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Why is Korea, of all civs, constantly portrayed as super science civ in civ series?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Krajzen, Feb 17, 2018.

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  1. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    I know no one who believes in the Hwan Empire you cite. I've met more Americans who believe that people didn't land on the moon than Koreans who believe in some Hwan Empire. You shouldn't believe that it appearing on the news reflects wider acceptance (see, for example, Fox News).

    Cheomseongdae is the oldest observatory in Asia, as none of the others remain. So it's not incorrect, and I don't think that's misleading either. Anyone with common sense would know a medieval observatory can't be the oldest ever in East Asia, especially given that China and Korea both had older societies that looked at the stars. And frankly it did far more than just survive. As earlier pointed out, articles see it as a likely part of a science center of sorts in Gyeongju (during Seondeok's time).

    The overall point of what Cheomseongdae represents remains--the Silla kingdom in Seondeok's time was in its Golden Age of science and culture despite its troubles (much as Athens' Golden Age in Pericles' time came during a time of war too).

    And there are of course plenty of sources on Sejong and Korea's advanced naval weaponry in the Imjin Wars.

    As far as China is concerned, they already have a science buff in Civ VI, and that buff became more significant with the eureka nerf in Rise and Fall. So their advanced historical contributions to science and culture are already reflected.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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  2. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    As to the Hwan Empire and your casual dismissing of it, quite a few Koreans do believe in its existence. The major Korean media is certainly not hostile to it.
    ————
    Incorrect. It claims to be the oldest. It is the oldest surviving. There is a big difference and you know it.

    Chinese astronomy was very advanced and making star atlases a thousand years before this “tower that hasn’t fallen down yet.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where the heavily Sinicized Korean kingdoms got the idea from. :)

    The truth is, they don’t know exactly what this tower was used for. To construct this magnificent hypothesis that it was a major science Center because of it is akin to making a mountain out of a molehill.

    This Korean author seems to have thought it was a Buddhist structure involved in the worship of the “spirit star” in the autumn, thanking it for a good harvest, and figures that it was an altar used for that purpose.

    https://books.google.ca/books?id=vRHvCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA408&lpg=PA408&dq=heavy+chinese+influence+on+korean+astronomy&source=bl&ots=kPkfbvhBPg&sig=GGeBYwShR0h0jhYcm85wWaYl3Xo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjRiJ6n5rLZAhVGz2MKHbEXBJ8Q6AEwAnoECAMQAQ#v=onepage&q=heavy chinese influence on korean astronomy&f=false

    So, perhaps it should be a holy site that gives faith bonuses?
     
  3. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    Casual dismissals are warranted where people parrot ridiculous views widely held to be ridiculous as somehow reflective of a nation's view of its scientific history.

    It doesn't "claim" to be the oldest. The sources I provided also said "surviving" for clarity. Even a cursory glance at them would have clarified for people who thought I was saying a medieval observatory is the oldest ever, lol. The reason why "is" is not incorrect is because of a thing called present tense. We wouldn't say "Mohandas K Gandhi is a great politician. We would say "was"." Because he's deceased. Similarly, the Statue of Zeus was a great ancient wonder. It no longer exists. Cheomseongdae is the oldest observatory in East Asia. It still stands. Its predecessors who *were* older, no longer stand.

    Renato Dicati in Stamping Through Astronomy, p. 30, also uses the present tense "is" to say Cheomseongdae "is" the "oldest astronomical observatory in the Far East". And contextually, adds that it still stands in Korea.

    As the sources and scholars generally agree, Cheomseongdae was an observatory in a science center, not a tribute to some religious figure. The Ancient Encyclopedia in particular points out that controversial views like that don't have much credence. https://www.ancient.eu/Cheomseongdae/

    The consensus view of it being an observatory has been around since the early 2000s. And the Sejong sillok (written shortly after Sejong's death) also record the tower as being an observatory. The calendrical significance of the tower is also fairly telling given the importance of astronomy in Silla culture in that regard. The Samguk sagi record several hundreds of astronomical observations of the early seventh century Koreans, which is also consistent with a focus on astronomy.

    Seondeok focused her religious energies on pagodas. Like Hwangnyongsa.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  4. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Cheomseongdae (Chomsongdae) is a 7th-century CE observatory tower located in Gyeongju (Kyongju), the capital of the Silla Kingdom of ancient Korea. It is the oldest surviving astronomical observatory in East Asia and is listed as no. 31 on the official list of National Treasures of Korea.

    https://www.ancient.eu/Cheomseongdae/

    You are saying it is the oldest. That is simply incorrect. It is the oldest surviving.

    The oldest strongly implies that it was the first. This is misleading.

    As to the scholars agreeing, no, they do not. Korean hyper nationalists *want* it to be an Astronomical observatory.

    Whatever the case, it was the Chinese that introduced the calendar as well as astronomic knowledge to the Koreans. Calendar making and astronomy go hand in hand. To give Korea a huge scientific bonus of +10% because they got some scientific hand me downs seems to be a bit misguided by Firaxis.
     
  5. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

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    As for Korea, I think an additional reason besides series history is that they needed a civ with a unique campus and Korea seems to bring one of the best options here.
    The "traditional" science civs in civ:
    • The European civs used universities, which are already in the game as a building and observatories, which is probably not a district.
    • They could have gone with an academy for Greece as a unique campus, but didn't.
    • For Babylon or Sumer, a unique campus would be a connected with a temple - like in form of the Ziggurat, that's already taken as well.
    • I don't think there is something that can be made into a district for the Maya. And the solution for
    • Arabia with the Madrasa that connects religion and science is also a nice way to represent Arabian sciences.
    So the Seowon presents itself as a very good option for a unique campus.

    That's easy to explain. In history, China is usually seen as a very advanced country in which sciences were underdeveloped (especially compared to its neighbors in India and Persia) and played a very minor role. This is already stated by Sarton in the early 20th century and still presented as a fact and model example for such a case in the current academic standard publication on the history of science and technology by Dorn & McClellan. So portraying China as a scientific powerhouse would be very strange and feels wrong. Now, there's the thing that, obviously, science in civ terms is something very different from science in real life or history. It got a bit better with civ VI due to the civics tree, but it's still a mess mixing sciences, inventions, technologies and skills (some of the latter became sciences later on though, like animal husbandry and military tactics). Giving China a bonus to Eurekas to represent the countless inventions of this region seems like a really fitting choice. I'm very happy for that - it makes China a fast advancing civ without giving it science yield bonuses or unique science buildings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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  6. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Shuyuan: A hallmark education of ancient Chinese academies

    Shuyuan is a term that refers to academies of classical learning in ancient China. It originated in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), flourished during the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1206-1368) dynasties, and endured into the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1616-1911) dynasties. With a history of more than 1,000 years, the shuyuan was replaced in modern times by new types of academies and schools. Throughout its development, the shuyuan was committed to cultivating students’ virtues, nurturing their pragmatic spirit and driving innovation.

    http://www.csstoday.com/Item/1802.aspx

    The Shūyuàn (书院), usually known in English as Academies or Academies of Classical Learning, were private research and educational institutions in ancient China. They were built as early as the eighth century and flourished during the tenth and eleventh centuries with the support of various Emperors. The Shuyuan were not only centers for the compilation and study of classical literature, but were crucial for the development of Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism; notable Confucian thinkers such as Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming developed their ideas and taught at the Shuyuan.

    There were more than 7,000 Shuyuan academies recorded. In the late Qing dynasty, some of the Shuyuan became universities, middle schools, public libraries and museums.

    In Korea, which also adopted Confucianism, the shuyuan were known as Seowon.

    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Academies_(Shuyuan)

    The Seowon is just a copy of the Shuyuan.
    It’s not particularly unique as it was adopted from the Chinese.
    It’s not particularly scientific either but more a center for Confucian and Neo-Confucian thought.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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  7. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    South Korea has applied to UNESCO in order to make some of their best preserved Seowons a world heritage site.

    The Korean definition of a Seowon is as follows:

    Seowon, the submitting property, refers to private Confucian academies in Korea established during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) to serve memorial rites for noted Confucian sages as well as to educate the youth of the dominant ideology. Seowon, the local footholds of Joseon’s neo-Confucian literati class, also served as the venue for discussion on state affairs and social management of the era. Seowon embodies the quintessence of the literari class, who governed Joseon society based on Confucianism, containing the key to understanding the Confucian culture of Joseon and the ruling class with the ideology.

    Korea saw its first Confucian academy in 1543 (the 38th year of King Jungjong) when the then Magistrate of Punggi County, Ju Se-bung, built Baegungdong Seowon in Sunheung. In 1550, Baegundong Seowon was recognized by King Myeongjong and was awarded the nameplate of Sosu Seowon, becoming the first of many seowons to be recognized by the King. Currently, 637 academies remain in the Republic of Korea, and the nine properties among them, now submitting for nomination, are those in best condition with good management system, having high significant value as important historic sites.

    More recognition of what Seowons really were:

    Confucian academies were first built in China. Chinese academies are known to affect the similar institutions in its neighboring countries such as Korea, Japan and Vietnam, but the tradition in Japan and Vietnam has almost been cut off as of today. What makes the nine Korean Confucian academies distinctive compared to the equivalent of those in China are as follows:

    Compared to Chinese academies that focus on lecture and study, Korean seowon puts their priority on social education and memorial rites for sages.

    The Confucian memorial rituals especially for great scholars keep their original form only in Korean academies, while the tradition has already ceased in China.

    Through these rituals, Korean seowon reveres the deceased sages’ erudition and virtue, behavior and righteousness and played a significant role in social education to establish and disseminate the Confucian spirit and culture, which highly values the rules of decorum.

    The spatial composition of Korean seowon does not accord to that of China, adopting its own type of layouts in harmony with nature.

    While the Chinese buildings of seowon are arranged in strict symmetry, Korean seowon makes full use of their natural topographical features in laying out the buildings with high flexibility.

    http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5648/

    So, considering that Confucianism is a religion in Civ VI, Seowons should more appropriately give faith and not science as they are focused on teaching about Confucianism.

    In cIV, Confucian Acadamies have a boost to culture. That also might be appropriate.

    Could also maybe function as a unique government building in a government district for Korea.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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  8. Pythakoreas

    Pythakoreas Chef Tain

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    Teaching religion with education is pretty common across the world, not just in China and Korea...

    In the Middle East madrasa schools offer Muslim-oriented curriculum (Civ6 Arab UB)

    Instruction of children often was the job of the Catholic church where it was the dominant religion, I'm going to a college that was previously a nunnery, and previously a high school founded by a religious congregation. (Jesuit Education belief. Like literally)

    The Korean obsession with education survived the test of time. Even for modern Korea a school is very representative of the culture. The private lesson industry in S.Korea is huge. Parents are willing to pay tremendous amounts of money to send their kids to private lessons until 1AM to see their children get a place at a prestigious University...

    And I've previously wrote about (secular) schooling putting out educated workforce being a big factor in S.Korean economic miracle from '60s to '90s. A Unique Campus and Production bonuses from it are perfectly justified in this context.
     
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  9. Pythakoreas

    Pythakoreas Chef Tain

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    That map is an obvious satire, much like the theory itself.
    If it's real we have to back it with East Asian artifacts dug up in Western Europe and dated to 5000 BC through carbon dating or such.

    Spoiler Truth :
    Actually, that's real. Gold medalist swimmer Park tae-hwan is named after the Great Hwan Empire.
     
  10. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    I am completely familiar with the Korean educational system. :D

    The obsession with education really only started in the 20th Century, though.

    Before that, education was only for the privileged elite. The Yangban were trained in these Seowons and they wished for the lower classes to be illiterate and uneducated so that they could maintain their iron grip on power. Consequently, you had less than 5% of the population that were literate by the closing of the 19th Century. :(

    After the Japanese freed Korea from China in 1895, reforms were enacted and a focus on universal education started. Many educational institutions were built by Western missionaries. Also, another consequence of being freed from China was the adoption of Hangul as the national script. The dream of King Sejong finally became a reality, 450 years after his death.
     
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  11. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    It’s not satire. There are a number of Korean historians who hold this view and the Korean government was certainly sympathetic to their cause in the 1970s. Some of their findings have been broadcast on KBS TV and have been featured in major Korean newspapers.

    Perhaps the swimmer is a descendent of this grand and illustrious Korean Empire. :D
     
  12. Phrozen

    Phrozen King

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    America with the Land Grant University system would be perfect for a unique campus and includes such schools as Cal Berkeley, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Cornell.
     
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  13. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    Yeah, but again - America is going to be massively OP if you credit them with everything they deserve to be credited for IRL.
     
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  14. Pythakoreas

    Pythakoreas Chef Tain

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    The belief in the all-powerful God in Abrahamic religions is what education is in the Confucian faith.
    The first sentence of the Bible is God creating heaven and earth. The first sentence is the Analects is "Isn't it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned?"

    And to clarify: Education is what gets you into the privileged elite to begin with. Commoners were no exception to the pursuit of knowledge. They competed with the privileged who wished to keep their status.

    The 20th Century saw the decline in traditional Confucian curriculum to serve the State to make way for a modernized curriculum to serve the people. Call it secularization if you wish. But the very obsession with education has been around for... like... since Confucius himself lived.

    And by the way how much do you know about Hangul usage in Korea? Did you know that newspapers were half Chinese written language up until the '80s?
     
  15. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Well, I know that North Korea banned Hanja (Chinese script) in 1949. South Korea began to lessen its use over time until it was phased out by the 1980s. This has caused some problems as 70% of Korean words are of Chinese origin. This probably has contributed to a high rate of functional illiteracy in The Koreas even if a 99% literacy rate is claimed. Well, North Korea claims 100% anyway. Lol.

    Education is what got you into the elite in Joseon Dynasty Korea and only the elite could afford to be educated. It was a self perpetuating cycle that kept the elite in power. With disastrous results. :(
     
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  16. Pythakoreas

    Pythakoreas Chef Tain

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    You're more knowledgeable than I thought, but your knowledge of Korean history and culture is still slightly flawed, including the fact that you take that Hwan Empire claim seriously. I'm not contesting that the system did prefer the elite, but we shouldn't always judge the 19th Century by 2018 standards. What matters is that the gates were still open to whoever dared to compete, and that it was replaced by a modernized alternative by the turn of the century, in both Korea and China. The former in the 1895 reforms the latter in the revolutions led by Sun Yat-Sen. It's following the very spirit of Confucianism, to study to keep up to date.

    As for hanja (Chinese script), it's not an archaic remnant of the past. It's there to honor the tradition. It's for the very similar reason why the Yangban insisted on doing everything by hanja in the first place, and why I was arguing that there was a reluctance to accept foreign innovations in Korea in the first place, as this practice essentially leaves out most commoners from the affairs of the elite, something 19th Century Western education opposed. (This seems to be the disastrous results you're talking about.) But if hanja was unwelcome (you seem like you imply this) why would most Koreans still carry a hanja name? I like to brag about my name that can be written in two written languages to the multicultural community in Montreal.

    Usually you only need hanja to clarify a homonym, and you can do everything else in hangul, no functional illiteracy mostly.
     
  17. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    The same source you just cited is the same one I mentioned beforehand (Ancient Encyclopedia) which points out scholarly consensus (not hyper-nationalist consensus--I doubt you can even present evidence only hypernationalist Koreans think this) is that Cheomseongdae is an astronomical observatory. You have no sources saying the scholarly consensus is otherwise. And I already pointed out an ancient source (Sejong sillok) referring to it as an astronomical observatory.

    We have been over the oldest surviving thing before. It's called past vs present tense. And as I also pointed out, there are sources referring to it as the oldest in east Asia due to use of the present tense and because it is the oldest left. (Also, as explained before, there is a key difference in "Mohandas K Gandhi was a great politician" vs Mohandas K Gandhi is a great politician"--one is erroneous usage as Gandhi is deceased, hence the past tense one is the correct reference. Here, Cheomseongdae is the oldest astronomical observatory in East Asia (present tense), as it still stands.

    It was hardly a scientific hand me down for the Silla astronomers to make hundreds of astronomical observations, which I also mentioned in my last post. Or for Seondeok to have led Silla during a flourishing Golden Age of cultural and scientific advancements.

    You seem to have simply ignored the sources I cited before. In having to repeat myself this becomes more evident.

    (And also as mentioned before, the Chinese already have a science bonus ingame.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  18. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    It’s not the 19th Century but pretty well Korea for the last 1,000 years prior to 1900. The elite wanted to stay in power and suppress the lower classes. It worked brilliantly. To the detriment of a vast portion of the population and the country as a whole.

    There was a bit of social movement during the Imjin wars (Japanese invasions of 1592-1598) as a lot of the official records were burnt by Korean peasants who resented the harsh caste system and government corruption. You therefore had some social climbers who practiced a bit of identity theft. Lol. However, this was not the norm and it really wasn’t until the late 19th Century that Slavery was finally abolished.

    As to Hanja, I’m not saying it was unwelcome. It just happened to be phased out and probably due to Nationalistic tendencies which has led to problems in functional literacy. I do hear that there is a movement to change that, though.

    Finally, yes, the caste system led to disastrous results for Korea as it opposed new ideas and innovation and was more concerned with retaining power and prestige. A conservative and corrupt elite that was more concerned about tradition than helping the country. Trade and an exchange of ideas was always how countries grew and prospered. Isololationism is disastrous and it was especially so for Joseon Dynasty Korea.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  19. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    As to the functional illiteracy point:

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has been measuring functional illiteracy among member states, which comprises of most developed countries including South Korea. In a 2005 study, South Korean adults had the highest rate of functional illiteracy out of 22 OECD member states surveyed with a rate of 38%, much higher than the average of 22%. Almost three in four Korean adults had difficulty reading information necessary for their occupation or skill.

    Some Korean education experts, including those in favor of Hangul-Hanja mixed script, have attributed the high rate of functional illiteracy to the lack of Hanja education in Korean public education system. This is not a far-fetched claim, as 60-70% of the Korean vocabulary is derived from Hanja, many of which appear more often in technical fields. Another Korean poll reports that 58% of college-aged Koreans, most of whom have never been taught Hanja, have felt inconvenienced by their lack of knowledge of Hanja at some point in their lives.

    https://kuiwon.wordpress.com/2013/1...xclusivity-koreas-high-functional-illiteracy/
     
  20. Pythakoreas

    Pythakoreas Chef Tain

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    That's even worse, to judge a premodern state by 2018 standards, let alone a 19th Century one. You'll rarely find a country in the world that didn't practice class system and some kind of elite trying to hold on its power, the latter still exists today though not explicit. Even the West was very different pre-Enlightenment. (1750s-1800s)

    You can argue that 19th Century Korea didn't catch up to foreign innovation by practicing isolationism which led to disaster. (I've written about it on this thread) But the Confucian system is rather lenient in the sense you can still go up the ladder through education when you have the option to be permanently poor. Rather revolutionary by Sejong's time.

    In fact everything that happens after the chaos of 1592 invasion is the corrupt side of the Joseon dynasty, poor government, harsher repression measures and gender discrimination policies appeared in this era, not before. Again if only the Korean elite had the vigilance...

    Confucianism itself is not evil, but its corrupt version that flourished in this era carries one thousand negative connotations. Seondeok being one who had her reputation completely tarnished by Confucians...
     
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