Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

chinathumb
China Photos
via Reuters
The New York Times has an interesting story about the rowdy anti-Japanese crowds at the recent Asian Cup soccer match in China between China and Japan.
The New York Times
"Kill! Kill! Kill!" the Chinese fans yelled. Or, echoing a patriotic song from another era, they shouted, roughly: "May a big sword chop off the Japanese heads!"
What's surprising is not that there were anti-Japanese sentiments, but that the article asserts that such sentiments are on the rise. According to the article, "... increasingly, the most strident criticism of Japan now comes from a generation born long after the end of the war, which in China is known as the War of Resistance against Japan." My impression is that most of the anti-Chinese sentiment in Japan is fueled by people like Governor Ishihara of Tokyo who remember the war, and not young post-war Japanese. (UPDATE: Mizuka just told me that there were a bunch of right-wing Japanese demonstrating in Kasumigaseki yesterday and they were mostly young.) There is a revisionist movement in Japan, but I have heard only 0.3% of school actually ended up using the controversial revised texts and the movement is considered a failure. However, I don't have a good sense of whether anti-Chinese sentiments are increasing or decreasing, but they are clearly here as I've blogged about in the past.

The "new anti-Japanese" in China represent a bad trend. At the Brainstorm conference in 2002, I heard Shimon Peres say, "What can you learn from History? Very little... History was written with red ink, wth bloodshed. We should educate our children how to imagine, not how to remember." I think his words are extremely relevant.

The article also quotes a Mr. Lu saying, "Like many young Chinese, he believes Japan is returning to militarism. 'I want China to be strong again,' Mr. Lu said at lunch the day before the game. He said China needed to be strong so it would not again succumb to foreign invaders." This is also quite an odd image. At a recent conference I went to, it was clear that the American no longer viewed Japan as a military threat. At this conference, it was pointed out that since Japan is aging so quickly, it can not be motivated very strongly to grow its military. Most countries which expanded security forces were usually countries that had a lot of young people. It was noted that the Kim Jon Il said during his trip across Russia on the train, that he had "too many people." This is one reason why he might be happier to send troops to war than Japan where there are so few young people.

In other news on the topic, it appears Japanese hackers went after a Chinese site and now the Chinese hackers are retaliating.

BBC News
Accident at Japan nuclear plant

Monday, 9 August, 2004, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK

At least four people have been killed in the worst ever accident at a Japanese nuclear power plant.

Ooops. Why is it that I don't trust them when they say stuff like, "In the aftermath of the accident, no evacuation order was given to residents living near the plant, and city official Nobutake Masaki denied there was any danger to the surrounding area." This is probably because they lie. At least some people are brave enough to blow the whistle.

doom3kittlytorch

Cory @ Boing Boing
Hello Kitty flashlight for Doom 3

Doom 3 has only just come out and already the modders are revving up their engines. My favorite so far: a Hello Kitty flashlight mod that makes your gun's built-in light cast a kawaii beam on the objects it alights upon. Link

(via Oblomovka)

Doom modder culture has become truly sophisticated. ;-) How very Boing Boing.

I get this feeling that the diffusion of new services and technologies such as blogs and social network services are not normal. Normal diffusion patterns are sort of bell curves that track mass media attention and other factors including effort on the supply side. With social network systems, there seem to be regional explosions of users. Orkut now has more Brazilians than Americans and I have yet to hear a good explanation of why. There are very uneven proportion of bloggers in different regions. The last I looked, Poland and Iran seem to have an unnaturally high number of blogs. Does the digital word of mouth nature of social software make it's diffusion faster (viral) and non-linear? Is the diffusion of other technologies in these markets and segments that are networked also change?

Is there anyone doing good work in this area? I'm sure marketers have their theories on this. I can imagine anthropologists and sociologists also studying this. What is the right way to study this?

It has already been widely reported that music publisher Ludlow Music has threatened copyright litigation against JibJab for their animation "This Land" which uses Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land." Corante, Boing Boing and NPR report that the kids like JibJab. Wendy Seltzer makes an interesting point that when Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, they said it was "for the children." Wendy says, "It's worth remembering, again, that artists and copyright holders aren't always the same people."