Eric Schmidt’s daughter Sophie accompanied Papa Goog on his recent North Korean trip and blogs about it. Much of it is stuff you normally hear in reports from first time visitors about the aloof, parental-like minders, zero-level access to the general public and tacky flower arrangements:
In case you were wondering where tacky fake floral arrangements went when they went out of style: they’re all in North Korea. (Ditto for gaudy light fixtures.)
In the lengthy post about the whole trip, she talks about the “e-Potemkin” village visit, where students stared intently at computers, though…
No one was actually doing anything. A few scrolled or clicked, but the rest just stared. More disturbing: when our group walked in–a noisy bunch, with media in tow–not one of them looked up from their desks. Not a head turn, no eye contact, no reaction to stimuli. They might as well have been figurines.
Baby Goog has doubts whether North Korea’s display of tech savvy students was legit or simply put together for the visit.
We knew nothing about what we were seeing, even as it was in front of us. Were they really students? Did our handlers honestly think we bought it? Did they even care? Photo op and tour completed, maybe they dismantled the whole set and went home.When one of our group went to peek back into the room, a man abruptly closed the door ahead of him and told him to move along.
You can read the rest here, as well as see a lot of great pics of carpet-less Pyongyang.