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Archive for June, 2010

Chinatown, a unique role

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 Having studied about chinatown in a particularly small area in Indonesia in my master’s thesis, I gained some basic knowledge minority enclave. Even though it is still far from giving a hint of what is happening inside Chinatown, some books have reported there are certain conditions about Chinatown in their own point of interest. Yet, the most difficult task is probably relating their behavior pattern to the setting. What factor may arouse certain behavior and what may suppress and why is such a huge task to accomplish. But I will just focus on the behavior that relates to the front settings (façade and front space). Appropriate method is necessary to fulfill this task that will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

 Probably as many people or many visitors know that chinatown is unique in that they are promoting ethnical identity and stuffs as to marking their territory. Therefore, chinatown is full of chinese-related things, chinese food, chinese massage, chinese accessories, chinese clothes, chinese decoration, and chinese people, absolutely. Even if the person is not purely chinese, in order to get there to perhaps working, they will just pretend to be chinese, or selling chinese goods or cooking chinese food, and speaking chinese. They put chinese decorations in their houses, restaurants, and shops to advertise and attract people. I am referring to chinatown in yokohama.

 This behavior supports the idea of chinese as tourism destination. Even if not all the shops or restaurants do similar thing, it is still a clue of what has happening in chinatown. They are advertising themselves. Now going deeper to the idea of chinese as tourism destination. What other behaviors support this notion is going to be listed after a careful observation and interview. These all behaviors shall reveal the pattern in chinatown yokohama as tourism spot. Then the players are broken down into several categories, both can show which is being active and passive that probably will determine the ups and downs of chinatown. Perhaps this can be derived from previous studies on chinatown.

 Next task is how they particularly show what behavior, and when and for what purpose in the setting. This shall be presented with pictures and since pattern of behavior links to the environment, including time and space, this shall be presented as a whole picture. This shall connect the chinatown in many different places in regards to their unique role as perhaps different in every city. For now this is the notion about chinatown in its unique role.

Positive or negative sentiment override

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The title tells me a lot about relationship and gives me insight about partner’s point of view on relationship. I’ve never been married, but I have been living together several times with first own family, then female friends like I am doing now. Interesting point about viewing one’s relationship is that it is unlikely to change one’s own point of view once it’s started to decline to the negative emotion. It is hard to change one’s own emotion from negative to positive once it reaches the bottom line. Even after several attempts of repair. This idea is explained clearly in the book of Malcolm Gladwell, Blink, 2005. He’s particularly pointing to the marriage life. The relationship between spouses. An observation by Gottman says that a relationship between two people has a fist: a distinctive signature that arises naturally and automatically. ” …because some key part of human activity … has an identifiable and stable pattern.”

 Positive (not negative) sentiment override is like a buffer. It reduces the shock or harmful effect caused by the negative emotion in order to lessen the adverse effect. “…where positive emotion overrides irritability.” By contrast, the negative sentiment override would “even a relatively neutral thing that a partner say gets perceived as negative. ” I think many of us are likely to go through these situations countless time not only in marriage life and working life, but also in friendship and in society. This is supposed to be different from positive thinking attitude which is dealing with one’s perception of an outcome or expectation to raise hope and support the action. The positive sentiment override is practically a cure to the negative emotion at a thin-sliced moment toward peer.

Below is some important part of summary in wikipedia about the book that is useful for more applicable situations.

Gladwell explains how an expert’s ability to “thin slice” or make a snap judgment can be corrupted by their likes and dislikes, prejudices and stereotypes (even unconscious ones), and how they can be overloaded by too much information. “Thin-slicing” is using limited information to come to our conclusion. In what Gladwell contends is an age of information overload, he finds that experts often make better decisions with snap judgments than they do with volumes of analysis. He also mentions that sometimes having too much information can interfere with the accuracy of a judgment, or a doctor’s diagnosis. This is commonly called “analysis paralysis.” the challenge is to sift through and focus on only the most critical information to make a decision. The other information may be irrelevant and confusing to the decision maker. Collecting more and more information, in most cases, just reinforces our judgment but does not help to make it more accurate, the collection of information is commonly interpreted as confirming a person’s initial belief or bias. He explains that better judgments can be executed from simplicity and frugality of information.

Another advantage

In his book, Gladwell says that the observation by John Gottman about marriage through thin-slicing reveals the facts of how they view their relationship and helps to evaluate the relationship between spouses.

Well, I kinda feeling of discernment from reading the book and the summary or review. What the book is trying to reveal is what ordinary people would just experience daily and it is not so surprising or interesting unless one put more or careful attention on the effect it may cause. For example, I’m beginning to understand why my mom is always knowing when I dislike someone, particularly the opposite sex. At a glance she just observes that I dislike a particular person even though I never said a word about it. At first I wonder how she knows that, or perhaps because she’s my mother, she must have been knowing me ever since I become her daughter. But now I change my analysis, I think she’s been thin-slicing me. I often do that as well to many people. I do that as often as I have chance to meet someone at the first time, but it gives me unnecessary judgment that keeps me from interacting with people instead of giving me benefit.

Yet, one criticism about this book came from Richard Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago and a judge on the  United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, who argues that Gladwell in ‘Blink’ fails to follow his own recommendations regarding thin-slicing, and makes a variety of unsupported assumptions and mistakes in his characterizations of the evidence for his thesis.

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