Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Six Apart gathering tomorrow at 3pm. See you there! (Sign up on the Six Apart page.)

I just received an email from one of my best friends urging me to stop fueling disinformation and anti-Americanism. He also urged me to stop comparing the US to Nazi Germany. I've also had some private email exchanges with some conservatives about some of the issues I've written about lately. I've started feeling like a politician trying to keep my liberal and conservative friend happy by mostly posting questions, posting notes of other people's comments and quoting people. Now that I'm being urged from both sides, I guess I should clarify my own position.

Here is where I stand. What I'm mainly against is the conservative media in the US and the right wing one-liners like "bomb Iraq to democracy" which I saw on a lot of conservative web sites before the invasion of Iraq. I remember very clearly Colin Powell's speech at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. I was moved by the speech. He made me feel like maybe it was the right decision to go into Iraq... but he hung his whole argument on WMD. I still have not been convinced that the invasion on Iraq was the right decision, but I'm probably willing to hear arguments more than my more liberal friends.

What disturbs me the most about this administration is the drift towards secrecy, the Patriot Act and profiling with the assistance of advanced technology. I think that is REALLY BAD and I am not convinced that profiling really works.

Regarding my quote of Pastor Martin Niemöller... I'm not comparing the US to Nazi Germany. It's an eloquent statement about the necessity to look out for human rights, even those of people who are not in your tribe. I think human rights are at risk globally. It's easy to see abuses and say things about human rights abuses in other countries, but I'm just urging American to watch out for the stuff happening right under your noses.

Although I am a liberal, I find some of the anti-American stuff a bit over-board and I find some of the conservatives arguing convincingly on many issues. I may become emotional at times, but I'm trying to keep my thinking above the emotional level. I will try to present what I believe is a balanced view here and I want to thank all of the people who have posted here and sent me thoughtful disagreements and urgings. (Although some of the disagreements have been not-so-thoughtful.)

I just posted my rather rough notes about from the discussion at the Izu Conference about the US and Japan on the Chanpon blog.

I haven't yet put together the identity analysis part. I need to noodle a bit more on this.

I had an iChat with my sister Mimi last night. (Luna and Eamon are my niece and and nephew 3 and 5)

iChat with Mimi
Mimi: It's so funny... watching Luna and Eamon. they are sure that they are going to get married. They were both so crushed when we broke it to them that it is not the way it works, though now Luna's latest is that she is going to marry her best friend haley

Joi: hehe

Mimi: kids are so great because they don't buy the societal expectations yet

;-) I thought this was great. I've been thinking a lot about identity after danah boyd helped connect my notions of identity on the level of privacy and security and identity on the level of my personal identity as a Japanese/American chanponite. I promise to post my notes from this weekend which will put a sharper point on this from a Japanese identity perspective, but what is amazing as you start to deconstruct the notions of identity is how contextual, cultural and artificial it is. I think that approaching the issue of identity from a technical perspective or a "productivity tool" perspective is the wrong approach and that we have to listen to the sociologist and anthropologists in this space A LOT MORE before we get too far down the road.

Lucky for me I've got a sister in this space too. ;-)