Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

This site will be down for maintenance from March 7, 0300 GMT for about six hours or so. That's in about one hour.

It's moved and back up. Thanks Jason!

Thanks to some help from Boris, I have moved the moblog resource page to the wiki. Apologies to everyone who had sent me changes and additions. I had been unable to edit my old resource page because I had accidentally deleted the source files. Now you can register on my wiki and add and make changes yourself. I would make the changes myself, but I think I've lost the email that I receive in the entropy of my inbox.

The page is quite dated, but it is referenced in various places so I decided that I should keep it alive. If anyone wants to bring it up-to-date, that would be wonderful.

Just started packing and charging up my gadgets for a longish trip ahead. I'm leaving tomorrow to participate in the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security and the Atocha Workshop in Madrid. Then I'm going to Rome to give a talk there in a few places. After that I'm going to Milan to give a talk at the Università Milano Bicocca and attend the press conference to launch the 2005 edition of IBTS. Then I'm going to Amsterdam to give a keynote at the Creative Capital Conference and meet with the iCommons folks. Finally, I'm going to New Delhi to attend and speak at Doors of Perception 8. Then I'm back in Japan for one day to give a talk at the Internet Advertisers Association and off again the next day to Taiwan and other places... People have complained about my contribution to global warming through the jet fuel exhaust I help emit into the atmosphere. I think the first six months of this year will be the most pollutive that I can remember. I just noticed that between now and May, I will be on every single continent except Antarctica at least once.

Singing... It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all.

For the gory details, see my travel page on my wiki.

Xeni at Boing Boing linked to a flash movie on a North Korean site promoting vacations to North Korea. The North Korean Friendship Association was not pleased. Read the funny updates.

I just got my copy of MAKE:. I read it in one sitting cover to cover. What an excellent mook. There were a lot of great articles. In the section Life Hacks: Overclocking your Productivity, there was fun little article called Yak Shaving by Danny O'Brien and Merlin Mann. "Yak shaving is the technical term for when you find yourself eight levels deep - and possibly in an recursive loop - in a stack of jobs." The example they give is:

You start out deciding to tidy your room and you realize that in order to do that you'll need some more trash bags, so you need to go to the shops, which will involve you getting out the car, but the car needs gas, so you'll need to go to the gas station first, which means you should probably find your gas discount card, which involves finding your keys, which are in the room somewhere...
They talk about many hackers spending a lot of their time "lost in life's subroutines" and that "some of us like solving puzzles a bit more than we like solved puzzles." They suggest that super-efficient hackers "learn when to say no to the temptation of endless fiddling." Veeeery interesting. So this is what I've been doing all my life. Shaving Yaks.

I can fit most of my life into this metaphor. I remember the moment when I was working in television, music promotion and motion pictures and decided that IP and the Internet would solve many problems that I had with the control that big companies had on the flow of information. I helped set up the first ISP in Japan, helped set up Infoseek Japan, started one of the first web companies in Japan... but it still didn't solve the "problem." I realized that there were some basic problems in society and the market was broken. I noticed that democracy was broken and tried to work on fixing that in Japan. Then I realized that it was broken all over the place and decided to work on that too.

Blogging was another important way of solving the freedom of expression and flow of information I was after and there was Six Apart. Then I realized that that we needed a better way to organize blogs and there was Technorati. But copyright was broken and there was Creative Commons. And Internet governance... and ICANN. Oh no! Suddenly I have no time and am totally immersed in the "subroutines" of my life. Acutally, my whole life is just one big yak shaving exercise. Luckily, these subroutines ARE my life and are very rewarding.

I do agree with the article that you have to learn when to say no to the temptation of "endless fiddling" but it is through this fiddling that I sometimes find myself in a new place, sometimes slightly before the rest of the pack. If it weren't for this fiddling, I'd be spending my life solving boring problems for boring bosses.