Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 11, 2014

Remembering March 11, 2011

Filed under: Catastrophes — by Philip J. Palin on March 11, 2014


A Kanji for Silence

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Comment by Philip J. Palin

March 11, 2014 @ 4:22 pm

It was my original intention to provide an update on the recovery from the triple disaster that occurred in Northeastern Japan three years ago.

There are resources. I may still do something someday soon. But the more information I have gathered the less I have to say… at least today.

At least 18,000 died, 267,000 remain displaced. Progress in recovery has been made. Enough?

While I hope some portion of grief is reserved for those who suffered and still suffer, my greater concern probably relates to survivors much farther afield.

Tohoku is not Tokyo. Some day the tsunami will roll up Tokyo Bay. Some day the earthquake will shake L.A. Yet we have not, I think, given enough thought to what we might have learned — still might learn — from 3/11.

Recently I was encouraged to study, service, and silence. It was suggested that for the first two activities to be more than egocentric there is a need for silence. There is value in allowing the wholeness — enormity — of reality to saturate our being.

Basho, a Japanese poet, wrote:

deep silence –
the shrill of cicadas
seeps into rocks

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 11, 2014 @ 10:08 pm

Thanks Phil!

Comment by john comiskey

March 12, 2014 @ 7:12 am

Tohoku is not Tokyo: Oklahoma City is not New York City.

Much might be said of the importance, perceived or otherwise, of global cities and global urbanization in the issue attention cycle.

See: http://www.amazon.com/The-Global-City-London-Tokyo/dp/0691070636/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394625213&sr=8-1&keywords=Global+Cities





Much too can be said for Kanji

On a personal-professional note, this week I started a course discussion with a reference to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Coincidentally, the discussion was about preparing for low-probability high-consequence events.

I reminded the class of our humanity and that subject at hand was real-world and not an exercise. Somewhere there is a role for Kanji.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 12, 2014 @ 11:15 am

By the end of the Century 25 cities worldwide with 25M or more population? Tokyo area 35M now?


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