Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Read in Boing Boing about the ZDNet page of Corporate Anthems.

It's a great page.

I was able to find the audio soundtrack of one of my old favorites, "Ever Onward" the IBM Song. They also have an animation.

Here are the lyrics to "Ever Onward"

There's a thrill in store for all
For we're about to toast
The corporation that we represent.
We're here to cheer each pioneer
And also proudly boast,
Of that man of men
Our friend and guiding hand
The name of T.J. Watson means
A courage none can stem
And we feel honored to be
Here to toast the IBM.

Ever onward! Ever onward!
That's the spirit that has brought
us fame.
We're big but bigger we will be,
We can't fail for all can see,
That to serve humanity
Has been our aim.
Our products now are known
In every zone.
Our reputation sparkles
Like a gem.
We've fought our way through
And new fields we're sure to conquer, too,
For the ever onward IBM!

Ever onward! Ever onward!
We're bound for the top
To never fall,
Right here and now we thankfully
Pledge sincerest loyalty
To the corporation
That's the best of all
our leaders we revere
and while we're here,
let's show the world just what
we think of them!
so let us sing men - sing men
once or twice, then sing again
for the ever onward ibm!

The IBM Songbook is also online.

Great article in the NYT about how a study shows that people's brains react positively when people cooperate. Using MRI scanning and the Prisoner's Dilemma, researchers were suprised by the results. This reinforces many of Toshio Yamagishi's ideas that I wrote about in a previous entry.

Hard as it may be to believe in these days of infectious greed and sabers unsheathed, scientists have discovered that the small, brave act of cooperating with another person, of choosing trust over cynicism, generosity over selfishness, makes the brain light up with quiet joy.

Studying neural activity in young women who were playing a classic laboratory game called the Prisoner's Dilemma, in which participants can select from a number of greedy or cooperative strategies as they pursue financial gain, researchers found that when the women chose mutualism over "me-ism," the mental circuitry normally associated with reward-seeking behavior swelled to life. And the longer the women engaged in a cooperative strategy, the more strongly flowed the blood.

The NYT Article

Here's another example of the clash of cultures on the Internet. Google, trying to do a good thing has run into the wrath of old school Usenet types. ;-)

From David Farber's Interesting People Mailing List:


This article explores the conflict between the cooperative online culture of users who have created Usenet and the corporate commodification of Usenet posts by companies archiving the posts. The clash of decision-making processes is presented thorough the details of how Usenet users choose to petition a company to provide protection for the public archives it had collected. The company disregarded the petition and the archives were sold to another company. The new company has begun to put its own copyright symbol on the posts in its archives. How will such a commodification affect the cooperative nature of Usenet itself and the continuing vitality of Usenet's cooperative culture The article explores this culture clash and considers possible consequences.

from "Commodifying Usenet and the Usenet Archive or Continuing the Online Cooperative Usenet Culture?" by Ronda Hauben
in Science Studies 15:1(2002), 61-68

For someone who is always thinking of clever things to ask when interviewing people, this was an interesting site. Thanks Sen! Sen found it on slashdot.

"This is a collection of riddles I've accumulated via Eta Kappa Nu / Tau Beta Pi challenges, the internet, academic courses, and lots of cool friends. Many of them are from job interviews for hi-tech positions; I believe Microsoft was responsible for popularizing the usage of riddles in interviews. I like these problems because they often require you to think in ways you wouldn't normally. They may seem impossible at first, but then you get a solution and it's an epiphany. "

So it is a fight to be the most simple? Goggle beat Infoseek by being more simple and user oriented. Web services take that to the next level. If companies start competing to be easier to integrate, more open and more simple that's a great thing for us!

Quoted from the Goggle Weblog:

Google tells Amazon Light to Cease and Desist

Amazon Light, a very cool new use of the Amazon Web Services recently introuced (and clearly inspired by Google's Web API) provides a cleaner-than-Amazon interface to the same data. However, they recently report that they've been asked to cease-and-desist by Google's lawyers. The site was very much like Google's (screenshot) but it was clearly in good taste. I'm not sure why Google is so testy about it. Is a coming soon?

I wonder if they'll go after Whois Report next.

[Thanks to Kevin Burton for alerting me to this.]

Posted by Aaron Swartz on July 19, 2002 07:33 AM