Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

existing or found everywhere

Had lunch with Justin and Jane. I met Jane for the first time and it was cool to be able to start talking about stuff right away since I read her blogs and she reads my blog. We were "synched" and ready to go. She was very cool and just like I imagined.

And Justin... I was once called ubiquitous by someone and I remember looking it up in the dictionary. Justin is ubiquitous. Not only does everyone know Justin, everyone has just recently seen him. Another ubiquitous person I know is Gohsuke Takama. I used to see him at every rave, walking in front of my car in Berkeley, under the table of an art exhibit I was judging for the Interactive Media Festival as "techno-shaman Gohsuke". Phil Zimmerman has signed Gohsuke's PGP key and he is always everywhere at once. Both Gohsuke and Justin are globally ubiquitous.

The other day, Barak told me I was like Forest Gump. (I didn't like this comparison of course.) I'm always around when big things happen, but not necessarily at the center. I was Pierre Omidyar's classmate in college. We were setting up Yahoo's server in Japan before Softbank invested in Yahoo. I was with Timothy Leary the night before he died... the list goes on. Being ubiquitous is very different from being a power broker or the center of things that happen. I think some people are nodes. Some people are hubs. Howard, for instance is a big node. Howard connects to a lot of things, but also does a lot of sitting and thinking. I may have been semi-ubiquitous, but I'm more and more a hub linking nodes I think...

Anyway, I was busy today, wanted to post at least one thing and all I could manage was this stupid comparison between human beings and computer networks. Sorry!


the web is lahk a blog of chawklets.

There's an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote that's oft-repeated, "There are no second acts in American lives." I guess in the context of his book The Great Gatsby, this might be taken to mean that by the time you have worked hard to create yourself, in the "American" fashion, you will have expended your human potential and so you will likely remain fixed at that point.

I have mused over this, since I was heavily involved in the early days of the web, I wonder, was that my chance to impact the world, to be a part of something?

Then I think about Stuart Brand's life (brief bio, not because I know him, but because he was present for a great many engaged moments - U.S. Army officer, riding on Ken Kesey's psychedelic culture bus in the 1960s, starting the alternative-lifestyle promoting Whole Earth Catalog, participated (as AV technician!) in Doug Englebart's historic first demonstration of the mouse and the computer-video-tele-conference, starting the WELL, among the most influential computer mediated conversation spaces in the short history of networked communications. Not knowing him, or much about him, I imagine he might have persued a policy of "engagement" which means admitting you're ignorant, wanting to learn, seeing what excites you, volunteering to help, and then participating fully wtih your time and energy. I like participation myself.

here I am. it is very much honor to be recognized as an ubiquitous person. hehe : ) and what I concern is that someone told me they saw me in Europe, where I have not been there yet. I'm wondering it might be some sort of doppelganger thing. I may be freaked out if I meet mirrored self somewhere!

Having been at the beginning of many technological trends, movements and events - let me tell you there's nothing better than bouncing your baby daughter on your knee or watching her take her first walk.

Here she is - posting her first blog:

Looks like she's taking a broad approach to web logging, developing an open style of writing. Congratulations Marc! Just wait for that first moment when she writes something online about her weird Dad or her exciting transgressions.

Children and breeding are on my mind more as I age. I'm still not sure I can take care of myself well enough, that I can expect to bring another life into the world that I have to take care of as well. But maybe you just take the plunge.

As for second acts in American life, a NYTimes article today details this phenomenon with regard to Britney Spears:

Schoolyard Superstar Aims for a Second Act, as an Adult
"[The fashion show] was the culmination of Ms. Spears's two-month intermission from work, ostensibly to relax but in reality to begin the process of refashioning herself for a new career."

Good luck to her. From the article it doesn't sound like she's getting that far away from her previous work in pop music. Maybe she should take up something more different, challenging her mind more than challenging her audience. But I guess people also often have scorn for movie stars who make albums, for example.

Cute baby Marc. There is really something about babies that makes everything sort of happy. They also really help you believe that life causes entropy, in case you had any doubt.

Maybe Justin, Joi, Gohsuke, and I can get together when I am in Tokyo this December, and we can entangle our nodes. Sounds vaguely pornographic, doesn't it?

When hubs collide!

The thing I have learned in life is that when someone falls into my path its no accident. There is a reason certain people cross paths. I immediately start thinking, what can I learn here? I love what Justin said about participating. My rule is "participation is the key too harmony." When I am drawn to a person, I feel compelled to explore the reason for the attraction. Usually that means letting things flow and trusting that more will be revealed. For now, I'm very interested in the topics you folks explore, so I keep reading and learning.


Well from the age of him... I think GENE HACKMAN needs more help!

On another note.. Britney seems to have delved into everything unseemly (now offered the largest sum in history to pose for playboy) with her new album and antics. My opinion is that we should pray for her..

Went to Gene Chapmans site.. He quotes

I Corinthians 7:23 were we to become the slaves of men, even "voluntarily."

But Jesus said, R"eneder under Ceasar that which is Ceasars".. And also, Paul said to "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.." Romans 13:1-7