Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

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Blogs help reform in Iran

Blogs contribute to political reform in Iran (New York Times): Former vice-president of Iran, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, said that he learned through the Internet about the huge gap between government officials and the younger generation.

"We do not understand each other and cannot have a dialogue," he said. "As government officials, we receive a lot of confidential reports about what goes on in society. But I have felt that I learned a lot more about people and the younger generation by reading their Web logs and receiving about 40 to 50 e-mails every day. This is so different than reading about society in those bulletins from behind our desks."

Now if only Japanese politicians would read blogs and learn about the huge gap between government officials and the younger generation.

Iranian bloggers have done an amazing job and I'm impressed that at least one politician is getting the message and even blogging himself.


I am not so sure that the gap between young and old in Japan is that great.

What issues do you think there are gaps between young and old in Japan?

Joi, you are the link between old and new Japan. If the old people in charge are not getting the message by now then you have only yourself to blame :-)

What would be even better is if government officials in Japan or Iran actually got out from behind their desks to see what real life was like for their populaces.

One example is that the government has realized that Japanese youth culture is one of Japan's greatest exports. They have put together panels of experts and made it a national initiative in the bureaucracy. As if a bunch of bureaucrats can "help nurture" the youth culture in Japan that exists DESPITE the old guys...

Has any1 got a list of "Hotspot" blog areas ?? e.g Iran or maybe Myanmar etc etc ?? I think blogpshere was watching Iran recerently has they had turned off certain Service providers like blogspot, liverjournal etc etc....
Secondly, many of the blogs are not feed RSS so its difficult to keep track of activites or even if they are activie !!

Baseball player Furuta has started blogging (and got over a thousand trackbacks on his first post). That might open a few politician's eyes about the potential here.

Decision makers can easily misinterpret public opinion because the communications they receive have an elite bias. Members of the mass public seldom call or write their senators or representatives, much less converse with them at dinners, cocktail parties, or other social occasions. Most of the communications receiced by decision makers are intraelite from newspersons, organized group leaders, influential constituents, wealthy political contributors, and personal friends - people who, for the most part, share the same views. It is not surprising, therefore, that members of Congress say that most of their mail is in agreement with their own position; their world of public opinion is self-reinforcing. Moreover, persons who initiate communication with decision makers, by writing or calling or visiting their representatives, are decidedly more educated and affluent than the average citizen.
Understanding Public Policy, Thoma R. Dye

I think that the US will never let Iran have a real grassroots revolution. If there is going to be "democracy" in Iran (or any other middle eastern nation) it's going to have to be US approved, with US approved people running the show. There is too much oil there

So, expect these or any real grassroots reformers to disappear in one way or another. If they do not disappear, expect them to be directly inluenced by the ongoing US psyops/intellience campaign in Iran