Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Just in case you missed this, Microsoft is supporting RSS and is letting the developers lead. Dave Winer approves. If you don't know what RSS is, here is a great article describing RSS and how to make a feed.

I am now 9kg lighter than when I started my Atkin's Diet program about a month ago. I weighed in this morning at home at 68.4kg which is just barely under my target of 68.5kg. I will conduct an official Fat Club weigh-in tomorrow at the gym. If I can keep myself under this weight and possibly lose a little more for a safety cushion, I will be free from my committment to not drink any alcohol until I meet my goal.

I have to say that it was tough without alcohol, but I feel much healthier and am definitely not going to drink as much as I used to. I actually enjoyed the challenge and would like to point out to the people who tried to tell me that it was foolish to make promises that I can't keep, that I did in fact keep my promise and actually enjoyed it. Also, special thanks to all of the people who didn't pressure me to drink or eat.

Anyway, it's not over till the fat guy sings, but I'm pretty comfortable that I'll pass tomorrow. I wonder where I will make Yuichi drive me...

A good article in Business 2.0 on the business of the Atkin's Diet

I just had lunch with a friend from Hong Kong. He said people are pretty freaked out. All of the schools are closed and hotels are at 10% capacity. He says that you can actually trace the infections back to a doctor from China who visited Hong Kong for a wedding. He sneezed in an elevator and all of the people who were in the elevator are now dead. There was a rumor that the people who got the disease from him all died, but the people who got the disease from those people haven't all died and that the virus diminishes in deadliness as it is transmitted, but it appears to be a rumor. People in HK are stocking up, partially because of the teenager hoax which involved a forgery of a newspaper site blowing the problem out of proportion and sending everyone into a panic. Seven people are reported to have symptoms in Japan and are being tested, but they they have not been confirmed to have SARS.

Everyone in HK is wearing masks, although it probably doesn't help. Immigration officers in Tokyo are wearing masks, but only telling people who have fevers, have visited risk countries and are coughing to go to the quarantine office. People in China still seem to be under-informed and are not wearing masks.

New York Times
China Yields Data on Mystery Illness Reluctantly

BEIJING, April 3 — In early March, when a new mystery illness started hopscotching around the globe, Chinese health officials looked on in silence, as if to say, "This has nothing to do with us."

At that point, China was already four months into an outbreak that officials later acknowledged was the same disease, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. Yet they insisted that the situation was fully under control, shared none of their data and declined to join international investigations.

Dan Gillmor
April 3, 2003

It wasn't newspapers or television or radio that originally spread the word about the outbreak of a serious respiratory illness, now known as SARS, in southeast China. It was SMS -- text messages on mobile phones.

Boing Boing
Cory Doctorow 7:59

The Chinese government sent out six million SMS messages to Hong Kong cellphones yesterday, informing the populace that the web-page that reported that the whole city would be quarantined to contain the SARS outbreak was a hoax perpetrated by a 14-year-old who'd been arressted.

April 4, 2003 Paul Krugman on the economic impact of SARS

Kevin Marks has written a nice rebuttal to Andrew Orlowski's article about googlewashing.

Also, FYI it wasn't because I am a "a colossus of authority" that Jim Moore's article took off on Google, but probably because the true colossus, Dave Winer wrote about it. Actually, I first heard about Jim's blog because Dave met Jim and emailed Doc and me about Jim's new blog. (In any event, collosal is a collosal word. I think Andrew had probably just finished reading the article about the colossal squid.)

Andrew Orlowski has an article in The Register about how Jim Moore's paper about the Second Superpower spread so quickly it now ranks #1 on Google. Talks about how A-List blogs contribute to the ability for a single entry to quickly outrank versions of the word. (Cory talks about this phenomenon a lot.) Flattering mention of my blog... ;-p

Moore's subversion of the meaning of "Secondary Superpower" - his high PageRank™ from derives from followers of 'A-list' tech bloggers linking from an eerily similar "Emergent Democracy" discussion list, which in turn takes its name from a similarly essay posted by Joi Ito [Lunch - Lunch - Lunch - Segway - Lunch - Lunch - Fawning Parody] who is a colossus of authority in these circles, hence lots of PageRank™-boosting hyperlinks, and who like Moore, appeared from nowhere as a figure of authority.

Lunchin' Ito's essay is uncannily similar to Moore's - both are vague and elusive and fail to describe how the "emergent" democracy might form a legal framework, a currency, a definition of property or - most important this, when you're being hit with a stick by a bastard - an armed resistance (which in polite circles today, we call a "military").

The phenomenon Andrew writes about is quite interesting although the article is a bit nasty. Obviously Andrew doesn't think much about blogging.
Andrew Orlowski
Andrew Orlowski on blogging
Here's a mechanism which allows a billion people who can't sing, can't write a song or make an original beep, and have nothing to express, the means to deafen me with their tuneless, boring cacophony.
IMHO, I think Andrew should join the conversation instead of griping and acting like a magazine on the coffee table at a cocktail party...

Mitch has blogged about this article.

Thanks to Kevin, Anthony and George on the ED list for the links