Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Michael Powell wants to crack down on profanity in the US and the Brazilians arrest this pilot (via antti) for flipping them the finger. "He made an internationally known obscene gesture when he was being photographed by the Federal Police," according to the article. With all of the increased reason for profanity directed against establishment, I can see how a global war on profanity is essential for the security interests of the civilized world. :-p

In my pursuit to understand Bo better, I'm reading a book that Barak gave me called How to Speak Dog. It's really a great book about how to to communicate with your dog. Stanley Coren makes an interesting assertion about our co-evolution with dogs.

Stanley Coren
It is well established that the primitive humans who survived to become our forefathers formed an early relationship with dogs. Compare our success to that of the Neanderthals, who never got along with dogs, and who ultimately died out. Some evolutionary theorists have suggested that the survival of our ancestors had to do with the fact that our cooperative partnership with dogs made us more efficient hunters than Neanderthals2. With the dog's more acute sensory systems, finding game was easier.
Here is where the serious speculation begins. These theorists suggest that since these early humans now had dogs to do the tracking, they no longer needed the facial structures that would allow them to detect faint scents. This, then, allowed our early ancestors to evolve more flexible facial features, which were capable of shaping more complex sounds. In other words, our prehistoric association with dogs, who would do the smelling for us, gave us the ability to create speech.
2. J.M. Allman, Evolving Brains. New York: Freeman, 1999.
Thanks Bo!

Very cool work by Cassidy Curtis.

Graffiti Archaeology is the study of graffiti-covered walls as they change over time. The project is a timelapse collage, made of photos of San Francisco graffiti taken by many different photographers from 1998 to the present.

Using the grafarc explorer, you can visit some of San Francisco's classic spots, see what they looked like in the past, and explore how they have changed over the years.

via danah boyd (her site is down right now)

And even more racism...

Kevin Marks
RIAA's fake cops harrass based on racial stereotypes

'A large percentage [of the vendors] are of a Hispanic nature,' Langley said. 'Today hes Jose Rodriguez, tomorrow hes Raul something or other, and tomorrow after that hes something else. These people change their identity all the time. A pictures worth a thousand words.'
Langley is Western regional coordinator for the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit.
I feel sorry for Sir Howard Stringer. I'm glad I don't have to hang out with people like the RIAA. (tech dirt on how Sir Howard might save Sony Music)

I wonder just how much racism in the name of "profiling" will be tolerated. Since the RIAA links piracy to terrorism, I suppose they'll expect us to tolerate a lot.