Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Off to the CCA

Tomorrow I'm off to Toronto for the Canadian Communication Association's (CCA) annual conference held at York University this year. The program and details are posted here.

Of course, this is part of the larger Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, affectionately referred to as "THE LEARNEDS."

Looking forward to hearing many scholars speak. Kicking it off with a keynote this year is Vincent Mosco. I'm excited about that, and looking foward to seeing old friends, and meeting new ones.

I'll be presenting in the 4:30pm session on the first day, June 1st. See my abstract here.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Leonardo: The art of negotiation

As part of the Leonardo Summer Institute at SFU, today we had Dr. David Hannah (a seasoned negotiator) come to speak to us about the fine art of negotiation.

Before the day-long workshop, we were sent briefing notes on two scenarios in which we would role play and try to negotiate from our assigned perspectives. In the morning negotiation, I had to play a gas station owner who wanted to sell off my business to a large oil company for a certain price. There, we learned about things like "win win" situations as opposed to "win lose" situations. For the afternoon negotiation, I played a president of a Mexican language CD company who was meeting with an American partner with the intention of evaluating the trustworthiness of that partner. The ultimate decision was whether or not I wanted to continue doing business with that person, and it depended on whether or not he understood the cultural climate and relationship.
People really got into it, and it was really easy to see how emotions could get mixed up into high stakes negotiations, as well as what happens when people don't understand one another's motivations.
One of the key principles was in evaluating the interests of each party, and asking WHY someone wants something as opposed to WHAT they want. When a person asks WHY... there's a lot more opportunity to be creative with negotiating options.
Oh, and BATNA stands for "Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement" ... I have lots of handouts, and lots of notes. Thanks David! It was fun.
I think it's great that we're getting exposed to faculty from Business Administration through this program. It's all in Leonardo's mandate to get us to be well-rounded leaders of the future. Sometimes the principles are stuff I've learned by trial by fire (or haggling in Asia)... but it's helpful to hear from those who do this for a living and learn from their expertise.

After what was a trying time for some, we diffused the tension by taking the seabus to North Vancouver, having some cheesecake/sausage/coffee/whatever, and being goofy around Lonsdale Quay. What a fun group of people.
Look out for more photos from the Leonardo Summer Institute set on my Flickr site... will be updated with photos as they appear.

Monday, May 22, 2006

New board game cafe--Vancouver

Where my gamer and foodie tendencies collide...
According to Nancyland, there's a new boardgame cafe ("bang" in Korean) opening up in Vancouver next week.

...opening next week in Coal Harbour (across from Cardero's) where you can play board games, and have drinks. The new board game cafe will charge $4/hour, and offers a membership, that gives 15% off regular rates. They didn't have a pamphlet to offer me when I poked in, so I don't know how much the membership is, but they did mention to me that the drinks will be less expensive than they are in the surrounding coffee shops. The place looks nice and modern. Apparently this concept has been around in Korea for a while...

For me, living in downtown Vancouver has allowed me to keep a pinky finger on the pulse of Korea while not conducting fieldwork there. This is just the latest example of ideas that deal with increasing "urban-ness" (and Korean-ness) of our metropolis. There are already PC bangs, kimbap and ramyun places, horizontal stripes, and Burberry abound. Pretty neat.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A new semester getting in order

Summer semesters. Going by my academic history, they have a life of their own. Usually, they are filled with new experiences that end up being pretty significant forks in the road, and/or they really focus me and do a Heidegger-esque 'revealing' on what I should be doing as things head into Fall.

No different this summer coming up. In addition to being 'conference season' where I tend to meet new and interesting people, I have a jam-packed schedule that includes a course in science and technology policy, along with participating in the Leonardo Summer Institute.

The mood: at this stage, optimistic, and looking forward to new friends, fun, and clarity in navigating these research waters that necessitate a few life lines.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Report: 4 in 10 Americans play video games

A story from Yahoo! talks about 4 in 10 Americans playing video games. One of the reasons for playing video games in the article is that television shows are just increasingly idiotic. Word.

Read more here>>

Monday, May 01, 2006

Position: Lead Engineer at Kamida

I met Dan and Michael of Socialight while I was in Korea. They are two great individuals at a great firm. If ya got the skills, and want to work in Manhattan, this is the place for you.

== Lead Engineer for social software platform ==

Kamida is seeking an exceptionally talented engineer to work in our Manhattan office. This is a full-time position in a fun, fast-paced startup environment.

We’re looking for an experienced engineer to lead the development of our next generation location-enhanced mobile social software platform including developing a scalable, robust database, multi-platform media delivery and carrier-grade commercial architecture. The lead
engineer is responsible for producing detailed system specifications, managing a development team, validating performance and scalability, and leading implementation, code review and unit testing for Kamida products and technologies.

Ideally, you wake up in the morning looking for your next challenge, are remarkably detail-oriented, highly competent, multi-faceted and love creating web and mobile applications. Good design sensibility and a sense of humor always helps.

Qualifications: BS/MS/PhD or equivalent in Computer Science, Engineering or a related discipline Requirements (knowledge of some of these is acceptable):
- Extensive experience managing software projects
- 3+ years of programming Java (J2ME, J2EE)
- 3+ years of experience with LAMP (Linux, Apache, Perl / PHP, MySQL)
- Deep understanding of XML / XSLT
- Web Services (SOAP, REST, XML-RPC)
- Ruby on Rails
- Proficiency with OOP and MVC
- Versioning software (RCS, CVS, Subversion)

- Mobile development experience
- GIS Experience
- Standards based web design XHTML/CSS
- Python (Python on Series60 is a huge plus) / BREW / Symbian C++

Please send your resume and a cover letter detailing what makes you
right for this job to jobs@socialight.com

History--under construction always.

Here is a story from MIT about a picture of a Japanese woodblock painting on a history course website. The Chinese student's association at MIT in particular found this picture (of Japanese soldiers beheading Chinese prisoners during the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-1895) offensive and mobilized--sending a letter to the MIT President to have the picture pulled until more context could be provided to the picture. The interested parties will work together for a consensus. The construction of history, hardly ever objective, and the portrayal of events is continuously under negotiation.