Monthly Archives: November 2011

Asia Institute Seminar (November 13, 2011)

The Asia Institute seminar brought together a broad range of experts and students, including students from Japan and even an individual originally from North Korea, to discuss what youth in Korea can do to prepare the way for the future reunification of the Korean Peninsula. The participants broke into two groups: one discussing in Korean and one in English. The results of the seminar will be forthcoming as a short paper. Read more of this post

Talk at POSTECH on the Future Challenges we face (November 11, 2011)

Emanuel delivered a talk in Korean at POSTECH on Friday, November 11 entitled “A Global Perspective on the Challenges of the Future.”  The audience consisted of a group of POSTECH undergraduates with a deep concern about the future of education and their role in society..

Emanuel described the serious challenges posed by climate change, the superannuated society and rapid technological change. He stressed the need to focus education in science in technology on addressing these issues, rather than simple applications like displays and smart phones. Read more of this post

Review of Winslow Wheeler’s book on defense spending “The Wastrels of Defense” (article)

Here is Emanuel’s review of Winslow Wheeler’s book on defense spending “The Wastrels of Defense” as it appears on the site of the Center for Defense Information


“Rebels Within the U.S. Federal System ”

Emanuel Pastreich

January 10, 2006


Casually observing the mainstream media in
the United States gives one the impression that conservatives support the
administration of George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress. Nothing could
be further from the truth. In fact, the most strident and damning attacks on
the “neo-conservatives” come not from “liberals,” but
rather from conservatives themselves. Moreover, although many Americans
foolishly buy into the argument that they should be afraid of “government,”
in reality, those in government have provided the strongest resistance to
corruption and corporate manipulation.

An excellent example of the rebellion
against the present rule of money and privilege in America is Winslow Wheeler.
Like the Democratic senator John Murtha, who recently called for U.S. troops to
be withdrawn from Iraq unconditionally, Wheeler is an insider with strong ties
to the military and the institutional culture that has dominated the U.S. for
the last 40 years who decided things have gone too far and has taken a stand.
He has written at length about the corruption in the military procurement
system, which is so deep that it poses a serious security threat. Read more of this post

“Korean Technology Beyond Motherboards and Displays” (article in Korea IT Times)


Korean Technology Beyond Motherboards and Displays

Taekwando and Oriental Medicine at the Center of Korea’s Future

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Emanuel Pastreich

The term “technology” demands our special attention because the challenges we face require us to move beyond the rather limited significance assigned to the word. “Technology” generally refers to applied techniques for design and the fabrication of parts for the electronics industry, and to a lesser degree to mechanical engineering, energy generation, and biotechnology. But rapid changes in society such as the environmental crisis and the aging population are putting great pressure on us to expand the definition of technology to allow for new and novel solutions. As Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Technology also must be taken up to another level. Read more of this post

The Environment Crisis: Don’t cut Defense Budgets!

It is one of the terrible ironies of this moment that at the same time that we are seeing reports that carbon dioxide emissions jumped 6% between 2009 and 2010 (with the United States and China leading the pack as linked economies), military budgets for traditional warfare are skyrocketing. People seemed to be still deluded into thinking we will fight the next war with missiles and aircraft. The climate war is here, but we are unprepared.

The solution is not to ask ministries of defense to cut their budgets and dedicate that money to planting trees. We all know that as good as the intention may be, such an approach will never work. The only solution is to redefine the concept of “security” and increase the amount of spending within defense ministries on environmental issues. Innovative countries like Korea are capable of making the transition. The only question is whether they can do it quickly enough.

Some individuals may disdain the idea of working closely with the military or “militarizing” the issue of the environment. I would argue that we really do not have any choice at this point.

STS Forum in Kyoto

Emanuel attended the STS Forum in Kyoto (October 2-4, 2011), meeting with individuals from industry, research and NGOs concerned with the impact of technology on society. There was a strong focus on the challenges of nuclear power in the conference and energy in general.  Read more of this post

Yale Vice President for West Campus visits Kyung Hee University

Professor Scott Strobel, Vice President of Yale for West Campus, visited Seoul National University Advanced Institutes of Convergence Technology and Kyung Hee University on November 4, 2011. At Kyung Hee University he delivered a fascinating talk about Yale’s West Campus project and how a group of far-sighted Read more of this post

AICT Holds ConTech conference “A Smart and Humane World” at KOEX

AICT (Advanced Institute of Convergence Technology) at Seoul National University hosted the CONTECH international conference “A Smart and Humane World” on convergence technology on November 3, 2011, bringing together experts from around the world to discuss the implications of the convergence of technological fields for our world. Emanuel served on the international advisory board for this event. Several themes are related to the Kyung Hee University-AICT research project for which Emanuel was co-researcher. Read more of this post

Vegan Restaurant opens in Hoegi-dong

Actually, the place., “Simple Waffle,” only serves vegan waffles so far, but the owner, who goes by the name Pooh Lee, has great ambitions. Vegan food is hard to find in Korea, and I think a true Vegan could starve without some help. I stick to vegetables myself, but commonly you find a taste of meat or fish in just about everything.

So it is impressive that there is now a place that calls itself Vegan near Kyung Hee University. In Korea, oddly, eating meat is associated with being modern. Just like throwing away paper cups is somehow “modern.”  I love Korea, but this cultural assumption is one of the great challenges.

Climate Change in Seoul

Our house still has mosquitoes at the beginning of November. They come up through the water pipes. I stopped by a neighborhood pharmacy and asked if they had insect repellent.


“No,” said the store owner, “We don’t have anything left.”

Read more of this post