Matiz taxi! Why not?

궁금하게 생각하던 점입니다. 왜 1988년에 올림픽을 하면서 택시가 전부 중형으로 바뀌었는지. 중형과 소형 택시가 같이 존재하던 한 때에 택시 타는 것 자체를 아깝게 생각하시던 부모님이 택시를 타려면 소형이 올 때까지 기다렸다가 타라고 말씀하시던 것이 생각납니다. 하지만 점점 소형 택시는 줄어들고 결국에는 없어졌죠, 안타깝게도…

얼마 전 유럽의 거리에서 느꼈던 여러 가지 인상 중에 아직도 기억에 남는 것은 소형차가 거리에 꽤 많다는 것입니다. 그것도 1인용, 2인용 차들이. 소형차나 경차가 무조건 위험하다고 생각하는 것에도 문제가 있습니다. 오히려 안전할 것이라는 기대에서 타는 SUV가 대체적으로 전복되기 쉽다는 것은 잘 알려져 있고, 보행자에게 더 위험하기까지 합니다. 그러면 중형차, 대형차가 더 안전할까요? 잘은 모르지만 그럴 수도 있겠지요. 그런데 대형차를 운전하는 사람들이 막연하게 더 안전할 것이라는 기대에서 혹시 안전 운전을 더 소흘히 하지는 않을까요? 진짜로 위험한 것은 음주 운전과 난폭 운전과 같은 나쁜 운전 습관이겠지요.

소형 택시나 경차 택시를 통해 소비자에게 선택권을 주자는 김기자님의 생각에 동의합니다. 사실 불가피하게 짧은 거리를 택시로 가야 하는 경우에, 꼭 중형 이상의 택시를 타면서 비싼 요금을 지불하는 것이 못마땅합니다. 더 결정적으로는 중형 택시로 택시 크기가 늘어나면서 자동차를 사려는 사람들도 작은 차에 대해서 좋지 않은 차로 인식하게 되는 것이 안타깝습니다. 경차나 소형차는 젊었을 때, 초보 운전 시절에나 타는 것이고, 품위가 없고, 위험하다는 고정 관념 말입니다. 얼마 전에 이재용 환경부 장관이 프라이드를 탄다고 해서 화제가 되었었습니다. 고급 자동차를 통해 자신의 신분을 드러내려고 하거나, 사람의 등급을 매기려고 하는 것이 얼마나 천박한 짓입니까? 보행자와 사람 중심의 교통 시설과 제도를 늘리고 대안을 모색해보는 것이 중요하지만, 이미 자동차가 현대 생활에서 피할 수 없는 현실적으로 매우 중요한 교통 수단이라면, 이동과 수송이라는 원래의 목적에 충실하면 된다고 봅니다. 한 걸음 더 나아가 자동차로 인한 대기 오염, 교통난, 주차난, 전량 수입해오는 연료 등을 생각한다면 경차와 소형차가 중대형차보다 더 보편적인 교통 수단이 되도록 정부에서 지금보다 더 많은 지원을 해주어야 합니다.

LGE Chinese Learning Center opens a blog

LG Electronics China has its own Learning Center in Beijing and they grew rapidly for a few years. It was a branch of LGE Learning Center Korea but not any more. They have their own Chinese e-learning site and staffs. Last year they performed much better than Koreans in several aspects. Now I found that they already opened their blog, e-Learning探索日志. It is interesting to keep observing and learning how they are going through their blog. Learning Center China put one step forward.

Kick off trip of Web standards forum (tentative) in Korea

Picture taken in front of the Flower Land Pension at Hwangdo

During Last weekend days, I joined the first official meeting of web standards forum in Korea. It is a closed group of people who are about to write a textbook about web standards for Korean readers. We agreed that the current status of web developing convention is severly distorted in the standards and accessibility viewpoints. Kwanghyun at Digital Media Research, Hyeonseok, Kukie, and Hooney joined the overnight trip to Hwangdo — a small island located in the western sea besides the Korean peninsula. I believe I will have to devote myself to the book at least for a couple of months. Thanks to all who shared their valued time on Saturday and Sunday.

Book review: A theory of fun for game design

Bookcover: A theory of fun for game design It seemed so exciting to look into the world of game design, and theory of fun at first. It was quite a burden, however, to continue reading it without understanding and capturing the grand pictures of what the author tried to deliver. The author, Raph Koster is one of the most active game designers while the reader, Greg is one of the worst game players. The actual problem did not lie in the ignorance of games but also in lack of extended knowledge to grasp the ideas provided by Raph, the one with vast knowledges ever in the field of game development, cognitive science, social psychology, musical composing, even art. He started his writing with a question, “Why a game has full of fun while the other is just dull?” The introduction of way of how human brain works follows to pave the way for his remaining chapters. He regarded the game as a kind of learning. Therefore it was important to adjust the level of difficulty in a game in order to provide player an adaquate level of learning, problem solving, pattern recognizing, or exploring experiences.

His comparison between games, music, and other performing arts were also insightful, if you have keen interest in human principles of high ordered human behaviours. He closes his book speaking in defense of the importance of game designer against the prejudice of old generations.

I must confess that the book is not a well-organized textbook nor a collection of fact-based theories but it seems to be a combination of various psychological findings and his full-fueled insight. It is not easy to keep the previous things or current topics in your memory to get a little bit better understanding and sense of fun in reading current pages. Sometimes I was confused and lost my ways in his footloose brainteaser. It is a book about fun for game design but is not a comic book easily covered in the crowded subway train.

Visiting the Netherlands

Wind turbines far away | Amsterdam street looked in a tram | Canal in Amsterdam looked in a boat
Although the winter is not the prime time, my first visit to Europe was impressive. I was there for 8 days to setup an online training site and transfer necessary skills to the site administrators. Dutch people were kind and fortunately they spoke English so well.

The afternoon of Saturday and Sunday were the available times for me to look around Amsterdam city. It is not reasonable to tell about the city nor about the country with only a few days’ superficial experience. I am, however, trying to deliver some personal impressions about what I’ve looked through.

The hotel room was a little bit chilly at the highest temperature of adjustable knob and this was the first difference between that of the United States. The U.S. hotel rooms were too cool in the summer or too hot in the winter. I thought Americans were indifferent to the energy saving.

I found some unique features in Dutch street. First and most impressive thing was that the roads for bikes were found almost everywhere. Especially around the Dam and the Centrum, trams and bikes were recommended to move instead of private cars according to the tourist information. Also I could see many parking lots for bicylces in the street. One more interesting thing is that the small cars with hatchback seemed more popular than the usual notchback cars. Moreover, it was not so difficult to find a single-seat or double-seat car in the street. Alas! Small is beautiful!

Windmills and tulips are two representative words when I think about the Netherlands. A few traditional windmills remained but they did not seem to be used any more. Instead, very large wind turbines are easily found when driving outside the center of the city. Unforunately, the winter was not a good season to enjoy the beauty of tulips, greens, and sunshine. I missed them so much.

I regret that I was totally ignorant of Dutch during the stay. I was wondering what the messages are in the road signs. I hope I will be able to learn some basic Dutch (eg. how to pronounce, how to say hello) if I had a chance to visit the Netherlands again. The Dutch sounded much like German but it does not have umlaut.

Canals were ubiquitous throughout the city. The typical Dutch house faces a canal with just a small front yard. I could look at the beautifully decorated room through the very large window or just whole surfaced glass. One of my colleagues told me that Dutch people enjoy decorating their homes. Yes, it’s their sweet home!