Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Boris blogs about his first Sony Walkman.

I remember my first Walkman. It was the Sony TPS-L2 (thanks to the Vintage Walkman Museum). I was in 9th grade. I remember my favorite song was "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen. I was living in Tokyo and just started going to discos and nightclubs. I had just moved to Tokyo. The Walkman was part of the "coming of age", becoming independent, asking a girl out for the first time and becoming Japanese part of my life.

I remember the feeling of having music thundering in my head as I walked to school. It made me feel all subversive inside. I also remember the little orange button that turned on a microphone so you could hear what people were saying. These days, we just pull off our headphones. Now with my in-ear earphones, I wish my iPod has a button to turn on a microphone so I don't have to extract the earphones just to listen to someone trying to say something to me.

The Walkman also represented a period in gadget history where companies like Sony could create cool new gadgets based on some great idea by the founder. It seems like Apple is the only company that can really pull that off these days and even then, it's really a redesign of a good idea, not a brand new idea. I miss the feeling that I had when I got my first Walkman.

I think this "meme" started with Nika

I remember someone posting a graphic of how an idea spreads across blogs. the image had a "gray area" of instant messenger and email that couldn't be tracked as easily. I've asked a few people who remember seeing the post, but now no one can find it. Does anyone remember it and have the URL? It's amazing that we remember it, but can't find it or remember who posted it...

UPDATE: Found! Thanks tarek! Amazing. That was less than one hour after I posted this question. I had been googling for it for a day or so.
Croatian diplomat fired over blog comments

17/11/2004 by John Tilak

The Croatian government has recalled an official from its Washington embassy after he apparently wrote on his blog that the diplomatic meetings were boring and that there was no difference between President Bush and the Democratic candidate John Kerry, according to a report from Reuters.

Third secretary at the Croatian embassy in Washington DC, Vibor Kalogjera, 25, had been narrating his experiences under the pseudonym "Vibbi".

He is said to have violated state laws on foreign affairs and civil servants.

I guess this makes sense. It's interesting to think about the line between private and public comments. I'm sure he wouldn't have been recalled for sharing these thoughts in private or with his friends. Of course posting stuff on the Internet is not "sharing in private" but if only a few people are reading it, it is effectively somewhat private. On the other hand, if you get reported in Reuters, your private conversation quickly becomes public... collapsing your context. Maybe he should have had a password protected blog.

via Francesco


via Imajes

UPDATE: If the link above is down, try this one. Thanks Alison.

die puny humans
More members of Russia's armed services committed...

More members of Russia's armed services committed suicide or died in accidents than in the line of duty this year..

In October, Human Rights Watch published a detailed study of what it called "horrific violence" against new conscripts in the Russian army.

The international organisation highlighted a ritual of organised bullying known as "dedovshchina", which allegedly involves senior soldiers being able to treat juniors as little more than slaves.

The report claimed hundreds of soldiers were killed or committed suicide as a result. Tens of thousands ran away, while thousands more were left physically and or mentally scarred...

I just had dinner with a friend who served in the Russian army awhile ago. He said that at the time, they started recruiting from prisons so "prison rules" were common. Basically, new recruits had to listen to the old-timers or they got the shit beat out of them. People regularly were killed or died and accidents were unreported. When he had first been recruited, a somewhat senior recruit got upset and and threw a bayonet at him which pierced his leg. He was patched up, but the assailant was not reprimanded nor was he taken to a hospital. (He showed me his scar.) On another occasion, a young recruit was told to remove a rope between two armored vehicles. The vehicle being towed popped the clutch and crushed the head of the young recruit. There was a funeral, but no formal investigation or report. His theory was that suicides and deaths have been common in the Russian army forever and recent transparency is just beginning to reveal the extent of the abuse.