Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

thumbkey.jpg
Kids in Japan can't type, but they can thumb. Maybe this will get those kids to use PC's....not.

Thanks for the link Adriaan

A bill just quietly passed in Japan. It extends copyright from 50 years to 70 years. Also, under-reported, is the fact that "circumvention of copy protecton or deterrence mechanisms" is now illegal and the defendant is responsible for proving innocence. I wish this legal spill-over from the US into Japan would stop. Especially for these REALLY STUPID laws. At least I have another project to work on in Japan. ;-P

Thanks for the heads-up Gohsuke.

I just read about "Speed Up Your Site" by Andrew B. King on a klog apart who links to an entry in meryl's notes. Sounds like a cool book. I think I saw some references to it in some email I got, but I thought it was spam. It's kinda scary how my brain has associated certain words with spam so it filters phrases such as "speed up your site". On the other hand, I'm glad that my RSS feed can help those catch those things that fall through my inbox.

I'm off to Finland to hang out with Dan, Cory, Clay and others...

2 nites... Short trip.

This morning, I received an email from a person whose opinion I respect informing me that my IRC channel #joiito was being used by people to promote pornography. I rushed over to IRC and interviewed the regulars. Yes, there were some lewd URL's posted. Yes, people were talking about sex. So what, they said.

Then one of the regulars quoted David Weinberger

David Weinberger
I don't see the Web as socratic. I see it as connective, and socratic dialogue is only one form of connecting, and a pretty paltry one at that. Yelling, joking, teasing, provoking, criticizing, grieving, and flirting are all forms of connecting. So is simultaneous masturbation (no, I don't mean blogging). What makes the Web utopian (in some sense) is that it's connective, not that it's polite, rational or even intelligent.
When I post to my blog, I think of all of the people who might read the post and try to write in a balanced way about things that I think are generally interesting. In IRC, I have a sense of the people in the room and chat as if I were among friends. I joke around, chat drunk and say rude things. I can imagine that someone joining some of the discussions without warning might find them offensive or strange as anyone joining any kind of intimate chat. We do talk about "important" issues, but it is peppered with lots of more personal comments and nuances. Since IRC is real time, it is also a lot easier to say riskier things since you get immediate feedback and are able to clarify your position before it escalates.

One of the most interesting topics for discussion and one the most culturally contextual topics that I know of is the topic of sex. I don't talk about it much, but some of my best friends love talking about sex and I don't have any problem with that. I have some problems with pornography, but pornography also drove the proliferation of VCR's and the Internet and we owe SOMETHING to the pornographers...

I'm now grappling with the issue of creating an open and chatty atmosphere on IRC and not restricting people's behavior very much, but still keeping it a comfortable place for people who don't enjoy talking about sex and are uncomfortable with pornography. I don't think pornography has any place on my channel and I officially ask people not to "promote" pornography. Having said that, in defense of "the regulars", it appears that a pornographic link was posted in the context of joking around and wasn't really "promoted." Also, as a rule, you probably shouldn't open a link you find in IRC that ends in .jpg without being prepared...

IRC's been around for a long time and it has its own colorful history and culture. My channel on IRC includes readers of my blog as well as IRC regulars who have drifted in. It's quite an interesting mix, but the tone is quite different from my blog and my wiki. I'm very interested in how it will evolve and would love people's thoughts on this. I still have not banned anyone from my channel and do not yet have any rules. Any pointers to good channel rules would also be appreciated.