Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

March 2002

Jerusalem ( Update — Jews, whose troubled, 10,000-year term as God's "chosen people" finally expired last night, woke up this morning to find that they had once again been hand-picked by the Almighty. Synagogues across the globe declared a day of mourning.
Due to the absence of voluntary candidates, God's Law stipulated that the Almighty had to choose a people at random to serve out the next 10-millenia term. Elias Contreau, director of the International Interfaith Working Group, said he wasn't surprised it came to a blind drawing.

"According to the Bible, God promised to bless Abraham and those who came after him," said Contreau. "Who knows, maybe that sounded good at the time, or maybe 'blessed' meant something different back then, like 'Short periods of prosperity interrupted by insufferable friggin' chaos.' Whatever, I think it's safe to say that people didn't know what they were agreeing to."

Now they do, Contreau added, which he said explains why so many religions had lately been exalting God's existence, but downplaying their own.
In Jerusalem, Jewish leaders said they will propose an amendment to God's Law prohibiting a people from having to serve more than two consecutive terms. "Hopefully, G-d will hear our prayer," said Meyerson. "No, wait, that's what got us into this."

Americans, meanwhile, expressed outrage at the decision, saying they had assumed they were God's chosen people. However, explained Archbishop Carey, "It only seems that way because so many people don't like you."

This is from March, but I just found it...
For full story click on Satirewire link above.

I was was scheduled to participate on the last panel discussion at a e-government conference held by the Nikkei today. I was supposed to go straight from the airport after returning from Aspen. There were terrible thunderstorms in Tokyo and the traffic was terrible. It was obvious I would not make it in time. Luckily Ushii was on the scene and the moderator, Sekigushi-san had a computer connected to the Internet on stage. I was able to email them my comments which they put up on the big projector. As usual, I was protesting the national ID and preaching privacy.

Anyway, sorry Sekiguchi-san for not making it! Ushii sent me to photo to the right from his computer on the scene. I felt like I was "virtually" there. Thanks to my Crusoe empowered Sony Vaio and my NTT Docomo Foma 64k card, I was able to keep in touch with the moderator, Sekiguchi-san and Ushii through the session...

So it 4:40am in Aspen and I'm going through cards and notes from the conference. Overall, it was one of the best conferences I've attended. I think they invited a little over 100 people. All of the people were very high quality and the format of the sessions were great, although the scheduling was a bit out of control. On the other hand, I guess that can be expected to a certain extent considering the egos of the people who were speaking. ;-) I had 2 false starts for my blurb and when I was suddenly told to present, I was still a bit groggy from having just woken up. I didn't feel I was at my best which was a bit of a bummer, but I guess we should all be able to speak on short notice.

I think the number of people is important for conferences. With 100+ people, it is likely you will get to meet almost everyone you want to meet. One of the problems with the World Economic Forum is that with over 2000 people, it takes quite a bit of effort to get around to everyone you want to see and the mood is less cozy.

I doubt Fortune Magazine would consider me a publication, but I'm assuming that they will want to keep most of the content for their October and November issues so look forward to seeing some cool things in Fortune about the conference. I'll try to blog the articles and add my perspectives then.

Personally, my understanding and sense of closeness to the conflict in the Middle East, the HIV problem, ecology and poverty were dramatically increased. (More things to think about! Oh no!)

It was also amazing to meet all of the Silicon Valley VC gurus, human rights leaders, government leaders and CEO's all in one place. It was great seeing the Minister of Women's Issues of Afghanistan getting support from the philanthopists who were in attendance.

Anyway, I hope they do it again and invite me again. It was a blast.

Now I have to pack and get ready for my loooong flight back.

antimosquitoes1.jpg - PC-powered mozzie-buster gets upgrade - July 31, 2002

BANGKOK, Thailand -- A Thai computer programmer behind a wildly popular anti-mosquito software package has upgraded his program to also repel cockroaches and rats, the English language Nation newspaper reports.

Interesting. I guess this could be true and Thailand would be a reasonable place to have developed it. Let me know if anyone tries and finds that it works!

Download page for Anti Mosquitoes All OS Collection

Thanks Sen for pointing this one out!


Shimon Peres says...

First, he told us that he had just received a call from the Prime Minister and that another bomb had gone off in a University...

"I have no hatred in my heart for the Palistinians."

He thinks that maybe the Palestinians may be able to build the first real Arab democracy since they are building from scratch and have watched other Arab nations and their problems.

"We are just two tragedies meeting in the same place. I hope that this doesn't turn into a third tragedy."

"I believe that the greatest liberation in the 20th century was the liberation of women."

"Since we can't build a world government, let's build a world NGO. Have the companies come together and pay insurance. Have a board of directors with members such as Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela. Totally based on volunteering. No one forcing. This may be able to handle the problems that globalization is creating."

"Television made dictatorship impossible, but it made democracy intolerable."

"What can you learn from History? Very little... History was written with red ink, wth bloodshed. We should educate our children how to imagine, not how to remember."

Some students and a Rabbi were discussing how you can tell when night is over and day has come. One student said that when you can tell the difference between a lamb and a goat, day has come. Another student said that when you can tell the difference between a fig tree and and an olive tree, the day has started. The Rabbi says, when you see and white man or a black man and you call him your brother, the day has come. When you see a rich man or a poor man and you call him your brother, the day has come.

I don't know the publishing rules for this conference. I looked through all of the materials and there was no comment about usage of what we learn. They never mentioned it at during any of the sessions either so I am assuming it is OK. If someone thinks this is inappropriate, please email me. I think his comments were great and can't see how it could damage anyone...