Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Activism Category

Conversation with Choreographer Karole Armitage »

I first met Karole Armitage at a dinner Tod Machover's home. (Tod is a faculty member at the Media Lab.) Karole was a perfect candidate for the Director's Fellows program and she agreed to join us. Karole describes herself as a former "punk ballerina" and through dance and movement is able to connect so many interesting ideas and worlds. She's already started to actively collaborate with a number of people at the Lab. In this conversation we discuss some of those collaborations as well as some new ideas. Audio is available on SoundCloud and iTunes....

Edge Question 2017 : What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely know? A: Neurodiversity »

John Brockman's EDGE asks a tough question every year. For 2017 the question was "What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely know?" My answer was: Neurodiversity Humans have diversity in neurological conditions. While some, such as autism are considered disabilities, many argue that they are the result of normal variations in the human genome. The neurodiversity movement is an international civil rights movement that argues that autism shouldn't be "cured" and that it is an authentic form of human diversity that should be protected. In the early 1900s eugenics and the sterilization of people considered genetically inferior...

Conversation with Shaka Senghor »

I recently had a Facebook Live conversation with Shaka Senghor, a Media Lab Director's Fellow and author. Shaka spent 19 years in prison for second-degree murder. In prison Shaka found a path to redemption initially through reading and then writing. I met him just after he had come out of prison. You can read more about this in the foreword to his book that I wrote. Shaka's an amazing leader, writer, inspiration and an important voice behind the fight against the systematic mass incarceration in the US. We talk about prison, his book, Writing My Wrongs and a bit...

Safecast Conversation with Sean and Pieter from Safecast about Whiplash »

Conversation with my Safecast co-founders, Sean Bonner and Pieter Frank about Whiplash and citizen science. Safecast is an international, volunteer-centered organization devoted to open citizen science for the environment. After the devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck eastern Japan on March 11, 2011, and the subsequent meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, accurate and trustworthy radiation information was publicly unavailable. Safecast was formed in response, and quickly began monitoring, collecting, and openly sharing information on environmental radiation and other pollutants, growing quickly in size, scope, and geographical reach. Our mission is to provide citizens worldwide with the...

Hundreds of MIT Faculty Members Sign Statement Upholding the Value of Science and Diversity »

Over 300 400 members of the MIT faculty, including myself, have signed the statement below. (You can see all the signers on the mitvalues.org page.) My quote included in a press release issued this afternoon was: "Academic institutions have historically been havens to protect diversity of opinions and the freedom to express those opinions when the political climate has impinged on this freedom. It appears that we are entering a period where the political climate requires us to assert our leadership to protect and foster diversity and scientific inquiry itself." The President-elect has appointed individuals to positions of power who...

Jamila and Alia from The Albert Einstein Institution »

Tenzin and sat down with Jamila and Alia from the Albert Einstein Institute to have a conversation about nonviolent action. You can find the audio on SoundCloud as well as on iTunes....

A recent discussion about DRM with Richard Stallman, Danny O'Brien and Harry Halpin » »

LibrePlanet 2016 and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) happened to be having meetings at MIT at the same time so Harry Halpin from the W3C thought that it would be a great opportunity to have a public discussion about Digital Restrictions Management* (DRM). The W3C was having a discussion about DRM and the World Wide Web and considering Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) which would build DRM support into the Web standards and various parties were trying argue against it. They didn't have room over at CSAIL so he approached me about having it at the Media Lab and...

On Disobedience »

Photo by: Oli Scarff(licensed from Getty Images under a limited use license/do not copy) Last night, I was on a panel about DRM with Richard Stallman from the Free Software Foundation, Danny O'Brien from from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harry Halpin from the World Wide Web Consortium following a Free Software Foundation protest march against DRM, which the Free Software Foundation defines as "Digital Restrictions Management" but more commonly refers to "Digital Rights Management." In the Q&A, someone asked me what I thought about disobedience. I said that I thought it was important and tried to explain why. I'm...

Video excerpts from DIY Video panel »

Ulrike Reinhard posted a nice "best of" video of our DIY Video panel. The panel was a lot of fun. The moderator was Howard Rheingold and the panelists were John Seely Brown, Yochai Benkler, Henry Jenkins and me....

Will Digital Communication Undermine NGOs? »

By Thomas Crampton Just read the newly crafted elevator pitch for Benetech in a letter from Jim Fruchterman, the CEO, Chairman and Founder. His pitch: Benetech creates technology that serves humanity by blending social conscience with Silicon Valley expertise. We build innovative solutions that have lasting impact on critical needs around the world. Webcams and other digital communication could give ordinary people feedback on results acheived due to donation of their money and time. This would give the power of oversight formerly reserved for wealthy philanthropists. Does this hint toward disruptive digital technology underming the NGO world with individualized philanthropy...

French Suburbs in Flames »

Posted by thomas crampton After spending several days in the Paris suburbs and filing stories non-stop all day today, a few things struck me. I have written about the first incident that sparked the riots and today's latest news (more violence already starting tonight and plans by French government to use curfew.) The underlying feeling I got from the young people in Clichy-sous-Bois - where the troubles began - is total despair with no way out. Seems there must be CK Prahalad opportunities for these young people to make a fortune - or at least a living - if they...

Home Video Clip of Paris Police Shooting in Suburbs? »

By thomas crampton Here's a home video clip a friend sent that claims to show Paris police shooting in the suburbs. Fairly strong stuff. Disclaimer: I do not know anything further about the site or the clip....

If you can read this: You are rich. »

Posted by thomas crampton Defining the poor is common (The World Bank's one dollar per day level, for example) But who are the rich? If you can read this posting, you are likely rich. Anyone with a university education and an income at or above the lower-middle class level for an OECD country is rich, I would argue. Being rich is more about having time and freedom to make choices about your life than bagfulls of money. Joi's latest posting may suggest a way to measure wealth through a Technorati rating! What is the best metric to define someone as...

Diseases of the Rich »

Posted by thomas crampton My minor hand operation this week highlighted to me how journalism/blogging are literally manual labor. Also, my ability to tell many people about this injury reminds me of how repetitive strain injury/carpal tunnel syndrome only became something of broad public concern when the chattering classes (ie: white collar workers, including journalists) were hit due to their typing on computer keyboards. Throughout the industrial revolution, however, the same problem had afflicted manual laborers who could not bring their problem to a wider audience. (Lately there seem to be fewer complaints about it here at the International Herald...

Yahoo's Political Prisoner? »

Posted by Thomas Crampton Three questions regarding the Committee to Protect Journalists today naming online journalist Shi Tao as a winner of the International Press Freedom Award. His 10-year sentence to a Chinese prison came partly due to a disclosure about him by Yahoo!. 1- Do employees of Yahoo! feel responsible for/comfortable with this man going to prison? (Will they, for example, send care packages or join a letter-writing campaign petitioning the government of China for his release?) 2- How do users of Yahoo! feel about the company's privacy policies? (Or privacy policies of other Internet companies, for that matter.)...

Global Voices Live Chat on Handbook for Bloggers & Cyber-Dissidents »

Global Voices Live Chat on Handbook for Bloggers & Cyber-Dissidents going on right now. Join us at #globalvoices on Freenode. For more information see the post on the Global Voices blog. Update: Just ending now. Will post link to transcripts when they've been posted. Update: The transcript of the IRC chat has been uploaded....

Eroding freedoms »

BBCUS teens 'reject' key freedoms A significant number of US high-school students regard their constitutional right to freedom of speech as excessive, according to a new survey. Over a third of the 100,000 students questioned felt the First Amendment went "too far" in guaranteeing freedom of speech, press, worship and assembly. Only half felt newspapers should be allowed to publish stories that did not have the government's approval. It's a bit scary when "normal" shifts like this. Here is an old Encyclopedia Britannica Films video clip from 1946 (I think) about despotism that they showed to children in schools. Amazing...

The underprivileged victims of Katrina »

I've been reading all of the news about Katrina and feeling more and more guilty about not being able to do anything to help and not blogging about it at all. I think Xeni and others who have been tirelessly blogging about and doing something about it are doing an amazing job. Each morning, I've been just choking up reading the front page of the newspaper, not even being able to make it past the first page. I really don't know what to say... so I haven't said anything. However, chatting with some people and reading some of the blogs,...

Katrina Tech Resources wiki page »

We've been chatting on #joiito on Freenode to try to help coordinate technical support and resources for Katrina relief work. Please sign up on/edit the wiki page and join the conversation on IRC if you can help in some way....

OSCON 2005 »

I'm at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland. Perfect weather, nice town, good conference, good folks. This is my first time in Portland (I think), and my first OSCON. Having recently joined the OSI and Mozilla Foundation board, I'm getting to know the open source community and I am enjoying it very much. I have always had a respectful, but slightly distant relationship with the community having found it a bit intimidating. I'd always been a supporter, promoter and friend, but now I am becoming a participant. I saw Steve Gillmor and Doc Searls wandering the halls of OSCON...

Elected to board of CPSR »

I was recently elected to the board of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR). I had been a member for quite awhile and have been the Treasurer of the Japan chapter since we started it in 2002. CPSR has thousands of members and has incubated a number of important projects including the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). I hope that I can help CPSR mobilize more members for what I believe is a very important mandate that CPSR has. I'll keep you all posted on the activities, but take a look at the web page if you are interested in...

Global Voices redesign »

Global Voices has undergone a redesign. Nice look. Congrats to all involved....

Africans on Live 8 »

Ethan Zuckerman has posted roundups on Africans talking about Live 8 here and here and blogs about it himself. Please do read these. They are an important voice. Ethan is clearly weary and skeptical as are many of the Africans. I can understand this. However, I think Live 8 is a good thing. Although the concert may not have the effect on the G8 meeting that some people hope it will, I think that the concern will reach a broad audience and increase awareness. We should not forget how few people even realize there is a problem in Africa. I...

Municipal networks, the great equalizer »

Micah Sifry has written a nice piece about why wifi and cheap broadband is an essential enabler and more important than direct aid for communities which need help. He references various examples and source. I completely agree. I remember speaking to a UN diplomat who said that the Internet has changed the face of global policy making. He told us that the Anti-Personal Land-mine Treaty would not have happened if it weren't for email and the ability for NGOs to get information, organize and pressure governments and the UN using the Internet. I believe that at every level, it is...

Congratulations Gillian and Angelina »

For those of you who haven't been following Gillian's blog that I blogged about earlier, their trip to Sierra Leone was successful and Gillian has done a nice job capturing the trip on her blog. Congratulations Gillian and Angelina and everyone else who was involved! Gillian says she's going to continue blogging. Yay!Technorati Tags: globalvoices...

Global Voices Online Daily World Blog Updates »

Rebecca MacKinnon has started doing daily summaries of Global Voices oriented stuff on blogs all over the world. They're really great. They're on the Global Voices blog and are also a separate category if you just want to see the Daily World Blog Updates....

Gillian Caldwell's new blog »

Gillian Caldwell, the executive director of WITNESS just left for Sierra Leone with Angelina Jolie to deliver recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) to the government. WITNESS is an important effort using video for human rights advocacy. (I blogged about it in more detail in Sept 2003.) In Davos in 2004, Ethan and I cornered Gillian and tried to get her into blogging. At the same time Ethan and Gillian tried to get me interested in Africa. (Since then I've been to Africa once and have two more trips planned this year. Note that Ethan is the key...

Happy Birthday, Free Culture Movement! »

Lessig BlogHappy Birthday, Free Culture Movement! One year ago -- April 23, 2004 -- about a hundred students gathered at Swarthmore College to begin "an international student movement to free culture." (Dan Hunter described the event in LegalAffairs). The event was organized by the students who had sued Diebold after Diebold sued them. The movement now has about ten chapters around the country. Happy Birthday, Free Culture Movement! Creative Commons has a present that we wanted to announce today. Bizarrely, we're still waiting for the license. More soon (we hope).Happy Birthday!!!...

Video from Shanghai of start of Anti-Japan protest »

Anonymous friend in ChineseThe video shows the initial gathering and starting to march of the protesting in Shanghai. It was taken by my family member while I was not in Shanghai.The video was taken April 16, 2005. I have created Prodigem page with a BitTorrent torrent. It is a 18.4 MB AVI file that runs for 30 seconds. If you download the file, please keep it seeding for awhile so that we can have a few other peers. There is no violence or anything so don't download it if that's what you're looking for. UPDATE: Oguradio has converted it into...

CIS Amicus Brief Asks for Legal Rights for Internet Journalists »

The Stanford Center for Internet and Society filed an amicus brief today which I signed together with a number of others. Go CIS!Amicus Brief Asks for Legal Rights for Internet Journalists CIS filed an amicus brief today on behalf of The First Amendment Project, Internet journalists and bloggers and others asking the court in the Apple v. Does case to treat online publishers the same rights as their colleagues who publish in more traditional formats. Download file...

Bloggers without borders launched »

Bloggers without borders has just launch. Here's the first post from Jonas.Tsunami Outreach Submitted by Jonas M Luster on Thu, 2004-12-30 05:23. We have found our compassion in this one. Yet, one thing remains and is badly needed, says a friend of mine who just arrived in Sri Lanka and will be contributing what he learned in eight years in Uniform. People. Not the odd-job bystander, not the “activist”, and certainly not the journalist. What is needed most, today, are qualified specialists. Demolitions experts to safely destroy dangerous structures, Doctors, guys and gals who know how to handle a syringe...

Americans and Civil Rights for Muslims »

Kuro5hinThe glass is half empty: Americans and Civil Rights for Muslims The Media and Society Research Group of Cornell University conducted a survey in November of Americans with respect to their attitudes towards Muslims. Nearly half (44%) of respondents favored restricting the civil rights of Muslims in some way. The press release, with links to the report, is available at [link]My next question is, of the 56% of the people who didn't favor restricting the civil rights of Muslims, what percentage are going to do anything about trying to stop this trend?...

BloggerCorps first success story »

Rebecca blogs about the first BloggerCorps success story. BloggerCorps is project to try to hook up local bloggers with important local projects who need help from bloggers. It's a great idea which just needs a bit more momentum I think. It ties in well with the Global Voices stuff. (The first version of the manifesto is done.)...

Slow Food »

A few of us had dinner with Mike Tommasi from Slow Food France. Slow Food (as opposed to fast food) is a semi-political movement originating in a protest against the entry of McDonald's into Italy and formally becoming an organization in Paris. They focus on a variety of gastronomy issues. They care about the impact of industrialization of food on farmers, diversity, cataloging endangered food, teaching children about food, finding produce that can be brought back or preserved and help create new markets and for slow food. They have successfully found a variety of slow foods including cheeses and meats...

Someone sabotaging EFF at WIPO »

Cory blogs from the WIPO meeting about position papers from IP Justice, EFF, and the Union for the Public Domain being repeatedly stolen and thrown in the trash. Someone is obviously upset about their position on the Broadcast Treaty. Cory quotes Gandhi, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Good luck Cory!...

The Blogger Corps »

Rebecca suggests starting the Blogger Corps.Rebecca MacKinnonBloger Corps? ... For early blog-adopters, blogging was an end in itself. For the activist community, blogging has to be an effective means to a concrete end. In the final wrap-up session of Bloggercon III, I suggested that socially conscious members of the blogging community (of all political persuasions) might want to organize a "Blogger Corps." Through it, bloggers could donate their time to help poorly funded activists or non-profit groups to figure out what blogging tools are right for them, set up blogs, and develop effective blogging strategies. Count me in Rebecca. I've...

Hunger strike against Nader »

Warren EllisA peace activist who once fasted for... A peace activist who once fasted for 63 days to protest movie violence and war toys is launching another hunger strike to persuade Ralph Nader to abandon his presidential bid. Jerry Rubin, 60, said he plans to consume only liquids from Saturday until Nov. 2 if Nader doesn't take a meeting with him. "I know Ralph Nader and I don't think he's doing the right thing," Rubin said Saturday. He said the consumer advocate's campaign is dividing the progressive political movement. Rubin is often confused with now-deceased "Chicago Seven" defendant Jerry Rubin....

I )( Wi-Fi bumper sticker »

Christoph Wimmer asks where I got my "I )( Wi-Fi" bumpersticker. I got it from www.bumperactive.com. It's a very cool site with lots of great bumpersticks. Part of the money is donated to a variety of non-profits. This bumpersticker benefits Creative Commons. The "I )( Wi-Fi" bumper sticker can be found on the Tech Culture page....

RNC-NYC: reported presence of long-range acoustic device (LRAD) at protests »

The NYC police are reported to have a weapon-like acoustic device called an LRAD at the RNC protests. Here is a picture from Indymedia.August 30 AP StoryEarlier this month, the New York Police Department showed off a machine called the Long Range Acoustic Device, developed for the military and capable of blasting at an earsplitting 150 decibels -- as loud as a firecracker, a jet engine taking off or artillery fire at 500 feet, according to the Noise Center at the League for the Hard of Hearing. The NYPD said it would use the machine to direct crowds to safety...

Barlow's dancemob update »

John Perry Barlow promised to organize dancemobs to disrupt the RNC and he has. He sends a quick update from the dancemob front lines....

RNC-NYC: Update on arrest of Joshua Kinberg, Bikes Against Bush »

Xeni Jardin @ Boing Boing: RNC-NYC: Update on arrest of Joshua Kinberg, Bikes Against Bush...

RNC protests: Bikes Against Bush organizer arrested »

Xeni Jardin @ Boing BoingRNC protests: Bikes Against Bush organizer arrested A post on an indymedia website says activist Joshua Kinberg -- inventor of a wireless, bike-mounted, dot-matrix printer for spraying protest messages in the street -- was arrested yesterday at the RNC in NYC. At the time, he was reportedly being interviewed by Ron Reagan, covering the convention for MNSBC. Kinberg's invention allows users to spray messages transmitted to the bike-printer by way of the 'Net or SMS. They're painted in a water-soluble chalk solution that washes away with water (not spray-paint, as misreported elsewhere). Link to indymedia post,...

RNC protestors and their rights »

UPI via The Washington Times reports that the Weather Underground are planning some action during the RNC. UPI says:United Press International"These people are trained in kidnapping techniques, bombmaking and building improvised munitions," the source said. "They're very bad people..."Someone who asked not to be named emailed me and says that they heard that, "it's planned on being a nonviolent action. Something about leaflets and random covert protesters." If this is indeed the case, there is a pretty high likelihood of some really wound up police running into some pretty innocent people. If you are at risk of looking like a...

EFF wins Grockster case »

Xeni @ Boing BoingEFF wins GroksterBig news: The EFF prevails in the long-fought Grokster case. Court decision is available here (PDF). Link to 9th Circuit Court of appeals ruling in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, issued August 19, 2004.This is great news. Congrats to the whole EFF team who worked on this! More on Corante: Powerful Language from the MGM v. Grokster Decision - Posted by Jason Schultz...

Barlow proposes dancing flashmob to protest RNC »

John Perry Barlow, former Grateful Dead lyricist and Republican city council chairman has an interesting idea.BarlowFriendzDancing in the Streets: Revolution with a Smile ...Maureen Dowd recently observed that the Republicans had become so obsessed with rejecting the 60's ethic of doing it if it feels good that they have taken up an ethic of doing it if it makes someone else feel bad. Moreover, the GOP strategy of basing their root-level organization on Hot Protestantism has infused their ranks with a lot of chilly Puritanism, which, as H.L. Mencken defined it, is "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, is having...

Sudan: a failure of will »

The Passion of the PresentA failure of will Forces from across the world are poised to help the people of Darfur, but no nation has the will to move forward. We are in a tragic and signal moment, a catalytic moment, where the world sees the need, has the means, and yet continues to experience a failure of will. ...Now it is the public's turn. It is our turn. The time is now for our action. We must ask our leaders to act now, not in 30 days. All key elements are in place, except the will to launch the...

Lessig : Mr. O'Reilly, please just stop »

Lessig writes an open letter to Bill O'Reilly from the FOX News show The Factor. Lessig has been blogging a lot about OutFoxed, Richard Greenwald's film criticizing FOX News. Lessig links to a clip from the film, the original interview with Jeremy Glick and the offending anti-war ad. He takes on point by point the series of false accusations that O'Reilly has been making about Glick in an unfair smear campaign against his Glick.Lawrence LessigMr. O'Reilly, please just stop. Mr. O'Reilly, You have declared a "war" on the New York Times. That's good for you, good for them, and good...

Outfoxed : Bill O'Reilly likes to say "shut up" »

Mark @ Boing BoingBill O'Reilly enjoys ordering his guests and others to "shut up" This video commercial starts out with a quote from talk show host Bill O'Reilly making the claim that he has told a guest to "shut up" only one time in six years. The rest of the commercial shows clips of Mr. O'Reilly telling people to shut up. Link [Quicktime] (Via Horkulated)This looks like a partial trailer or something for OutFoxed that Larry Lessig's been blogging about. I just ordered it on Amazon. Jon Lebkowsky talks about his experience watching it with friends....

Seth Godin's ChangeThis »

Seth Godin's new project, ChangeThis is a project to have interesting people write short "manifestos". Seth's working on creating a new form of literature. It's looks like something between a paper, a blog post and a marketing presentation with a message. It will be interesting to see how this takes off. It looks interesting to me. They have a blog, "Read and Pass". Halley writes about it over on Worthwhile....

Orlowski on Induce Act and hacker activism »

In an update on the new Induce Act that I blogged about earlier, Orlowski makes an interesting observation about why the IT lobby lost Hatch who is leading this bill and who used to be "on our side."Orlowski - The RegisterDirty rotten inducers - the law the IT world deserves? ...Well, perhaps it's a combination of all these factors. Perhaps too, the brief flood of speculative capital into the technology industry in the 1980s and 1990s convinced IT people they didn't have an exalted place in society. For a time, they did, and even now many seem to think so....

Update on "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004" »

Dan GillmorCongress Goes After Peer to PeerUPDATED I hadn't been taking some proposed new copyright legislation very seriously, mainly because it's logically absurd on its face. But the "Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004" (PDF) seems to be moving so quickly that we have to pay attention now.It's basically a bill that can make the creation of technology that could possibly be used for "piracy" illegal. More on Dan's blog. Please take a look. It's quite absurd and dangerous. If it's moving quickly, I think we need to mobilize against it as soon as possible. Japan always gets hand-me-downs...

Images of genocide »

On the plane returning from Helsinki to Tokyo, I read an op-ed in the International Herald Tribune, Dare We Call It Genocide? Please click the link and read it. It's short, but an important perspective. People gloss over statistics and even vivid first-hand accounts like this in text often fail to get our attention. In fact, I remember thinking about blogging this article, but it slipped my mind after I returned to Japan. This morning I saw Tears of the Sun starring Bruce Willis. This movie is about a heroic extraction mission in Nigeria with ethnic cleansing as a backdrop....

EFF and Stanford Law School to the rescue against DirecTV »

Dan GillmorDirecTV Reins in the Legal Attack DogsIn one of the uglier "intellectual property" abuses, DirecTV has been suing people for possession of tools it claims can be used to get TV shows without paying for them. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society have challenged the satellite TV company on this conduct, and on Monday DirecTV agreed to modify its approach, according to this press release, which says in part:The company will no longer pursue people solely for purchasing smart card readers, writers, general-purpose programmers, and general-purpose emulators. It will maintain this policy...

EFF Patent Busting Project »

Help EFF stamp out stupid patents! Know of any stupid patents being used to hurt the little guys? Send them to the EFF. What a great project. Electronic Frontier FoundationEnter the Patent Busting Contest! The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Patent Busting Project is here to protect you from dangerously bad patents. And you can help us pick which patents we're going to bust first! We're currently seeking nominations for ten patents that deserve to be revoked because they are invalid. Sadly, we don't have the resources to challenge every stupid patent out there. In order to qualify for our ten most-wanted...

Suit Filed to Unlock Mobile Phones »

Dan Gillmor blogs about a suit filed by a consumer group against mobile phone carriers which "lock" phones. The argument by the mobile carriers is that they subsidize part of the cost of the phone and therefore have the right to now allow customers to use the phone with other carriers. Dan makes some good arguments about why this may be a red herring. It will be interesting to see how this suit turns out. In the mean time, a quick Google search will provide links to lots of people offering services and information about unlocking phones. From a Japanese...

Gmail invites exchange for acts of good »

People have been auctioning Google gmail invitations on eBay. Jonas has set up a gmail invitation exchange for people who donate invitations and for people willing to do something "good" in exchange for an invite.JonasIt's not free, however. If you're interested in one, comment here and let me know what you're willing to do for it. Not to me (though I am more than ready to trade for a few good massages), but to someone else. A random act of kindness, maybe? Work in a soup kitchen? Help out at a needle exchange? Or maybe you're doing that already -...

Angle-Grinder Man is back »

Angle-Grinder Man is back. His web page is here....

Jimmy Carter blogs Africa »

Jimmy Carter blogs Africa via Ross Mayfield...

Passion and rage in directing movies - Shekhar Kapur »

I had a few ginger ales with Shekhar Kapur, a well known Indian film director. We talked about the life, the universe and everything. We talked about what it takes to direct a good film and how Shekhar chose which films to direct. He talked about being asked to direct "Long Walk to Freedom" about the life of Nelson Mandela. He said he turned it down. He understood about inequality and prejudice from his experiences in India and being Indian, but that he didn't think he would ever truly understand the extreme conditions of apartheid. He would never truly understand...

Ethan and Gillian - Chatting with some REAL activists »

Chatting with Ethan of Geekcorps and Gillian of Witness conspiring to blogifying developing nations and organzations doing human rights work. Ethan and Gillian are educating me on doing human rights and technology work in developing nations and I'm trying to help integrate blogging into their work. The stuff that they're doing is SO important, I think it's a great application for the blog amplifier. Ethan's convinced me to visit Africa. Geekcorps sends geek volunteers into developing nations to work on technology projects. Ethan was an Internet entrepreneur turned social entrepreneur. Gillian has been an activist her whole life, first...

Breakfast between Global Leaders for Tomorrow, Social Entrepreneurs and Religious Leaders »

This morning, we had a breakfast between the Global Leaders for Tomorrow, Social Entrepreneurs and Religious Leaders. I got a great table with a broad range of people from developing nations, religious leaders, economists, and entrepreneurs. We started out the discussion talking about the nature of money. We talked about how greed and the idea that more money means more happiness is compulsive behavior and the notion that more money makes you more happy may hold true in developing nations, but is not necessarily true in developed nations. We talked about how this notion of more money means more happiness...

Judgmental technology »

It's kind of funny when Basil's TiVo thinks he's gay and Kevin's Outlook thinks Scoble's writing is junk, but it won't be funny when CAPPS II thinks you're a terrorist....

Wikipedia needs money »

I just donated to Wikipedia. If you haven't, you should too. While you're at it, donate to the EFF and Freenode too. ;-)...

The Meatrix »

The Meatrix. A parody flash animation with a political message. Nice.

Who will be left when they finally come for you »

The lack of activity in the US in protesting the treatment of foreign national at the borders, the extradition of foreign nationals to countries known to torture and disinterest in the the profiling and secret arrests of Americans of Middle Eastern descent is disconcerting.Remember, some day they may come looking for you.Pastor Martin NiemöllerFirst they came for the Jewsand I did not speak outbecause I was not a Jew.Then they came for the Communistsand I did not speak outbecause I was not a Communist.Then they came for the trade unionistsand I did not speak outbecause I was not a trade unionist.Then they came for meand there was no one leftto speak out for me.

Urging people to vote »

Getting ready to give speech. The guy next to my is Jun Maki who played the producer of the photo shoot in Lost in TranslationTomorrow is the general election for the Japanese parliament's Lower House. Mizuka and I joined the Governor of Nagano, Yasuo Tanaka, Shigeaki Saegusa (the conductor), Jun Maki (the copywriter who appears in Lost in Translation as the producer of the photo shoot), Yoichiro Kawaguchi (computer graphics professor), Hajime Takano (journalist) and many others in a two hour march through Ginza urging people go and vote tomorrow. It was called the senkyo ni ikouzei! movement. Our march was a nonpartisan effort to get people to vote regardless of their politics. We handed out leaflets, waved flags and made speeches on street corners. I made a speech about how most Japanese believe something needs to change yet do not feel they have any impact. I argued that Yasuo Tanaka showed that politicians can cause change and that voters can elect such officials. I stressed that you get the politicians you deserve and that if we wanted a democracy in Japan, people were going to have to vote.It was a hot day, but people were very receptive. It was clear they were happy to see Yasuo Tanaka and unlike the time we were handing out leaflets protesting the National ID, the percentage of people willing to take them from you was much higher.Also, the opposition party of Japan, the Democratic Party of Japan has announced a "shadow cabinet" appointing Yasuo Tanaka the minister in charge of decentralization. Ishihara, the mayor of Tokyo has spoken out against this.Here is a 11.3MB Quicktime Movie of Mizuka and I trying to hand out flyers.

Superheros of our times »

New York Times“[T]he masked Englishman who calls himself Angle-Grinder Man … has been trawling London for four months dressed in a homemade superhero outfit, complete with gold lamé underpants and cape, removing the security boots from people’s illegally parked cars.Funny entry on Making Light about superheros of our times.Via Kevin Marks on IRC

WITNESS - Human Rights Advocacy with Video and IT »

At the joint Social Entrepreneurs and Global Leaders for Tomorrow meeting in Geneva, I met Gillian Caldwell. She is a film maker and an attorney and the Executive Director of WITNESS.Witness Mission StatementWITNESS advances human rights advocacy through the use of video and communications technology. In partnership with more than 150 non-governmental organizations and human rights defenders in 50 countries, WITNESS strengthens grassroots movements for change by providing video technology and assisting its partners to use video as evidence before courts and the United Nations, as a tool for public education, and as a deterrent to further abuse. WITNESS also gives local groups a global voice by distributing their video to the media and on the Internet, and by helping to educate and activate an international audience around their causes.This is incredibly important work. They are causing a great deal of impact already, but I think blogs could help increase their ability to reach a broader audience. This is such a great reason to figure out video blogging.

The anti-gay bandwagon and American politics »

I got a few very thoughtful emails from Megan about the anti-gay bandwagon and American politics today. First of all, I think it's sad seeing the Pope and American politicians taking positions against gay rights and I strongly believe in gay marriages.

Flash Mobs Take Manhattan »

Flash Mobs Take ManhattanVery cool social hack. Time sensitive. Check it out.Thanks to crysflame for the link on #joiito

Public Domain Enhancement Act - IMPORTANT »

Larry's been pushing this idea for awhile now, but it's coming to a head. It's VERY important. You folks better get this passed in the US so we can push it in Japan. Please please please. It's a great idea and is so simple to argue for that we MUST all support it.reclaiming the public domainLawrence LessigWe have launched a petition to build support for the Public Domain Enhancement Act. That act would require American copyright holders to pay $1 fifty years after a work was published. If they pay the $1, the copyright continues. If they don’t, the work passes into the public domain. Historical estimates would suggest 98% of works would pass into the pubilc domain after 50 years. The Act would do a great deal to reclaim a public domain.This proposal has received a great deal of support. It is now facing some important lobbyists’ opposition. We need a public way to begin to demonstrate who the lobbyists don’t speak for. This is the first step. If you are an ally in at least this cause, please sign the petition. Please blog it, please email it, please spam it, please buy billboards about it — please do whatever you can. And most importantly, please help us explain its importance. There is a chance to do something significant here. But it will take a clearer, simpler voice than mine.

Peace protest in Tokyo on Saturday, let's go! »

Lenz BlogI plan to attend the anti-war demonstrations on February 15th in Shibuya, Tokyo. This is likely to become the single largest day of protest in world history.I'm going too. Thanks for the tip Karl-Friedrich. Should we try to organize a blog mob? Who else is going? Is there a poster party before?

The Politics of Politics - BTW I'm against war »

As the US starts to spin up towards the war, the bloggers are starting to take positions. One of the things that Larry Lessig and I talked about a lot was the feeling that it was OK to talk about politics on blogs. Well, as thoughts turn to feelings and feelings turn to action, I think that we will start testing and stressing the little network of blogs we call a home. When I wrote about the Iranian round-up, I found some of my good friends disagreeing with me and even got email pointing out the irony of discussing US problems on a Japanese blog. Kuro5hin has an article bashing O'Keefe human shield. What's interesting is that just because we all agree on copyright, open standards and MetaWeblog API, it doesn't mean that we all have the same politics. I've generally been avoiding the topic of war and the peace movement and have been feeling VERY guilty that I haven't been writing more about Lisa Rein's activities in protesting the treatment of immigrants. I just sensed that it was a "hot" area and that I needed to prepare before going there…Over the last few months I've heard arguments from some of the most persuasive pro-war advocates. My belief after hearing the arguments is that the war will probability be a long war with lots of stuff to do afterwards. (No clear opposition group in Iraq to rebuild Iraq after they oust Hussein.) If you consider the cost (human and financial) of what happens after the beginning of the war it's just not worth it. It looks to me like a re-election campaign for GW Bush causing America to make a very stupid decision which will cost the world money and grief. This is another Vietnam. I am against the war and anyone who is not should think carefully about the motives of the president of the United States and think step-by-step about what happens to freedom in the US after Total Information Awareness spins up and what happens in Iraq and the rest of the world after you have started the war. THINK ABOUT IT.

Peaceworks »

Daniel Lubetzky of Peaceworks joined our session at the GLT summit, "Rebuilding Modern Politics: Can the System Fix Itself?" and talked about his project. Peaceworks is an amazing group working on empowering people and the "moderate" voices in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. They use Internet, newspapers, telephones and a variety of technologies to get the voice of the people, which is much more moderate than the extremists who currently control poltics. I think the strategy of Peaceworks of using technology to short circuit the legistlature which is so heavily influenced by extremists is a great idea that may even be relevant...

Support the EFF »

The EFF is one of the few organizations fighting on the issues of copyright and privacy in the US courts. They need our support more than ever. I just sent my contribution. If you care about the Net shouldn't you?...

Save Amina From Death by Stoning »

I'm sure most of you have seen this, but here is an easy way to sign a petition or take more action to help save Anima Lawal. Amnesty International [UK] Merton Group Amina Lawal - Another woman facing death by stoning Back in October 2001, 35-year old Safiya Hussaini was condemned to death, by stoning, for allegedly committing adultery. International outcry led by Amnesty International ( the Merton Amnesty Group campaigned for Safiya - see campaign archive) helped save her life; she was acquitted on technical grounds by an appeal court. Now 30-year old Amina Lawal (right)faces the same...

Censorware funded by the Japanese Government »

Sakiyama-san is a co-founder of the Japan chapter of CPSR and one of the few privacy activists in Japan. He mentioned this issue at the last CPSR meeting, and I've been meaning to look into it. The perp of this whole thing, the Electronic Network Consortium, merged with the Internet Association of Japan (IAJ). I WAS a Councilor of the Internet Association Japan and was on their web page the when I check at the CPSR meeting, but I just checked and noticed that I am no longer on their web page. Hmm... I was going to threaten to quit...

Sick off the Music Industry »

Dan Gillmor Music Industry's Death Wish Dan Bricklin has looked closely at the numbers in the music industry, and suggests that the record companies are killing themselves by stamping out music downloads. He makes a compelling case in this essay. His bottom line: "Given the slight dip in CD sales despite so many reasons for there to be a much larger drop, it seems that the effect of downloading, burning, and sharing is one of the few bright lights helping the music industry with their most loyal customers. Perhaps the real reason for some of the drop in sales was...

Dan Gillmor on Copyright »

Dan Gillmor blogs about the twisted logic and language that the entertainment industry is using to tilt the copyright debate in their favor. Dan Gillmor is a San Jose Mercury journalists and one of the first professional journalists with a blog. (Also, he'll be in Tokyo later this month...) If you can set the rules, you can win the contest. That's the major reason the entertainment cartel is winning the debate over copyright in the Digital Age. Average people are not part of the conversation, not in any way that matters. To the cartel and its chattel in the halls...

North Korea Refugee Issue »

I just received mail from an old friend who has become active on the issue of North Korean refugees and I have attached the email from him. I think the Japanese have a much higher level of sensitivity with regards to North Korea since they have influenced the extreme left wing in Japan and have harbored terrorists who have highjacked Japanese planes, etc. Having said that, Japan has basically a no-immigration policy and therefore have not accepted refugees from anywhere as far as I know. I don't think going around labeling countries as "evil" is really very smart, but...

Atrocities in american airports, a London Daily Alert »

Atrocities in american airports, a London Daily Alert A Brazilian man wrote about an incident where he was extremely abused by INS in LA. It has gotten a lot of airplay on the Net so you may have seen it, but in case you haven't, here it is. Brock Meeks confirms with the INS that the incident actually occured although the details are unclear. http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200208/msg00034.html Brock Meeks is a respected journalist and a google on Ricardo Abude will give you some references. He is aparently a real person. If this story is true, it's very scary. I recently met someone...

IMS/ISC's bid to run the .org TLD »

The Internet Multicasting Service and the Internet Software Consortium are two well respected non-profit public engineering organizations on the Internet. I recently talked to Carl Malamud since he's in Japan for IETF doing his thing. He is one of principles of IMS and according to the IMS web page "created the first Internet radio station and put the SEC's EDGAR database on-line. A serial social entrepreneur, he's helped run a number of nonprofit organizations and committed two Silicon Valley startups. Carl is the author of 8 books, numerous articles, a few RFCs, and takes up way too much space in...

CPSR Japan Chapter Formed »

We have formed a Japan chapter of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. Shinji Yamane, who has been working on this project for quite a while will be the chair. Kazuo Fujimoto will be the secretary and I will be the treasurer initially. I am trying to get CPSR to help me show the technical problems with the National ID program that Japan is trying to implement. We have a local movement protesting the national ID....
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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