Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

This is an article about the early days of Mondo 2000. I thought we were friends, but this is what they had to say about me. I didn't know I was being "targeted for a possible investment." Of course it's not true that my parents came from "wealthy big business." I think the party they are talking about was the party that Tim Leary organized for me at the Mondo 2000 house to introduce me to a bunch of people in SF. Anyway...

quote: Mondo also partied with people whose money it coveted, throwing one affair for Joichi Ito, its Tokyo correspondent whose parents came from wealthy big business back in Japan, and who were being targeted for possible investment. During the course of conversation, the topic turned to the Japanese language. "You know, there are 12 ways of saying 'thank you' in Japanese," said Ito. "And every one of them insincere," replied novelist John Shirley.


I remember that party, but did that exchange really take place? I remember myself saying "There are 12 (or some such number) ways of saying 'Thank you" in Japanese, each one conveying a different shade of resentment".

Oh well, we're all just composites of unfounded rumours anyway...


Haha. Then you are the source. I never said anything like that. That's an interesting though. I guess "thank you" can be resentful, but do you think it aways is?

No, not really. It was a facile witticism, arising from the perception that spontaneous acts of generosity are often not appreciated as such, but rather interpreted as conferring some kind of obligation...

Ahh yes. The Japanese Generally Accepted Accounted Practices of indebtedness.

hmmm... what are the twelve ways anyway?

The Japanese have five different ways to say 'thank you'-and every one of them translates literally as resentment, in various degrees.

-Robert A. Heinlein, _Stranger in a Strange Land_, 1961

I was one of those angels for mondo2000, JP Barlow too and yes, they threw parties for us, my 40th birthday was in the Mondo House in Berkeley with indeed, many luminaries. I ended up as international distributor of mondo, and it was my entrance into the new edge world. Since then I wrote many books, but reading the edge piece by Joi Ito ( we met in those days) I have to admit I am autistic, asperger, but what a gift! My brain works different from 'normal' people, for sure, but allows me access to a much wider conscience and even some akashic levels. I think the rational mind is what limits us, but that ritual, meditation and drugs can bring us to the 'autistic' level where we can actually use the expanded sensitivity autism really is (which is what gets defended by the typical autistic behaviour).