Thursday, March 09, 2006

IQ = 999999999…: Super Computer?

IQ = 999999999…: Super Computer?

Mr. Eisuke Sakakibara became the Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs of the Japanese Government in 1997. His U.S. counterpart was Mr. Lawrence Summers, the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.

Mr. Sakakibara, after retirement from Government posts, issued a very interesting book in 2002 in which he introduced a joke Mr. Summers often delivered when asked about future and possible change in currency exchange.

First of all, Mr. Sakakibara’s book was titled “Understanding Currency Exchange is Understanding the World” (“Kawase ga wakareba Sekai ga wakaru” in Japanese).

Mr. Summers’ favorite joke is as follows:
When Albert Einstein died and ascended to heaven, God told him to take care of other souls, also being drawn up to the City of God, by assigning each of them an appropriate job.

So, Einstein sat at a desk in front of the gate to heaven.

Here came a soul, and Einstein asked him what IQ he had. The soul said his IQ was 200; then Einstein assigned him a job of studying the theory of relativity.

Here came the second soul, and Einstein asked him what IQ he had. The soul said his IQ was 150; then Einstein assigned him a job of predicting global economic developments.

Here came the third soul, and Einstein asked him what IQ he had. The soul said his IQ was 60; then Einstein solemnly assigned him a job of predicting changes in currency exchange.
* * *

In his book, Mr. Sakakibara, now a popular economic commentator in Japan, didn’t make any insinuating remarks on Mr. Summers. Rather, he showed deep understanding of his U.S. counterpart of the profession. He interpreted this joke as expressing difficulty or impossibility in predicting changes in exchange rates.

Albert Einstein is famous for his firm belief that movement of every physical entity in the universe can be basically and perfectly determined or predicted. However, this view contradicts what quantum mechanics implies and proves. This was one of the most significant, scientific controversy in the 20th century, and still there are many who think that something about it is yet to be fixed.

There are no such uncertain elements in the theory of relativity which deals with relationships between time and space as well as the speed of light.

As IQ of God is infinite, if we may be allowed to use the term IQ in this context, the difference between IQ 200, IQ 150, and IQ 60 must be null to Him. Then, assigning a soul a job according to its human IQ must be very inappropriate.

(The lower a man’s intelligence quotient is in his mortal life, the wiser he should become in kingdom of God, according to the Bible.)

Besides, a lot of any entity in the universe, including atoms, electrons, and other elementary particles, is known to God. It is not a matter of prediction mankind is fond of. God must know everything in the past and the future over the entire life of the universe, which means omniscient and omnipotent.

Human ability of understanding something is in itself just one entity created at a certain point in the long life of the universe, which means mankind should be humble as much as possible.

With a lack of such humbleness, even if you have a trillion dollars in your pocket, you could not even design and run an appropriate supercomputer that can, provided that any necessary information is input, predict anything.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Four Enemies of Japan

Four Enemies of Japan

In September, 1972, Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka met Chairman of Chinese Communist Party Mao Tse-Tung (Mao Zedong) in Beijing.

The historic meeting led to normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China. The key to the success of the meeting is China’s decision of abandoning demand against Japan for wartime reparations.

However, since the normalization, Japan has provided great economic assistance to China, which is said to reach 52 billion dollars in aggregate over 30 years.

(26 billion dollars paid or offered by the Japanese Government and another 26 billion dollars provided by private sectors of Japan, including loans and other forms of economic aids.)

These funds were used to build critical, social and economic infrastructures in China in 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, which has never been taught in schools in China as historical facts, for some reasons.

The Japan’s aids allowed for construction, building up, or expansion of the Beijing capital airport, Wuhan airport, China’s national air control systems, the seaports of Qinhuangdao, Tsingtao, and other industrial areas, total 4,407Km rail roads, total 6.5 million KWh power stations, and so on.

These supports were continuously provided for China even during the height of the Cold War. This is a sheer difference between Japan’s relationships with China and the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union could not compete with the U.S. economy. But it might have been still able to control their own people, while threatening West Europe with their armaments, unless Soviet citizens realized that they were overwhelmed by Japanese economy. And, when the Soviet people found that China was economically boosted by Japan to the extent they could not stand, the Soviet Union lost support of its own people and collapsed like castles made of sand. The Cold War ended truly by this way.

It is the strong upward trend in China’s economy in late 1980’s that really put an end to Soviet Union’s inclination to continue the Cold War state.
* * *

There is a report well known and taken as being true as to how the meeting between Kakuei Tanaka and Mao Tse-Tung went on in Beijing in 1972. They say that the two leaders had an amicable chat, being surrounded by their aids and colleagues including Chou Enlai and Masayoshi Ohira.

But, there is another version of reports. According to it, Mao Tse-Tung said to Kakuei Tanaka, “Japan has four enemies. First, America; second, Russia; third, EC (current EU); and fourth, China.” Having heard Mao’s argument, Kakuei Tanaka and other Japanese are said to have been glued to their seats in silence.

Mao Tse-Tung then reportedly suggested that China and Japan should be lined up alongside as alliance partners to cope with Japan’s three enemies.
* * *

As we consider the report today, it seems that China had been then very anxious about its four enemies: Japan, Russia, EC, and America.

When the two leaders met, it was 27 years after the end of WWII and 23 years after the founding of People’s Republic of China, when the 21st century looked like an impossible future.

But, over centuries, there is something that never changes in Japan as well as in China, such as geographic dimensions.

Yet, most significantly, there was an age when the two countries had no enemies at all; then ancient, wise Chinese held admiration for a legendary island of virtue in the eastern sea.

Truly even in the age of the First (Qin) Emperor of China, Japan was known as a holy, enchanted land.