Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Cory just had the best day of his writing career. danah was a "giddy little girl" yesterday. I get vicariously giddy when my friends are giddy on a good day. As Cory points out, his day was the best day "so far". That's key. Wouldn't it suck if you started your life with the best day ever and it kept getting worse? Much better to start with the bad days and have each day get better.

Does this mean that people who are born into luxury have a harder time having a good life than someone who starts out below average and ends up developing a great life? I guess it depends on what makes you happy.

The mundane parameters of my life (money, attention, health...) are cycling like crazy, but I definitely feel like my life continues to get better. I would say that the primary source of happiness for me is the quality of the human beings I get to spend time with. Although many of my favorite people have passed away, I think I am hanging out with more interesting people today than any other point in my life.

So in the spirit of the weird American holiday thank you. All of you.


You're absolutely welcome.


thank you.

I treasure the people in my life more than anything in this world. I am forever grateful for all that is added to my world by the friendship of others (and that would include you my foreign brother :P)

This post is a little conflicting and I was thrown by your first statement.

people who are born into luxury have a harder time having a good life than someone who starts out below average

Sounds like you assume luxury equates with "a good life", and the only way somone below average in that regard can have a good life is to move up the consumption chain.

Yet in the later part, you seem to realize that luxuries are not requirements for a good life.

I was born into a comfortable (but not luxurious) life, and find that the further toward or below (depending on where I stand now) average I go, the more I enjoy my life and can live my lifestyle with a clear conscience.

Granted, I live with the knowledge that I have the means to raise the comfort level should I loose all my values, so that relieves a lot of the stress.

K Point taken. You're right. Luxury is probably not the right word. I guess my point is just that the more you have when you're born, the harder it is to improve your condition. On the other hand, depending on what ends up making you happy, it doesn't really matter where you start.

I don't know the origin of this saying, but at Esalen, I remember people saying, "ho hum, yet another day in paradise." If you're in paradise, there's not much to look forward to. ;-)

K: perhaps "privilege" is a better substitute here. One thing about struggle and suffering is that they teach you to appreciate life. Luxury comes with privilege and the ivory tower tends to limit what you can see. When everything is easy, you never learn how to work for something. When everything is normally good, the pain hurts so much more.

This isn't just about where you come from but where you are and where you are going. The amount of privilege that i've acquired in recent years has made me soft in so many ways. I expect things to be good and the littlest things drive me batty. But, as my mother reminded me today, i have a lot to give thanks for.

It's always fun dropping by here to say hello.