Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Picture from last year
I'll be speaking at Accelerating Change 2005 tomorrow and the day after.
Artificial intelligence ("AI"), broadly defined, improves the intelligence and autonomy of our technology. Intelligence amplification ("IA") empowers human beings and their social, political, and economic environments. As in previous years, a collection of today's most broad-minded, multidisciplinary, and practical change leaders will consider these twin trends from global, national, business, social, and personal foresight perspectives. Conference Brochure (PDF, 6 pages). One Sheet (PDF).
If you're going, I'll see you there. It looks like they're sold out, but I'll try to blog some stuff. On the other hand, I'm notoriously bad at blogging conferences...

UPDATE: I showed up a bit late, but caught the tail end of the first day and also did a rant. Great audience and great program. Cory Ondrejka of Linden Lab talked about the positive benefits of video games. It was an excellent talk. It will be online later so I won't go into it here, but it was the first time I didn't feel guilty playing World of Warcraft while listening to a talk. ;-)

Karel just sent me an article he wrote for the Asahi about the recent election. I've posted it on my wiki.

Karel van Wolferen via email
Dear Joi,

The widespread -- and I mean truly widespread -- misconception that Japan has been pushed by Koizumi in a market-capitalism direction should teach us something about the function of the world's media as agents of ignorance. Like with subjects such as Iraq or Russia those who ought to know do not have a clue of what is actually going on.

Herewith my article as it appears this morning in the Asahi Shimbun.

best wishes


Will the Next Elections Save Japanese Democracy - by Karel van Wolferen - September 12, 2005

I was in a cab in Tokyo last night having a interesting conversation about the recent elections and the future of Japan with a very educated and opinionated cab driver. The conversation turned to the pension system. He told me that he would be retiring soon and because of the of the way that he had done his pension, he would be retiring with a monthly payment less than enough money to pay for room and board. He told me that he was now designing his homeless shack. He figured he could afford an air-conditioner and some real panel, but that the price of the roofing material had gone up so he might have to use those blue plastic sheets. He was serious. He was also considering several different places to locate. He said that until he had found his current cab company employer, he had been homeless so this wasn't new to him.

It was a bit sobering for me. We then discussed how people of my generation should expect none of their pension coming back and we wondered what the average young person was going to do...

Weird, very Japanese and funny. Yahoo! goes hard gay.

UPDATE: I talked a friend of mine who has some elementary school kids. He said Hard Gay is all the rage and that all the kids walk around constantly doing the funny pelvic thrust that Hard Gay does.

Dan Gillmor's in town and having a bloggers meetup at the Apple Store in Ginza from 20:00-21:00 on the 26th of September. I'm going to be out of town, but if you're around, it should be a lot of fun.

More info here.