^u^の備忘録

備忘録 印象深い日々の出来事や、気付き等を記す

The review of "THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ"

  • Background

My colleague in UK gave me this book while hunging out in Oxford :)

 

  • Summary 

This story is based on fact during WW2. The main character, a tattooist whose race is Jew, were thrown into a concentration camp by Nazi.

After being sent to the camp, he luckily got a high-rank job of tattooist because of his kindness to others and language abilities - he was able to speak in German, Russian, French, Polish, etc. 

Whild supporting mates in the camp, he fell in love with a woman who is also thrown into the camp due to the fact that she is Jew. 

Both of them managet to survive in the harsh environment, went out from the camp, got married, and finally lived in peace in Australia.

 

  • My impressions 

Since I was interested in the Holocaust, this book got my attention strongly. It was for the first time to look at the tragedy from a prisoner's point of view in the camp. I saw the movie of THE PIANIST from a Jew's point of view who lives in the Getto, and I also saw the movie of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJYAMA from a boy's point of view whose father was a senior officer of Nazi.

I realised how it was creazy and scary Nazi was at that time - I cannot imagine that how people can recognise people who are human but just have different religion or nationality as a creature, the object whicch has no value to be sympathised...

I am thankful that I was born this age in Japan, I have no experience such horrify things, and we have to prevent them from happening again.

 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: the heart-breaking and unforgettable international bestseller
 

 

Review of 'BECOMING'

  • Summary of background

The advertisment of this book was appeared in every tube station this fall.

Since I was getting concerned about the political movement towards nationalism in some countries, I chose to pick up this book as the first reference to learn why Trump won the election, why British people opted to exit EU, and so on. 

In addition to my interest in the poltics, I also wanted to know about one of the most powerful women in the world, because I become to realise gender inequality in Japan and wonder how those women working hard but taking care of their family are keeping a balance between work and family.

 

  • My review

I will add my findings about the politics later, and write down a quick review...

 

I was surprised cultural differences between US and Japan as follows:

  1. Social movements to support unprivileged people, such as women, child, coloured, were much more enthusiastic in US than in Japan.
  2. The value of parents to cherish their children are different, US parents seems to devote themselves to their children more than Japanese parents.

The first point is, in my opinion, partly because of Japanese social structure. The wealthy gap is smaller in Japan compared to US, furthermore Japan is a kind of homogeneous country.

I attribute this fact to the low level of the social activites in Japan, because most Jpanese don't need such activities to get fundamental individual rights. Considering that, in other words, it might be said that the social system of Japan is sophisticated and well balanced.

Actually the second item is relevant to the first item. Since it is not free or easy to have their children good education more frequently in US than in Japan, parents are high conscious to ensure to give the opportunities to their children.

On the other hand, in Japan, every children can reach quality-assured education from primary school to high school. Also, the university tuition fees are much lower in Japan, therefore Japanese parents tend to leave it for their children, though I think they should care of it much as well as Amerian parents.

 

... Since I feel sleeply I finish my review at this moment and update later....

Review of 'FACTFULNESS'

  • Background

 I decided to read English book since I reserved an exam of GMAT, which requires high English reading skills to achieve a good score, next March.

Also I wanted to choose academic or business books, because all the questions in GMAT test are relevant to either of them.

Then I picked up this book - FACTFULNESS written by a Swedish doctor, Hans Rosling- as a first book of my reading practice.

Actually this is quite popular among business people in Japan as well.

 

  • Summary of my review

Suprisingly I scored 6 out of 12 on a test in the first chapter. The test consists of 12 quizzes with three multiple choices.

According to the author, my score is good. That's because many experts or business leaders get a lower score in avarage than chimpanzees's score, 3 out of 10. The author explains that chimpanzees can score as much as people who pick up their answers randomly without looking questions and answer choices. He also explains that those who are recognisesd as exports or business leaders tend to see the world too negatively.

Though I was able to score higher than chimpanzees, I got suprised the fact descibed in the book. I realised that I had a lot of biases for/against some social problems unconciously.

In addition to that, since the statements in the book are based on the fact as well as the author's opinions sound neutral, I felt that my knowledges and point of view have been updated correctly while reducing my biases.

 

  • Points which surprised/inspired me

In all low-income countries accross the world today, how many girls finish primary school? Correct answer:60%

There are two billion children in the world today, aged 0 to 15 years old. How many children will there be in the year 2100 according to the United Nations? Correct answer:2 billion children

How many of the world's one-year-old children today have been vaccinated against some disease? Correct answer: 80% 

Worldwide, 30-year-old men have spent 10 years in school, on avarage. How many years have women of the same age spent in school? Correct answer: 9 years 

 

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think

 

 

本の感想「「超」入門 失敗の本質」

第二次世界大戦で敗れた日本軍の組織上の問題を分析し、現代社会の企業が抱える組織上の問題と比較した「失敗の本質」のエッセンスを抽出して噛み砕いてくれた入門本。

自分の会社の中の働かない中間管理職や、現場が見えておらず自己保身にはしる役員がはびこる現状をみていて、「日本の戦時中ってこんな感じで客観的な目線をもてずに暴走し続けてたのかなぁ・・・」とぼんやり考えていたので、分析資料を読んで理解を深めようと手に取ってみた。

 

読んだ感想は、「日本軍」と「アメリカ軍」を相対的に分析しているはずなのに、現代の「日系企業」と「アメリカ系企業」の比較にそのまま適用できるので、やはり古くからある日系企業は日本軍と変わりないんだなーと感じた。

備忘録として特に印象に残った点を記しておく。

 

目標達成につながらない「勝利」の存在

  • 米軍:「目標達成につながる勝利」が多かった(主要なポイントに絞って戦力を重点的に割いた)

  • 日本軍:「目標達成につながる勝利」が少なかった(戦争勝利に影響の薄い土地・島を攻めるのに戦力を割く)

 

ゲームのルールを変えたものが勝つ

  • 米軍:戦略をもとにゲームに勝つための戦術を考える

  •  日本軍:既存のルールを洗練させることが得意

     

 

Review of 'Watching the English'

I started to read this book to work smoothly with British colleagus, customers, and any other stakeholders. Although this is about English people, technically speaking not about overall British people, it was informative. Especially the following topics left the biggest impression on me (there are lots of other usefule rules, but what I remember now are the follows) :

  • The importance of not being earnest
Sincerity is allowed, but Earnestness is strictly forbidden.
 
  • Weather-speak
English weather-speak is a form of code, evolved to help us overcome our natural reserve and actually talk to each other. It is a form of ‘grooming talk’ - the human equivalent of what is known as ‘social grooming’  among our primate cousins
  • The money-talk taboo
English just cannot talk about money face-to-face, you have to do it in writing. It can be explained, at some extent, with reference to other basic rules of Englishness to do with modesty, private, polite egalitarianism, and other forms of hypocrisy.
 
Of course these rules cannnot be applied to all English people, it depends on individuals, but these information was very helpful, because some of them are difficult for me - Japanese person - to expect.
For example, Japanse encourage to be the earnest. We sometimes even pretend to be the earnest to leave the good impression on others. However, in UK, I should not say 'I will do my best!!!' to appeal my motivation to my boss.
I need to observe colleagus carefully and consider how to behave so that I make them feel unconfortable.
 
Again I realized that how great this experience is. I will never experience this concerns if I keep working in Japan... I want to maximize this as much as possible... :)
 
 

本の感想「異文化理解の問題地図」

図書館兼カフェにて、手に取ってみた。

感想は一言で言うと、「内容が浅すぎて、お話にならない」…。この本のターゲットは、おそらく、40代以上の男性で、これまで日本人としか一切関わったことが無い超ドメスティックな経歴で、これから初めて外国人の人とコミュニケーションをとる人かな。そんな方にとっては、安心材料になるかもしれない。

異文化理解の問題地図 ~「で、どこから変える?」グローバル化できない職場のマネジメント

異文化理解の問題地図 ~「で、どこから変える?」グローバル化できない職場のマネジメント

 

 

数ページをパラパラしただけだけど、そもそも「外国人」とひとくくりにしている点で、もう読むのを止めてしまった。

例えば「外国人への業績評価のフィードバックは2割をネガティブ、8割をポジティブな内容にすると良い」て書いてあって、世界に一体どれだけの数の民族や文化があるのか分かってる?また、彼らの性格だって一人一人違うんだから、こんな単純に考えてよい訳ないでしょう、と残念な気持ちになってしまった。

 

異文化理解を目的に読むのであれば、「異文化理解力 Culture Map」の方が100倍中身がある。

口直しのために、異文化理解力をもう一回読み直そうかな。それくらい残念な本だった・・・。

異文化理解力――相手と自分の真意がわかる ビジネスパーソン必須の教養

異文化理解力――相手と自分の真意がわかる ビジネスパーソン必須の教養

 

 

 

本の感想「100 Tricks to Appear Smart In Meetings」

Twitterで日本語訳版が話題になっていたので、英語の勉強兼ねて原著の英語版を読んでみた。

日本でいう「意識高い系」な人になるための、会議における所作 TIPSが100個紹介されている。半分コメディ・半分皮肉 って感じかな。面白い!

100 Tricks to Appear Smart In Meetings (English Edition)

100 Tricks to Appear Smart In Meetings (English Edition)

 

 特に共感して、実際に活用できそう(笑)なTrickメモ

・#1 Draw a Venn Diagram

・#5 Repeat the last thing the software engineer said but very, very slowly

・#16 When your colleague brings up an issue, ask for an example

・#20 Have a meta-conversation about the meeting

・#37 Use the royal 'we' even when you aren't involved

・#52 Say you really want this to be interactive