The words of this year are: web3, Ford Focus, gout, and pilotage.
After hearing Prime Minister Kishida’s remarks in the Diet meeting regarding web3, I expect it to become a powerful technology component of the tech industry in the future. Web3 is, as many people know, a new idea for IT or the World Wide Web with concepts such as decentralization, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics. Web 1.0 was in the 1990s and early 2000s when most websites consisted of static HTML pages uploaded by individuals or companies. They distributed content to viewers on a one-way basis. On the other hand, Web 2.0 was the idea of “the web as a platform.” In Web 2.0, users uploaded content to social media, networking services, blogs, wikis, etc., operated by particular service providers such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple (GAFA). In Web 2.0, services were centralized, and users were subject to the rules and regulations of these providers. They controlled the content, so everything uploaded on the platform could be modified or deleted at their own will if it contradicted their service policies.
In web3, content is decentralized, so what users own is theirs. What they possess can be transferred everywhere, regardless of the service provider’s policies. Users’ possessions are sometimes referred to as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) traded with cryptocurrencies. Every trade transaction is recorded to blockchains open to the public and cannot be tampered with or falsified. In web3, you can work online as a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, and the rewards can be paid with cryptocurrencies. You can store these currencies in your digital wallet and use them to buy NFTs. With web3, you can build up an independent financial ecosystem.
Meanwhile, there are still some hurdles for web3 to overcome. For example, in web3, significant transactions are made with Ethereum, Bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies, considered less trustable than real currencies. In addition, the bankruptcy of FTX makes people think them more suspicious. Besides, the high volatility of these cryptocurrencies has made people realize that they still cannot be held for anything other than speculative purposes.
Decentralization means that you have to manage what you own entirely by yourself. In Web 2.0, you can store your content in its service provider’s cloud. Wherever you are, you can get the content from the cloud as long as you have access to the internet and you know your ID and password to access the cloud. In web3, however, your asset is utterly independent of service providers. What if you store your data in your smartphone and drop it in the water?
Proper maintenance to secure your asset is also essential to prevent your cryptocurrencies from being destroyed by malware or virus. Therefore, you should consider checking vulnerability information and judge if you apply security patches for the vulnerabilities daily, even on hectic days.
These issues need to be resolved for web3 to replace Web2, which I think will still take five to ten years.
Ford Focus is what I bought in August in place of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee I have owned so far. I liked the Jeep a lot but decided to let it go because I feared I might be unable to keep it. I paid almost $500 in annual car tax and more than $1,500 in biannual car inspection payments. I paid $300 for regular checkups to the car dealer every six months and had the engine oil replaced yearly for $150. If somewhere had broken down in the future, I couldn’t expect how much it would’ve cost me to repair it.
Besides, I began to feel that I wasn’t worthy of driving that luxury SUV since I was a simple office worker who didn’t and wouldn’t make much money. So I thought I should drive a more suitable car.
The 2015 Ford Focus, with its 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine, is smaller than the Jeep, requires premium gasoline but has higher gas mileage, and has lower overall maintenance costs. It’s also more carefree to back up thanks to its back sonar, which warns of bumping corners.
It did require an investment to convert to all-season tires to provide peace of mind in the event of a sudden snowfall. Still, that investment will pay for itself in a few more years of driving until I switch to an electric vehicle.
As many people may know, gout is one of the adult diseases caused by high uric acid in the blood. Your uric acid may become high by consuming for decades foods that contain lots of purines, such as beer, scallops, and liver products. If uric acid exceeds a certain level, it no longer melts in the blood. Then it piles up in the solid state within a comparatively narrow part of blood vessels (for example, blood vessels at the joint of your foot). There, the sediment works like needles or sharp objects. As a result, you have severe pain in your foot. The symptom is called gout.
I hate to expose my weakness, but I am the one who suffers from gout. In every annual medical checkup, the doctor noted that the blood tests indicated I had a high uric acid level. He said I should avoid eating foods containing many purines. He pointed out that the intake of many purines helped keep my uric acid level high and might cause gout. I ignored his instruction since I didn’t want to limit anything I wanted to eat. So I kept eating whatever I liked.
In September this year, the symptoms of gout happened very suddenly. I initially felt a slight pain in my right foot, and the pain grew faster and more prominent over time. At last, I could hardly even walk a few steps.
I managed to get to the clinic where I see the doctor every month. The doctor was astonished to see my badly swollen right foot and soon diagnosed me with gout. He initially offered a pain reducer and prescribed the drug to cure gout after the pain ceased a few weeks later. In addition, he told me to avoid eating any foods containing purines from then on. Thanks to his advice, I have never suffered from such pain since I visited the doctor.
This experience taught me a good lesson. Suppose a doctor says you have a problem with any body part. It would help if you immediately went to the nearest clinic or one with which you are familiar. The earlier the cure begins, the faster you recover. Remember that your body is yours, not anybody else’s.
I first became interested in airplanes in 2003, installing Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and X on my PC to play with flight simulations and learn about airplane construction and piloting techniques; an interest revived this year. My interest in pilotage was revived when I saw Maiagare!, NHK’s TV drama about a young girl fascinated by airplanes and her struggle to become a professional airliner pilot. I opened the already installed “Pilot Handbook” iPad app and read the contents from the beginning to review basic aircraft operations. I read about the effects of atmospheric temperature and density on aircraft, looked up NOTAM and METAR/TAF weather information for airports on websites and smartphone apps, and read materials from the Federal Aviation Administration website. Next, I downloaded the Pilot’s Operation Handbook for the Cirrus SR20, a primary flight training aircraft, to refer to the controls and procedures to relive the flight training of the actors in that TV show.
I’m not trying to learn how to fly to get a pilot’s license. If I can enjoy flying a small aircraft or airliners using a flight simulator, that’s all that matters to me. In any case, I’d like to get a PC or Xbox with the latest version of the recently released MSFS and purchase flight controls and play the flight simulator game with them.
The words of each year are summarized in this table.
|2022||web3; Ford Focus; gout; pilotage|
|2021||Google Maps; Yurie Omi’s resignation; Tokyo Games; death games|
|2020||Synapusyu; the handgun; computer programming|
|2019||Hokkaido; Mercari; Grand Cherokee|
|2018||cashless; Japanese language; comeback|
|2017||Yurie Omi; NHK; shingles; English exams|
|2016||traveling to places in Japan; mapping; Jeep|
|2015||Maine, United States; Estonia; transfer of workplace|
|2013||Ayurveda; Korea; high school alumni; Tsuyoshi Takashiro|
|2012||Oji; the mahjong; the flight attendant; Facebook|
|2011||the car; the British culture; China|
|2010||Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia; iPhone; the credit card|
|2009||office position change; MacBook Pro; JR Seishun 18 Ticket|
|2007||changing my car; visiting Hawaii|
|2006||the US stock; the mutual fund|
|2005||darts; the GSM and WCDMA mobile phone; visiting Hong Kong again|
|2004||the blog; Asian countries (Singapore and Hong Kong); the GSM mobile phone|
|2003||the airplane; the musical|
|2001||getting a flat within the Tokyo metropolitan area; a position change at the office; Soarer|