Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I just finished the day pounding away at my emergent democracy paper. I am very tired. Today was the deadline. It's 1000 words short and I'm so tired, I think the conclusion is quite weak. I'm going to beg them to give me another day... It's about 5000 words now. If anyone has the interest and the time to take a look, I would greatly appreciate comments. Since I still have 1000 words to write, I can elaborate on any of the points really.

My thesis is basically that weblogs will allow the net to exhibit emergent behavior and properly used, this will allow us to create a new form of global democracy. I think the community of toolmakers is the key to getting this done.

Here it is in html.

Clay and Ross, can I use the images from your papers?


1. Consider stating the part you said above ("my thesis is basically ...") at the start of the paper, instead of starting out by talking about what someone else (Verner Vinge) says. Anyway, I noticed that there is no quote for Vinge.

2. Consider adding some more examples of blogging working for democratic change now.

3. Consider adding a conclusion where you say what should be done next.

4. Do you really mean "global" democracy? The "global" part does not seem to come over in the paper right now. And I think it is difficult enough to put democracy into practice in individual countries (Japan, US, etc.). Global discussion, yes, that will happen. But global democracy probably not.

Hope this helps.

>This is because the tools and protocols of the Internet have not yet
>developed the necessary features to allow emergence to create a
>higher-level order.

Because you speak of "Democracy", you should add something about "necessary features to allow the mass to easily make use of these tools to express themself"

I just got a TON of comments (actually more like a dialog) in email from the "happening" team which I will figure out a way to post here. Or maybe someone will figure out a better way to organize the comments. Tools! Tools! Tools!

I am a student who is studying at State University of New York at Buffalo in the U.S. I found this page while I was looking for some blogs for my class assignment. I think this blog is very interesting because it has similar ideas what we are discussing in the class called Media in the Information Age. This is my class page. If you have time, please take a look and leave some comments in our blog. This is part of my assignment to leave a comment and get a comment from you if possible. Thank you very much.
link text

Started article, put it down for a bit, learned about the Google buy of Blogger elsewhere, then looked again and found precisely the themes I was looking for:

1. Tools for direct democracy
2. Emergent organization

Blogging individuals, similar to avid information or ecommerce concerns, are a little different from those who have a static website that says something like, "Look at my great website. Leave a message on my machine." Instead of distance and disengagement, closeness and engagement is key, and with it comes increasing quality in less space.

What was unthinkable except as a wild idea on my part a few years ago, linking the electorate directly, which I happened to relay in an unanswered note to Jim Warren, is now an every day reality though the political potential is yet actualized. This article makes great strides in identifying this salient reality.

Some of the technical items mentioned in emergent behaviors are easily noticeable throughout the blogosphere, conspicuous by their absence in first-generation vanilla HTML posts, second-generation free blogger posts and now part and parcel of third-generation blogs with a suite of comment, xml, rss and trackback tools. Site redesign is not about look any more.

What is curious are issues of privacy and identity. Put the email address up and spam comes, maybe worse. The kind of entertaining advertising that works so well in television does not seem to be the case on the interenet. Instead it's direct marketing, sleazy stuff, information piracy, cookie theft, double-click and dot-net initiatives site-tracking and other challenges to the health of the commons.

Joi, I've posted the comments I made here.

I have done further corrections and suggestions to Jon's version, and posted it here

> I think the community of toolmakers is the key to getting this done.

One tool that immedately comes to mind is a tool that would let us anotate your essay directly, allowing you to keep the changes that you want and to automatically credit those people who contributed to the paper in a similar fashion to the group editing features that some wordprocessors have.

The response I am feeling upon reading this is that the set of tools and behaviors you describe is complementary to a social enterprise platform that
1. incorporates knowledgebases which everyone is encouraged to contribute to at their level of capability
2. is translated into other languages and includes at least machine-assisted translation as a service, priced at least partly by ability to pay (including free)
The platform can be committed to developing sustainability in society, with a triple-E bottom line: Economic, Environmental and social Equity.
It can include a comprehensive database about the health, environmental and social values of all products and services and their providers, focusing first on the 30,000 most commonly used materials -- because the EU decided to rate their environmental safety. Support them, and use the McDonough-Braungart protocol, and add the other factors.
Also support an economic, environmental and land-use planning and monitoring knowledgebase, and a health care knowledgebase that fully incorporates natural medicine.
I have basic architectures for these, and can bring in people who have developed technological breakthroughs to support maximizing their value.
We need an overall strategy; I am working with others to develop a charrette to create it, from the IT, sustainable technology, whole systems / economics, and human network in developing country sectors.
Do you know who would like to help?
I think you would be a valuable addition to our discussion, and I hope my suggestions can find an audience in your network and discussions.

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I participated last Friday in a "happening" organized by Joi Ito on Emergent Democracy. The "happening" was an international phone Read More