Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Getting ready to give speech. The guy next to my is Jun Maki who played the producer of the photo shoot in Lost in Translation
Tomorrow is the general election for the Japanese parliament's Lower House. Mizuka and I joined the Governor of Nagano, Yasuo Tanaka, Shigeaki Saegusa (the conductor), Jun Maki (the copywriter who appears in Lost in Translation as the producer of the photo shoot), Yoichiro Kawaguchi (computer graphics professor), Hajime Takano (journalist) and many others in a two hour march through Ginza urging people go and vote tomorrow. It was called the senkyo ni ikouzei! movement. Our march was a nonpartisan effort to get people to vote regardless of their politics. We handed out leaflets, waved flags and made speeches on street corners. I made a speech about how most Japanese believe something needs to change yet do not feel they have any impact. I argued that Yasuo Tanaka showed that politicians can cause change and that voters can elect such officials. I stressed that you get the politicians you deserve and that if we wanted a democracy in Japan, people were going to have to vote.

It was a hot day, but people were very receptive. It was clear they were happy to see Yasuo Tanaka and unlike the time we were handing out leaflets protesting the National ID, the percentage of people willing to take them from you was much higher.

Also, the opposition party of Japan, the Democratic Party of Japan has announced a "shadow cabinet" appointing Yasuo Tanaka the minister in charge of decentralization. Ishihara, the mayor of Tokyo has spoken out against this.

Here is a 11.3MB Quicktime Movie of Mizuka and I trying to hand out flyers.

Junjiro Hara is a well known reporter at the Asahi Shimbun who I've known for many years. He is retiring this year and has decided to start blogging and continue his mission as a journalist to change Japan. His blog is in Japanese. I think he is one of the first professional mass media journalists to start officially blogging. Blog on Hara-san!

I'm in San Francisco from November 11 for 48 hours. I'm free for dinner on the 11th. Sign up on the wiki page if you're interested in getting together. I'm arriving on that day so I may be a bit tired, but I'd be happy to meet up with everyone.

Jacob Levy has agreed to help organize it. Thanks Jacob.

Reading in the New York Times about the health hazards of inhaling carbon nanotubes reminded me of Snowcrash. I wonder what would happen if you inhaled these RFID's.

I was just looking at my United Airlines mileage online and realized that I'll hit the 100,000 mile mark with United on this next trip I'm making. Looking at my travel patterns, it seems to be tracking my network that has expanded over the last few years through people I've met online. My body is like a packet that's chasing around the bits.

I've also started getting invitations just about every day to parties all over the world. "Just in case you're in the neighborhood." This is really weird. The funny thing is, sometimes I am in the neighborhood. I wake up each morning often not sure what city I'm in or in a mild panic because the city I was in in my dream is not the city I'm in right now.

I know many people who travel more than I do, but I'd been pretty grounded for the last few years so this year has been a fresh experience for me. Connectivity like my Danger Sidekick, wifi in airports, IRC, my blog, wiki and all of the other social software stuff has made travel a much more enjoyable experience. I feel like I have friends in every region, I'm rarely lonely, and with IM and IRC, there are always a bunch of friends to hang out with while I wait in airports or take cabs around town. The fingerprinting and possible harassment at the US border is the sand in the vaseline. (And I don't remember where I got that metaphor, but I like it. Someone used it in reference to copy protection I think.)