Friday, November 19, 2010

Contradictions!!!! Fan vs. Science. Round 1.

Once one has lived here for a while, it can be seen that S. Korea is a one big contractiction. Its amazing how such an economically and technologically advanced country can be so downright backwards in so many ways. There are so many contradictions I will just start at my favorite.
The number one contradiction: Science vs. Fan. There is a belief in Korea called Fan Death, where if you sleep in a closed room with a fan blowing, you will probably die. Now this death can be diverted if you remember to open the window in the room before you fall asleep. It's only a death-threat if the windows are all closed.
Now when I first heard of this "fan death" I thought it was an old wives tale. I was sure that upon asking my Korean Co Workers they would say that people used to believe it and they obviously don't now due to scientific evidence. After all, this is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Home to many well known companies such as Dae Woo, LG, ect. There are toilets that clean themselves and laundry machines that have a million different settings and sing a little song when they are finished.
My friends and I started to ask a broad range of Koreans, young and old, what their thoughts were on fan death. To our shock and surprise, all of them believed it! Now these were not loaded questions. We were not trying to sway evidence in our favor at all. Upon asked, "What do you think would happen if you fell asleep with the fan on and all the windows closed?" all of the Koreans we asked actually responded somewhere along the lines of, "You might die..."
So there in lies my first contradiction, science vs. the fan. They have all the scientific materials and know how to set up a long study to prove or disprove fan death. They could just infer that their Korean-made Dae-Woo fans were of a high quality and weren't going to fly apart and kill someone. They could even go as far to invent some kind of safety fan made of styrofoam or someother soft material. But no, instead they believe in fan death. Even the curriculum that I am supposed to teach to my pre-schoolers at school instructs me to teach them about fan death. Do they just want to believe?

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