Kyobo Books in Gwanghwamun is increasingly not about books at all. The space sells everything from clothing and speakers to food and candles. But this bit of stationary caught my eye today. The envelope you might use for a end-of-the-year letter to a close associate is marked explicitly with the words “bribe!” Some distinct Korean form of humor?
The status of women in Korea is a great mystery. Without any doubt, many of the most thoughtful thinkers are women and women show a assertiveness and determination in school that is striking. Yet within organizations, women have not fared that well.
Seoul City has launched several initiatives to improve the lives of women. Here is a sign that I saw today near my home. Read more of this post
“The Rise of Consumption and the Demise of Causality”
There are two enormous challenges today that seem unrelated and yet perhaps can be directly connected through a more profound consideration of the impact of technology on society: the rise of consumption culture and the demise of causality in our thinking, specifically with reference to the impact of our actions on the environment.
The first challenge is the challenge of greed and consumption. There is a deep need among people to consume that has assumed a crisis level in advanced industrial nations, reaching a level completely out of line with either the economic situation (which is dire) or human needs. That need to consume is spreading rapidly. It is common to attribute this situation to “greed” without much consideration for what it is that generates greed, how that act has its own social, historical and even physiological aspects. Read more of this post
I gave a talk about education and culture on June 17, 2012 in front of a group of about one hundred principals of elementary and high schools in Seoul organized by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (서울시교육청). This “Principals Forum” was the first of its kind, a voluntary gathering of principals from around Seoul to exchange opinions on how education can be improved in Korea.
Emanuel talks with prinicipals about culture and education
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Seoul is stepping into a much accelerated rate of internationalization over the last six months, so much that I would argue that Seoul should no longer be considered as representative of Korea, but put in a new class of global cities that are competing for global domination in economics, culture, education and prestige. That is to say, Seoul is going head to head with Dubai, Singapore, New York, London and Shanghai in a race for the top seat. You can refer to my previous short post on the next Byzantium for a few thoughts on this phenomenon.
For example Seoul is going through a wave of enormous building projects such as the Dongdaemun History and Culture Park that may well fundamentally alter the landscape of the city. Read more of this post
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