Circles and Squares

Insights into Korea's Sudden Rise

중앙일보

“사이버 공간 공화국’을 위한 6자회담”

 

2015년 3월 14일

임마누엘 페스트라이쉬

링크 

 

아시아에 살고 있는 수많은 사람이 하루 중 많은 시간을 고국이 아닌 땅에서 보낸다. 확장 일로인 ‘사이버 공간(cyberspace)’이라는 땅에서다. 특정 국가의 컴퓨터나 스마트폰으로 사이버 공간에 접속하는 것은 맞지만 사이버 공간은 아시아를 넘어 전 세계가 공유하는 영토다.

근대 세계가 시작된 것은 17세기다. 스페인·포르투갈·영국 등 유럽 국가들은 대탐험의 시대에 아메리카·아프리카·아시아의 자원을 개발하기 시작했다. 이들 국가가 수립한 전 세계적 생산·분배 네트워크는 그들에게 압도적 우위를 선사했으며 오늘날 우리가 사용하고 있는 전 세계적 제조·분배 체제의 청사진이 됐다.

하지만 우리는 지구의 물리적인 한계에 다다랐다. 전과는 달리 심각한 결과를 낳지 않고서는 자원을 개발할 수 없다. 세계 인구가 90억 명을 향해 치닫고 있는 가운데 우리는 식량과 물을 확보하기 위해 허둥지둥 서로를 밀치는 경쟁에 나서야 한다.

사이버 공간은 우리에게 팽창, 탐험, 자아 완성을 위한 새로운 프런티어를 제시한다. 아직 개발 초기 단계인 땅이다. 이 땅은 자신을 정의하고 체계화하라고 고함치듯 요구한다. 인터넷이 창출하는 가상 공간은 거의 무한한 정보를 저장할 수 있다. 또 인터넷·인트라넷 네트워크의 다양한 정보 출처들을 상호 연결한다. 그 결과 모든 개인의 잠재력은 엄청나게 확장된다.

게다가 기술의 발전으로 향후 몇 년 안에 사이버 공간은 문자 그대로 생활 공간이 될 것이다. 이미 우리 아이들은 사이버 공간이라는 공유지에서 빌딩을 넘나들고, 산꼭대기에 오르고, 비행기를 날리고 있다.

하지만 그들이 탐험하고 있는 사이버 공간은 아직 ‘석기 시대’다. 관심과 우려가 비슷한 전 세계 사람이 모여들면서 점점 커져가는 온라인 공동체는 사이버 공간을 가장 가치 있는 ‘부동산’으로 만들고 있다. 사이버 공간의 ‘창조적 계급’이 새로운 체계와 서비스를 위해 어떻게 협업하느냐에 따라 미래 경제의 모습이 결정될 것이다.

하지만 아직 사이버 공간의 미래를 위한 정책 협의가 미흡하다. 최근 소니 해킹과 같은 사이버 테러가 빈발하고 있다. 사이버 공간을 관할할 글로벌 스탠더드가 필요하다는 것을 인식할 필요가 있다. 마치 남극대륙을 공동 관할하듯 말이다. 어쩌면 인류 역사에서 전례가 없는 새로운 형태의 규칙이 필요할 수도 있다. 사이버 공간을 위한 규칙을 제정해야 새로운 제도와 제품을 창출하는 시민들을 위협으로부터 보호해 이 신천지에서 그들이 잠재력을 최대로 구현할 수 있다. Read more of this post

The Seoul Institute launches project to fund projects related to “Small Research; Small Seoul”

I was impressed when Mayor Park changed the name of the Seoul Development Institute to simply the Seoul Institute. The significance was clear: there is no need to develop, to make things unnecessarily large.

And recently the Seoul Institute launched a  “Small Research; small Seoul “ project to fund “experts and activists interested in Seoul policy for discussions and the exploration of possible solutions. The project supports both meetings and also a network for communication. The project provides opportunities for research and policy suggestions regarding city policy aimed at citizens.”

Flying in the face of most government practice in which making things bigger and more impressive is perceived as an unmitigated positive, Mayor Park and his team has boldly suggested that being small can be a virtue. The city is moving away from ambitions in concrete of the previous two mayors and towards an emphasis on livability and sustainability, not monumentality.

 Link to the research project:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Haechi and the Lion

The presence of China in Seoul is increasing at an exponential rate these days. Chinese news is increasingly on the front page and signage with Chinese characters is displacing English. As I noted in a recent post, signage in the garden of the Shilla Hotel is exclusively in Chinese.

Perhaps the site of the Haechi (a Korean mythical beast) statue in front of the central police station near Gyeongbok Palace and the Chinese lion in front of the Chinese Culture Center hints at the subtle shifts taking place.

But the replacement of English with Chinese at the Jjimjilbang sauna, or the decision of Gangnam fortune tellers to advertise in Chinese give full testimony to the depth of the changes.

The haechi that stands in front of the police station near Gyongbokgung Palace and the lion in front of the Chinese culture center.

The haechi that stands in front of the police station near Gyongbokgung Palace and the lion in front of the Chinese culture center.

English  explanations are covered up with Chinese at a local sauna.

English explanations are covered up with Chinese at a local sauna.

A fortune teller in Gangnam has written up the sign in Chinese, realizing there is more money to be made telling fortunes for Chinese tourists than for Korean girls.

A fortune teller in Gangnam has written up the sign in Chinese, realizing there is more money to be made telling fortunes for Chinese tourists than for Korean girls.

“Under the Dome” Remarkable Chinese documentary released about the air pollution crisis

“Under the Dome”

Remarkable Chinese documentary released about the air pollution crisis

柴静 雾霾调查 “同呼吸共命运”

The journalist and filmmaker Chai Jing 柴静 left her position at CNTV in 2014 to devote herself to producing a detailed documentary about air pollution in China at her own expense. This remarkable film, “Under the Dome: We Breath together and share a common fate” (Qiongding zhi xia: Tong huxi gong mingyun  穹顶之下 同呼吸共命运) presents a blunt and brutal assessment of the tremendous impact of air pollution on China today and its far-reaching implications for health and for society and culture as a whole.

When I watched the documentary, I was struck by the careful explanation of scientific and geological aspects of air pollution and the discussion of the impact of coal and other pollutants on the atmosphere.

The comparisons with other nations were also striking, suggesting a truly new sense of China’s role in the world.

The film opens with Chai Jing showing an ultrasound picture of her daughter before she was born and relating her expectations. Her daughter was born with a lung tumor. The film closes with a view of the earth from outer space suggesting just how small this globe it. Chai Jing imagines that although she might die and leave this world, her child would still be there on earth. The implication being that we cannot assume that just because we may avoid climate change, that our children will. Or more importantly, that we share our earth with future generations we have not met.

Video Link:

link 

My friend from YAP  (Young Ambassadors Program) Gao Jingyu has worked closely with the Asia Institute. He wrote from  Beijing:

“Yesterday the hottest news on Chinese media was an documentary on the environment made and sponsored independently by a well-known woman journalist. She conducted remarkable in-depth research about the smog that is engulfing China.

Some of the issues touched on such as governance and inefficiency in the energy industry were previously considered so sensitive that noone would dare to expose them. But with Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign in full swing these days the whole story has come out. The video has been re-tweeted over 30 million times, and more, and it is being discussed everywhere in the country. This is the first time I came to feel a strong civic common sense—such as I’ve never experienced before, at least in China. I expect this film can have as much impact as the Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” did for the United States now in my country.

All I can say is

“STOP POLLUTING AND MAKE THE BLUE SKY RETURN”

 Hope the English translation of this documentary will be released shortly on YouTube.”

It is a very exciting moment to see such enthusiasm, but not a moment too soon. I have seen such devotion among the members of Future Forest 未来林 in the past and it has inspired me. For me it feels like this might be the first step towards China playing a true leadership role.

And in an odd sense, I think this marks the end of the Cultural Revolution legacy. Read more of this post

Seosomun Apartments

One truly remarkable building in downtown Seoul is the Seosomun Apartments near the Seoul Police Station which have somehow managed to survive in their original form to the present day. The building represents well the simple structures that went up across Seoul in the 1970s, especially under Mayor Kim Hyun-ok. 서소문아파트 soseomun apartments 1

Read more of this post

Games and Reality

I saw this video advertisement in the subway last week. A young women is featured who, along with her friends, is transformed into the characters in the video game itself. . The advertisement represents quite accurately the increasing blending of daily life with game life for young Koreans. It would not be an exaggeration to claim that for some, the life of Read more of this post

“北東アジアは「危険な地域」なのか” (中央日報 2015年 02月 14日 )

中央日報

北東アジアは「危な地域」なのか

20150214日  

エマニュエル パストリッチ

 

米国の雑誌を読むたびに北東アジアが「危険な地域」と表現され、驚いたりする。おそらく好戦的な北朝鮮や韓日中間の歴史・領土紛争のため、大きなリスクが伴う地域という意味が込められているのだろう。

一部の記事はすでに北東アジアの危機を自明の真実であるかのように扱っている。例えば欧州の先進国の間では、多様な形態の地域機構が定着している。これとは違い北東アジアは多元主義基盤があまりにも脆弱であるため、露骨にリスクが多い地域とはいわないまでも、どこか未熟な地域という認識がある。

私は「アジア共同社会」を渇望する韓国のある外交官を知っている。以前に彼とお茶を飲みながら談笑したが、彼が話した内容は衝撃的だ。その外交官は最近、欧州連合(EU)のある外交官との対話中、北東アジアが欧州レベルの統合を実現するには何が必要か助言を求めた。すると、その外交官は無愛想にもこのような返答で質問者の意表を突いた。「何よりも欧州が犯した失敗を絶対に繰り返さないでほしい」。 Read more of this post

“Cyberspace and East Asian Integration” (TAIK Talk) Saturday, March 14, 2015 6-8 PM

AI logo small

ASIA INSTITUTE TAIK Talk 

“Cyberspace and East Asian Integration”

Saturday, March 14, 2015   6-8 PM

@ W Stage WCO (Anguk, Seoul)

Ogan Gurel

A Director, Samsung Institute of Advanced Technology

 ogan

Matthew Weigand

Managing Editor, Business Korea

 matthew

Discussant:

Dahyeon Rosie Kim

Seoul International School

rosie

Moderated by Gabriel Pettyjohn

Researcher at The Asia Institute 

 gabriel pettyjohn

Cyberspace is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it offers the potential for greater communication and deeper exchange beyond the limitations of physical space. On the other hand, cyberspace is open to manipulation which can make it an extremely unstable, and potentially misleading, medium for communication.

Cyberspace is growing at a rapid rate in East Asia. Korea, China and Japan are the center for IT globally and feature one of the highest concentrations of highly literate citizens in the world,. We ask in this seminar whether future agreements regarding governance and accuracy in information within cyberspace could be the key to integration and peaceful development in East Asia? Might there be room for innovation in East Asia concerning network neutrality and the next generation of cybersecurity that could serve as a model for the rest of the world?

We invite the audience to join us in an open discussion concerning how network neutrality, distance learning, diplomacy and the use of big data can be further developed in East Asia as a means of confidence building.

 

Sponsors:

YHP

RSVP

young@asia-institute.org

WCO Anguk

The lunch boxes of Seoul

What do I miss most about old Seoul? Frugality. Seoul was a city once whose success was measured in its savings rate, not its consumption rate, a city in which you made a simple lunch at home and took it to work in a little lunch box. Those metallic lunchboxes were beautifully designed and produced absolutely no waste. The chopsticks and the box (often containing boxes within it) were wrapped up in a cloth and simply taken home.

 

tosirak

54d36c1cbcc5b0.98087497

 

 


「우리의 서울이야기」

토크 콘서트

서울 도시브랜드 구축을 위한

 

  • : 2015년 2월 27일(금) ~ 5월 1일(금) ※ 10회
  • : 매주 금요일 19:00 ~ 21:00
  • : 시민청 및 신청사 다목적홀 등
  • 주요내용 :전문가와 시민이 ‘서울’에 관한 이야기를 나누고 ‘서울다움’에 대하여 자유 토의

 

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