite of his fellow Chinese, but because Moscow chose him. And one reason Moscow chose him was that he excelled in sycophancy: he once told the Russians that "the latest Comintern order" was so brilliant that "it made me jump for joy 300 times."

Mao has always been celebrated as a great peasant leader and military strategist. But this biography mocks that claim. The mythology dates from the "Autumn Harvest Uprising" of 1927. But, according to Chang and Halliday, Mao wasn't involved in the fighting and in fact sabotaged it - until he hijacked credit for it afterward.

By this time, the book relates, many in the Red Army distrusted Mao - so he launched a brutal purge of the Communist ranks. He wrote to party headquarters that he had discovered 4,400 subversives in the army and had tortured them all and executed most of them. A confidential report found that a quarter of the entire Red Army under Mao at the time was slaughtered, often after they were tortured in such ways as having red-hot rods forced into their rectums.

First, they argue that Mao and the Red Army escaped and began the Long March only because Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek deliberately allowed them to. They argue that Chiang wanted to send his own troops into three southwestern provinces but worried about antagonizing the local warlords. So he channeled the Red Army into those provinces on the Long March and then, at the invitation of the alarmed warlords, sent in troops to expel the Communists and thus succeeded in bringing the wayward provinces into his domain.

More startling, they argue that Mao didn't even walk most of the Long March - he was carried. "On the march, I was lying in a litter," they quote Mao as saying decades later. "So what did I do? I read. I read a lot." Now, that's bourgeois.

The most famous battle of the Long March was the Communists' crossing of the Dadu Bridge, supposedly a heroic assault under enemy fire. Harrison Salisbury's 1985 book, "The Long March," describes a "suicide attack" over a bridge that had been mostly dismantled, then soaked with kerosene and set on fire. But Chang and Halliday write that this battle was a complete fabrication, and in a triumph of scholarship they cite evidence that all 22 men who led the crossing survived and received gifts afterward of a Lenin suit and a fountain pen. None was even wounded. They quote Zhou Enlai as expressing concern afterward because a horse had been lost while crossing the bridge.

The story continues in a similar vein: Mao had a rival, Wang Ming, poisoned and nearly killed while in their refuge in Yenan. Mao welcomed the Japanese invasion of China, because he thought this would lead to a Russian counterinvasion and a chance for him to lead a Russian puppet regime. Far from leading the struggle against the Japanese invaders, Mao ordered the Red Army not to fight the Japanese and was furious when other Communist leaders skirmished with them. Indeed, Mao is said to have collaborated with Japanese intelligence to undermine the Chinese Nationalist forces.

At times, Mao seems nuts. He toyed with getting rid of people's names and replacing them with numbers. And discussing the possible destruction of the earth with nuclear weapons, he mused that "this might be a big thing for the solar system, but it would still be an insignificant matter as far as the universe as a whole is concerned."

Nicholas D. KRISTOF
"'Mao': The Real Mao [Bookreview]"
The New York Times, October 24, 2005

IN 1900, the British physicist Lord Kelvin assured a gathering of his colleagues, "There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now." What a difference a century makes. Physicists today are all too aware of the holes in their theories. Lordly smugness isn't an option, not when physicists readily concede that more than 95 percent of the mass of the universe apparently consists of an unknown substance that, lacking any better description, they simply call dark matter. And just a few years ago astronomers discovered that the expansion of the cosmos is accelerating, driven by who knows what. Most vexing of all, physicists know that the two masterpieces of their discipline, quantum mechanics and general relativity, are incompatible and cannot in themselves be the final word on the nature of reality.

"'Warped Passages': The Secret Universe"
The New York Times, October 23, 2005

SOMETIMES a single life can tell more about a country's experience than a shelfful of history books. Many Chinese people of a certain age have such lives - rich in struggle, in suffering, in the consequences of man's folly, but often enough, too, in a measure of redemption.

These are people today in their 40's whose transition to adulthood was hijacked by the Cultural Revolution.

High school and college studies were aborted. Many city residents were "sent down" to the countryside to work as peasants, or assigned to antiquated factories to churn out rough goods.

For the lucky, life eventually resumed; productive life, that is.

Such is the story of Xu Tian, a 43-year-old scientist from Zhejiang Province whose discoveries involving the transposition of genes were featured last month on the cover of the scientific journal Cell.

DURING the Cultural Revolution he was able to attend high school by promising to go later to plant rice. But he was an angry student, instead spending his time playing go, the Asian board game. Later he was fortunate to enter Fudan University, one of the greatest in China.

He remembers traveling to Shanghai to visit the school, wide-eyed and thoroughly uncertain about what route to take in academia. Parents and relatives had been active in the humanities and were persecuted as a result. All cautioned him against following that path.

"I saw that Fudan offered genetics, so I asked my family, 'What is genetics?' and they had no clue," Dr. Xu said without affectation. "I asked my neighbors, and they had no clue, so I thought genetics must not be very popular. Maybe I'll have a chance."

There is a dreamily idealized quality to the way Dr. Xu described the schooling of that day.

"People were very eager to teach and to learn," he said. "Many of the people had been trained in the West, and had never had the opportunity to teach before. The students were incredibly ambitious. We had no clue what the outside world looked like, and suddenly we had an opportunity to study."

Now China is rushing to build one of the world's greatest educational establishments. And yet Dr. Xu suspects that in some ways, the country peaked academically back in those days, at least where the spirit of pure inquiry is concerned.

Dr. Xu made his way to the United States in 1983, landing in Harlem with $50 in his pocket. The World Bank had financed a program to support overseas studies for a small number of China's best students, and at Fudan he had been one of two chosen.

"At the time the vice president of City College was visiting Fudan, and he asked me, 'What do you want to do?' " he said. "I told him I'd like to study developmental biology, and he said City College was a wonderful place. He showed me a brochure that said several of the grads there had won Nobel Prizes, and I said: 'Wow! That's exactly where I'd like to be!' "

DR. XU's introduction to America was replete with unpleasant surprises. He was mugged near the college less than two weeks after arriving. He felt hopeless in English, and as a nobody without grant money he was denied access to his new school's laboratories.

"I knew nothing about the United States, but I knew that if you wanted to learn science, the U.S. was the place," he said. "I'm still deeply grateful, even though early life was very tough.

They gave me a $3,500 T.A.-ship, and I still had to pay tuition, which meant I lived in New York on $1,500. But the hardship was something I could deal with. It's the opportunity that counts.

"That's what young people need."

After six months, Yale offered him a full scholarship, allowing him to pursue his graduate studies, and to work there ever since.

Howard W. FRENCH
"The Saturday Profile: A Lifetime in Recovery From the Cultural Revolution"
The New York Times, October 22, 2005

Robert J. Aumann and Thomas C. Schelling won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science yesterday for their work in game theory, which explains the choices that competitors make in situations that require strategic thinking.

Their work has helped to illuminate the dynamics in labor negotiations, business transactions and arms negotiations, among other situations. An article that Mr. Schelling wrote prompted the director Stanley Kubrick to make the movie "Dr. Strangelove," consulting with Mr. Schelling during the filming.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Science announced in Stockholm that Mr. Aumann, 75, an Israeli who teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Mr. Schelling, 84, an American who is a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, had been honored "for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis." The two men will share a $1.3 million prize.

"American and Israeli Share Nobel Prize in Economics"
The New York Times, October 11, 2005

 スウェーデン王立科学アカデミーは2005年10月10日,2005年のノーベル経済 学賞を,イスラエル・ヘブライ大のロバート・オーマン教授(75)と, 米メリーランド大のトーマス・シェリング教授(84)に贈ると発表した. 「ゲーム理論」を冷戦下の安全保障問題に応用し,経済学の領域を超える「紛 争と協調」の研究が評価された.賞金1000万クローナ(約1億5000万円)は等 分する.授賞式は2005年12月10日にストックホルムである.

 ゲーム理論は,政府や企業など経済主体の相互関係を考える分析手法で広く 応用されている.

 シェリング氏は,冷戦中の1950年代にこの理論を安保・軍拡問題に応用.交 渉当事者が,手段を限定的にしたり,自らの立場を意図的に悪くしたりするこ とが,長期的な利益につながる可能性があることを解き明かし,戦略研究の古 典として影響を与えているという.

 オーマン氏はシェリング氏の分析を数学的に定式化.また交渉当事者がすべ てを知らない場合,交渉の決着がどう変わるかという「認識問題」をゲーム理 論に導入した功績が認められた.

 オーマン氏は1930年独生まれでイスラエル・米両国籍を持つ.マサチューセッ ツ工科大学で数学博士号を取得.シェリング氏は1921年米生まれ,ハーバード 大で経済学博士号を取得している.ゲーム理論の研究では1994年にも3人が同 賞を受賞した.

Asahi.com 2005年10月11日

Our closest genetic cousins, the apes, are capable of great empathy but also of violent, ruthless killing. Frans de Waal, a prominent primatologist, compares our social behavior with that of two species of apes: chimpanzees and bonobos (which look like smaller, more upright chimps). Despite their physical similarities, the two species behave very differently. Bonobos live in a relatively peaceful matriarchy; when conflicts do arise, instead of fighting they often use sexual activity to resolve them, defusing the aggression with friendly physical contact. Like hippies, they make love, not war. Chimp society, however, is a male-dominated hierarchy based on power. Unlike the gentle bonobos, who seldom kill, chimps will hunt for meat and even kill members of rival groups.

OUR INNER APE: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are., By Frans de Waal. Illustrated. 274 pp. Riverhead Books. $24.95.

In this fascinating book, de Waal suggests that the two species represent sides of our own nature. We have "not one but two inner apes," he writes, speculating that humans may act like a hybrid of bonobos and chimps. (Little is known about actual bonobo-chimp hybrids except for a group that lives in a French traveling circus and strikes visitors with its "gentility and sensitivity.")

Helping the weak and sharing are part of both bonobo and chimp societies. De Waal gives a rather fierce example for the chimps: When individuals cooperate to hunt a monkey, they always share the meat.

Among bonobos, Kidogo, a male with a heart condition, was having difficulty adjusting to shifting routines when he was transferred to a new zoo. The other bonobos "approached Kidogo, took him by the hand and led him to where the keepers wanted him, thus showing they understood both the keepers' intentions and Kidogo's problem." Kuni, meanwhile, a bonobo at a zoo in Britain, helped an injured starling that had crashed into the glass of her enclosure. She picked it up and tried to set it on its feet, then climbed a tree and carefully spread its wings to help it to fly before she released it. "She tailored her assistance to the specific situation of an animal totally different from herself," de Waal writes.

Where the two ape species diverge most are in the realms of sex and violence. Bonobos don't exactly distinguish between sex and friendly touching. Since their behavior is so often X-rated, you will have to read the book to learn the details. There you'll also find details of chimpanzee violence. Infanticide, de Waal tells us, is a leading cause of death among chimps, both in zoos and in the wild. One reason bonobos engage in so much sex is to prevent rival males from killing their babies. If everybody has sex with everybody else, there's no saying who's the daddy.

Like humans, himps can be ruthless toward individuals who are not part of their troop. De Waal explains that large-brained animals capable of using empathy to do kind things for others are also capable of great cruelty, because they can imagine what their victims will feel. One of the most shocking incidents he describes occurred at Gombe National Park in Tanzania, where a group of chimps lived peacefully for years. As youngsters they played and groomed one another, but the group gradually drifted apart and formed two new groups. Chimps that had known one another for years were now in conflict. "Shocked researchers watched as former friends now drank each other's blood. Not even the oldest community members were left alone. An extremely frail-looking male, Goliath, was pummeled for 20 minutes and dragged about." De Waal compares this horrible chimp behavior to genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia. With chimps, as with humans, fighting within one's own group is restrained compared with attacks on outsiders.

De Waal does not discuss the possible genetic implications of many of his observations. Animals who have high-fear genetics are less inclined to be aggressive because they are afraid to fight, and stressful, scary situations can affect them more dramatically. When bombs fell on Munich during World War II, de Waal tells us, all the bonobos in the zoo died of heart failure, but all the chimps survived. Unfortunately, he does not discuss how these differences in fearfulness might affect social behavior. Fear and other traits, like aggression and sociability, have a strong genetic component. In my own work with antelopes, I have observed huge differences in the startle and fear response between individual animals. It is likely that there may be genetic differences between the most peaceful and most violent chimps.

Also, since I am a person with autism, I do not agree with de Waal's view that emotions are required for making choices and storing memories. I use my visual thinking all the time to make logical choices. When Kuni helped the injured bird, emotion may have been the motivation, but visual thinking was the method. She compared the wing to her visual memories of flying birds and spread it to fit that image. I think her brain and mine would perform the task the same way.

De Waal's most hopeful message is that peaceful behavior can be learned, as he showed when he raised juvenile rhesus and stumptail monkeys together. The aggressive rhesus juveniles picked up peaceful ways of resolving conflict from the larger, gentler stumptails. And the lessons took: even after the two species were separated, the rhesus continued to have three times more grooming and other friendly behavior after fights. This important and illuminating book should help our own species take that lesson in civility to heart.

"'Our Inner Ape': Hey Hey, We're the Monkeys"
The New York Times, October 09, 2005

 遺伝性の難病を患った子供の両親が,医師の誤った説明のために再び同じ病 気の子供が生まれて過大な負担を強いられたとして,病院を開設する日本肢体 不自由児協会(東京都板橋区)に賠償を求めた訴訟で,最高裁第1小法廷(島 田仁郎(にろう)裁判長)は2005年10月20日,協会側と両親側双方の上告を棄 却する決定を出した.賠償額を1審の約1760万円から約4800万円に増額した2 審判決が確定した.

 一,二審判決によると,1992年に生まれた長男は運動障害などを伴う神経系 疾患「ペリツェウス・メルツバッヘル病」(PM病)を患った.両親は1994年 に「次の子供をつくりたいが大丈夫ですか」と相談.医師は「兄弟に出る ことはまずない」と答えたが,1999年に生まれた三男がPM病を発症した ため,慰謝料や介護費用の支払いを求めた.

 東京地裁は「介護費用を両親の損害とすることは,三男を『負の存在』と認 めることになる」と述べ,介護費用の請求を退けた.これに対し,東京高裁は 「両親の物心両面の負担を損害として評価するだけで,三男の生存自体を損害 と認めるものではない」として,介護費用を両親の損害と認めた.

木戸 哲
「遺伝病説明訴訟:最高裁が上告棄却 両親勝訴の2審確定」

One of the most dispiriting elements of the catastrophe in New Orleans was the looting. I covered the 1995 earthquake that leveled much of Kobe, Japan, killing 5,500, and for days I searched there for any sign of criminal behavior. Finally I found a resident who had seen three men steal food. I asked him whether he was embarrassed that Japanese would engage in such thuggery. "No, you misunderstand," he said firmly. "These looters weren't Japanese. They were foreigners." The reasons for this are complex and partly cultural, but one reason is that Japan has tried hard to stitch all Japanese together into the nation's social fabric. In contrast, the U.S. - particularly under the Bush administration - has systematically cut people out of the social fabric by redistributing wealth from the most vulnerable Americans to the most affluent.

"Paper Title"
Book Title, Year, Page

The New York Times, September 6, 2005 Op-Ed Columnist: The Larger Shame, By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

Only in science fiction do people's minds get possessed by alien beings. For grasshoppers, zombification is an everyday hazard, and it obliges them to end their lives in a bizarre manner.

Biologists have discovered and hope to decipher a deadly cross talk between the genomes of a grasshopper and a parasitic worm that infects it.

The interaction occurs as the worm induces the grasshopper to seek out a large body of water and then leap into it.

The parasite, known as a hairworm, lives and breeds in fresh water. But it spends the early part of its life cycle eating away the innards of the grasshoppers and crickets it infects.

When it is fully grown, it faces a difficult problem, that of returning to water. So it has evolved a clever way of influencing its host to deliver just one further service - the stricken grasshopper looks for water and dives in.

The suicidal behavior of the infected grasshoppers has been studied by a team of biologists from the French National Center for Scientific Research in Montpellier, France, led by Frederic Thomas and David Biron.

Nicholas WADE
"Parasitic Hairworm Charms Grasshopper Into Taking It for a Swim"
The New York Times, September 6, 2005

In the zero-sum game of the tripartite separation of powers, the Supreme Court's own power grew correspondingly as the justices circumscribed the power of Congress. The court's institutional enhancement was a paradox of Chief Justice Rehnquist's tenure, because another goal that he accomplished in large measure was to shrink the role of the federal courts by taking them out of the business of running prisons, school systems and other institutions of government.

The Rehnquist years included one historic episode of galvanizing drama and deep divisiveness, the decision in Bush v. Gore that decided the 2000 presidential election by ending the recount in Florida and handing a wafer-thin victory to George W. Bush. Though Chief Justice Rehnquist voted with the 5-to-4 majority, his central role in the case was largely behind the scenes and the controlling opinion did not carry his name.

"A Young Justice on His Own: William H. Rehnquist, Architect of Conservative Court, Dies at 80"
The New York Times, September 6, 2005

Juicy gossip moves so quickly - He did what? She has pictures? - that few people have time to cover their ears, even if they wanted to.

"I heard a lot in the hallway, on the way to class," said Mady Miraglia, 35, a high school history teacher in Los Gatos, Calif., speaking about a previous job, where she got a running commentary from fellow teachers on the sexual peccadilloes and classroom struggles of her colleagues.

Gossip Survey "To be honest, it made me feel better as a teacher to hear others being put down," she said. "I was out there on my own, I had no sense of how I was doing in class, and the gossip gave me some connection. And I felt like it gave me status, knowing information, being on the inside."

Gossip has long been dismissed by researchers as little more than background noise, blather with no useful function. But some investigators now say that gossip should be central to any study of group interaction.

People find it irresistible for good reason: Gossip not only helps clarify and enforce the rules that keep people working well together, studies suggest, but it circulates crucial information about the behavior of others that cannot be published in an office manual. As often as it sullies reputations, psychologists say, gossip offers a foothold for newcomers in a group and a safety net for group members who feel in danger of falling out.

"There has been a tendency to denigrate gossip as sloppy and unreliable" and unworthy of serious study, said David Sloan Wilson, a professor of biology and anthropology at the State University of New York at Binghamton and the author of "Darwin's Cathedral," a book on evolution and group behavior. "But gossip appears to be a very sophisticated, multifunctional interaction which is important in policing behaviors in a group and defining group membership."

When two or more people huddle to share inside information about another person who is absent, they are often spreading important news, and enacting a mutually protective ritual that may have evolved from early grooming behaviors, some biologists argue.

Long-term studies of Pacific Islanders, American middle-school children and residents of rural Newfoundland and Mexico, among others, have confirmed that the content and frequency of gossip are universal: people devote anywhere from a fifth to two-thirds or more of their daily conversation to gossip, and men appear to be just as eager for the skinny as women.

Sneaking, lying and cheating among friends or acquaintances make for the most savory material, of course, and most people pass on their best nuggets to at least two other people, surveys find.

This grapevine branches out through almost every social group and it functions, in part, to keep people from straying too far outside the group's rules, written and unwritten, social scientists find.

In one recent experiment, Dr. Wilson led a team of researchers who asked a group of 195 men and women to rate their approval or disapproval of several situations in which people talked behind the back of a neighbor. In one, a rancher complained to other ranchers that his neighbor had neglected to fix a fence, allowing cattle to wander and freeload. The report was accurate, and the students did not disapprove of the gossip.

But men in particular, the researchers found, strongly objected if the rancher chose to keep mum about the fence incident.

"Plain and simple he should have told about the problem to warn other ranchers," wrote one study participant, expressing a common sentiment that, in this case, a failure to gossip put the group at risk.

"We're told we're not supposed to gossip, that our reputation plummets, but in this context there may be an expectation that you should gossip: you're obligated to tell, like an informal version of the honor code at military academies," Dr. Wilson said.

This rule-enforcing dynamic is hardly confined to the lab. For 18 months, Kevin Kniffin, an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin, tracked the social interactions of a university crew team, about 50 men and women who rowed together in groups of four or eight.

Dr. Kniffin said he was still analyzing his research notes. But a preliminary finding, he said, was that gossip levels peaked when the team included a slacker, a young man who regularly missed practices or showed up late. Fellow crew members joked about the slacker's sex life behind his back and made cruel cracks about his character and manhood, in part because the man's shortcoming reflected badly on the entire team.

"As soon as this guy left the team, the people were back to talking about radio, food, politics, weather, those sorts of things," Dr. Kniffin said. "There was very little negative gossip."

Given this protective group function, gossiping too little may be at least as risky as gossiping too much, some psychologists say. After all, scuttlebutt is the most highly valued social currency there is. While humor and story telling can warm any occasion, a good scoop spreads through a room like an illicit and irresistible drug, passed along in nods and crooked smiles, in discreet walks out to the balcony, the corridor, the powder room. Knowing that your boss is cheating on his wife, or that a sister-in-law has a drinking problem or a rival has benefited from a secret trust fund may be enormously important, and in many cases change a person's behavior for the better.

"We all know people who are not calibrated to the social world at all, who if they participated in gossip sessions would learn a whole lot of stuff they need to know and can't learn anywhere else, like how reliable people are, how trustworthy," said Sarah Wert, a psychologist at Yale. "Not participating in gossip at some level can be unhealthy, and abnormal."

Talking out of school may also buffer against low-grade depressive moods. In one recent study, Dr. Wert had 84 college students write about a time in their lives when they felt particularly alienated socially, and also about a memory of being warmly accepted.

After finishing the task, Dr. Wert prompted the participants to gossip with a friend about a mutual acquaintance, as she filmed the exchanges. Those who rated their self-esteem highly showed a clear pattern: they spread good gossip when they felt accepted and a more derogatory brand when they felt marginalized.

The gossip may involve putting someone else down to feel better by comparison. Or it may simply be a way to connect with someone else and share insecurities. But the end result, she said, is often a healthy relief of social and professional anxiety.

Ms. Miraglia, the high school teacher, said that in her previous job she found it especially comforting to hear about more senior teachers' struggle to control difficult students. "It was my first job, and I felt overwhelmed, and to hear someone say, 'There's no control in that class' about another teacher, that helped build my confidence," she said.

She said she also heard about teachers who made inappropriate comments to students about sex, a clear violation of school policy and professional standards.

Adept gossipers usually sense which kinds of discreet talk are most likely to win acceptance from a particular group. For example, a closely knit corporate team with clear values - working late hours, for instance - will tend to embrace a person who gripes in private about a colleague who leaves early and shun one who complains about the late nights.

By contrast, a widely dispersed sales force may lap up gossip about colleagues, but take it lightly, allowing members to work however they please, said Eric K. Foster, a scholar at the Institute for Survey Research at Temple University in Philadelphia, who recently published an analysis of gossip research.

It is harder to judge how gossip will move through groups that are split into factions, like companies with divisions that are entirely independent, Dr. Foster said. "In these situations, it is the person who gravitates into a intermediate position, making connections between the factions, who controls the gossip flow and holds a lot of power," he said.

Such people can mask devious intentions, spread false rumors and manipulate others for years, as anyone who has worked in an organization for a long time knows. But to the extent that healthy gossip has evolved to protect social groups, it will also ultimately expose many of those who cheat and betray. Any particularly nasty gossip has an author or authors, after all, and any functioning gossip network builds up a memory.

So do the people who are tuned in to the network. In one 2004 study, psychologists had college students in Ohio fill out questionnaires, asking about the best gossip they had heard in the last week, the last month and the last year. The students then explained in writing what they learned by hearing the stories. Among the life lessons:

"Infidelity will eventually catch up with you," "Cheerful people are not necessarily happy people" and "Just because someone says they have pictures of something doesn't mean they do."

None of which they had learned in class.

Benedict CAREY
"Have You Heard? Gossip Turns Out to Serve a Purpose"
The New York Times, August 16, 2005

Global positioning systems rely on careful measurement differences between signals sent from several satellites thousands of miles apart.

The time differences between the signals sent to the device in my car must be measured to an accuracy of about a billionth of a second to distinguish my position to within a few feet.

But general relativity predicts that the relative clicking of clocks changes depending on their position in a gravitational field. Satellites located high above Earth are moving in a gravitational field that is slightly weaker than what we experience on the ground.

As a result, their internal clocks tick at a different rate than those on Earth.

The effect is extremely small, but it is comparable to the accuracy needed to distinguish the position of objects on the scale that is otherwise possible with needed by global positioning devices. Without correcting for it, the systems would give results that are ever so slightly off.

Einstein didn't develop general relativity because he wanted to find a better way to track his own position. He wanted to address fundamental questions about the universe, and even if he had been so inclined he probably could not have foreseen in 1915 the technology that makes G.P.S. measurements possible today.

Lawrence M. KRAUSS
"Essay: The Long Arm of Einstein Guides My Steering Wheel"
The New York Times, August 16, 2005

The argument that competition increases polarization assumes that liberals want to read liberal newspapers and conservatives conservative ones. Natural as that assumption is, it conflicts with one of the points on which left and right agree - that people consume news and opinion in order to become well informed about public issues. Were this true, liberals would read conservative newspapers, and conservatives liberal newspapers, just as scientists test their hypotheses by confronting them with data that may refute them. But that is not how ordinary people (or, for that matter, scientists) approach political and social issues. The issues are too numerous, uncertain and complex, and the benefit to an individual of becoming well informed about them too slight, to invite sustained, disinterested attention. Moreover, people don't like being in a state of doubt, so they look for information that will support rather than undermine their existing beliefs. They're also uncomfortable seeing their beliefs challenged on issues that are bound up with their economic welfare, physical safety or religious and moral views.

So why do people consume news and opinion? In part it is to learn of facts that bear directly and immediately on their lives - hence the greater attention paid to local than to national and international news. They also want to be entertained, and they find scandals, violence, crime, the foibles of celebrities and the antics of the powerful all mightily entertaining. And they want to be confirmed in their beliefs by seeing them echoed and elaborated by more articulate, authoritative and prestigious voices. So they accept, and many relish, a partisan press. Forty-three percent of the respondents in the poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center thought it "a good thing if some news organizations have a decidedly political point of view in their coverage of the news."

Thus the increase in competition in the news market that has been brought about by lower costs of communication (in the broadest sense) has resulted in more variety, more polarization, more sensationalism, more healthy skepticism and, in sum, a better matching of supply to demand. But increased competition has not produced a public more oriented toward public issues, more motivated and competent to engage in genuine self-government, because these are not the goods that most people are seeking from the news media. They are seeking entertainment, confirmation, reinforcement, emotional satisfaction; and what consumers want, a competitive market supplies, no more, no less. Journalists express dismay that bottom-line pressures are reducing the quality of news coverage. What this actually means is that when competition is intense, providers of a service are forced to give the consumer what he or she wants, not what they, as proud professionals, think the consumer should want, or more bluntly, what they want.

Richard A. POSNER
"Essay: Bad News"
The New York Times, July 31, 2005

William Jennings Bryan died 80 years ago today as he napped in a Tennessee hotel room, just before he was finally to deliver his closing argument in the Scopes case. The trial had actually ended a few days before, after the judge abruptly cut short the testimony, but Bryan, after subjecting himself to a withering interrogation by Clarence Darrow, the nation's leading defense lawyer, was intent on getting the last word.

Last week, the Smithsonian Institution archives announced that Marcel C. LaFollette, a historian, had found more than 60 unpublished photographs taken during the trial, which, as H. L. Mencken wrote, transformed Dayton, Tenn., from an "obscure and happy" town into a "universal joke."

The photos provide what Ellen Alers, an assistant archivist, called a "unique, informal, much more human view that personalizes the case." A sample is online at www.siarchives.si.edu.

John T. Scopes, a 24-year-old high school biology teacher, was the chosen vehicle to challenge the state law that outlawed "any theory that denies the story of the Divine creation of man as taught in the Bible."

After deliberating for eight minutes, the jury found him guilty. He was fined $100. A year later, the State Supreme Court overturned the verdict on a technicality. Scopes, who became a geologist, wrote in 1965 that as a result of the trial, "restrictive legislation on academic freedom is forever a thing of the past." (He died in 1970.) Tennessee repealed the law in 1967, but debate over teaching evolution persists.

Darrow's argument that Bryan disregarded scientific evidence was immortalized in this exchange:
"I do not think about things I don't think about," Bryan said.
"Do you think about the things you do think about?" Darrow asked.
"Well," Bryan replied, "sometimes."

"Findings: 80 Years Ago, They Inherited the Wind"
The New York Times, July 26, 2005

To investigate the spousal fidelity of eastern imperial eagles, large raptors native to central Asia, a team of surreptitious scientists collected feathers the birds had shed near their nests in northern Kazakhstan.

Extracting and analyzing DNA from the feathers confirmed that not a single eagle had strayed from its mate during the course of the six-year study - a degree of monogamy unusual among birds.

Biologists once believed that most, if not all, bird species were monogamous. But over the past decade, that presumption, based on observations of apparently faithful male-female pairs building nests and raising young together, has been overturned by genetic "paternity tests" of blood samples from the birds.

In more than 75 percent of avian species looked at so far, researchers have discovered broods that have two or more fathers.

"Raptors' Fidelity Is Proved Without Ruffling Any Feathers"
The New York Times, July 26, 2005

 全国の10県が県発注工事の落札率(予定価格に占める落札価格の割合) と出来栄えの相関関係を分析し,「一般競争入札などで価格が下がっても,品 質には影響しない」との結果を得ていたことが,全都道府県を対象にした 読売新聞の調査でわかった.

 国土交通省は「安値競争で粗悪工事が増える恐れがある」として, 全入札工事の2%(件数)でしか一般競争入札を実施していない.残りは「談 合の温床」とも指摘される指名競争入札を採用しているが,その理由の妥当性 が問われる形になった.

 工事の質を調べる「成績評定」は,2001年4月に施行された入札契約適正化 法に基づき,国交省が適正化指針の中で国や自治体に要求.コンクリート強度 など13項目について検査し,65点未満だと「不良工事」とする基準を示してい る.

 47都道府県の土木部門での検査状況について,本紙が調べたところ,山形, 宮城,埼玉,長野,静岡,愛知,滋賀,鳥取,長崎,沖縄の10県が,評定点数 と落札率の関係をまとめていたことが判明.それ以外の都道府県は点数化はし ているものの,落札率との関係は調べていないとしている.

 10県のうち,入札改革で落札率の平均が大幅に下がった長野県では,2003年 度に完成した928件の建設工事の成績と落札率の関係を分析.落札率が100%だっ た工事の成績が76点だったのに対し,31.6%と最も割安だった工事は78点だっ た.全般に落札率にかかわらず工事の質にはばらつきがあり,落札率が高い不 良工事もあった.


 東京都国立市に建設された高さ44メートルのマンションをめぐり,周辺住民 らが「条例で定められた高さ制限を超える」として,高さ20メートルを超える 部分の撤去などの是正措置を都側が命じないのは違法であることの確認を求め た訴訟で,最高裁第一小法廷(才口千晴裁判長)は2005年6月23日,住民側の 上告を棄却する決定をした.住民側の訴えを不適法とした二審判決が確定した.

 訴訟では,建物の高さを20メートル以下に制限する市条例が,このマンショ ン建設に適用されるかが争点だった.その判断基準として,条例の施行日 (2000年2月1日)に,建築基準法に照らしてマンション工事がすでに始まって いたと言えるかどうかが問題となった

 一審は,くい打ちなどの基礎工事に着手していなかったことなどか ら「工事中だったとは言えない」と判断し,違法を是正する措置をとらない都 側の違法を確認した.だが,二審は「根切り」と呼ばれる地盤整備の 工事が始まっていた点などをとらえ,すでに工事中だったと認定.市条例は適 応されないとして一審判決を取り消し,住民側の訴えを不適法とした.

 第一小法廷はこの二審の判断を支持する立場から,住民側の上告や上告受理 の申し立てを退けた.

 このマンションをめぐっては,住民側が建築主の明和地所などを相手に建物 の20メートルを超える部分の撤去などを求めている訴訟もある.撤去を命じた 東京地裁判決を取り消した二審の東京高裁判決を不服として,住民側が上告し ている.

Asahi.com 2005年06月23日

 すし屋でトロを注文したら品切れで,しかたなく赤身を頼む――こんなとき に活発に働く脳の領域を,京都府立医科大の木村実教授(神経生理学)らがサ ルの実験でつきとめた.やむをえず不本意なものを選ぶときの脳内メカニ ズム解明に一歩近づく成果だ.2005年6月17日付の米科学誌サイエンスに 掲載される.

 実験では,緑のランプがついたときにサルがボタンを押せば報酬として水を たくさん与え,赤のときは少ししか与えなかった.すると,赤をつけたときは 緑に比べ,反応までの時間がわずかに長かった.たくさんの報酬が見込めない ため,しかたなく選び,反応が鈍くなったと考えられた.

 電極を脳に刺して脳神経の働きを調べると,赤いランプに反応したとき活発 に働くのは,脳の中心部にある「視床中心正中核」という領域だとわ かった.緑のランプのときはこの領域は活性化せず,逆にここを電気的に刺激 すると,しかたなく行動したときのようにサルの反応が鈍くなることも確認し た.

 木村教授は「期待通りに物事が進むことは少ない.ベストの選択肢が選べな くても,パニックに陥らず,次善の選択をするのは知的な行動だ.その脳のメ カニズム解明の突破口になる」といって<いる.

Asahi.com 2005年06月17日

Q. How did you develop a specialty in the history of marriage?
A. When I started on this in the 1970's, it really was weird. I had trained in political and economic history. In 1975, which was the height of the women's movement, I thought I'd write a book on women's history. But in searching for a topic, I realized that there were few places in history where men and women interacted.
Finally, it hit me: "Oh, look at the family. That's the one place." In the 1970's, family history wasn't yet thought of a serious field for study. I was terrified of being laughed at by other historians. I called my book "The Social Origins of Private Life." It should have been "As Pompous as You Want to Be." Every sentence was academic jargon, and if I said X, I qualified it with Y. The new book isn't like that.

Q. What is the book's central thesis?
A. That marriage has changed more in the past 30 years than in the previous 3,000. This has happened largely because women have changed so dramatically. In my lifetime, marriage has been transformed from a rigid institution where gender roles were strictly defined to what we often have now - partnerships. Until the mid-20th century, it was the man's duty to support the family. It was the wife's to provide sex and housekeeping. That's gone.
In three decades, we've gotten rid of all the legal and political requirements that women be subordinate to their husbands. At the same time, women have gained economic independence, so that they are not subordinate. We've also eliminated laws penalizing children labeled illegitimate. Taken together, this is as dramatic a change in human history as the Industrial Revolution.

Q. Didn't the romantics of the late 1700's try to reform marriage?
A. Yes, this was part of the Enlightenment, the demand to marry for love. The defenders of what was then traditional marriage, arranged marriage, were horrified. They said, "If love matches become the norm, we'll get people living together without marriage, homosexual partnerships, divorce and illegitimacy."
They were right. The love match was destabilizing. But the radical implications of the "love revolution" wouldn't be actualized until women got reliable birth control and independent incomes.

Q. Some critics wonder whether the changes in marriage have been good for children. Are you sympathetic to their concerns?
A. Certainly the situation for modern families is not easy. But you know, when people romanticize the marriages of the past, they say, "Marriage is about making sure that every child has a mother and a father." But for thousands of years, marriage was about getting in-laws, making alliances, determining which child had a right to parents and inheritance. Illegitimate children had no rights. A lot of these traditionalists idealize a paradise that never was.

"A Conversation With Stephanie Coontz: Where Have You Gone, Norman Rockwell: A Fresh Look at the Family"
The New York Times, June 15, 2005

 企業が敵対的買収に備えて導入する防衛策のうち,「ポイズン・ピル (毒薬条項)」と呼ばれる新株予約権の発行の是非が争われた仮処分手続 きで,東京地裁は2005年6月1日夕,「発行は著しく不公正」とする初めての司 法判断を示した.ニレコ側は異議を申し立てる方針で検討している.

 鹿子木康裁判長は「既存の株主は不測の損害を受けている」と判断.「今回 の新株予約権発行は,敵対的買収に対する事前の対抗策としての相当性を欠く」 として,発行を仮に差し止めた.

 新株予約権の発行をめぐっては,ニッポン放送がライブドアに買収を仕掛け られてから,「後出し」の形でフジテレビ1社に対して発行したことについて, ライブドアの申請した差し止め仮処分が今年3月,認められた.

 今回は,既存株主すべてに事前に予約権を発行するポイズン・ピルのケース だったが,正当性が認められなかったことで,今後,敵対的買収に対する防衛 策のあり方をめぐる議論に大きな影響を与えるのは必至だ.

 問題になったのは,制御機器メーカーのニレコ(山田秀丸社長,東京都八王 子市)が2005年3月に「セキュリティー・プラン」として発表した,既存株主 への新株予約権発行.(1)同月末時点の全株主に,1株当たり2予約権を発行 する(2)予約権は譲渡できない(3)敵対的買収で同社株を20%以上取得されると, 1予約権あたり1円で新株に引き換えることができる(3)6月16日に発行する予定 ――などの内容だった.日本で初めてのポイズン・ピル導入と話題を呼ん だ.

 これに対し,同社の発行済み株式の約6.8%を保有する英領ケイマン諸島の 投資会社「SFP・バリュー・リアライゼーション・マスター・ファンド・リミ テッド」が先月,発行差し止めを求めて仮処分を申し立てた.「ポイズン・ピ ル一般について異議を唱えるものではないが,明確で客観的な基準に従い,公 正な判断主体による判断の下で,ごくごく慎重に行われるべきだ」と主張.

 ニレコのプランについては(1)全株主に対して1株あたり2株の株式が取得 できる権利をほぼ無償で割り当てられることで,株式が3倍に希釈されるリス クにされされる.中長期的に大幅な株価下落のリスクを抱えることになる(2) 譲渡が一切認められない――として,「株主に著しい損害を与え,防衛策とし て欠陥がある」などと訴えた.

Asahi.com 2005年06月01日

 2004年の交通事故の発生件数は95万2191件,死傷者数は119万478人で, いずれも戦後最悪だったことが,2005年5月31日に閣議決定された交通安 全白書でわかった.2002年には,発生件数,死傷者数ともに12年ぶりに前年比 をわずかに下回ったが,その後2年連続で増える結果となった.

 一方,交通事故による死者数は7358人(前年比344人減).4年連続の減 少で,過去最悪だった1970年の1万6765人の半分以下だ

 白書をまとめた内閣府は,シートベルトの着用率の向上や,飲酒運転の 厳罰化などが,死者数の減少につながったとみている.一方で,発生件数 や死傷者が増え続けている原因については,「自動車保有台数が7809 万台と,前年より51万台増えたため」と説明するにとどまった.

 また,死者のうち,65歳以上の高齢者が占める割合は41%と最も高く ,2003年に続き4割を超えた.内閣府は高齢者に対する交通安全教育や歩 道整備などをさらに進めるとしている. …内容

Asahi.com 2005年05月31日

 コーラの飲み過ぎによる糖尿病は自己責任−.ドイツのエッセン地裁は2005 年5月12日,糖尿病になったのはメーカーの責任として,飲料大手コカ・コー ラに対し,5620ユーロ(約76万円)の慰謝料などを求めていた男性(48)の訴え を退ける判決を言い渡した.

 男性は,3年半以上にわたって1日1リットルのコーラと棒チョコ2本を飲 食し続けた揚げ句,体重が100キロを超えた上,糖尿病と診断された. (時事) …内容

asahi.com 2005年05月13日

Not only are the members of Court concerned with outside pressures, they also need to worry about building winning coalitions. Here again, says Johnson, oral arguments provide an avenue for information-gathering. In one of the more clever parts of the analysis, Johnson examines the personal papers of Justice Lewis Powell and analyzes which of his colleagues' questions during oral argument most interested him. During arguments, Powell frequently took notes regarding the issues raised by his fellow justices. In which justices was Powell most interested? It turns out that, controlling for several possible alternative explanations, Powell was "more likely to note oral argument questions and comments of colleagues who [could] help him form a majority opinion" (p.67). Less interested in coming to terms with the concerns of his colleagues who anchored the ends of the ideological continuum, Powell was much more concerned with what was on the minds of those who were closer to his ideological orientations. This behavior seems to have had actual policy consequences; all else being equal, the justices of greatest concern to Powell are the very ones who, in the end, joined Powell's coalition.

By Johnson's lights, Powell was not alone in his strategic use of oral arguments. Indeed, the book documents that all of the justices in his sample raised legal and policy questions during the conference that were addressed for the first time during oral argument. By most accounts, conference discussions are not terribly extensive, but Johnson's data suggest that their brevity belies a process in which the Court begins to circulate new issues that transcend what the parties presented in their briefs and instead reflect what issues are most on the minds of the justices.

These issues eventually find their way into the Court's written opinions. Across the board, opinion writers come to terms with issues that manifest themselves only during oral arguments. Johnson employs the well-known example of ROE v. WADE to illustrate how an issue raised for the first time in oral argument (i.e., at what point in a pregnancy can the state prohibit abortions) can later become a part of the Court's doctrine (i.e., the trimester framework). Johnson's results show that a good many issues - especially ones relating to actors external to the Court - have their origins in oral arguments.

The book documents how opinion writers, when faced with marginal coalitions and broad disparities among the views of the majority, seem to be compelled to address new issues to satisfy diverse demands. Thus, issues raised during oral arguments find their way into the Court's opinions because of [*109] the strategic demands of satisfying fellow justices as well as key constituents outside the Court.

Taken together, the evidence that Johnson musters makes a persuasive case that oral argument is a far more critical component of decision making than we have previously believed. Whatever impact legal advocacy may have on the justices, oral argument provides the justices with an important tool with which to animate their decision making and advance their goals. As Johnson demonstrates, the justices are not a passive audience, listening and reacting to lawyers. Instead, they use arguments as a proactive opportunity to extract information that will later be necessary to persuade colleagues and to buttress the Court's policies.

Part of what makes Johnson's book so fascinating is its innovative claims about the use of oral argument. Indeed, the book views oral arguments in ways that, I suspect, few of us have previously contemplated. Perhaps for that reason, though, some of the specific hypotheses that Johnson tests seem more the result of spontaneous combustion than well-constructed theories. For instance, Johnson formally posits that "the most prevalent questions from the bench should examine policy concerns about a case" (p.25), that the justices should ask about the preferences of outside actors "at about the same rate" (p.26), and that questions about precedent and other institutional constraints should be raised, "but less frequently than they raise questions about policy and external actors' preferences" (p.27).

Kevin T. McGuire
"[Bookreview] ORAL ARGUMENTS AND DECISION MAKING ON THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT, by Timothy R. Johnson. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2004."
Book Title, Year, Page

Consider, for instance, an incendiary argument made by the economist Amartya Sen in 1990. In an essay in the New York Review of Books, Sen claimed that there were some 100 million "missing women" in Asia. While the ratio of men to women in the West was nearly even, in countries like China, India, and Pakistan, there were far more men than women. Sen charged these cultures with gravely mistreating their young girls--perhaps by starving their daughters at the expense of their sons or not taking the girls to doctors when they should have.

Emily Oster was suitably intrigued. She set out first to see if she could use data to confirm Blumberg's thesis. A vaccine for hepatitis B, she learned, had been available since the late 1970s. She found good data on a U.S. government vaccination program in Alaska. Before the vaccinations began, Alaskan natives had a historically high incidence of hepatitis B as well as a high birth ratio of boys to girls. White Alaskans, meanwhile, had a low incidence of hepatitis B and gave birth to the standard ratio of boys to girls. But after a universal vaccination program was carried out in Alaska, the Native Alaskans' boy-girl ratio fell almost immediately to the normal range, while the white Alaskans' ratio was unchanged. A vaccination program in Taiwan revealed similar results.

Convinced now of the relationship between hepatitis B and birth gender, Oster set out on a vast data mission to determine the magnitude of that relationship. She measured the incidence of hepatitis B in the populations of China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, and other countries where mothers gave birth to an unnaturally high number of boys. Sure enough, the regions with the most hepatitis B were the regions with the most "missing" women. Except the women weren't really missing at all, for they had never been born.

Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt
"The Search for 100 Million Missing Women: An economics detective story"
Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2005

"More than anyone else, Mike Gazzaniga created the field of cognitive neuroscience," said Dr. George Miller, a cognitive psychologist at Princeton.

In December 2001, Dr. Gazzaniga was invited to join the bioethics council by Dr. Leon Kass, its current chairman. "I said, 'I don't know anything about bioethics,' " Dr. Gazzaniga recalled. Dr. Kass assured him that the council wasn't supposed to be a group of bioethicists, and Dr. Gazzaniga agreed to join.

The council immediately took up the debate on stem cell research. Dr. Gazzaniga supports the cloning of cells to produce embryos that can be used to extract stem cells. Others on the council felt very differently. They argued that a fertilized human egg represented a potential unique individual and that creating such eggs solely for research was wrong.

Dr. Gazzaniga is quick to point out that his differences with other council members were strictly intellectual. "There's no one I don't respect on the committee. They're all smart people," he said. "I heatedly disagree with some of them, but they're not lunatics."

Nevertheless, he did not shy from argument. At one meeting in 2002, Dr. Kass described his sense of awe at watching cells divide. "I countered him with, 'You ever see a tumor cell divide?' " Dr. Gazzaniga said. "It's also pretty miraculous event, but all it does is fill you up with rage. You can look at it in two different ways."

Dr. Gazzaniga argues that it is meaningless to call a fertilized egg a potential human being. "There's potential for 30 homes in a Home Depot, but if the Home Depot burns down, the headline isn't '30 Homes Burn Down.' It's 'Home Depot Burns Down,' " Dr. Gazzaniga said.

He argues that stem cell policy makers should take brain death as their model. After brain death, surgeons routinely remove organs for transplants. Stem cell research should, therefore, be acceptable on embryos in which the structures that will develop into the brain have not yet emerged - before 14 days postfertilization.

The actual biology of embryos doesn't conform to notions of unique human potential in early embryos, Dr. Gazzaniga argued. A single fertilized egg can split into twins - turning one supposedly unique human being into two. What's more, twins can then sometimes fuse back together into a single embryo, known as a chimera. "So we had one person, and then we had two people, and then we have one person again," he said. "So what's that all about?"

"Scientist at Work: Michael Gazzaniga, A Career Spent Learning How the Mind Emerges From the Brain" May 10, 2005 Author
New York Times [NYTimes.com], May 10, 2005

女が再婚するのは,先夫を嫌っていたからだ.男が再婚するのは,先妻を熱愛 していたからだ.(オスカー・ワイルド)

ひとつの嘘を本当らしくするためには七つの嘘を必要とする.(マルティン・ ルター)

愚かさは人間の宿命である.だから,繰り返し失敗を積み重ねないと,先に進 めない.諦めないことの意味がそこにある.(ウィリアム・ショックレー,物 理学者)

やさしい言葉で相手を征服できない人はきつい言葉でも征服できない.(アン トン・チェーホフ)

私たちにとって最大の名誉は一度も失敗しないことではなく,倒れるごとに必 ず起き上がることである.(オリヴァー・ゴールドスミス)

君が行く 道の長路[ながて] を くりたため

     焼き亡ぼさむ 天の火もがも


梓弓 春になりなば 草の庵を

     とく出て来たれ 会いたきものを(良寛)

いついつと 待ちにし人は 来たりけり

     今はあい見て 何か思はん(良寛)

武蔵野の 草葉の霜の ながらへて

     ながらへはつる 身にもあらねば

生き死にの 界の外に 住む身にも

     さらぬ別れの あるぞ悲しき(貞信尼)

裏を見せ 表を見せて 散る紅葉(良寛)


太子党」とは,共産党幹部を親族に持つ子女のことを指す.89年の天安門事 件以降,党の安定を第一に考えて,「根は赤く苗は正しい」とされる「太子党」 の幹部登用が増えたという.香港メディアによると,中国の政財界の中枢には, 現在,数万人の太子党がいるとの推測もある.

幹部の子は幹部.権力者の特権が血縁者にも及び,半ば固定化された「身 分」が 存在する中国社会では,個人の機会均等など幻想に過ぎない.この現実に対す る民衆の不満が解消されない限り,「調和社会」は絵空事に終わる.党中央は, 幹部登用をめぐる不正をなくすよう指示し続けている.


知ってトクする暮らし百科:自賠責の査定 同じ後遺症,裁判だと補償額8倍 にも

 交通事故の補償をめぐり,被害者からの異議申し立てが増えている.自賠責 保険の後遺障害の等級をつける損害保険料率算出機構(東京)や,損害保険会 社の査定への不満からだ.背景には保険会社の支払いが裁判の水準に比べてか なり低い実態がある.【横田一】



 後遺障害のレベルは,保険会社などからきた診断書などをもとに,算出機構 が決める.等級がつくのは,けがのうち5%前後.労災基準をもとに1〜14 級140種の中から決まる.しかし異議申し立てによって開く審査会は急増し ており,99年度からの4年で30倍にも増えた=右表(高次脳機能障害は除 く).

 また,弁護士や医師らが委員になり,02年4月から被害者と保険会社など との紛争を東京と大阪の審査会で調停(無料)する民間仲裁機関「自賠責保険・ 共済紛争処理機構」(東京)の処理件数も増えている=上表.

 審査で等級が変わる率は処理機構で14〜22%,算出機構で12〜21% だ.申し立てが増えた理由について算出機構は「02年度から異議申し立て手 続きが簡略化し,保険会社に手続きなどの説明を義務づけたからでは」とみる. 紛争処理機構は「等級から外されたとか,もっと上の等級のはずという訴えが 多い.今年,委員を増やし3カ月をめどに審査しているが,消化に苦労してい る」と話す.



「jiko110.com」(京都市)への相談メールも,1日300件近い.代表理事 の宮尾一郎さんは「紛争が増えるのは,あいまいな認定のせい.症状の見方ひ とつで,補償額は大きく変わる」と話す.

 例えば,東京都内の主婦(62)は「後遺症なし」の認定が,異議申し立て で14級になった.03年春,無信号の丁字路付近で右折してきた乗用車には ねられ,左下肢を骨折して約3カ月入院.すねに約23センチの傷跡が残った が,後遺障害が認められず申し立てた.機構は傷を見て14級と認め,保険会 社から障害慰謝料など約85万円を支払う連絡を受けた.主婦は弁護士を立て, さらに話し合っている.


 話し合いや調停が不調に終わると,残る手段は裁判になる.労力や費用は小 さくないが,正当性が認められれば,補償は跳ね上がる.

 99年秋,都内の交差点をバイクで右折中,後ろから接触してきた乗用車の タイヤに右足甲をひかれた女性看護師(30)は,約8倍になった.くるぶし を折って手術したが,「後遺障害なし」「過失相殺は50%(半分は本人の責 任)」とされ,約45万円の示談金を示された.弁護士に相談して東京地裁に 提訴した結果,14級と認められ,350万円で和解した.

 「後遺障害が絡む事件に限らず,裁判を起こすと,ほとんどのケースで交渉 時より賠償額が跳ね上がる」と言うのは,「道交法の謎」(講談社+α新書) の著者,高山俊吉弁護士(東京弁護士会)だ.亡くなると逸失利益や慰謝料, けがの時は他に治療費や休業補償,後遺障害などを請求するが「同じ1級の後 遺障害でも,保険会社との交渉段階では1100万円の慰謝料しか示されない のに,裁判所は2800万円前後を示すことが多い.この差はひどすぎる」と 批判している.

 損害保険料率算出団体に関する法律(料団法)に基づく民間非営利法人.自 賠責保険料の一部で交通事故の損害調査をしたり,損保会社の会費で地震保険 や火災保険などの料率をはじいている.



余は今まで禅宗のいはゆる悟りといふ事を誤解して居た.悟りといふ事は如何 なる場合にも平気で死ぬる事かと思って居たのは間違いで,悟りといふ事は如 何なる場合にも平気で生きて居る事であった


自分の生活の明るい面をより強くみ,暗い面はあまりみないすべを私は覚えて いた


木留山[きどめやま] しら[]む砦の []かがり[]

      けぶ[]ると []しは さくら[]なりけり (山県有朋)


──最近,政府の要人から東京裁判が「勝者の裁きであり,不当だ」と言った 意見が出ています.
「第一次大戦後,戦勝国はドイツが再び脅威になることを防ごうと,再起でき ないほどの過大な賠償を科した.その結果,ナチスの台頭を招いた.その反省 から,敗戦国の全国民に責任を負わせるのではなく,平和に対する脅威を引き 起こしたナチスの戦争指導者を裁きそこに責任を負わせる,そういう新しい戦 後処理の方式を考え出した.それがニュルンベルク裁判であり,東京裁判だ. 戦勝国の国民を納得させるためにも,それは必要だった.歴史の教訓から生ま れた勝者の知恵だと思う

「A級戦犯といわれる人たちが戦争に勝ちたいと真剣に努力したことを,だれ も疑っていない.しかし,天皇陛下に対する輔弼の責任を果たすことができな かった.国民の多くが命を落とし,傷つき,そして敗戦という塗炭の苦しみを なめることになった.そのことに,結果責任を負ってもらわないといけない

──東京裁判を受諾した51年のサンフランシスコ講和条約11条について, 「判決は受け入れたが,裁判全体を認めたわけではない」という意見がありま す.
負け惜しみの理屈はやめた方がいい.サンフランシスコ講和条約は,戦後日 本が国際社会に復帰し,新しい日本を築く出発点だ.それを否定して一体,ど こへ行くんですか
「東京裁判にはいろいろ批判もあるし,不満もあった.ただ,裁判の結果を受 け入れた以上,それにいまさら異議を唱えるようなことをしたら,国際社会で 信用されるわけがない.条約を守り,誠実に履行することは,国際社会で生き ていくために最低限守らなければいけないことだ」

──A級戦犯を合祀した靖国神社に首相が参拝することを,戦争責任との関係 でどう考えますか.
「東京裁判の結果,処断された人たちであるA級戦犯を神としてまつる.これ は死者を追悼するとともに,その名誉をたたえる顕彰でもある.そこに条約を 締結した国の代表者が正式にお参りすることは,戦勝国の国民に対して説明が つかない.日本国民としても,敗戦の結果責任を負ってもらわなくてはならな い人たちを神にするのはいかがなものか,という疑問があるだろう.首相は靖 国神社参拝を控えるのが当然だ」


In particular, he [Zane, the defendant's attorney] said that any settlement would have to include an agreement by Arnold & Porter [Stern, plaintiff's attorney's Law Firm] not to represent any other plaintiffs against Pittston [defendant]. I always assumed Zane would get around to asking for this. It is fairly standard practice in a major plaintiff's litigation for defense counsel to require, as part of the settlement, that the plaintiff's counsel not represent any other plaintiffs.

After we talked for a few more minutes, I finally told Zane I would accept $13.5 million. (p.299)

Gerald M. Stern
The Buffalo Creek Disaster, Vintage Books, 1977

There is, of course, a simpler argument that some Clinton haters use to explain the persistence of their passion. They say that he was, to put it bluntly, a very bad president -- immature, self-absorbed, indecisive in domestic affairs and disastrously weak when it came to representing America in the affairs of the world.

It is this argument that John F. Harris utterly demolishes in "The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House," his thorough, readable and scrupulously honest account of the Clinton years. Harris, who was The Washington Post's White House correspondent from 1995 through 2000, is no Clinton apologist. His portraits of the decision-making process he witnessed reveal a president who indeed lacked discipline in his daily routine; examined and re-examined policy choices endlessly, to the frustration of his advisers; and was fearful about the use of military force abroad, even in behalf of the most defensible causes.

But over the course of 500 pages, Harris also documents the history of a president who, however frustrating he may have been in style and method, usually made the right choices in the end -- even when he felt that he was hurting himself politically. The 1993 spending cuts and tax increases, over which he agonized for months, ultimately reduced the federal deficit, reassured financial markets and set in motion the prosperity that marked the second half of the decade. The 1996 Welfare Reform Act, which Clinton signed against the advice of his closest Democratic allies, turned out to be the most successful domestic policy initiative of the 1990's.

On Bosnia in the early years and then on Kosovo in 1999, the president did shrink from military action while hostilities continued and innocent people died. But the war in Bosnia was settled at an administration-sponsored peace conference in Ohio in 1995, and a few weeks of American bombing persuaded Slobodan Milosevic to give up his assault on Kosovo in 1999. By the time Clinton left office, Bosnia was in the midst of a peaceful recovery, and Milosevic had been deposed from power and was awaiting trial as a war criminal.

"'The Survivor': Measuring His Success"
The New York Times, June 12, 2005

BEFORE I can properly address the freshly updated "Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior," I have to confess to some behavior that is grossly incorrect. I got married two years ago and have written to maybe 27 of the roughly 200 generous souls who took the time and trouble to pick out and send lovely wedding presents to my husband and me. Though I can come up with endless reasons for this appalling lapse -- we're renovating a house, we're camping at a friend's, I have no desk, my stationery is in storage -- there is, in fact, no excuse for it. I know that, I've been knowing it, and now I've said it in front of God, my mother and all those people who are wondering if I ever received the monogrammed linen cocktail napkins I look forward to enjoying once I unpack the Baccarat martini glasses I also received (thank you George and Nancy).

Julia REED
"'Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior': Ain't Misbehavin,'"
The New York Times, June 12, 2005

The mechanism depends on a highly variable section of DNA involved in controlling a gene. The Emory researchers who found it, Elizabeth A. D. Hammock and Larry J. Young, say they have detected the same mechanism embedded in the sequence of human DNA but do not yet know how it may influence people's behavior.

Voles, not to be confused with the burrowing, hill-making mole, are mouselike rodents with darker coats and fatter tails. The control section of their DNA expands and contracts in the course of evolution so that members of a wild population of voles, the Emory researchers have found, will carry sections of many different lengths. Male voles with a long version of the control section are monogamous and devoted to their pups, whereas those with shorter versions are less so.

People have the same variability in their DNA, with a control section that comes in at least 17 lengths detected so far, Dr. Young said.

So should women seek men with the longest possible DNA control region in the hope that, like the researchers' voles, they will display "increased probability of preferences for a familiar-partner female over a novel-stranger female"?

Dr. Young said he expected that any such genetic effect in men would be influenced by culture, and thus hard to predict on an individual basis.

The control mechanism is also present in humans' two closest cousins, the chimpanzee and the bonobo, and bears on a controversy as to which of the two species humans more closely resemble.

Chimpanzees operate territorially based societies controlled by males who conduct often-lethal raids on neighboring groups. Bonobos, which look much like chimps, are governed by female hierarchies and facilitate almost every social interaction with copious sex.

The DNA sequence of humans, chimps and bonobos is generally very similar, but in the section that controls response to the hormone vasopressin, the Emory researchers have found the human and bonobo versions differ significantly from that of the chimp. Though not too much can be deduced from a single gene, the result shows that bonobos should be taken very seriously as a guide to human behavior and that the chimp is not the only model, said Dr. Frans de Waal of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta.

The Emory researchers recently noticed that in their prairie vole colony, some fathers spent more time with their pups and some less. They traced the source of this variability to its molecular roots, a variation in the length of the DNA region that controls a certain gene.

This is the gene for the vasopressin receptor, the device used by neurons to respond to vasopressin. Voles with long and short DNA segments had different patterns of vasopressin receptors in their brains, which presumably changed their response to the hormone.

The long and short DNA segments differ by only 19 DNA units, mostly the same two units repeated over and over. The repeats are notorious for confusing the DNA copying apparatus, which every few generations or so may insert an extra repeat or delete one. The random changes have generated a spectrum of lengths in the voles that in turn underlies the variability in behavior, the Emory researchers say.

They proved the point by separating voles with the shortest length and longest length of DNA and showing that their progeny differed in behavior.

Dr. Young said he suspected that many other genes that influenced behavior, in voles and other species, might have fallen under similar control systems. Because the DNA repeats are so variable, they generate diversity more quickly than most other types of mutation. And a population whose individuals show a range of behavior is more likely to include some who can better adapt to a new situation.

Dr. Gene Robinson, an expert in social behavior at the University of Illinois, said the new finding was "a significant advance in sociogenomics," the attempt to explain social life in terms of DNA, because it showed how easily behavior could be changed just by altering a gene's activity, not the gene itself.

For a long time, researchers have assumed the genetic control of behavior would be too complex a problem to address. "The nice thing about this story is that it tells you it's not complex," Dr. Young said.

Nicholas WADE
"DNA of Deadbeat Voles May Hint at Why Some Fathers Turn Out to Be Rats"
The New York Times, June 10, 2005

About three years ago, Dr. Ana Pinto, an archaeologist at Arizona State University, was driving past a natural outcropping in northwest Spain and - screech! - she put the brake to her car.

She had just spotted a limestone cave that she sensed might have once been settled by prehistoric humans.

For the next six months, she excavated the cave by hand, pushing through animal waste, bones, mud and human artifacts. By the time she had dug some nine feet deep, she knew she had hit the archaeological jackpot.

"This cave at Sopena is almost unique because it has signs of continuous hominid habitation for at least 60,000 years," she said. "This is an incredibly rare find."

Dr. Pinto, 45, who was born in Spain, came to New York City recently to receive an award from Wings WorldQuest, a foundation supporting women who make careers as explorers and scientists.

For people in her field, she said, it often pays to think "like a Neanderthal."

Q. When you were growing up in 1970's in Spain, did you want to be an archaeologist?

A. I didn't want to be what my mother was. She'd stayed at home with eight children. In that time, we still had the Franco dictatorship and life was very conservative. My family, they told me, "You can be a wife or you can be a prostitute." I read books about archaeology like "Gods, Graves and Scholars" by C. W. Ceram, and I said I wanted to do that. My family told me, "No, no, you will go off to these countries and the men will want to rape you." I was a difficult kid for my parents.

"A Conversation With Ana Pinto: Sage Advice in Archaeology: Think Like a Neanderthal"
The New York Times, June 07, 2005

When people think about natural hazards, they usually think about tornadoes or hurricanes or earthquakes. But there is another natural hazard that takes more lives in an average year in the United States than any of those - rip currents.

Because these drownings and near drownings occur one by one, year-round, up and down the coasts, few people recognize rip currents as a major hazard. Only in recent years have meteorologists and coastal geologists begun to measure rip currents precisely in the field and model them in detail in laboratory wave tanks.

The goal is to save lives. The researchers hope to devise ways of predicting when and where rip currents are most likely to occur, so beach managers will know when to add lifeguards or close the beaches.

Rip currents are often erroneously called riptides or undertow, but they are not caused by tidal action. And although waders knocked off their feet by rip currents may end up underwater, the currents themselves pull people along the surface, not down.

Usually rip currents are narrow. But sometimes, according to the National Weather Service, they can be hundreds of yards wide. And although they usually run out of steam just beyond the breakers, they may carry swimmers hundreds of yards offshore.

Rip currents form when wind, wave and beach conditions combine to push up water on the beach so that when it flows back out to sea a large volume is squeezed into a relatively narrow passage at a low place in a sandbar, perhaps, or under a pier. A result is a swath of fast-moving water that cuts across the surf zone, where waves are breaking, carrying sand, seaweed and, sometimes, swimmers with it.

Savvy surfers rely on rip currents for free rides beyond the surf zone.

But unwary bathers may wade into the water only to find themselves suddenly swept away. If they keep their heads and swim across the current, parallel to shore, they can escape its grip and make their way back to the beach.

But swimmers who try to fight rip currents quickly exhaust themselves and may drown. Would-be rescuers are often among the casualties of rip currents. That was apparently what happened Sunday at Rockaway Beach, Queens, where rip currents are not uncommon. Three 16-year-old boys were swept away - one escaped, one was rescued, but the third is missing, and a man who tried to save him later died of a heart attack.

Rip currents can flow from 1 to 4 miles an hour, or up to 6 feet a second or even faster, scientists say.

"You would have to be a good swimmer to swim two miles per hour, and you cannot do that very long," said Dr. Edward Thornton of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., who studies rip currents.

Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University in Miami, said some people called rip currents "the drowning machine," because of their almost mechanical ability to exhaust swimmers.

Cornelia DEAN
"Stalking a Killer That Lurks a Few Feet Offshore"
The New York Times, June 07, 2005

In a series of experiments, the researchers found that females given the male variant of the gene acted exactly like males in courtship, madly pursuing other females. Males that were artificially given the female version of the gene became more passive and turned their sexual attention to other males.

"We have shown that a single gene in the fruit fly is sufficient to determine all aspects of the flies' sexual orientation and behavior," said the paper's lead author, Dr. Barry Dickson, senior scientist at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. "It's very surprising.

"What it tells us is that instinctive behaviors can be specified by genetic programs, just like the morphologic development of an organ or a nose."

"For Fruit Flies, Gene Shift Tilts Sex Orientation"
The New York Times, June 03, 2005

A team of scientists at the University of Utah has proposed that the unusual pattern of genetic diseases seen among Jews of central or northern European origin, or Ashkenazim, is the result of natural selection for enhanced intellectual ability.

The selective force was the restriction of Ashkenazim in medieval Europe to occupations that required more than usual mental agility, the researchers say in a paper that has been accepted by the Journal of Biosocial Science, published by Cambridge University Press in England.

The hypothesis advanced by the Utah researchers has drawn a mixed reaction among scientists, some of whom dismissed it as extremely implausible, while others said they had made an interesting case, although one liable to raise many hackles.

"It would be hard to overstate how politically incorrect this paper is," said Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist at Harvard, noting that it argues for an inherited difference in intelligence between groups. Still, he said, "it's certainly a thorough and well-argued paper, not one that can easily be dismissed outright."

The Utah researchers have built on this idea, arguing that for some 900 years Jews in Europe were restricted to managerial occupations, which were intellectually demanding, that those who were more successful also left more offspring, and that there was time in this period for the intelligence of the Ashkenazi population as a whole to become appreciably enhanced.

As to how the disease mutations might affect intelligence, the Utah researchers cite evidence that the sphingolipid disorders promote the growth and interconnection of brain cells. Mutations in the DNA repair genes, involved in second cluster of Ashkenazic diseases, may also unleash growth of neurons.

Dr. Gregory Cochran, the first author on the Utah team's paper and a physicist who took up biology, said he became interested in the subject upon learning that patients with a particular Ashkenazic disease known as torsion dystonia were told by their physicians that "the positive thing is that this makes you smart."

"When you're in a hurry and have strong selection, you have a lot of genes with bad side effects," he said. The Ashkenazi Jewish population seemed to fit this pattern, he said, since they married only inside the community, making selection possible, and they had an urgent need for greater intelligence. Evolution had therefore selected every possible mutation that worked in this direction, despite their harmful side effects when inherited from both parents. "In a sense, I consider this a very boring paper since it raises no new principles of genetics," Dr. Cochran said.

Nicholas WADE
"Researchers Say Intelligence and Diseases May Be Linked in Ashkenazic Genes"
The New York Times, June 03, 2005

In a finding that may someday benefit the socially manipulative as well as the socially awkward, Swiss researchers are reporting that doses of a natural hormone significantly increased the level of trust that people placed in strangers who were handling their money.

Scientists have long known that the hormone used in the study - oxytocin, which circulates widely in the body during childbirth and lactation - prompts warm relations and mating in other mammals.

But they say the Swiss study, which appears in today's issue of the journal Nature, is the first to show that a simple administration of a hormone in humans can consistently alter something as socially sensitive as trust. The new finding could help researchers not only understand the biological system underlying social judgments but also perhaps correct it when it goes awry, as in conditions like social phobia or autism, scientists say.

In the study, the participants played an investment game with anonymous partners. Those who were given oxytocin invested more money with the partners than did those who did not receive the hormone, the researchers found.

Dr. Ernst Fehr, a professor of economics at the University of Zurich and the senior author of the paper, said, "Most experts were very pessimistic" that the study would find anything of significance.

But he said that the clear results should "induce a new wave of oxytocin research in humans."

"I have the hope that this research will lead to clinical applications in psychiatric disorders that are associated with a lack of trust," he said.

In the study, the Swiss researchers had 178 male college students play a simple investment game. Investors began the game with an allowance of 12 monetary units, of which they could send 12, 8, 4 or none to an unseen, anonymous "trustee." The amount was tripled before being transferred to the trustee, who then chose how much of this income to share with the investor.

In previous experiments using this game, economists have shown that investors are guarded with their money at first, increasing their investments only after seeing evidence that their partner is playing fair. The oxytocin study did not allow for this adjustment: Investors knew that they would be dealing only once with four different partners.

Yet those who inhaled oxytocin before playing the game invested an average of 10 monetary units, 17 percent more than did players who got a placebo spray. In the oxytocin group, 45 percent invested all their money, compared with 21 percent in the placebo group.

Benedict CAREY
"Hormone Dose May Increase People's Trust in Strangers"
The New York Times, June 02, 2005

WASHINGTON, May 31 - Deep Throat, the mystery man who reigned as Washington's best-kept secret source for more than 30 years, was not just any shadowy, cigarette-smoking tipster in a raincoat. He was the No. 2 official of the F.B.I., W. Mark Felt, who helped The Washington Post unravel the Watergate scandal and the presidency of Richard M. Nixon, a feat that he lived to see disclosed on Tuesday, frail but smiling at 91.

In a final plot twist worthy of the saga that Mr. Felt helped to spawn, Vanity Fair magazine released an article from its July issue reporting that Mr. Felt, long a prime suspect to Nixon himself, had in recent years confided to his family and friends, "I'm the guy they used to call 'Deep Throat.' "

Within hours - after Mr. Felt himself, in failing health since suffering a stroke in 2001, appeared in the doorway of his daughter's home in Santa Rosa, Calif., - The Post confirmed his role. He was the official who encouraged its reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to follow the trail from the break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington to the highest levels of the Nixon administration.

Mr. Woodward and Mr. Bernstein initially declined to confirm the Vanity Fair article, believing they had promised Mr. Felt unconditional confidentiality till his death. Meanwhile, The Post, which had guarded the secret as closely as the formula for Coca-Cola, suddenly found itself scrambling to deal with a monthly magazine's scoop of the final footnote to the biggest story in its history.

"The Overview: 'Deep Throat' Unmasks Himself as Ex-No. 2 Official at F.B.I."
The New York Times, June 01, 2005

In an analysis of the images appearing today in The Journal of Neurophysiology, researchers in New York and New Jersey argue that romantic love is a biological urge distinct from sexual arousal.

It is closer in its neural profile to drives like hunger, thirst or drug craving, the researchers assert, than to emotional states like excitement or affection. As a relationship deepens, the brain scans suggest, the neural activity associated with romantic love alters slightly, and in some cases primes areas deep in the primitive brain that are involved in long-term attachment.

The research helps explain why love produces such disparate emotions, from euphoria to anger to anxiety, and why it seems to become even more intense when it is withdrawn. In a separate, continuing experiment, the researchers are analyzing brain images from people who have been rejected by their lovers.

"When you're in the throes of this romantic love it's overwhelming, you're out of control, you're irrational, you're going to the gym at 6 a.m. every day - why? Because she's there," said Dr. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and the co-author of the analysis. "And when rejected, some people contemplate stalking, homicide, suicide. This drive for romantic love can be stronger than the will to live."

In the study, a computer-generated map of particularly active areas showed hot spots deep in the brain, below conscious awareness, in areas called the caudate nucleus and the ventral tegmental area, which communicate with each other as part of a circuit.

These areas are dense with cells that produce or receive a brain chemical called dopamine, which circulates actively when people desire or anticipate a reward. In studies of gamblers, cocaine users and even people playing computer games for small amounts of money, these dopamine sites become extremely active as people score or win, neuroscientists say.

Yet falling in love is among the most irrational of human behaviors, not merely a matter of satisfying a simple pleasure, or winning a reward. And the researchers found that one particular spot in the M.R.I. images, in the caudate nucleus, was especially active in people who scored highly on a questionnaire measuring passionate love.

This passion-related region was on the opposite side of the brain from another area that registers physical attractiveness, the researchers found, and appeared to be involved in longing, desire and the unexplainable tug that people feel toward one person, among many attractive alternative partners.

This distinction, between finding someone attractive and desiring him or her, between liking and wanting, "is all happening in an area of the mammalian brain that takes care of most basic functions, like eating, drinking, eye movements, all at an unconscious level, and I don't think anyone expected this part of the brain to be so specialized," Dr. Brown said.

The intoxication of new love mellows with time, of course, and the brain scan findings reflect some evidence of this change, Dr. Fisher said.

In an earlier functional M.R.I. study of romance, published in 2000, researchers at University College London monitored brain activity in young men and women who had been in relationships for about two years. The brain images, also taken while participants looked at photos of their beloved, showed activation in many of the same areas found in the new study - but significantly less so, in the region correlated with passionate love, she said.

In the new study, the researchers also saw individual differences in their group of smitten lovers, based on how long the participants had been in the relationships. Compared with the students who were in the first weeks of a new love, those who had been paired off for a year or more showed significantly more activity in an area of the brain linked to long-term commitment.

One reason new love is so heart-stopping is the possibility, the ever-present fear, that the feeling may not be entirely requited, that the dream could suddenly end.

In a follow-up experiment, Dr. Fisher, Dr. Aron and Dr. Brown have carried out brain scans on 17 other young men and women who recently were dumped by their lovers. As in the new love study, the researchers compared two sets of images, one taken when the participants were looking at a photo of a friend, the other when looking at a picture of their ex.

Although they are still sorting through the images, the investigators have noticed one preliminary finding: increased activation in an area of the brain related to the region associated with passionate love. "It seems to suggest what the psychological literature, poetry and people have long noticed: that being dumped actually does heighten romantic love, a phenomenon I call frustration-attraction," Dr. Fisher said in an e-mail message.

Benedict CAREY
"Watching New Love as It Sears the Brain"
The New York Times, May 31, 2005

 2004年の交通事故の発生件数は95万2191件,死傷者数は119万478人で,いず れも戦後最悪だったことが,2005年5月31日に閣議決定された交通安全白 書でわかった.2002年には,発生件数,死傷者数ともに12年ぶりに前年比を わずかに下回ったが,その後2年連続で増える結果となった.

 一方,交通事故による死者数は7358人(前年比344人減).4年連続 の減少で,過去最悪だった1970年の1万6765人の半分以下だ

 白書をまとめた内閣府は,シートベルトの着用率の向上や,飲酒運転の厳罰 化などが,死者数の減少につながったとみている.一方で,発生件数や死傷者 が増え続けている原因については,「自動車保有台数が7809万台と,前年 より51万台増えたため」と説明するにとどまった.

 また,死者のうち,65歳以上の高齢者が占める割合は41%と最も高く, 2003年に続き4割を超えた.内閣府は高齢者に対する交通安全教育や歩道整備 などをさらに進めるとしている.

「04年の交通事故発生件数,戦後最悪に 交通安全白書」

My practice was unusual. I had found that traditional psychotherapy - the 50-minute hour once a week - often left people struggling with distressing symptoms for years. So I had begun treating men and women for three to six months, seeing them as often as five times a week in nontraditional settings like restaurants, their homes and offices. I had encouraged them to phone me with important thoughts and feelings any time of the day or night, for a minute or an hour.

Bending professional boundaries in these ways is highly controversial. It calls upon the therapist to be extra cautious never to lose sight of the fact that he is always talking with a patient, never a friend.

A day later, I gave them a plan that embraced three of my core beliefs about marriages (including, by the way, my own, which has lasted more than 10 years):

1. Everything in the world loses its charge if left too close, for too long, to anything of opposite charge (atoms, magnets - and couples). The fact that couples often floss their teeth together and share the same laundry basket makes it a lot harder (if not impossible) to worship each other enough to have good sex.

2. People generally marry or end up living with those who speak to their core weaknesses, not their core strengths. Staying together happily relies on taking risks to radically change each partner's role in the relationship.

3. Because each person needs to make sweeping individual changes, talking to husbands and wives together is often a waste of time. It can even make things worse by getting them angrier at each other and feeling more hopeless.

Treating a couple as individuals also seemed like a way to reproduce the relatively unstructured work I had already done without introducing a new and unpredictable dynamic.

The plan I offered Gregory and Elaine was, therefore, for them to separate for 100 days, to help rekindle the romantic energy that had brought them together. Each would try to look "new" to the other by exercising, dieting and buying new clothes. And during those 100 days, I would meet with each of them 30 times and talk with them by phone as much as needed to find out how their core weaknesses as individuals were eroding their potential as a couple, and encourage them to make the changes necessary to revitalize their marriage.

Keith ABLOW, M.D.
"Cases: Bending the Boundaries for a Couple Who Lost the Spark"
The New York Times, May 31, 2005

In his [Harry Blackmun's] senior year, with graduation approaching, he briefly considered and then rejected the idea of medical school, because he would have needed additional undergraduate courses to meet the admission requirements. Law school seemed a simpler, more plausible route to the status and security of a professional career. His father had always regretted not having gone to law school, and over the years had acquired a small collection of law books that occupied a prized place on his bookshelf. "In those days, people always said well, if you don't know what you want to do, study law because it won't hurt you any, it'll be good in whatever you go into," Harry later recalled. His friend Warren Burger had made the same calculation and had already earned a year's credits toward a law degree. (p.9)

For his seventieth birthday, in 1978, his oldest daughter, Nancy, sent him a copy of One L, a best-selling book about the rigors of the first year at Harvard Law School. The author, a young Harvard Law School graduate named Scott Turow, had autographed the copy at Nancy's request, and Blackmun wrote him a note of thanks.
... "Surely there is a way to teach law, strict and demanding though it may be, with some glimpse of its humaneness and its basic good --- the art of getting along together --- as well as its demands for perfection. You so properly point out that there is room for flexibility and different answers, and that not all is black or white. If I ever learned anything on the bench, it is that." (pp.12-13)

The judiciary Committee approved the nomination unanimously, followed by a 94-to-0 confirmation vote in the Senate on May 12. It was two days short of a year since Fortas had resigned. Blackmun never forgot that he was the third choice for the seat and for many years thereafter would refer to himself as "old number three." He was sixty-one years old. (p. 51)

[Supreme Court Conference]
During the first week of arguments, Blackmunhad seen how the Court's decision-making process worked. At the end of each week in which they heard arguments, the justices would meet alone in a closed-door conference, with no law clerks or other staff, to discuss and vote on the cases. (The word conference has two meanings at the Court. Lowercased, it refers to the meeting. But Conference, with a capital C, refers to the nine justices as a collective group. A memo to the other eight justices would thus be addressed "To the Conference.") The procedure at the meeting was highly formal. The chief justice sat at one end of a long table and the senior associate justice --- Hugo Black --- at the other. The others took assigned seats along the sides. The justices spoke and voted in order of seniority. Burger would summarize the case and, unless he chose to "pass," would announce his vote: affirm or reverse. The discussion and voting would then proceed to Black and on to the other associate justices: William O. Douglas, John M. Harlan, William J. Brennan, Jr., Potter Stewart, Byron R. White, Thurgood Marshall, and, finally, Blackmun. (pp. 57-58)

Douglas spoke little in conference, and when he did, it was often to needle Burger. Blackmun later recalled that occasionally after Burger would describe a case at some length and announce how he intended to vote, Douglas would express the opposite opinion in as dismissive a way as possible. If Burger had voted to affirm, for example, Douglas would say when his turn came: "Chief, for the excellent reasons that you have spelled forth, I vote to reverse." (p. 59)

Moderately conservative in most areas of the law, Stewart was a strong defender of the freedom of the press. He had little respect for Warren Burger, a lack of regard that in Blackmun's view extended to himself. "I always had the feeling that he wasn't too sure about the rightness of my being on the Court," Blackmun would recall years later. (p.60)

The word join, Blackmun quickly learned, is used within the Court in unusual ways. A justice who wants to indicate formal agreement with another's proposed opinion sends the author a letter saying "please join me," using join as a transitive verb to convey the sense "count me in." ... An offer to negotiate would frequently be phrased: "If you can make these changes, you can have my join." By contrast, an oblique, seemingly benign phrase --- "I shall await further writing in this case" --- is actually the formula for refusing to join, an indication that a dissenting vote is forthcoming. (p.61)

He noted that Justice Brennan had apologized for dissenting from Blackmun's first opinion, explaining to him that a new justice is traditionally assigned a unanimous decision for his initial opinion. "I had not known of the tradition and was not bothered by its non-observance," Blackmun wrote. (p.63)

Returning Blackmun's draft, Burger urged him to "consider some 'muting'" fo his description of how hard the decision was. "I suppose this is because I am always uncomfortable --- and I think most readers are --- with our speaking too much of the difficulties of close cases," Burger wrote. "I hope you will 'settle' for a simple statement that you find it a close & hard case." (p.68)

Blackmun turned not only to Mayo but also to his family. As his youngest daughter, Susan, described the episode later in her father's presence, while addressing a dinner in his honor: "All three of us girls happened to be in Washington soon after Justice Burger had assigned the opinion to Dad. During a family dinner, Dad brought up the issue. 'What are your views on abortion?' he asked the four women at his table. Mom's answer was slightly to the right of center. She promoted choice but with some restrictions. Sally's reply was carefully thought out and middle of the road, the route she has taken all her life. Lucky girl. Nancy, a Radcliffe and Harvard graduate, sounded off with an intellectually leftish opinion. I had not yet emerged from my hippie phrase and spouted out a far-to-the-left, shake-the-old-man-up response. Dad put down his fork mid-bite and pushed down his chair. 'I think I'll go lie down,' he said. 'I'm getting a headache.'" (p.83)

Blackmun's suspicions were growing that Burger was deliberately delaying the opinion [Roe v. Wade] for political reasons. The chief justice was due to administer the oath of office at Richard Nixon's second inauguration, on January 20, and, as Nixon's first Supreme Court appointee, perhaps did not want to embarrass or upstage the president with a ruling in the abortion cases. (pp.99-101)

Christmas at the Supreme Court, 1974: On November 1, Chief Justice Burger circulated a memo suggesting dates for the Court's annual Christmas party for the justices and employees. December 23 would be best, he said, with December 12 and 19 also possible. William O. Douglas sent back an immediate reply, circulating it to the other associate justices as well. "Dear Chief," he began. "The Christmas parties at Court have been getting so good I thought this year we might have three. One on December 12 could be initiatory and quiet. The one on December 19 could pick up momentum and the one December 23 could really explode!"
This was vintage Douglas: teasing, goading, making no effort to hide his contempt for Earl Warren's successor. And it was easy enough to poke fun at Burger's love of ritual, his insistence on trying to wrap a fractious band of individuals in the trappings of community. (p. 102)

Blackmun kept his attention focused on arguments by taking notes that were often pithy rather than extensive. ... He gave grades to the lawyers according to scales that changed over time: sometimes letter grades, sometimes numerical grades, on a scale of 1 to 10, or 1 to 100. He also recorded physical descriptions of the lawyers in terms that were rarely flattering --- they were intended not for publication but as aids to his memory. "Licks fingers," he wrote of one lawyer. Sometimes he simply noted "balding" or ""hair." (p.105)

When the decision [Virginia State Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council] was issued, on May 24, 1976, Rehnquist was the only dissenter. Back in March, in a handwritten note to Blackmun announcing his plan to dissent, he had observed: "But I say, in tribute to you, that I didn't think as good an opinion could be written in support of your result as you have written." Rehnquist added in a postscript: "You may not quote me." (p.120)

On Blackmun's seventieth birthday, in 1978, his law clerks drew up a letter that purportedly came from Burger, complete with the bold "WEB" scrawl at the bottom, declaring a holiday for the Blackmun chambers in honor of the occation. The letter parodied Burger's idiosyncratic penchant for using quotation marks to emphasize words and phrases on a seemingly random basis. "I have 'recently' been educated to the fact that your Leader's birthday 'is' scheduled for Sunday, November 12, 1978," read the letter, addressed to "Mr. Justice Blackmun's 'Clerks,' such as they are, Secretaries, and Staff." It concluded: "I, for my part, will be glad to consider joining any 'narrowly-drafted' message of birthday congratulations."
Blackmun's notations on Burger's opinions were caustic. "The expert in psych!" he wrote on Burger's draft of an opinion in a 1979 case on involuntary commitment to a mental hospital. (He also gave the opinion a grade of "C-minus.") (p.125)

[McGeorge] Bundy's article, "The Issue Before the Court: Who Gets Ahead in America?," made a strong case for affirmative action. "To get past racism, we must here take account of race," Bundy said. "There is no other present way." Bundy also quoted Alexander Heard, the chancellor of Vanderbilt University: "To treat our black students equally, we have to treat them differently." (p.133)

During the oral argument on November 30, 1982, Blackmun made clear his displeasure with the administration. Only rarely did he ask questions from the bench, but this time he glared down at Rex Lee, held the administration's sand-colored brief in the air, and demanded: "Did you write this brief personally?"
"Very substantial parts of it," the startled solicitor general replied. (p.144)

Blackmun decided to announce his dissent from the bench. The Court was about to conclude the term, with the case tentatively scheduled to be announced on Friday, June 27, 1986. His law clerk Pamela S. Karlan urged a slight delay. "I think Friday is a bad day to have the case brought down," she wrote on Tuesday, June 24. "A summer Friday and Saturday are probably the least likely time for people to take notice of what the Court has done. I would press, if I were you, for Monday instead." Blackmun sent a note to Burger that afternoon: "Dear Chief, May I ask that No. 85-140, Bowers v. Hardwick, go over from Friday to Monday? I shall be ready by then." Burger returned the note with "Done" written across the bottom.
Because June 30 was the final day of the term, it was clear to everyone familiar with the case that the decision would be announced that morning. The interest was intense. Blackmun read aloud from his dissenting opinion: "It is precisely because the issue raised by this case touches the heart of what makes individuals what they are that we should be especially sensitive to the rights of those whose choices upset the majority." He spoke for himself and the three other dissenters: Brennan, Stevens, and Marshall. When he was finished, Marshall passed him a note. It had been more than thirteen years since Marshall had accused his junior colleague of failing to understand, in the bankruptcy fee case, how other people lived. Now the aging civil rights hero wrote: "You was great." (p.151-152)

By the early 1980s, the Burger Court was becoming increasingly dysfunctional, and Blackmun's exasperation with his old friend's management style was too great to bother concealing. (p.153)

In effect, Burger froze. His response differed from his behavior of earlier years when, as in the Bakke case, he tried to influence the course of events by circulating a preemptive opinion. What he now displayed was not heavy-handed leadership --- it was the absence of leadership, a vacuum that had swallowed one of the most important cases of the decade. More than two months later, as the term was about to end, Burger circulated the schedule for announcing the term's final opinions. On June 25, Blackmun sent Burger a memo calling attention to the omission from his list of any reference to Chadha. There had been no formal vote to reargue the case, Blackmun pointed out. If a reargument order was to be issued, he said, "I wish to be shown on the public record that I dissent." (p. 157)

"From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death."(p.178)

Six months later, Blackmun received a letter from Bruce Callins's lawyer, Brent E. Newton of the Texas Resource Center, in Houston. Callins had won a temporary reprieve in state court and was still fighting his execution. The lawyer enclosed a letter from the inmate, written in ballpoint pen on lined paper tron from a pad.

Dear Sir:
I felt such a overpowering need to write you & thank you for reaching the decision you did on my case & to show the unfairness of how the death penalty is being applied in this state itself. I hope this letter will be able to express my gratitude for your decision (which I know was a very personal one --- covering the death penalty over all. The scale of justice may someday become balanced to a degree of acceptance by all due to your decision.
The inmate told Blackmun that "I hope that you are at peace within yourself for doing as you did." (p. 180)

Among the realities of Harry Blackmun's life on the Court were the periodic death threats from antiabortion militants. Late at night on February 28, 1985, a bullet shattered the window of his apartment in Rosslyn, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from the Georgetown neighborhood of the capital. At first, the natural assumption was that the shooting was an act of antiabortion terrorism. Although the police quickly concluded that the shot was a random one, fired from a distance and not aimed at Blackmun, the incident led to a significant change in the justice's daily routine. The Supreme Court police deemd it no longer prudent for him to drive himself to work. No longer would he be parking his Volkswagen Beetle among the larger cars in the Supreme Court garage. (p. 182)

Burger had clearly believed that Blackmun would enlist in his causes, but his agenda was not Blackmun's. It did not take long for that fact to become clear. According to data compiled by Joseph F. Kobylka, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University, Blackmun voted with Burger in 87.5 percent of the closely divided cases during his first five terms (1970 to 1975) and with Brennan, the Court's leading liberal, in only 13 percent. By the next five-year period, 1975 to 1980, Blackmun was joining Brennan in 54.5 percent of the divided cases and Burger in 45.5 percent. During the final five years that he and Burger served together, he joined Brennan in 70.6 percent of the close cases and Burger in only 32.4 percent.
Yet ideological divergence alone is an unsatisfactory explanation for the rupture of a lifelong friendship. For instance, Blackmun maintained a warm relationship with William Rehnquist while agreeing with him on very few of the issues that mattered most to both of them. neither took thier disagreements personally. But Blackmun perceived that Burger did. "I do not know what he expected, but surely he could not have anticipated that I would be an ideological clone," Blackmun wrote in a brief reminiscence of Burger for the William Mitchell Law Review in 1996. "He knew me better than that. But when disagreement came, his disappointment was evident and not concealed." (pp. 186-187)

The debate over Bork's nomination consumed Washington during the summer and well into the fall of 1987. Finally, on October 23, the Senate defeated the nomination by a vote of 58 to 42, the widest margin of defeat for any Supreme Court nominee in history. ... But there was still a vacancy to fill. Reagan's next nominee, Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the D.C. Circuit, quickly withdrew his name after allegations surfaced that he had smoked marijuana during his days as a professor at Harvard Law School. ...
Even before Kennedy's confirmation, Blackmun had welcomed him as another "old number three." On November 12, 1987, the day after Kennedy's nomination, Blackmun had written to the man who, he evidently assumed, would be his new colleague. "I am a founding member of a very exclusive organization called 'the good old #3 club,'" he told Kennedy, whom he had not met. (pp. 188-189)

"Missouri is Missouri and will push and push," Blackmun wrote in notes to himself before the argument, which was scheduled for April 26, 1989. He was offended by the brief the new Bush Administration had filed, citing his 1985 opinion in the federalism case, Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority, as proof that "in similar circumstances, the Court has 'not hesitated' to overrule a prior interpretation of the Constitution." Blackmun wrote to himself, "This is a personal attack on me." (p. 190)

The appeals court had issued its decision on October 21, 1991; therefore, the abortion-rights groups had until late January to file their petition for certiorari. On that schedule, the Supreme Court would likely hear the case, if it chose to hear it at all. October 1992 at the earliest, and would decide it the following spring. But the abortion-rights groups had a different strategy. If Roe v. Wade was to be overruled, as seemed highly likely, it might as well happen sooner --- while President Bush was in the middle of a reelection campaign --- rather than later. Let the 1992 presidential election be a referendum on the right to abortion. With that scenario in mind, the plaintiffs spent barely two weeks drafting their petition and filed it on November 7, in time for the Court to add the case to its calendar for decision during the current term. Whether the justices chose to do so would, of course, be up to them. (pp. 200-201)

"Roe sound," Blackmun wrote on a small piece of pink Supreme Court memo paper after his meeting with Kennedy ended. The choice of this slightly old-fashioned word was significant. To a lawyer, "sound" conveys not just survival but correctness and legitimacy. (p. 204)

She [Ruth Bader Ginsburg] cited a notorious case from 1873, Bradwell v. Illinois, in which the Court had upheld the refusal of the Illinois bar to admit Myra Bradwell, one of the first female lawyers in the country, on the ground that "the natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex" made women unsuited for a lawyer's life. (pp. 223-224)

While his law clerk was working on a draft for his dissenting opinion, Blackmun took up a legal pad and began writing a dissent in his own voice. "Poor Joshua!" he began:

Victim of repeated attacks by an irresponsible, bullying, obviously cowardly, and intemperate father, and neglected by respondents who placed him in a dangerous predicament and who knew or learned what was going on and yet did essentially nothing except, as the Court revealingly observes, "dutifully recorded these incidents in their files." It is a sad commentary upon American life, and constitutional principles --- so full of late of patriotic fervor and proud proclamations about "liberty and justice for all," that this child, Joshua DeShaney, now is assigned to live out the entire remainder of his life profoundly retarded. Joshua and his mother, as petitioners here, deserve --- but now are denied by this Court --- the opportunity to have the facts of their case considered in the light of the constitutional protection that Section 1983 is meant to provide. (pp. 230-231)

In response to his opinion in the DeShaney case, Blackmun received a dozen appreciative letters from members of the public. To one writer, who said he was surprised to find himself praising a Nixon appointee, Blackmun replied: "Do not condemn me too much about the Nixon appointment --- after all, I was his third choice." (p.232)

The other justices respected Rehnquist even when they disagreed with him, as Blackmun increasingly did. In fact, Blackmun's voting record had become ever more liberal. According to data compiled by Joseph F. Kobylka (...), from the 1981 term through the 1985 term, Blackmun voted with William Brennan 77.6 percent of the time and with Thurgood Marshall 76.1 percent. From 1986 to 1990, his rate of agreement with the tow most liberal justices was 97.1 percent and 95.8 percent. After Brennan and Marshall retired, Harry Blackmun was, by wide consensus, the most liberal member of the Supreme Court. (p. 235)

Blackmun also took part in Rehnquist's Election Day betting pools. "Sandra proved to be positively prescient," Rehnquist wrote in a memo he circulated immediately after the 1992 presidential race, in which he had invited his colleagues to make state-by-state forecasts. O'Connor, who alone had predicted Bill Clinton's victories in Georgia and Nevada, was owed $18.30, and Rehnquist ordered the other players all but Blackmun, to pay her. Blackmun was also a statistical winner, but his lucky guesses had been shared rather than solitary. He was owed $1.70. (p.235)

Their [Blackmun & Souter] communications were not all so somber. A few months after Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Souter sent Blackmun a copy of a postcard with a photograph of two men in a lake, one in hip boots casting a fishing line, the other one fishing from an inflatable rowboat. ROW VS. WADE: The Great Western Fishing Controversy was the caption printed on the card. (p.237)

Harry Blackmun and Antonin Scalia had little in common philosophicaly --- Scalia was the Court's most conservative justice --- but they shared a love of language and an insistence on linguistic precision. Blackmun reflexively corrected the spelling and grammar on any document that fell into his hands. Scalia invited Blackmun to join the Chancellor's English Society, of which Scalia was the founder and sole member. (p.238)

In praising the retiring justice, Clinton invoked "poor Joshua" by name. "Those of us who have studied the law can at times be lost in its abstractions," the president said. "The habits, the procedures, the language of the law can separate lawyers from the people who look to the bar for justice. Justice Blackmun's identification was firmly and decisively with the ordinary people of this country, with their concerns, and his humanity was often given voice not only in majority opinions but in his dissents." Clinton added: "Justice has not only been his title; it has been his guiding light." (pp. 240-241)

On March 4, 1999, Wanda Martinson --- effectively a member of the family after twenty-five years as Blackmun's secretary --- sent an e-mail message to the 103 former law clerks: "We are very sorry to let you know that our Justice died early this morning." Some details followed, and then Martinson continued:

HAB remained true to his character to the last: After his surgery he told all of us to "get back to work," and yesterday afternoon we read to him from the sports page --- all the news on baseball spring training --- and one of his favorite stories, Casey at the Bat. We will (shall) let you know about the funeral plans as soon as possible. The last line was guaranteed to bring a smile to all who received the e-mail. No one who ever worked in the Blackmun chambers was spared the justice's editing. (pp.247-248)

His successor, Stephen Breyer, spoke, at the funeral, of his "enormous diligence." Breyer observed that "it is not often that a man or woman of sixty-one, in a cloistered office, manages through the years to find, not a narrowing, but a broadening of mind, of outlook, and of spirit. But that is what Harry Blackmun found." (pp.249-250)

Linda Greenhouse
Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey, Henry Holt and Company, 2005

吾々にとって幸福な事か不幸な事か知らないが,世に一つとして簡単に片付く 問題はない.遠い昔,人間が意識と共に与えられた言葉という吾々の思索の唯 一の武器は,依然として昔ながらの魔術を止めない劣悪を指嗾しない如何な る崇高な言葉もなく,崇高を指嗾しない如何なる劣悪な言葉もない.しかも, もし言葉がその人心眩惑の魔術を捨てたら恐らく影に過ぎまい.


Economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. Economists love incentives. they love to dream them up and enact them, study them and tinder with them. The typical economist believes the world has not yet invented a problem that he cannot fix if given a free hand to design the proper incentive scheme. ... An incentive is a bullet, a lever, a key: an often tiny object with astonishing power to change a situation.
We all learn to respond to incentives, negative and positive, from the outset of life. (p. 20)

There are three basic flavors of incentive: economic, social, and moral. Very often a single incentive scheme will include all three varieties. (p.21)

[Paul Feldman's Bagel Business]
Driving around the office parks that encircle Washington, he solicited customers with a simple pitch: early in the morning, he would deliver some bagels and a cash basket to a company's snack room; he would return before lunch to pick up the money and the leftovers. It was an honor-system commerce scheme and it worked. Within a few years, Feldman was delivering 8,400 bagels a week to 140 companies and earning as much as he had ever made as a research analyst.

So what do the bagel data have to say? In recent years, there have been two noteworthy trends in the overall payment rate. The first was a long, slow decline that began in 1992. By the summer of 2001, the overall rate had slipped to about 87 percent. But immediately after September 11 of that year, the rate spiked a full 2 percent and hasn't slipped much since. ...

The data also show that smaller offices are more honest than big ones. An office with a few dozen employees generally outpays by 3 to 5 percent an office with a few hundred employees. ...

Feldman has also reached some of his own conclusions about honesty, based more on his experience than the data. He has come to believe that morale is a big factor --- that an office is more honest when the employees like their boss and their work. He also believes that employees further up the corporate ladder cheat more than those down below. (pp.46-50)

[Ku Klux Klan]
It was Klan custom to affix a Kl to many words; thus would two Klansmen hold a Klonversation in the local Klavern. Many of the customs struck [Stetson] Kennedy as almost laughably childish. The secret Klan handshake, for instance, was a left-handed, limwristed fish wiggle. When a traveling Klansman wanted to locate brethren in a strange town, he would ask for a "Mr. Ayak" --- "Ayak" being code for "Are You a Klansman?" He would hope to hear, "Yes, and I also know a Mr. Akai" --- code for "A Klansman Am I." (p. 60)

Kennedy began feeding his best Klan information to the Superman producers. He told them about Mr. Ayak and Mr. Akai, and he passed along overheated passages from the Klan's bible, which was called the Kloran. (...) He explained the role of Klan officers in any local Klavern: the Klaliff (vice president), Klokard (lecturer), Kludd (chaplain), Kligrapp (secretary), Klabee (treasurer), Kladd (conductor), Klarogo (inner guard), Klexter (outer guard), the Klokann (a five-man investigative committee), and the Klavaliers (the strong-arm group to which Kennedy himself belonged, and whose captain was called Chief Ass Tearer). ... And Kennedy told the producers the current passwords, agenda, and gossip emanating from his own Klan chapter, Nathan Bedford Forrest Klavern No. 1, Atlanta, Realm of Gerogia.

The radio producers began to write four weeks' worth of programs in which Superman would wipe out the Ku Klux Klan.

Kennedy couldn't wait for the first Klan meeting after the show hit the air. Sure enough, the Klavern was in distress. The Grand Dragon tried to run a normal meeting but the rank and file shouted him down. "When I came home from work the other night," one of them complained, "there was my kid and a bunch of others, some with towels tied around their necks like capes and some with pillowcases over their heads. The ones with capes was chasing the ones with pillowcases all over the lot. When I asked them what they were doing, they said they were playing a new kind of cops and robbers called Superman against the Klan. Gangbusting, they called it! Knew all our secret passwords and everything. I never felt so ridiculous in all my life! Suppose my own kid finds my Klan robe some day?" (pp.64-65)

So a big part of a real-estate agent's job, it would seem, is to persuade the homeowner to sell for less than he would like while at the same time letting potential buyers know that a house can be bought for less than its listing price. (p.73)

[The Weakest Link]
The game includes eight contestants (...) who each answer trivia questions and compete for a single cash jackpot. But the player who answers the most questions correctly isn't necessarily the player who advances. After each round, every contestant votes to eliminate one other contestant.

Among economists, there are two leading theories of discrimination. Interestingly, elderly Weakest Link contestants seem to suffer from one type, while Hispanics suffer the other. The first type is called taste-based discrimination, which means that one person discriminates simply because he prefers to not interact with a particular type of other person. In the second type, known as information-based discrimination, one person believes that another type of person has poor skills, and acts accordingly.

On The Weakest Link, Hispanics suffer information-based discrimination. Other contestants seem to view the Hispanics as poor players, even when they are not. This perception translates into Hispanics' being eliminated in the early rounds even if they are doing well and not being eliminated in the later rounds, when other contestants want to keep the Hispanics around to weaken the field. Elderly players, meanwhile, are victims of taste-based discrimination: in the early rounds and late rounds, they are eliminated far out of proportion to their skills. It seems as if the other contestants --- this is a show on which the average age is thirty-four --- simply don't want the older players around. (pp.77-79)

[Internet Dating]
Getting a date is hard enough as it is. Fifty-seven percent of the men who post ads don't receive even one e-mail; 23 percent of the women don't get a single response. The traits that do draw a big response, meanwhile, will not be a big surprise to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the sexes. In fact, the preferences expressed by online daters fit snugly with the most common stereotypes about men and women.

For instance, men who say they want a long-term relationship do much better than men looking for an occasional lover. But women looking for an occasional lover do great. For men, a woman's looks are of paramount importance. For women, a man's income is terribly important. The richer a man is, the more e-mails he receives. But a woman's income appeal is a bell-shaped curve: men do not want to date low-earning women, but once a woman starts earning too much, they seem to be scared off. Men want to date students, artists, musicians, veterinarians, and celebrities (while avoiding secretaries, retirees, and women in the military and law enforcement). Women do want to date military men, policemen, and firemen (possibly the result of a 9/11 Effect, like the higher payments to Paul Feldman's bagel business), along with lawyers and financial executives. Women avoid laborers, actors, students, and men who work in food services or hospitality. For men, being short is a big disadvantage (which is probably why so many lie about it), but weight doesn't much matter. For women, being overweight is deadly (which is probably whey they lie). For a man, having red hair or curly hair is a downer, as is baldness --- but a shaved head is okey. For a woman, salt-and-pepper hair is bad, while blond hair is very good. In the world of online dating, a headful of blond hair on a woman is worth about the same as having a college degree --- and, with a $100 dye job versus a $100,000 tuition bill, an awful lot cheaper.

Roughly half of the white women on the site and 80 percent of the white men declared that race didn't matter to them. But the response data tell a different story. The white men who said that race didn't matter sent 90 percent of their e-mail to white women. The white women who said race didn't matter sent about 97 percent of their e-mail to white men. (pp.82-83)

[Conventional Wisdom]
It was John Kenneth Galbraith, the hyperliterate economic sage, who coined the phrase "conventional wisdom." He did not consider it a compliment. "We associate truth with convenience," he wrote, "with what most closely accords with self-interest and personal well-being or promises best to avoid awkward effort or unwelcome dislocation of life. We also highly acceptable what contributes most to self-esteem." Economic and social behavior, Galbraith continued, "are complex, and to comprehend their character is mentally tiring. Therefore we adhere, as though to a raft, to those ideas which represent our understanding." So the conventional wisdom in Galbraith's view must be simple, convenient, comfortable, and comforting --- though not necessarily true. (pp. 89-90)

[Drug Dealers]
So J.T. paid his employees $9,500, a combined monthly salary that was only $1,000 more than his own official salary. J.T.'s hourly wage was $66. His three officers, meanwhile, each took home $700 a month, which works out to about $7 an hour. And the foot solidiers earned just $3.30 an hour, less than the minimum wage. ...

...If you were a member of J.T.'s gang for all four years, here is the typical fate you would have faced during that period:

Number of times arrested5.9
Number of nonfatal wounds or injuries 2.4
(not including injuries meted out
by the gang itself for rules
Chance of being killed1 in 4

... In a given year, there is one drowning of a child for every 11,000 residential pools in the United States. (In a coutry with 6 million pools, this means taht roughly 550 children under the age of ten drown each year.) Meanwhile, there is 1 child killed by a gun for every 1 million-plus guns. (In a country with an estimated 200 million guns, this means that roughly 175 children under ten die each year from guns.) The likelihood of death by pool (1 in 11,000) versus death by gun (1 in 1 million-plus) isn't even close. (pp.140-150)

[Peter] Sandman is an expert who works both sides of the aisle. One day he might help a group of environmentalists expose a public health hazard. His client the next day could be a fast-food CEO trying to deal with an E. coli outbreak. Sandman has reduced his expertise to a tidy equation: Risk = hazard + outrage. For the CEO with the bad hamburger meat, Sandman engages in "outrage reduction"; for the environmentalists, it's "outrage increase."

Note that Sandman addresses the outrage but not the hazard itself. He concedes that outrage and hazard do not carry equal weight in his risk equation. "When hazard is high and outrage is low, people underreact," he says. "And when hazard is low and outrage is high, they overreact."

Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, William Morrow (HarperCollins), 2005

In "A Church That Can and Cannot Change," Noonan drives home the point that some Catholic moral doctrines have changed radically. History, he concludes, does not support the comforting notion that the church simply elaborates on or expands previous teachings without contradicting them.

His exhibit A is slavery. John Paul II included slavery among matters that are "intrinsically evil" -- prohibited "always and forever" and "without any exception" -- a violation of a universal, immutable norm. Yet slavery in some form was accepted as a fact of life in both Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, in much Christian theology and in Catholic teaching well into the 19th century. Noonan says that Christianity achieved a radical transvaluation of slavery. Jesus presented himself as a slave; slaves became saints; slavery became a metaphor and model for Christian life. Yet neither Jesus nor his followers directly challenged the institution of slavery. The fathers of the church accepted the buying, selling and owning of human beings. So did the popes: Muslim slaves were manning papal galleys until 1800. So did religious orders: Jesuits in colonial Maryland owned slaves, as did nuns in Europe and Latin America. Even St. Peter Claver, who in Colombia befriended, instructed and baptized African slaves, bought slaves to serve as interpreters. Theologians challenged abuses of slaveholding but rarely the practice itself.

It was at the urging of Protestant Britain that the papacy condemned the slave trade in 1839. In 1888, after every Christian nation had abolished slavery, the Vatican finally condemned it -- with a kind of historical rewriting and self-congratulation that palpably offends Noonan's sense of honesty.

Noonan's other exhibits deal with usury, religious freedom and marriage. Lending money for interest, long condemned as usury, became accepted as lawful. In certain cases, modern popes have claimed the power to dissolve marriages once considered indissoluble. And instead of insisting on government's imposing legal penalties, including death, to uphold religious truth, today the church positively forbids it. Compared with Noonan's treatment of slavery, his accounts of these other areas are abbreviated -- most regrettably perhaps in the case of religious freedom. Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Liberty reversed a long-held position that "error has no rights," despite the fact that only a few years previously a theologian like John Courtney Murray, the Jesuit whose defense of American separation of church and state laid the groundwork for the decree, had been silenced. This kind of dramatic rehabilitation gives heart, rightly or wrongly, to critics of other teachings, like those on women's ordination or sexual morality.

NOONAN'S four case studies demonstrate beyond question the fact and the extent of change. But do they offer insights that might aid Catholics in distinguishing legitimate from illegitimate developments in doctrine? In a negative sense, yes. Noonan believes in an unchanging element in Catholic teaching, a core continuity from Jesus to today. But from his cases he can deduce no rules of thumb to determine what falls within this continuity. His cases contravene the organic image of a gradual unfolding of latent truth. Nor does he find that categories like "unnatural" or "intrinsic evil," meant to sort out the immutable from the mutable, make solid sense of past changes.

"'A Church That Can and Cannot Change': Dogma"
The New York Times, May 24, 2005

子供のころから法的なものの考え方や司法の役割に慣れ親しんでもらう 法教 育」が,中学校の授業に登場し始めた.2009年5月までに始まる「裁判員制度」 もにらみ,法曹会が旗を振る一策.授業を受けた中学生らには新鮮な刺激のよ うでおおむね好評だが,教師側にはカリキュラムのやり繰りなど課題は少なく ない.

中学校の社会化の授業での法教育は法務省の研究会が昨年に教材をまとめたの を機に今年度,筑波大付属中学校などで教材を使った授業を試行.文部科学省 も今年度,全国で数校をモデル校とし授業に導入する計画で従来は弁護士らに よるイベントとしての実施が大半だった法教育が学校教育に組み込まれる.た だ,法教育を受けたことがなくなじみの少ない現場の教員もおり法務省は研修 にも乗り出す.


Allan Elias, a vice president at a family-owned clothing maker in New York's garment district, had what he called "a very serious problem." Dillard's Inc., the big department store chain, had withheld thousands of dollars from payments for clothes he had shipped. He did not want to lose an important client, but money was money. His letter to Dillard's was almost pleading.

The Markdown: A Supplier's Version"Dillard's is a valued customer," he wrote, "and we are anxious to continue and grow the Dillard's business, but the excess deductions of $222,061.25 that have been taken are simply unacceptable." Altogether, he said, Dillard's had deducted 51 percent from the cost of five months' orders, much more than they had agreed upon.

Last month, after two years in pursuit of the money, Mr. Elias's company, Ben Elias Industries, sued Dillard's, the nation's third-largest department store chain. The suit is "in the process" of being settled, said William S. Robinson, a lawyer for Ben Elias, which has the license for midprice clothes bearing the Mary McFadden Collection label.

The last thing a company wants to do is sue one of its biggest customers. But disputes over stores' payments to their suppliers are growing increasingly bitter, spawning at least two dozen lawsuits over the last few years, involving almost every large American department store chain.

The department stores, whose profits are being squeezed by discount chains like Wal-Mart and Dollar General and so-called midtier stores like J. C. Penney, are in turn squeezing the clothing makers, which were already dealing with tight margins and fierce competition. The stores take "deductions" from payments for clothes they order and offer a variety of reasons for doing so, from bad shipping labels to sluggish sales that forced the store to mark down the products.

The department stores argue that these deductions, which have been around in some form for two decades, are merely part of standard negotiations between wholesalers and merchants.

Thomas D. Fingleton, the chief financial officer of May Department Stores, assured analysts at a conference last week that the company's policies on such deductions, which he said conformed to standard accounting practices, were "reviewed with all of our buyers and their managers periodically."

But now the government is taking an interest in these deductions. In the most prominent case, Saks Fifth Avenue, the luxury department store chain, is under investigation by both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States attorney's office, and it could face criminal charges. The chain, owned by Saks Inc., has already admitted that it "overcollected" money from its suppliers. Three top executives were ousted last week.

As Wall Street clamors for greater earnings and sales growth, the deductions have increasingly become a way for the stores to shore up their balance sheets.

"The practice extends far beyond Saks Fifth Avenue," said Marvin Traub, the chairman and chief executive of Bloomingdale's in its trendiest days, "and the abuses extend far beyond Saks Fifth Avenue."

The stores' high-pressure tactics can end up hurting both vendors and consumers. Kellwood and the Jones Apparel Group, two giant clothing producers, reduced their earnings projections in recent months because of deductions by store chains, which claimed that they had been forced to sell the vendors' goods at bigger-than-expected discounts.

"Increasingly, clothing manufacturers are figuring in these extra deductions, and raising their prices to the stores," said Donald L. Kreindler, a partner in the law firm of Phillips Nizer. Stores usually double the wholesale price, "so the consumer ends up paying more," he said.

Mr. Kreindler said he and "a handful" of clothing companies were discussing bringing lawsuits against Saks and other department stores.

In the past, the stores have often settled these suits, according to Robert Strassberg, a Manhattan lawyer who has represented clients that are suing store chains like May. But the settlements typically required vendors to agree to never discuss the case. Few sued to begin with.

"The only people who ever sued were people who were pretty much driven out of business, people who had nothing to lose," Mr. Strassberg said. "If they still wanted to keep doing business with the store, they kept their mouth shut."

"Stores and Vendors Take Their Haggling Over Payment to Court"
The New York Times, May 17, 2005

太子党」とは,共産党幹部を親族に持つ子女のことを指す.89年の 天安門事件以降,党の安定を第一に考えて,「根は赤く苗は正しい」 とされる「太子党」の幹部登用が増えたという.香港メディアによると,中国 の政財界の中枢には,現在,数万人の太子党がいるとの推測もある.

幹部の子は幹部.権力者の特権が血縁者にも及び,半ば固定化された" 身分"が存在する中国社会では,個人の機会均等など幻想に過ぎない. この現実に対する民衆の不満が解消されない限り,「調和社会」は絵空事に終 わる.党中央は,幹部登用をめぐる不正をなくすよう指示し続けている.



 夕食にご飯と汁物がそろい,おわんが正しく並んだのは2割.はしの頭を右 に正しく置けている家庭は5割−−.家庭で配膳(はいぜん)の基本があまり 実行されていないことが,味の素の調査で明らかになった.7割の食卓で,食 事の初めから日本茶などの飲料が登場しており,汁物の必然性が薄れているこ ともうかがえる.【郷美津子】

 首都圏・近畿圏に住む20〜64歳の既婚女性235人(うち6割が34歳 以下)に,自宅での夕食風景を平日・休日各1日ずつ(計470卓)写真に撮っ てもらった.02年11〜12月に実施した.

 ご飯はほとんどの夕食に登場.しかし,ご飯茶わんを手前左,汁わんを右に 正しく置けた食卓は,全体の2割にとどまった.

 最も手前に頭を右に置くべきはしは,左右逆やばらばら(21%)▽はし立 て・はし入れ(7%)▽食器にのせる(6%)▽縦置き(2%)−−などとなっ ていた.はしを食器にのせるのは居酒屋,カゴごと出すのはレストランなどで 見られる置き方で,外食産業のスタイルが家庭にまで広がっているとみられる.

 飲料が最初から登場することについて,味の素は「白ご飯中心からおかずが 主役の食事に移り変わり,いろいろな味のおかずを食べつなぐのに,口すすぎ としての飲料が必要になっている」と分析している.塩分を控えようと,みそ 汁は朝食の1杯だけにしている家庭も珍しくない.日本茶をマグカップに注い でいる食卓は2割あった.

 また,卓上に調味料を置かない家庭が,若年層を中心に5割を超えた.同社 は「素材のおいしさを楽しむ焼き魚や刺し身,冷ややっこなどのメニューは, 各自が食卓で味をつけるが,最近は炒め物など調理時に味をつけるメニューが 多くなったためだろう」とみる.

 同社の別の調査では,調味料を冷蔵庫で保存している家庭が多いことも分かっ ている.調味料は調理のときに台所でしか使わない,という家庭が増えつつあ るようだ.

 食卓にテーブルクロス(24%),花やツリー(8%)を飾っている家庭が ある半面,食事する際にもパソコンや電気コードが置かれたまま,という家庭 が27%もあった.


第一次石油ショック後の74年は25.5%の引き上げを諮問した.当時の新聞によ れば,分庁舎前に集合した農民は約4500人.「野次と怒号と拍手の渦.農相に 飛びかかる」とある.審議は5日に及び最終日は,あらかじめ決めた答申の日 付を守るために,事務局の役人が深夜零時5分前に庁舎内の時計を止めて回っ ていた

理屈は後から貨車で来る」と言う.どんな結論でも,もっともらしい理屈は いくらでもつく.人間社会の,そんな半面の真実を誇張した言い方だ.米審会 場の別室に控えた農林省食料庁の官僚たちが運転する「貨車」の積荷の立派さ と,その速度には,皮肉でなく,感心した

「私の履歴書(16) 米価審議会」

JOHNSON rallied business support by emphasizing his spending cuts and insisting that antipoverty spending would not encourage long-term dependency. To Walker Stone, a prominent conservative editor, he observed: "I'm going to try to teach these Nigras that don't know anything how to work for themselves, instead of just breeding. I'm going to try to teach these Mexicans [that] can't talk English to learn it, so they can work for themselves."

At the same time, Johnson assured liberals that he was on their side. "Don't you get alarmed about all this crap about economy," he told the labor leader Walter Reuther. "What I'm doing is taking from the haves and giving to have-nots." All this has reinforced Johnson's reputation as a slick maneuverer who lacked fixed principles.

One example of genuine idealism that does come through in these volumes is Johnson's commitment to civil rights. When he took office, nobody expected that he would identify himself with the black movement more passionately than any previous president. But from his first days in office he urged black leaders, labor officials and businessmen to lobby Congress for passage of the stalled civil rights bill. He asked Robert Anderson, a member of Eisenhower's cabinet, to work on Republicans: "You're either the party of Lincoln or you ain't. . . . By God, put up or shut up!"

Determined to receive credit for his efforts from black voters, Johnson became furious when Jet magazine criticized him for not allowing himself to be photographed with black leaders. On Dec. 23, 1963, Johnson called Roy Wilkins of the N.A.A.C.P. at 10:30 p.m., insisting, "I had my picture made with every damn one of them." And he added, "If you've ever had a friend in this place, you've got him now." Five minutes later, he urged Whitney Young, head of the Urban League, to pressure Jet's publisher to change the magazine's tone, which Young proceeded to do. At 11 p.m. the president met with Gerri Whittington, a black woman who worked in the White House office pool, and hired her as a personal secretary. The next day, Whittington joined the group that traveled to Johnson's Texas ranch for the Christmas holiday. On New Year's Eve, he brought her to a party at the University of Texas faculty club, a rigidly segregated facility. He made a point of entering the building arm in arm with her.

"'The Presidential Recordings': L.B.J.'s Chat Room"
The New York Times, May 08, 2005

Because Alfred the Great, when he invented trial by jury and knew that he had admirably framed it to secure justice in his age of the world, was not aware that in the nineteenth century the condition of things would be so entirely changed . . . . For how could he imagine that we simpletons would go on using his jury plan after circumstances had stripped it of its usefulness, any more than he could imagine that we would go on using his candle-clock after we had invented chronometers? In his day news could not travel fast, and hence he could easily find a jury of honest, intelligent men who had not heard of the case they were called to try --- but in our day of telegraphs and newspapers his plan compels us to swear in juries composed of fools and rascals, because the system rigidly excludes honest men and men of brains.

"Chapter XLVIII"

There is no law without politics.

Philip A. Dynia
LAW AND POLITICS BOOK REVIEW ISSN 1062-7421 Vol. 15 No.2 (February 2005), pp.121-124

それでも,目標がある程度は数値化…できる営業などの「フィールド職」は, まだ恵まれている方かもしれない.しかし,これが技術系の開発部門になる と,「成果主義」は,いっそう深刻なゆがみを生じさせることになる.

新制度導入後は,それまでチームで1つの成果を上げていた社員が,自分だ けの目標に固執するようになった.この弊害がいちばん大きいですね. そもそ もなにが必要な作業かなんて,実際にやってみないとわからない.なのに,半 年も前に目標として取り込めといわれても絶対に無理ですよ

実際の現場では,『目標シート』に書けない隙間業務の方がむしろ 多い.トラブルや仕様変更…があれば,日々そういう『誰の目標にも書か れていない仕事』が発生する.でも,誰も自分からはそういう仕事をやろ うとしなくなった….

「うちの部署には,同じ歳の国立大学修士課程卒の社員がいます.同じように 働いて,同じような成果を上げたつもりでいたけど,彼の方がいつも評価が高 い.要するに,彼は事業部の幹部候補生ってことなのでしょうね

その結果,これは,本来の「成果主義実力主義」 とはかけ離れた「差別」…を生む.皮肉なことに実力主義であるはずの目 標管理制度が,露骨な学歴差別をもたらしてしまったのだ. (pp.62-63)

ただでさえ変化の烈しいIT業界にあって,半年先までの予定をたて,かつそ れを維持するのは不可能に近い.たとえ最初に完璧な目標をたてたとしても, それが半年先まで有効かどうかは誰にもわからない.業界の動き,ライバル企 業の動き,また,マーケットの動きによっても,目標は変わる.しかし最初に きちんとした目標をたててしまうと,この動きに対応できなくなってしまう. 目標というのは,立てる前後では,必ず実情との間にギャップが生じるもので ある.
もう誰もこのギャップを埋めようとしないわけだ.これでは,品質のチェッ クもおざなりになってしまう.…」(p.65)

つまり,適用従業員は,裁量労働制下でも定時出社を義務づけられ, そのうえ時間外手当までカットされていたのだ.会社は,
「裁量労働制適用者は,時間外手当をある程度はカットされますが,その分, 勤務時間に柔軟性を持たせることにより,効率的に時間を使えるようになりま す.ですから,本人と会社の両方にメリットをもたらす制度です」
それなのに,「朝は定時出社,残業も平均的な水準はこなせ」と暗に強要した のだから,これは,もはや形骸化どころか組織的詐欺に近かった.

「毎年,年の初めに裁量労働制勤務の見直しがあります.…実際には簡単です よ.
残業時間の多いものは適用,少ないものは不適用.これだけです.要はいかに 人件費をカットするかだけでしょう」(p.68)

不満分子の増加にともなって,ついにというか,当然のようにとられた対策が, 「評価の割り当ての廃止だった.これは,「成果主義」の本 格的導入後に人事がとった数少ない制度改善策だった.つまり,評価をこれま での「相対評価」から,「絶対評価」に変えたのだ.

「絶対評価」で適用枠がないのだから,何人にAをつけてもいい.すると,当 然のように,その人数はいままでより増加する.しかし,ボーナスの総額は決 まっているのだから,自動的にボーナスの計算式の支給率が下がるだけなのだ. (pp.75-76)

…人事部も制度を考案したコンサルタントも,「生身の人間に対する考察が, 完全に欠落していたとしか思えない.制度をつくり,マニュアルさえ渡せば, あとはうまく機能すると信じていたらしい.(p.96)

日本企業は,外から見ているよりはるかに保守的で閉鎖的な組織だ.それは, 江戸時代の封建社会にも似た「ムラ社会」であるというのは,本に書いてある だけの話ではない.

もちろん企業によって強弱はあるだろう.しかし,それは「年功序列」 と「終身雇用」という封建社会のシステムにも似た制度の中で培われ た企業文化であり,日本人の生き方の基本なのだから,打破しようが なかった.

例えば,優秀な富士通社員は,たいていは毎年春に与えられる年次休暇の使用 に消極的でなければならない.もちろん,何日かは消化していい.しかし,そ れには純粋な休暇として5日程度,あとは体調不良などを理由に数日程度とい う目安がある.この目安は,社員全体に「暗黙の了解」として共有されている. そしてもったいないことに,翌年に繰り越せない分は,そのまま捨て続けられ ている.
さらに困ったことに,優秀な富士通社員が有給を純粋に休暇として取ろうとし たら,絶対に上司や同僚への事前の根回しが必要となる.実際,いまでも「年 次休暇は会社からの好意だ」「体調不良などやむを得ないときにしか使うな」 と,平然と言ってのける硬派な上司は少なくない.これは,部下の年次休暇取 得率向上を評価項目に入れている他者の管理職と比べれば,まさに天と地の違 いだ.富士通はまさに,江戸時代並みの封建社会なのだ.
また,優秀な富士通社員は,退社時間にも気を使わなければいけない.いくら 日中業務に集中し,自分の作業を定時で仕上げたとしても,周囲が残業してい る間は席に残っていなければならない.無視して早く帰ろうものなら,「もう 帰るのか」「仕事に対して消極的だ」「チームワークが足りない 」などと,好き勝手にレッテルが貼られてしまう.
…ちなみに,この「暗黙の定時」は,経理や生産管理など古い部門な ら,22時くらいである.(pp.127-130)

管理職という名の高給取りが絶対的な権力を握り,新人は奴隷のようにこき 使われてしまう
こういうムラ社会のなかに,新人事制度にふさわしいと人事が独りよがりに判 断した新人をいきなり放り込んだ結果,富士通では若手社員の離職率の急上昇 が深刻な問題となっている.(p.133)

信じがたいことに,富士通には「高学歴や特殊な資格を持った新卒はいらない」 とはっきりと人事に注文してくる管理職が多い.彼らは,大学での勉強などハ ナから期待しておらず,ゼロから組織内でたたき上げるつもりでいるらしい
だったら修士より学士の方がいいし,留学組など論外だ.ともかく,頭に余計 な知識が詰まっていない方がいい.…

だがこれは,以前から理系の就職活動で「教授による推薦方式」が支配的だっ たことがいちばんの理由である.簡単にいうと,企業が大学側に求人枠をつけ, それに対し教授が自分の管轄する専攻の学生を推薦するというスタイルである.…

こうして,修士たちは,配属された職場でほとんどゼロから業務を叩き込まれ ていくことになる.しかも,学士より賃金は高く設定されているので,企業側 はそれに見合ったコストパフォーマンスを求める.…

これは,文系学生においてはもっとひどい.企業は,文系学生の若さと柔軟性 だけが必要で,専門性やスキルはほとんど問わない.この結果,学生側も,誰 も好き好んで毎日授業に出ようとは思わない.実際のところ,経済学部や法学 部を首席で卒業した学生に,それだけで魅力を感じる採用担当者はまずいない. 人事担当者は「ムラ社会の掟をよく理解しているから,むし ろ純粋な学者肌の人間は敬遠してしまう.
学生になにも期待しない企業.それをいいことに勉強しない学生. こんな悪循環を続けていて,日本企業に本当に未来はあるのだろうか? (pp.139-141)

結局,人事部門は例のごとく問題の本質には目をつむり,最も当たりさわりの ない方法を選択した.「新入社員のモチベーションアップ」だ.…言ってしま えば無知な学生を騙して取りつくろうという作戦だ
そのため最も手っ取り早い手段として,「人気就職企業ランキング」のランキ ングアップ作戦が実施された

富士通は,2003年秋から,就職情報誌などのランキング作成メディアへ,大量 の広告出稿を行った.メディア側は,これである程度の順位を確保してくれる. また,調査会社から,いつどこで調査するのかという情報が提供されるから, 順位を確実にするために,それに合わせて企業セミナーをローラー式に開催す るのである
例えば,帝京大学や東京経済大学など,本来富士通では採用対象にならない大 学に対しても,このときは構わずにセミナーを開催した.「成果主義は素晴ら しい」と,実態を知らない学生にPRした.はっきり言って,これで簡単に順 位は上がる.何年か前,「銀行冬の時代」といわれた頃に三井住友が1位になっ たことがあるが,これもそういう仕組みだったらしい.(pp.166-167)

ところが,全社で唯一,在籍する相対評価対象の若手が「例外なくほぼ全員A 評価」というルール違反の部がある.もうおわかりだろうが,これが,本社の 人事部(人事勤労部)である

「われわれの部には,富士通全体で最も優秀な人材を配属しているから,例外 的措置が必要なんだ」
もうほとんど酔っ払っているとしか思えないコメントだが,彼らは本気で信じ ているらしかった.…

そして,目標管理制対象者については,ある意味もっと悪質だった.人事部だ けにSA,A評価を保証するために,全国営業支社にいる総務系の人間(会議 室や寮の管理をしたり,社用車の運転手まで含む)を,評価母数に無理やり取 り入れて,数字上の帳尻合わせをしていたのだ.こうすると,自分たちの評価 のインフレは少しでも抑えることができる.つまり,「ハナから高評価を取れ ないし自分でも取るつもりもない人間」を全国から大量に「踏み台」としてく り入れ,自分たちの賞与を積み上げていることになる.

どの大企業でもそうかもしれないが,人事部門の欠点は,実際に現場を知らな い人間の集団であるという点だ.入社時から人事部門に配属され,制度や就業 規則をみっちり叩き込まれる.だが,その視点は常に人を上から見下ろすもの であり,現場の従業員の視点はない.だから,現場から上がってきた資料を見 ても,そこにある数字と実際に現場で起こっていることのギャップに気がつか ない.

彼らの仕事の相手は,顧客でも市場でもない.常に従順で物言わぬ(と彼らは 見なしている)社内の従業員たちだからだ.(pp.172-174)

さらに皮肉なことを言えば,最初に富士通に「成果主義」を紹介した某外資系 コンサルティング会社は,最近ではあちこちでチームワークを重視した人事制 度を薦め始めた.「これからは,個人の成果だけを評価するのではなく,チー ムとしての成果を測る仕組みが必要です」などと言いだしている.(p.189)

実は,富士通の「成果主義」導入も,これが最大の動機だった.それは,ずば り「バブル期入社組みの人件費抑制」である

富士通も他社同様,1991年度に1500人という大量の新卒者を採用したものの, 翌年は半減,さらに翌々年は文系採用を見送って最低限必要な技術職だけを採 用した.その後はゆっくりと以前の適正数である800人へと回復していったが, バブル期のツケは大きかった.つまり,企業を構成する従業員尾年齢別ピラミッ ドが,極端に変形してしまったのだ

このツケは,単に給与上昇だけではない.雇用保険,厚生年金の企業負担分, 退職金の積み立てにも影響する.となると,当然,年齢によって賃金が増加し ていく「年功制度」は維持できないという結論になる.何とかして,このシス テムを変えなければ,企業そのものが崩壊してしまう.
そこで,富士通は「成果主義」に飛びついたのである.これは,ほかの企業も 同じだ.「これからは実力主義の時代」などといくら言ってみたところで,そ の裏側にはこうした事情があったのだ.(pp.191-193)

つまり,「成果主義」導入は,「定期昇給の実質的廃止」が究極的目標だった のだ.それは,いくら成果を上げようと,会社が賞与の総支給額自体は意地で も増やそうとしなかったことを考えれば,はっきりする.
しかし,富士通では,中高年社員,特に既にポストにありついていた世代が, これを骨抜きにしてしまった.彼らの「保身」と抜けきらない「年功的体質」 が,本来の「成果主義」を破壊してしまった.(p.195)

だから,ともかくも時間外手当を廃止する.もともと時間給というのは,単純 労働の制度である.いまの日本企業の成長に求められているのは,単純労働で は得られない付加価値の創造である.だから,時間給がどうしても必要な部門 以外は,時間外手当を廃止すべきだろう.

しかも,そんなどうでもいいような仕事でも,1年もすれば立派なミッション に思えてきて,ときには人を採用したりしてしまうから不思議だ. (p.208)

しかも,日本人は「成果主義」そのものも誤解している.アメリカの企業が 「成果主義」を導入するようになったのは,1980年代の初めに深刻な不況に陥 り,そのために日本企業や欧州企業との競争に次々と負け,ついに雇用に手を つけざるをえなくなったからだ.つまり,パフォーマンスをあげる社員には, 「雇用保障」はしないが,昇進や給料アップで報いる.それ以外の社員は,リ ストラするというものだった.なんのことはない,日本と同じく,不況が「成 果主義」を推進したのだ.(p.214)

彼ら[コンサルタント,経営陣,経済誌ジャーナリズム]に共通しているのは, 「成果主義」導入の本質が,企業の人件費抑制というやむを得ない事情によっ て始められたということに,ほとんどふれようとしないことだ.(p.218)

城 繁幸

2007年問題」とは正確には,「2007年から問題」である.1947〜1949年生ま れの団塊の世代が,2007年からはじまって,毎年,大量に企業をリタイアし始 め,オフィス街から,自宅のある町に大移動を起こす.そして,団塊の世代を 1947〜1951年生まれまでと大きくとらえれば,彼らの最後のグループがリタイ アをしてはじめて迎える2012年あたりには,日本の社会は大きく変化している だろう,と予測されるからである.

 具体的には,団塊の世代のリタイアは,労働人口の減少によるオフィスとそ の周辺の産業の縮小や,高度技術の衰退などの問題以外に,日本の社会や市場 にいくつかの新しい流れをもたらす.その一つは,時間を自由に使える団塊シ ニアが平日に大量にレジャーやスポーツ,習い事,買い物などの消費行動をす る,と予測されることである.週末や夏休みばかりに人が集まっていた多くの 業界にとって,曜日や季節に偏りがなく集客ができる「平準化」というビジネ スチャンスが訪れる

 二つ目は,朝時間の活性化である.高齢になると,朝早くから目覚める人が 多くなる.早朝から,スポーツ,交際,娯楽,買い物をしたいという団塊シニ アの大量のニーズが市場を動かす.早朝オープンのスーパーやデパート,映画 館が登場することが予測される.

 三つ目は,地元の活性化である.目も舌も肥えた団塊世代が自宅のある地元 に目を向ける.それは地元のレストランや商店街などの質の向上を促し,ボラ ンティアなど地域のコミュニティーも元気づくだろう,と予測される.団塊世 代のリタイアは,その人口の多さゆえに,日本の社会や市場を,従来の仕事優 先の「ビジネスモード」や「企業モード」から,生活優先の「生活モード」や 「私モード」へと大きくシフトさせていくとともに,高齢社会の新しいモデル を提示していく,と期待される. (深呼吸)

Asahi.com, May 02, 2005

Steve Bogira, for years a reporter for The Chicago Reader, burrows into the machine that processes thousands of citizens a year, most of them poor, African-American and involved with drugs. His intuition was that the goings-on in the old limestone courthouse on 26th Street, however banal-seeming, might hide sprawling human dramas. And by focusing on something small -- the cases coming before one judge, in a single courtroom -- he gets a handle on something large and hard to make sense of: the American way of criminal justice.

Bogira gained admittance to Courtroom 302 with the permission of Judge Locallo, a Chicago native and policeman's son. Locallo gave Bogira access to his chambers, his staff and, more than once, his own home. The prosecutors and public defenders assigned to the courtroom also opened up, allowing him to see police reports and other documents. These reports were crucial because, as Bogira notes, "the heart of criminal court proceedings is not the judge . . . but the defendant, who is the reason for the whole exercise." Incidents he learned of in the courtroom gallery (the shooting of a burglar by a homeowner, a stabbing in a prison barber shop) were merely the starting point for Bogira. He found and interviewed defendants' parents (often absent from the trial) and grandparents, talked to jurors, psychiatrists and probation officers and, by following up with convicted defendants in jail and prison, even collected a confession of perjury, as well as at least one admission of guilt from a defendant who had claimed he was innocent at trial.

In this search for context, Bogira read seminal articles in legal journals. For the McGee case, he can offer a synopsis of the history of juvenile justice in the United States. Other cases open the door to informed asides on issues like the value of expert witnesses, jury selection and race, prosecution of the mentally ill and mentally retarded, and false guilty pleas ("at 26th Street, pleading guilty doesn't mean you are").

"Courtroom 302" also shines in its intimate portrait of a judge and his work. Daniel Locallo seems in many ways a judge's judge -- he receives positive ratings from six bar groups and is, from all evidence, honest and hard-working, candid and open. Yet the portrait is sometimes unflattering. We learn how, as a young prosecutor, Locallo uncritically pressed a raft of trumped-up charges against a black teenager accused of a rape-murder, possibly giving inappropriate coaching to a child witness. We watch his impartiality compromised by friendships and realpolitik, and we hear him refuse to repudiate his mobster uncle for the same crimes he convicts strangers of every day. ("Maybe it's because I loved my uncle Vic, but I never looked down on him because of what he was involved in. You do what you have to do sometimes.")

"'Courtroom 302': The Wobbly Wheels of Justice"
The New York Times, May 1, 2005

There are about 10 million blogs out there,...

As the practice of blogging has spread, employees like Mr. Kennedy are coming to the realization that corporations, which spend millions of dollars protecting their brands, are under no particular obligation to tolerate threats, real or perceived, from the activities of people who become identified with those brands, even if it is on their personal Web sites.

They are also learning that the law offers no special protections for blogging - certainly no more than for any other off-duty activity. As Annalee Newitz, a policy analyst with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group in Washington, put it, "What we found is there really is quite a bit of diversity in how employers are responding to blogging."

"When the Blogger Blogs, Can the Employer Intervene?"
The New York Times, April 18, 2005

One of the cornerstones of Silicon Valley will mark an anniversary Tuesday. Forty years ago, Electronics magazine published Gordon E. Moore's celebrated article predicting that the number of transistors that could be placed on a silicon chip would continue to double at regular intervals for the foreseeable future.

Named Moore's Law several years later by the physicist Carver Mead, that simple observation has proven to be the bulwark of the world's most remarkable industry.

Yet Mr. Moore was not the only one - or even the first - to observe the so-called scaling effect that has led to the exponential acceleration of computing power that is now expected to continue at least for the next decade.

Before Mr. Moore's magazine article precisely plotted the increase in the number of transistors on a chip, beginning with 1, the computer scientist Douglas C. Engelbart had made a similar observation at the very dawn of the integrated-circuit era. Mr. Moore had heard Mr. Engelbart lecture on the subject, possibly in 1960.

Mr. Engelbart would later be hailed as the inventor of the computer mouse as well as the leading developer of many technologies that underlie both the personal computer industry and the Internet.

In a 2001 interview, Mr. Engelbart said that it was his thinking about the scaling down of circuits that gave him the confidence to move ahead with the design of an interactive computing system.
"I was relieved because it wasn't as crazy as everyone thought," he said.

Significantly, the two pioneers represent twin Silicon Valley cultures that have combined to create the digital economy.

Mr. Moore, who co-founded Intel, is an icon of the precise and perhaps narrower chip engineering discipline that today continues to progress by layering sheets of individual molecules, one on top of the other, and by making wires that are finer in diameter than a wavelength of light.

"Gordon was the classic engineer," said Craig Barrett, Intel's chief executive, who had just begun to teach engineering at Stanford University when Mr. Moore made his famous prediction. The chart that accompanied his article was a plot that showed just five data points over seven years and extrapolated out into the future as far as 1975, when a single chip would be able to hold as many as 65,000 transistors. Forty years later, memory chip capacity has gone far beyond one billion of the tiny switches.

Mr. Engelbart, in contrast, was the architect of a passionately held view that computing could extend or "augment" the power of the human mind. His ideas were set out most clearly in 1968, in a famous demonstration in San Francisco of his Pentagon-financed Augment computing system. Many things were shown to the world for the first time, including the mouse, videoconferencing, interactive text editing, hypertext and networking - basically the outlines of modern Internet-style computing.

"It's Moore's Law, but Another Had the Idea First"
The New York Times, April 18, 2005

Among the oddest -- it surely burst into the purest flame -- was one between Johann Sebastian Bach and Frederick the Great of Prussia. James R. Gaines's "Evening in the Palace of Reason " shows us how a challenge by the king prompted the aging composer to produce the "Musical Offering," a contrapuntal achievement that uniquely allies cerebral and auditory beauty.

While Gaines is no match for Hofstadter as a thinker or stylist (he tends to be chatty), he writes with admirable erudition. The story he tells is a reminder that there was once a time when heads of state valued high culture as much as high finance, and when artists won fame through mastery rather than media manipulation.
He adopts the rather slow form of a double biography, crosscutting for more than 200 pages before returning to the evening of May 7, 1747, when Frederick scanned a list of foreign visitors to Potsdam and agitatedly announced to his musicians, "Gentlemen, old Bach is here." What happened next is the climax of a narrative whose larger purpose is to set the king and the commoner up as exemplars of two contrary tendencies in Germanic traditions: Frederick the expansionist, power-drunk, atheistic Prussian, and Bach the warmhearted Lutheran Pietist, a family man of parochial horizons and unbounded creativity. No author could want a more promising pair of antagonists -- except that the record of Bach's life is slight, compared with Frederick's. Gaines keeps his book balanced with a lot of dry Bach ballast, while fighting the temptation to tell us too much about one of the most fascinating rulers in European history.

In a later, more liberated age, Frederick (1712-86) might have been sympathetically known as "Frederick the Gay." Great he no doubt was as king and commander in chief -- at least, until his autocracy degenerated into tyranny -- and he was almost as eminent in his role as a patron and practitioner of the arts. But homosexuality, and the suppression of it forced on him early on, appear to have been the key to his personality. Gay memoirs today offer no scenes of horror comparable to what Frederick was forced to witness, at 18, through the barred window of a prison cell in Kustrin Castle.

AS Crown Prince of Prussia, he had been jailed by his father, the maniacal homophobe Frederick William I, ostensibly for plotting to desert the kingdom and seek asylum in Britain with a young lieutenant, Hans von Katte. Although the accusation was true, Frederick's real treason was having grown up as un-Prussian as could be imagined: Frenchified in language, dress and deportment, art-loving, flute-playing, pompadoured, fixated on his mother and sister -- in short, and in his father's eyes, more of a queen than a king in the making.

Effeminate as he may have seemed, and openly as he and Katte flaunted their relationship -- within the proprieties of the day -- there was a tough obstinacy about Frederick that no number of fatherly whippings (many in full view of the royal court) could break. His decision to flee paternal persecution rose from pride rather than fear. "The king has entirely forgotten that I am his son. . . . I have too much honor to submit to such treatment; and I am determined to put an end to it one way or the other."

Frederick William reacted with similar determination when the youths were betrayed and arrested. (In Gaines's too frequent colloquialism, he was "beyond angry" at their disloyalty and "beyond firm" in punishing it.) Unmoved by Frederick's apology, the king ordered that Katte be beheaded below Frederick's window.

The execution took place at dawn, while grenadiers apologetically held the prince to the bars. Frederick could only scream, "My dear Katte! Forgive me!" and receive a hand-blown kiss from his friend before the executioner's sword swung. At that point, Frederick fainted. Gaines reports:

"He returned to consciousness in a delirium. He spent the day weeping and in shock . . . staring at the body below, on which someone (defying the king's instructions) had thrown a black cloth, now caked with Katte's blood. Unable to eat or sleep, Frederick spent the night in a high fever, talking to himself. 'The king thinks he has taken Katte away from me,' someone heard him say, 'but I see him all the time.' "

Frederick was too much a product of the Age of Reason not to think his way out of this trauma, knowing that his father would execute him too if he did not quickly prove himself as much a "man" as any warrior in the Prussian Army. He proceeded to do just that, earning Frederick William's respect as a soldier of extraordinary ability and a student of the most minute arcana of political science. He even married the princess chosen for him, Elizabeth of Brunswick-Bevern, resigning himself to "servicing" her when necessary (the actual French verb he used was more graphic). In the event, he fathered no children, and spent as much private time as possible with the men he most cared for -- comrades-in-arms and intellectuals of every discipline. His accession to the throne in 1740 allowed him to come out of the cultural closet as the only true "philosopher-king" of the German Enlightenment. In the words of his friend Voltaire, Frederick was "a man who gives battle as readily as he writes an opera. . . . He has written more books than any of his contemporary princes has sired bastards; and he has won more victories than he has written books."

The best poor Bach could do to compete, biographically speaking, was get himself imprisoned in 1717 after a contractual squabble with the Duke of Weimar. Far from being traumatized by this experience, he used his few weeks of detention to compose Book 1 of "The Well-Tempered Clavier." Gaines strives to dramatize Bach's other clash with authority -- over which official of St. Thomas's Choir School, Leipzig, had the right to appoint prefects -- but its thrill quotient is low.

"'Evening in the Palace of Reason': Being Geniuses Together"
The New York Times, April 18, 2005

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - When Don R. Harrison Jr. was growing up in Philadelphia, neighborhood children would tease him and call him "white boy," because his skin was lighter than theirs. But Mr. Harrison, a "proud black man," was still unprepared for the results of a DNA test, taken as part of a class at Pennsylvania State University, to determine his genetic ancestry.

"I figured it would be interesting. I'm light-skinned and I wanted to know my whole makeup," said Mr. Harrison, a 20-year-old sociology major. But he was shocked by results showing him to be 52 percent African and 48 percent European: "which I had no clue about, considering both my parents are black," said Mr. Harrison. "So I'm half white."

Samuel M. Richards, who teaches Sociology 119, Race and Ethnic Relations, to 500 students each semester, said the DNA tests, which were conducted last year for the first time, were very popular with the class.

"Everyone wants to take the test, even students who think they are 100 percent one race or another, and almost every one of them wants to discover something, that they're 1 percent Asian or something. It's a badge in this multicultural world," he said.

About half of the 100 students tested this semester were white, he said, "And every one of them said, 'Oh man, I hope I'm part black,' because it would upset their parents.

"That's this generation," he said. "People want to identify with this pop multiracial culture. They don't want to live next to it, but they want to be part of it. It's cool."

The tests also help to deepen conversations about race, he said. "When I teach I try to demonstrate to students how complex race and ethnicity are," Dr. Richards said. "My secondary goal is to improve race relations, and when people discover that what they thought about themselves is not true - 'I thought I was black, but I'm also Asian and white' - it leads them to have a different kind of conversation about race. It leads them to be less bigoted, to ask the deeper questions, to be more open to differences."

Mark D. Shriver, associate professor of anthropology and genetics at Penn State, took cheek swabs from about 100 student volunteers in Dr. Richards's class for the DNA tests.

Many students were surprised by the results of the test, which was created by Professor Shriver and his commercial partners at DNAPrint Genomics Inc. to measure genetic mixing in populations, because of the potential importance of racial or ethnic background to drug trials, and also because of the researchers' curiosity about their own ancestry. The company analyzed the test results free; the results will go into a database for Dr. Shriver's research.

The test compares DNA with that of four parent populations, western European, west African, east Asian and indigenous American, and the company claims it is more than 90 percent accurate.

Many unexpected results can be explained by family history. Mr. Harrison, for instance, recalled a great-grandfather who "would cross for white, he was so fair."

"DNA Tells Students They Aren't Who They Thought"
The New York Times, April 13, 2005

"The hallmark of the wolverine is its insatiable need to keep moving," said Dr. Jeff Copeland, principle investigator of the research project, and a wildlife biologist at the Rocky Mountain Research Station of the United States Forest Service in Missoula. "I don't know any animal that moves like this every day. Nothing close."

The wolverine, a creature of the northern forests that resembles a small bear, is legendary for its strength and ferocity.

"Picture a weasel," Ernest Seton Thompson, the naturalist, wrote in 1909, "and most of us can do that, for we have met that little demon of destruction, that small atom of insensate courage, that symbol of slaughter, sleeplessness and tireless, incredible activity - picture that scrap of demoniac fury, multiply that mite some 50 times, and you have the likeness of a wolverine."

An Austrian biologist named Peter Krott, who raised wolverines and wrote about them in his 1959 book "Demon of the North," said one of his animals, named Rosa, got caught in a leg hold trap and traveled back home on three legs for weeks carrying the steel trap in her jaws, before collapsing on his doorstep.

John Krebs, a biologist in British Columbia who studied wolverines for seven years and is writing up his research, said that in the 1930's a wolverine kept chewing into a log meat locker at a mountain lodge and dragging slabs of meat out. Leg hold traps were set. One day the trapper surprised the wolverine at work. With traps on three legs it was still trying to drag a carcass.

The tales that have accumulated about the animals would have it that one wolverine can pull a moose carcass on its own. Mr. Krebs documented a 35-pound wolverine dragging a mountain goat several kilometers and across a major highway.

"Determined," said Mr. Krebs. "That describes them best." The new research shows a wolverine that seems driven to roam. It keeps on moving at about 5 miles per hour whether the terrain is rough or easy. With broad feet that serve as natural snowshoes, it easily scrambles over 10,000-foot snow-covered mountains, crosses giant scree piles and lopes through lichen-draped forests, sometimes covering 25 miles one day and 25 miles back the next. A male's home range is about 500 square miles, about the same as that of a grizzly bear, which is 10 times its size.

A male covers that huge swath of territory both to mate with three or four females and to rummage in avalanche chutes for the carcasses of moose or mountain goats that have perished, to hunt squirrels and insects or scrounge for berries. "The things it needs to make a living are scattered so they need that big an area to find what they need," Dr. Copeland said.

"Everyone who studies the animal comes away impressed by it," said the wildlife biologist Rick Yates, who works on the study.

"Truth in the Wild: A Great Dad That Wanders Wide"
The New York Times, April 12, 2005

Robert O'Harrow Jr.'s "No Place to Hide" might just do for privacy protection what Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" did for environmental protection nearly a half-century ago. The author, a reporter for The Washington Post, does not write in anger. Sputtering outrage, which characterizes the writing of many of us in the anti-snooping minority, is not O'Harrow's style. His is the work of a careful, thorough, enterprising reporter, possibly the only one assigned to the privacy beat by a major American newspaper. He has interviewed many of the major, and largely unknown, players in the world of surveillance and dossier assembly, and provides extensive source notes in the back of his book. He not only reports their professions of patriotism and plausible arguments about the necessity of screening to security, but explains the profitability to modern business of "consumer relationship management."

"No Place to Hide" -- its title taken from George W. Bush's post-9/11 warning to terrorists -- is all the more damning because of its fair-mindedness. O'Harrow notes that many consumers find it convenient to be in a marketing dossier that knows their personal preferences, habits, income, professional and sexual activity, entertainment and travel interests and foibles. These intimately profiled people are untroubled by the device placed in the car they rent that records their speed and location, the keystroke logger that reads the characters they type, the plastic hotel key that transmits the frequency and time of entries and exits or the hidden camera that takes their picture at a Super Bowl or tourist attraction. They fill out cards revealing personal data to get a warranty, unaware that the warranties are already provided by law. "Even as people fret about corporate intrusiveness," O'Harrow writes about a searching survey of subscribers taken by Conde Nast Publications, "they often willingly, even eagerly, part with intimate details about their lives."

Such acquiescence ends -- for a while -- when snoopers get caught spilling their data to thieves or exposing the extent of their operations. The industry took some heat when a young New Hampshire woman was murdered by a stalker who bought her Social Security number and address from an online information service. But its lobbyists managed to extract the teeth from Senator Judd Gregg's proposed legislation, and the intercorporate trading of supposedly confidential Social Security numbers has mushroomed. When an article in The New York Times by John Markoff, followed by another in The Washington Post by O'Harrow, revealed the Pentagon's intensely invasive Total Information Awareness program headed by Vice Admiral John Poindexter of Iran-Contra infamy, a conservative scandalmonger took umbrage. ("Safire's column was like a blowtorch on dry tinder," O'Harrow writes in the book's only colorful simile.) The Poindexter program's slogan, "Knowledge Is Power," struck many as Orwellian. Senators Ron Wyden and Russell D. Feingold were able to limit funding for the government-sponsored data mining, and Poindexter soon resigned. A Pentagon group later found that "T.I.A. was a flawed effort to achieve worthwhile ends" and called for "clear rules and policy guidance, adopted through an open and credible political process." But O'Harrow reports in "No Place to Hide" that a former Poindexter colleague at T.I.A. "said government interest in the program's research actually broadened after it was apparently killed by Congress."

The author devotes chapters to the techniques of commercial data gatherers and sellers like Acxiom, Seisint and the British-owned LexisNexis, not household names themselves, but boasting computers stuffed with the names and pictures of each member of the nation's households as well as hundreds of millions of their credit cards. He quotes Ole Poulsen, chief technology officer of Seisint, on its digital identity system: "We have created a unique identifier on everybody in the United States. Data that belongs together is already linked together." Soon after 9/11, having seen the system that was to become the public-private surveillance engine called Matrix (in computer naming, life follows film art), Michael Mullaney, a counterterrorism official at the Justice Department, told O'Harrow: "I sat down and said, 'These guys have the computer that every American is afraid of.'"

Of all the companies in the security-industrial complex, none is more dominant or acquisitive than ChoicePoint of Alpharetta, Ga. This data giant collects, stores, analyzes and sells literally billions of demographic, marketing and criminal records to police departments and government agencies that might otherwise be criticized (or de-funded) for building a national identity base to make American citizens prove they are who they say they are. With its employee-screening, shoplifter-blacklisting and credit-reporting arms, ChoicePoint is also, in the author's words, "a National Nanny that for a fee could watch or assess the background of virtually anybody."

William SAFIRE
"Goodbye to Privacy"
The New York Times, April 10, 2005

The toothless skull of an early human ancestor discovered in the Caucasus may attest to evolution's oldest known example of compassion for the elderly and handicapped a scientists report today.

Other experts agreed that the discovery was significant, but cautioned that it might be a stretch to interpret the fossil as evidence of compassion.

The well-preserved skull, found in Georgia, belonged to a male Homo erectus about 40 years old. All his teeth, except the left canine, were missing. Regrowth of bone indicated that the man had been toothless for at least two years before he died at what was then an old age. (The discoverers call him the "old man.")

In their report today, in the journal Nature, the discovery team said the 1.77-million-year-old skull "raises questions about alternative subsistence strategies in early Homo." Specifically, how could the man have survived that long, unable to chew the food of a meat-eating society?

In interviews and in the current issue of National Geographic, the paleoanthropologists said caring companions might have helped the toothless man by finding soft plant food and hammering raw meat with stone tools so he could "gum" his dinner. If so, they said, this was evidence of a kind of compassion that had been absent in the ancestral fossil record before the Neanderthals 60,000 years ago.

Dr. David Lordkinidze, director of the Georgian State Museum in Tbilisi, led the team that made the discovery, at Dmanisi, a site that has already yielded several skulls and skeletons that are the oldest clear evidence of human ancestors living outside Africa.

John Noble WILFORD
"A Paleopuzzle: Chomping With No Chompers"
The New York Times, April 07, 2005

As Dr. Fry discovered more venoms, he began to wonder how they had evolved. "It's been an area of great controversy," he said. Many researchers have argued that different lineages of venomous snakes, like rattlesnakes and cobras, evolved venom independently. They observed that the closest relatives of these venomous snakes were nonvenomous.

Dr. Fry discovered that they were wrong. "Most of the snakes that we think of as nonvenomous are actually venomous," he explained. Garter snakes and many other supposedly nonvenomous snakes actually produce tiny amounts of venom.

Dr. Fry is quick to point out that this does not mean that garter snakes are dangerous. "All they need to do is stun a frog or slow it down a bit, and it's enough to help them," he said.

Dr. Fry's research has also shed light on the origin of venom molecules. A number of researchers have suggested that venom toxins are modified saliva proteins. They point out that ordinary saliva proteins are able to start breaking down food in the mouth. Perhaps some tinkering was all that was necessary to turn them into lethal poisons.

As Dr. Fry reports in the March issue of Genome Research, the DNA of venom genes goes against this idea. He constructed evolutionary trees of 24 venom genes, searching through online databases for their closest relatives among nonvenom genes. In only two cases did he find that venom genes evolved from saliva genes. In almost all the other cases, venom genes evolved from ones that were active outside the venom gland - in the blood, for example, as well as the brain and liver.

The evidence indicates that the evolution of a typical venom gene may begin with the accidental duplication of a gene that is active in another organ. In a process known as gene recruitment, one of these copies then mutates in such a way that it begins producing proteins in the venom gland.

In some cases, these borrowed proteins turn out to be harmful when injected into a snake's prey. Natural selection then favors mutations that make these proteins more lethal.

"The snakes have harnessed these proteins, changed them and thrown them right back at us, which is a pretty elegantly evil way of doing it," Dr. Fry said.

"Open Wide: Decoding the Secrets of Venom"
The New York Times, April 05, 2005

The most familiar unconscious state is sleep, which in its deepest phases is characterized by little electrical activity in the brain and almost complete unresponsiveness. Coma, the most widely known state of impaired unconsciousness, is in fact a continuum. Doctors rate the extent to which a comatose person shows pain responses and reactions to verbal sounds on a scale from 3, for no response, to 13, for consistent responses.

As in sleep, people in comas may move or make sounds and typically have no memory of either. But they almost always emerge from this state in two to three weeks, doctors say, when the eyes open spontaneously. What follows is critical for the person's recovery. Those who are lucky, or who have less severe injuries, gradually awaken. "The first thing I remember was telling my ex-boyfriend, who was at the foot of the bed, to shut up," said Trisha Meili, who fell into a coma after being beaten and raped in 1990, and wrote about the experience in the book, "I Am the Central Park Jogger."

In the days after this memory, Ms. Meili said, she slipped in and out of conscious awareness, "as if my body was taking care of the most important things first, and leaving my moment to moment awareness for last."

In fact, researchers say, this is precisely what happens. The primitive brain stem, which controls sleep-wake cycles as well as reflexes, asserts itself first, as the eyes open. Ideally, areas of the cerebral cortex, the seat of conscious thought, soon follow, like lights flicking on in the upper rooms of a darkened house.

But in some cases - Ms. Schiavo's was one of them - the cortical areas fail to engage, and the patient's prognosis becomes dire.

Rehabilitation, such as it is, typically includes life support, if needed, and regular visits from medical staff, typically to change the patient's position in bed and to stimulate the senses with bright lights, noises, sharp smells and tastes, including lemon and chocolate. "I always tell families that it's time and nature and God taking care of things, that what we do mostly is monitor the patients," said Dr. Childs.

Dr. Joseph Giacino, a neuropsychologist at the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison, N.J., has been following a group of brain-damaged patients with both oxygen-deprivation and traumatic injuries, and finds that the group with traumatic injuries - if they become minimally conscious - are far more likely to show signs of recovery than the others. "There is a real separation between these patients and the others in terms of improvement in the first year," Dr. Giacino said.

Benedict CAREY
"Inside the Injured Brain, Many Kinds of Awareness"
The New York Times, April 05, 2005

確かに予備校の影響力は大きい.司法試験委員経験者で広島大学の田邊誠法務 研究科長が指摘する.
「覚えたパターンをフラッシュカードのように組み合わせて書いた答案が多い. 『答案を読むとどの予備校で勉強したかわかる』という先生もいるほどです」
学校には,浪人性をケアできる場所も人でもない.受け皿は予備校しかない のが現実です
資格予備校のWセミナーには,ロースクール生向け補習講座がある.村越恵美 子部長が説明する.
「未修者の1年目に6科目など,学校のカリキュラムはどう見ても無理があり ます.『授業がさっぱりわからない』という未修者 が多いので,開講したんです」
司法試験を受けたこともなく,指導経験もない学者教員もいます.学校に多 くは期待しません.うちは宿題が少ないので,予備校にいく時間を作れます. 宿題が多い他校よりマシかもしれません


あの学者の先生は,司法試験の範囲と関係ない講義が多い.先生を変えてほ しい
と,院生たちが要望した.更迭はなかった代わりに,週末に弁護士教員の補講 が始まった.
関西私立校でも,土曜日に教員の手作り問題で答案練習を行い,若手弁護士に 解説を頼んでいる
この程度の試験対策さえ公言できない「予備校的なるものは悪」の空気がロー スクールにはある
国立校は国の理念に忠実で,試験対策めいたものは一切しません.他行の話 を聞くと『学校の授業だけで本当に受かるのか』と,よけいなことを考えてし まいます」

「現行試験は合格までに100万円程度で済みますが,新司法試験はロースクー ルの学費が高く,生活費を含めれば1千万円はかかります.働きながら受験す る人も排除されてしまう一部の富裕なエリートしか法律家になれなくなりま すそろそろきれいごとはやめて本音で議論してほしい. 予備校排除を言いな がら裏では予備校講師が専任教員に雇われています.第三者評価機関は『合格 率のみでは判断しない』と言いますが,実務家を養成できないロースクールに だれが行きますか.学生は法曹以外になるために何百万円も投資しているので はないのです

さて,不合格が確定した院卒はどうなるのか.企業法務などの就職口を──と の議論もあるが,

各務 滋


くだって,細川内閣で野党時代の平成五年(1993年)十月,やはり同じように 私は,差別を生む特別扱いについて厳しく指弾することになる.
これは,私がかねてからなくさなければならないと考えていた「○○控除」と 呼ばれる税の特別扱いについてだった.
当時の大阪国税局長と,△△中央本部,大阪府○○地区企業連合会の間に「秘 密覚書」が交わされたのである.
ときの大阪国税局長はT・Fさん.後に大蔵事務次官,国鉄 総裁をやられた人だ.
その文書には,○○関係団体に関する税の申告についての七項目の確認事項が 記されていた.

一.○○対策控除の必要性を認め,税制特別措置法の法制化に努める.その間 の処理として,局長権限による内部通達によってそれにあてる.
一.企業連が指導し,企業連を窓口として提出される白,青色とわず自主申告 については全面的にこれを認める.ただし内容調査の必要ある場合には企業連 を通じ企業連と協力して調査にあたる.
一.国税局に○○対策室を設置する.出来るまでの措置として担当は総務部長, 窓口は総務課長とする.
一.国税部内全職員に対し,○○問題研修会を行う.この際,講師については 府同室および△△と相談して行う.
一.協議団本部長の決定でも局長権限で変更することができる.(注,協議団 は昭和四十五年国税不服審判所に発展的に解消)

これは要するに,□□の差別解消のための団体である△△と,その関連企業団 体である「企業連合会」に加盟している企業の税金申告はいっさいの検査をせ ずに,自主申告ですべてを認めるという無茶苦茶なものであった.
昭和四十五年二月十日付で,同じ確認事項が,国税庁長官名で全国の税務署に 通達され,この「○○控除」が全国に広がるのである.
これだけの優遇措置が講じられれば,おかしなことにならないはずがない. 「そんなことができるんなら」ということで,「エセ○○団体」が出てきた. 「俺らに言うたら,ちゃんと税の特別扱いをしてやるぞ」「相続税をうまいこ としてやるぞ」とかいうのまで出てきた.

ところがF氏の答弁は人をくったもので,昭和四十三年の話というのは単なる 申し入れで,「○○控除については断ったと聞いている」「四十五年の国税庁 通達は,課税の適正な執行をしろとだけしか言っていない」というものだった.

しかし,ここまで言っても国税庁の答弁は「そのような合意はなく,『○○控 除』の実態はない」というものだった.
結局この「○○控除」の解消への動きは,1994年の自社さ政権の成立を待たな ければならなかった.
この自治大臣室に福岡出身のU・Sさんという△△の委員長が訪ねてきたので ある.用向きは,「○○対策事業特別措置法をもう一度延ばしてくれ」という 話だった.
○○対策事業特別措置法は,○○地区の住宅や道路などの公共施設を重点的に 整備するために優先的に予算をとらせるための法律で,時限立法だった.その 法律の期限が切れるのが,2002年3月31日だった.昭和四十四年(1969年)に この法律ができた当初は,十年で切れる法律だったが,その後,法を延長,し かしその延長した期限も2002年3月で切れるのだった.このときまでにはイン フラ面での整備は終わっているという趣旨のもとに年月が切られていたのであ る.

…それから五年たった1999年の小渕政権で,幹事長代理になった私は,「人権 問題等に関する懇話会」の座長となって,この○○対策事業特別措置法と税の 問題に取り組んだ.

それが「人権擁護法案」の考えの基本となった.そうした議論のなかで,よう やく△△も「○○控除」の解消に正式に動いてくれたのである.
自自公の連立が成立した直後のことだった.私は国税庁に「きみたちも△△の この決定を全国に通達しろ.税務署においても今後はそうした特別扱いはいっ さいしないということを徹底してくれ」といい,そして国税庁もこれを通達し たのだった


 札幌医科大を卒業.順調に医師の道を歩んでいたが,昭和四十三年八月 に同大で行われた日本初の心臓移植を批判して大学にいづらくなり,作家 になることを決意した.
 四十四年三月に上京するとき,母からは「そういう水商売はやめ てくれ」と泣いて反対された.当時,三十五歳.「あと五年遅ければ,決 断できなかっただろう」と振り返る.

 ところが,プロになったとたんに筆が進まなくなった.朝は「こんな早 い時間から仕事をする作家はいない」と寝過ごし昼はテレビを見る.夜に なると酒を飲み,「明日,書こう」と結局,何もしない日々が続いた.
 「これで身を立てていこうと思い,肩に力が入りすぎてしまった.締め 切りがない原稿を書くほど,しんどいことはない.病院という組織にいた ときは上司に文句も言えたが,作家はすべて自分の責任.自由業になじめなかっ た」

 そして,四十五年七月,歴史小説『光と影』で直木賞を受賞する.「作 家は才能だけでない.書きたいという気迫とエネルギー,そして体力が必要

「【私の修行時代】渡辺淳一さん 医師やめ上京,苦しんだ日々」

今では負の遺産として非難を浴びている不採算事業は,国,地方を問わずいく つもある.右肩上がりで伸びていく税収を消化するため,規模の大小を問 わず次々と事業が執行されていった結果である.バブル期の事業はその最 たるものだ.

そうした事業を後押ししたのが役所内の意識である.役人にとって,仕事 をすることと予算を獲得することはほぼ同義である次年度以降の予 算を確実に獲得しようと考え,既に得た予算は使い切ろうとする.予算に 対する執行率の高さが「できる人」のバロメーターとされた. (pp.29-30)

設計図に不明な部分が出てくるのは(その多寡は別として),この案件に限ら れたことではない.この国のほとんどすべての設計図に当てはまることで ある
設計図に不明な箇所があるなら,施工を担う建設会社は困惑すると思われるか もしれない.だが,実際にはそうならない.請負金額は,設計の不明な箇 所を含んだまま決定される.また,工事が着工されれば,建設会社は施工 図という詳細図を描いて,不明な部分をなくす.
建築事務所も建設会社も,こうした事情を建築主(発注者)に説明することは ない.設計の図面も,施工のための見積もりも,不透明な方が彼らにとっ ては都合がいいのだ.実際,民間工事では,追加工事であっても,「追加 料金はいりません」と答えたり,「出精値引き」といって工事代金を 値下げしたりすることがある.
こうした経緯で安くなっても,建築主が手を叩いて喜ぶことはできない. この芸当は,建設会社が必要な工事代金より多い金額を受け取っているからこ そできるのだ.(p.68)

競争することは,なぜ重要か.それは彼らも分かっているだろう.地方の 建設会社ほど公共工事への依存度は高い.しかし,減収が続く自治体が発注す る工事に依存したままでは,経営もジリ貧になるだけだ.コスト競争力を つけることは,企業存続のためにも,そして役所の財政を圧迫しないためにも 有益なはずだ.(p.80)

相手は気色ばむ様子もなく,ただうなだれていた.沈黙を続けるのは,談 合状態にあることを認めるも同然だった
厳しい言葉を連ねたところで,談合体質が一変するはずもない.それがエ レベータという工種である.だが,こうでも言わなければ,彼らは見積も りを改めることすらしない.
コスト競争に真摯に取り組み,ライバル会社としのぎを削っていると見られる 見積もりを提示してきた専門工事会社は少なくなかった.そんななかにあって, エレベータ工事の代理店が多くの会社を愚弄するような存在であることは, 疑う余地がなかった.(p.111)

私たちが折衝する相手は,いつも代理店である.だが,実は価格交渉する ための本当の相手ではない.それでは,エレベータ工事価格の決定権は誰 が握っているのか.専門工事会社として見積参加する代理店ではなく,メー カーである.とりわけ今回の折衝で浮上したメーカー二社[H社 とM社],全国に代理店を抱えており,圧倒的なシェアを持ってい る.そのため,あらゆる建設工事で設置されるエレベータの価格を操作し ているといっても過言ではない

代理店はメーカーに操られている.それに同情しても妥協はしない. 税金の無駄遣いになるような高値であることに変わりないのだ.
「九州ではないけれども,学校で発注したエレベータの価格をきちっと掴 んでいる.それに限りなく近い金額,妥当な金額が出てくるか.これがひ とつのポイントだと思っています.これよりも随分高い値段で買わなきゃなら んとなれば,今回の発注を根本的にどうするか,問題にして改善しなくちゃい けない.そう市と協議している.金額は市に伝えてある.それに近ければいい としようと.そういう考えでいるので,よく検討していただきたい」
指値はしないと決めている.四○○万円という金額を言いそうで言わないぎり ぎりの折衝であった.これに対し,テーブルについたそばから厳しい言葉を受 けた一番手の代理店は,沈黙を続けていたわけではなかった.
私たちにも,メーカーとの契約条項があって,それがいろいろとあるん ですよ

総合評価による元請けの選定は,見積金額だけではない.技術力も評価対象に なっている.それを見越して,無駄な経費を削ぎ落とさねばならない.
「本来なら元請さんには見積もりをすべて任せて,入れ替えなどしなくていい んです.しかし,元請さんの価格はいつも高いから,専門工事会社にも見積参 加してもらうんです.標準単価なら,談合した価格ですよ.競争とはいい ません.もし標準単価のままなら,私たちは市に意見具申しなきゃなりま せんから,価格を下げることを考えてください」
工事単価は,「物価本」や「赤本」といわれる市販 本に載っているが,その価格では競争的とはいえない.競争している場合 は,市販本に載っている単価よりも相当安くして当然である.(p.135)

元請けとの折衝で中心となる項目は,仮設経費,そして 利益の三つである.これらの費用がいずれも高いと査定していた私たちは, 各社の見積もり方にいくつか共通点があることを掴んだ.

彼らが談合状態にあるという疑いは,晴れるどころか深まるばかりであ る.私たちは,各社に安くできる根拠を示し,納得してもらうように話し たものの,実際に工事費を見直すのは彼らである.仕切り直しをするまでもな く決着をつけるには,彼らが安くする意思を確認することが必要だった.
「そうでしたか.しかし,(この仕事を取ってはいけないと思っ ている会社がたくさん来ているように感じるんですけどね

…実務担当責任者の小野木は,それでも競争に持ち込ませようと,お付き合い と思われる各社に,折衝時間が終わりに近づくと,こんな尋ね方をした.
「この仕組みでいくとですね,専門工事は入れ替わるし,総合評価で技術力も 検討する.金額だけで決まらないんですよ.どこで決まるか分からない」
もし御社でお願いするとなったら,それは困る,ということはな いですね?」(pp.137-138)

予定通りという意味では,建築元請けの松尾建設も喜んでいるとはいえなかっ た.対応そのものは東和工業とは全く違うものの,佐賀市に報告を終えたあと, 松尾建設に内定を告げると,先方からの第一声はこうだった.
利益も確保され,億単位の建築工事の受注が内定した会社とはとても思え ない.予定にはない受注と思わせるこの反応は,このあとにまだ何かあり そうなことを予感させるに足るものだった.(p.152-153)

佐賀県の地場大手ゼネコン株式会社A建設,民事再生法を申請,負 債135億8017万円」

それは,自治体発注者がゼネコンを10社程度選んで行う指名競争入札の危 うさだった.この発注方式は,大半の自治体で採用されている.これまで 公的機関は,その採用理由を「経営的にも技術的にも信用がある会社を選 ぶことができるから」としてきた.しかし,それがタテマエでしかな いことは,この事例が証明している.(pp.173-175)

自治体の発注工事について,首長の言葉ひとつで工事会社を決めてしまうこと を,天の声と呼ぶ.市長はそれを求められることがあったというのだが,答え はいつも決まっていた.
自治体首長は,地元行政の最高権力者である.それゆえに,その立場を利用し て税金を私物化する"利権の分配者"にもなり得る.天の声を言ってし まうのは,そのひとつであろう.主張本人は良くないことだと分かっていても, その役回りに手を染めてしまうこともあるはずだ票とカネを 集めるためには必要だと.しかし,目の前にいる若き改革者は,そん な私欲に溺れるつもりもなければ,やむをえないとも思っていないようだった.
木下市長は,かつては農水省の中央官僚であったが,地元の佐賀に戻ってきて, 市長に就任した.もし佐賀にずっといて選ばれ方が違えば,しがら み[・・・・]で身動きが取れなかっ たかもしれない.
「しかし,私にはしがらみ [・・・・]がない」


In a finding that could help explain why a sucker never gets an even break, scientists are reporting today that they have succeeded in visualizing feelings of trust developing in a specific region of the brain.

In the study, pairs of anonymous subjects were strapped into magnetic resonance imaging scanners 1,500 miles apart. The participants played 10 consecutive rounds of a risk-taking game that involved balancing monetary profit and trust. While they played, the scanners, synchronized through the Internet, measured how the subjects' brains reacted. With the development of trusting feelings, increased blood flow occurred in the caudate nucleus, an area in the rear part of the brain that is involved in processing rewards. Over time, this increased blood flow appeared earlier as an expectation of trustworthiness was established.

The study's authors, from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and the California Institute of Technology, say their work shows that, at some level, the process of building trust is as basic as obtaining food or other rewards. The caudate nucleus appears to play a central role in evaluating the fairness of another person's actions and in signaling the intention to trust that person. Future studies, they said, may prove useful for understanding autism, schizophrenia or other behavioral disorders where the ability to form internal models of other people may be impaired.

In the game used in the study, one participant, called the investor, is given $20 and instructed that he may hold on to it or give some or all of it to his anonymous partner, called the trustee. The amount given to the trustee is then tripled, and the trustee must decide how much to return to the investor. Players can either trust each other, by increasing the amount they turn over in each round, for example, or betray each other by reducing the amount.

The real-time brain scans showed that as the players proceeded through several rounds, an "intention to trust" signal, signified by activity in the caudate nucleus, developed in the trustee. Initially, this signal came after it was revealed how much money the investor would give. But with succeeding rounds of the game, the signal developed earlier, eventually appearing even before the investor's decision was revealed.

"The trustee is acting on what we think is their internal model of the investor," said Dr. P. Read Montague, a professor of neuroscience at Baylor and an author of the paper.

Dr. Montague spent three years developing software to compensate for lag times and other delays through the Internet so the scanners could be synchronized. This allows them to be far apart, which is critical to the experimental design.

Trust is a complex phenomenon, one that many scientists would think incapable of being studied. In order to do so, the social interaction under study must be stripped to a bare minimum.

In this case, by having the scanners 1,500 miles apart, the players in the risk-taking game were completely anonymous. The participants never saw each other, instead seeing simple bar charts and numbers indicating how much money they were receiving.

"The thing to remember is that we have to conjure a kind of virtual model of what is going on that is very similar to each other, or we won't be able to understand each other," he said. So rather than building a model from scratch, he said, as trust builds up "you're probably augmenting an extremely rich model you come equipped with."

"Study of Social Interactions Starts With a Test of Truste"
The New York Times, April 01, 2005