Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

From today's paper...

Tegucigalpa, Honduras (AP) - Unknown assailants opened fire this week on a public bus in northern Honduras, killing at least 23 passengers and wounding 16 others ... The assailants left a note that said they represented a revolutionary group that opposes the death penalty...

Beijing (AFP) - The Chinese authorities have sentenced two Hong Kong men to death for smuggling digital player components into the southeastern city of Xiamen...

I don't want to be judgmental or anything, but killing 23 people to protest the death penalty and sentencing to death people for smuggling digital player components both seem a bit extreme to me...

iMorpheus has a great blog called the Gokurousama blog.

Gokurousama means "Thank you for your troubles" in Japanese and it is also the name of this blog. Gokurousama celebrates and recognizes the hard work of others.
I say gokurousama when I get out of taxis, when someone as completed a chore or when I pass a gardner. It's similar to, but slightly different from another great Japanese word, otsukaresama. Otsukaresama is less about thanks but still acknowledging someone for some hard work. This is often said when toasting after a hard day of work or after working together on a hard project. Interestingly, working hard together is often considered more important than winning. This, in a way, is the backbone of the socialist work ethic that drives Japan. But I digress...

The Gokurousama blog and the pictures on it are a very good way to understand the Japanese way of gokurousama. It's also the spirit behind good service and a very nice way to show appreciation of good service. A simple gokurosama will go a long way and is much more respectful than flipping someone a hundred yen coin. iMorpheus has also started a Gokurousama flickr group and has linked the group to the blog so that others can post. You can learn more about it on his blog.

The next time you watch an old Samurai or Yakuza movie, listen for the boss say, "Gokurojyaaa" to one of the henchmen after he returns from killing a foe. ;-p

It's 6AM Christmas morning in Japan right now. Today I'm reflecting on the past year and thinking about the future and I'm thinking about Global Voices. Hopefully most of you are with your family with some time to relax, think about priorities and reflect. I'm sure there are a lot of TV shows about "Peace on earth, goodwill to men," and you've probably sent and received a lot of UNICEF Christmas cards. You should be in the perfect mood to think about Global Voices. In the past, we had to rely on TV shows to try to feel empathy for people in other countries and organizations such as UNICEF to try to give our support to humanitarian efforts. These were and are noble efforts. However, at our fingertips, we have the ability to reach out and speak to, build bridges with and interact with those people we have been "wishing well" to in the abstract for all of these years. We have a long way to go before we are able to hear the voices of everyone on earth, but I believe that providing voices and building bridges is essential for the World Peace we all wish for.

We have changed the "Global Voices Manifesto" to "Global Voices Covenant 0.2". We have edited it for awhile on the wiki, but this version is frozen.

I'm not normally a very religious person, but I feel pretty religious about this.

Global Voices Covenant 0.2
We believe in free speech: in protecting the right to speak -- and the right to listen. We believe in universal access to the tools of speech.

To that end, we want to enable everyone who wants to speak to have the means to speak -- and everyone who wants to hear that speech, the means to listen to it.

Thanks to new tools, speech need no longer be controlled by those who own the means of publishing and distribution, or by governments that would restrict thought and communication. Now, anyone can wield the power of the press. Everyone can tell their stories to the world.

We want to build bridges across the gulfs of culture and language that divide people, so as to understand each other more fully. We want to work together more effectively, and act more powerfully.

We believe in the power of direct connection. The bond between individuals from different worlds is personal, political and powerful. We believe conversation across boundaries is essential to a future that is free, fair, prosperous and sustainable - for all citizens of this planet.

While we continue to work and speak as individuals, we also want to identify and promote our shared interests and goals. We pledge to respect, assist, teach, learn from, and listen to one other.

We are Global Voices.

We're trying to translated it into other languages. If you have some time over the holidays and feel like helping out, please jump in. You can come to the #globalvoices IRC channel on Freenode or just go to the wiki and add a translation there. Any of language links in red have not been done yet. You can also edit one that has been translated if you find any errors or to go the "talk" section of that wiki page to talk about the translation.

Please take a look at the Global Voices blog. We're looking for additional people and projects to hook up with so let us know if you can contribute to Global Voices or have a project that could tie in with Global Voices.

PS I'm not sending any Christmas or New Years cards this year because I don't want to kill any more trees (and I'm lazy). I'm not sending email greetings because mass mailings are becoming indistinguishable from spam. Instead, I offer this blog entry. For the more personal touch, I'm relying on my birthday reminder to remind me to say hi to my friends in a way that distributes the work across the year.

UPDATE: Says _sj_ our translation expert. "Translate a few lines or a paragraph or put up a bad translation and leave a note above it saying it is incomplete."

I stupidly got a 10 year passport (instead of a 5 year) which is now approaching the final year in its life. It has become reasonably tattered. In particular, there is a corner of the passport cover just where the row of OCR characters starts. This corner is also the closest to my picture. It started as a minor peel. However, several immigration officers have picked at it trying to see if it was a fake (making it worse). Each time a brutal agent swipes it through the OCR scanner, it gets a little worse. I figure a little bit of glue would help protect this corner of my passport, but I wonder if putting glue on my passport to mend a tattered corner is some sort of crime... I googled around and couldn't find anything. All I found was an article about a Chinese woman who was thrown in jail for trying to enter the US with a tattered passport. Yikes!

The Oregonian
In their latest outrage, they jailed a Chinese businesswoman, whose misfortune -- and only crime -- was to arrive at the Portland International Airport with a tattered passport.

Portland immigration inspectors deemed Guo Liming's passport "suspicious." They forced her to strip to her underwear, searched her, interrogated her, handcuffed her for transport to The Dalles and jailed her for two nights -- before concluding [how inconvenient for them] that her passport was valid.

The problem is, getting a replacement passport in Japan requires giving up the one you have for a period longer than I am able to be in Japan for awhile.

Does anyone know anything about whether it would be dumb to try to put glue on my passport and if not, what sort of glue I should use? Basically, the corner is peeling into 3 layers. The cover, the paper and the lamination inside...

Barlow blogs about his day in court trying to defend his 4th Amendment rights. The judge ruled against him, but it's just the first step in a much longer process. Good luck Barlow.

EFF's staff technologist Seth David Schoen, danah boyd and Rob Kiser and also posted their accounts.