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[Opinion]How Many Bridges?

Posted January. 09, 2004 23:22,   


In Korean society, they say, “Once you get through a bridge, you could pass every bridge.” Before entering the house of prosecution or police, it is Korean to find out whether there are any acquaintances rather than speculating on the reason for entering. Once in a training camp for recruits, a rookie got a special care just because he lived in the same village as the squad leader or due to the fact that he graduated primary school with the leader’s girlfriend. Region and blood relation, college and personage line are the core words in understanding Korean society.

A professional public opinion research center, asked by a university research institute, found out the Korean’s ‘society network’ to be ‘3.6’. This means after crossing three or four connections, you know everybody, even those who you never met before. Of course there are differences for each people. A noted man of 20,000 brothers and sisters around the land and an unnoted man, who more or less is an orphan, cannot have the same personage network. Anyway, moving to a renowned town and entering a reputed college can be said to be a long- term investment on high class network of acquaintance.

Whilst working in the newspaper game, we often receive a publication offer of so called ‘civil appeal’. These civil appeals, particularly, are directed to the pressman of culture section, who is in charge of publication, art and music. Seeing this, the reality of the quotation, “In Korea, there are no writers without a one degree connection with the newspapers and there are no head of the family with music and art majoring wife and daughter, who has no line with the newspapers” just all of a sudden awakes me. The result of treatment of the civil appeals is, naturally, “Disappointing”.

In the West, there is a saying, ‘Six Degrees of Separation’. When you have about 300 friends and your friend also has that amount of acquaintance, if one person gets to know another, he /she is making 90,000more acquaintances. When crossing four bridges, that number becomes 8.1billion, which is 90,000 squared. Therefore, statistically, Earth’s 6billion people get to know each other. It just is, “What a small world”. However, flipping the coin, you get one particular lucky person of my direct knowledge and one unlucky one of my best friend’s acuaintance.