30  Nov
Request

Can any reader send me a digital copy of the English Spectrum story from the SBS current affairs program, 그 것이 알고싶다 (I want to know that)? The title is ‘대한민국, 그들만의 천국인가? – 금발에 파란 눈, 외국인강사 실태보고’. It was broadcast 19/02/2005. Also, any pictures from the ‘scandal’ would also be appreciated.

Thanks!

Posted by Matt, filed under Random. Date: November 30, 2005, 5:47 am | 9 Comments »

All of a sudden Occidentalism has been hit with a whole lot of new, and angry, Korean commenters due to an article about Kenkanryu in the New York Times. The commenters turned up here because Occidentalism is the most highly ranked site for Kenkanryu on google after the publishing company itself.

The article criticises Kenkanryu by taking the text out of context and distorting the content.

A young Japanese woman in the comic book “Hating the Korean Wave” exclaims, “It’s not an exaggeration to say that Japan built the South Korea of today!” In another passage the book states that “there is nothing at all in Korean culture to be proud of.”

In fact, it is clear from reading the comic that the character means that Japan had laid the foundation of modern development in Korea, by bringing modernization, economic growth, and social reform. As for other comment, I dont remember reading that – probably because it is way out of its context. In any case, I have been looking for it, and cant find it.

But the comic book, perhaps inadvertently, also betrays Japan’s conflicted identity, its longstanding feelings of superiority toward Asia and of inferiority toward the West. The Japanese characters in the book are drawn with big eyes, blond hair and Caucasian features; the Koreans are drawn with black hair, narrow eyes and very Asian features.

Actually, not every character Japanese character is drawn with western features, so this is a huge exaggeration on the part of the author of the article. He can only get away with it because he knows that the majority will never actually see the comic. Here are four major Japanese characters from the comic in the picture below (It was as many of the major characters that I could find in a single page).

kenkanryu

All the characters there are Japanese. Two of them could maybe be westerners, but the other two could be nothing if not oriental. Three out of four of them have black hair. I will leave final judgement on the matter to the reader.

The Korea book’s cartoonist, who is working on a sequel, has turned down interview requests. The book centers on a Japanese teenager, Kaname, who attains a “correct” understanding of Korea. It begins with a chapter on how South Korea’s soccer team supposedly cheated to advance in the 2002 Word Cup; later chapters show how Kaname realizes that South Korea owes its current success to Japanese colonialism.

kenkanryu soccer
The comic reproduces actual incidents from the 2002 World Cup. The author of the article distorts this presentation by simply saying the comic accuses the Korean team of cheating

The comic illustrates the violence of the Korean team; the booing of other teams by Korean fans (and use of offensive symbols, like the Nazi symbols against the Germans); and describes the movement for ‘fair judgement’ that arose from the poor refereeing. Here is a site describing the fair judgement movement. I am looking at the comic now, and I cant find anything about cheating. Plenty about bad decisions and bad sportsmanship though. Interestingly enough, in the comic the Korean character confronts a Japanese character for “bad-mouthing the Korean team”, and the Japanese character answered that he was just saying the facts. It seems like this author is taking the same tact as the Korean character.

So who is the writer of the article? Judging from his name, ‘Norimitsu Onishi’, it would seem that he is Japanese, but I have my doubts about that. I would be willing to bet that he is actually an ethnic Korean.

Norimitsu Onishi just doesnt hate Japan, he seems to hate the US too. In an article for the New York Times, he described terrorists killed by US soldiers as ‘victims‘, putting them in the same category as innocent restaurant workers killed by terrorists.

Most of the other articles he seems to write are about Korea, with a twist – when writing about Korea, he almost always brings up Japan unfavorably, like his article ‘Roll Over, Godzilla: Korea Rules‘.

In any event, it doesnt really matter if the writer of the article is anti Japanese, or a Korean, but the fact that he is quoting text out of context and misrepresenting content is unforgivable. Is this the best the New York Times has to offer its readers? A comic that is 270 pages long summed up in two out of context quotes, and one factual distortion? The New York Times motto is “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, and its readers deserve better than this.

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy, Racist Industrial Complex. Date: November 21, 2005, 6:24 am | 131 Comments »

17  Nov
$100 Laptop

computer
This could spark an information revolution in developing countries – even people in first world countries could make use of the $100 laptop. Picture from the UN meeting in Tunis

These last couple of months, I have been watching the progress of the $100 Laptop, the brainchild of MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte. A protype was shown at the UN net summit in Tunis.

A prototype of a cheap and robust laptop for pupils has been welcomed as an “expression of global solidarity” by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The green machine was showcased for the first time by MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte at the UN net summit in Tunis.

He plans to have millions of machines in production within a year.

The laptops are powered with a wind-up crank, have very low power consumption and will let children interact with each other while learning.

“Children will be able to learn by doing, not just through instruction – they will be able to open up new fronts for their education, particularly peer-to-peer learning,” said Mr Annan.

He added that the initiative was “inspiring”, and held the promise of special and economic development for children in developing countries.

The laptop uses flash memory rather than a hard drive, so it is hardier. Particularly exciting is the ‘mesh network’, which all the laptops will have, that will form a kind of mini-net of users that will be able to connect to each other via bluetooth style connectivity. This will enable people without net connections to chat with each other, for example. If a whole neighbourhood had the $100 laptop, it is concievable that a large mesh connecting the whole community together could be created. Some people are already putting into place similar networks in the US, but the low costs involved (only $100!) make the creation of this kind of network not only feasable, but inevitable. As the article below points out, they will also be able to share internet connections through the mesh.

Sharing and collaborating

Technical breakthroughs have already driven the prototype design, but every technical breakthrough in the next five years would mean costs would continue to fall, he said.

Michail Bietsas, MIT’s director of computer systems told the BBC News website that laptops benefited primarily from mesh networking, as a way of sharing scarce net connections.

One computer with a wi-fi or 3G net modem, for example, would share the connection with others in a classroom.

He explained that the display did not have a backlight or colour filters that more pricey LCD laptop displays used, so saved power. Instead, bright LEDs are used which reduced power consumption by a factor of 10.

The screens are dual-mode displays so that the laptop can still be used in varying light conditions.

Although children will be able to interact with each other through the machines, education was still the priority for the laptops.

But by using mesh networking, the vision is for children to interact while doing homework, and even share homework tips on a local community scale.

Collaboration will also be encouraged by using open-source software, which the children could develop themselves and use in local communities.

“Every single problem you can think of, poverty, peace, the environment, is solved with education or including education,” said Professor Negroponte.

“So when we make this available, it is an education project, not a laptop project. The digital divide is a learning divide – digital is the means through which children learn leaning. This is, we believe, the way to do it.”

Versions produced for third world countries will also come with a hand crank to generate power – apparently, the hand crank is quite efficient, and is the solution for those that cannot afford batteries.

I think this is be welcome in the first world as much as the third. Below are some pictures of the $100 laptop.

laptop 1

laptop 2

laptop 3

Update: It just occured to me that the specs of this device makes it more powerful than an expensive PDA. Anyone knowledgeable care to comment on that?

Posted by Matt, filed under Technology. Date: November 17, 2005, 5:52 am | 12 Comments »

violence
Many players in opposing teams were injured when playing against the Korean team

Back in 2002, I went down to Darling Harbour to cheer on the Korean team at the world cup. The Koreans were wild, crying ‘Tae-Han-Min-Guk!’, and drowning out the supporters of the other teams. The Korean team was incredibly lucky to get some inexplicable rulings from the referees (although many people I know claim it had nothing to do with ‘luck’), and the Koreans there were very satisfied with the results. They did not think there was anything wrong with the rulings at all.

Here are some Japanese flash movies expressing disbelief at the rulings of the referees and the violence of the Korean team during the World Cup in 2002 (such as italy having four goals disqualified). Of course, playing back the recordings show just how skewed the rulings were, and these flash movies also demonstrate that. Two of the three are in Japanese, but the pictures say a thousand words.

Here are the flash movies

World Cup Soccer 2002 (English)

Soccer A-Team (Japanese)

Red Devils (Japanese)

Enjoy.

Posted by Matt, filed under Funny, Verus Historia. Date: November 15, 2005, 3:02 am | 42 Comments »

14  Nov
dokdo stuff

이론과 국제법을 근거해 생각하면 일본땅이라고 판단하겠지요. 한국의 독도에 대한 기록은 울릉도를 독도라고 지적하는 뿐입니다. 한국은 지금까지 명확한 지도를 제공한 적이 없습니다. 게다가 타케시마는 한국땅이 라고 인정하는 나라는 하나도 없어요. 일본은 평화 헌법이 있기 때문에 타케시마를 불법 점령해도 한국정부은 반격을 무서워하지 않아요. 많은 한국인은 일본이 영토 전쟁을 기도하고 있다고 망상하는데, 일본은 내일에라도 한국의 해군을 격파해 승리를 할 수 있는데 왜 공격하지 않는지 생각해 본 적이 없습니까? 일본은 평화 유지를 결정하고 있으니까요.

이 문제는 국제사법재판소에서 해결해야 할 것인데 한국정부측은 한국의 정치적인 입장에 대해서 자신이 없어서 국제사법재판소의 판단을 피하고 있습니다.

한국은 정말로 검증할 수 있는 증거가 있으면 국제사법재판소의 판단을 인정 하죠.

Posted by Matt, filed under Uncategorized. Date: November 14, 2005, 4:29 am | No Comments »

13  Nov
Finally!

raid
The raids against terrorists were conducted simultaneously in Sydney and Melbourne

The Australian government has finally taken action against terrorists in Australia, after ignoring open threats for years.

The anti terror raids started early morning on November the 8th. The raids uncovered concrete plans for terrorist attacks in Australia.

A GROUP of Sydney men accused of plotting a terrorist attack on Australian soil checked out specific sites and targets, visited areas in country NSW and held covert meetings as recently as this month in preparation for the strike, a court heard yesterday.
A computer memory stick found at the home of one of the men also contained instructions for the manufacture of explosives, Central Local Court was told.

The claims were made as one of eight Sydney men arrested over the terror plot applied for and was refused bail, while another man, Izzydeen Atik, was ordered to be extradited to Victoria to face terror-related charges.

Belmore handyman Mirsad Mulahalilovic, 29, is accused of purchasing plastic caps and PVC piping – materials used in the packaging of explosives, the Crown alleged.

A quantity of hydrochloric acid was also allegedly found at his home, an ingredient the Crown alleged was used in the manufacture of explosives such as TATP – also known as triacetone triperoxide – which was used in the London terror attacks.

Opposing bail yesterday, Crown Prosecutor Wendy Abraham, QC, said Mulahalilovic – a Bosnian who came to Australia in 1996 – was part of a group that recently held secret gatherings as a prelude to a planned terrorist attack.

“The Crown will be alleging that this accused is one of those persons involved in covert meetings this month,” Ms Abraham said.

“There is evidence of hydrochloric acid and [plastic] caps and [PVC] piping [in relation to Mulahalilovic]. It’s obvious what the significance of hydrochloric acid is to this case.

“A memory stick found at the home of one of the accused contained instructions and images for the manufacture of a particular explosive. The instructions included the making of TATP [involving] hydrochloric acid.

“It is obvious … there have been a number of attempts to obtain sufficient quantities of hydrochloric acid. The other items which the accused is involved in purchasing are items that are involved in the packaging of the explosive.”

Another terrorist fired at police officers after being being raided.

THE man shot during this week’s anti-terrorism raids in Sydney has been transferred from hospital to Long Bay Jail.
Omar Baladjam had been under heavy police guard in Liverpool Hospital while being treated for a neck wound he received during Tuesday’s raids on homes in southwestern Sydney.

The 28-year-old, from West Hoxton in Sydney’s west, is one of 18 men charged this week in Sydney and Melbourne with terrorism-related offences.

During a bedside court hearing on Thursday, Baladjam was remanded in custody on charges including planning a terrorist act and attempting to murder two police officers.

Long time terrorist preacher Abu Bakr has been identified as the ring leader of the group.

terror
Yes, the Australian immigration department allows self-confessed Jihadists to immigrate to Australia

In the meantime, terrorist supporters beat up a television cameraman outside the Melbourne magistrates’ court for the act of filming a public event, which is legally protected free speech in this county.

terrorists
Terrorists supporters are so bold they can beat up people outside the courts of law

It does not help that the federal government has made it easy for terrorists on the run in their home countries to immigrate here as refugees (just because someone is a refugee does not mean they did not bring it on themselves), nor does it help that it is illegal to criticise Islam or muslim beliefs in some states in Australia (even if the criticism is true).

It is high time for some commonsense thinking about Islamic terror, and most particularly preventative action. That should involve immigration restrictions for muslims coming from other countries. If muslims feel singled out because of it, that is too bad. Part of the solution is muslims themselves recognising there is a problem (for example, none of this nonsense).

Posted by Matt, filed under War on Terror. Date: November 13, 2005, 6:06 am | 5 Comments »

street fighters

Here is something completely random, but something of interest to people of my generation (especially considering the amount of money we spent on it). What would happen if the characters from Street Fighter 2 went head to head with the Characters from Mortal Combat?

The answer is here. Enjoy.

Posted by Matt, filed under Funny, Random. Date: November 13, 2005, 1:37 am | 4 Comments »

After a long wait, Kinokuniya called me yesterday to say that Medicine for Koreans had arrived.

koreans

koreans

I have just started reading it, and it seems to be an insightful book. According to an interview I read with the author, he has a translation deal for the book in the pipeline with a Korean publishing company, and it seems his original intent was to have the book translated into Korean.

As usual, when I finish it I will write a review.

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy. Date: November 9, 2005, 8:44 pm | 60 Comments »

riot
Paris or Gaza?

Some of the best coverage for the riots in France is from Parapundit. It looks like Paris is going to become a Beirut or Gaza, with Muslims having a seeming unquenchable rage against the native French, despite the French not participating in the War in Iraq, providing generous welfare benefits to Muslim immigrants, ad infinitum. Really, Parapundit says it better than I am able to, so I would like to direct readers there for Randall’s informed commentary.

I would like to present this video sent to me by France based Luxembourger reader, Lyrt. It is a video of the riots, with Muslims yelling “Allah Akbar” in the streets of Paris while violently rioting. According to media reports, this rioting is actually well organised so terrorists may be co-ordinating or stirring up the riots. This video is a disturbing vision of the future of the French Republic.

Download here (2.5 megabytes).

Posted by Matt, filed under Racist Industrial Complex, War on Terror. Date: November 7, 2005, 5:37 am | 17 Comments »

It looks like Occidentalism has come under cyber attack from Jihadists wanting to ‘wipe Israel off the map’. The main page of Occidentalism is fine, but if you try to read the comments, this page appears.

attack

No doubt this site has come under attack for its unwavering opposition to Islamic terrorism. Have no fear, the Occidentalism will soon be restored to normal, and I will continue to write about Islamic terrorism.

Update: It seems that the whole site has now been hijacked, including the front page. I am working to get this fixed.

Update 2: I have managed to restore the site, but the terrorists may move again while I am upgrading security here.

Update 3: The terrorists counter attacked and the occidentalism was replaced by terrorists messages again. I will beat this by tonight.

Update 4: Security hole plugged.

Posted by Matt, filed under War on Terror. Date: November 5, 2005, 4:48 pm | 12 Comments »

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