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(Business Insider)   FARKER spent the fall teaching computer science in Pyongyang. Here's his Instagram   (businessinsider.com) divider line 32
    More: Cool, Pyongyang, North Korea  
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6015 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Jan 2014 at 1:17 AM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-01-07 10:05:01 AM  
2 votes:

log_jammin: I hate to be "that guy" that's always in fark threads, ready to shiat on something that's pretty cool...but...the cynic in me says that teaching CS over there is kinda helping the regime. the average north Korean isn't going to benefit from it, only the elite. The last thing NK needs is people teaching them how to get awesome frames in battlefield 4.


Yes, that's my knee jerk reaction except...

how do you think NK will change? We're not willing to go in for many reasons, despite that we know about concentration camp like conditions. We *know* it's a horror show, it's not propaganda or speculation. We don't know the full extent of all the horrors but what we do know...it's bad. Really bad.

But since NK can't really look at liberation externally, especially as long as they're propped up by China...what will make the people free? Information. They don't have it now. China has changed dramatically just from information exposure. So has the middle east, though it doesn't seem as obvious from media shiat and from the outside...The Daily Show did a good piece on Iran and what the *average* young person is like.

Now granted, in a country where outside of the sham cities there are literally children who starve on the streets, they're not going to have easy access to computers. Those who will, will find out information. It's hard to keep information from spreading. The populace as near as anyone can tell, believes what the NK state has told them because they don't have any methods of knowing otherwise.

Slavery is ALWAYS threatened by knowledge and information, true in the time of Frederick Douglass, and still true today.

All that being said, I think that's the silver lining. I don't know that I would want to potentially contribute in any way to the NK gov't and their treatment of their people. But it may be possible that this type of good could come from it. =\

Slavery like this shiat though is one of the worst sins humans commit against each other. So awful.
2014-01-07 09:08:16 AM  
2 votes:
I've traveled to S. Korea on various business ventures since the late 80s - very nearly settled down near Masan, in fact.   I love almost everything about the people, food and culture but I know nothing concrete about the people of N. Korea.  Paraphrasing Confabulat, I know just about everything I can know without ever having been there.

I can conjecture that at the end of WWII, Koreans were all generally of the same culture that had persisted and evolved over at least hundreds of years (perhaps counting from the reign of Sejong the Great).  After the armistice was signed in '53, S. Koreans began a decades long struggle to pull themselves not just into the first world, but all the way into a preeminent position. I like to imagine that N. Koreans may still have the same characteristics necessary succeed, given the chance, but while their southern kin were busy being scrappy and bootstrappy, the North were busy fighting for scraps and being boot-heeled.  Three or four generations that shiat later, can they still be Koreans as I would recognize?  I don't know, but as I said, I like to think so.

But to the topic at hand, computer science teaching dude is a shiatbag for aiding, abetting and providing comfort to the enemy.  Just my opinion.  I know there are S. Koreans who would disagree with me, but hey - there are dumb people in every culture.
2014-01-07 02:28:12 AM  
2 votes:

TheXerox: That. I'd love to see a place which is so different from what I see here in the US, but I cannot justify giving a cent of my money to a despot.


+1 on that.  I know a couple of people who've gone and it'd be a fascinating trip but I can't bring myself to pay money just to get a propaganda tour that will ultimately help prop up a regime commiting some of the world's worst human rights infractions.

On a sidenote, F Dennis Rodman.
2014-01-07 02:22:16 AM  
2 votes:

karmaceutical: I think people' borderline obsession with North Korea is very strange.  It seems to be an affliction of right-leaning news addicts.


I'm far from right-leaning and I think it's a fascinating place. And I was bored with Scientology.
2014-01-07 02:07:08 AM  
2 votes:
True, but I go through most of my days benefitting absolutely no one. And one of the only ways North Korea can evolve is to have education and encounters with foreigners. One on one meetings with people you've been taught are monsters are good ways to learn otherwise. I would always encourage this sort of thing, personally.
2014-01-07 01:55:24 AM  
2 votes:
You know, as Nothing to Envy points out, the people in the party are not necessarily evil and many of them are just trying to support their families and get by like everyone else. Living in Pyongyang may be "elite" by North Korean standards but they are not automatically bad human beings. And hell, lots of them starved in the 90s too. And lots of them have worked very very hard their entire lives to get where they are. I don't think they are people I'd condemn. Their rulers, sure, but not some poor guy who was lucky and smart enough to get an apartment in a high-rise in Pyongyang with 2 hours of electricity a day and a television with 1 channel.
2014-01-07 01:51:28 AM  
2 votes:
What the pictures show is the life of the very elite of North Korea. Nobody without party connections would be allowed into a school like that.

So, unless he was asked by the CIA to take on the job, what he did was nothing less than supporting a murderous regime and getting paid by blood money.
2014-01-07 01:37:38 AM  
2 votes:
I hate to be "that guy" that's always in fark threads, ready to shiat on something that's pretty cool...but...the cynic in me says that teaching CS over there is kinda helping the regime. the average north Korean isn't going to benefit from it, only the elite. The last thing NK needs is people teaching them how to get awesome frames in battlefield 4.
2014-01-07 12:27:15 AM  
2 votes:

NewportBarGuy: Confabulat: I don't have a lot of interest in travel, but if I could go anywhere, it would be there.

Why?


Because it would be the most like visiting a sci-fi city I'm likely to experience in my lifetime.
2014-01-07 12:10:14 AM  
2 votes:
A spaceship play structure in the lobby of the Pyongyang Children's Palace. Will and his group were scolded when they tried to look at the cockpit area.

They don't want you to see all the dead hamsters in there.
2014-01-07 12:58:50 PM  
1 votes:

SansNeural: But to the topic at hand, computer science teaching dude is a shiatbag for aiding, abetting and providing comfort to the enemy. Just my opinion.



Came to say this, only not quite so emphatically.
2014-01-07 10:26:44 AM  
1 votes:

SansNeural: I've traveled to S. Korea on various business ventures since the late 80s - very nearly settled down near Masan, in fact.   I love almost everything about the people, food and culture but I know nothing concrete about the people of N. Korea.  Paraphrasing Confabulat, I know just about everything I can know without ever having been there.

I can conjecture that at the end of WWII, Koreans were all generally of the same culture that had persisted and evolved over at least hundreds of years (perhaps counting from the reign of Sejong the Great).  After the armistice was signed in '53, S. Koreans began a decades long struggle to pull themselves not just into the first world, but all the way into a preeminent position. I like to imagine that N. Koreans may still have the same characteristics necessary succeed, given the chance, but while their southern kin were busy being scrappy and bootstrappy, the North were busy fighting for scraps and being boot-heeled.  Three or four generations that shiat later, can they still be Koreans as I would recognize?  I don't know, but as I said, I like to think so.

But to the topic at hand, computer science teaching dude is a shiatbag for aiding, abetting and providing comfort to the enemy.  Just my opinion.  I know there are S. Koreans who would disagree with me, but hey - there are dumb people in every culture.


I live near Seoul, South Korea.  All I can think of is that this guy's students are going to be the ones training to lock down my bank access in the next round of DPRK hack attacks.
2014-01-07 08:04:55 AM  
1 votes:

dragonchild: karmaceutical: I think people' borderline obsession with North Korea is very strange.  It seems to be an affliction of right-leaning news addicts.

I think it transcends that; it's a case study on a failed society.  Human social negative feedback mechanisms that would prevent such a thing from happening all catastrophically failed, until it's the closest thing humans have created to a hive on the scale of a country -- except nowhere near as successful or efficient.  If anything, a great percentage of their resources are spent maintaining the failure.  The entire country is motivated to support a leader that provides no value.  It's like a beetle killed the queen of an ant's nest and took over.  You want a case for the importance of independent, critical thinking skills?  Here ya go.

The only real connection to right-leaning news is, as much as they demonize America's "enemies", Fox News wishes they were this wildly successful at controlling people.


See, for me, I've always been really interested in mind control and cults, ever since Jim Jones and Guyana. I used to work in downtown Clearwater a decade or so ago and I got really enamored with the Scientology Sea Org. People compare North Korea to Stalin but that is wrong; Kim Il-Sung way improved his methods. Stalin had to try to control a population spread out over most of Europe and Asia; North Korea is about the size of Pennsylvania. It's a hell of a lot easier to pull those tricks when you can actually record and keep track of everyone.

It really is Orwell's 1984, like down to the details. It's amazing to look at Google Maps and read from people and watch documentaries which is all I can do from here.

It's the craziest place ever, and to be fair, the US did help create it (though we were far from alone). It's like Bioshock Infinite in a way or something. Just sci-fi in real life.
2014-01-07 07:53:18 AM  
1 votes:

Confabulat: And the cannibalism tales seem to be pretty overrated and more like folklore at this point, though it may have happened in the 90s or even now in rare occasions. But it's hardly something that happens on a daily basis.


Dear Sir, I am glad to hear that your experience in the DPRK didn't involve cannibalism. As a Farker I abhor the implication that Fark.com is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we have the problem relatively under control, and that it is 4chan who now suffer the largest casualties in this area. And what do you think the  netizens ate on Usenet? Sysadmins? Yours etc. Captain B.J. Smethwick in a white wine sauce with shallots, mushrooms and garlic.
2014-01-07 03:48:20 AM  
1 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: Those same students will one day be sitting at these desks preparing to rain fire down upon the cowardly infidel dog Americans.


Excellent paranoia.  Peeing yourself in fear about something that has a .000001% chance of happening in the next 20 years....  +1 for the infidel comment.  NK is Muslim now?

Chances are infinitely greater that one of your fellow Americans will murder you for your stuff than any country attacking you.
2014-01-07 03:39:15 AM  
1 votes:
Those same students will one day be sitting at these desks preparing to rain fire down upon the cowardly infidel dog Americans.

img.fark.net

I can't support that.
2014-01-07 03:33:18 AM  
1 votes:
vice guide to north korea, a must see for anyone interested in the mind bending weirdness of that insane place.  my favorite thing i have seen on it.
2014-01-07 03:11:39 AM  
1 votes:

Rezurok: Begoggle: This link is full of Nguyen

Not bad, but that's vietnam.


1.bp.blogspot.com
2014-01-07 03:02:40 AM  
1 votes:
What's not to be fascinated about with North Korea, anyway?
2014-01-07 02:53:36 AM  
1 votes:

Yankees Team Gynecologist: karmaceutical: I think people' borderline obsession with North Korea is very strange.  It seems to be an affliction of right-leaning news addicts.

Or hipsters.  At least when nobody knew to be fascinated with this place nobody knew about--i.e., before it was cool.


I read Pyongyang back in like 2006, is that long enough ago to make me a hipster?

wtf is wrong with you people. Seriously? I wonder what you're fascinated by.
2014-01-07 02:51:51 AM  
1 votes:

Begoggle: This link is full of Nguyen


Not bad, but that's vietnam.
2014-01-07 02:32:51 AM  
1 votes:

karmaceutical: I think people' borderline obsession with North Korea is very strange.


Police Chief Wiggum: "What is your fascination with my forbidden closet of mystery?"
2014-01-07 02:23:16 AM  
1 votes:

karmaceutical: I think people' borderline obsession with North Korea is very strange.  It seems to be an affliction of right-leaning news addicts.


They're looking for examples?
2014-01-07 02:16:49 AM  
1 votes:
I think people' borderline obsession with North Korea is very strange.  It seems to be an affliction of right-leaning news addicts.
2014-01-07 01:34:35 AM  
1 votes:
This link is full of Nguyen
2014-01-07 12:49:20 AM  
1 votes:

NewportBarGuy: Hey, it is what it is. Glad you made it back.


I'm pretty sure they don't let you wander off the tourist trail long enough to meet the cannibals you know.
2014-01-07 12:39:42 AM  
1 votes:

nekom: Confabulat: I don't have a lot of interest in travel, but if I could go anywhere, it would be there.

I'd be pretty torn.  On the one hand, strangely enough I'd probably feel safer there than I do at home.  Crime against tourists is said to be virtually non-existent (probably because the tours are strictly monitored), and as long as you play the "when in Rome" game you should be able to avoid running afoul of the regime.

But on the other hand, everyone knows it's an absolute sham tour.  Plus you are propping up (albeit in a very small way) one of the worst dictatorships the world has ever known.  Something would just seem so VERY wrong about eating a 12 course meal while knowing that not too far away, people are being starved, tortured and/or worked to death.

But on the other other hand, it would be unique, that's for sure.  Not sure I'd want a DPRK stamp on a passport though.  Do they do the thing Cuba is said to do where they'll just *wink wink nudge nudge* staple a piece of paper and stamp that so it can be easily removed?



That. I'd love to see a place which is so different from what I see here in the US, but I cannot justify giving a cent of my money to a despot.
2014-01-07 12:37:26 AM  
1 votes:

NewportBarGuy: Confabulat: Because it would be the most like visiting a sci-fi city I'm likely to experience in my lifetime.

You know they eat human beings there? Right?


I've read all the good books. Nothing to Envy, Pyongyang, Escape from Camp 14. I've watched all the documentaries. I keep up with the news. I figure I know as much as North Korea as any American who's never set foot in there.

And the cannibalism tales seem to be pretty overrated and more like folklore at this point, though it may have happened in the 90s or even now in rare occasions. But it's hardly something that happens on a daily basis.
2014-01-06 11:55:06 PM  
1 votes:

Confabulat: I don't have a lot of interest in travel, but if I could go anywhere, it would be there.


I'd be pretty torn.  On the one hand, strangely enough I'd probably feel safer there than I do at home.  Crime against tourists is said to be virtually non-existent (probably because the tours are strictly monitored), and as long as you play the "when in Rome" game you should be able to avoid running afoul of the regime.

But on the other hand, everyone knows it's an absolute sham tour.  Plus you are propping up (albeit in a very small way) one of the worst dictatorships the world has ever known.  Something would just seem so VERY wrong about eating a 12 course meal while knowing that not too far away, people are being starved, tortured and/or worked to death.

But on the other other hand, it would be unique, that's for sure.  Not sure I'd want a DPRK stamp on a passport though.  Do they do the thing Cuba is said to do where they'll just *wink wink nudge nudge* staple a piece of paper and stamp that so it can be easily removed?
2014-01-06 11:44:45 PM  
1 votes:
Did you help them sight in their 15,000 artillery pieces on Seoul?

WTF is wrong with you?
2014-01-06 11:28:44 PM  
1 votes:
Some Farker you are. Sharing with Reddit before us. For shame.

/cool shiat though.
2014-01-06 09:39:56 PM  
1 votes:
An inspirational sign at the school Will taught at. It says: "Put your feet on the ground and let your eyes behold forever."

xfinity.comcast.net

I knew it, ya damned Commie!
 
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