He aquí los pensamientos aleatorios de un epistemólogo andante.

I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.

피할수 없는 고통이라면 차라리 즐겨라

As of June, 2013, I have assumed a new identity: I am a cancer survivor. "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

"A blog, in the end, is really not so different from an inscription on a bone: I was here, it declares to no one in particular. Don't forget that." - Justin E. H. Smith

재미없으면 보상해드립니다!

"All things are enchained with one another, bound together by love." - Nietzsche (really!)

Leviticus 19:33-34

Donc, si Dieu existait, il n’y aurait pour lui qu’un seul moyen de servir la liberté humaine, ce serait de cesser d’exister. - Mikhail Bakunin

Solvitur ambulando.

"Sometimes I wonder why I even bother to soliloquize. Where was I?" - the villain Heinz Doofenshmirtz, in the cartoon Phineas and Ferb.

"Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to correct for subjective error." - Linus Pauling

Blogging online since 1965

Who Is Jared?

  • My name is Jared Way. I was born in rural Far Northern California, and became an "adoptive" Minnesotan. I have lived in many other places: Mexico City, Philadelphia, Valdivia (Chile), Los Angeles. And for 11 years, I was an expatriate living in South Korea. In the summer of 2018, I made another huge change, and relocated to Southeast Alaska, which is my uncle's home.
  • For many years I was a database programmer, with a background in Linguistics and Spanish Literature. In Korea, worked as an EFL teacher.
  • In June, 2013, while I was in Ilsan in South Korea, I was diagnosed with cancer, and underwent successful treatment. That changed my life pretty radically.
  • Currently, you could say I'm "between jobs," somewhat caretaking my uncle (to the extent he tolerates that) and getting adapted to life in rural Alaska after so many years as an urban dweller.
  • These bloggings, then, have been my random jottings on the subject of my mostly pleasant life among the Quasi-Confucian Cyber-Industrial Paleolithic Peninsulites of Lower Far Siberia.
  • I started this blog before I even had the idea of going to Korea (first entry: Caveat: And lo...). So this is not meant to be a blog about Korea, by any stretch of the imagination. But life in Korea, and Korean language and culture, inevitably have come to play a central role in this blog's current incarnation.
  • Basically, this blog is a newsletter for the voices in my head. It keeps everyone on the same page: it has become a sort of aide-mémoire.
  • For a more detailed reflection on why I'm blogging, you can look at this old post: What this blog is, and isn't.
  • If you're curious about me, there is a great deal of me here. I believe in what I call "opaque transparency" - you can learn almost everything about me if you want, but it's not immediately easy to find.
  • A distillation of my personal philosophy (at least on good days):
    I have made the realization that happiness is not a mental state. It is not something that is given to you, or that you find, or that you can lose, or that can be taken from you. Happiness is something that you do. And like most things that you do, it is volitional. You can choose to do happiness, or not. You have complete freedom with respect to the matter.
  • "Ethical joy is the correlate of speculative affirmation." - Gilles Deleuze (writing about Spinoza).

My Life Online

  • Like most people, I spend a lot of time online, although I try to limit it somewhat. Here is a somewhat-annotated list of the "places" where I spend time online.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  • Knowledge and News
  • "Social Media"
    • I don't really "do" social media. I have a membership at Facebookland but I never log in there. I don't like it.
    • I have a membership at The Youtubes but I mostly use it for work. I also listen to music on youtube, frequently - I prefer it to typical streaming services, for example.
  • Humor and Cat Videos
  • A Diversity of Blogs - I read these a lot.
  • Blogs of people I actually know
  • Geofiction - this has evolved into a significant "hobby" for me. I like to draw imaginary maps, and there is a website that has enabled this vice.
    • I worked as a volunteer administrator for the site OpenGeofiction on and off for a few years. I created (but no longer maintain) the site's main wiki page: OGF Wiki. I am not currently working as administrator but I remain active on the site.
    • The above work has required my becoming an expert in the Openstreetmap system. Openstreetmap is an attempt do for online maps what wikipedia has done for encyclopedias. I have considered becoming an openstreetmap contributor, but I feel that my current location in Korea hinders that, since I don't have a good grasp Korean cartographic naming conventions.
    • Starting in April, 2018, I decided somewhat capriciously to build my own "OGF stack" on my own server. This was not because I intended to abandon the OGF site, but rather because I wanted to better understand the whole architecture and all its parts. I built a wiki on the Mediawiki platform (the same as wikipedia). This wiki has no content. I built a map tileserver and geospatial database, which contains a very low resolution upload of an imaginary planet called Rahet. And I built a wordpress blog, which is a separate, low-frequency blog intended to focus on my geofictional pursuits rather than this more personalized, general purpose blog. All of these things can be found integrated together on my rent-a-server, here: geofictician.net
  • TEFL - my "profession," such as it is.

October 2018

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Long Time Blogging


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The reverse of the aphorism can apply equally well, I think.

FWIW -- On my recent hiking trip, I think I received more kindness, generosity, and help from people with very low English than from people with good English, even "per capita", though this is just a general impression with a sample size of one observer (myself).

I've talked to many Western foreigners in Korea who by default would argue for racial thinking as peculiar to White-Americans from the South or something like that (so any allegations of raciam against Koreans are ipso-facto illegitimate, the result of cultural misunderstanding and so on), but consider (1) the behavior of Koreans who are reasonably fluent in English (they, too, engage in "racist" behavior) and (2) Koreans with non-fluent-English who go waaaay out of their way to give people a hard time or "cheat" them -- That cannot possible be language social-anxiety, because it's essentially the opposite of avoidant behavior.

Peter - I don't think we disagree.

With respect to your first point... I probably don't make it very clear, but in fact I would expect GREATER linguistic anxiety with HIGHER familiarity with English - hence in fact your observation (which matches mine) that people with lower English are typically "friendlier" is a support for my idea rather than a rebuttal.

On your other points, I think there might be something to the idea that racialized thinking is more American (or Western) than universal, yet this also means that those Koreans who are more cosmopolitan (and "worldly" and well-traveled and better at English, etc.) are also more likely to be "infected" with racialized ideologies.

But I think there is a "native" stream of racialized thinking as well, perhaps descended from or at least in line with the Chinese conception of non-Chinese as "barbarians," etc., which was also an idea in Japanese culture that got amplified with the Meiji restoration and led to "co-prosperity" etc.

Your last point, with respect to non-English-using Koreans who will harass or "cheat" foreigners, I would rather assume this is simple criminality as opposed to anything related to racism at all. There are criminals who specialize in victimizing foreigners in all societies, and they are not really racists (although I'm sure that plays into it, too, when it's available as a cultural "resource" so-to-speak) so much as they are specialists - ripping off foreigners takes a different skill-set than ripping off locals, because foreigners have different vulnerabilities and different cultural "blind spots" through which "ambush" is possible.

Lastly, you and I have both talked many times of real, actual, experienced racism in this country, and my observation isn't meant to discount that or deny it. In the same way, the first aphorism doesn't deny malice - it only says that, all things being equal, we should look first to stupidity for an explanation of bad behavior. Likewise, I mean only to say that rather than jump to the conclusion, immediately, that the bad behavior we witness is necessarily racist, instead we should look first at other possible explanations.

I wrote this post partly in reaction to a post on another site (which I don't want to dignify with a link because he's someone I actually respect much of the time) regarding the too-frequent "racist" behavior he's experienced in trying to get a cab. I just don't think it's true. I think cab drivers are trying to minimize hassle and maximize profits, and many of them have come to feel that foreigners qua foreigners are more trouble than they're worth, and I compare that to my own decision that answering my phone is more trouble than it's worth - i.e. I say there is probably a component of anxiety in this decision-making process.

Hope you're having fun in Malaysia.

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