Hustle -vs- Health

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is taking a stand against “hustle porn”

“This idea that unless you are suffering, grinding, working every hour of every day, you’re not working hard enough … this is one of the most toxic, dangerous things in tech right now,” Ohanian said, according to Say’s report. “It’s such bullshit, such utter bullshit. It has deleterious effects not just on your business but on your wellbeing.”

Ohanian’s frustration is supported by psychological and scientific research, which repeatedly proves that getting insufficient sleep and exercise is among the worst things you can do for your memory, heart health, and general health. Alternatively, when entrepreneurs do make time for sleep, they’re calmer and more focused at work.

Ohanian also noted that the “hustle” ethos discourages entrepreneurs from reaching out for help when they’re struggling, for fear of looking weak or unsuccessful in the eyes of investors. The key to entrepreneurial success, he said at Web Summit, is overcoming this anxiety and engaging in hard conversations with co-workers. “When you’re struggling, talk to someone. It can be a professional, a family member, or even a stranger can be helpful in getting you into a better headspace.”

And remember: like most porn, hustle porn is not a valid representation of reality.


I’m tired of the “X porn” labeling of things, but there is a definite fetishism of the “hustle” ethos. Here in Japan, it is culture.

I know and accept that I am not my best when I’m run down. I just got off a four week stretch where my days were crazy long and stressful. Two of the weeks are when I hosted my son in Tokyo and I would not trade those for the world. Add two weeks of colleagues from overseas, some financial stress, too much drinking and eating, and not enough sleep; the I-almost-visited-the-hospital migraine I got is not surprising in the least.

That is an extreme example. More routine for me is when insomnia impacts my cognitive abilities or when I don’t exercise. Then my energy is low.

The Japanese Salaryman ethos is no help either. Twelve hour office days isn’t conducive to creative endeavors, or even much in the way of productivity. When I exercise and sleep well I can produce well in that environment, but that doesn’t leave time for anything resembling a personal life. At 19:00, 20:00, or later colleagues will go out drinking, nap as they take their hour plus train ride home, sleep for a spell in their own bed, nap on their morning train ride back, and start all over again. Some people do that six days a week.

How anything gets done of value is miraculous. That the Japanese have such long life spans is remarkable.

As for me, not having been indoctrinated into such a lifestyle in grade school (minus the drinking, obviously) I am also not bound by the social norms. I can work a shorter day in the office, be available on-line of needed, and get a good night’s sleep (let’s not talk about my social life) because I can generate good to great stuff for longer in a given day … in theory, anyway. YMMV.

35° 40.305 N 139° 42.254 E

Also on:

Why NIST is so popular in Japan

Why NIST is so popular in Japan:

Written by
Nov 8, 2018 | CYBERSCOOP

While all organizations around the globe continue to grapple with chronic shortages of qualified cybersecurity workers, Japan is tackling the problem in a significant way by turning to two U.S. government technology frameworks to help manage its own information security manpower shortages.

Japanese industry has turned to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework and National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Workforce Framework in an effort to fill the unique cybersecurity skills gap characteristic of Japanese companies.

Speaking at NIST’s Cybersecurity Risk Management Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Masato Kimura, a manager in the cybersecurity R&D planning department at Japanese telecom giant NTT, said that the NIST workforce framework in particular plays a pivotal role in Japan due to the high level of reliance by Japanese companies on outsourced IT and cybersecurity personnel.

In the U.S., around 71.5 percent of IT professionals work in-house, but in Japan, only 24.8 percent are company employees, according to Kimura.

Yet even in-house IT professionals in Japan fall short of achieving the required cybersecurity expertise.

Employment in Japan is a lifetime proposition, with workers typically rotating into new jobs every two to three years, making it difficult for employees to develop strong cybersecurity skills. Compounding the problem, Japan will be facing a shortage of 193,010 cybersecurity professionals by 2020, prompting the Japanese Business Federation to declare that it is urgent and crucial to increase the pool of skilled in-house cybersecurity workers.

“Japanese critical infrastructure needs talents who are able to understand what the IT vendors are doing and [serve] as a bridge between C-suites and engineers,” Kimura said.

Kimura is also Secretariat of Japan’s Cross Sectors Forum, a group of 44 Japanese companies from the chemical, financial, manufacturing, media and transportation sectors. These companies decided in 2015 to band together to establish an ecosystem to educate, recruit, retain and train cybersecurity professionals in collaboration with academia and the government.

Toyota, Mitsubishi, Sony, Panasonic, NTT, NEC, Hitachi, Fujitsu and Toshiba are among the Forum’s members.

Additionally, NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework helped provide a means for the forum members to communicate about cybersecurity across their diverse business sets.

“A common language is needed to apply to all the sectors,” Kimura said.

“Cybersecurity is difficult to implement unless you have common terms,” Lauri Korts-Pärn, Senior Security Architect at NEC said, noting that the NIST Framework, which is independent of any industry, serves that purpose.

The Forum hosts monthly plenary meetings as well as four monthly working groups that focus on workforce definition, workforce development, information sharing and collaboration with academia.

The Forum also hosts an annual conference for C-suite executives and invites government into cybersecurity discussions. Among the tools produced by these efforts are talent definitions, outsourcing guidelines and a CISO calendar.

The Forum developed a draft mission list and mapped it to the cybersecurity and workforce frameworks to develop outsourcing guidelines and CISO calendars. Because NIST has mapped the Cybersecurity Framework to the most commonly used information security standard used in Japan, the ISO/IEC 27001, it’s far easier for Japan to embrace the framework’s recommendations.

The appeal of NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework was so strong in Japan that the country’s Information Technology-Promotion Agency, or IPA, became the first foreign entity to translate the Framework fully from its English language version into another language in 2014.

Because of the framework, the forum was able to define and understand what kinds of cybersecurity talents member companies need and even prompted some members to sponsor cybersecurity courses to fill those needs.

“We can now show the reality of Japanese industry to Japanese universities,” Kimura said. The NIST framework also spurred the Japanese government to incorporate the Forum’s insights into the country’s national cybersecurity strategy and sparked a number of public, private and academic collaborations.

The forum has already created a database of cybersecurity training programs available for its members, cross-referenced by the talent definitions it devised. The next steps for the forum including even more innovations, including producing a guidebook for its members outlining the cybersecurity talent definitions it has devised and laying out CISO calendar and outsourcing requirements.

Cynthia Brumfield is a veteran communications and technology analyst who is now focused on cybersecurity. She runs a cybersecurity news and information site,

(Via Cyberscoop)

I had an interesting discussion on this topic with some colleagues on this very topic last week. I can’t go into details, but the level of knowledge around NIST Framework here in Japan is greater than in most of the rest of Asia, South America, and parts of Europe.

Also on:

Ten Days in Tokyo

I neglected to post about my son’s visit to Tokyo! Instead of the chronological travel log common, you get N8’s trip in no particular order.

We went to karaoke.

<videos redacted by request>

We ate things.

We visited Odaiba:

We wandered around Tokyo Tower.

Other adventurecateering photos:

Unsurprisingly, everyone was welcoming. My friends and colleagues were excellent ambassadors of Japan, even those not from Japan.

I had a great time with N8. I hope it’s a trip he always remembers fondly.

35° 41.37 N 139° 41.502 E

Also on:

Kanda Used Book Festival

This weekend and last (26-27 Oct & 03-04 Nov), the Kanda Used Book Festival took over the main drag surrounding Jimbocho Station.

The Kanda Used Book Festival is one of the largest annual events in the Jimbocho district of Kanda—renowned as a town of used and antique books. The organizers go further to claim it’s the largest event of its kind in the world.

For the festival, bookshelves are placed on the sidewalks of the area’s main street (Yasukuni Dori), creating a long corridor of books that faces the local bookstores. In addition to the street market, a variety of related events are scheduled during the festival, including a Special Used Book Sale Fair (at the Tokyo Used Book Kaikan underground hall)—featuring rare and valuable books—and library seal workshops.

A delivery service is also available for purchased books, so you can buy up lots without having to worry about carting your loot home.


As my well documented (and commented upon) deficiencies with my Japanese studies have no quick fix, I choose to look upon this as an advantage: the number of English language books is limited so I won’t blow my whole month’s budget on books I might not get around to reading until the next Kanda festival.

And yet, I still managed to spend a healthy sum of ¥2200. But the rewards … 

  • The Discourses and Manual, Vol. 1 by Epictetus
  • Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy
  • The Thoughts of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antonius, Translated by George Long
  • The Story of Old Japan by Joseph H. Longford
  • Moral Essays, Vol. 3 by Seneca (Loeb Classical Library)

In all cases they are first editions and except for the Ogilvy and Seneca tomes are over 90 years old. All are in remarkable shape for their age, even the Epictetus one with the Japanese handwriting in it. The author of those notes was both tidy and brief – the notes only continue for about 10 pages.

All in all, I am pleased with my purchases. I could have gone down a deep dive on Robert Lewis Stevenson, for example. The likelihood of actually reading those was slim, so I wisely if begrudgingly resisted purchasing them.

Also on:

Koenji Matsuri 2018

GooTube link <- in case the video fails to upload here.

More Info:

I stumbled upon this as I walked along the arcade, the covered shopping street, of Koenji during their fall festival.


Also on:

For the first time Japanese commission ordered Facebook to improve security

For the first time Japanese commission ordered Facebook to improve security:

The Japanese government ordered Facebook to improve the protection of users’ personal information following the recent data breaches that exposed data from millions of people.

… On Monday, Japan’s Personal Information Protection Commission ordered a further investigation of the data breach and asked the company to implement preventive security measures.

This is the first time that the commission has issued warnings to the social network giant after it has conducted an investigation along with British authorities.

According to government spokesman Yoshihide Suga, Facebook told Japanese authorities that the recent data breach also included Japanese users.

The commission also ordered the company to improve communication with users being more transparent of the way it manages their data and promptly responding to request for deleting accounts.

… “It is the first time that the commission, which investigated the data leak with British authorities, has issued warnings to Facebook,” an official told AFP.

Facebook added to be committed to “promptly inform users if the platform was inappropriately used and cooperate with the commission and other countries’ regulators” on its website.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – social network, cybersecurity)

The post For the first time Japanese commission ordered Facebook to improve security appeared first on Security Affairs.

(Via Security Affairs)

I wonder if this will translate into actual change.

Also on:

Do Not Eat Here: Fatburger in Tokyo!

America’s Fatburger is now available in Japan! They are famous for their patties that are roughly double the size of ordinary Japanese burgers.
— Read on

This news saddens me deeply.

No one I know in the US would describe Fatburger’s food as fresh. Authentic? I have no metric. Tasty is a personal thing, but for me this is not. Well, more accurately, it can be tasty while eating it. It’s about 15 minutes after that you probably will realize that you’ve made a huge mistake.

Japan, and Tokyo specifically, have so many better local hamburger options than gorging themselves on this supersized cholesterol bomb.

Also on:

Chindōgu (珍道具), A Curious Tool

The 10 Commandments of Chindogu, the Japanese Art of Creating Unusually Useless Inventions:

Back in the 1990s I’d often run across volumes of the Unuseless Japanese Inventions series at bookstores. Each one features about a hundred ostensibly real Japanese devices, photographed and described with a disarming straightforwardness, that mash up other consumer products in outwardly bizarre ways: chopsticks whose attached miniature electric fan cools ramen noodles en route to the mouth; a plastic zebra crossing to unroll and lay across a street at the walker’s convenience; an inverted umbrella attached to a portable tank for rainwater collection on the go. Such things, at once plausible and implausible, turn out to have their own word in the Japanese language: chindōgu (珍道具), or “curious tool.”

(Via Open Culture)

Also on:

The Reenactment of the Battle of Sekigahara

The Reenactment of the Battle of Sekigahara:

Before the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate(江戸幕府), a six-hour battle took place on October 21, 1600. This was called the ‘Battle of Sekigahara'(関ヶ原の戦い), a savage conflict which changed the course of Japanese history forever …

Since the death of the preeminent daimyo, warrior, general, samurai and politician Toyotomi Hideyoshi, men of noble birth continued feuding for absolute power in Japan. Factions began to emerge which even divided the people. In order to put this to an end, the two most powerful contenders (Tokugawa Ieyasu and Ishida Mitsunari), agreed to a decisive battle. The Tokugawa forces were called ‘Army of the East’ while Ishida’s forces were called ‘Army of the West’. Initially, the Army of the West outnumbered the Army of the East but later on their numbers decreased. The Western army disintegrated with the commanders fleeing and scattering. Ishida was then captured and later on executed. Tokugawa Ieyasu’s success allowed them to redistribute the fiefs to the participants. He gave rewards to those who supported him and punished those who fought against him.

(Via Japan Info)

I may be wrong but I think this is the time frame of the James Clavell novel Shogun.

Want to see a reenactment?

A simulation of this war can be seen in the quiet farming village of Sekigahara. The momentous event is recreated in a somewhat bizarre theme park called “Sekigahara War Land.” This is where people can discover and experience the atmosphere of the battle.

Check out the article for the details. Looks interesting.

Also on:

Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking on sale for $3 in Kindle edition / Boing Boing

Last year Carla and I took a day long Japanese cooking class in Tokyo. We learned how to make Japanese omelettes (tamagoyaki) and a basic soup stock (dashi). I can’t wait to go back and take another class. I love the book Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking by Masaharu Morimoto, which has recipes for all the classic Japanese dishes. It’s available in the Kindle edition (with lots of color photos) right now for $3. I bought it because it is nice to use cookbooks on an iPad and be able to do word searches for things.
— Read on

I picked up a copy. You should, too!

Also on: