From EX-SKF. I make a brief comment below the videos.

(If you don’t see the caption, click on the “cc” on the player menu bar to turn on the caption.)

Please share the videos with your non-Japanese-speaking friends.

Original written posts are here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Captioned Video Part 1 of 2

via Video with English Caption: Professor Tatsuhiko Kodama of Tokyo University Tells the Politicians: “What Are You Doing?” | EX-SKF.

[yframe url=’’]

[yframe url=’’]

My comment:

Have you heard of “The Pretence of Knowledge”? It’s a phrase used by economist Friedrich Hayek in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Economics, 1974. Here’s the short version:

“If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible. … The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men’s fatal striving to control society — a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals.”

Prof. Kodama said a few things that reminded me of the pretence of knowledge (my emphasis):

  1. Second, I request that the government enact a new law as soon as possible in order to reduce children’s radiation exposure. Right now, what I’m doing is all illegal.
    The current “Radiation Damage Prevention Law” specifies the amount of radiation and the types of radionuclides that each institution can handle. Now Tokyo University is mobilizing its workforce in its twenty-seven Radioisotope Centers to help decontaminate Minami-Soma City, but many of the centers don’t have a permission to handle cesium. It’s illegal to transport it by cars. However, we cannot leave highly radioactive materials to mothers and teachers there, so we put them all in drums and bring them back to Tokyo. To receive them is illegal. Everything is illegal.The Diet is to blame for leaving such situations as they are. There are many institutions in Japan, such as Radioisotope Centers at national universities, which have germanium detectors and other state-of-the-art detectors. But how can we, as the nation, protect our children if these institutions’ hands are tied?This is the result of the gross negligence by the Diet.Third, I request that the government as a national policy mobilize technological power of the private sector in order to decontaminate the soil. There are many companies with expertise of radiation decontamination; chemical companies such as Toray and Kurita, decontamination companies such as Chiyoda Technol and Atox, and
    construction companies such as Takenaka Corporation. Please mobilize their power to create a decontamination research center in Fukushima as soon as possible.
  2. The statistical significance was finally noted 20 years later. Why? Because the peak that started in 1986 disappeared. So even without the data prior to 1986, the occurrence of thyroid cancer and radiation exposure from Chernobyl had the causal relationship. Epidemiological proof is very difficult. It is impossible to prove until all the cases are done. Therefore, from the viewpoint of “protecting our children” a completely different approach is required.

“hands are tied… the Diet is to blame for leaving such situations as they are… mobilize technological power of the private sector…”

Is this not an example of the “men’s fatal striving to control society” through trying to manage that which cannot be managed? That which should not be managed? The multiple emergencies of the tsunami, earthquake, and the ongoing nuclear crisis at Fukushima are “essential complexities” far beyond the ability of the Japanese Diet to manage: they cannot get the information they need fast enough to act on it in time, even assuming they were capable of making the proper judgements. Nobody can. It is physically impossible, as Hayek described in his 1974 Nobel Prize acceptance speech. As Dr. Kodama says, “a completely different approach is required.”

People say the government response is slow, it is not doing enough. But what if the problem were otherwise? What if the problem were that the government is trying to manage and control something which cannot be controlled by any individual or any group of individuals? Government, the laws it has made in the past, and its present means of gathering information and deliberating on it then how it acts, are hampering rather than helping.  Remember Dr. Kodama’s words: “how can we protect our children if these institutions’ hands are tied?”

“What on earth is the Diet doing?” thunders Dr. Kodama. Perhaps getting in the way is what it is doing.