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Minh-Ha T. Pham on Twitter: "Folks teaching courses on and/or writing about race + beauty, assign/read Thuy Linh N. Tu's latest essay, "White Like Koreans: The Skin of New Vietnam," a beautifully written, smart essay that looks at the significance of whit
"Folks teaching courses on and/or writing about race + beauty, assign/read Thuy Linh N. Tu's latest essay, "White Like Koreans: The Skin of New Vietnam," a beautifully written, smart essay that looks at the significance of whiteness in VN and Asia that DOESN'T CENTRALIZE the West.

Folks teaching courses on and/or writing abt ethical fashion/garment industry, check out @deniseacruz's gorgeous essay "Splitting the Seams: Transnat'l Feminism and ... Filipino Couture." What ethical production really looks like FROM THE PERSPECTIVE of global south workers.

Another one for race + beauty research that doesn't assume or use a western framework --> S. Heijin Lee's "Beauty Between Empires." Also includes a great discussion of how social media helps/hurts Korean feminism.

Another one for ethical fashion/fast fashion/garment industry researchers: Christina Moon's "Times, Tempos, and Rhythm of Fast Fashion in LA & Seoul" - an ethnographic work that dispels major misconceptions abt fast fashion much of it is made in USA + involves design work)

All of these essays are in the newly published book *Fashion and Beauty in the Time of Asia* (@NYUpress).

Also: all these women are my friends, my friends are smart, my friends are beautiful writers. Read them, cite them. (I'm not done reading the book . Will have more later.)

PS. I have a chapter in the same book. Drawing on the China Through the Looking Glass exhibition at the Met, I argue that "cultural inspiration" is more than a personal feeling; it's a cultural economic asset that provides protection, recognition, and profit -- for some."

[See also: "Fashion and Beauty in the Time of Asia, by S. Heijin Lee , Christina H. Moon and Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu
NYU Series in Social and Cultural Analysis"
https://nyupress.org/9781479892846/fashion-and-beauty-in-the-time-of-asia/ ]
race  beauty  fashion  asia  korea  vietnam  whiteness  2019  minh-hapham  sheijinlee  feminism  socialmedia  christinamoon  china  books  thuylinhnguyentu 
3 days ago by robertogreco
Yong Zhao "What Works May Hurt: Side Effects in Education" - YouTube
"Proponents of standardized testing and privatization in education have sought to prove their effectiveness in improving education with an abundance of evidence. These efforts, however, can have dangerous side effects, causing long-lasting damage to children, teachers, and schools. Yong Zhao, Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas, will argue that education interventions are like medical products: They can have serious, sometimes detrimental, side effects while also providing cures. Using standardized testing and privatization as examples, Zhao, author of the internationally bestselling Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon? Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World, will talk about his new book on why and how pursuing a narrow set of short-term outcomes causes irreparable harm in education."
yongzhao  2018  schools  schooling  pisa  education  testing  standardizedtesting  standardization  china  us  history  testscores  children  teaching  howweteach  howwelearn  sideeffects  privatization  tims  math  reading  confidence  assessment  economics  depression  diversity  entrepreneurship  japan  creativity  korea  vietnam  homogenization  intolerance  prosperity  tolerance  filtering  sorting  humans  meritocracy  effort  inheritance  numeracy  literacy  achievementgap  kindergarten  nclb  rttt  policy  data  homogeneity  selectivity  charterschools  centralization  decentralization  local  control  inequity  curriculum  autonomy  learning  memorization  directinstruction  instruction  poverty  outcomes  tfa  teachforamerica  finland  singapore  miltonfriedman  vouchers  resilience  growthmindset  motivation  psychology  research  positivepsychology  caroldweck  intrinsicmotivation  choice  neoliberalism  high-stakestesting 
6 weeks ago by robertogreco
Whale
"Never been seen before, ‘Omnitasking’

Whale Space allows you to browse two windows in the same tab
and have different search results at the same time.

Simple way to sync between a desktop and a mobile You can import bookmarks as well as the web pages you have visited by syncing between a desktop and a mobile. What you need to do is just log in to Whale."



"New world
In the era of big data.
Everyone's goal nowadays is to explore the vast universe of information in a safe and secure way, without barriers.

Whale spaceship
“The spaceship looked like a huge whale” is a line from a science fiction that inspired us to name our browser. Like its name, we hope that Whale will become your spaceship sailing through the universe of information in the era of big data.

The start of a journey
We've been working on lowering the barriers so that everyone can easily use technologies in their daily lives and participate in improving the Whale browser.
Come along with us and join this journey to the new world."

[via: "South Korea's Newest Browser Is Beautifully Designed, But Will Anyone Use It?"
https://www.forbes.com/sites/elaineramirez/2017/06/11/naver-whale-line-south-koreas-newest-browser-is-beautifully-designed-but-will-anyone-use-it/#557f54e73411

"Arguably the coolest feature on Whale is “omnitasking” -- a split-screen feature that lets you browse two sites in the same tab, with an adjustable divider.

Koreans love Naver more than hipsters love Apple, but Whale is the latecomer to an already uphill battle."]
browsers  internet  online  web  browser  korea  windows  software  android  linux  ios  mac  osx  macos 
11 weeks ago by robertogreco
김메주와 고양이들Mejoo and Cats - YouTube
"Told my dad that I am taking care of 4 cats!!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFK8XUa2l_8

"My dad who hates cats finally met the cats."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGpI6v582qg

"My dad who had hated cats, finally ended up having a cat!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-UBFYb3_I
cats  korea 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Culture of Jeju Haenyeo (women divers) - intangible heritage - Culture Sector - UNESCO
"In Jeju Island, there is a community of women, some aged in their 80s, which goes diving 10m under the sea to gather shellfish, such as abalone or sea urchins for a living without the help of oxygen masks. With knowledge of the sea and marine life, the Jeju haenyeo (female divers) harvest for up to seven hours a day, 90 days of the year holding their breath for just one minute for every dive and making a unique verbal sound when resurfacing. Divers are categorised into three groups according to level of experience: hagun, junggun and sanggun with the sanggun offering guidance to the others. Before a dive, prayers are said to the Jamsugut, goddess of the sea, to ask for safety and an abundant catch. Knowledge is passed down to younger generations in families, schools, local fishery cooperatives which have the area’s fishing rights, haenyeo associations, The Haenyeo School and Haenyeo Museum. Designated by the provincial government as representating the island’s character and people’s spirit, the culture of Jeju haenyeo has also contributed to the advancement of women’s status in the community and promoted environmental sustainability with its eco-friendly methods and community invovlment in management of fishing practices."

[See also:
https://roadsandkingdoms.com/2017/the-female-free-divers-of-jeju/
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/world/asia/hardy-divers-in-korea-strait-sea-women-are-dwindling.html ]

[Tangentially related:
http://gakuran.com/ama-the-pearl-diving-mermaids-of-japan/
https://jezebel.com/the-disappearing-ama-japans-tough-topless-free-divin-1679290183 ]
jeju  korea  diving  fishing  shellfish  oceans  instangibleheritage  unesco 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Has This Neighborhood in Seoul Figured Out the Secret to Slow Living? - The New York Times
"The decline of vernacular architecture in the face of global urbanization is, of course, hardly new, though traditional Korean hanok are a particularly stark contrast to modern city living. Sit inside one and you immediately notice how sound and light travel differently as they’re absorbed into pine wood beams and diffused through pale mulberry-paper windows. When newly built, hanok are redolent with the bright scent of a coniferous forest; as they age, the fragrance softens toward pu-erh tea and damp bark. Their center of gravity is lower than other homes, creating a cocoon-like sensation; their radiant heating system — the ondol — means that residents sit, work and sleep on the floor.

But while any Korean can describe how a hanok feels, defining what a hanok is has proved elusive. “Hanok” simply translates to “Korean house,” though the term wasn’t used until the late 19th century, which brought the opening of the peninsula’s ports to international trade and, in turn, Western architecture. Before this, the hanok was merely a house. Today’s hanok, with its soot-black scalloped clay tiles laid atop wooden beams, resembles its 15th-century forebears. In 2015, the government legally defined hanok as a “wooden architectural structure built on the basis of the traditional Korean-style framework consisting of columns and purlins and a roof reflecting the Korean traditional architectural style,” leaving acres of room for interpretation."



"Indeed, this nostalgia for a simpler form of living is fueled by the dissatisfaction that many locals have expressed in the face of their country’s breakneck economic growth. Here, digital culture is richer and vaster than anywhere else: South Korea, home to the technology giants Samsung and LG, may have the world’s fastest internet and the highest rate of smartphone use, but amid the country’s accelerated 30-year transition from military state — which it was until the ’80s — to tech superpower, there’s a growing sentiment that somewhere along the road, much of the country’s own culture was lost. The hanok, then, has come to represent a safe vessel for introspection and a reassertion of Korean identity: a romantic return to the national architecture and, therefore, to a mythic, prelapsarian age. Rebuilding these houses is not only a chance to revisit a past that once was, free of influences from globalized monoculture, but also to create a future in Seoul that might have been."



"Tändler designed Lee Eunyoung’s hanok, one of the few one-story buildings in the village. The home is disarmingly simple: a minimally furnished, U-shaped space, encircling a madang. For the four-person family, moving into a hanok wasn’t just an aesthetic choice but an opportunity to atavistically reorient their lives. “We each have five outfits for Monday through Friday, plus one wedding outfit, one funeral outfit and one exercise outfit,” Lee Eunyoung says. The 37-year-old mother doesn’t buy toys for her two young boys, instead giving them paper and crayons or sending them out into the madang to play. This is another way the hanok has made Seoulites reconsider the way they live: By forcing them to decide how much stuff they really need, it inverts the dynamic between the house and the people within it, making the residents accommodate the dwelling, not the other way around. In doing so, they’ve discovered a different, slower way of living. Eventually, Lee Eunyoung’s children will grow up and find their own homes. Maybe they’ll go somewhere modern: a skyscraper, a glass-and-steel penthouse. But Lee says she’ll stay here, in the hanok, for the rest of her life"
slo  seoul  korea  architecture  homes  wood  2018  design  cv  housing  economics  preservation  culture 
september 2018 by robertogreco
Why, in China and Japan, a copy is just as good as an original | Aeon Essays
"In the West, when monuments are restored, old traces are often particularly highlighted. Original elements are treated like relics. The Far East is not familiar with this cult of the original. It has developed a completely different technique of preservation that might be more effective than conservation or restoration. This takes place through continual reproduction. This technique completely abolishes the difference between original and replica. We might also say that originals preserve themselves through copies. Nature provides the model. The organism also renews itself through continual cell-replacement. After a certain period of time, the organism is a replica of itself. The old cells are simply replaced by new cell material. In this case, the question of an original does not arise. The old dies off and is replaced by the new. Identity and renewal are not mutually exclusive. In a culture where continual reproduction represents a technique for conservation and preservation, replicas are anything but mere copies."
china  japan  copying  originality  evolution  copies  culture  2018  byung-chulhan  history  museums  cloning  korea  southkorea  buddhism  christianity  life  death 
june 2018 by robertogreco
Vox Borders - YouTube - YouTube
"Reporting from six borders around the world, Emmy-nominated journalist Johnny Harris investigates the human stories behind the lines on a map in a new series for Vox.com

The six-part documentary series airs Tuesdays starting October 17th.

For additional content, travel dispatches, and more visit http://www.vox.com/borders "

[VOX BORDERS S1 • E1
Divided island: How Haiti and the DR became two worlds
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WvKeYuwifc

VOX BORDERS S1 • E2
It's time to draw borders on the Arctic Ocean
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx_2SVm9Jgo

VOX BORDERS S1 • E3
Inside North Korea's bubble in Japan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBfyIQbxXPs

VOX BORDERS S1 • E4
How the US outsourced border security to Mexico
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xbt0ACMbiA

VOX BORDERS S1 • E5
Building a border at 4,600 meters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECch2g1_6PQ

VOX BORDERS S1 • E6
Europe’s most fortified border is in Africa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY_Yiu2U2Ts ]
borders  haiti  dominicanrepublic  arctic  arcticocean  japan  northkorea  korea  mexico  us  centralamerica  border  2017  spain  morocco  china  nepal  españa 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Review. Some Pig—Bong Joon-ho's "Okja" on Notebook | MUBI
"The South Korean auteur's eco-action-drama wrestles with the idea that attacking capitalism's symptoms will never destroy its source."



"The maltreatment of the Super Pigs is of utmost concern to Bong Joon-ho. Obsessively detail-oriented, his wide-scale panoramas of society expand to include those forgotten by the rest: the innocents who suffer as collateral damage. In his debut feature Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000), it is not the murdered dogs that receive the brunt of the blow. Rather, it is the homeless man who is arrested for eating them, whose first crime was hunger. There are the abandoned victims of the monster in The Host (2006), whose bodies lay in the dark while the government devises a cover-up; and made more literal, the poorest children on the train in Snowpiercer (2013) who are eaten by the rich.

The Super Pigs join these as some of the lowest of the low on the food chain. They are born to die and tortured every step of the way. Unbeknownst to the public, the Pigs are beaten, trapped in cages, and forced to breed. To our horror, they even possess the consciousness to know that this pain is undeserved. The beasts are a two-fold metaphor. They are martyrs for animal rights; but in the context of the entire system that Bong wishes to confront, the Super Pigs are also representative casualties of capitalism at its worst. Though human-animal comparisons risk demeaning both, even Sinclair recognized that in its brutality, money blurs the line between man and beast, flesh and meat.

This point is missed by the kind but misguided Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a radical animal rights activist group led by Jay (Paul Dano). Pitting itself against the Mirando Corporation, the ALF resorts to hijacking, spying on, and exposing corporate enemies. Its biggest weakness is that it doesn’t do much else. Even these attacks are pitiful and contradictory: in one scene, the ALF wrestles with police while simultaneously ensuring everyone that they do not like hurting people. Plagued by shortsightedness, the group’s reactive politics are shallow blows to a much larger problem."



"Bong Joon-ho is well known for the distrust of authority that fuels his films; but Okja also speaks to a concurrent distrust of the people, specifically the mob mentality of the masses. Indirectly, the public’s refusal to demand tangible change is what allows the Mirando Corporation to thrive. The ALF, still convinced of the power of awareness, unfolds its plan to take over the Super Pig parade and release graphic footage of animal cruelty at the lab and factory. When they succeed, the rest of the crowd starts to chant as flyers fall from the sky. The chaos is only satisfying for a few seconds until the irony sinks in. This is the same public that just minutes before was gleefully covered in pink and chewing on Super Pig jerky. It is hard to imagine that their knee-jerk response will be as quickly transformed into action.

The frantically paced Okja is propelled by a fear that the anti-capitalist efforts of today are not enough to inspire structural change. The middle portion is bookended by the image of the factory, a symbol that haunts Okja's entirety. The film opens in an abandoned Mirando factory that Lucy Mirando vows to reclaim. These promises are sprinkled with diluted claims like ending “world hunger” and revolutionizing the “livestock industry” (the whitewashed term for slaughterhouse) with “love.” But as we finally witness in the film’s penultimate scene, the new Mirando factory is just as bloody, only more automated. Here, reclamation is nothing more than a re-branding strategy that disguises itself with the aphorisms of mainstream environmentalism."



"The film concludes with the revelation of Mija’s selfishness. Like Hyun-seo from The Host, who can fight to survive but could never defeat the river creature even if she tried, Mija is a great girl and just that. When given the chance to save Okja, she takes it. The two return to the mountains as if the factory no longer exists. Bong Joon-ho describes Okja as a “love story.”6 The love that he refers to can only be selfish in the grand scheme of things, since the selfless act of heroism is already a futile task.

Critic Kim Hye-ri explains that the characters of Bong’s films as those “whose bodies are all they have left.”7 However disappointing, Mija’s decision to rescue the body of the one she loves is an act of devotion. And so Okja relents the cheap opportunity for an eleven-year old girl to bring an end to capitalism. Instead, the Mirando Corporation lives on and the two friends escape far from the maddening crowd as if nothing happened. Meanwhile, we as an audience are left with the flat, stinging sensation of hitting a wall. But if any feeling could so aptly reflect love in the time of capitalism, then it is this: to willingly hit a wall until an eventual point of demolition."
bongjoon-ho  okj  capitalism  2017  ebwhite  labor  politics  society  cruelty  violence  imperialism  immigrants  immigration  us  korea  globalization  authority  distrust  revolution  environmentalism  activism  animalrights  multispecies  bodies  love  kimhye-ri  kelleydong  body 
july 2017 by robertogreco
불확실한 학교 Uncertainty School
"Uncertainty School is a school to explore potential that cannot be described in a language of the world of certainty. The school’s curriculum focuses on art, technology, disability, and their correlation with one another, and aims at unlearning of exclusive or discriminatory viewpoints we have unconsciously accepted. Uncertainty School invites artists, activists and students main participants, regardless of disability. The school holds workshops for participants and public seminars open to general audience. The school provides sign language interpretation, translation, stenography, taking participants’ various types of disability into consideration, and offers education in a space easily accessible by the people with varying types of physical disabilities. Uncertainty School encourages participants to develop their independent artistic practice while forming a community of interdependent learning, in pursuit of a genuine value system based on fairness, beyond the concept of pro forma equality.

Uncertainty School workshops organized by Taeyoon Choi will introduce computer programming skills, online publication and exhibition methods, conducive to participants’ creative practice. Uncertainty School seminars will feature local and international artists participating in Mediacity Seoul 2016. The artists will to introduce their work and discuss technology, environment, and the human body in contemporary art.

Participants and collaborating artists will produce artwork or reinterpret existing work and present a group exhibition at Community Gallery of Buk Seoul Museum of Art. The entire process will be documented in video and writing, and posted on the website of Mediacity Seoul 2016."
uncertaintyschool  lcproject  openstudioproject  seoul  korea  southkorea  taeyoonchoi  altgdp  education  school  schooldesign  unschooling  deschooling  art  artschools  equity  fairness  unlearning  artschool 
december 2016 by robertogreco
Adults Have Become Shorter in Many Countries - The New York Times
"Average adult heights in many countries appear to have peaked 30 to 40 years ago and have declined slightly since then, according to a new study that the authors say is based on the largest set of such data ever gathered.

They combined results from 1,472 studies in 200 countries looking at the measured — rather than self-reported or estimated — heights of about 18.6 million people born from 1896 to 1996. The study was published in eLife.

Dutchmen born before 2000 were the world’s tallest, and Guatemalan women born before 1900 were the shortest, the study found. South Korean women and Iranian men had the greatest gains in height over the last century. But Guatemalan women also grew, rising from 4 feet 7 inches to 4 feet 11 inches, on average.

Latvian women are now the world’s tallest.

Height is strongly influenced by the mother’s nourishment during pregnancy, and the child’s during infancy. Height is also linked to overall health and well-being.

Taller people tend on average to live longer and to have fewer cardiac and respiratory problems. Some studies have shown that they receive more education and are paid higher salaries.

American men reached their maximum average height in 1996, and women in 1988. Two of the study’s authors, James Bentham and Majid Ezzati, both of Imperial College, London, speculated that the decline could be because of worsening nutrition standards for poor Americans but conceded that they had not measured the effects of immigration from, for example, Central American countries with substantially shorter citizens.

Average heights in North America, Western Europe and Japan rose quickly in the 20th century, then plateaued or shrank slightly, the authors said. African and South Asians have not grown very much and, in some countries, have shrunk slightly.

Africans were taller when the colonial era ended in the 1960s. They may have lost height because of collapsing health care systems, rising population density and less dietary diversity among urbanites, the authors said."

[See also: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13410 ]
humans  evolution  height  netherlands  latvia  2016  korea  iran  nourishment  1996  1988  1960s  health  japan  europe  us  asia  guatemala  jamesbentham  majidezzati 
july 2016 by robertogreco
What History Teaches Us About Walls - The New York Times
"It is lost to history whether Hadrian, Qin Shi Huang or Nikita Khrushchev ever uttered, “I will build a wall.”

But build they did, and what happened? The history of walls — to keep people out or in — is also the history of people managing to get around, over and under them. Some come tumbling down.

The classic example is the Great Wall of China. Imposing and remarkably durable, yes, yet it didn’t block various nomadic tribes from the north. History is full of examples of engineering thwarted by goal-oriented rank amateurs. But Donald Trump has promised to build a wall on the United States-Mexican border that he says will be big, beautiful, tall and strong, and he says Mexico will pay for it.

Here’s some more historical perspective on walls."
walls  borders  border  us  mexico  israel  palestine  germany  history  2016  photography  donaldtrump  china  spain  españa  morocco  melilla  hadrian'swall  england  moscow  russia  vaticancity  korea  southkorea  northkorea  romania  roma  warsaw  poland  india  bangladesh  cyprus  ireland  northernireland  mauritania 
may 2016 by robertogreco
The male suicides: how social perfectionism kills | Mosaic
"Impulsivity, brooding rumination, low serotonin, poor social problem-solving abilities – there are many vulnerabilities that can heighten the risk of suicide. Professor Rory O’Connor, President of the International Academy of Suicide Research, has been studying the psychological processes behind self-inflicted death for over 20 years.

“Did you see the news?” he asks when I meet him. The morning’s papers are carrying the latest numbers: 6,233 suicides were registered in the UK in 2013. While the female suicide rate has remained roughly constant since 2007, that for men is at its highest since 2001. Nearly eight in ten of all suicides are male – a figure that has been rising for over three decades. In 2013, if you were a man between the ages of 20 and 49 who’d died, the most likely cause was not assault nor car crash nor drug abuse nor heart attack, but a decision that you didn’t wish to live any more.

In every country in the world, male suicides outnumber female. The mystery is why? What is it about being male that leads to this? Why, at least in the UK, are middle-aged men most at risk? And why is it getting worse?

Those who study suicide, or work for mental health charities, are keen to press upon the curious that there’s rarely, if ever, a single factor that leads to any self-inflicted death and that mental illness, most commonly depression, usually precedes such an event. “But the really important point is, most people with depression don’t kill themselves,” O’Connor tells me. “Less than 5 per cent do. So mental illness is not an explanation. For me, the decision to kill yourself is a psychological phenomenon. What we’re trying to do in the lab here is understand the psychology of the suicidal mind.”

We’re sitting in O’Connor’s office on the grounds of Gartnavel Royal Hospital. Through the window, the University of Glasgow’s spire rises into a dreich sky. Paintings by his two children are stuck to a corkboard – an orange monster, a red telephone. Hiding in the cupboard, a grim book collection: Comprehending Suicide; By Their Own Young Hands; Kay Redfield Jamison’s classic memoir of madness, An Unquiet Mind.

O’Connor’s Suicidal Behaviour Research Lab works with survivors in hospitals, assessing them within 24 hours of an attempt and tracking how they fare afterwards. It also carries out experimental studies, testing hypotheses on matters such as pain tolerance in suicidal people and changes in cognition following brief induced periods of stress.

After years of study, O’Connor found something about suicidal minds that surprised him. It’s called social perfectionism. And it might help us understand why men kill themselves in such numbers."



"If you’re a social perfectionist, you tend to identify closely with the roles and responsibilities you believe you have in life. “It’s not about what you expect of yourself,” O’Connor explains. “It’s what you think other people expect. You’ve let others down because you’ve failed to be a good father or a good brother – whatever it is.”

Because it’s a judgement on other people’s imagined judgements of you, it can be especially toxic. “It’s nothing to do with what those people actually think of you,” he says. “It’s what you think they expect. The reason it’s so problematic is that it’s outside your control.”

O’Connor first came across social perfectionism in studies of American university students. “I thought it wouldn’t be applicable in a UK context and that it certainly wouldn’t be applicable to people from really difficult backgrounds. Well, it is. It’s a remarkably robust effect. We’ve looked at it in the context of the most disadvantaged areas of Glasgow.” It began in 2003 with an initial study that looked at 22 people who had recently attempted suicide, as well as a control group, and assessed them using a 15-question quiz that measures agreement with statements such as “Success means that I must work even harder to please others” and “People expect nothing less than perfection from me”. “We’ve found this relationship between social perfectionism and suicidality in all populations where we’ve done the work,” says O’Connor, “including among the disadvantaged and the affluent.”

What’s not yet known is why. “Our hypothesis is that people who are social perfectionist are much more sensitive to signals of failure in the environment,” he says.

I ask if this is about perceived failure to fulfil roles, and what roles men feel they should fill? Father? Bread-winner?

“Now there’s this change in society,” O’Connor replies, “you have to be Mr Metrosexual too. There are all these greater expectations – more opportunities for men to feel like failures.”"



"If you’re a social perfectionist, you’ll have unusually high expectations of yourself. Your self-esteem will be dangerously dependent on maintaining a sometimes impossible level of success. When you’re defeated, you’ll collapse.

But social perfectionists aren’t unique in identifying closely with their goals, roles and aspirations. Psychology professor Brian Little, of the University of Cambridge, is well known for his research on ‘personal projects’. He believes we can identify so closely with them that they become part of our very sense of self. “You are your personal projects,” he used to tell his Harvard class.

According to Little, there are different kinds of projects, which carry different loads of value. Walking the dog is a personal project but so is becoming a headteacher in a lovely village, and so is being a successful father and husband. Surprisingly, how meaningful our projects are is thought to contribute to our wellbeing only slightly. What makes the crucial difference to how happy they make us is whether or not they’re accomplishable.

But what happens when our personal projects begin to fall apart? How do we cope? And is there a gender difference that might give a clue to why so many men kill themselves?

There is. It’s generally assumed that men, to their detriment, often find it hard to talk about their emotional difficulties. This has also been found to be true when it comes to discussing their faltering projects. “Women benefit from making visible their projects and their challenges in pursuing them,” Little writes, in his book Me, Myself and Us, “whereas men benefit from keeping that to themselves.”

In a study of people in senior management positions, Little uncovered another salient gender difference. “A clear differentiator is that, for men, the most important thing is to not confront impedance,” he tells me. “They’re primarily motivated to charge ahead. It’s a clear-the-decks kind of mentality. The women are more concerned about an organisational climate in which they’re connected with others. You can extrapolate that, I think, to areas of life beyond the office. I don’t want to perpetrate stereotypes but the data here seem pretty clear.”

Additional support for this comes from a highly influential 2000 paper, by a team lead by Professor Shelley Taylor at UCLA, that looked at bio-behavioural responses to stress. They found that while men tend to exhibit the well-known ‘fight or flight’ response, women are more likely to use ‘tend and befriend’. “Although women might think about suicide very seriously,” says Little, “because of their social connectedness, they may also think, ‘My God, what will my kids do? What will my mum think?’ So there’s forbearance from completing the act.” As for the men, death could be seen as the ultimate form of ‘flight’.

But that deadly form of flight takes determination. Dr Thomas Joiner, of Florida State University, has studied differences between people who think about suicide and those who actually act on their desire for death. “You can’t act unless you also develop a fearlessness of death,” he says. “And that’s the part I think is relevant to gender differences.” Joiner describes his large collection of security footage and police videos showing people who “desperately want to kill themselves and then, at the last minute, they flinch because it’s so scary. The flinch ends up saving their lives.” So is the idea men are less likely to flinch? “Exactly.”

But it’s also true, in most Western countries, that more women attempt suicide than men. One reason a higher number of males actually die is their choice of method. While men tend towards hanging or guns, women more often reach for pills. Martin Seager, a clinical psychologist and consultant to the Samaritans, believes this fact demonstrates that men have greater suicidal intent. “The method reflects the psychology,” he says. Daniel Freeman, of the University of Oxford’s department of psychiatry, has pointed to a study of 4,415 patients who had been at hospital following an episode of self-harm; it found significantly higher suicidal intent in the men than the women. But the hypothesis remains largely uninvestigated. “I don’t think it’s been shown definitively at all,” he says. “But then it would be incredibly difficult to show.”

For O’Connor, too, the intent question remains open. “I’m unaware of any decent studies that have looked at it because it’s really difficult to do,” he says. But Seager is convinced. “For men, I think of suicide as an execution,” he says. “A man is removing himself from the world. It’s a sense of enormous failure and shame. The masculine gender feels they’re responsible for providing and protecting others and for being successful. When a woman becomes unemployed, it’s painful, but she doesn’t feel like she’s lost her sense of identity or femininity. When a man loses his work he feels he’s not a man.”

It’s a notion echoed by the celebrated psychologist Professor Roy Baumeister, whose theory of suicide as ‘escape from the self’ has been an important influence on O’Connor. “A… [more]
suicide  men  via:anne  2015  perfectionism  roryo'connor  middleage  behavior  impulsivity  rumination  serotonin  socialperfectionism  responsibility  responsibilities  society  failure  judgement  urbanization  success  self-esteem  socialesteem  pressure  stress  gender  manhood  roybaumeister  martinseager  thomasjoiner  shelleytaylor  brianlittle  self-concept  korea  china  us  uk  kayredfieldjamison 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Elise goes East: How NPR’s new Seoul bureau chief is using Tumblr to complement her reporting » Nieman Journalism Lab
"Since moving to South Korea in March, Elise Hu has been using Tumblr to document everything from the serious to the silly — and expand her voice beyond the NPR airwaves."



"“I don’t know that I would have room to share that somewhere else besides that platform,” Hu told me by phone from Seoul.

Hu has used the blog to post her stories from East Asia, share information that didn’t make it into her NPR pieces, and to just make observations — both serious and silly — about what it’s like to be an expat living halfway around the world. She moved to Seoul in March, and the blog has attracted more than 7,000 followers, already exceeding her goal of 5,000 for the first year.

In her nearly two months in South Korea, Hu has published a wide array of posts, from an extended Q&A with a professor about Japanese–Korean relations to a series called This Exists, which highlights objects unique to Asia that Americans might not know about. Not to mention this YouTube video that showed her listening to a voicemail message from an irate listener.

The Tumblr has brought Hu tips and feedback from readers — both in the States and in Korea. When she posted her story on the stresses South Korean students face, she received a number of responses from readers who shared stories from their own experiences as students.

“This allows me to have more of a bloggier voice and is more linked to me personally,” Hu said. “It allows me to sort of jump around in the idiosyncratic way that I might just exist as a person, because our more formal blogs don’t have that similar flexibility or voice, so I’ve really appreciated that.”"

[Elise Goes East! http://elisegoeseast.tumblr.com/

"Elise Hu opened up NPR’s first permanent Seoul bureau in March 2015, on the same day the American Ambassador to South Korea was knifed in the face. (That was an interesting day.) The bureau is responsible for both Koreas and Japan, so expect to see behind-the-scenes from the peninsula and the island.

Previously, Elise covered technology for the Washington, D.C.-based network, helped start The Texas Tribune, and reported for several commercial TV stations. She began her journalism career reviewing bars and nightclubs in Taipei, which was a jolly good time. She’s eager to connect with you."]
elisehu  tumblr  npr  journalism  blogging  2015  blogs  asia  korea  southkorea  eastasia  reporting  via:robinsloan 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Why Are Some Cultures More Individualistic Than Others? - NYTimes.com
"AMERICANS and Europeans stand out from the rest of the world for our sense of ourselves as individuals. We like to think of ourselves as unique, autonomous, self-motivated, self-made. As the anthropologist Clifford Geertz observed, this is a peculiar idea.

People in the rest of the world are more likely to understand themselves as interwoven with other people — as interdependent, not independent. In such social worlds, your goal is to fit in and adjust yourself to others, not to stand out. People imagine themselves as part of a larger whole — threads in a web, not lone horsemen on the frontier. In America, we say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In Japan, people say that the nail that stands up gets hammered down.

These are broad brush strokes, but the research demonstrating the differences is remarkably robust and it shows that they have far-reaching consequences. The social psychologist Richard E. Nisbett and his colleagues found that these different orientations toward independence and interdependence affected cognitive processing. For example, Americans are more likely to ignore the context, and Asians to attend to it. Show an image of a large fish swimming among other fish and seaweed fronds, and the Americans will remember the single central fish first. That’s what sticks in their minds. Japanese viewers will begin their recall with the background. They’ll also remember more about the seaweed and other objects in the scene.

Another social psychologist, Hazel Rose Markus, asked people arriving at San Francisco International Airport to fill out a survey and offered them a handful of pens to use, for example four orange and one green; those of European descent more often chose the one pen that stood out, while the Asians chose the one more like the others.

Dr. Markus and her colleagues found that these differences could affect health. Negative affect — feeling bad about yourself — has big, persistent consequences for your body if you are a Westerner. Those effects are less powerful if you are Japanese, possibly because the Japanese are more likely to attribute the feelings to their larger situation and not to blame themselves.

There’s some truth to the modernization hypothesis — that as social worlds become wealthier, they also become more individualistic — but it does not explain the persistent interdependent style of Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

In May, the journal Science published a study, led by a young University of Virginia psychologist, Thomas Talhelm, that ascribed these different orientations to the social worlds created by wheat farming and rice farming. Rice is a finicky crop. Because rice paddies need standing water, they require complex irrigation systems that have to be built and drained each year. One farmer’s water use affects his neighbor’s yield. A community of rice farmers needs to work together in tightly integrated ways.

Not wheat farmers. Wheat needs only rainfall, not irrigation. To plant and harvest it takes half as much work as rice does, and substantially less coordination and cooperation. And historically, Europeans have been wheat farmers and Asians have grown rice.

The authors of the study in Science argue that over thousands of years, rice- and wheat-growing societies developed distinctive cultures: “You do not need to farm rice yourself to inherit rice culture.”

Their test case was China, where the Yangtze River divides northern wheat growers from southern rice growers. The researchers gave Han Chinese from these different regions a series of tasks. They asked, for example, which two of these three belonged together: a bus, a train and train tracks? More analytical, context-insensitive thinkers (the wheat growers) paired the bus and train, because they belong to the same abstract category. More holistic, context-sensitive thinkers (the rice growers) paired the train and train tracks, because they work together.

Asked to draw their social networks, wheat-region subjects drew themselves larger than they drew their friends; subjects from rice-growing regions drew their friends larger than themselves. Asked to describe how they’d behave if a friend caused them to lose money in a business, subjects from the rice region punished their friends less than subjects from the wheat region did. Those in the wheat provinces held more patents; those in the rice provinces had a lower rate of divorce.

I write this from Silicon Valley, where there is little rice. The local wisdom is that all you need is a garage, a good idea and energy, and you can found a company that will change the world. The bold visions presented by entrepreneurs are breathtaking in their optimism, but they hold little space for elders, for longstanding institutions, and for the deep roots of community and interconnection.

Nor is there much rice within the Tea Party. Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, declared recently that all a man needed was a horse, a gun and the open land, and he could conquer the world.

Wheat doesn’t grow everywhere. Start-ups won’t solve all our problems. A lone cowboy isn’t much good in the aftermath of a Hurricane Katrina. As we enter a season in which the values of do-it-yourself individualism are likely to dominate our Congress, it is worth remembering that this way of thinking might just be the product of the way our forefathers grew their food and not a fundamental truth about the way that all humans flourish."
culture  2014  individualism  interdependence  society  history  agriculture  rice  wheat  tmluhrmann  siliconvalley  europe  us  asia  africa  japan  gliffordgeertz  hongkong  southkorea  korea  community  china 
december 2014 by robertogreco
The Mudang's Dance - Issue #1 - Compass Cultura
"In a single generation, South Korea has matured from a poor backwater monarchy to a flashy economic powerhouse. In less time than it took the Americans to go from the muscle car to the Prius, the Koreans went from the ox-and-plow to the bullet train. But Korea’s rapid transformation is not without growing pains. Canadian writer and teacher, Gord Sellar, explores the traditions and tendencies in a country whose past looks very little like its future."



"Superficially, it seems like shamanism has all but disappeared in South Korea: jettisoned, like Korea’s traditional music, mythology and so much else of Korea’s indigenous culture. South Korea has developed, at least superficially, into a fully modernized society clad in baseball caps and American blue jeans and red-soled Louboutin knockoffs, sporting 4G smartphones and Louis Vuitton purses, surfing the waves of ubiquitous broadband wifi.

Although cultural time moves more quickly than geological time, all this has happened (relatively speaking) overnight. Just a couple of generations ago the Korean peninsula was essentially a semi-feudal, agrarian monarchy. While Europe tumbled through the shocks of colonial expansion, the Enlightenment, industrialization and the scientific revolution, Korea had remained a land of farmers and scholarly elites who were ruled by a king. Although the government changed in 1905, when Japan annexed the peninsula, in technosocial terms things stayed approximately the same for the majority of Koreans until the mid-1950s or so. The South found itself newly independent, half a country ripped apart by one of the hottest flareups of the Cold War, and bereft of the industrial centers of the North. As a result, the agrarian Southern half of Korea picked itself up off the ground, dusted itself off, and went in search of its fortune.

The best way to understand what followed is to imagine that someone had read Isaac Asimov (Pebble in the Sky, perhaps) and decided that this economic basketcase — poorer at the time than almost anyplace else on Earth — ought to be transformed into a spacefaring empire as rapidly as possible. Somewhere along the way, the stuff about spacefaring empires got forgotten, so Korea just ramped up the “transforming-as-quickly-as-possible” part."



"Europe’s peasant farmers had hundreds of years to adapt to the heady shocks of their already-present, unfurling future; to rework their culture again and again until the notions of democracy, statecraft, rights and freedoms and public discourse had percolated (however watered-down) throughout the various cultures.

In Korea’s case, the spaceship launched in 1963 and it flew much faster, and arrived (in economic terms, at least — the only terms apparently relevant to Park) sometime around 1995 or 1996, disgorging most of the same passengers who’d first boarded it (plus their kids) into an alien world. In less time than it took Americans to go from the first muscle car to the Prius and the Humvee, Koreans went from ox-and-plow to bullet train; from mountaintop signal fires to cell phones and free webmail."



"It seems puzzling that Koreans wouldn’t crave the “literature of change” that science fiction purports to be. After all, every change ongoing in the industrialized world is ongoing in Korea too, often more rapidly and radically. The postwar ideology identifying Korea as a racially-pure, homogenous society is being shattered by increasing numbers of interracial marriages, mixed-race children, and a massive influx of immigrants, so that “multiculturalism” is a major buzzword today. The country’s population is graying at an extraordinary rate, and its economy is bound (precariously) to America’s. Even in the least-disastrous scenario, the question of what to do with a post-collapse North Korea (and its hostile, confused citizenry) looms on the horizon.

Sometimes, I’m frankly dumbfounded by my students’ relationship with the future: most generally seem to imagine it to be essentially like today is, but with neater gadgets. Often, I suggest they’d better think really carefully about that vision, but sometimes, I can’t help but wonder — against my better judgment — whether Korean society simply grasps by means of experience something about social change that we North Americans don’t: maybe when you grow up dancing the mudang’s dance, wearing the ghosts of an alien history so close to your skin, it’s harder to be fazed by the fact that you’ve slid a little farther up the slope of an exponential curve that you aren’t about to abandon anyway."
korea  future  cities  modernization  modernity  speed  transformation  urban  urbanism  parkchung-hee  change 
august 2014 by robertogreco
[Herald Interview] ‘Alternative education teaches students to be themselves’
"South Korea’s alternative education institutes are protesting the government’s push to introduce a mandatary registration system, claiming the move would extend the state’s grip on students who are fleeing regular schools and their rigid curriculum.

The Ministry of Education has announced it would conduct a special inspection of unauthorized alternative education facilities, a step that critics argue would pave the way for mandatory registration.

“The problem with the new measure is that it can lead to infringement of the schools’ autonomy. The plan specifies very strong control over the schools while promising very little support,” said Hyeon Byeon-ho, head of the People’s Solidarity of Alternative Education, in an interview with The Korea Herald. The PSAE is an association of 53 alternative schools nationwide.

Hyeon, also head of alternative school Mindle, said nontraditional schools need leeway to offer experimental education programs for students who feel that the conventional school system does not work.

“Simply put, alternative education is something that lets children be themselves. I think that is the essence of education,” he said.

The concept of alternative education first appeared in the late 19th century among European and American educators who believed education should cultivate the moral, emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual aspects in children.

In Korea, the movement started to gain momentum in the late 1990s, in response to criticism that the conventional education system only focused on delivering knowledge and preparing students for college entrance exams.

“Modern-day education itself is for the benefit of the country, not for students,” Hyeon said. “Its essence is the standardization of all things, including human. Teachers, curriculum and everything are standardized and made interchangeable.”

In the book “In Defense of Childhood,” U.S. writer Chris Mercogliano discusses how children are “tamed” via school structures and risk-averse parents. Children’s adventurous nature, the spark that inspires them to explore, is smothered by control, the author claims.

Hyeon said Korea faces the same education problem, with outdated practices spawned by the military dictatorship still haunting the society. Far from promoting creative thinking, the iron-fisted regimes of the 1970s and 1980s strictly regulated what Koreans saw, read, heard and even thought.

According to Hyeon, education back then focused on fostering people who were obedient enough to follow the government’s command and control.

“The motto at Mindle is to help students become self-reliant and inspire them to help each other. That is actually the self-proclaimed goal of public education, although the reality is far from it,” he said.

Korea’s public education is dwarfed by the ever-expanding private market. The country’s private education spending, for instance, is among the highest in the world, due largely to the overheated competition to enter prestigious colleges, one of the key measures of success and social status here.

Such obsession over college entrance stems from parents’ fear of their children lagging behind in the competition with their peers, according to Hyeon.

“With an insufficient social security system, competition to avoid failing becomes even more intense. The distortion of education in Korea stems from the fear of falling behind,” he said. “They are terrified that they will fall short of the standards set by society.”

But as nonconventional schools strive toward alternative ways of education, concerns are being raised over the students’ well-being. Recent ministry data showed that some of unauthorized education facilities had substandard food services and buildings.

Also, while Korean law prohibits adult entertainment facilities from being built within 200 meters of schools, it does not apply to unauthorized institutes.

“The Education Ministry’s plan for the institutionalization of alternative schools is inevitable to some degree. With over 10,000 students enrolled in these alternative institutes, we cannot ignore our social imperatives, such as providing a safe environment for students,” Hyeon said.

He said the PSAE is proposing to the Education Ministry that unauthorized education institutes should be allowed to apply for registration or not, depending on their situations.

Hyeon said Korea needs institutions that remain outside of the regular education system to attempt novel methods of teaching, free from the influence of authorities. "
korea  2014  education  alternative  government  policy  unschooling  deschooling  freedom  regulation  standardization  hyeonbyeon-ho  chrismercogliano  control  legibility  society 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Tripitaka Koreana | Atlas Obscura
"Taking 16 years to carve, the massive Buddhist canon known as the Tripitaka Koreana is a staggering collection of wooden printing blocks known as one of the most complete doctrinal texts in the entire religion and is said to not contain even one error across its tens of thousands of "pages."

Originally carved in the late 11th century as a devotional work meant to change the fortunes of a feudal war in Korea by invoking the Buddha, the original version of the writings were eventually destroyed by a Mongul fire. The second edition of the work, which still exists today was commissioned between 1236 and 1251, again in an effort to curb an invasion of hostile forces. 

Once completed, this second collection of Buddhist doctrine, law, and philosophy covered 81,258 wooden print blocks, containing 52,382,960 flawless characters. The mind-boggling work was moved to a temple known as Haeinsa in 1398 and has been housed across four separate buildings ever since, weathering centuries of time. 

Today the ancient birch wood tablets have all been treated to prevent any further decay and are still located in the same temple housing they have been for centuries. The collection is not only listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but is also the 32nd National Treasure of Korea."
libraries  wood  books  buddhism  korea  archives 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Elevated Child Poverty: A Capitalist Problem | Demos
"The way capitalist market institutions distribute the national income is hostile to child-rearing. This is so for at least two reasons.

First, adding a child to your family increases the amount of income your family needs, including the amount it needs to be above poverty. But capitalist institutions do not respond to this need by distributing more income to families as they add more children, which is what sensible child-friendly and family-friendly distributive institutions would do.

Second, capitalist institutions distribute the least amount of money to workers who are at the normal age of child-having. Left to their devices, then, capitalist institutions will always have child poverty rates that are much higher than the overall poverty rate.

Indeed, we see that in the US. In 2012, the official child poverty rate was 21.8 percent, while the overall poverty rate was 15 percent. This is a child-to-overall poverty ratio of 1.45, which indicates that children are 45 percent more likely to be in poverty than the population in general.

I've written about these basic anti-family problems with market distributive institutions before. [http://www.demos.org/blog/5/20/14/child-allowance-market-failure-corrective ] Since then, I've tried to think of clever ways to illustrate my point with data. I am still working on that for the first point. Here, I attempt to illustrate the second point that capitalist income life-cycles feed elevated child poverty rates.

Life-Cycle Effect

The life-cycle effect argument is pretty straightforward and obvious once you consider it. People have children when they are young. People receive the lowest amount of market income when they are young. Their incomes then go up later on in life when they receive promotions and raises and whatnot.

I figured that, if this was true, it would also mean that the youngest children have the highest child poverty rates and the oldest have the lowest child poverty rates. This is because (given parenting norms surrounding child spacing and such) the parents of older children are, on average, older as well, meaning they are deeper into their income life-cycle. All else equal, a family with a 15-year-old child in it has had more years to receive promotions and raises than a family with a newborn (obviously sometimes these families overlap, but not typically).

Using the latest 5-year American Community Survey (5% population sample), I calculated the poverty rate for every age from 0 to 17. This was the result: [graph]

As you can see, the rates move exactly as you'd expect. At age 0, 25.5 percent of children are in poverty. So, one in four children are born into poverty. At age 1, it inches up a little to 25.8%. I suspect it ticks slightly up instead of down for reasons related to determining the poverty status of a family in the prior 12 months when their kid is less than 12 months old. From there it's down, down, down as the the parents and kids get older and older. At age 15, the child poverty rate bottoms out at 18.2%. At age 16 and 17, you see upticks again, which is likely because 16 is the age at which the Census will categorize you as an adult if you move out, meaning your poverty status will be determined by your own income and not the income of your parents.

So from age 1 to age 15, child poverty rates fall a whopping 30%. This is because of income life-cycles, which are an artifact of the way market institutions distribute income.

Some takeaways:

1. Blaming parents for the anti-family consequences of capitalist distributive institutions doesn't make much sense. When child poverty rates fall 30 percent over the life cycle, that's an income distribution problem. Moreover, the 30 percent figure can mislead. It's not as if the remaining 70 percent who are impoverished at age 15 were also impoverished at age 0. People move in and out of poverty a lot. Half of all adults will spend at least one year in it.

2. This is utterly crazy from a child development viewpoint. Child poverty in general is, but this particular pattern of it especially. We distribute the least amount of income to people right when their kids are at their crucial development stage. If you are going to throw some kids into poverty, you'd much rather it be the older ones than the younger ones. Capitalist institutions do the reverse.

3. Child benefit programs, like the child tax credit and personal exemption, that pay more benefits to those with higher incomes are similarly crazy. In addition to just broadly giving more benefits to richer families than poorer families, they also end up giving more money to families with older children than younger children for these life-cycle reasons. Yet, younger children are in more need of the money (because they are much more likely to be poor) and it is more important for child development reasons that younger children have it. One way to fix this issue is to have a universal child allowance where families with children aged 0-5 get more benefits than those with children aged 5-17.

4. This is not just about poverty. The fact is that all parents, even those not in poverty, are going to face a similar life-cycle income issue wherein they have the lowest incomes when their kids are young and highest when they are old. This is also bad and counter to everything we know about child development. This makes the case again for a universal child allowance, perhaps with a higher benefit level for young children than old children.

5. The only solution is non-market income supplements of some sort. You are not going to be able to get capitalist firms to pay entry-level workers (aka parents of young children) more money. Nor are you going to force them to pay parents more than single workers. No amount of coaxing or manipulating the market will eliminate the Child Poverty Premium as I think I will begin calling it.

Conclusion

In closing, I thought it might be useful to compare the child-to-overall poverty ratios globally using disposable income (so income that includes child benefits and the like). Here are the best 5:

1. Finland - 0.53
2. Denmark - 0.62
3. Korea - 0.64
4. Norway - 0.68
5. Sweden - 0.68

As you can see, it's the usual suspects plus Korea. In Finland, children are about half as likely to be poor as the overall population. This is because it has a robust network of family benefits. Same with the other usual suspects."
poverty  childpoverty  2014  mattbruenig  capitalism  economics  childdevelopment  us  finland  denmark  korea  norway  sweden 
june 2014 by robertogreco
America's Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic
"What will change the overwork culture? There are several factors at play that I’m hoping will have an effect:

• Bright spots. I went looking for innovative "bright spots" at work, love, and play and found a host of really hopeful and cool things happening in companies large and small. For example, I have a profile of an innovative software company in Ann Arbor, Menlo Innovations, LLC, that was founded based on one principle: joy. Workers do intense, creative work, and are expected NOT to answer work phone and emails after hours or on weekends. If you come back refreshed—and maybe you’ve met someone, had a new experience, expanded your horizons—you’ll bring that freshness to work, perhaps make new connections, figure out how to solve an old problem in new ways.The more we shine a spotlight on how work can be done differently and well, the more companies and the middle managers who are the ones who implement policy changes, can follow new role models of success.

• Millennials. They may have been raised as precious and entitled, but many are coming into workplaces assuming that they can have it all—work and life—and are showing that they can do excellent work in their own way and in their own time. Creaky, rigid, old-fashioned cultures are beginning to adapt.

• Baby Boomers. They’re living longer and are healthier and aren’t ready or can’t afford to sail off into the sunset at 62. But neither do they want to work 90 hours a week anymore. There’s pressure from the top end to change as well.

• Technology. Technology is a double-edged sword right now. It’s freeing us up to work differently, but it’s also showing that it’s extending our work hours. I’m hoping that the more we use it, the smarter we’ll get about how to adapt to it. And all this recent extreme weather is showing managers how much good work can be done on snow days, etc. even when you’re not sitting at your desk under their nose.

• Human performance science and the creative class. In a knowledge economy, what do we value? Innovation, new ideas, creativity. How do we foster that? The brain is wired for the “A Ha” moment to come, not when our noses are pressed firmly into the grindstone, but in a break in the action. When we let our mind wander. In the shower. On a walk. When we are idle, neuroscience is showing that our brains are most active.

• Changes on the state level. While our national politics has been frozen for so long on issues of work and life, I was heartened to find states stepping in and looking for common sense policies and solutions to help people better manage the now conflicting demands and work and life. California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have state paid parental leave policies—paid for by employees a few cents out of every paycheck that is pooled into a Temporary Disability Insurance fund. Cities are passing tax incentives to companies that promote telework and flexible work, as well as exploring their own “right to request” flexible work laws.

• Health. NIH is in the middle of a giant, multi-year study of how our high-stress, long hours work cultures are making us sick—and that costs employers a lot of money. And the Yale Stress Center is finding in their functional MRI studies that stress—the WHO has rated us the most anxious country on the planet—is actually shrinking our brains. Sick and stupid and overworked and overtired does not make for the most creative and productive workforce.

Other countries limit work hours by law (the European Union’s Working Time Directive, for instance) to both keep workers from being exploited, burned out or, in the case of Germany in particular, to keep unemployment low by spreading out work hours among more workers. Other countries also value refreshed workers and family and leisure time, and have paid leave policies when children are born, fostered, or adopted, in addition to sick time. They have paid vacation policies of as much as 30 days. In Denmark, every parent gets two “nurture days” per child until the child is eight, in order to make it to parent-teacher conferences, the school play, etc.—things that in this country, many white collar workers guiltily slink out under the radar to rush to, and working class people risk getting fired to do. In the UK, within the first year that they implemented a “Right to Request” flexible work hours (which give employees the right to put together a plan for how to get their work done in a flexible way and employers could only turn them down if they could show it would hurt the business bottom line) more than one million families requested such schedules and business kept humming right along.

In the United States, we have no such policies. We value work. We work among the most extreme hours, behind only Japan and South Korea.We value work. We work among the most extreme hours, behind only Japan and South Korea. Our divided political system has yet to figure out what the proper role of government should even be, and we hate taxes. Ironically, the OECD has done studies that have found that the U.S. spends about as much as Sweden on health and welfare—it’s just that they pool their money to pay for everyone, and in the U.S., it all comes out of private pockets.

One of the most astounding studies I came across was another OECD look at productivity. I heard so often, well, this overwork culture is just the price we have to pay for being such an enormously wealthy and productive economy. But then the OECD sliced GDP per hours worked to get an hourly productivity rate, and for several of the years studied, the U.S. falls several rungs below other countries with more rational work-life policies, such as France. So we’re putting in the most hours, but we’re not actually working intense, short, productive hours. We’re just putting in a lot of meaningless face time because that’s what our workplace cultures value—at the expense of our health, our families, and our souls."
rebeccarosen  2014  work  labor  productivity  generations  millennials  babyboomers  technology  well-being  law  legal  qualityoflife  health  facetime  economics  france  denmark  sweden  japan  korea  brigidschulte  stewartfriedman  balance  lifepetersenge  jessicadegroot  inequality  monikabauerlein  clarajeffrey  boomers 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Education in the Age of Globalization » Reading the PISA Tea Leaves: Who Is Responsible for Finland’s Decline and the Asian Magic
"While the East Asian systems may enjoy being at the top of international tests, they are not happy at all with the outcomes of their education. They have recognized the damages of their education for a long time and have taken actions to reform their systems. Recently, the Chinese government again issued orders to lesson student academic burden by reducing standardized tests and written homework in primary schools. The Singaporeans have been working reforming its curriculum and examination systems. The Koreans are working on implementing a “free semester” for the secondary students. Eastern Asian parents are willing and working hard to spend their life’s savings finding spots outside these “best” education systems. Thus international schools, schools that follow the less successful Western education model, have been in high demand and continue to grow in East Asia. Tens of thousands of Chinese and Korean parents send their children to study in Australia, the U.K., Canada, and the U.S. It is no exaggeration to say that that the majority of the parents in China would send their children to an American school instead of keeping them in the “best performing” Chinese system, if they had the choice.

The East Asian education systems may have a lot to offer to those who want a compliant and homogenous test takers. For those who are looking for true high quality education, Finland would still be a better place. But for an education that can truly cultivate creative, entrepreneurial and globally competent citizens needed in the 21st century, you will have to invent it. Global benchmarking can only give you the best of the past. For the best of the future, you will have do the invention yourself."
yongzhao  standardizedtesting  pisa  china  korea  finland  globalization  canada  us  australia  testing  2013  education  schools  learning 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Tunnelling borders | openDemocracy
"The growing ubiquity of militarized borders has with it produced a subterranean network of cross-border tunnels. In tunnelling, global “urban burrowers” have begun to compose a new layer of multitude grounded in the struggles against global hegemony itself."



"This constant specter of walls cropping up along the world’s boundaries at first seems ignorant of its own porosity. Yet, the policy of walling hardly overlooks these routine practices of less visible trespass. In a so-called ‘borderless’ era of free trade walls strategically redirect unsanctioned cross-border flows further out of view and deeper underground by beckoning their own subversion this way, and for multiple reasons:

[1] Walls help to force a commingling of uncontrollable movements of various types with the illicit underground networks of criminal drug and human trafficking syndicates, and militant groups;

[2] by driving the world’s labor/refugee overflow underground it becomes easier to perceive such a superfluous population as less human and through a wider lens of “ferality” (a description Pentagon researchers have drawn upon to characterize the insurgents fighting the new urban wars of the 21st century—wars that would take place in the filthy spatial fallout of failed states/cities). This paves the creation of a more broad base subclass of borderzone criminality identified through a purposeful blurring of migrant/refugee/criminal/terrorist suspect categories. This pixelation only invites a greater juridical stripping of their legal status and harsh penalization under anti-terror national security frameworks; and,

[3] underground spaces can be deemed more viable military targets despite those that lack any violent intention by virtue of sharing a spatial typology that in nature coincides with other like-spaces that have been designed for more nefarious uses.

Today, not only do walls beget tunnels they co-construct them as an intended by-product that forces a multitude of forbidden cross-border sub-agencies into self dug graves and abyssal legality. Rather than taking responsibility through progressive immigration and labor policy, or re-examining the failures of the War On Drugs, or preventing Israel's annihilation of Palestinian statehood, national governments deploy a dehumanizing strategy of criminalization through forced tunnelization."
bryanfinoki  tunnels  border  borders  2013  security  westbank  gazastrip  palestine  israel  syria  egypt  korea  militarization  subversion  walls  fences  michaeldear  partitions  diplomacy  eyalweizman  opendemocracy  surveillance  stephengraham  economics  underground 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Amanda Ripley: Ask the kids on Vimeo
"Amanda Ripley is an investigative journalist who writes about human behavior and public policy. For Time Magazine and the Atlantic, she has chronicled the stories of American kids and teachers alongside groundbreaking new research into education reform. “Kids have strong opinions about school. We forget as adults how much time they sit there contemplating their situation.”"
amandaripley  journalism  education  us  finland  korea  southkorea  poland  comparison  pisa  2012  schools  schooling  poverty  math  science 
february 2013 by robertogreco
In Korea, Changes in Society and Family Dynamics Drive Rise in Elderly Suicides - NYTimes.com
"The woman’s death is part of one of South Korea’s grimmest statistics: the number of people 65 and older committing suicide, which has nearly quadrupled in recent years, making the country’s rate of such deaths among the highest in the developed world. The epidemic is the counterpoint to the nation’s runaway economic success, which has worn away at the Confucian social contract that formed the bedrock of Korean culture for centuries.

That contract was built on the premise that parents would do almost anything to care for their children — in recent times, depleting their life savings to pay for a good education — and then would end their lives in their children’s care. No Social Security system was needed. Nursing homes were rare.

But as South Korea’s hard-charging younger generations joined an exodus from farms to cities in recent decades, or simply found themselves working harder in the hypercompetitive environment that helped drive the nation’s economic miracle, their parents were often left behind. Many elderly people now live out their final years poor, in rural areas with the melancholy feel of ghost towns."
socialcontract  2012  korea  society  capitalism  wealth  money  aging  suicide  confucianism  parenting  poverty  socialsafetynet  families  care  retirement 
february 2013 by robertogreco
From Master Plan to No Plan: The Slow Death of Public Higher Education | Dissent Magazine
"The standard political criticism of the for-profit industry is that it exists only to vacuum up government subsidies; that it is a problematic byproduct of government actions. This diagnosis is perfectly in line with the Reaganite complaint against government interference in the workings of the market. If we look at California, however, we see that this critique has it backward. For-profit education flooded the market only after the state began to abandon its responsibility to create sufficient institutional capacity in the public system. The problem is not government action, but inaction. As the government gave up its Master Plan responsibility to educate California students, the for-profit sector expanded to fill the demand."

"While Proposition 13 dramatically limited the total revenue in the state‘s coffers, the prison boom diminished the percentage of total funds available for higher education."
funding  publiceducation  neoliberalism  capitalism  public  johnaubreydouglass  poland  korea  brazil  richardblum  government  higheredbubble  privatization  tuition  2012  mikekonczal  aaronbady  studentdebt  priorities  prisons  money  education  california  proposition13  uc  history  ronaldreagan  highered  forprofit  schooltoprisonpipeline  brasil  universityofcalifornia 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Salakauppa (Secret Shop)
"Salakauppa (Secret shop) is Company's little dream come true in the center of Helsinki. All products in Salakauppa are designed by Aamu Song & Johan Olin of Company and are manufactured by our dearest factory friends in Finland, Belgium and Korea. For us design means celebrating the brilliant traditional skills and genuine materials. Welcome."

[See also: http://com-pa-ny.com/ ]
wearables  clothing  design  belgium  korea  johanolin  aamusong  salakauppa  finland  helsinki  wearable 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Extraordinary teachers can't overcome poor classroom situations - latimes.com
"And that's my biggest problem with the myth of the extraordinary teacher. The myth says it doesn't matter whether the crazy kid in the back makes me laugh so hard I forget what we were talking about, or two brilliant kids refuse to accept my rubrics, scrawling their long-winded objections as a two-part argument that circles over every square inch of the backs of their essays — the makeup of the class, the nature of each student and the number of students are immaterial as long as I'm at the top of my game…

I'm willing to work as hard as I can to be an excellent teacher, but as a country we have to admit that I'll never be excellent if we continue to slash education budgets and cut teachers, which is what's actually happening in California despite all our talk of excellence, particularly in schools that serve poor children. Until we stop that, we'll never have equal education in this country."
teaching  education  classsize  policy  us  learning  ellieherman  diversity  japan  korea  finland  politics  2011  environment 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning (JUAL): Education as a Ubiquitous Learning Web, Immersed in Living
"This essay describes the personal philosophy of education I have developed through my formal and informal education in both South Korea and the United States. While much of the world considers institutionalized school education to be the essential and only way to be educated, I suggest, instead, relational, communicative, and informal ways of learning, which occur in a ubiquitous learning web, immersed in living. To open the discussion, I describe how my early experiences as a public school student in my home county of South Korea, shaped my developing perspective on educational systems. I then integrate published theories to articulate my view of an ideal educational system, which values personal interest, community-based learning, and informal education."
education  unschooling  ubiquitouslearning  learning  deschooling  yuhajung  jual  korea  us  grassroots  living  lcproject  cv  learninge  ivanillich  cityclassroom  cityasclassroom  2011  parenting  life 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Education reform: Seeing like a superintendent | The Economist
"What goes on in a classroom is a social phenomenon that can't be effectively captured through standardised measurements. But they need a number. So they're creating standardised measurements to get one. But immediately, the application of the measurement and its incentives changes the way the phenomenon is organised. A complex, creative process is stripped down to a mechanical one designed to produce high test scores. The old-growth forest is replaced with rows of Norway spruce." Ms Goldstein writes: "In the social sciences, there is an oft-repeated aphorism called Campbell's Law, named after Donald Campbell, the psychologist who pioneered the study of human creativity: "The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor." In short, incentives corrupt…"
education  reform  via:preoccupations  standardizedtesting  valueadded  teaching  tcsnmy  learning  2011  corruption  standardization  policy  politics  decisionmaking  government  us  publicschools  unschooling  deschooling  metrics  measurement  campbellslaw  quantitativetesting  improvement  finland  southkorea  korea  peerreview  masterteachers  planning  lessonplans 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Yong Zhao » A True Wake-up Call for Arne Duncan: The Real Reason Behind Chinese Students Top PISA Performance
"Interestingly, this has not become big news in China, a country that loves to celebrate its international achievement. I had thought for sure China’s major media outlets would be all over the story. But to my surprise, I have not found the story covered in big newspapers or other mainstream media outlets. I have been diligently reading xinhuanet.com, the official web portal for Xinhua News Agency, China’s state-controlled media organization, but have yet found the story on the front page or on its education columns. Instead, I found a story that has caught the attention of many readers (in Chinese) that provides the real reason behind Chinese students’ top performance.

The story, entitled A Helpless Mother Complains about Extra Classes Online, Students Say They Have Become Stupid Before Graduation, follows a mother’s online posting complaining about how her child’s school’s excessive academic load have caused serious physical and psychological damages:"
education  china  pisa  testing  standardizedtesting  policy  arneduncan  2010  yongzhao  assessment  politics  international  well-being  singapore  korea  japan  hongkong  tcsnmy  schools  teaching  learning  rttt  nclb 
march 2011 by robertogreco
NYC Public School Parents: What Finland and Asia tell us about real education reform
"And yet what lesson have the Obama administration and its allies in the DC think thanks and corporate and foundation world taken from the PISA results? That there needs to be even more high-stakes testing, based on uniform core standards, that teachers should be evaluated and laid off primarily on the basis of their student test scores, and that it's fine if class sizes are increased.

In a speech, Duncan recently said that "Many high-performing education systems, especially in Asia," Duncan says, "have substantially larger classes than the United States."

What he did not mention is that Finland based its success largely upon smaller class sizes; nor the way in which many experts in Asian education recognize the heavy costs of their test-based accountability systems, and the way in which their schools undermine the ability ofstudents to develop as creative and innovate thinkers -- which their future economic growth will depend upon."
research  asia  finland  testing  standardizedtesting  standardization  teaching  learning  policy  nclb  schools  schooling  us  china  pisa  comparison  korea  arneduncan  2011  barackobama  georgewill  business  democracy  rttt  classsize  pasisahlberg  politics  economics  money  misguidedenergy  respect  training  salaries 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Japan not alone in demographic conundrum | The Japan Times Online
"Takashi Kadokura says China's working age population will begin to peak at around 2015…

Japan & South Korea both have national pension & health care systems, but I doubt whether China will be able to create a stable system that can protect its enormous population," he said…

"It took France 150 years for its elderly ranks to increase from 7% to 14% (of the overall population)," Shin said.

"It took Japan only took 36 years, but for South Korea, this took place in 26 years, an astoundingly fast pace," he said, noting the South was using Japan as a case study to set up countermeasures.

Shin explained that in South Korea, private-sector corporations, instead of the government, were traditionally responsible for employees' well-being, taking care of their insurance and other social security-related concerns.

And while the nation's social security system was generally similar to that of Japan, Shin said the government only recently introduced a national pension scheme."
japan  china  korea  southkorea  pensions  economics  aging  future  population 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Digital age leaves myopic Japan facing manufacturing crisis | The Japan Times Online [Why can't they get their five-part series linked together? It's not that difficult.]
"[F]ive-part series exploring how Japan and its East Asian neighbors are separately handling five common issues."

1. Title above: "The priorities for gadget makers today are now quick software design, global module procurement, and the ability to assemble a product in any country where cheap labor is available. This has rapidly eaten into the relative competitiveness of Japan's pyramid-style manufacturing groups, METI said. The pyramid model remains successful in only a handful of fields, most notably automobiles and single-lens reflex cameras, METI said."

2. Japan not alone in demographic conundrum: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110103a3.html

3. Emerging carmakers put mainstays in panic: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110104a2.html

4. Trade pacts one thing, immigrant labor another: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110105f1.html

5. Japan far behind in global language of business: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110106f1.html
japan  china  korea  economics  demographics  trends  manufacturing  future  history  growth  aging  cars  language  immigration  migration  hierarchy  flexibility  competitiveness 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Open social scene: Coffeesmith, Garosu-gil | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
"I thought this was just an exemplary platform for conviviality.

Coffeesmith's multiple zones readily support:
- prospect and refuge;
- solitary drinking/reading/studying/people-watching;
- socialization at a variety of scales, from couples to mid-sized groups;
- a range of options for lighting and ventilation."
lcproject  space  conviviality  thirdplaces  design  architecture  environmentaldesign  lighting  ventilation  seoul  korea  socialization  adamgreenfield  experience  coffeehouses  work  workplace  workspace  cafes  classroomdesigns  thirdspaces  openstudioproject  workspaces 
november 2010 by robertogreco
The Atlantic :: Magazine :: The End of Men [Waiting for smart people to debunk or confirm.]
"Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences"
2010  education  theatlantic  feminism  gender  history  men  psychology  society  economics  class  business  masculinity  equality  women  hannarosin  japan  korea  matriarchy  patriarchy  boys  leadership 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Advice for Teachers Scorned | Beyond School
"East Asia is blessed by Confucianism. When Han Dynasty...put political support behind [his] teachings...unknowingly rooted in Chinese spirit a devotion to education & scholarship...teachers, students, & schools.
politics  unschooling  schools  education  teaching  clayburell  confucius  confucianism  asia  china  korea  japan  respect  learning  academics  teachers  students  choices  braindrain  eastasia  priorities 
july 2010 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Special Reports | Walls around the world
"Two decades since the Berlin Wall came down, BBC Mundo looks at walls and barriers around the world which are still standing - or have been put up - since 1989."
walls  borders  us  mexico  israel  korea  geography  urbanism  photography  politics  architecture  migration  landscape  botswana  zimbabwe  india  pakistan  iran  saudiarabia  ireland  westbank  ceuta  melilla  spain  riodejaneiro  cyprus  sahara  españa 
november 2009 by robertogreco
6 Involuntary Parks | Quiet Babylon
When he was still running the Viridian Movement, Bruce Sterling introduced the idea of involuntary parks. Spaces in the world that have become so polluted or otherwise unusable by humans, that they’ve been left to nature (or, at least, savagery).
korea  brucesterling  detroit  centralia  chernobyl  brittany  ecology  landscape  nature  urbanism  environment  bldgblog  parks  ruins  collapse  urbanprairie  urbanreclamation 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Cities Like Seoul Rediscover Waterways They Paved Over - NYTimes.com
"Today, after a $384 million recovery project, the stream, called Cheonggyecheon, is liberated from its dank sheath and burbles between reedy banks. Picnickers cool their bare feet in its filtered water, and carp swim in its tranquil pools.
cities  korea  rivers  streams  seoul  daylighting  environment 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Think Again: Asia's Rise - By Minxin Pei | Foreign Policy
"Asia is pouring money into higher ed...But Asian unis will not become world's leading centers of learning & research anytime soon. None of world's top 10 unis is in Asia, only U of Tokyo...[in] top 20. In last 30 years, only 8 Asians (7 Japanese) have won Nobel Prize in sciences...region's hierarchical culture, centralized bureaucracy, weak private unis & emphasis on rote learning & test-taking will continue to hobble its efforts to clone US finest research institutions...even Asia's much-touted numerical advantage is < it seems. China supposedly graduates 600,000 engineering majors /year, India... 350,000,...US...70,000 engineering...suggest an Asian edge in generating brainpower...[but] misleading. 1/2 of China's engineering grads & 2/3 of India's have assoc degrees. Once quality is factored in, Asia's lead disappears...human resource managers in multinational companies consider only 10% of Chinese & 25% of Indian engineers even "employable," compared w/ 81% of American engineers."
asia  china  india  economics  future  power  world  global  us  policy  japan  education  engineering  innovation  creativity  testing  assessment  rotelearning  geopolitics  politics  globalism  korea  universities  colleges  schools  competition  hierarchy  quality  bureaucracy  rote 
june 2009 by robertogreco
The Quiet Coup - The Atlantic (May 2009)
"In its depth & suddenness, the US economic & financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (& only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia & Argentina (time & again). In each ... global investors, afraid that the country or its financial sector wouldn’t be able to pay off mountainous debt, suddenly stopped lending. ... that fear became self-fulfilling, as banks that couldn’t roll over their debt did, in fact, become unable to pay. ... But there’s a deeper & more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the US—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, & fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them."
via:preoccupations  2009  finance  banking  recession  depression  us  economics  imf  argentina  russia  korea  malaysia 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Another take on Obama’s speech on education
"Obama’s reference may have been positive, but South Korean schools are not places that the majority of elementary and middle school students who have gone to study in the United States wish to return to. This is a result of the battleground of unlimited competition to survive in a society based on academic cliques." ... "A country like Finland has no ilje gosa, but it periodically checks whether individual schools are meeting students’ educational goals, and school boards provide oversight through comparative assessments using data such as sample studies and international achievement evaluations so that individual schools’ problems are not neglected. Teacher evaluations as well are conducted not by principals, according to unilaterally prescribed criteria, but by self-assessment in which teachers set goals and determine whether they have met them. Each school board also researches the opinions of students and their parents to supplement these teacher self-assessments."
korea  education  schools  competition  finland  teaching  learning  policy  politics  well-being  suicide  academics  us  barackobama  society  via:cburell 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Education - Change.org: Pres. Obama, Korea is No Argument for Longer School Hours
"In a nutshell, Kim's research suggests that all that hyper-schooling in Korea does not result in high university performance. On the contrary, Korean students who enter "top" American universities drop out before graduating at the staggering rate of 44%. China and India, with populations 20 times larger than Korea's, post drop-out rates almost half as low: China at 25%, India at 21%. (American drop-out rates at the same colleges were at 34%.)"
korea  schools  teaching  learning  moreofthesame  moreisnotbetter  education  change  barackobama  clayburell  colleges  universities  success 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Finding Seoul’s soul
"The use of art, culture, and ecofriendly lifestyles to “add value” to real estate is nothing new. ... But the massive scope of Seoul’s urban redevelopment ambitions – 3.3 million sq m in an already packed city over the next 12 years – is typical of South Korean “can do” determination, whether in rebuilding the country after the devastating 1950s Korean War, in exporting cars and LCD TVs globally, or in reaching the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup.
seoul  korea  design  cities 
january 2009 by robertogreco
After Credentials
"Judging people by academic credentials was...an advance...seems to have begun in China...in 587 candidates for imperial civil service...take an exam on classical literature...Before...government positions were obtained mainly by family influence...bribery...great step forward to judge people by performance on a test... [not] a perfect solution...The use of credentials was an attempt to seal off the direct transmission of power between generations, and cram schools represent that power finding holes in the seal. Cram schools turn wealth in one generation into credentials in the next...History suggests that, all other things being equal, a society prospers in proportion to its ability to prevent parents from influencing their children's success directly...general solution...push for increased transparency, especially at critical social bottlenecks like college admissions...better way...make credentials matter less... If you could measure actual performance, you wouldn't need them."
education  learning  paulgraham  credentials  schools  colleges  universities  testing  SAT  parenting  government  economics  business  performance  admissions  gamechanging  inheritance  legacy  careers  deschooling  korea  us  china  history  unschooling  homeschool  merit  lcproject  wealth  power  influence  competition  competitiveness  society 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Ask H&FJ | Hoefler & Frere-Jones - The World’s Most Perfect Script
"Hangul is comprised of 51 jamo, or phomenic units, whose shapes are highly organized. Simple consonants are linear (ㄱ, ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄹ, ㅁ, ㅂ, ㅅ, ㅇ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅍ, ㅎ), vowels are horizontal or vertical lines (ㅏ, ㅓ, ㅗ, ㅜ, ㅡ, ㅣ), glottalized letters are doubled (ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅆ, ㅉ), and so on. But more interestingly, Hangul’s characters are featural: their shapes are related to the sounds they symbolize, each representing a different position of the mouth and tongue. Pay attention to the curvature of your lower lip when you form the sounds buh and puh, and you’ll begin to see the logic of Hangul’s B (ㅂ) and P (ㅍ). Notice how your tongue interacts with the roof of your mouth when you say sss and juh, and you’ll understand the design of its S (ㅅ) and J (ㅈ). Hangul’s ability to represent an especially wide range of sounds makes it easy to render loan words from other languages, a challenge in many Asian scripts (but an entertaining hazard to reckless Westerners.)"
korean  alphabet  language  design  history  culture  korea  linguistics  typography  writing  hangul  h&fj 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Laurent Haug’s blog » Blog Archive » "u" is the new "i"
"I visited Ewha university and they have some “U-Classrooms”, with “U” standing for Ubiquitous. Seems “U” is the new “i” (iPhone, iGoogle), which in its time was the new “e” (eBusiness, eLearning)."
trends  ubiquitous  ubicomp  mobile  computing  naming  namingschemes  future  korea  laurenthaug  names 
september 2008 by robertogreco
North Korea ‘uses doubles to hide death of Kim’ - Times Online
"Is Kim Jong-il for real? The question has baffled foreign intelligence agencies for years but now a veteran Japanese expert on North Korea says the “dear leader” is actually dead – and his role is played by a double.
intelligence  korea  conspiracy  politics  northkorea  kimjong-il 
september 2008 by robertogreco
FT.com / Business Life - When death is a reminder to live [http://liftlab.com/think/laurent/2008/07/23/korean-well-dying/]
"new Korean craze of “well-dying”...country infatuated with “well-being” – living & eating healthily, even to point where tobacco-makers offer vitamin-enriched “well-being cigarettes” – training companies are now offering courses on dying
korea  death  life  stress  suicide  society 
july 2008 by robertogreco
JeongMee Yoon: The Pink & Blue Project
"explores trends in cultural preferences & differences in tastes of children (& parents) from diverse cultures, ethnic groups as well as gender socialization & identity...raises other issues...relationship between gender & consumerism, urbanization, globa
photography  art  culture  society  gender  color  consumerism  capitalism  socialization  identity  international  portraits  korea  us 
march 2008 by robertogreco
textually.org: Sending gifts via text message helps break down social barriers
"SK Telecom says that the carrier has almost 300,000 young users a month sending about 1 million dollars' worth of the "gifticon" brand coupons, which are good for sending small gifts like coffee and ice cream via their friends' cellphones."
mobile  phones  trends  korea  gifts  social  coupons 
february 2008 by robertogreco
do-ho suh - interview with the contemporary korean artist who now lives and works in new york
"sculptures are architectural environments, beautifully & meticulously crafted. whether addressing dynamic of personal space vs public space, or exploring fine line between strength in numbers & homogeneity, constructs site-specific installations that que
art  dohosun  architecture  space  identity  korea  installation  interviews  via:cityofsound 
february 2008 by robertogreco
En Corea del Sur, utilizarán desde este año libros de textos digitales / Internacionales - PPN.com.py
"Desde este año, estudiantes de la escuela primaria recorrerán línea a línea libros de texto digitales y cliquearán en ellos, interactuando también con los maestros online (en línea), según un informe del sitio Corea Hoy."
korea  books  education  learning  schools  digital  ebooks  texts  technology 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Space & Culture » Blog Archive » Ubiquitous space and culture
"technology developed in U.S. labs, but fewer social and regulatory obstacles to implementing them in Korea. There is an historical expectation of less privacy. Korea is willing to put off the hard questions to take the early lead and set standards.” Su
rfid  korea  us  experiments  ubicomp  ubiquitous  space  culture  songdocity  future  privacy  observation 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Lunch over IP: A designer at the intersection of physical architecture and information systems
"Architecture and design are becoming the interface between physical and virtual lives. And that's his field of study: how can constructs (buildings, cities and landscapes) incorporate digital communication systems? What are the effects of digitization on
architecture  design  ubicomp  virtual  korea  physical  infosystems 
december 2007 by robertogreco
What Does Iraq Cost? Even More Than You Think.
"Set aside question of what could have accomplished at home with energy and resources devoted to Iraq & concentrate just on national security. Here, hidden cost of the war, above all, is that US has lost much of its ability to halt nuclear proliferation."
economics  war  us  iraq  korea  nuclear  military  security  politics  policy  strategy  trust  geopolitics  energy  cost  tylercowen 
november 2007 by robertogreco
In Korea, a Boot Camp Cure for Web Obsession - New York Times
"But these young people are not battling alcohol or drugs. Rather, they have severe cases of what many in this country believe is a new and potentially deadly addiction: cyberspace."
korea  addiction  internet  online  computers  technology  cyberspace  society  web 
november 2007 by robertogreco
IFTF's Future Now: Why Aren't the Japanese Buying PCs Anymore?
"The US on the other hand, is a true laptop culture (which also I think has embedded in it many of our views about privacy, property, security, and the built envirnment - we like big, autonomous devices)."
japan  korea  us  computers  laptops  culture  society  trends  mobile  phones  markets  future  gamechanging 
november 2007 by robertogreco
YouTube - Life Dress® in TV commercial South-Korea
"People can cut off themself of the world with the Life Dress® (Anna Maria Cornelia) to use your private space in a public one."
advertising  korea  clothing  space  wearable  privacy  urban  urbanism  neo-nomads  nomads  design  structure  architecture  inflatable  inflatables  dresses  wearables 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Facts from 'Digital Korea' - CNN.com
"Tomi Ahonen's book "Digital Korea" discusses digital convergence in South Korea. Here are some excerpted statistics:"
korea  statistics  mobile  phones  convergence  internet  web  online  tv  television  culture  use 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Laurent Haug’s blog » Blog Archive » Korean kids' digital life
"Interesting read that previews some of the things that are sure to hit us in the near future. How will you react when you will find ot your kids solve their math problems surfing on the knowledge-based economy?"
korea  technology  future  culture  society  mobile  phones  internet  computers  web  online  youth  asia  children  teens  social 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Mobile television | Screen test | Economist.com
"Lessons from South Korea's experiment with mobile TV"
asia  korea  mobile  phones  television  tv 
september 2007 by robertogreco
LIFT lab || Visa forms: Korea vs USA
"Visa forms are one of these informal indicator I like to check, usually indicating a country’s worries and capacity to adapt to actual threats...differences in approach are quite obvious...Koreans...asking 21st century questions...US...still thinking a
us  korea  politics  history  economics 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Happy Forever « Speedbird
"they’ve obviously gotten something very difficult very right, to the highly evident satisfaction of all users, and if their solution is prima facie unrealizable in the context of contemporary Western civilization, then it almost makes me wonder if it i
cities  korea  urban  planning  design  life  lifestyle  happiness  consumption  homes  housing  ux  users  experience 
june 2007 by robertogreco
Mobile Technology: 2012: Online Only Video: The New Yorker
"Younghee Jung leads a multidisciplinary research team at Nokia called “Insight and Innovation.” She talks about what to expect next from your mobile phone, the newest ideas in the pipeline, and the questions that Nokia is asking women."
design  future  futurism  nokia  research  technology  video  women  mobile  phones  culture  japan  korea  etiquette  society  presentations  norms  behavior  customization  personalization  public  world  global  africa  ethnography  interactiondesign  interface  wireless  usability  gender 
may 2007 by robertogreco
The Next American City - Economic Development: Metropolis from Scratch: South Korea's New Songdo City
"Brasilia, Brazil: not livable. America’s 1960s federally-sponsored “New Towns”: not economically sustainable. The history of planned cities is strewn with the memories of failed projects and utopias that worked better as blueprints than as neighbor
cities  ubicomp  urban  urbanism  design  architecture  planning  korea  us  asia 
march 2007 by robertogreco
YEONDOOJUNG
posed photos based on children's drawings
art  children  drawings  korea  photography  glvo  artists 
march 2007 by robertogreco
Seoul: Until Now! - Emil Goh
"His currently most ambitious project is on the particular Internet culture in Korea relating to the “Cyworlds” that are created on a number of web-pages. Here young (and not-so-young) Koreans create their own Internet blogs, where they establish alte
art  interesting  life  design  society  culture  technology  urban  korea  cyberspace  pixelart  photography  social  socialsoftware  homes  space  living  interiors  architecture 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Engineering a monster, an artist welds myth to metal
"An encounter with the Korean artist Choe U-ram's world of "machine-organisms" unleashes the imagination in a way that is half science fiction and half prehistorical. When Choe presented a robotic sculpture, "Ultima Mudfox," in 2003, he provided the press
korea  art  animals  biology  sculpture  robots  davidchoe 
september 2006 by robertogreco
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