Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

This is a real picture from the guest information book in the room. "It's a great pleasure to stay with us." Ya... right.

We arrived last night at Maholova Minds to have a weekend off-site about "the space." Chris and Barak flew in from the US. Michiel, our intern from Hitotsubashi was coordinating the event with Barak. I was in Europe when they were deciding the place, so while it is not my fault, I am also not blaming anyone in particular since I said I this place sounded fine. We are in a hotel sort of place dedicated to off-sites called Maholova Minds in Miura beach near Tokyo. It was a sweaty train ride Friday night through rush hour Tokyo with our bags. It was kind of raining as we left Tokyo on the subway and it was still raining an hour and a half later when we dragged our bags up a hill from the train station to Maholova Minds.

We arrived around 11pm and the place was dark. Barak asked where all of the bowing Japanese service people were. I noticed a sign in front of the plastic flowers at the entrance and it said, "Dear Customers, please don't touch the flowers." The bath was about to close and the vending machines about to be turned off. When I arrived in my room, there was a smell... part mold, part... sweat or something. The carpet was so dirty, spilling stuff on it was doing it a favor. There was a sign on the wall that said, don't touch the poison on the balcony which was there to kill the pigeons. When Mizuka asked me over the phone whether it was the worst place I have ever stayed... I had to think about it, but I couldn't remember anywhere worse. Anyway...

The bed was tilted and small and had down pillows which I am allergic to, but I fell asleep anyway. I was sleeping restlessly because I had left the curtains open and it was starting to get light. Then I had a very strange dream...

I was at some nice conference, but the facilities were a bit dumpy. I was supposed to teach a session on leadership where I had a bunch of GLT's and the leadership course was to teach them how to drive race cars and to race on a circuit. We finally made it on to the circuit where there were a bunch of F-1's and mechanics. There was one mechanic/co-driver with each car and they were preparing the cars. It was so noisy that I couldn't talk so I took the team to another building (scene keeps getting dumpier) and I explain all of the details. The turns, controlling the car, etc. When I get back to the circuit, the drivers and the person in charge of coordinating the event with me is gone. They had gone home for the day without confirming with me. I get REALLY mad at the guy who is still there and tells me this, but then I refrain myelf from killing the messenger. I storm out of the building slamming the door, telling everyone that I quit. My reason is simply that I can't stand the disorganization and their wasting my time and the time of my GLT's who were so looking forward to racing today. As I was storming out, Klaus Schwab came and talked to me. He said he understood why I was upset and apologized. I said it wasn't his fault... then I woke up.

What a weird dream. I was a bit dissappointed at Michiel and others for the disorganization yesterday. Michiel and others had also been discussing with me what they thought were some vision/leadership/management issues at Neoteny. (Partially the reason I was organizing the off-site.) I was also a bit disappointed by the leadership session at the GLT Summit (mostly because I was expecting so much...). I had been invited to the Kuala Lumpur Asian World Economic Forum meeting to be a discussion leader, but when I noticed that I wasn't in the printed program and I realized that I had a TON of work to catch up on in Tokyo, I cancelled my participating in the KL meeting and was feeling a bit guilty since I had told Klaus Schwab I would be there. I had heard a rumor that one of the organizers of the World Economic Forum events was leaving. This place is dumpy and moldy which was probably adding to my suppressed anxiety. Also, as I was dragging our bags up the hill through the rain, I had wished I had driven in my car instead of chosen to take the train. All of these rather random anxieties got rolled up into this strange dream. I wonder if I always have these weird anxiety wrap-up dreams, but just don't remember. Blogging about this feels even stranger sort of hanging my anxieties up in public to dry. On the other hand, Justin writes about EVERYTHING. Even his swollen penis. [This link contains graphic images for mature audiences only. Some readers have expressed concern and have been offended by the content. I will keep the link here, because it does make my point. I don't think Justin is particularly embarassed by the pictures, although his girlfriend Jane seems a bit disturbed by them. I would be too if I was Justin's girlfriend.] But, I probably shouldn't compare myself with or try to be like Justin. He's quite unique. Anyway, I'll see what I think about this after breakfast and coffee.

Disclaimer: I just woke up and I am still only half-awake, but I decided to write this before I forgot this dream, which I tend to do once I am fully awake. On the other hand, I often think that thoughts that I have when I am half-asleep are stupid once I am fully awake. I apologize, if this is a stupid entry. My new attempt at dream blogging...


Wow - that's a surreal entry - the dream begins with pigeon poison and somewhere along the race track you're dealing with some disappoinment and all the stress of life. That hotel sounds like a tired dump, like some smelly dirty hotels I've seen here, and around the world. Maybe it's a good place for a bit of a personal reckoning, priority shuffling or evaluation.

As a reader of your web site, I respect an entry like this Joi because it balances some of the amazing fun and forward thinking stuff you're a part of. There you are hobnobbing with world leaders and hanging out of a plane. But then this entry shows that all the exciting dozens of projects you're a part of, you're sometimes taxed, stressed and confused.

I find writing in those times theraputic, definitely. Calling other folks or institutions out on their errors is potent stuff; when it's web published, people find it and so you have to stand by your anger or judgement for as long as it survives online. Comments make it all the richer since people engage it afterwards! You have about nine years worth of personal stuff accumulating here - fortunately, you can rest assured that most people won't read to the end of your longer entries. And sometimes I think, if you air your anxieties in public, then you don't have to fear people discovering them for you. But when you write in the haze of a rough morning, or the heat of passion, you occasionaly say more than maybe you should have. But then you just bury it in your blog, under mounds of new content.

Could we please stop talking about Justin's penis?

Sometimes it's hard to date someone who exposes and has exposed his life so openly on his website. My writing is much less explicit, in general, and I'm not used to being reflected in someone else's life quite so graphically. I wonder, Joi, if your girlfriend, friends, and associates might feel the same? Althought you are not as, er, expulsive as Justin.

Also sometimes one writes something in the heat of the moment, in anger that passes or with poor judgement. It becomes tougher to take that back - do you delete the entry? Amend it? Attach commentary? Allow others to do so? I am still trying to figure it all out...

Jane, totally understand your concern about all of the talk about Justin's penis. Actually, 172 entries in Justin's web page mention his penis.

It's interesting. I often/usually worry about what people think, but as my blog starts to gain value, disclosing stuff on my blog becomes more important than what certain individuals think of me. I guess this is what professional journalists are like. I know a lot of journalists who write hurtful things about people for the sake of disclosure or to make the article interesting. I remember someone was very upset about the WSJ mention his BO. They didn't need to write about that, but it was interesting. Or, Esther Dyson writing about how John Gage of Sun couldn't get the network working. (She apologized to him on email. ;-) ) On the other hand, as an individual that gets written about this way quite often, I've learned to not take it personally. I guess we should be careful about whether the target of our criticism or our jests are public figures used to such things, or private individuals concerned about their privacy, reputation or ego.

For instance, Michiel is very concerned about his reputation and the fact that he appears negative. He is afraid that this might impact his job hunting after he gets his MBA. I don't think he enjoys all of the attention I give him on my blog and about how I always talk about how negative he is... ;-)

Another interesting Maholovaism. In the bathroom it says, "Please do not steal the towels. That management will cry if you do."

Jane, I truely apologize about continuing to talk about Justin's penis. VERY interesting responses I've been getting. Someone from Spain sent me email and said that the swollen penis was great. A Japanese man wrote and said he felt offended and awkward. In fact, he warned me that I might be "bad mouthed" for linking to such pictures. What an amazing range of responses.

Well, maybe I will edit the entry a bit so that no-one accidentally clicks on it. ;-p

You know the interesting thing about "exposing" yourself on a blog is you never know who you are going to meet and sure you could delete, but to lay it on the line and put it all out there, so too speak, is courageous & forth right. I would feel lucky to have THAT much info on a man when I first meet him.


I wish I was in a position to be able to expose all my writings and penis to the world. But I've scared people too much lately (and have been for years) - and I have to get my company funded - so any distraction or reason to give VC's to NOT fund us - has caused me to get 'cautious - in my middle age.

The original programmer of VideoWorks - Jamie Fenton - came out on-line and is now one of the leaders of the on-line trans-gender community. She (formerly he) used the web as a place to come out - and expose deep dark secrets even her partner (of 3 years) had no clue of.

I also understand the solemnity of writing about fuckups, anxiety, stress, in some strange hotel room, far away from people you know, comforts of your life or even room service. Having strange dreams echo your stress helps resolve many challenges. But your poor Japanese readers must get so freaked out!

One thing to keep in mind is that the difference between an email or IM (which gets sent and that's it) - is that blog posts can be CHANGED later! That makes blogging something new - something halfway in the spectrum between publishing and communication.

I've been playing with the concept of what a 'multimedia conversation' is lately. Using images, audio - even video - will both enable this stress relief, while at the same time - causing even more penis exposure.

Remember - in order of priority:

    - sex
    - religion
    - gambling
    - then all other content.

So good luck with Neoteny - and when you've decided what you're gonna do - give me a call.

Hi Joi,

To change the subject from exposed sexual/personal life, let me tell you my dream, inspired by yours.

In my dream, I was like a hair stylist, working on someone's head. Instead of the hair, I was asked by the person to peel a strip of skin from his head, from ear to ear above his forehead. I cut the circumference first and then peel. I realized I had been stripping a lot of his skin by, say, 5 mm increments. As I cut and peeled it, yellowish and brownish brain appears from underneath. Then, somehow, I closed the gap of the skin by squeezing the brain. However, suddenly I got scared and felt awful about the cutting and peeling, and told the person I could't do it anymore. Then woke up.

As a perpetual nightmare creater, I've actually read several books about analyzing dreams. One book said it is a good exercise to put "I" in every object/person that appears in your dream. By describing your dream this way, you'll find your hidden emotion/stress. So, in my case, it goes like "I was cutting a piece of myself from my brain...." Er!

You and your dreams Chika! I actually used to see more dreams than I used to. If I saw more dreams, I would write about them more. I would probably even make a category about dreams... Please start a dream section in your blog Chika. I want to hear more about them!

I've been long thinking about writing my dreams, but am worried people think I'm insane. I have killed, been killed, fought in a space war, been to the center of earth, and even become "Jibaku-rei". Maybe I should create a seperate page for my dreams only.