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RE : Re: [bafuture] An Online Trend in S. Korea: Using the Internet for Suicide tips & Pacts!

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  • Joschka Fisher
    from the How to read and why. desk of joschka fischer: Direly suggested reading for the American Public: Book by Howard Bloom - How to Read and Why!
    Message 1 of 5 , May 27, 2007
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      from the "How to read and why." desk of joschka
      fischer:

      Direly suggested reading for the American Public: Book
      by Howard Bloom - How to Read and Why!

      http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Why-Harold-Bloom/dp/0684859076/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-9537065-4335266?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180307390&sr=8-1

      Response to your comments Arik...

      No!...I don't think the New York Times is shooting
      for a headline here, Arik.

      This organization of Korean Social Workers, in Korea
      is tracking suicide tips and their exchanges - online!


      This potential group of suicide victims are not
      venting rages et al. regarding why they want to or
      conditions that would lead up to suicide.

      This is a "How to" , information sharing and pacts
      online and the Korean social workers are trying to
      prevent them from committing the "coup de grace"!


      You've seriously mis-read this article! :?

      specifically from the Times article...

      "Kim Hee-joo and five other social workers troll the
      Internet to combat a disturbing trend in South Korea:
      people using the Web to trade tips about suicide and,
      in some cases, to form suicide pacts."


      No...this isn't the standard cut-and-paste model of
      the Government in Korea is suppressing.....
      ...cause they believe it will cause suicides... and in
      consequence a iatrogenic condition of causing suicides
      occurs by preventing certain online dialogues! Put
      down the Kafka for a minute, kid!

      The articles attempts to show the extent to which some
      will go, yet fit the standard suicide profile ( yup
      there is one check your police or FBI info site ) is
      exemplified by the following ...

      "In another,[attempt] five young men and women who
      made a pact over the Internet and had failed in two
      previous suicide attempts drove to a seaside motel to
      discuss more effective methods. There, one member of
      the group had a change of heart and slipped out to
      call the police."

      If you read a-little further down it states what
      experts believe the reason is....

      specifically:

      "Experts attribute the increase [in the rate of
      suicides] to the stresses of rapid modernization and
      the degradation of rural life, but they are also
      concerned that the Internet is contributing to the
      jump. South Korea has one of the world’s highest rates
      of broadband access and, as in Japan in recent years,
      the Internet has become a lethally efficient means of
      bringing together people with suicide on their minds.

      Now you may object to the correlation between
      broadband access and suicides in rural or agrarian
      societies with fast transformation rates in the modern
      age. That's your perogative. I'd suggest a more sober
      response. And too, I'm gonna be directly looking for
      data on this.

      anyway, the article continues...

      In hardly more than a generation, South Korea has
      transformed itself from an agrarian society into an
      extremely competitive, technologically advanced
      economy where the pressure to succeed at school and
      work is intense.

      Meanwhile, the traditional support base, the family,
      is under pressure: divorce rates are at a record high.
      And guarantees of lifetime employment evaporated with
      the Asian financial crisis in the 1990s.

      In 2005, in the first rally of its kind, hundreds of
      high school students demonstrated in central Seoul,
      shouting, “We aren’t study machines!” They gathered to
      mourn 15 students from around the country who had
      killed themselves, apparently because of the intense
      pressure to succeed. "


      So..this seems the opposite of a "populist" story as
      you've proposed. Surely that correlation of Broadband
      and suicides etc. is anti-populist, if Internet is as
      "popular" as they tell us!

      Moreover, considering how fast things are changing in
      China and India...given globalisation and with the
      recent awareness of the critical threshold we've just
      crossed with pollution and how 3rd world countries
      will be most severely effected, first.....

      This articles seems well placed and well timed.

      I attempted to post an article here on bafutures after
      the Virginia shootings about the high level of
      suicides in Korea ( topping the world wide list, last
      year ) but it was never posted. I'm digging for it
      now.

      The correlation being the shooter ( or more accurately
      the main shooter..) was Korean and the shooter at
      Cornell University some years back when I attended was
      also.

      The reason I say "main shooter"?...there is suspicion
      that maybe...someone else tried to sneak two
      additional murders in - elsewhere on the Virginia
      campus, and make it look like the korean shooter did
      it. That's another story.

      The relevance is in regards to technology and society
      and the effects it has on people. I believe I've
      published some articles from China, Japan and Canada
      journals on the subject as well - to this newsgroup.

      Too, there have been some minor discussions with
      people at the SAP/Bafuture get-to-gethers regarding a
      certain movie...Koyaanisqatsi with music by Phillip
      Glass.

      Koyannanisquatsi means "Life out of Balance" more
      accurate to the Hopi Indian language: 'life of moral
      corruption and turmoil, life out of balance', and the
      film implies that modern humanity is living in such a
      way. Again a non-populist approach.

      Moreover...(from the wikipedia article on
      Koyannanisquatsi)

      The film (Koyannanisquatsi)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koyaanisqatsi

      is the first in the Qatsi trilogy of films: it is
      followed by Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi (2002).
      The trilogy depicts different aspects of the
      relationship between humans, nature, and technology.
      Koyaanisqatsi is the best known of the trilogy and is
      considered a cult film. However, due to copyright
      issues, the film was out of print for most of the
      1990s.


      Now...if you do a little homework and search BBC news.
      You'll find out that if anything, the New York Times
      UNDER-REPORTED what is going on with the websites and
      suicides...

      BBC: South Korea tackles high suicide rate!
      Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 20:05 GMT
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6380305.stm

      This paragraph specifically targets the severity...

      From the above link by BBC...
      "They also want to tackle the growing number of
      internet sites that explain how to take your own life
      and in some cases encourage people to do so."


      Note too the above BBC articles cites even a
      successful Korean rock star also succumbing to
      suicide. Which seenms to say this doesn't fit a
      standard condition!

      So...given these arguments above I completely disagree
      with your statements.

      joschka fischer
      --- Arik Baratz <yahoo@...> a écrit :

      > On 5/23/07, Joschka Fisher <grabarkowic@...>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/23/world/asia/23korea.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
      > >
      > > Seoul Journal
      > > Tracking an Online Trend, and a Route to Suicide
      > > NYTimes
      >
      >
      > Wow, we should shut down the Internet immediately,
      > it's killing people! It's
      > the only way to make it stop! Think of the children!
      > The children!
      >
      > Why do I have the impression that a news source has
      > chosen the more populist
      > angle (gasp!) and concentrated on the means to
      > commit suicide rather than
      > the reason for the suicides? Just look at the title
      > of the article. Yes,
      > don't let them talk about it, vent and share their
      > feelings, it sure would
      > make them stop feeling that way.
      >
      > I don't think they get it.
      >
      > -- Arik
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been
      > removed]
      >
      >








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    • Arik Baratz
      ... The way I read it, social workers (who are, I presume, government employees) are treating the symptoms. They will save a certain percentage of the people
      Message 2 of 5 , May 28, 2007
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        On 5/27/07, Joschka Fisher <grabarkowic@...> wrote:

        > No!...I don't think the New York Times is shooting
        > for a headline here, Arik.
        >
        > This organization of Korean Social Workers, in Korea
        > is tracking suicide tips and their exchanges - online!


        The way I read it, social workers (who are, I presume, government employees)
        are treating the symptoms. They will save a certain percentage of the people
        who commit suicide, instead of examining the reasons for suicide and
        mitigating them. So they use the Internet.

        This potential group of suicide victims are not
        > venting rages et al. regarding why they want to or
        > conditions that would lead up to suicide.
        >
        > This is a "How to" , information sharing and pacts
        > online and the Korean social workers are trying to
        > prevent them from committing the "coup de grace"!


        As much as I appreciate social workers and their contribution to society,
        and their personal sacrifice, I believe, again, that what they're doing is
        symptomatic.

        What the article is saying is that, in some way, the Internet is
        contributing to the suicide rate itself BECAUSE it helps those people
        communicate, look up tips, sign pacts etcetera. This claim is made without
        substantiation. Let's deconstruct what the article says:

        "Experts attribute the increase to the stresses of rapid modernization and
        the degradation of rural life, but they are also concerned that the Internet
        is contributing to the jump" - The experts are not convinced enough to
        'attribute' the increase to the Internet, they're merely 'concerned'. A
        display of emotion without justification.

        "South Korea has one of the world's highest rates of broadband access and,
        as in Japan in recent years, the Internet has become a lethally efficient
        means of bringing together people with suicide on their minds" - meaning
        that because in Japan the internet is used to bring together people etc.,
        and Korea is having the same trend AND has a good Internet penetration,
        then... nothing. It leaves it open to your interpretation. The sentence
        highlights a couple of facts while ignoring others (like for example that
        both Japan and Korea are east-Asian countries). Then it allows you to fill
        in the missing part. But wait, there's more. One of the "facts" it mentions
        is taken from the previous sentence - that old "concern" the unnamed experts
        had. Hey I've just did it too - I called the experts unnamed, so their
        opinion matters less, doesn't it?

        "... But in an analysis of 191 group suicides reported in the news media
        from June 1998 to May 2006, Kim Jung-jin, a sociologist at Korea Nazarene
        University, found that nearly a third of the cases involved people who had
        formed suicide pacts through Internet chat sites." - Now here's some hard
        data. Factual data. Data that can be used in statistics. Like one third of
        suicides involves Internet chat sites. It doesn't say how many people who
        did not commit suicide have conversations about their daily lives and their
        emotions on Internet chat sites, because it would put that hard number in
        context, but at least it's a fact.

        No...this isn't the standard cut-and-paste model of
        > the Government in Korea is suppressing.....
        > ...cause they believe it will cause suicides... and in
        > consequence a iatrogenic condition of causing suicides
        > occurs by preventing certain online dialogues! Put
        > down the Kafka for a minute, kid!


        Actually I wasn't referring to that angle at all.


        > "Experts attribute the increase [in the rate of
        > suicides] to the stresses of rapid modernization and
        > the degradation of rural life, but they are also
        > concerned that the Internet is contributing to the
        > jump. South Korea has one of the world's highest rates
        > of broadband access and, as in Japan in recent years,
        > the Internet has become a lethally efficient means of
        > bringing together people with suicide on their minds.


        I actually referred to that above because I'm reading your email paragraph
        by paragraph. See above.


        > Now you may object to the correlation between
        > broadband access and suicides in rural or agrarian
        > societies with fast transformation rates in the modern
        > age. That's your perogative. I'd suggest a more sober
        > response. And too, I'm gonna be directly looking for
        > data on this.


        Yeah, I was very cynical, and I'm sorry if I hurt you or anyone else. It was
        a spur of the moment, written in anger. I apologize for my tone.


        > So..this seems the opposite of a "populist" story as
        > you've proposed. Surely that correlation of Broadband
        > and suicides etc. is anti-populist, if Internet is as
        > "popular" as they tell us!


        Moreover, considering how fast things are changing in
        > China and India...given globalisation and with the
        > recent awareness of the critical threshold we've just
        > crossed with pollution and how 3rd world countries
        > will be most severely effected, first.....
        >
        > This articles seems well placed and well timed.


        Ah, this is the part of the article I actually liked and found informative.
        I agree, it's a fair analysis, albeit I'm not sure it's based in hard fact.
        My response was not meant to contradict whatever is happening in Korea and
        the conclusions, but rather to highlight the use of the Internet as the
        source of evil in this story.


        > I attempted to post an article here on bafutures after
        > the Virginia shootings about the high level of
        > suicides in Korea ( topping the world wide list, last
        > year ) but it was never posted. I'm digging for it
        > now.
        >
        > The correlation being the shooter ( or more accurately
        > the main shooter..) was Korean and the shooter at
        > Cornell University some years back when I attended was
        > also.


        I don't dispute that a cultural background might have contributed.

        The reason I say "main shooter"?...there is suspicion
        > that maybe...someone else tried to sneak two
        > additional murders in - elsewhere on the Virginia
        > campus, and make it look like the korean shooter did
        > it. That's another story.


        Nothing like a good conspiracy.

        The relevance is in regards to technology and society
        > and the effects it has on people. I believe I've
        > published some articles from China, Japan and Canada
        > journals on the subject as well - to this newsgroup.
        >
        > Too, there have been some minor discussions with
        > people at the SAP/Bafuture get-to-gethers regarding a
        > certain movie...Koyaanisqatsi with music by Phillip
        > Glass.
        >
        > Koyannanisquatsi means "Life out of Balance" more
        > accurate to the Hopi Indian language: 'life of moral
        > corruption and turmoil, life out of balance', and the
        > film implies that modern humanity is living in such a
        > way. Again a non-populist approach.


        Well, I highly suggest you go to India to experience it first-hand. I've
        been there and had conversations with people. My impression from the impact
        of technology is a little different - it's not all that negative, although
        it has some negative sides.


        Now...if you do a little homework and search BBC news.
        > You'll find out that if anything, the New York Times
        > UNDER-REPORTED what is going on with the websites and
        > suicides...


        Oh, I know about Internet suicide. I agree, that it's under-reported. I
        agree to all that. What I disagree with is that a communication media is an
        instigator. In fact, I wonder how many people have found an outlet to their
        feelings on the Internet, and how many would have commuted suicide in Korea
        if they didn't have either an outlet to their feelings or the means to meet
        like-minded people. In fact I suggest that it is possible the suicide rate
        in Korea would have been higher if not for the Internet.

        Note too the above BBC articles cites even a
        > successful Korean rock star also succumbing to
        > suicide. Which seenms to say this doesn't fit a
        > standard condition!


        Actually if you mentioned Yuni, who's just one of a few celebrities who
        committed suicide in Korea lately, if you want to look for a short-term
        cause of suicide, it's right there. A celebrity people identify with commits
        suicide. I think it's stronger than having the ability to sign suicide pacts
        with people you've never met before (if you did meet them before, you don't
        need the Internet).


        > So...given these arguments above I completely disagree
        > with your statements.


        Your prerogative. I just hope you don't reject what I write, in part,
        because of my poor choice of cynical tone. I didn't go against Korea,
        Koreans, social workers, teenagers, kittens, facts, data. I even agree that,
        if you have reached the stage beyond the cry-for-help suicide attempts and
        are determined to end your life, the Internet is a good source of
        information on the particulars of achieving your goal. My only gripe is that
        the newspaper (and I'm not even sure which one, the article is syndicated)
        is using un-facts and un-data to claim that the Internet is somehow
        responsible for increased suicide rates. It just pis^H^H^H^H hit a nerve.

        And on a positive note - take a look at what the Google dragged in:
        http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/37856 - note the response from the original
        poster about 1/3rd of the way down the page.

        Take care,

        -- Arik


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Arik Baratz
        ... No, because that s not the point I was trying to make and anything you and me wrote about it is a digression. I didn t do the research necessary to talk
        Message 3 of 5 , May 29, 2007
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          On 5/28/07, Joschka Fisher <grabarkowic@...> wrote:

          > > I don't know yet. I'm not even sure it has something
          > > to do with modernization of an agrarian society.
          > It's all hypothesis so far.
          >
          >
          > Fischer> But you didn't do any further research into
          > the experts who say it is. (that was in the article).
          > You didn't email or call the 800 number and name the
          > journalist to try to find out his source on this.



          No, because that's not the point I was trying to make and anything you and
          me wrote about it is a digression. I didn't do the research necessary to
          talk about it. You're right. You have to agree though that it is a
          hypothesis. If I claimed anything about it (and due to feeling like crap now
          I won't go back to reread my own postings) it was my personal
          unsubstantiated opinion. If you want to extend the argument to this subject,
          by all means, but it will have to wait for another day.

          Arik Baratz continues>
          > What I do know is that looking in the wrong place and
          > is not the way to go. And suicide 'symptoms' are worth
          > dealing with, because it saves lives, but that's not
          > the way to deal with the suicide RATE. You have to be
          > honest here and deal with the problem, and if you
          > don't know how to deal with the problem, you damn well
          > better find a way, and research it if need be. This is
          > a digression from my original message, though.
          >
          >
          > Fischer> I don't see how this is a digression from
          > your original post. So far you're not saying anything
          > different from me.



          My original post was about the newspaper building its claims in such a way
          that shows the Internet as a source of evil without substantiating it.
          That's all.

          > Previously my posts named a woman who's main goal
          > > is stopping globalization. If interested I'll
          > > re-email them to ya. She also noted suicide rate
          > among other things in her culture were climbing. Even
          > Joseph Stieglitz changed the name of his
          > > recent book to "Making Globalization Work" since
          > stopping it seems impossible. (Note previous book was
          > > > Globalization and its discontents!"
          > >
          > >
          > > This is even bigger a digression, so, with your
          > > permission, I won't get into
          > > the subject of globalization.
          >
          >
          > Fischer: This is not a digression! It's just a major
          > deflation in your argument.


          Yes it is a digression. I wrote about one narrow subject and you inflated
          the scope by extrapolating on what I said. Had I had the time and felt
          better I would have done some more research and write an opinionated post
          about it. I don't want to so I'll cut it off now. If you want to know what
          the original subject was reread my original post. In the second post I made
          I elaborated on some subjects that I did not intentionally mean to elaborate
          on - like globalization (where I suggested to go to India and watch it
          first-hand) and wrote my personal opinion about Internet suicide. I fell
          into the trap of answering your arguments even though they were unrelated.
          I'm sorry. What was I thinking. I definitely didn't want to get dragged to
          this long winded argument.


          You're complaining the Korean Sociologists aren't
          > addressing the increased suicide Rate and the ultimate
          > causes of its increase.


          No. Where exactly did I do that? Where do you come up with that?

          The article indicated that EXPERTS BELIEVE the
          > incredibly fast rate of modernization in Korea seems
          > to be the cause. Goblalization, modernization,
          > broadband etc. are part of that argument. Once again
          > you really need to do some background before jumping
          > into what looks like but definitely isn't shallow
          > water, here!@


          You misread what I intended. I was referring to the use of the newspaper in
          an unspecified source of authority "experts believe" without naming the
          source. Not to whether the experts are actually experts or whether they're
          right or not. If you choose to infer that I want to get into that argument,
          it's again your prerogative. I won't.

          Moreover you've not the slightest notion or interest
          > in the effects of technology on culture, society,
          > mores etc.


          On the contrary, I have a lot of interest and more than a slight notion. I
          won't voice an opinion because I don't want to get into an argument with you
          here, because I don't feel like I'm an authority in the subject matter. I
          have, however, been to India and lived there for a total of two months, so I
          am qualified to state my opinion about what I've seen there. That's it.


          Most amazing!
          >
          > My last post echoed this argument thusly:
          > >
          > > But if you'd of read ALL I said....the BBC article
          > > > demonstrated that the New York Times UNDERREPORTED
          > > > this correlation.
          > > >
          > > > Go back and look...it's substantiated in the BBC
          > > > reports link I inlaid. They're showing you how to
          > > > commit suicide and encouraging you to do so!
          > >
          > Arik Baratz - continues>
          > > Allow me to be cynical again, just a bit, I promise.
          > >
          > > So, you're saying that if I open a suicide shop and
          > > sell suicide gear (like
          > > poisons, guns, nooses etc.), would you come
          > > a-shopping?
          >
          > Fischer momentary interjection: No. I'm saying to read
          > the BBC link! :) Good luck opening that shop with
          > Venture Capital, however!


          Don't worry. I won't.

          Arik Baratz continues>
          > > I think it's a property of our times that
          > information is available, to anyone, anywhere. If you
          > look for it, and I'll repeat that because it's the
          > point I'm making
          >
          > - IF YOU LOOK FOR IT, you will find it.
          > a Momentary Fischer Challenge>
          >
          > I'll bet you $500.00 right now you can't find a copy
          > of Senate Select Bill S1. from the Nixon era.
          >
          > I'll take email form or hardcopy, please!


          I won't take you up on this. I never said every piece of information is out
          there.

          Arik Baratz continues>
          >
          > Point? No...you can't find everything. Especially not
          > with the Internet.
          >
          > You know what,until I read this NY times article, I
          > never came across a suicide related site. Now I have.
          >
          > The difference? I started arguing with you about this
          > subject, so I searched for them. Those sites that
          > encourage you to suicide - I don't think they work on
          > anyone other than people who are already looking for
          > this kind of information - suicidal people who are
          > serious about committing suicide (and I'm excluding
          > the wrist-cutters sleeping-pill-abusers that take
          > sub-lethal doses, those I consider a suicide threats,
          > not the real deal, sort of a cry for help) which will
          > look for that information. And for better or worse,
          > the Internet gives you unadulterated access to most
          > types of information.
          >
          > Fischer:> Ah but do you know enough about S. Korean
          > culture and the changes it gone through with
          > modernization that you can even establish the
          > propensitty to commit acts of suicide and where they
          > fit on relative scale with these other suicide groups
          > you've mentioned?


          Nope. I stated my opinion about suicide and its mitigating and contributing
          factors.

          Whoo boy. You're dead wrong on a lot of assumptions
          > here!
          >
          > just some of your assumptions:
          >
          > You've assumed The Efficient Market Hypothesis
          > regarding information...that's just been recently
          > proven wrong by Joseph Stiglitz ( Nobel Prize winner
          > for this proof ) Data not necesarily information is
          > available to a lot of people but not everyone! And not
          > everyone who has that data or information has the same
          > or right data or information for the choices they're
          > goinna make! (this gets moucho complex later on
          > this.)


          Okay. I should have scoped that claim. You're right. The people in South
          Africa who still live in huts, make fake tribal war gear and sell it on the
          roads to people in cars probably have limited access to that information. In
          my mind I thought of most of western society (which is a minority) when I
          wrote that. "It's a property of our times" is not appropriate.

          The world is not completely flat and no where near as
          > flat as Mr. Friedman would have you believe!


          Agree wholeheartedly.

          Suicide and Depression.
          > I'm researching this...but show me the evidence that
          > if you're in a depressed mood...I can't force or
          > convince you to commit suicide?


          It's my opinion. This is why I prefixed what I wrote by "I think that". If
          you think otherwise feel free to change my beliefs about the subject. Or do
          I need to disclaim everything I said with "I know I'm not an authority on
          the subject and can only reflect from my personal experience and the few
          suicidal people I've encountered and I think that..."?

          I hope I made sense here, I really don't feel well now, I hope I didn't
          embarrass myself too much today.

          -- Arik


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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