Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Over 300 400 members of the MIT faculty, including myself, have signed the statement below. (You can see all the signers on the page.) My quote included in a press release issued this afternoon was:

"Academic institutions have historically been havens to protect diversity of opinions and the freedom to express those opinions when the political climate has impinged on this freedom. It appears that we are entering a period where the political climate requires us to assert our leadership to protect and foster diversity and scientific inquiry itself."

The President-elect has appointed individuals to positions of power who have endorsed racism, misogyny and religious bigotry, and denied the widespread scientific consensus on climate change. Regardless of our political views, these endorsements violate principles at the core of MIT's mission. At this time, it is important to reaffirm the values we hold in common.

We, the undersigned faculty at MIT, thus affirm the following principles:

  • We unconditionally reject every form of bigotry, discrimination, hateful rhetoric, and hateful action, whether directed towards one's race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, citizenship, political views, socioeconomic status, veteran status, or immigration status.

  • We endorse MIT's values of open, respectful discourse and exchange of ideas from the widest variety of intellectual, religious, class, cultural, and political perspectives.

  • We uphold the principles of the scientific method, of fact- and reason-based objective inquiry. Science is not a special interest; it is not optional. Science is a foundational ingredient in how we as a society analyze, understand, and solve the most difficult challenges that we face.

For any member of our community who may feel fear or oppression, our doors are open and we are ready to help. We pledge to work with all members of the community - students, faculty, staff, postdoctoral researchers, and administrators - to defend these principles today and in the times ahead.

I met Peter in Marrakech at a private meeting that he and others had organized during COP22. Peter is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Co-founder of Conservation International, one of the most effective conservation efforts I know of. I caught up with him on Thanksgiving after we were both back in the US.

We talked about biodiversity, COP22, sustainability, conservation, indigenous people, climate change, complex systems and the theory of change.

The audio is available on SoundCloud and iTunes.

I met Christopher Filardi in Marrakech at a conference running along side of COP22. He's an evolutionary biologist and a conservation activist. I was fascinated with his description of the role of indigenous people in conservation. I recorded a short conversation that I had with him over Skype when I was in a lounge in Dubai Airport and he was at his home in Montana. Apologies for the poor quality of the video and audio.

The audio is available on iTunes.

A conversation with Robleh Ali, the former head of the the Digital Currencies team at the Bank of England. It was a wide ranging conversation about Bitcoin, economics and the role of central banks and regulators.

Audio of the conversation is available on SoundCloud and iTunes.

Had a conversation with The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi about disciplined compassion. You can find the audio on SoundCloud and iTunes.