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Old January 25th, 2013, 12:34 PM   #1
Jan
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Is being interested in the Ryugyong hotel development unethical?

As the title reads. This guy thinks it is, taking on the building, and the forums and our members while at it. Reads more like a politically correct stand on the matter to me though.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 02:04 PM   #2
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I have mixed views about that article. In my opinion there is absolutely nothing wrong with discussing the building. What I value the most about SSC is that it is objective and fair, and gives a place for discussion to every tall building in the world. If the author is not interested in skyscrapers, then so be it, but that doesn't give him the right to criticize this forum because it is this forum that showed me what to do with my future. After highschool I didn't really have plans to study further but once I joined this forum I found out that this stuff really interests me and have decided that this is what I want to study and work with in the future. Now I relearn highschool math and physics and plan to study engineering in a year and a half. This is what this forum is about, it's not about politics, it's about the beautiful world of architecture and engineering. This is the reason why I come here day after day and why I have 4k+ posts.

On the other hand I kinda understand the frustration about the hotel's thread. There are many people there who love the hotel in a relatively blind way. If one says anything bad about the hotel, even if it is a proven fact they attack him/her and start to create conspiracy theories based on North Korean propaganda. To me it seems as if they don't realize that these conspiracy theories could cost people their lives. What if some people who vist the hotel, fed with disinformation and conspiracy theories of how perfect the hotel is die in its collapse? I definitely wouldn't want to have their blood on my hands. That is why I keep highlighting the very bad engineering quality of the building, even though I get attacked over and over again by these forumers.

To put the long story short, there is absolutely nothing wrong with discussing the hotel on this forum and I strongly disagree with how the author tries to put politics into an architecture and engineering forum, though I do think that several forumers who unconditionally love the hotel do give a bad name to the thread with their fantasies.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 02:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
I don’t know if anybody reading this has ever visited skyscrapercity.com. I feel as if you probably haven’t—it’s a bit of a niche internet destination. Whilst admittedly more acceptable than anything pornographic, skyscraper enthusiast forums are still not exactly the kind of site you want to be caught browsing on.
Stopped reading there. I mean seriously?
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Old January 25th, 2013, 03:12 PM   #4
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Hahahaha, what a tool. I had to read the article again to look for more gems like this. This guy is nuts!
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Old January 25th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanto View Post
I have mixed views about that article. In my opinion there is absolutely nothing wrong with discussing the building. What I value the most about SSC is that it is objective and fair, and gives a place for discussion to every tall building in the world. If the author is not interested in skyscrapers, then so be it, but that doesn't give him the right to criticize this forum because it is this forum that showed me what to do with my future. After highschool I didn't really have plans to study further but once I joined this forum I found out that this stuff really interests me and have decided that this is what I want to study and work with in the future. Now I relearn highschool math and physics and plan to study engineering in a year and a half. This is what this forum is about, it's not about politics, it's about the beautiful world of architecture and engineering. This is the reason why I come here day after day and why I have 4k+ posts.

On the other hand I kinda understand the frustration about the hotel's thread. There are many people there who love the hotel in a relatively blind way. If one says anything bad about the hotel, even if it is a proven fact they attack him/her and start to create conspiracy theories based on North Korean propaganda. To me it seems as if they don't realize that these conspiracy theories could cost people their lives. What if some people who vist the hotel, fed with disinformation and conspiracy theories of how perfect the hotel is die in its collapse? I definitely wouldn't want to have their blood on my hands. That is why I keep highlighting the very bad engineering quality of the building, even though I get attacked over and over again by these forumers.

To put the long story short, there is absolutely nothing wrong with discussing the hotel on this forum and I strongly disagree with how the author tries to put politics into an architecture and engineering forum, though I do think that several forumers who unconditionally love the hotel do give a bad name to the thread with their fantasies.

Although I kind of disagree with you on many topics, including your answer here (parts of it), I also think that politics should be left alone. It may be hard in such thread like the Ryugyong thread but the less politics involed in this, the more skyscrapers and pictures we get.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 03:28 PM   #6
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is being interested in stalin's skyscrapers in moscow unethical? how about albert speer's plans for germania or his stadium of light? architecture (and art) has long been commissioned by despots and tyrants, often as a way to exercise the power of the state - should we exclude things simply because of who commissioned them? best send the demolition crews into versailles and burn da vinci's work for the borgias.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 03:54 PM   #7
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I have no idea why people who are not part of a certain community have a sudden urge to comment on it.
You might not like the opinions that are being written around here, but it's your opinion to not like them, and you can keep it to yourself or tell someone if you feel like being hurt.
The problem with modern society is that whenever someone writes things you don't like, you are being offended. Perhaps we can keep the politics out of the construction threads, but we have tall talk and architecture section where opinions are more important.
If someone disagrees with the background of a building, its owner's history or the government that oversees the project, so be it. If we were living in a socialist country and the Palace of Coulture and Science was being built today, I would throw as much crap at it and say it's a POS and not a building, because of what it is, architecture aside.
Hell, if the current government was building a new place, I would not be happy about it either, because we are having a joke of a government and pretty much everyone would agree with me.
If I can express my opinion on a building that costs millions of dollars to be finished, while people in the country are living in a hell and might not know of the outside world in their lifetime, I will express it.
People have to learn to separate opinions from observation. I look at Ryugong and it looks average (that's an observation), but it's awful to build a structure that costs more than yearly earnings of an average NK city (that is an opinion).
Some people are downright stupid and should be banned, but you cannot turn down anyone who is speaking the words of his/her thoughts. If someone doesn't like the things you like, he's not a hater immediately. We even have an "overrated skyscrapers" thread and it's relatively calm there. Heatlhy discussion is good, it's freaking out over every little thing that makes a mess of everything.
I guess that was a long and boring post, but that's how I view it all. If someone disagrees, that's ok, we're not Borg.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #8
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The writer was unbelievably pompous and to my mind a touch hypocritical to boot. He uses our site for information, then gives it a little kick in the goolies once he is finished. It is a real stretch to suggest anyone should not be interested in a building because of the political structure of the government of that country. That is like saying one shouldn't care about Persian archaeological wonders because we disagree with the politics in Iran.
That site appears to be a group of Cambridge undergrads.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 06:44 PM   #9
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good argument....
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Old January 25th, 2013, 07:01 PM   #10
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The author even admits that his interest was piqued when he came across the thread. So, I guess the question could be posed, is being interested in those who are interested in the Ryugyong hotel development unethical?

I agree that this author comes off as pompous. That's a good word for it. I also think he makes a negligent assumption; he assumes that the forumers are not interested in the political considerations of North Korea simply because those political considerations are not reflected in the skyscrapercity thread. Why should they be, though? As he acknowledges, this is a niche website. There are other niche websites for discussing geopolitics. This is not one of them, but our forumers may very well be members of those forums.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 07:14 PM   #11
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oh, i didn't actually read his post... i see he made the same point about italian culture. some of his comments on his website suck though

i actually visited north korea in 2006. i was puzzled recently as to why the western news reported that tourists would be allowed to keep their mobile phones. i was allowed to keep mine back then and even used it as a camera. the guides were perfectly happy for us to take photographs, there was no smuggling out of the country anything.

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Old January 25th, 2013, 11:50 PM   #12
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Anyone who judges a building based on politics or location is ignorant and unethical. The amount of comments slandering this building due to location is appalling.

Architecture is architecture, and it should only be judged by this. It is the most beautiful building in the world, in my opinion, in terms of architecture. Reasons behind its existance is for a completely different website, not Skyscrapercity. We talk about skyscrapers here. Not politics.
Plus North Korea has far more money than what this building cost, and they don't seem to be spending it on their citizens anyway. It's bad, I know, but nobody is doing anything about it. They just whine about it in front of their computer screen like every other "political fighter" on the internet. Might as well enjoy the fact that they are finishing this building, because one day their regime will fall and the building will still actually be usable. Just let them finish the damn thing in peace, eh? In fact I think we should support them building mega-structures like this if it could ever mean they would be less occupied with building weapons.

And then there's China who wants to start building 800 meter skyscrapers that would be assembled by sweatshop workers... no one cares, though.

Last edited by ThatOneGuy; January 26th, 2013 at 12:12 AM.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 12:06 AM   #13
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I am not surprised with your opinion
you are my cute pony in skyscrapercity....
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Old January 26th, 2013, 03:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
The writer was unbelievably pompous and to my mind a touch hypocritical to boot. He uses our site for information, then gives it a little kick in the goolies once he is finished. It is a real stretch to suggest anyone should not be interested in a building because of the political structure of the government of that country. That is like saying one shouldn't care about Persian archaeological wonders because we disagree with the politics in Iran.
That site appears to be a group of Cambridge undergrads.
+1
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Old January 26th, 2013, 04:18 PM   #15
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^ that's what we have that new like button for
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Old January 26th, 2013, 04:49 PM   #16
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From the article

Quote:
"How the extensive photo documentation of the building’s progress is smuggled out of one of the world’s last remaining totalitarian states is anybody’s guess, but I doubt heavily that it’s in any way legal. "
Is he serious?
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Old January 26th, 2013, 05:02 PM   #17
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It looks like the writer is a frequent visitor of skyscrapercity (perhaps even a frequent poster). But he fears that architects won't take his blogs serious when they find out he gets his info from this forum, so he writes this derogative article to 'exculpate himself'.

About the Ryugyong: I agree with Ben Strak on this quote "The Ryugyong hotel is a mess: kitsch hybrid of a Bond villain’s lair and cheap resort, it can make no pretensions to architectural quality." But the location and politics have nothing to do with this building being a monstrosity. It will be just as bad if it was build in Kathmandu or Copenhagen.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 05:05 PM   #18
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Architectural reasons only make up about 20% of the hate for this building, the other 80% comes from political reasons.

Or misled ideas from Western media corporations, ones who use vague, source-less claims as 'evidence' and sensationalist headlines like 'Hotel of Doom' to attract more viewers for money. What's even more pathetic is how they constantly copy/paste comments like the one from Esquire, who claimed it was the ugliest building in the world, even though said comment was made when it was a bare concrete hulk. But I find it hilarious and ironic how some of them still claim the Ryugyong is a metaphor for the failure of North Korea... and then show the beautiful, modern edifice dominating the rest of the concrete city, soon to be run by one of the most high-end hotel chains in the world. And people ask me why I think those articles are pathetic? pfft.

@marius Don't be surprised. It's not like a naysayer to know what he's talking about.

Last edited by ThatOneGuy; January 26th, 2013 at 05:26 PM.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:46 PM   #19
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It is exactly the opposite way arround. The western media are the ones who have independent, solid and trustworthy sources. I've been discussing this hotel for a long time in its thread so I know what I'm talking about when I say that on this forum all the defenders of the hotel with whom I discussed it either had no sources at all or had proven North Korean propaganda as a source. ThatOneGuy's perfect knowledge about the reason why people dislike the hotel are just another example of this. Where is a poll showing that 80% of the disliking of this building is because of politics?
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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:57 PM   #20
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You can see it in the comments of all of those ridiculous articles or 'ugly buildings' lists. So many reference its location in one way or another... On websites like Flickr, which is for photographers only, the commenters usually mention how beautiful the tower is since its beauty is not corrupted by anti North Korean ranting under it.

So many sources? And yet not one can be found.
You can't prove a report is propaganda by just its location. You have to explicitly state what is wrong with it, or what is in the report that makes it propaganda. And the context of said report doesn't fit into a 'making North Korea look good' scenario. It was written, mainly by geo/structural scientists, for engineering reports on earthquake stability for towers before the tower was even abandoned.

As for the biased reporting, I don't think there is any possible way one can defend the media when you can explicitly see how they haven't thought out their arguments and the irony of their comments on it. You really think the media cares about the tower itself? They just copy/paste whatever the article before them said, since it's a good source of income. 'Ryugyong' sounds like the name of some obscure korean dessert, and no-one's going to click on a fairly-reported article calling it by its actual name. That's boring. But 'Hotel of Doom' is exciting for those sheep.
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