John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

North Korea to Google Chairman: Rock On, Dude

EricSchmidt_D5Add another title to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt’s already impressive resume: rock star diplomat. The executive traveled to North Korea earlier this month and, according to former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson who accompanied him, was received there like “a rock star” — or considering the country, the frontman of a popular military choir.

“Eric Schmidt was like a rock star there,” Richardson told CNN. “Talking to people, to students, to scientists, to software engineers about the importance of the Internet.”

The pair traveled to North Korea earlier this month — over the protests of the U.S. State Department — to advocate a moratorium on missile launches, to call for greater Internet freedom for North Korean citizens and ostensibly to facilitate the release of American detainee Kenneth Bae. On the last matter, the “private humanitarian mission” seems to have been a failure. On the others, it remains to be seen, though I doubt we’ll see North Korea throw open the doors to the Internet anytime soon. But evidently Schmidt was awesome while he was there, and that’s something, right?

Said Richardson, “… Right now our relationship with North Korea is frozen and if some individuals, private citizens, especially someone like Eric Schmidt, who can bring a message of openness and hope and the Internet and cellphones and more communications, and be treated as someone they’re intensely interested in. Remember, we met with students, with average people — it wasn’t just the government.”

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December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

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December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

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December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work