Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

We just had a "happening" on "emergent democracy". (A conference call about blogs ;-p ) It was great. On the call were Clay Shirky, Ross Mayfield, Pete Kaminski, Gen Kanai, Liz Lawley, and Sébastien Paquet. One of the great things about blogs is that it accelerated the the conversation on the web and increased the bandwith. Phone calls are even faster. We decided that this format was useful. Happenings should happen when some blog meme starts to pick up speed and reaches escape velocity. We are going to try to develop this form of communication as an extention of blogging but use other tools such as Wiki's, chat and IM. We are going to do another 7am Sat Tokyo time. Click Here to see what time that is in other time zones. We will be continuing our discussion on emergent democracy, but will be testing this "happening" method of communication.

Send me email with your IM address and blog URL (if you have one) if you want to join the next one.

Sebastien Paquet made a topic exchange feed. You can send trackback to:
and they show up in this RSS feed

Please trackback your entries about emergent democracy and read the RSS feed to keep track.


Does this mean Clay has a blog?-)

No, he doesn't have a blog... but he has a phone. ;-)

Clay did join in on the Gonzo Engaged gang Blog for a while back in early 2002, but he stopped after that.

Ironic that you will be encouraging "Emerging Democracy" while protesting against Iraq's best (and only) chance at losing the dictator who punishes people who criticize the regime by cutting off their tongues.
Support Iraqi democracy too.

I would not agree that way the war on Iraq has developed has been very democratic. I also do not believe that bombing Iraq is its only chance of losing its dictator. You have to practice what you preach. If you insist on pre-emptive strikes, others will feel it is OK. If you take away human rights, it gives other countries and excuse. If you unilaterally force issues, so will others. Lead through example. It reminds me a bit of the "do as I tell you, not as I do."

Well if you don't think that invasion (and bombing) is the only way to get rid of Saddam, please tell us how it should happen. Shouting and making faces? Sanctions and inspections have failed for 12 years now. Anyone inside Iraq who so much as looks sideways at Saddam will have their whole family tortured.

This is not pre-emption as Hussein is already in violation of binding U.N. resolutions from the previous war that he started by invading Kuwait.

As for leading by example, who exactly do you think will start a war only because of U.S. precedent? Of course, people do make decisions based on the U.S.'s behavior. What will all the world's dictators conclude if they see Saddam continue to violate U.N. sanctions against WMD and successfully defy the U.S. while the U.N. Security Council winks at him and play games with useless Keystone-Kops inspections and delays while making oil and weapons deals?! I shudder to think about it.

Well I just returned home and said hey let's check out how this emergent democracy happenning is going. It seems I missed it but family obligations cannot be called off sometimes.
That's in total contrast to wars which can and should be called off at all times,unless one's home is under direct threat.

I'm not a troll and I hope you don't take this as flamebating. But people like you John - quite many I'm afraid judging by the fact that you still support this act of terrorism, if not barbarianism - make me lose hope in humanity.

I guess you are American, and I'm probably right. Can you point Iraq on a world map? Do you know which countries are at the borders of Iraq? I doubt it.

And don't you try to sell us on that BS that by destroying a country and killing so many innocent people, democracy will emerge. And people will die, either directly because of bombs or indirectly because of starvation, unemployment and all the ills and disasters that a war brings about. I don't know whether people at Iraq want someone like Saddam or not. I have a few friends over there (yes, they are natives) who have mixed feelings. But that's not the issue.

What is the issue is that you do not have the slightest idea of what those people (the people you put in a box and identify them as terrorists) feel is gonna happen any minute now. What is even worse is that those people cannot fight back to protect their homes and families. They deal with an invinsible army that comes from the sky. All they can do is wait in agony for the bombs to land. What a torture! Not being able to see the enemy with one's eyes and yet anticipating that death will knock on the door for certain.

You, with your vote of support to this massacre, ensure that democracy is simply a rhetorical gig rather than a practical display of collective governance over public affairs. If you're so convinced that nuking Iraq will be for the common good and you 're so in favour of democracy, then why don't you go over there (provided you can find your way) and kill Saddam yourself instead of killing so many innocent people.

What a shame:-(

George Dafermos

With regards to the capture of Saddam today I mention this quote from Edmund Burke's reaction to the French Revolution:

I should therefore suspend my congratulations on the new liberty of France, until I was informed how it had been combined with government; with public force; with the discipline and obedience of armies; with the collection of an effective and well-distributed revenue; with morality and religion; with the solidity of property; with peace and order; with civil and social manners. All these (in their way) are good things too; and, without them, liberty is not a benefit whilst it lasts, and is not likely to continue long.

It looks like this post got a bit off topic. With all of the new hype surrounding the Dean campaign, I was wondering what your thoughts on emergent democracy are.

I think that the "blogging for Dean campaign" has proven something pretty amazing, that most people have overlooked. I think that the press and even the bloging community has gotten a little too absorbed in using Blogs to simply help someone win an election, riding on the hope that this person might change things.

Blogs could be much more powerful if they were used to effect public discourse on a wider scale.

Here is a blog I've started to shift the conversation in that way. It proposes a practical approach to "emergent democracy" using tools available. It is simply a framework for bringing to light problems, proposing new ideas to address these problems, and evaluating the popularity or importance of problems and solutions. I've developed a proposal for using blogs to do this. Its on a blog...

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