Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Great article in Wired about the Hydrogen Economy by Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall.

How Hydrogen Can Save America
The cost of oil dependence has never been so clear. What had long been largely an environmental issue has suddenly become a deadly serious strategic concern. Oil is an indulgence we can no longer afford, not just because it will run out or turn the planet into a sauna, but because it inexorably leads to global conflict. Enough. What we need is a massive, Apollo-scale effort to unlock the potential of hydrogen, a virtually unlimited source of power. The technology is at a tipping point. Terrorism provides political urgency. Consumers are ready for an alternative. From Detroit to Dallas, even the oil establishment is primed for change. We put a man on the moon in a decade; we can achieve energy independence just as fast. Here's how.
I wrote about the hydrogen economy before. I first learned to use computers at, was on the board of and am currently an advisor to management of one of the pioneering companies in the hydrogen economy, Energy Conversion Devices. The founder Stan Ovshinsky has been talking about the hydrogen economy since 1955 and the company, when founded in 1960, was founded in large part to solve many of the issues discussed in the article. It's amazing to see a "buzz" that takes almost 50 years to come around. I'm glad that at 80 years old, Stan can see a lot of his his vision unfold.

Sébastien Paquet quotes Tom Munnecke's comments on Dee Hock's letter, Dee Hock's article leader-followers and the World of Ends and has an "ah ha" moment about why David and Doc's vision is difficult to implement.

Reading this helped me pin down precisely what makes me uneasy about David and Doc's World of Ends piece. They're trying to do exactly that, make current executives and the ilk streamline themselves, instead of targeting, giving hope to, and helping organize those who have little to lose. I suspect that the attitude shift that David and Doc are hoping for is only going to materialize once this groundwork alternative organization effort is well underway and pretty much everybody has woken up and smelled the coffee.
Yes... my precious... This is what I was trying to talk about in my entry about the lust for power. It is really difficult to ask the people who have power to give it up. Even if they are your friends. Telling them may even tip them off to your strategy and allow them to more easily resist it. How do you organize a more grassroots, "lets just get on with it" attitude? It is important to have a message and a framework that is easy to understand, but we have to make sure that we target the people and empower the people instead of targeting power and trying unpower them. (Not trying to say here that World of Ends is wrong. It is just that some people are asking, "who are you talking to?")

Looks like I missed a great party. The Blogger/Google party that is. Chris has a posted lot of pictures with some very funny captions.

Jon Lebkowsky
Whuffie in Links

The Emergent Democracy tribe's been discussing a possible enhancement of href links. Since Google's page ranking uses the number of times a page is linked as part of its algorithm, it might make sense to include other information about your evaluation of a page when you link to it. The idea is to contribute your assessment of the whuffie (reputation) of the link, so that you wouldn't assign more credibility to a bogus page if you linked to it for some reason. Broad implementation of a method like this could improve Google's assessment of value, and it might have other uses as well.

There's a debate about the best way to implement something like this. My opinion is that you would add an attribute called "whuffie," after Cory Doctorow's term for reputation in the imagined future of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Whuffie could have a value of -10 to 10, so you might have <a href="" whuffie="10">.

This is a great opportunity to identify the blogroll from the entry. Various sections of your blogroll indicate a static vote of confidence about the blogs they point to, whereas entry links are more about the articles they point to. Blogstreet should look at only the blogroll, Blogdex, only the entry links and Technorati a combination of both. I guess the URL tells you, in a sense, if you are pointing at the entry or the blog, but you could make it explicit in the tag.

This meme reached mailing list escape velocity in only one day! Almost missed it. ;-)

I did an interview about IT and venture businesses in Japan for Glocom. Video streams just went online.