Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Nukastir
Nukazuke is a type of Japanese traditional pickling that requires a special kind of mash that is made from rice husks and a number of other ingredients. This mash is called nukamiso. Some nukamiso is very old and it requires a special touch and constant mixing to maintain the special flavor. Vegetables are typically stuck in the nukamiso overnight or for the day.

I wrote a Nukamiso guide was which I last updated in April 1999. Since then, I have moved twice and in the process, killed my poor nukamiso. My original nukamiso seeded from three 50 year old nukamiso's and a 25 year old nukamiso, two from Kyoto and two from Tokyo. Killing it was an unforgivable sin. Since then, Mizuka and I have felt so guilty, that it took a lot of courage to decide to start up again. The trigger was receiving a batch of the best eggplant nukamiso that I've ever had. The container contained a healthy amount of the nukamiso in addition to the eggplant and the instructions suggested that you could seed your nukamiso with this. We tried some vegetables from our garden and it was excellent, so we went and got a cedar tub today.

In the past, we lived in western houses so one of the challenges was keeping the nukamiso as cold as possible in the summer. This was partially the cause of the demise of our last nukamiso. This time, we now live in a traditional Japanese house has an opening to the space under the kitchen. Japanese houses typically store pickles and other things that need to stay cool in this space. Unlike doing nukamiso from purchased vegetables, we will be able to feed our nuka-chan with fresh home grown veggies.

I just Flickr'd some of the pictures.


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Chris Anderson has an interesting article about the massive parallel culture on the Internet in the context of the Long Tail. He posted the picture Anil wearing the Goatse t-shirt in the New York Times interview as an example. I was looking at the list and one that I had somehow missed was "More Cowbell". (It's sort of the opposite of stealth disco.) Thanks to Google, I was able to find a video of the original skit. (The link to the mp3 on The Cowbell Project page was broken.)

The Contagious Media Showdown targets this genre, but I wonder what it is that ends up becoming a pandemic in its virality. I guess it's something that is sort of stupid, but gets funnier and funnier the more you repeat it.

I think that the "shared culture" aspect of it is important. It has to be simple (stupid) enough so that almost anyone will think it's funny or at least silly. I notice this with topics on blogs as well. Deep and well researched posts will often receive thoughtful comments, but it's the short 3-paragraph form that seems to consistently be the most read and linked. I don't think it's necessarily a good trend, but it's sort of the blog version of the TV sound-bite - the attention-span of the average blog reader.

I know that a lot of people sit around and think about memes a lot so I may be treading old ground, but I think it's interesting that non-geeks are getting sucked in and these shared ideas create some sort of community bonding that moves faster and at a larger scale than in the past, but still remains nichey and obscure...

UPDATE: Noticed the Wikipedia Cowbell entry has a reference to this skit.

Sorry about the light blogging around here. I had to take a short-notice trip to the US and was away for awhile... but another major distraction has been World of Warcraft. Although I love video games, I had banned them from my life because I decided I didn't have time for them. However, I decided I needed to try one of the new multi-user games myself for *cough* research.

Anyway, I'm playing now if anyone wants to hook up. I'm on the North American World of Warcraft in the Khadgar realm. I'm a Gnome/Mage and my name is Vfd.

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At the Internet Association Japan meeting yesterday, the folks from Impress gave a summary of their 10th annual Internet survey.

Impress 2005 Internet White Paper
There are 32,244,000 broadband households which is 36.2%.

There are 70,072,000 Internet users.

72.5% of people have heard of blogs, up from 39% last year.

25% of women in their teens and 20's have blogs.

9.5% of Internet users use RSS Readers.

46.5% of Internet users have decreased spending in physical shops because of online shopping.

29.6% of offices have wifi up from 10.7% last year.

2.8% of companies have corporate blogs and over 50% express no intention of ever having corporate blogs.

5.5% of companies have corporate web pages for mobile phone users.

I took notes based on a verbal presentation so there could be some mistakes. If anyone notices any, please let me know.

UPDATE: PDF of press release summary of white paper. (includes charts / Japanese)

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing Blog
Daily video of a geeky dancer in his living room

Daily Dancer is a site where a geek video-records himself dancing to a different song every day and posts it. Jamal recommends starting with the Fett's Vette boogie, on the basis of its laudable Star Wars Kid reference, and I concur.

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Some day people will look back and try to understand.