Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm a bit late in commenting on this, but Adam released it in the middle of my Silicon Valley immersive experience and had a hard time concentrating. His paper which is available as a pdf file or on his web page is an interesting idea. The basic idea is to create a constitution and manage it like we manage open source software projects. It's a short paper and he doesn't elaborate on some of the details of how it would be done, but I think it is an interesting notion.

I've worked with some UN model law around electronic commerce and cyber arbitration, and some of the ideas are similar. Create a core code base that people can adapt and use locally. Helps harmonize. The main difference between what the UN does and what Adam is suggesting is the use of an open structure like open source.

I think the paper is a bit too geeky for lawyers and a bit to constitutional law oriented for geeks. I have the same problem with my emergent democracy paper.

Adam is releasing 1.0 this summer, I think. Look forward to reading it.

I'm gonna get my deep geek on here, and go public with something I've been putting a great deal of thought and effort into lately: apropos of many recent discussions of "emergent democracy," here's a proposal - a "minifesto," if you will - for the constitution of virtual, post-national states. The relationship to conceptions of democracy should be obvious.

Go 'head and shoot holes in it: I'm not a constitutional lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. The ideas proposed herein may well not stand up to extended inspection, which is OK with me. Think of this, then, as a public beta, offered as a conversation starter only.

Adam Greefield is proposing to hold a conference about moblogging in Tokyo this summer. Sounds like a good idea. Especially the fact that it's in Tokyo. ;-)

Saw Robert Berger yesterday. He is yet another very cool person I met through John Markoff. (Thanks John!) Robert is a radio guru. Glocom had invited him to Japan to work on a report about spectrum. I'm glad he was invited to Japan and got a chance to learn about Japan and meet the community here. He'll be returning to Silicon Valley soon. He will be one more of the few important people there who have experience in Japan. I continue to feel that the bridge between Silicon Valley and Japan is still too weak and the more cool people who can spend a little time in Japan and return to the US to be, if not advocates, at least conscious of Japan, the better. Looking forward to hearing what Robert plans to do next!

I'm sure everyone knows about "Where's Raed?" a blog by a guy in Baghdad which I wrote about here and here. (Thanks again John for the original link.) Paul Boutin does some great investigative blogging about where Salam Pax, the Baghdad Blogger, is. His conclusion?

Paul Boutin
Q: Is the Baghdad Blogger for real?

A: Probably.

Check out his thoughts if this question has been on your mind.

There is a great deal of debate in the Diet recently about Japan's military capability. The constitution of Japan states:

Japanese Constitution

Article 9.

Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

The interpretation of this is that Japan can not attack another country and in fact can not even shoot at anything until someone dies. So, if North Korea shoots a missile at Japan and it hits an unpopulated area, Japan can do nothing. If the missile kills someone, Japan can shoot the next missile down when it is over international waters. The military is pushing to have this law changed and the constitution amended.

In the Diet testimonies, the military said that they are currently not equipped to strike anyone anyway. The Aegis destroyers only have sea-to-air and sea-to-sea missiles and the fighter jets only have air-to-air missiles.

I currently do not know what my position is about rearming Japan, but interesting facts since Japan has quite a large military these days, but for what?