Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

web_sharing_home.gifNoteTaker 2003 is a very groovy outliner that does lots of cool things like publish to the web, voice annotation and all kinds of other things that I haven't figured out yet. They shipped version 1.1 yesterday. Guess what. It does OPML! I griped about the fact that it didn't do OPML, before when I tried the previous release. Maybe this will be the "missing link" in my personal information management struggle. I've just bought it, installed the contextual menu and will try it out. Will report later after I've used it about, but just wanted people to know that it was out.

I just uploaded some photos that I took in during my tour of Chiba with Governor Domoto. This moblogging process was a bit more complicated than usual. I took my Hasselblad 205 FCC and most of my lenses. I shot both negative and positive film. I then processed them at a lab and had them scanned to PhotoCD format. I imported them into iPhoto, cropped them, enhanced some of them and uploaded them to my iMac web page from IPhoto. The worst part of the process was the PhotoCD part. I had read on the web that PhotoCD works well with negatives, but most of the scans turned out sort of washed out. On top of that, they cost more than $10 per photo to scan. (Still cheaper than professional scanning.) The iPhoto "enhance" feature worked well on the pictures with the busy pictures, but did not work with the pictures with simple objects and few colors. Anyway, if you're interested, the pictures are available as an .mac album.

I received the following email on the GLT list from Matthew.

Date: Tue Feb 18, 2003 12:01:37 AM Japan
To: GTL's
Subject: Truth, Childish Behaviour and War

1 Truth
The French maintain that Saddam is "a spent force", the Americans are saying "millions may die"; both leaderships have access to the same data on Iraq, but the statements are contradictory. Maybe neither is lying, but surely the "truth" is more than the mere absence of a lie? Doesn't the "truth" means telling things the way they really are without distortion or exaggeration? The lowest point for truth in the Iraq debate was the UK's "intelligence report" which contained bits of an old doctoral thesis pirated off the Internet (with the language altered slightly to make it more exciting).

A London magazine had this to say at the weekend "As war approaches, it will be safest to assume that every statement issued by Washington, London or Baghdad is absolute nonsense".

2 Childish Behaviour
To make things worse, Western leaders have started to use the language of the school playground to describe each other and their respective countries.

3 War
War is a serious issue and needs to be treated with a little more respect, I think this is the main reason why 5 million people protested against war on Iraq at the weekend.


I think the key phrase is "War is a serious issue and needs to be treated with a little more respect". This war is a VERY complicated issue. In fact, it is a COMPLEX issue. It highlights the fact that our representatives CAN NOT understand or communicate the issues. The attention span of the mass media is like the movie Memento and can't remember what it was saying a few minutes ago. It is a structured process breaking down as a chaotic world engulfs it.

I argue in my emergent democracy paper that maybe blogs will enable a process of demoracy similar to the way ants, slime molds and brains "think." The difficulty is that we humans think we're pretty smart and don't trust things that we can't understand or think for ourselves. That's what trust is for. You have to think locally and trust that everyone is doing that. Then you can build a network where no one node knows the whole of it, but it works. Dee Hock who writes about chaordics designed the Visa network to be this way. So if you're an ant, how do you know if your colony is smart? I guess if you're happy, that's a good sign. How do you measure emergence?

Maybe this war is a good opportunity to test whether the war blog debate, the mass media debate, the UN debate or the US government's own internal thinking is the smartest. How do we measure this? I guess you can't... but maybe we can examine the "quality" of the debate.

Blogstreet just launched a new tool that uses Java to let you view your Blogstreet "neighborhood" and click on your neighbors to expand and see their neighborhoods, etc. You get the idea. The tool is on their site and the developer, Veer, blogs about it.

I think the tools is fun, but two notes. I don't know my neighbors very well, but maybe that's not the point. Maybe it is about who I SHOULD know... It would be neat to be able to view Technorati data this way. Also, although it is fun, I'm not sure exactly how useful these visualizations are when you're in high-efficiency, I'm-too-busy-to-eat-lunch-because-I'm-blogging mode...

Although I'm enjoying dragging Doc and Dave around and watching the other blogs wiggle as they follow Doc and Dave around the screen. It's particularly fun in show "all" mode where there are a lot of blogs following them around... ;-)

Thank everyone for all of the constructive feedback and support in getting my thoughts to where they are. This was a community effort and a great example of emergent democracy itself. I've posted version 1.0 of the paper. I'm going to get the translators started on this. I missed various points that came up in the email dialog. I hope I can integrate them in this paper or work with everyone on the next paper. I'm happy to continue to get suggestions for version 2.0. It was a bit rushed since the publishers are on my case to get this finished, on the other hand it probably wouldn't haven't gotten this far so quickly if it weren't for the pressure. ;-)