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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 think Silla's Golden Age saw much advancement in astronomy and mathematics, and these were important in their society which had a shade more superstition than we. The astronomical observations and unique star charts made by Silla scientists and the creation of a science center in Gyeongju were not imported from the Chinese. https://www.ancient.eu/amp/1-15320/ Other advancements are detailed here: https://books.google.ch/books?id=GzjpCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA504&lpg=PA504&dq=silla+science+history&source=bl&ots=nHWRAmvQ-K&sig=PVMcZrfw_IFPeN9JeweGez-ZHCA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj_2N6dw7rZAhUMuBQKHX5HDXMQ6AEwA3oECAUQAQ#v=onepage&q=silla science history&f=false

    https://books.google.ch/books?id=9sawofv6lJsC&pg=PR17&lpg=PR17&dq=silla+science+history&source=bl&ots=3r5CrJ1iNM&sig=SvtPJbSKE2aGxX9D_oOdsTD028Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj_2N6dw7rZAhUMuBQKHX5HDXMQ6AEwBHoECAQQAQ#v=onepage&q=silla science history&f=false

    And your point that Cheomseongdae's purpose is somehow not understood rings hollow. Scholarly consensus is that it was an astronomical observatory and fringe theories as to its purpose (whether from the 1920s or other) that are no longer popular do not support your point in that regard.

    If anything, the Koreans, as any smart scientist or historian ought, used what was known and developed further to advance their understandings. Simply not being the first to discover or do something doesn't mean you're not innovative or scientific focused. Similarly, I hardly know of anything in the Carolingian Renaissance (or the Renaissance itself as we know if) that didn't come in some form from something earlier, yet that doesn't mean there was a lack of innovation.

    The brief Golden Age was true of Georgia and Scotland as well, and many other civs, so that's again neither here nor there. Korea as portrayed with all their medieval era bonuses led by medieval scientific leaders Seondeok and Sejong = makes sense for them to be scientific. Frankly Spain's conquest of the New World was also the "exception to the rule" of Spanish history, but here we are with many Spanish Civ designs in Civ revolving around conquistadors, gold and military bonuses with allusions to colonial aspirations.

    As earlier discussed, my basis for pointing out Korea's bonuses are not historically inaccurate are tied as much to military technology as the Japanese being heavily influenced by Korean printing technology.

    And by your logic, Japan shouldn't get industrial bonuses given that many of its innovations in the Meiji Restoration period grew from ideas and technology originally made in the West. Innovation and science bonuses aren't always tied to simply being "first". Otherwise only Sumeria and China would get science bonuses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
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  2. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Silla's tower has no surviving instruments to indicate that it was used for astronomy. It's just conjecture, at best, to say what it was used for. It could very well have been used for a religious altar. It's a perfectly valid theory.

    Spain's colonial endeavors lasted for over 400 years and is a sizable majority of their history. Considering that the reconquista didn't finish until right when the colonial endeavors started. (1492) So, it's not a valid comparison with Korea's brief dalliance with science.

    Korea had to be literally dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 20th century. Shall we take a look into what Scientifically powerful Korea looked like in 1900?

    https://soranews24.com/2014/03/05/3...100-years-ago-before-k-dramas-took-over-asia/

    BTW, after viewing those pictures, I am confused as to why there was such an uproar by Koreans over Seondeok's depiction? If anything, she should have had darker skin.
     
  3. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    Scholars have come to a consensus about Cheomseongdae and disagree with you, based on a variety of factors including the proliferation of Silla-made star charts and astronomical observations, the structure of Cheomseongdae and its numeric significance thereto, and ancient references to it as an observatory. The name "Cheomseongdae" means "stargazing tower" also. Theories about it being a religious altar are very speculative given that the Sejong sillok written after Sejong's death (and other ancient sources) also refer to Cheomseongdae as an astronomical observatory. We have been over this before but once again for good measure: http://www.ancient.eu/amp/1-15320/

    Spain has had history way beyond the 15th and 16th century New World conquests. Early medieval (El Cid, etc) and modern Spain aren't known for conquering the New World, so Civ took a narrow slice of Spanish history that was iconic and made all their Civ designs around it. Same for Georgia under Tamar, and their Civ ability relates to Golden Ages, even though Georgia was hardly in a Golden Age for most of its history or even today.

    I didn't say Korea was scientifically developed 100 years ago--in fact in earlier posts I explicitly pointed out how it was a poor nation ravaged by war in the 50s and 60s. It's Korea's remarkable cultural, commercial and scientific growth since then that made it worthy of joining the Four Asian Tigers. And as I earlier pointed out, nations the globe over (including Arabia for example) have had eras where scientific advancement wasn't particularly high.

    Seondeok looked Indonesian/not Korean in her facial features and eyes is why there was controversy. To my knowledge we don't have pictures of what she looked like from her time, but we do still have Silla crowns. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  4. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    Welcome to the forum.
    In the end it does make since to have the Seowon replace the Campus which is supposed to represent the district for learning/ being a science district in the first place, even though historically it was known for discussing the things you mentioned above. I agree they could have easily added in having the Seowon produce some culture as well, but not make it purely that. I mean I mentioned it before that theoretically certain campus buildings like the library and the University should produce some amount of culture anyway, but then we would have too many culture producing buildings compared to science.
     
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  5. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    "perfectly valid theory" describes a lot of what you're posting, to be honest. You took some images from a blog that takes them from another secondary source to prop up an argument that you've already decided upon as is evident from your first post in this thread.

    Why are you so focused on the validity of Korea as a civilisation in the game, and their ingame design? There are plenty of other arguably-tenuous connections, and yet you have not stopped during this eight page (at I think 50 posts per page) thread. Gameplay comes before historical adherence. Choosing to represent civilisations that the designers will make a good fit comes before historical adherence.

    Why is Korea such a problem?
     
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  6. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Korea is not a problem. I don’t think using Gilgamesh is appropriate, either, as he is semi-legendary.
    Nor do I think that Arabia should get any major science bonuses, either. It wasn’t the Arabs doing the scientific inquiries for the most part but the Persians and Christians in their realm. There are plenty of other things about the game that could be improved upon.

    Besides, why do you care?

    I have lived in South Korea and I have an interest in the country and its history. I’d like it to be depicted in a more interesting and correct fashion than Super Science Civ deluxe. I have never questioned the validity of Korea as being Civ worthy. I’d like to discuss these things and this is the thread to do it in.
    If you have a problem with that and you don’t want to contribute anything meaningful, you don’t have to read the thread or simply put me on ignore. Thanks. :)
     
  7. Pythakoreas

    Pythakoreas Chef Tain

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    Are you saying that the Christian world was more scientifically advanced than Arabia in the Middle Ages? :crazyeye:
    It is common knowledge that the Fall of Rome is responsible for the loss of Antiquity progress in the West but much of the Greek-Roman knowledge was preserved in the Byzantine Empire and Arabia. Furthermore Arabs traded with Eastern powers including Persia, China and India. much of the science that prompted the Renaissance in Europe were imported (from the East) and (Greek-Roman knowledge) preserved by Arabs. Arab scholars are also famous for their own work, from top of my head I can cite the example of Ibn al-Haytham, first to explain that light has to bounce off an object and enter our eye so that we can see anything.

    And BTW you've previously said that the Mongol Empire is what made Koreans open to Arab traders, it was before that. Arab traders visited Korean peninsula when China was still dominated by the Song dynasty, which was already extensively trading with Goryeo.
     
  8. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    So when were these star charts made? I know there are accounts in books about astronomical phenomena but these were recorded 400-500 years later. Is it possible that they copied these from Chinese records since they appear so similar?

    A large part of Spain’s history has involved their colonial endeavours. The reconquista started in the 9th Century. So more than a third of their history and if you consider a united Spain and not just various kingdoms, a majority of their history. So, there’s no problem with Spain’s depiction.

    I referred to Korea in 1900. Korea had over 250 years of peace at that time and a chance to develop themselves. They flat out didn’t. So, for a supposed scientifically strong nation, why is that?

    Korea’s modern development, well at least South Korea, is impressive. Not a problem with that. Just consider that this is very recent. Say, the last 50 years or so. Add in the Golden Age around Sejong’s time and let’s say that was 100 years. So, that’s 150 years out of nearly 2,100 years of history. Silla’s founding date of 57 BC is questionable but if we go with that, it’s not a substantial portion of Korean history. Add in 150 years for Silla if you want. It’s still only 300 out of 2,100 years. That’s one seventh, at best.

    As for the Silla crown, I have seen it before. The game does seem to depict it fairly accurately, which is nice.

    In summation, if you want to give them a bonus for science, say +10%, then you should equal that out with a malus for bad government. -10% science in medieval up to modern era, or let’s say when a third tier government is reached.
     
  9. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    No, I am saying that Christians in the Arab Caliphates were primarily the ones translating the books into Arabic. Usually, Greek manuscripts that had been lost to the West. Persians, who were not Arabs, also were very involved in scientific endeavours. The Arabs/Muslims, though initially interested in science, quickly turned on scientific inquiry and Greek thought when they discovered that it contradicted the Koran.

    The Arab conquests brought disparate groups together and science flourished, as a result. Just like what happened in the Mongol Empire. We wouldn’t call the Mongols particularly scientific, though, would we?

    However, that is off topic and not about Korea. We can certainly discuss that in another thread, by private conversation if it is a personal interest to you or the history forums, if you would like. Thanks.
     
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  10. Pythakoreas

    Pythakoreas Chef Tain

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    I know that was a stretch, but a GG bonus has not appeared yet, and some Korean generals were really remarkable. Morningcalm already mentioned a general who successfully defended the fortress at Haengju against an overwhelming force over 12 times its size. There's also Eulji Mundeok who used a dam to drown a force of 300000.

    He already kind of mentioned it...:thumbsup:

    A fellow AoE2 fan, I respect you.
    BTW I always interpreted "War Wagons" to be hwacha.
     
  11. Pythakoreas

    Pythakoreas Chef Tain

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    Sejong did harbor an admiration for Buddhism but he started out as a Confucian, and remained one in his style of governance. To my research the Hangul letter affair was King Yeonsan, which has to be a long time after Sejong as Yeonsan was 10th King of Joseon and Sejong was 4th. Yeonsan is also famous for having a bunch of problems, including his infamous purge of administrators, eventually got him kicked out of the throne.

    As for universal education, Confucius himself said things about education being first in priority once the basic needs are met. That's why the very first sentence of the Analects is about learning. Sure it will go through negative reactions from the elite. Because that's how the West also reacted to mandatory state-paid education up until high school when it first started in 19th/20th centuries. Even a post-Industrial West is no exception to that. But Confucian faith itself strongly advocates the education of the masses to achieve a better society.

    As for "barbaric script", would you accept it if Oxford University came out with a new set of alphabets to write English? The vast majority will stare at the new invention with disapproval as the new script does not take account of the vast tradition our set of alphabets carry. Others will say why create a new alphabet when we're already using one. Many will say it's just a quack invention. It is very valid to say that the new set of alphabets makes English distant from other European languages. All of them are points Choi Man-Li and his colleagues brought up against Sejong's hangul.

    That was the point of Sejong's scholars and why S.Korea still uses hanja today. They just wanted to be kept in touch with tradition.

    _____________________________________________

    And in the second part of your post it is not clear whether you're talking about 1592 (and some good 100 years before and after) or the 19th Century, because what you cited is an example of criticism of Korea in the 19th Century, still being a premodern society and not being adapted to the reality of the "Nouveaux riches", a term used for people who accumulated wealth through industrialization. If it's 19th Century we're talking about it is valid to talk about social mobility. 1592 is a different story.
     
  12. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    I take it you know the meaning of irony! :p
     
  13. Pythakoreas

    Pythakoreas Chef Tain

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    I know that was a stretch and I was just putting out where I got that idea to begin with. I was never saying that Korea should have a GG bonus to begin with. :popcorn:

    EDIT: To clarify, my first post about Korea getting a GG bonus was a joke. That's what I'm trying to say.
     
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  14. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Sejong became a Buddhist and even went through the process of becoming a monk, later in his life. Perhaps due to failing health, he decided to concentrate more on spiritual matters.

    Shortly after Sejin passed away, the elites pounced:

    “The great king was followed by two weak and short-lived monarchs: his oldest son Munjong, and Munjong’s 12-year-old son Danjong. Despite having assisted his father during the run-up to unveiling Hangul, Munjong was arm-twisted into closing the Sejong-founded institution that published Hangul translations of Buddhist texts. Danjong was similarly powerless to stop the machinations of the anti-alphabetists.”

    https://www.damninteresting.com/the-kings-letters/

    Hangul was ultimately banned in 1504-06.

    While Confucianism can talk about the need for education, the Neo-Confucianists used it to oppress the people and amass wealth. Only when the social order was finally done away with was education made universal. Neo-Confucianism was self serving for the elite. This corruption became worse and worse as the Joseon Dynasty faltered.

    You can certainly compare and contrast with what happened in Japan and the history of its educational system. Why the two countries went down different paths and why Korea ultimately became a failed state and why Japan was able to modernize. Probably best saved for the history forums, though.

    Sejong’s opposition called Hangul a barbaric script because they knew where he got the idea from (Old seal script) and what he borrowed and adapted. A 15th Century Korean poet even alluded to the fact that Sejong borrowed from fan script which are the Indic scripts. “The shapes of the letters were made by relying on fan letters.” Page 70 in the link below:

    https://books.google.ca/books?id=nonRl2cerIgC&pg=PA70&lpg=PA70&dq=korean+poet+born+in+1439&source=bl&ots=c33Z0AmdCF&sig=-hDQzwBaSzX8ey1qcblGPyeeKgw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiV6djcrbvZAhUj2oMKHXPeBuoQ6AEwA3oECAAQAQ#v=onepage&q=korean poet born in 1439&f=false

    “Chin W. Kim has articulated: han'gûl is "... a synthesis of many writing systems in Asia, all of them coexisting in subtle harmony, subtle enough to make [their] presence not readily recognizable, but each element detectable enough to invite diverse theories of origins"”

    “Pyong-Hi Ahn offers views that are similar to Ledyard's. His extensive research leads him to the conclusion that "in developing the Korean alphabet, knowledge of Neo-Confucianism and Chinese phonology was used to a great extent" (p. 100). Ahn goes on to say that Sejong and his counselors thought it necessary to study the writing systems of 'Phags-pa, Sanskrit, and Japanese kana.”

    https://koreanstudies.com/ks/ksr/ksr99-08.htm

    Here is another excellent article on Phags-pa, Sejong and the creation of Hangul.

    https://journal.fi/store/article/download/45150/11422

    That is to say, Sejong didn’t create Hangul ex-Nihilo.

    English is in need of spelling reform. Lol. That’s pretty clear. Now, if there was a large part of the population that was illiterate because of that fact then certainly I’d say a vast majority of people would be in favour of changing things. However, if a group of elite would profit by there being no change then they would likely fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo.

    Anyway, I have already stated that Hangul was an impressive creation. Perhaps why I have posted so much about it is that I am fascinated by language scripts. Just as Koreans are proud to be in the Ural-Altaic language family, I would think that they would be equally proud to be in a large scriptural family that ultimately includes English. Perhaps that is not the case.

    Anyway, I have said enough about Phags-Pa, Indic scripts, Hangul and it’s origins. Anything more I have to say on this would need to go to the History forums.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
  15. Arent11

    Arent11 King

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    That's all true, but it leaves the question: Who should be depicted as a pure science civ? The Babylonians? The Greek? We have a spot to fill.
     
  16. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    Do you, by any accident, happen to dislike Islam and think it never did anything good for the world? Cause for some reason I often find the conncetion between it and downplaying medieval Islamic science such as "only Persians did it" "it was just borrowed from Greeks" "it was Christians and Jews" etc certainly not biased views :D

    Oh yeah, sure. Of all enormous number of Arab scholars who did original research while being from and residing in Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, North Africa, al-Andalus etc (I explicitly do not count Yemenis, Turkic peoples and of Greater Persia) vast majority just happens to be anybody but Muslim and Arab. By the way, your comment suggest that all Arabs have been Muslim, which is not true :p Arab Christians should "count for" Arabia.


    But the more important thing is, it doesn't matter. Even if every scholar of Caliphates was Jew or Christian or Zoroastrian then what matters is that Islamic Arab civilization created conditions and institutions for massive progress in science.
    Does it matter that a lot of current American researches come from brain drain from faraway countries?
    No, except to recognize accomplishments of their appropriate ethnic groups.
    America still wins as the one who facilitates scientific growth, and creates institutions for those men and women to flourish there.

    And thus, even if every Arab scholar of history turned out to be Christian of Jew, I'd still support Arab civ in Civ series to have scientific bonus. What matters is that the enormous progress happened under Islamic elites, not in Kievan Rus, Bulgarian Empire, Anglo-Saxon England or other entites of that era.
     
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  17. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    You don't get to decide what is and isn't meaningful! I don't have to explain why I care, I care because I care. Caring about stuff is good :)

    I was asking because I was trying to judge your attitude towards this. It's irrelevant where you've lived, because from everything you've said and continue to say, you're attempting to diminish the historical impact of the faction as-represented in Civilisation. Your first post in this thread made the literal claim of Korea's design being to sell to "hyper-nationalistic" Koreans. Not very constructive or meaningful there, personally. You offered no immediate suggestions on how to improve the design - your entire intent was to talk about the historical (i.e. not ingame) Korean leader(s) in a rather negative way.

    Your entire thread goal appears to be to play down any relevance of Asia-Pacific cultures in the development of science throughout history, while at the same time bigging up Christian (and Greek, or at least Greece-adjacent) contributions. It sounds awfully revisionist (speaking as someone with an interest in history in general, how it's written, who writes it, and so on), and as mentioned you're not going a very good job of making it about Civilisation.

    You just appear to be trying to tell everyone why Korea as a nation didn't contribute to science. Why? What is your reasoning behind this? It can't be historical accuracy, because

    a) this is a Civilisation board, in a subforum about the game itself. This isn't me backseat moderating, it's me working out your intentions based on where you posted. We have a World History subforum, I lurk it a lot (even if I don't post). You didn't post this there, ergo, there is no actual interest in the debate of history here. You just seem to want to promote your specific opinions on the nation's history.

    and b) you've presented sources that I've already called for not being attributed correctly (thus undermining their application and relevance assuming this is an academically-inclined historical debate). If you were interested in historical accuracy, you'd surely feel the need to validate such, instead of telling me I'm not being "meaningful" and basically telling me to go away.

    It makes me sad, because this could've been a great design-based dive into the faction itself ingame. I love talking about games design. Maybe that's why I care!
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  18. leif erikson

    leif erikson Game of the Month Fanatic Administrator Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Moderator Action: Instead of discussing the topic, the topic has now become the motivation behind an opinion and whether they have a right to express that or not. This is the problem with allowing History discussions in the game forum. The game forum is about mechanics, strategy, how to best use what you are provided in the design etc. etc. This stuff has gone over the line, it is now about everything but the game and is personal, so this thread is closed.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
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