A Man that Established a Kingdom for His Daughterby Minwu HeoKIC the Globe Vol.10 / Fall 2014 Can you believe that a father established a kingdom to grant the wishes of his daughter who wanted to be a princess? Though very difficult to believe, it is a true story. On June 16, an ordinary father living in Virginia made his daughter a princess of the North Sudan Kingdom located in Bir- Tawil (between Egypt and Sudan). Let's travel a few months into the past when all this started. One day, Jeremiah Heaton’s daughter said, “I want to be a princess. I really, really do.” When a little girl says something like this, many parents would just smile at her and not take it so seriously. But Heaton was different. He thought this wish was serious, so he started to look for a place where he could grant his daughter's wish. And he did on her birthday. Perhaps, it may be the greatest present a man can give his daughter. Yet, there is something more interesting behind this lovely story. Bir-Tawil, on which North Sudan Kingdom is built on, is what makes this incident more intriguing. Bir-Tawil is located between Egypt and Sudan, and it is one of the last ungoverned pieces of land (terra nullius) in the world. Funny enough, the reason why it remains unoccupied is because both Egypt and Sudan argue “this land is yours, not mine.”What a ridiculous situation! In general, a territorial dispute occurs when plural states claim ownership on overlapping areas of territory, but in this case, both states do not want Bir-Tawil. This absurd situation was caused by British colony policies. In 1899, the Anglo–Egyptian Condominium Agreement for Sudan set the border between the territories at the 22nd parallel. However, in 1902 the UK drew a separate administrative boundary to reflect the actual use of the land by the tribes in the region. So, according to this decision, Bir-Tawil is Egyptian land, and Hala’ib Triangle. Next to Bir-Tawil, is Sudanese land. The problem arose after the countries’ independence from the UK. Because Hala’ib Triangle had some manganese used in the steel industry and is near the Red sea, the land was claimed by both Egypt and Sudan. On the other hand, Bir-Tawil was a desert of no use and both countries denied the ownership of it. Then, since the small plot of land is claimed by no one, can the North Sudan kingdom be built on ungoverned land and be acknowledged as a legal state by the international society? Surprisingly, many non-official states found by a single person or a small community exists at this moment. They are called Micro-nations. These nations have their own national flag, currency and in some cases even soccer teams. But they cannot be acknowledged as states. To be considered a state under the common definition used by international law, a state should satisfy four requirements: 1) permanent population, 2) defined territory, 3) government, and 4) capacity to enter into relations with the other states. An example is Palestine. Although some controversy exists, Palestine was recognized as a state and was allowed tojoin the UN as an observer state in 2012—clearly a sign of its capacity to enter into relation with other states. On the other hand, Transnistria is an example of a state not acknowledged by the international society although it has permanent population, defined territory, and government. As Moldova became a separate nation from Russia, Transnistria declared independence from Moldova. Until now, they governed themselves but because they are not recognized by states and the international society, they are incapable of entering into relations with other states and are not recognized as a state under the international law.Then, what about the case of North Sudan Kingdom? Unlike many other micro-nations, North Sudan Kingdom actually has a chance to be recognized as a legal state. It is built on Bir-Tawil, terranullius, so the second requirement is fulfilled already. Jeremiah Heaton has a series of plans to fulfill other requirements. He and his family will focus on turning the area into an agricultural hub for the region by terraforming it. It is a feasible plan, considering that BirTawil is only 800 square miles and relatively close to the Red Sea. So, if this plan comes true, it could gain a permanent population, satisfying the first requirement. Heaton tried to request recognition as a state from the Egyptian and Sudanese government to meet the fourth requirement. Its prospect is not gray because the terraforming plan not only increases economic benefits of Bir-Tawil, but also can induce the increase in the well-being of nearby areas owned by both countries. Consequently, the prospect for Bir-Tawil acquiring statehood seems rather bright.
Date : 2015/03/13 | Author : admin | Views : 750
Poster of KICians' Night in 2014, KICians' Night. Winter Wonderland
Date : 2015/03/13 | Author : admin | Views : 694
Pulling Laggards to the Tech Worldby Jiwoong ChoiKIC the Globe Vol.10 / Fall 2014 Most people do not recognize how innovation has changed our lives. Technology has permeated into every aspect of our lifestyles. The commercialization of personal computers and the spread of the Internet in the 1990s have revolutionized the way people organize, collect data and get things done. The increasing popularity of smaller and more compact laptops from the early 2000s has transformed where and how to work. They have allowed people to take their work out of the traditional office workspaces to their homes or even to planes on their work trips. From the advent of the iPhone in 2008, smartphones have truly restructured how people interact, gather information, and carry out tasks all within the palm of one’s hands. So far, the impact of all these technological innovation can be summarized into one word—mobility. Internet, laptops, smartphones, and tablet PCs empowered us to be mobile and get work processed anytime, anywhere, and at any place. They created wireless, paperless, and desk-less workspaces. Innovators and early adaptors of these technological innovations will call this as “lifestyles getting smarter,” or “going digital.” While these technologies have significantly changed how most people live, not everyone is accustomed to the new digital lifestyle, especially the “laggards.” Laggards are people who are still more comfortable with the old-fashioned analog way of using paper and pencil to organize their schedule rather than doing them digitally. Laggards do not hate technology nor are they indifferent to it. They simply do not have the enthusiasm to use technology. Most of these people may even have trouble completing the simplest tasks with their smart devices despite owning a product with state-of-the-art technology such as a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Then, are all these technological innovations a waste? Not necessarily. The IT industry is now going through another stage of technological innovation which attempts to connect the missing links. It is now poring over how to create an environment in which the non-digital-friendly people could make the most out of the technologies. Researchers are investing time and money to develop technologies and products that even the laggards can easily utilize and enjoy. Smart watches are inventions that make technology easier to use for laggards. While the recent releases in various smart watches are due to the increasing popularity as wearable devices, their user-friendly qualities are what makes smart watches so popular. Users are attracted to this device because it can tell time as well as receive notifications via a new but familiar device. Quite literally, smart watches are the new digital devices that are converged with a familiar tool. They also provide applications such as fitness, alarm, and many tool functionalities which are frequently used by people on a daily basis. In short, smart watches attempt to link the user and the device through the familiarity of a watch. Laggards feel more comfortable with the watch and their distaste for complicated technology is dampened by the familiarity. The manufacturers of smart watches anticipate that in the long term, the device will naturally be accepted by laggards, just like the smartphones. However, not all recent technological innovations have been successful in attempting to make the laggards become tech-friendly. A very telling example of such failure is the recent developments of virtual reality (VR) technology. VR is a computer-simulated environment that can simulate both the real and virtual worlds. While some major IT companies, such as Google and Samsung, have provided their own versions of VR goggles, Oculus Innovative Sciences Incorporation’s Oculus Rift is receiving the spotlight. VR attempts to bring in laggards into the world of technology by providing a technology that users can enjoy through an indirect-experience mechanism. VR technology may provide a new experience to the users, but their cost of production is high, making it unaffordable. Also, using the VR machines are not difficult. The steps required to prepare the use of such machines include installation and programming. Needless to say, the process is complicated and difficult. For these reasons, VR failed to appeal to its customers and scared away the laggards. We have examined two contrasting cases of recent technological innovations that try to incorporate the laggards into the world of technology. While smart watches have been successful, VR is considered a failure due to its unaffordable price and the complicated preparatory procedures. From the cases of success and failure, IT industries should spend more time and effort to develop technologies that are both affordable and easy to use so that everyone, including the laggards, can benefit from these innovations. Oculus Rift VR Gozz Smart watches
Date : 2015/03/05 | Author : admin | Views : 738