All posts by hangkim1995

Multicultural society

Today, you can easily see people with different race, culture, and nationality in many places around the world. Multicultural society is becoming common in rapid pace, and connections among people of different culture and race will increase significantly. Multicultural society is made out of necessity and definitely contains lots of benefits, yet, many people do not see the danger hiding behind it. In world history, there are numerous instances of conflicts made when groups of people from different culture or race live in the same place, and some of those conflicts went as far as wars. Some might say those concerns are overstatements, but human nature has revealed its ignorant jealousy and aggressiveness too many times throughout history. People should also take attention on not only what to gain, but also what can they lose and how to not repeat the same mistakes over again.
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Language and Culture

The book, Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture, explores the relationship between language and culture. Aiden and Michel asserts that there is a significant change in form of language and the use of language as the culture changes. And in order to improve the study of culture, study of language is crucial. This idea is deeply related with the program they created, the Ngram. They’ve studied how does the use of certain language changes over time. For example, the word ‘tea’ was way more used than the word ‘coffee’ in English history. Yet, since 1970s, coffee has become dominant as the main beverage among common people, and thus has become much more used word than ‘tea’. Such example shows that tracing the use of language can lead to better understanding of culture in general. The book compares the culture to dinosaurs. Both have a common characteristic that through traces from the past it can be found and studied. Just as the study of dinosaur is made through fossils, the study of culture can be improved by its trace from the past, which is introduced as use of language.

The assumption might not be always right. Sometimes language reacts later than the change of trend in culture. Language cannot directly mirror the cultural trend or changes. Yet, it is true that language is the best way to observe cultural changes. Language is easily observable through books or different works of literature. It is the most commonly used method of communication and exchange of ideas. Tracing the culture through language, which is a cultural fossil, may not be the exact way of examination, yet it is definitely a revolutionary method.

Sewol Ferry – Pecha Kucha

Sewol Ferry, the topic of my Pecha Kucha, was not at all a random choice. Sewol Ferry was not just a single accident in South Korea, but was an alarm that taught citizens and government how incompetent government systems of South Korea is.  Failure of Coast Guard’s rescue was just a tip of an iceberg. Sewol Ferry uncovered corruptions within the government system, and uselessness of rules and  laws that eventually put more than 300 lives of teenagers into death. Dishonesty of media and government was also shocking. Wrong information sent out by government and media deceived the family of the deceased and put citizens in extreme anger. Sewol Ferry was somewhat like revolution, revealing the dirty parts of society and making citizens realize how obsolete government system has become.


This ribbon may be the most frequently used picture in South Korea Internet. As repeatedly it was used, the meaning it contains is also massive. Its original use was to commemorate the people died. However, its overuse and misuse distorted its meaning and made it into a symbol of anti-government power. I used this ribbon in my presentation, because this symbol directly demonstrates the danger that is hidden behind the use of social networking services. Yellow ribbon is not a symbol that is used first in South Korea. It was a symbol used in all around the world to commemorate people who died unfortunately, such as people died in war. Yet, indiscreet use of this symbol on Facebook and Instagram made citizens to become sick of this symbol. How can a symbol that commemorates the dead become a symbol of anti-government?

The image of ‘Keep Calm and Disobey’ (which I cannot paste here because of technical problem) also have become children’s motto in Korea. Whole disaster of Sewol Ferry not only made citizens to distrust their government, but also made youth to distrust adults. The president and officials of government deceived the citizens. Students who genuinely followed the captain of Sewol Ferry became the first to die.  Children and students started to suspect the necessity and competence of adults. After all, if every student disobeyed to the captain, they had a higher chance to live.  I thought ‘disobey’ might be the perfect word to express feelings of citizens. They do not know what to trust, but moreover, they even lost a reason to trust anyone.

Edward Snowden saga

Edward Snowden

This article analyzed the overall story of Edward Snowden, what he have done and what happened afterward. The article starts by mentioning the top secret surveillance activities of NSA, which stands for National Security Agency, reported by Glenn Greenwald in Guardian, the British newspaper, on June 5. On June 9, 2013, admitting that he was the source of this disclosure, Edward Snowden, the former agent of CIA, revealed the fact that many private information of US citizens, such as phone calls or emails, were being collected by NSA. He, then, fled to Hong Kong to avoid potential punishment by US government. However, US government tried to bring him back to US, and asked extradition of Snowden to many of the countries, including Hong Kong. Edward Snowden, realizing that there were not much place to stay, moved to Moscow, Russia, and asked for asylum to Russian government. Russian government, with few rules attached, granted Snowden asylum, letting him to stay in Russia until 2017.

Disclosure of Edward Snowden, though the fact revealed was only related to US, was a warning signal to many people around the globe. Whether the secret revealed by Snowden is true or not, they began to recognize that how unprotected their privacy was. Yet, this article does not only praise Snowden as a hero who risked his life to reveal the truth, but also gives attention to the opinion vilifying Snowden. As Obama mentioned, there cannot be 100% security with 100% privacy. There are also thoughts saying that Snowden has magnified thee action of NSA, overstating the faults of government policy. The fact that activities of NSA have prevented more than 50 potential terrors since 2001 is a solid evidence for this opinion.

It’s also interesting to see how Snowden’s movement further affects the international relations. The tension between Russia and US was sharply increased because Russia granted asylum to Snowden without extraditing him. Though Russia told Snowden that he would be extradited if he takes any action that harms US, Russia not sending Snowden back to US made President Obama uncomfortable.

“Andre The Great”

Andre the Great infographic Infographic (Infographic) (source)

Infographic is not an unique feature in sports. In fact, sports may be the field that uses infographic most efficiently. Among sports, basketball and baseball are the ones that use infographic most often. Infographic in sports is used widely in showing various records and statistics. Infographic, having the advantage of visualizing statistics in neat and organized way,  helps readers to view substantial amount of records easily by putting them in visualization rather than mere words and numbers.

Picture above is appropriate example to show advantages of using infography.  You can see how the information in the source seems so boring, and infography, in contrast, is certainly much more attractive.  The infography above emphasizes its main theme in a way that everybody can recognize as soon as he/she sees it. “Andre the Great.” This infography is obviously praising numerous records established by Andre Miller, the basketball player. Just below the title, there are several lines you can see, explaining the statistics below. Those lines are the ones that i referred to, as “mere words”, just as words shown in the source page. Those letters with relatively small sizes are marking that they are not that important, since all the information is shown below in clearer and more distinctive way. The orders of records from 1st to Andre Miller and the number of those records make viewers easier to understand what kind of records did he achieve, and about where his records is positioning at.  For  last two records, bar graphs are making the point more clearly. Such infographic gives clear idea of what kind of information it wants to convey to its readers. Also, picture of Andre Miller on the right side cannot be neglected. Such visual aids cannot be provided in writing. The picture not only shows the appearance of the player, but also tells his back number and the emblem of his team, which is, by the way, Denver Nuggets.

Why people use image to convey their ideas? – Andy Kim

Sometimes, images can have much bigger impact than mere words. Writings or words may be the best way to make direct or clear argument. Yet, images are often used as better tools in depicting an idea or thought more indirectly. As a matter of fact, greatest advantage of using image as a tool to convey an idea is its subtleness. Images are different from writing in its way of conveying the underlying theme. Images are able to give multiple interpretations and arguments, thus containing loads of information or idea in concise form.

The picture above is satire of social networking service. This picture directly shows how picture can contain an argument or a claim in so terse form. I bet that anyone can write at least more than a paragraph of the interpretation they have of this picture. The man in the monitor of a laptop signifies how people acts on social media. The red hairband and angry face of this man demonstrates that this man is fighting for some issue. It may be religious, political, or social. Whatever this man is fighting for, he seems intense and aggressive. Yet, the man below the laptop is clearly making contrasting behavior from the man above. This man is hiding in his coat, covering himself and trembling in fear. The picture overall, is mocking how people act overly sensitive in social media.

Of course, this single image can be interpreted in many ways, but I believe that it will have much better impact than its interpretation in words. Visualization of an idea or thoughts have unique power because it shows the non-obvious and speaks in indirect language. It may not be a good tool in making clear point, but it can give more authoritative and persuasive argument.

Is memory-conserving technology only a good thing? – Andy Kim

Sometimes, I just want to go back to my past. Although I realize that all the sweet memory of the past is inflated, I cannot help it. But you cannot really live in your past again, and perhaps that is the key of its sweetness. Today, however, technology made it different. Taking out the memory of the past has become partially possible, thanks to the development of technology. Simplest way of doing so is just visiting your photo album. I frequently visit websites such as Facebook to recall the memory I had with my friends, loved ones, and family. I sometimes look at posts I uploaded years ago and remember how I was when I was young. Many times I feel that such methods are much better than merely recalling the past in my head. Technology has somewhat made possible of the idea of time-traveling by producing a way to visit the past in more lively and vivid ways. Yet, just like dynamites of Novel, the use of technology of taking out your past, unfortunately, have its side effects. In my home South Korea, there are tons of celebrities who were criticized harshly by the posts or videos they had uploaded before their debut. Everybody say or do something crazy when they are young. I also have memory that I want nobody to see. But since photo album or posts on the internet are semi-permanent, there are potential risks that others can find out your mistakes or action of the past. Posts and pictures that you upload right now can backfire you and be used in ways that you do not want it to be. Use of technology can be dangerous as it is sweet.