Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

CC India launch
I just returned from the CC India Launch.

This makes India the 35th country to complete the porting process of the CC licenses. Congratulations and welcome to the CC World.

India is a very interesting and significant country for us for a variety of reasons. First, it is huge and growing. Huge in terms of knowledge, economy, culture, IT companies and artists. India is also not yet nearly as "infected" with the copyright bug that comes from companies trying to protect their Read-Only Internet. Similar to Brazil in this way, it is possible that India might find CC more natural than countries that already have a culture and legal framework making sharing difficult.

The talks given during the launch were really great. One comment made by Anurag Kashyap, a well know Indian film maker stuck in my mind. He said that he grew up in a small village and didn't have access to movies. It was though pirated movies that he was able to educate and inspire himself and eventually become a major contributor to the film industry. In India, sometimes piracy is the only possible way to get software or content when distribution channels or payment systems don't exist.

Deepak Phatak talked about his work at KReSIT where he and his students are contributing vast amounts of courseware to the commons available under a CC license.

Nandu Pradhan, president of Red Hat India, Lawrence Liang, the CC India Legal Lead and iCommons Board Member, and Catharina Maracke, head of CCi (the international license porting and coordination part of CC) also spoke at the opening. All of the presentations were great and the launch was a big success.

Shishir K. Jha, the India lead organized the event and did an amazing job. Thanks a TON Shishir. Venkatesh Hariharan from Red Hat India took care of all of the press and helped me understand the VC and IT startup world in India. Thanks. I also want to thank Iti Bose and all of the student volunteers who made the whole thing work so well. Finally, thanks to everyone who showed up for the talks and the celebration.

I look forward to seeing even more great things from India.

I just completed the my six weeks of vegan detox described in a previous post. It has been an enjoyable and enlightening experience. I've lost 11 kg or so, mostly in the first two weeks. My blood levels including a high uric acid level and y-GTP have gone back to "normal". Per my previous post, my cholesterol is a bit "too low" according to my physician and I am in the process of investigating my response to this.

I'm fairly convinced that this diet is really good for me and that it is much more feasible than I anticipated. I am going to continue being a fairly strict vegan, but allow myself to have meat or fish based flavors and possibly small pieces of meat or fish when it is unavoidably integral to an otherwise vegan meal. I am going to keep my oil intake to a minimum and avoid fried foods or dressings and other sauces with lots of oils. I will minimize salt intake, which is fairly difficult in Japan. I will avoid un-whole starches like white rice and pastas. I will stay away from sugars like sodas and sweets. I will avoid dairy and eggs. I will possibly drink a glass of wine during a meal or as a toast.

In other words, I am going to experiment with a slightly flexible diet to see if cravings start or if my body rejects certain foods. If it turns out that flexibility and moderation don't work, I will reconsider and possibly try a strict diet again.

I will continue to exercise and expand my activities beyond swimming.

I'm going to India tomorrow for a few days and look forward to lots of wonderful vegan meals. ;-)

Thanks again to everyone who supported me though this process.

Our over-enthusiastic spam filtering add-on at a bunch of comments in the past week or so. I apologize to those people who tried to post comments. It should be fixed now. Let me know if you have any problems. Thanks.

I talked to a physician about my blood tests from yesterday. I will have the complete results soon, but the preliminary results are very interesting. I had 2 tests that were in or approaching the "red zone" a month ago. The levels are now well within the "healthy" range.

However, the physician was very concerned that my blood cholesterol was "too low". It was 132 mg/dL. He said that this means that I don't have enough energy and that it was dangerous. The problem with this for me is that I have more energy than I've ever had and have no signs of depression or anything like that.

In "The China Study" Campbell and Campbell explain the amazingly low rates of cancer, heart disease, liver disease and other "diseases of the affluent" in counties in China eating whole, plant-based foods. They tested the blood levels of the super-healthy Chinese. On page 106, they say:

As I mentioned earlier, the time when the China Study was begun, a blood cholesterol range of 200-300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) was considered normal, and lower levels were suspect. In fact, some in the scientific and medical communities considered cholesterol levels lower than 150 mg/dL to be dangerous...

But when we measured the blood cholesterol levels in China, we were shocked. They ranged from 70-170 mg/dL! Their high was our low and their low was off the chart you might find in your doctor's office!

[...] We too often have come to the view that the U.S. values are "normal" because we have a tendency to believe that the Western experience is likely to be right.

So my question is... the diet that I am on has significantly improved all measurable indicators of a formerly much more unhealthy body. The one level that is "out of range" is blood cholesterol which is too low by Western standards. A quick google search shows various warnings about low cholesterol, but there appear to be a number of reports stating the opposite. Does anyone know of a resource to better understand the overall opinion of the medical community on the risks of low blood cholesterol?

I'm also going to try to talk to some of my friends in medical research about this.

I have just entered week five of the six week diet. Last night around 11PM I was humming a tune while walking up a hill to a train station in the rain. I realize that I was very happy in a situation that would have been dreadfully tiresome in the past. As I tried to understand my rather extreme change in perspective on physical activity, I decided I would share some of these thoughts.

Swimming has gone from a chore where I used to make excuses not to go to something that I enjoy so much that I "sneak off" to go swimming when I have a chance. I've also started walking to or taking trains to meetings instead of taking cabs, which used to be my primary mode of transportation. For some reason, swimming, walking and other physical activity are extremely enjoyable.

In The China Study, I remember Campbell citing a report with lab mice (or maybe it was rats) where the mice that were fed animal protein used an exercise wheel less than mice that were fed vegan diets. I don't have the book with me, but I'll update this post later with the actual citation. I also know from my own personal experience that increased activity makes you more active. As I get lighter, the lack of weight puts a bounce in my step that is also quite enjoyable. Whatever the reason, my urge to be active is at a higher level than any time in the past that I can remember. (Having said that, my memory is quite poor...)

As I've said in the past, this is not a controlled experiment. I will also concede that I am obsessive and rather caught up in thinking about health at the moment so I'm probably looking for signs of being healthy. However, I would like to point out that while I can't attribute this energy to one particular thing, I can say that being vegan hasn't reduced my energy levels or made it difficult for me to be extremely happy.

I will post a more thorough review after my six weeks are over. I'm quite sure I will stay on a version of my current diet even after the six weeks, but as the official end of the six week program, I think that would be a more appropriate time for my complete report.