Tuesday, January 22, 2013

North Korea is like The Truman Show

Eric Schmidt's daughter Sophie was with the delegation to North Korea. And in a lengthy Google Sites post titled "it might not get weirder than this," she described a trip full of highly staged encounters, tightly-orchestrated viewing and what seemed like genuine human moments. Sophie says the best description the delegation could come up with is that North Korea is like The Truman Show, at country scale. She also found freezing indoor temperatures, as all buildings they visited were unheated, but in state owned libraries, the temperature was over 30 degrees. She also depicted a crepy atmosphere at the Kim Il Sung University e-Library with multiple floors of identically manned desks of people doing nothing. A few scrolled or clicked, but the rest just stared. More disturbing was that when the group walked in not one of them looked up from their desks. Not a head turned, no eye contact, no reaction to stimuli. She claims that they might as well have been figurines. The North Koreans are hostages in their own country, without any real consciousness of it.

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