Archive for September, 2012

Rice production plateauing and more from Marginal Revolution

September 29, 2012

I follow Korean rice farming with more than casual interest.  Because my in-laws are farmers and I have helped plant and harvest rice through a few seasons now, I have a natural concern for things that affect rice production here.  In the past, the Korean government placed tariffs on foreign rice, allowing Korean farmers to sell theirs at around eight-times international market value.

For more on my discussion of rice farming in Korea, look here.

Fro more on the future of rice production and farming, check out Marginal Revolution’s post on the subject of approaching maximal production.  It sounds very Malthusian.

If you have questions for the authors of Marginal Revolution, they are coming to Korea.

Tyler and I will both be in South Korea in early October for the Asian launch ofMarginal Revolution University. Tyler will be speaking at the World Knowledge Forum(Oct. 9-11). The WKF is known as the Asian Davos. In addition to Tyler, the speakers include Paul Krugman, Daron Acemoglu, Malcolm Gladwell, Cass Sunstein, Dani Rodrik, a number of other well known economists and social scientists and a host of political and business leaders.

I am worried about my motivation these days.  I look at the offerings from MRU and think about taking a course, but have not yet clicked on the link to begin doing so.

Aaron Mckenzie, what do you think about MRU?  Ah, not much is going on at that website, nor at Idiot’s Collective. Pity, he is the only blogging economist I know in Korea.


Naengjeong Station to Hadan Station hike

September 22, 2012


Well, we didn’t start at Naengjeong Station; we took a local bus to Dongseo University and hiked from there.  On the other hand, we passed Hadan station and walked on, then returned to it so perhaps that balances out.

What a great day for a hike.  My companion Patrick and I started in jackets but did most of the hike in T-shirts.

Here is our trip as displayed on Google:


And as displayed on Naver:

I am a Googlephile, but Naver’s depiction is a lot more as I recall the hike. I guess our journey had three parts.  In the first,  we more-or-less maintained our altitude going around Eomgwang Mountain, then climbed and descended to a beautiful place I christen Gudeok Pass village.  On the maps, it was above Gudeok Tunnel.

These rock piles were on both sides of the path, which was near Dongseo University and plenty wide enough for mountain bikes.



A Gudeok Pass Village, we walked through Gudeok Culture Park.  This was the start of the second part of the trip.


Here is the high point of the trip, Gudeok peak at 565 metres.  It was a little challenging to find the place as an aviation-navigation station is on the mountain and some area is fenced off.  To this point, we had mostly been on wide trails, although there was a section from the Culture park to the aviation-navigation road, which was narrow and steep.


From Gudeok peak, headed south to Seunghak peak and the path went through a lot of open alpine meadow.



As we crossed the meadow and from Seunghak Peak, we could we a most unusually sited complex of apartments.  I guess the ground floors would get some some sunlight, perhaps from 11:30 to 12:30, but the cliff-faces around them were higher than the apartments themselves.







Here I am at the peak of Seunghak and in the background is Gudeok peak.  Mere minutes from the time this picture was taken, I slid on an angled rock and hurt my knee.  Not seriously, but annoyingly.




Below Seunghak peak was a traditional site.  I called it a temple but Patrick suggested it was too big and might be a Confucian school.  As the colors are not as bright as normally found on Buddhist temples, I tend to agree with him.  Look for similar insights in his forthcoming book describing his travel in Jeju Island.



So we walked through Dong-a University and had several friendly students say hello – which doesn’t happen as frequently at our own university – and reached Hadan Station.  Patrick was interested in going further and I was not but I did take him to a local map of hiking routes that crisscross the city.  Their are around six or seven courses or sections and he wanted to check out a different one.  Patrick; here it is.


I don’t know how or why it has taken me more than two years to hike the route, but I will definitely be returning soon.