Bush telegraph

I do not know if this is good translation from Japanese to English, but the other day I saw news regarding crime of “bush telegraph” on the internet.  The web site name is Tabe-log (http://tabelog.com/).  You can look up many of any kinds of restaurant in Japan.  The data-base is being made by the user of the site.  People evaluate a place where they had lunch or dinner and make the rating.  My wife and I sometimes use this web site to discover new places to eat.

How dose this web page connect to crime ?  Some notorious companys proposed something like this; if a restaurant paid some money, they would make some positive comment on Tabe-log site in order to control the rating, OR they made some negative comments on the competitor’s Tabe-log.  Actually this did work.  In Tokyo, there is a restaurant that never became popular, but one day suddenly there was a long line in front of the restaurant.  I do not know the detail, but this manipulation of rating is criminal activity.  However, how come the information in the internet is so sure?

I do not sincerely trust something like bush telegraph even not in the internet.  It CAN be a FACT but not everything.  In my experience of using Tabe-log, there is something when a restaurant have a lot of comments.  You should be careful about reading those comments.  Because I do not or cannot spend a lot of money for lunch or dinner, I would visit the restaurant that I liked in the Tabe-log.   Then, if it is good, no problem.  If it is no good, it would be the tuition then.

Similar thing often happend with book sales in Japan.  There is always sales ranking about popular books at that time.  When 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami came out, people were buying them.  Some of people bought just because it was so popular.  I just couldn’t understand this mentality because Haruki Murakami’s ways of sentences are often quite difficult to read.  Fans of his novels would understand because there are connections among his novels and the ways of thinking somehow similar.  What I want to point out here is some Japanese only care about fashion or trend, not contents.

I felt this was awkward.  When I was in the US, people seemed not much care about what others thought.  Of course there is book sales ranking at Barns & Noble, but I do not think the ranking affects what people would read like Japanese case.  So, I think this is caused by nationality.  I believe that Japanese tend to mind how and what the surrounding thinks.  This is probably because Japan is surrounded by sea or separated from other continent by oceans.  A lot of Japanese TV commentators said, “Compared with the US and Europe, …” , which I think meaningless.  Maybe this is one of a reason why Japanese have difficulty to create something from nothing, but Japanese is really good at improving something.

Well, I stop writing here because this could be endless to think.  This is a part of my brain when I heard “Bush telegraph (kuchi-komi)”  I hope you enjoy my entry.

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One thought on “Bush telegraph

  1. That’s interesting. I remember seeing the movie ‘True-Taste Show’ (it’s a Korean movie: http://www.cine21.com/do/movie/detail/main?movie_id=31552) that shows behind scenes of popular good eat restaurant search programs. Apparently, according to the movie, they were all staged, not real. For different side of example, what do you think about computer graphics? CG effects, these days are so hyper-realistic that I can no longer to differentiate what is real or not easily. I am concerned about our future generation. They will be in times that it will be hard to see or believe what is real. It is probably best bet to assume not real. Opposite way of perceive things we used to do in old days. “Net is vast.” That’s from Ghost in the Shell. World is in full of information. Just as much good information as there may be, there will be as much bad information as well. It all comes down to choices we make I think. I don’t see Asian way of thinking bothers creativity necessarily. It has its own benefits I think in terms of deeper consideration. We should be able to turn our disadvantage into good and better. There was an ‘the New Yorker’ article, called ‘Tweaker.’ (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/11/14/111114fa_fact_gladwell) I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it. It says Steve Jobs is more of Tweaker than Inventor. I believe if we are not Inventor, we can be great Tweaker! I wouldn’t mind.

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