Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'll be at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference February 9-12 in San Diego. It looks like I'll be doing a session with Ethan Zuckerman on the Emergent Democracy Forum day February 9th and a session with danah, Mimi, Howard, Scott and others on the 10th about mobility, identity and culture. Hope to see you there.

The panel members are not "final-final" so they are not on the web yet. I'll post the description of the sessions and the final-final members here when we get everything confirmed.

The Dean for Iowa Game just went online. It's cute and fun and captures the spirit of being a supporter. I'm glad to have played my own little part in making this happen. The game was developed by Ian Bogost and his team at Persuasive Games. Ian contacted me through LinkedIn. LinkedIn routed his request for contact via a mutual friend, Ian McCarthy who vouched for Ian Bogost. I took that request and forwarded it to Britt Blaser who is working with the Dean campaign. Britt is "Mr. Execution" and before I knew it, The Dean for Iowa Game happened. Congratulations to all involved!

Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropoitan and "die puny humans", asked some of us to do something for his blog on thinking about the coming year. I took the opportunity to expose the "die puny humans" facet of my identity. It's a slightly different persona than the one I use here so it was fun to write. Warren's got quite an interesting roundup of people.

Actually, I guess the technical term is, "yo duuuude."

Well maybe those days are over, but there's one thing for sure - Joi will have a drink - again.  Maybe on New Year's Eve - maybe 20 years from now - but once an addict, always an addict.  I mean that in a nice way.

We can try and intellectualize our way out of our problems, manipulating our actions and behavior to suit our health - mental, physcial or economic - but you'll always go back to being - just you. 

I would beg to differ on this point Marc. Since I announced that I would stop drinking, I've been contacted by a lot of people who have chosen to stop drinking and that was the end of that. I realize that it's quite difficult and you can't go back to NOT being addicted, but that doesn't mean you have to end up drinking again or that you don't have a choice.

As for:

Marc Canter
So as Joi dumbs down his persona, going for only the lowest denominator, he'll still pick his battles, stand his ground and make his point on all the right issues.  But he'll be doing that less and less.
I'm not sure I'd use the phrase "dumb down"... I'm not dumbing myself down for my blog, just performing for a more public audience. It's not about "smart/dumb". In fact, I'd suggest that I'm having to be a lot smarter in some ways and am filtering crap that only my close friends would let me get a way with.

Anyway, I know you didn't mean any disrespect Marc. I just want to clarify my position on these two points.

Barlow and I did an audio IChat AV session yesterday. Barlow has some interesting thoughts about this on his blog. When I was in Helsinki, Matt Jones also talked about how he kept Skype on all the time in the background with his partner who was in another country and felt her presence through the ambient sounds. Another person told me about how he listened to his daughter's piano practice on Skype.

My sister calls it "ambient virtual co-presence" in her paper (pdf) about Japanese mobile culture. She talks about this in the context of texting and talking on the mobile phone. She discusses how the value was not always in the content being exchanged, but in the fact that people felt connected when they were constantly exchanging traffic. The "connection" can be IM, voice, text messages or just about anything that allows you to feel someone's presence.

Over a decade ago, Barlow blew my mind with his essay, "Selling Wine Without Bottles: The Economy of Mind on the Global Net" I think the next one is, "It's not the wine, it's the company" or something.

As Barlow points out, when all this stuff becomes literally free, we can do it "always on" instead of being so m-time "hello/goodbye" about phone calls. I do think audio will become a part of presence. My sister focuses on how mobile computing is a seamless part of our real world instead of the traditional "real life/cyberspace" notion of something we are either in our not. I think combining these two things is an area that will really change the way we live our lives for better or for worse.