September 2003 Archives

The Dean campaign just announced Howard Dean's Internet Initiative.

I will be participating in the Net Advisory Net and I am in good company.

The Net Advisory Net

The Net Advisory Net will present to the Governor and his team diverse and highly-informed opinions concerning the Internet and its potential impact upon society. While many of the members support Dean, he is seeking advice, not endorsements, and the advisors do not necessary support the campaign. Learn more at http://www.deanforamerica.com/NAN.

The first NAN team will focus on how to bridge the "digital divide" by providing universal broadband access to the Internet. Initial members of the broadband committee include: Hal Abelson, Laura Breeden, DeWayne Hendricks, Joi Ito, Lawrence Lessig, Bob Lucky, David Reed, Richard Rowe and David Weinberger. Other working groups will be established to address the potential of e-government to increase our democracy, balancing the rights of artists and the public domain, protecting the privacy of customers and citizens, electronic voting, protecting children and vulnerable communities from Internet exploitation, and controlling spam without impeding the basic architecture of the Web. The goal of each working group will be to frame issues and hold conversations about public policies in order to prepare specific suggestions for the Governor to consider and proposals for addressing these issues in a Dean administration.

I think the Dean campaign's involvement of the Internet could revolutionize the way politics and democracy work. I'm excited to be part of the team and am very interested in how this ties into emergent democracy. I'm also looking forward to taking what we learn and bringing it back to Japan.

There is a less boastful and better post about this with a bunch of links on David Weinberger's blog.

Steven Johnson, the author of Emergence, (the book that inspired me to start thinking about Emergent Democracy) recently blogged about grassroots political ads created with desktop tools. He created a cool quicktime mock ad for the Clark campaign and later Sean created a version with music and voiceover. Steven created this with iPhoto and Keynote.

Very cool use of desktop technology and weblogs. I hope we see a lot more of this stuff. I particularly like the collaborative aspect. Steven, you should put a creative commons license on your ad. ;-)

Andy Oram just posted an interesting article on the O'Reilly Weblog.

Andy Oram
Can computers help reverse falling employment?
Information technologies are implicated in a worldwide and world-historic crisis: falling employment.
[...]
Each labor-saving device means the idling of thousands of people, wasting their years of experience, rigorous training, and practical insights.
[...]
Anyone who writes programs or plans system deployment should start thinking, "What can I do to bring average people back into the process of wealth creation?"
This has sparked an interesting discussion over on Slashdot.

My personal opinion is that short term quarter-by-quarter capitalism can't possibly think long term enough to deal with many of the larger social issues. I don't think it's just about creating jobs. I think issues such as the environment, poverty, privacy, even computer architectures defy short term profits/gains thinking sometimes. I think it's a good idea for computer professionals to be socially responsible and think long term whenever possible. (See CPSR and EFF).

I think the idea of creating jobs directly by writing software for small businesses is a bit complex. I think that "good jobs" come from innovation and new industries. Many old industries such as the restaurant business are rather zero-sum. I think that increasing the public domain and the commons (spectrum, computer software, creative content...) is the best way to allow people to innovate and be entrepreneurial without being shackled in the well-funded proprietary world. I think that focusing on creating and sharing intellectual wealth in the commons is the best way to create jobs.

Browsing on my DCR-IP7 Video Camera through Hirata's Docomo PHS 663S via bluetooth
Went looking for a small video camera for my continuing pursuit of stealth disco excellence. I found a Sony DCR-IP7. It uses the tiny micro Cassette Memory, has IP, a browser, bluetooth and a bunch of other stuff you'd never need for a stealth disco camera, but it was released in 2001 and I got it at a discount. It was the smallest video camera I could find.

I haven't used it yet to take video, but we were able to connect it via bluetooth to Hirata's PHS mobile phone and connect to the Net and browse the web. Very cool, but almost completely useless. ;-)

I'm sure most of you have already seen this news, but 27 pilots including a brigadier general and two colonels, nine in active duty, signed a letter saying that the Israeli air strikes were "illegal and immoral" and that they refused to take part in such missions.

Reuters
Israel Reels at Pilots' Refusal to Go on Mission

An F-15 pilot who signed the letter, identified only as Captain Alef, told Israel's Channel Two television: "If dropping a bomb on a seven-storey building only to find out 14 innocent civilians were killed, of them nine children and two women, if that is not an illegal order, then what is?" Israel drew international condemnation last year when 16 civilians died after an F-16 warplane dropped a one-ton bomb on a residential neighborhood in Gaza City to kill Salah Shehada, a top commander in the militant Islamic group Hamas.

This is truly a significant issue. If upstanding members the Israeli military feel that the justification of the attacks on the Palestinians is weak, it's clear that the extremists who are pushing for the continued attacks are on fairly weak moral ground.

This reminds me of the work that Peaceworks is doing to try to amplify the voice of the silent majority in Israel and Palestine who are against the continued conflict.

Just started reading Beyond Fear by Bruce Schneier. He write a lot about actual risks versus perceived risks.

Bruce Schneier - Beyond Fear
In America, automobiles cause 40,000 deaths every year; that's the equivalent of a full 727 crashing every day and a half -- 225 total in a year. As a society, we effectively say that the risk of dying in a car crash is worth the benefits of driving around town. But if those same 40,000 people died each year in fiery 727 crashes instead of automobile accidents, you can be sure there would be significant changes in the air passenger systems. (I don't mean to harp on automobile deaths, but riding a car is the riskiest discretionary activity the majority of Americans regularly undertake.) Similarly, studies have shown that both drivers and passengers in SUVs are more likely to die in accidents than those in compact cars, yet one of the major selling points of SUVs is that the owner feels safer in one.
This really illustrates how subjective people's feelings about risk are. Looking at and talking about risk statistically compared to how we mentally deal with risk is interesting. Media coverage of human rights issues based on the closeness of the culture to ours is similarly subjective. The fact is, mentally, the value of a life depends on the context. We are all very subjective. Acting like we aren't clouds the issues. Journalists who say they are impartial and politicians who represent "everyone" all run this risk. Bruce's book takes a very pragmatic approach to risk, trying to describe the actual quantifiable risks, but also describing all of the factors that are involved in the decisions about security methods to deal with those risk.

I'll post more about this book as I continue to read it. (I read slowly...)

PS It's interesting to note that traffic accidents account for about 10,000 deaths a year in Japan compared to 30,000+ deaths due to suicide. You're 3 times more likely to commit suicide than get in a deadly traffic accident in Japan.

Lisa's posted a funny clip of Nazi's on trampolines.

I'm off to Kyoto for the day to give a talk on Emergent Democracy. I think the audience is mostly professors and it's a 40 minute talk with 50 minutes of Q&A. Pretty long Q&A. It should be fun, but I'm sure I'm going to be ripped to shreds. ;-)

There are some other interesting speakers. If I have wireless access, I'll be on IRC and will try to post the interesting thoughts.

UPDATE: My wireless card works so I'm going to drop into IRC sometime between 0430 and 0510 GMT/UTC to give a demo...

BBC
Strong quake hits northern Japan

A strong earthquake has struck the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, according to reports.

The quake, which hit at about 0450 local time on Friday (1940GMT Thursday), was also felt in central Hidaka and eastern Tokatsu, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, according to Kyodo news agency..

I was blogging when this happened. The glass rattled a bit, but I guess we were pretty far away from the epicenter. I went up stairs just in case to wake up Mizuka.

Tokyo is widely acknowledged to be overdue for another "big one" soon. Recently an astronomer reported that a quake of magnitude 7 was going to hit Tokyo soon. The last big quake in the Kanto region was in 1923 and killed more than 120,000 people. This was also the quake where the Japanese army spread rumors that the Koreans had poisoned the wells and hundreds of Koreans were lynched. (I've visited their graves.)

I definitely don't want to be in Tokyo for the next big one and I'm glad I'm moving to Chiba where there are fewer earthquakes and will be living in a house surrounded by bamboo forests which make ground splits quite difficult.

The other interesting thing to note is that Jason D's comment on my blog was what got me to get my face out of my blogging and realize that it was actually a bigger earthquake up north and not a small one here. It's funny that someone in LA is feeding me news about Japan on my blog. ;-)

Seth Godin
Liars, cheats and fools

The record industry sued a "little old lady" named Sarah Ward. She's not that old, but she's little and she's not a pirate. She's never even downloaded the software you need to download the music. The RIAA has dropped the suit, but Amy Weiss, their spokesman, says, "We have chosen to give her the benefit of the doubt and are continuing to look into the facts... This is the only case of its kind."

Now, regardless of how you feel about litigation as a business strategy, refusing to apologize is just a bad idea. This is clearly NOT the only case of its kind. Instead of stonewalling, why doesn't the RIAA say, "This is terrific! She's an honest citizen and we're proud of her. We made a mistake and we apologize. We're sending Ms. Ward a hundred CDs to apologize for bothering her. If there are any other cases like this one, we'll drop them immediately."

Totally agreed. Now all of you who supported the RIAA suing the 12 year old girl, do you think it's cool for them to be suing people who haven't done anything?

Being sued isn't like, "oh sorry... wrong number.."

Just Stealth Disco'ed my chairman, Jun. Gee this is addictive. 288K QT File

I must escalate to people outside of my company.

RSS 2.0 has an interesting feature called enclosures. It basically lets you have a link in your RSS feed that points to a media file or something so that you can download it in advance so it plays without having to wait for it when you get to it. It's moving blogging to be more "push" than "pull", but that's a good thing for big files. It certainly fits my blogging/browsing style and makes a lot of sense in the context of RSS.

See Chris Lydon's special RSS feed for a very good example. Currently, PopHeadlines (.Net), Radio (Windows, Mac) and VOX Lite (Windows) support enclosures.

UPDATE: ChrisDodo on #joiito just mentioned a point that I'd missed. The bandwidth issues. I guess the aggregators are going to have to be smart and allow you to filter stuff so you don't end up with tons and tons of media files hogging your bandwidth.

FCCster is "A P2P tool for sharing FrequenCy Control fallacies."

FCCster Operational Goals
Operational Goals
-- Using completely public tools, promote interoperability within the additional data channels to be found in the most accessible Wi-Fi pirate bands
-- Convince the telecom finance industry that businesses dependent on new spectrum auctions and allocations can never again generate positive investment returns
-- FCCster will not promote or condone illegal radio use but believes that its short-term inevitability creates an inescapable social responsibility to promote realism, education, and reform
They are trying to coordinate the development of pirate radio equipment to be interoperable. I'm not sure if this is necessarily the right approach to put pressure on the FCC and whether this is a "good thing." It is however pretty interesting and is probably as inevitable as music file sharing...

Neal Stephenson launches a Wiki to explain his new novel Quicksilver. Very cool.

via Boing Boing via Jeremy

As I was taking a shower this morning I did a self-analysis of my morning process which seems to be standardizing for the moment.

I become aware around 2am and start getting the feeling that something important might be going on that I'm missing. I crawl out of bed between 3am-4am, turn on my computer, go make coffee, and sit down, still a bit groggy. I startup email and NewNewsWire. I scan my inbox quickly for any urgent business email and take care of that while NetNewsWire is getting my RSS feeds. Then I go to the folder containing email from MT and read my trackbacks and comments on my blog. I respond to anything urgent there. Then flip over to NetNewsWire and scan the Technorati feed of new inbounds to my blog and read most of them. I comment on people's blogs where I can. Then I startup iChat and MSN Messenger to see if anyone needs me urgently. Then I chat and go through as many of the 150 RSS feeds as I can. I have the feeds ordered in different folders based on the order I want to read them. I open anything I might want to blog about into browser windows as I go through the feeds. Then I open IRC and see if anything important is going on in that community. Then I multi-task email, blogging, chat and RSS feeds until it's time to take a shower and go to work. Inevitably I think of something to blog while I'm taking a shower and end up here... a bit late for work, but trying to get the blog entry out. (And this inevitably ends up in a poorly written entry.)

I used to use the post to blog feature on NetNewsWire, but I've switched entirely to Kung-Log and copy paste from browsers because this seems to give me more control and context.

It feels like a big sync every morning. Then throughout the day, emails to my cell phone, quick hits of IRC, iChat, email and RSS keep me syched. If the morning sync fails, I find myself unable to keep up during the day...

I'd be interested to hear the way other people manage their blogging. I've watched over Cory's shoulder once and THAT was amazing...

A fascinating experiment

...in ideaviruses, permission marketing and cows.

Worth a look, regardless of your politics: whowillbeatbush.com

Very Seth. Very interesting. ;-)

Weird image that tricks your eyes and your mind...

On design media via Boris who just quit his job so he can blog on...

Dan Gillmor blogs about another person losing their job for blogging. Every HR person should read Halley's A Blogger In Their Midst and every PR person should read the cluetrain manifesto and every editor should read Dan's book when it comes out. There is definitely a rift between the "gets" and the "get nots". Having said that, "getting it" is non-trivial and I think we're inventing it as we go along. A lot of people will probably lose their jobs and many others will find new ones as we push the envelope.

I just hope my employees don't sue me for being stealth disco'ed.

When I was in New York, I met Britt Blaser and Josh Koenig. They came to the Six Apart meeting. They are both working on the Dean campaign and it was great talking to them. I had seen both of their names online and I tried to store their faces in the approximate location in my brain of where I thought I had remembered seeing them online. Then when I was reading an entry on Britt's blog about how much fun they were all having working on the campaign, I clicked thru to Josh and remembered Josh was Outlandish Josh. I was on the phone with David Kirkpatrick of Fortune yesterday so Fortune magazine was fresh in my mind. I remembered that I met someone at the Fortune conference in Aspen who was a "friend of Josh, Outlandish Josh." A few more synapses fired and now Josh has unique spot in my brain. The problem is, I remember people mostly by their first name and there are also Josh and Josh. There are way too many Daves and surely a lot of Ross's. Lots of neuronal name space collisions. On IRC people naturally pick nicknames so there are no name collisions and I find it convenient to remember and refer to people by their IRC nicknames. (Although it's a pain when they contain non alpha-numeric characters.)

I wonder if there is any way for social software to help me remember people and keep them sorted and in context in my brain... Maybe photo albums, my own blog and links to other blogs is maybe the best way. I wonder if I should make a search engine for my own blog instead of using Google so I can sort comments by person and display inbound and outbound links, link to Technorati ID's and other cool things. Maybe I can get Jibot to help...

Sifry has just added a new API call to Technorati called getinfo. It lets you get information that a blogger has made available about themselves on their blog like a link to their FOAF file, LOAF file or their GeoURL. The great thing about this is if you've claimed your blog, this is a verifiable way to link your Technorati ID with your blog. LOTS of amazing things this could enable... (There will be a quiz at the end.)

So... who's going to program jibot to retrieve people's Technorati info?

Here is how to get my getinfo http://api.technorati.com/getinfo?username=joichi

I just did my first stealth disco. Uploaded the 116K QT file. I'm SD'ing Jim aka mmdc and the video was taken by Adriaan aka ado.


I wish I had a G5 Mac... These guys have 1100...

Thanks Buridan!

Andrew Fried
I have been following the various threads relating to Verisign and wanted to make one comment that I feel has been missing. Simply put, I would like to publicly express my appreciation to Mr. Vixie for taking the time to add the "root-delegation-only" patch for Bind. I'm fairly new to NANOG, but I'm sure that others beside myself also feel a thank you is appropriate.
Andrew Fried, Senior Special Agent for the US Treasury Department posted this on the NANOG list regarding Verisign and the SiteFinder thing. Very cool that someone "patched" Bind to fix the "bug". Also very cool that someone like Andrew is speaking in his own voice in a public forum about this issue.

Via Boing Boing Via This demands work

Right on Gen. Rock on Funabashi-san. I met Yoichi Funabashi back in May 2000. He was getting started on the "make English Japan's second language" thing, which I was obviously extremely supportive of. ;-)

Yoichi Funabashi's a smart, balanced guy we should listen to who can speak/write in English. We should get this man a blog...

The British Government warns that the Atkins diet is a bad thing.

'Cutting out starchy foods, or any food group, can be bad for your health because you could be missing out on a range of nutrients,' the statement says. 'This type of diet also tends to be unrealistic and dull, and not palatable enough to be tolerated for a long time.'

It adds: 'High-fat diets are also associated with obesity, which is increasing in the UK. People who are obese are more likely to develop conditions such as diabetes and some cancers. Low-carb diets tend to be high in fat, too, and eating a diet that is high in fat could increase your chances of developing coronary heart disease.'

"Could be missing out on"? "unrealistic and dull"? "Associated with obesity"? Doesn't sound very scientific to me. Bah. I don't have a copy of the official report but sounds like FUD.

Via BuzzMachine

If I were Microsoft I would probably like micro-content and metadata. IE and the browser wars were the pits for them. They should hate html by now. Microsoft also hates Google. Google hates metadata. Google likes scraping html, mixing it with their secret sauce and creating the all-mighty page ranking. Anything that detracts value from this rocket science or makes things complicated for Google or easy for other people is probably a bad thing for Google.

If the Net started to look more and more like XML based syndication and subscriptions with lots of links in the feeds to metadata and other namespaces, it would be more and more difficult to create page ranking out of plain old html.

My guess is that Microsoft knows this and intends to be there when it happens instead of totally missing it at the beginning like when the Internet got started. I have a feeling they will embrace a lot of the open standards that we are creating in the blog space now, but that they will add their usual garbage afterwards in the name spaces and metadata so that at the end of the day it all turns funky and Microsoft.

Just a thought...

At the joint Social Entrepreneurs and Global Leaders for Tomorrow meeting in Geneva, I met Gillian Caldwell. She is a film maker and an attorney and the Executive Director of WITNESS.

Witness Mission Statement
WITNESS advances human rights advocacy through the use of video and communications technology. In partnership with more than 150 non-governmental organizations and human rights defenders in 50 countries, WITNESS strengthens grassroots movements for change by providing video technology and assisting its partners to use video as evidence before courts and the United Nations, as a tool for public education, and as a deterrent to further abuse. WITNESS also gives local groups a global voice by distributing their video to the media and on the Internet, and by helping to educate and activate an international audience around their causes.
This is incredibly important work. They are causing a great deal of impact already, but I think blogs could help increase their ability to reach a broader audience. This is such a great reason to figure out video blogging.

A very important message from Cory Doctorow about the broken process at the IEEE on electronic voting machine standardization. If you are an IEEE member or have influence at the IEEE you should read this.

The IEEE, normally the sobersided epitome of integrity and accountability, has had one of its standards-committees jump the tracks. The people who are writing the IEEE standard for voting machines have been doing their best to rig their deliberative process ot exclude input from non-vendors who want the standard to include performance metrics that will guard against electoral malfeasance. This is heavy stuff: the standard this committee produces will likely form the basis of the US goverment's voting-machine purchases (as well as those of governments abroad), and if there are holes in the standard today, they will be biting our democracies on the ass for decades. There's never been a clearer demonstration that "architecture is politics."

IEEE is better than this. If you're a member of the organization, please take a moment to read up on this disaster-in-the-making and then use the form at the EFF's action-center to write to the IEEE and ask them to investigate this -- before it's too late.

..instead of using this opportunity to create a performance standard, setting benchmarks for e-voting machines to meet with regards to testing the security, reliability, accessibility and accuracy of these machines, P1583 created a design standard, describing how electronic voting machines should be configured (and following the basic plans of most current electronic voting machines). Even more problematic, the standard fails to require or even recommend that voting machines be truly voter verified or verifiable, a security measure that has broad support within the computer security community.

To make matters worse, EFF has received reports of serious procedural problems with the P1538 and SCC 38 Committee processes, including shifting roadblocks placed in front of those who wish to participate and vote, and failure to follow basic procedural requirements.We've heard claims that the working group and committee leadership is largely controlled by representatives of the electronic voting machine vendor companies and others with vested interests.

Link

Reuters
VeriSign Sued Over Controversial Web Service
Thu September 18, 2003 09:13 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An Internet search company on Thursday filed a $100 million antitrust lawsuit against VeriSign Inc., accusing the Web address provider of hijacking misspelled and unassigned Web addresses with a service it launched this week.

I blogged earlier about SiteFinder and everyone agreed it was a "bad thing." VeriSign just got sued for it.

Thanks for the link Peggy!

Ahoy! Happy Talk LIke A Pirate Day!

Britt Blaser
I'm writing from Dean campaign headquarters in Burlington, VT with an urgent appeal.

The Howard Dean campaign is growing like a startup that's suddenly got hot. This IS a tech startup, and it needs 2 real pros yesterday.

I've attached descriptions from Harish Rao, IT Director.

If you know anyone qualified, or anyone who might find them, PLEASE contact Harish immediately. This campaign is at an inflection point. They may not pay much now, but there's a good chance it will turn into a VERY interesting 8 year gig.

They need a system administrator and a database administrator.

If you know someone qualified, contact Harish

I have 2 more meetings and I'm on my way back to Tokyo. It's been a hectic trip but a fun trip, but I'm glad to be headed home. In the last 2 weeks I've been to Geneva, Menorca, Barcelona, Boston, Wood Holes, New York, Detroit and San Francisco. I feel like a blog salesman. I remember walking through LaGuardia airport and not being able to remember what city I was in. It reminded me of some scene in some movie, but I can't remember the movie.

Thanks to everyone who helped make my trip a great one and apologizes to people I missed on this trip. See you all the next time around.

Mark Pilgrim (aka f8dy on #joiito) blogs that Dive Into Python is going to be published as a book. James Cox (aka imajes on #joiito) will be the editor. This is great news. Dive Into Python is how I learned Python. I've read several other tutorials, but Dive Into Python is the best I've seen. It's also interesting to note that f8dy and imajes met on #joiito. I was when I was reading Dive Into Python that I went to the #python on Freenode for help. This inspired me to start #joiito. Kind of circular karma. ;-)

David Isenberg, the author of the famous paper, The Rise of the Stupid Network has started a blog. This is excellent news.

So many people have already blogged this so I don't know who to attribute, but if you missed it, check out Stealth Disco. Stealth disco is when you take video tape yourself or someone rocking and grooving near someone who can't see you doing it. It started as a prank between employees at an ad agency in Chicago called Cramer-Krasselt.
A post by Antipixel on how to take a bath in Japan. A must read for anyone visiting Japan who wishes to enjoy one of the few great Japanese assets, our hot springs.
dejah420@MetaFilter
Verisign modifies the infrastructure of the net to point back to themselves. Verisign has rigged all .com and .net mistyped domains to reroute to their branded search page. This makes them effectively the biggest cybersquatter on the net, and will make it impossible for most spam filters at the network level to operate as well as seriously complicating the lives of network administrators everywhere. posted by dejah420 at 8:07 PM PST
I wonder if someone at Verisign thought this was a clever hack. It's stupid stuff like this that makes it very clear to everyone that Verisign is in a position to abuse their power.

Although the Republican National Committee denies it, The Business Standard in India reports that the Republicans are outsourcing campaign fund-raising to India. The new law in the US allows people to opt out of telemarketing from everyone except political parties and non-profits. If the RNC is outsourcing to India, I guess it leaves only the Democrats and non-profits for people who make a living in telemarketing. Bummer.

Jobs are created when the economy grows; the economy grows when Americans have more money to spend and invest; and the best and fairest way to make sure Americans have that money is not to tax it away in the first place.
I didn't realize that Bush was talking about jobs in India. (I personally don't have anything against creating jobs in India...)

Via David Weinberger Via Michael O'Connor Clarke

I received a link from Chris to a fanimutation called Irrational Exuberance by Veloso at verylowsodium.com. It's very funny. It's a flash animation over the Happatai song "Yatta!". Max and James turned me on to "Yatta!" When I saw them in May at FiRe. Happatai are a group of Japanese comedians who released a song back in April 2001 called "Yatta!". It's a very silly song with silly lyrics and a video of them dancing around with no clothes and just a fig leaf. The weird thing about this is that it was slightly funny when it came out in Japan, but the mpeg video of this has been zooming around the Internet in the US and has developed small cult following. this fanimutation by Veloso is just another "derivative work" of "Yatta!" I wonder if this is an example of Japan's Gross National Cool export. Maybe I should contact them and see if they will release the rights for these fanimutations since they are clearly increasing their popularity in the US. ;-)

Flash animations over popular or weird songs or "fanimutations" are becoming a funky new art form. People seem to encourage sharing of the flash code. They are another example of a new form of "art" like mashups that aren't really feasible under traditional copyright/licensing. Mixing, sharing and attribution are at the core of this new subculture. If you go to the sites, you'll notice that people go to great lengths to link and attribute.

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, olny taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pcleas. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by ilstef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Via Markoff Via Jerry

UPDATE: I noticed that the title of this post is grammatically incorrect. It should be "The ordering of the letters doesn't matter" or something. The irony is that my blog renders my permalinks from my titles, so I can't correct it without breaking people's links. The first entry I've ever written about linguistics will be permanently grammatically incorrect. ;-p

We're going to be meeting at Push Café instead of Madison Square Park today because it looks like it's going to rain. Still from 2pm-4pm. See you there.

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Went to Ryuichi Sakamoto's place yesterday. I don't get to see him very often since he moved from Tokyo back to New York. Ryuichi is one of my favorite musician/activists and is a great inspiration to me. He's very smart and is called kyoju (professor in Japanese) by his friends and is always thinking and studying. He's an outspoken anti-war activist and an environmentalist. I met Ryu Murakami through Ryuichi. Ryuichi was also responsible for getting me involved with the effort to invite the Dalai Lama to Japan. (They are good friends.)

The last time I saw him, we were both using Windows machines and this time we both had 15" Powerbooks. I showed off TraktorDJStudio and gave my blogging spiel. Ryuichi has a cool web page and is on a blog called codeblog but I tried to convince him to dive into it himself and get the full blown blogging community experience. I walked him through the tools and my favorite sites. Ryuichi sends out emails to a list several times a week with his thoughts on the environment and war and I think that having a strong voice in the blog space would be really cool for him.

I also got to see Sora-san and Neo again. The last time I saw Neo, he was still a little kid. It made me feel old seeing him so big. ;-)

Martin Nisenholtz, CEO - New York Times Digital
Met Martin Nisenholtz and Catherine Levene of New York Times Digital yesterday. Martin is the CEO of NYTd and Catherine is the VP of Strategy & Business Development. Martin and Catherine are the two behind the NYT RSS feed for Userland. I was expecting to have to go through my usual song and dance about blogging, but I realized quickly that I was preaching to the choir and that they already "got it". We quickly switched gears to talking about what happens next. We talked about the impact of blogging on democracy and journalism as well as the technology of blogging. It was really a treat to talk to professional journalists who were thinking seriously about blogging. The New York Times is lucky to have these two and I hope they are successful in truly digitalizing the New York Times.

Won't it be great when media like the New York Times can work with bloggers and allow things that percolate up through the blogs make it into the New York Times? I think that a combination of real sources in some of the hard to reach areas of the world together with NGO bloggers and other caring enthusiasts could really help media like the New York Times reach out further and get around the resource constraint issues that Richard Smith of Newsweek talked about in Geneva. In addition, finding and pointing to voices like Salam Pax in other parts of the world can help people in attaching a personal perspective and maybe get people to care more about far away cultures.

Thanks for the intro Markoff!


Tom Coates has a friend (Simon Waldman) who found an old copy of Home and Gardens with an interview with Hitler. Very cool. I wonder if someone will mirror it before it gets taken down. ;-)

Brianna - 12
I am sorry for what I have done. I love music and don't want to hurt the artists I love.
So says a 12 year old girl after she is sued by the RIAA for sharing music on the Internet.
Nice job RIAA.

I was sitting next to Cory yesterday. Today I'm sitting next to David Weinberger. When I sit next to someone, I sit around and read their blog, inevitably leading to finding something interesting on the blog that I need to blog about. Obvious, but interesting on this warm, balmy day.

I hereby name AKMA the executor of my site. When I die, my heirs will pay all reasonable expenses (up to $30/year) to keep my site publicly available as well as a small stipend to AKMA to prune the hedges and scrub the grafitti off every now and then.
I hereby declare the same.

AKMA, maybe you should start a business...

Had an interesting breakfast discussion with David Weinberger and a few others about copyright. I seem to be having more and more heated debates about copyright these days and the more I become familiar with the arguments of old-school copyright guys, the more frustrated I become. As Lessig often says, we're not saying that there shouldn't be copyright or that artists should not be paid. The issue is that the current copyright framework and more importantly, the corporations who are currently entrusted with the task of managing these copyrights are dysfunctional. We need to fundamentally restructure the business of creating and being paid for creating artistic works and it's likely that this business doesn't involve record companies.

The Internet has the potential to greatly enhance and enrich our culture, but old-school copyright people are trying to make their controls even stronger than the real world. The important point is to talk about the commons and the public, not about protecting the "rights" of the custodians of the "files". At one level, we're all conduits passing inspiration and knowledge from the past to the future by re-mixing, rendering and editing things that inspire us in ways that will inspire others. Talking about copyright is talking about the files. We should be talking about how to increase the commons and enrich culture. THAT's not about the files, it's about the the commons.

Inspired by David's blog entry.

CNN
BREAKING NEWS

State Department warns of "increased indications" that al Qaeda is preparing attacks on U.S. interests to coincide with 9/11 anniversary. Details soon.

Ahh... OK. What do I? Run away?

Thanks for the link Gabe

UPDATE: More details on State Department warning on CNN.

Reuters
Report: Dean Asks Wesley Clark to Join Campaign

Thu September 11, 2003 01:47 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has asked former NATO commander Wesley Clark to join his campaign if Clark does not run himself and the two have discussed the vice presidency, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

This is good news. I'd love to see this duo in the Whitehouse.

I saw Wesley Clark at Brainstorm and at FiRE and was really impressed by him. I wonder if he's going to accept the offer...

Thanks for the link Jerry

Christopher Lydon and I had a discussion this morning. He's posted the audio file on his blog. Chris and I totally "clicked".

Chris is originally a radio talk show host on public radio who moved to the Internet. I'm honored to be on his interviewee roll. He's a great example of audio blogging and is pushing the envelop. It's great seeing more and more professionals like Chris embracing the medium.

I'd originally heard about Chris from Dave, and he's as cool as advertised. Check out his site. He's putting a voice behind a lot of the bloggers which adds another dimension to our identities online.

UPDATE: I asked Chris to talk the radio show he used to have on NPR

Christopher Lydon
Mary McGrath and I made a little radio miracle. We called it The Connection and public stations in 75 American cities picked it up. It was two hours every day of ridiculously energetic call-in conversation about everything--starting with politics, books, poetry, music, philosophy, fantasy, humor. We had a short-story writing context, and a haiku contest. Toni Morrison, Yo-Yo Ma, Norman Mailer, Salman Rushdie, Yevtushenko, Seamus Heaney, Seiji Ozawa, Bill Clinton imitators, E. O. Wilson--you name them; the most interesting people in American life made our show their gymasium, and loved it. Somebody said: you treat your guests like callers and your callers like guests. When NPR came around to syndicate the show two years ago, we told the producing station we wanted a stake. The station signed the NPR deal without mention of us, then threw us out of the building. It was ugly, a custody fight, really, over a child we'd raised to glory together. They cut the baby in half. Mary and I will make another miracle yet.

The Hungarian immigrant known as the "father of the H-bomb" died at his home on the Stanford University campus in California Tuesday. Link

I remember interviewing Edward Teller for a high school paper that I was writing about the A-Bomb. I remember my teacher not believing that I had actually interviewed him. We knew him because he was a good friend of the company that my parents and later I worked for, ECD. He had written a book about atomic power which was ready to go to print. He heard about the solar technology we were working on at ECD. He had discounted solar energy in the book, but he came to visit ECD to make sure he was right. After we convinced him that we were further ahead in solar technology than he thought, he stopped the press and changed his comments in his book. His integrity with respect to scientific facts was very impressive, even if I didn't agree with his politics.

I also had the opportunity to talk to him several times over the years and found him to be a very curious, neotenous, genius who had made a choice to build the H-Bomb based on his fear of the Russians based on his experience. I will miss him.

Sun Microsystems chief scientist Bill Joy said yesterday he is leaving the company. Link
Holy Shit!

I had just talked to Bill about his job when I saw him in Aspen...

note to self: call Bill and ask him what he's doing next

After drinks with Tom and Halley, I crashed the Bloggercon meeting that Halley was going to at the Berkman Center. Dave and his team were putting the final touches onto the program which looked pretty cool. I agreed to participate in a session about managing a community on Day 2 which is free. I don't see it on the page yet, so maybe it's not decided.

I had imagined the Berkman Center as a big huge building, but it was actually a small nifty house. Dave Winer, Jim Moore and Christopher Lydon were there with a bunch of other cool people. It was nice seeing Dave and Jim again and It was cool meeting Chris for the first time. I'd heard about Chris from Dave and we decided to do an interview the next day.

Andrew McLaughlin a fellow GLT was also there who had just been talking to Ethan, who I had just met in Geneva and had just blogged about. Small world... Anyway. You had to be there....


Just posted some pictures from my trip to Menorca. It was a "retreat" after the GLT summit for the lucky few of us who decided to accept Martin's gracious offer to join him at his farm on Menorca. Thanks again for your hospitality Martin and thanks to everyone else for the stimulating conversation.

Had lunch with Halley Suitt of Halley's Comment and drinks later with Halley and Thomas A. Stewart, the editor of the Harvard Business Review. Halley had recently written a piece for the HBR called "A Blogger in Their Midst" as a fictional case study. The story features "Glove Girl" (who reminds me a lot of Gnome Girl) who is a blogger in a big medical supplies company. Glove Girl is blogging without permission of the company and her voice becomes very influential. The management of the company is posed with both the benefit of an increase in sales and visibility through Glove Girl and the risk of her honest and sometimes critical voice.

David Weinberger, Pamela Samuelson, Ray Ozzie and Erin Motameni comment.

It's a great article and summarized what will probably happen in almost any company where the CEO is to busy to "get it" while the employees begin to discover blogging. At Groove, Ray Ozzie does and amazing job of allowing people to blog, but defining a policy for it. I think management in any company should be trying to "figure this out" as soon as possible and this article is a good place to start.

Unfortunately the HBR is not online. I heard there was a unauthorized copy of the article online, but I don't have link. Halley found out about it, but didn't link to it. It is obviously a moral dilemma. My feeling would be to let the digital version out. The cartoons/illustrations are with $16.95 so you should buy the paper copy anyway. It's "a bad thing" that we can link to it and talk about it online.


I'm in the Barcelona airport now. I'm sorry I haven't blogged anything substantive recently. I'm on my way to Boston. I'll try to think of something interesting on the plane.

See you tomorrow!

I'll be leaving in a bit to go to a retreat on Menorca where I don't think I will have access to the Net. I'll hopefully be back online in Barcelona on Monday. See you then...

Ethan Zuckerman is the founder of geekcorps.

A US-based, non-profit organization, we place international technical volunteers in developing nations. We contribute to local IT projects while transferring the technical skills needed to keep projects moving after our volunteers have returned home.
Ethan's a GLT and one of the few blog savvy GLT's here. We've both evangelizing weblogs like crazy this trip. Ethan works a lot in developing nations and we talked about how to get technology to developing nations and how blogs could help get more coverage for issues in developing nations since the mass media tends to underreport them. One important part is to make them feel more culturally "close" in the way Salam Pax created a voice for Baghdad in the blogging community. We need more African bloggers. The other thing is to for other bloggers to understand and blog more about things going on in other parts of the world.

Ethan pointed me to a great resource for news about Africa, allAfrica.com. I think I'll start here...

Mena
Gathering at Madison Square Park

As part of our first trip to New York City, we are inviting everyone to join us in Madison Square Park, right near the Flatiron Building in Manhattan, on Saturday September 13th from 2pm to 4pm. Of course, it being New York City, Anil will be there, and our good friend and partner Joi Ito has promised to show up as well.

The second workshop I attended was "The Creative Edge: How Do You Maintain it?" run by Miha Pogacnik, the Cultural Ambassador for The Republic of Slovenia. Miha, violin in hand, deconstructed a Bach Fugue passage by passage. He explained the musical elements and got us to really hear each transition. Then he created a narrative while scribbling on paper the image. It started with a tough command/control image (teenage feelings), pressure, dropping out, networking and communicating, love, chaos (middle age crisis), breaking through, questioning, returning to identity, rising up and finally rebirth and integration. It was really beautiful. I'd never had music deconstructed, much less such a wonderful narrative. I'll never listen to Bach or any other classical music piece in the same way.

I found that these images of the various phases were very useful in thinking about the transitions in my life. The idea of chaos, breaking away, questioning and returning back to my identity resonated with me a great deal. This process also reminded me of Chungliang Al Huang's Tai Ji class that I took where he helped us understand how there were a variety of types of energy and learning how to move between and transform the variety of energies helped you build your own energy and identity.

Good stuff.

Lou Marinoff, who I first met at Davos did the session on Wisdom. Lou is the one who convinced me to learn more about the Soka Gakkai and someone who I've grown to respect a great deal. This was the first organized session with Lou that I'd ever attended and it was truly great.


Here is the outline of the workshop:

  1. The ABSs of Virtue: Aristotle, Budha and Confucius
    • The cardinal virtues: Courage, Temperance, Justice, Wisdom
    • The pace of virtue in the global village
  2. Linkage with Richard Olivier's and Miha Pogacnik's workshops
    • Courage is implicated in leadership
    • Temperance is implicated in creativity
  3. Focus on Justice and Wisdom
    • Justice: doing the right thing at the right time
    • Wisdom: understanding what is right
  4. Eleven ways of being right
    • Main strengths and weaknesses of contending ethical systems

He started out the session by telling us that Plato thought a lot about the definition of what is Good and couldn't answer it. The idea was that if you could figure out what was Good you could determine what was Right. After you could judge what was Right, Justice could be rendered.

Aristotle said that Virtue is the Golden Mean between two extremes. It was all about balance. "Rational" comes from "ratio". The idea was to triangulate from two extremes of vice. For example, Courage is the mean between cowardice and rashness.

Buddha said that Virtue is the practice of the Middle Way. Temperance means neither Abstention nor over-indulgence but rather, moderation.

Confucius said that Virtue is the application of the Tao (the Way), striving for balance and harmony.

Hegel talked about transcendence which means to simultaneously negate and preserve. For instance, someone who is courageous becomes independent of his/her nationality, religion, ethnicity, gender, etc. while at the same time allowing the person not to renounce his/her nationality, religion, ethnicity, gender, etc. This is true of all virtues.

The main philosophical task confronting inhabitants of the global village in the 21st century is to transcend their most lethal, destructive and counter-productive differences. The inculcation of virtues conducive to this end requires global education reform. Such reform is much less costly, and much more longer-lasting than every form of coercion. Neither sovereign governments, nor organized religions, nor academic institutions, are able to bear sufficient responsibility for supporting or implementing global educational reform. this responsibility falls to global business interests, to the WEF, and to the philosophical practitioners on the ground.

Then came the Eleven Way of Being Right.
  1. deontology - rules tell us what is right and wrong
  2. teleology - The end justifies (or sanctifies) the means
  3. virtue ethics - goodness comes from virtues, which are like habits
  4. humanistic existentialism - what we choose to do determines what we value
  5. nihilistic existentialism - "God is dead." And we killed him. So all moral bets are off.
  6. analytic ethics - "Goodness" cannot be defined or analyzed
  7. correlative ethics - every right entails an obligation, and vice-versa
  8. sociobiology - ideas of "right" and "wrong" are motivated by our genes
  9. feminist ethics - women have different moral priorities: e.g. ethics of caring
  10. legal moralism - if it's legal, it's ethical
  11. meta-ethical relativism - each situation has its own unique ethical dimension

  12. We discussed the relative merits and weaknesses of each of these ethical systems. Lou also pointed out that there were MANY more, but these eleven were a good place to start. The idea was to try to get to justice. Justice being defined as doing the right thing at the right time. Lou also pointed out that many people like the notion of doing the greatest good for the greatest number. Turing and other pointed out that this utilitarian method was inherently flawed because one can not maximize a problem for two variables. You could strive to cause the greatest good or strive to affect the greatest number, but not both. Interesting perspective...

    After we had these eleven ways of being right in our heads, we were told to identify a moral dilemma. We broke off into small groups and using these ethical models we tried to argue both for and against our solution to the problem and tried to justify the solution. It was a really interesting exercise and I found that the ability to discuss moral dilemmas with this framework made them MUCH easier to understand.

    If my classes in college had been like this, I wouldn't have dropped out.

The first panel was Richard M. Smith, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek moderating a panel of Newsweek coorespondents. The Panel was Stryker McGuire, the European Editor and London Bureau Chief, Joshua Hammer, the Jerusalem Bureau Chief and Richard Wolffe, the Diplomatic Correspondent in Washington DC.

I first met Richard Smith at the Sony Open Forum where his insights on what would happen if we went into Iraq was in hind-sight very accurate. I met Richard again at the Japan dinner at Davos this year. Richard is one of the most balanced, articulate and friendly newsmagazine editors I've ever met and I'm always impressed by his candor and insight.

The panel was really great. It was a very frank discussion on a variety of issues ranging from American politics, the Middle East to Tony Blair. One notable thing was that when I asked about the role of blogs and amateur journalism with a small "j", I think everyone acknowledged their existence and their importance, but probably thought of them still in the context of email feedback, etc. and didn't really "get" blogging. I cornered Richard afterwards and made him promise to spend time with me to let me go through blogging in more detail with him.

One very interesting thing that came up was the issue of the lack of coverage of important issues in "not so important" parts of the world. Richard discussed the difficult job that he has of trying on the one hand to provide news that people were interested in while at the same time trying to report on issues that were important that people did not feel were important to them. There was a discussion about how the further away culturally people were from you, the less likely you would "care" about them. Since most of the readers of Newsweek were in developed nations, Israel obviously "felt" more important to them than say, Africa. Having said that, Newsweek has reported more on Africa than most major US press. Listening to Richard talk about these decisions reminded me of the struggle that all politicians face -- need to gain public support on the one hand, while on the other having the moral obligation to push forward important policies that were either unpopular or seemed unimportant to most people.

Obviously, I believe blogs can play a huge role here and I've decided to learn more about issues in Africa so I can blog about them.

Today is the third and final day of the World Economic Forum Global Leaders for Tomorrow Annual Summit. This is one of my favorite events of the year and this year is the best one so far. This annual summit is a meeting dedicated to the GLT's. The GLT's are 100 people under the age of 37 from all over the world in a variety of fields who are chosen by the Forum every year. They are invited to the annual meeting in Davos, but also to this special summit in Geneva in the fall. Davos is pretty hectic and the staff are very busy with the main program so it a bit difficult to focus. This annual summit is great because the only the GLT's are here and the participants are the active members of the last 5 "classes" of GLT's. It's a great way to meet a huge variety of really interesting people you'd never get a chance to meet. Also, since you get back together every year for 5 years, you get to build a fairly special relationship with some of the other members.

The sessions so far have been great. I attended a workshop on wisdom and one on creativity. I'll blog about them in a few minutes.

Today, we're going to spend the morning with the Social Entrepreneurs. They chose eleven social entrepreneurs for 2004. "The eleven were chosen as outstanding examples of people who have identified practical solutions to social problems by combining innovation, resourcefulness and opportunity. Whether their organizations are constituted as ‘for profit’ or ‘not-for-profit’, their primary goal is social value creation."

I know all of this sounds a bit "exclusive" and I guess it is. However, It's amazingly valuable to me and I think potentially a very good thing. Building ties with people in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia. I come away feeling personally responsible for issues that I never thought concerned me. When Bill Clinton talked about poverty, Africa and the Middle East in his speech, it was impressive, but when you realize you have friends there who are working, struggling, fighting, the issues become much "closer to home."

I'm off to Geneva today to attend the World Economic Forum Global Leaders for Tomorrow Annual Summit. After that, I'm off to Menorca for a retreat, then off to a Boston via Barcelona. One night in Boston and off to another retreat nearby. I'm dropping by New York for the weekend and off to ECD in Michigan. Two nights in Michigan and off to SF for 24 hours and back here again. I feel like a UUCP email message. Apologies in advance to people I will be missing this trip. It's a pretty hectic trip and I'm already tired just looking at my schedule which is nicely booked in 1-2 hour meetings for the whole trip without a single party... I hope to make a more leisurely trip to the US with more party time soon.

I recently received email from Bruce Schneier. It was my first interaction with Bruce. He introducing himself, said that he occasionally reads my blog and requested a response to a request from me. I responded and received no reply. I've sent him several emails since then, but haven't gotten any response.

I don't know Bruce well, but from the tone of the email, he seemed anxious to get a response to me about his request. With all of the spam SNAFU these days, I have no idea if my email is getting through. I am left with a weird feeling not being sure whether he's busy or my email has disappeared. Email is truly broken.

So Bruce. if you're reading this please let me know if you got my email or not. If someone who knows Bruce well is reading this, can you ask him?

Two of my emails to ado got blocked by SpamAssassin today. According to him SpamAssassin message, my server was an open relay. I asked about this on #joiito and crysflame pointed to an article that explains that Osirusoft which Spam Assassin uses to check for open relays is broken. "Apparently, after having been DDOS'ed, the Osirusoft people have 'given up the ghost' and are now returning back every IP as a spam source when queried!"

So if you want to get mail from me, please reconfigure SpamAssassin as explained on the use PERL; site.

UPDATE: µthe inquirer has an article about this.

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