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
"All things are enchained with one another, bound together by love." - Nietzsche (really!)
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
"Sometimes I wonder why I even bother to soliloquize. Where was I?" - the villain Heinz Doofenshmirtz, in the cartoon Phineas and Ferb.
Is seer periculeus voor de onbekende, om aan te doen. - Hendrick Hamel
"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
- He aquí los pensamientos aleatorios de un epistemólogo andante.
- 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).
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
- I spend about half of all my time online reading Wikipedia. It's why I know stuff.
- I get most of my world news from Minnesota Public Radio which includes NPR, BBC and CBC, depending on when I listen.
- Korean news: 네이버 뉴스
- Korean news in English, with a conservative bias thrown in for free: The Korea Herald.
- I use the Korean dictionary many times every day: Daum 영어사전.
- Humor and Tech News: The Register.
- Understanding our postmodern world: Television Tropes.
- "Social Media"
- Humor and Cat Videos
A Diversity of Blogs - I read these a lot.
- Economic and centrist politics: Marginal Revolution.
- "Rationalism" and vaguely libertarian politics: Slate Star Codex.
- Liberal Politics: Lawyers, Guns, Money.
- Some linguists: Language Log.
- Philosophy (with liberal political slant): Crooked Timber.
- Philosophy (with libertarian political slant): Bleeding Heart Libertarians.
- Korean culture: Ask a Korean.
- Excellent writing: Justin Erik Halldór Smith. Philosophy, random linguistic and political observations, expat life of a Californian of my generation.
- More excellent writing: Blogarach. This is the reincarnation of IOZ, which is referenced in many of my blog posts from years ago.
- Design history and bibliophilic pursuits: Ptak.
- Amateur visual arts: DeviantArt.
- Semiotics: New Savanna.
- 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.
- 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.
Category Archives: Teaching & Methodology
I didn't make it an official homework assignment, but I told my students I would welcome thoughtful goodbye messages. Mostly the elementary kids wrote on paper, while the middle schoolers wrote me emails. I will scan the handwritten messages tomorrow … Continue reading
As mentioned before, we have this thing at Karma called "CC" class – a somewhat opaque name for what are essentially focused listening exercises using English-language pop songs. Mostly, these days, I can proudly say that my initiative to have the … Continue reading
I have a student named N__. Because the current "test prep period" for middle schoolers (colloquially called "내신") is just now ending, a lot of students are still absent, so much to N__'s dismay, she found herself stuck with me … Continue reading
Today at work I saw a student (I’m not sure who) had added a comment to one of my whiteboard alligators. They gave the “annoyed alligator” something to say, with a speech bubble. What he was saying was, “스무th” [seumu-th] … Continue reading
The toy plastic alligators are a part of my teaching schtick – the kids enjoy them, including even the normally standoffish middleschoolers. But these "made in China" toy alligators break easily. I go through one every month or so, and … Continue reading
This Japanese TV commercial is quite funny. The cultural issues surrounding English education mean that the scenario applies equally well in Korea. Even the students who learn almost zero English nevertheless know how to answer, "Fine, thank you. And you?" … Continue reading
We were doing short-speech responses to speaking questions. The question was, "Do you like your family, or not? What are the best and worst parts of your family?" 6th grader Jaehyeon, incorporating a very long pause as he groped for … Continue reading
Today is the big show. It'll be a long day, but the end is in sight. The results will be what they are, and there's not much left to be done except just do the show. Last night my student … Continue reading
In principle, I really enjoy the annual talent show concept we do with the elementary-age kids at Karma English Academy. It takes me back to my own elementary years, at the "hippie" Centering School in Arcata, where for each hour … Continue reading
This exchange actually happened in a 7th grade advanced class. Julie: I don't like smart peopleJames: I'm smart!Julie: So I don't like YOU.…Tobias: That doesn't make sense.…James (glaring at Tobias): Hey! I found this incredibly funny, not to mention indicative … Continue reading
What I'm listening to right now. Sesame Street Co., "The Alligator King." This is actually a really good song. Yet despite being from Sesame Street, it's probably too hard (in terms of vocabulary) to teach to my students for whom … Continue reading
My 5th grade student John recently started at Karma. He has never studied English before, so in the context of Korean English education, he's a rather "late starter." It's hard to place him at a place like Karma, because classes … Continue reading
On Saturday mornings, these days, I have a pop-music listening class (cloze passages and comprehension) with some advanced students. I have been making them find their own songs, prepare the materials (e.g. the cloze passages) themselves, and present the class, … Continue reading
Most students play around during the short breaks between class periods. Then, when the second bell rings, they ask earnestly if they can run to restroom. This is perfectly rational: they want to maximize their fun-with-friends time and minimize the … Continue reading
The below is paraphrased, because the level of English is a bit lower than is easy to quote directly – there are a lot of re-phrasings and "do you know what I mean?" from me, and from the student, a … Continue reading
Some months ago, the whiteboard in room 212 had been coming loose. There was worry that it would fall down at an inopportune time, so Curt told Mr Park (the 과장님 – literally "supervisor" or "chief" but really he's a … Continue reading
What I'm listening to right now. The Chainsmokers (with Coldplay), "Something Just Like This." The video is "unofficial," but cute and sappy. This was a song chosen by one of my middle-school CC classes recently. I'm letting them choose their … Continue reading
Another picture in what seems to be turning into a series of student artwork inspired by my whiteboard cartoon alligators. There seems to be a sort of competition emerging among the youngest cohort of students, as to who can present … Continue reading
We were looking at Christmas song videos the other day, in a middle school class – as a kind of reward at the end of class. So I was searching on youtube, and it was up on the screen with … Continue reading
I had my middle school 7th grade cohort, HS1-T, write "Letters to Santa." But the idea was to create coherent, reasoned essays. They are my most talented class, linguistically and intellectually, if not, erm, motivationally. I think in this case, … Continue reading