Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm now at the Creative Capital Conference. Free WiFi. Yay! The DNS from the DHCP didn't work though so you have to find one and enter it directly... anyway.

It looks like a very interesting conference. Some of my favorite speakers are here including Charles Leadbeater and Pekka Himanen (who I was just with in Madrid). The other speakers sound interesting too and I look forward to their presentations. I will be giving a keynote on the 18th at 11:00, doing at Q&A at 11:30 and will be on the "Publicly Financed Content" panel at 13:00.

Today, the 17th, there will an all-afternoon gathering of Creative Commons projects from across Europe. This is the first time they've assembled in one meeting and I look forwarded to hearing about all of the projects.

The mayor of Amsterdam is speaking now kicking off the talk with a quote from Richard Florida talking about how businesses seek out creative people, but people seek out cities with other creative people. He is talking about the creative capital of cities.

I've been using Richard Florida's "Creative Class" to identify the new class of people who are anti-establishment, proactive, creative, connected... you know... us. Francesco Cara and Jyri Engeström turned me on to Richard Florida's work. (Everyone else in the world appears to already have known about him once I started to get excited.) I just read Karrie Jacobs's criticism of Richard Florida and his Creative Class quoting a discussion with John Thackara, the organizer of Doors of Perception, the conference I will be speaking at next. (via Gen Kanai) It's an interesting criticism and it argues that "In other words, Florida has taken something qualitative and turned it into something quantitative." I agree with some of the points, but I think that there is a class of people who seem to have more similarities across countries than other people in the region. If you look at the proliferation of things like social networking software and blogs in countries like Brazil and Iran, I think that broadband users in these countries have more similarities to the creative class in other countries than to their parents. I think that from a social software and remix culture perspective, this is very interesting.


Joi, you would have really liked Daniel Pink's talk at SXSW about his new book, "A Whole New Mind." Builds on Florida's ideas, to some extent. He gave the audience free copies, so I started mine on the way home, and I liked it, a lot. When it's released (next week, I think), I highly recommend buying a copy.

I blogged the talk at M2M.

Dear Joi:

I have a little problem with your description of yourself as "anti-establishment". How many conferences have you been featured at in the last year?
How many days have you spent on the road? How many companies have you helped finance?

Different establishment, maybe. "Anti" ? No way.

Yup. To establish your anti-establishment credentials, Joi, we need to see you more at progressive conferences like SIBOS, instead of mingling with these stuffy reactionary "establishment" types at 21C3, SXSW, Culture Digitali or the Creative Commons ;-)

Yes. I guess it depends on your definition of "establishment"... but this is the first time I've been called "establishment" Francis. As for conferences. They always invite token weirdos to conferences. Getting invited to fancy conferences doesn't make you establishment. I don't see how being on the road makes you "establishment". Financing startup companies doesn't make you "establishment" either... or maybe you're just trying to get a rise out of me. Anyway, I don't agree. ;-P

I define establishment as the monopolies and consolidated power that are messing up our world. My life is dedicated to fighting this establishment financially, politically and logicially.

Also, if this is the same Francis Hamit:

Frazier Park, California
Francis Hamit is an internationally published freelance writer, author and playwright and the moderator of "The Fight For Copyright" blog.

(and a traceroute on your IP address puts you somewhere around Pasadena, Ca.)

I would say you, sir, are the more "establishment", Mr. "Fight for your Copyright". ;)

Besides which, as has already been pointed out, your criteria are off kilter. Joi travels to conferences specifically *in order to change from within* the so-called "establishment".

Channeling Frank Zappa:

"I'm not big on demonstrations. Infiltrate the establishment. That's the way it happens. Infiltrate until there's another generation of lawyers, doctors, judges."

(of course one can argue, and I'd agree, that that next generation would just rebuild another establishment, and not necessarily a much better one. Witness the mess Zappa's generation left us with... but anyways, myself, I trust our man Joi. ;)

ramble ramble ramble.

I think that is interesting and utopical, by now.

My interest is that the commmon people have an great opportunity to get the information generated in those conferences througth Internet. Is un important issue to fomer consciousness, especialy in countries as USA.

By other way, the power is going oposite of the common awareness of the world, and remember, the power is the politics, and our politician are using our votes in diferenet way of our desires. This means that we are "established" as useful dumbs. All of us.

However, this kind of conference hava a tremendous chance of promotion and popularization through blogers and free-reporters.

This movements are not a ramble that all. The collective awareness make progress more slowly than the collective action.

Hmmm. I wasn't trying to get a rise out of you Joi. Just speaking truth to power, and you do have a lot of power. People listen to what you say. It has impact.

I'm a reporter (and, yes, as far as I know I am the only person with my name in the whole world) so that makes me a bit cynical about poses of opposing "the establishment". Large organizations tend to collect and consolidate their power, regardless of their original market position. Or am I being too cynical when I look at so-called "alternative media" as just another form of marketing?

BTW bloggers are doing journalism, despite what that establishment says about their lack of professionalism. Usually they are doing it very badly, with considerable bias, but from my study of 19th Century culture, I think that's simply part of the growth process. You'd be surprised the number of newspaper owners who were also politicians back then.

Bloggers will go through the same process of becoming objective and professional in order to expand their readership. Content is more than just words and images. Objectivity is required to broaden audience appeal.

I don't get many readers on the Fight for Copyright blog. The topic is obscure and not very interesting to most people. But there are enough to make it worth doing.

Since copyright is mentioned in the Constitution I consider it another Civil Right, like the Freedom of Speech.

After almost forty years as a writer, I think I understand the importance of being able to make a living from the work you love. And I've come to the radical notion that people who want to prevent professionalism and economic justice for professional writers are actually trying to supress free speech by destroying economic incentives to do the work well. Ownership is power. Claiming to own content you do not is a power grab.

At the same time, no one owns the truth and

circulating news, gossip, and opinion are all part of the communications process.

I'm all for enabling better communications.

But technology alone is not the answer.

Being able to smooth the process between widely separated people through niche marketing is generally a good and beneficial thing. But the same techniques are also used by criminals and terrorist groups.

Consciousness. That's an interesting concept. A good thing unless it is distorted by disinformation and momnetary passions based upon desire and hatred,. The only cure is more information, not less. And a few cynical bastards like me, who will always point out that the Emperor's new cloths leave him naked and vunerable. This is what reporters, paid or not, do.

These are not new issues. Sir Walter Raleigh commented on them. So did Immanual Kant.

Very good keynote, together with Charles leadbeater, the best. Tanks for your insights. Martin

Hi Joi. Your key note was good and fun. At the end everybody in the room was energized and ready to get into discussion. Shame then that the moderator skillfully killed of all the energy in the room by monopolizing the microphone for over 5 minutes trying to summarize what we all had just watched and listened to ourselves.

Thanks for your input in the conference, it was great to see the familiar on-line content suddenly become alive in face to face interaction. Nice meeting you!

someone pointed me to a more pragmatic critique of Florida:

despite what appears to be a relatively conservative vantage (Pepperdine is not exactly Berkeley), I must say I have to agree with his advice that we cant turn every city into Soho.
And until we have a "place for starving artists to starve" aka, affordable housing, the "bohemian index" really is empty jargon.

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