Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I emailed Governor Domoto yesterday to let her know I moved in and became a Chiba resident. She emailed me back and said she was going to be in the neighborhood and would drop by our new house the day after tomorrow. Yikes! Nothing like a little pressure to unpack and clean up the house. I wonder what the protocol is with the neighborhood. This is like some kind of Japanese protocol adventure game...

I was noodling around trying to organize "the space" in my head and put this picture together. The x axis is the "context". IE low context is stuff like CD's and books which don't change, are worth approximately the same amount to most people and don't have much timing or personal context. The far right is very personal, very timing sensitive, high context information such as information about your current "state". Then there is everything in between. The top layer is the type of content sorted by how much context they involve. The next layer is how they are aggregated and syndicated. Below that are substrates that are currently segmented vertically, but could be unified horizontally with open standards. Anyway, just a first path. Thoughts and feedback appreciated.

UPDATE: Changed color to red and edited the examples to be brand agnostic.

The Japan Time
'REGAINING PUBLIC SAFETY' - Cops to sniff out illegal foreigners in Tokyo


Immigration authorities, police and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Friday they will take joint action to halve the number of foreigners without visas in the capital within five years.

The Justice Ministry's Immigration Bureau, the bureau's Tokyo branch, the metropolitan government and the Metropolitan Police Department issued a joint statement saying they would cooperate more closely toward this goal.

They believe that half of the estimated 250,000 undocumented foreigners in Japan live or work in Tokyo.

"An increasing number of visaless foreigners engage in serious crimes, and it is pointed out that the problem is closely linked to organized crime by foreigners," Justice Minister Daizo Nozawa asserted during Friday's news conference.

This is all part of Governor Ishihara's ethnic cleansing of Tokyo thing. He's blaming all of the horrible crimes on "foreigners" and using that to ramp up police force and will probably lead to increased intrusions of privacy.

I do know that there have been increased activity of foreign organized crime groups in Japan, but his talking about "criminal DNA" in foreigners is horrible and will just help justify people in looking away when heavy handed police tactics are used on foreigners in Japan. Bad bad bad...

Loic, a French entrepreneur blogger writes about his experience starting companies. Good stuff. I totally agree with the importance of execution over ideas. That's why, although I find my "competition" reads my blog, it's better if people know what I'm doing as long as I'm moving fast enough. ;-)

Yesterday Mizuka and I went to visit our new neighbors bearing simple gifts. Our house is in the center of the village and was owned by the head family of the village until they had financial trouble and had to sell to our previous owners. Almost all of my neighbors are spin-off families of the same household. It's quite a small, tight community. It appears that we have have to join the community. This means semi-annual drinking feasts with the neighbors, help with funerals and weddings and a lot of socializing. Since all of the neighbors have the same last name, they are all called by their role in the community or their job. Everyone seems to know what everyone else is doing and there really isn't any privacy. On the other hand, everyone seems to look out for each other and are always available to help. No one locks their doors and there are eyes everywhere.

One of the women we met was the widow of the man who built our house and cried when she talked about how much effort was made by him and the community in building our house. There seems to be a great deal of history that we're stepping into and Mizuka and I have to be very sensitive not to screw up our entry into this community.

It's quite a shift from the anonymous existence one leads in Tokyo, but it feels like a microcosm of the rather closed community culture of Japan. Comfortable if you conform, but quite difficult if you don't...