Monday, January 21, 2013

A Google Heiress In North Korea

This is excellent (really, I'm not being sarcastic), it’s an account by Eric Schmidt’s daughter Sophie of her recent trip to North Korea with her Google-boss dad and a mixed bag of American tech people and politicians. It's marvelous; my only complaint is that she doesn’t make fun of Bill Richardson. A sample:
Ordinary North Koreans live in a near-total information bubble, without any true frame of reference. I can't think of any reaction to that except absolute sympathy. My understanding is that North Koreans are taught to believe they are lucky to be in North Korea, so why would they ever want to leave? They're hostages in their own country, without any real consciousness of it. And the opacity of the country's inner workings--down to the basics of its economy--further serves to reinforce the state's control. The best description we could come up with: it's like The Truman Show, at country scale.
Seriously: read the whole thing.