Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I just talked to Dan Gillmor who installed the new Quicktime 7.0.1 upgrade and looks like it has broken the OS. He was running Tiger with a pretty vanilla install. Now it won't get past the end of the boot screen. This is a warning to anyone who is thinking about doing the upgrade. I would wait until there is more news.

Any information about this new upgrade would be greatly appreciated.

UPDATE: Dan's the only one I've talked to who has had this problem so it's probably an isolated incident. Sorry about the false alarm. Wanted to get word out just in case. It seems like it is safe to do the upgrade although I'm going to wait until I get home today.

UPDATE 2: Markoff calls this "Gillmor luck".

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I just got back from a short trip to Yongsan with Dan Gillmor. Yongsan is one of two electronics districts in Seoul. One of the larger buildings full of shops was closed for some reason and there weren't very many shoppers around. This made walking around easier, but probably didn't give us the full effect. In Tokyo, we have an electronics district called Akihabara which many people compare Yongsan to. There were more similarities than I expected, but some differences. I found in Yongsan, and Seoul in general, places are more spacious than the equivalent areas in Japan. Shops generally seemed cleaner and the districts a bit better organized than in Akihabara. Speaking of smells, many of the smells oddly familiar from Tokyo, although there were some different ones. One thing which contributed to the difference in smells was that there were food markets such as fresh vegetables and grilled meats interspersed in the market, which Akihabara doesn't have.

Dan was prowling for cheap memory, but either because we didn't bargain, or because we didn't know where to look, we didn't find any.

It was a lot of fun, but it would probably have been more fruitful with a seasoned guide. I would say that overall, there were maybe more shops than Akihabara, but a bit less diversity. (We didn't see a single Macintosh.) Having said that, I'm not sure we were able to explore the whole thing so my view may not be accurate.

Listening to Open Source Radio right now. Excellent...

Daniel Lubetzky @ One Voice
International Campaign Against Extremism

After a successful pilot in Chicago with talks at four universities, OneVoice decided to roll out this fall an International Education program. The program aims to counteract polarization on campuses and communities worldwide - sending Israeli and Palestinian OV representatives with nationalist credentials from each side to college campuses plagued with divisions. They will discuss OV's work and methodology and expose students and community leaders to the imperative alternative of working together pragmatically to support their leaders' quest towards conflict resolution.

The program was conceived after the realization that extremist groups pervade outside the region even though they are out of whack with mainstream Israelis and Palestinians. Over the past couple years, destructive campaigns aimed at de-legitimizing Israel through divestment campaigns or at dehumanizing all Palestinians as terrorists have been corrosive. Hopefully as audiences hear the visions and ambitious of the people living with the consequences, extremists will be exposed as false messiahs that are not helping the cause of their people.

We had a debate on IRC yesterday about whether moderate voices can win over extremists. The discussion started from my post referring to extremists in Japan and Korea, but the discussion lead to a discussion about extremists in the Israeli Palestinian conflict. There was a very convincing argument made that the extremists have won and the aggression is now supported by the majority, therefore fighting until surrender was the only alternative. The idea of trying to fight against extremism was written off as naive. I am not an expert in the Israeli Palestinian conflict, but whenever I hear about what Daniel Lubetzky and One Voice is doing, I have hope. I have hope that the voice of the reason can bring peace without fighting each other to the death. It also brings me hope that we can resolve conflicts in our regions by connecting people and fighting against extremism in all of our countries.

I agree that it is not just the extremists who harbor bad thoughts or engage in bad acts, but they are usually the source of the polarization and try to keep education and communication of the main stream from moving forward.

I just heard an excellent presentation by Krishna Bharat of Google News. He explained how Google News works. It basically crawls news sites, finds "story clusters", ranks the sources, figures out how prominently each source is running the story, figures out whether its a big story or a little story, figures out geographic references, and builds the pages for the various geographic and language editions. He was talking to an audience of editors so there were many questions about how the "editing" process worked and many people couldn't seem to believe it was algorithmic. Some people seemed afraid that Google News would replace them. The point that he made and was clear from the process that he explained is that it uses the decisions that the editors of the various media make about what story to run and where in deciding how important a story was. It was basically aggregating the decisions of the editors, not replacing them. Without the editors and the "front page process" Google News couldn't decide what story to lead with. At least in its current form.

The derivative conclusion you can come to is that Google News is just amplifying or reinforcing systemic biases in MSM editorial and NOT helping to address these issues. I think this make Google News very news media friendly and also provides an opportunity for bloggers and projects like Global Voices to still have a very important role. I guess that if Google New started incorporating more of the alternative press, they could shift the bias.

During the discussion, Dan Gillmor pressed Krishna for more transparency on the algorithm and the list of sources and I seconded the motion.

Some good notes of the sessions on the editors blog.