Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I heard an interesting theory that I'd love for any Japan experts to confirm or debunk. Apparently, during the drafting of the Japanese constitution, the phrase "freedom of the press" was proposed by the US team. This was a big problem for Japan which had never really allowed any free speech. Instead of translating it as "freedom of the press" in terms of free speech they changed the meaning to freedom of "printing press" sort of press.

Later, there was a movement to prevent consolidation of power in press, but instead of making meaningful unbundling, the then Minister of Communications, Kakuei Tanaka, reinterpreted this initiative and broke up the licenses for local newspapers and TV to be delineated by prefecture (voting units) and made sure that the media in each prefecture was owned by someone affiliated with the ruling party. They also allowed the newspapers to own the television allowing the state (the ruling party) to essentially control the media.

Things are of course changing, but if this is true, this does explain a lot about the Japanese media...

For one of the last resolutions of the ICANN board meeting, Vint asked the board to show their support by swaying back and forth in their seat. He promised to explain it later, but wasn't able to. Therefore, I believe it is my role in the interest of transparency, to explain the reference.

Last night Veni told us a joke.

Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev are on a train heading towards communism.

Suddenly the conductor says, "Oh noes! There are no rails left. We can not move on."

Lenin says, "no problem, Saturday is Lenin day and we will all work for free and cut down trees and build the rails."

Then Stalin says, "no, we must find out whose fault this is and kill them."

Khrushchev disagrees and says, "no, we can plant corn in the fields, sell the corn to the American and we can buy the railroad."

Brezhnev says, "no, we must all sit in the train and sway back and forward so we have the appearance of forward motion towards communism."

Finally Gorbachev stands up and says, "Comrandes, you don't understand the modern times. There is a new spirit of glasnost and perestroika. We need more transparency. We need more openness." At this point, he opens the windows and starts shouting, "there are no rails! There are no rails!"

After the joke, we tried replacing communism with new gTLD's and discussed which board members were like which Russian leaders...

Bret blogs about the vote.

I've been deleting a ton of comment spam from this spammer recently. I took a moment to read it and realized that it is, in a nutshell, a kind of weirdly poetic rendering of the state of the Internet today.
cleavage He stared at the clock in the dashboard instead <a href="http://www.backgamm0n.com">backgammon</a> [url=http://www.backgamm0n.com]backgammon[/url] Hi Marty!.
Maybe I'm just punch from too many long meetings...

I'm at the Wellington ICANN Meeting and the public forum is just about to begin. There is a webcast. I'm sitting next to fellow board member Susan Crawford who has blogged in more depth about this meeting.

Wikia is the for-profit wiki company founded by Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. They announced their raise today. I invested as an angel investor and will be serving on the board. Wikia will be using and contributing to the MediaWiki wiki platform that Wikipedia uses, but will provide free hosting for people who want to use the Wikia for special interests and topics. The content will be GFDL licensed. See the press release for more information.