Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Emergent Democracy Category

The "there goes the neighborhood" Law »

There seems to be some sort of general rule that technologies and systems like conversations on the Internet, the US democracy (and its capture by powerful financial interests), the Arab Spring movement and many other things that were wonderfully optimistic and positive at the beginning seem to begin to regress and fail as they scale or age. Most of these systems seem to evolve into systems that are resistant to redesign and overthrow as they adapt like some sophisticated virus or cancer. It's related to but harder to fix than the tragedy of the commons. I want to write a...

Society in the Loop Artificial Intelligence »

Photo by wp paarz via Flickr - CC BY-SA Iyad Rahwan was the first person I heard use the term society-in-the-loop machine learning. He was describing his work which was just published in Science, on polling the public through an online test to find out how they felt about various decisions people would want a self-driving car to make - a modern version of what philosophers call "The Trolley Problem." The idea was that by understanding the priorities and values of the public, we could train machines to behave in ways that the society would consider ethical. We might...

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....

Lawrence Lessig »

According to Wikipedia, "Lawrence Lessig (born June 3, 1961) is an American academic. He is currently professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of its Center for Internet and Society. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications." I think I met Larry when he was in Japan promoting the Japanese edition of Code and I was on a panel with him. I got to know Larry better when he was in Japan for an extended period in 2002-2003 I think. At the...

Lessig urges RNC & DNC to use CC to encourage free speech »

Lessig has a thoughtful post urging people to urge the RNC and DNC not to use restrictive copyrights on political debates. With more and more political expression being done in video, it is time we consider the importance of free speech in video. Video is covered by stronger copyright restrictions when it comes to citation and remix than text. Having politicians and political parties push networks to air their words under the most permissive CC license, the CC-BY license would greatly enhance the public's ability to participate in the political video dialog. UPDATE: Lessig has an update with the crazy...

Emergent Democracy Wikipedia article at risk »

The Emergent Democracy article on Wikipedia has been flagged for deletion. "The article may be deleted if this message remains in place for five days.Prod, concern: WP:NEO and WP:COI This template was added 2007-02-02; five days from then is 2007-02-07." The neutrality is disputed and also is being accused of conflict of interest and neologisms. If you have have an interest in helping keep this article, please contribute to the talk page or help improve the article. I think more citations would help....

EDGE Question 2007: What are you optimistic about? »

John Brockman's EDGE asks a tough question every year. For 2007 the question was "What are you optimistic about?" My answer was:EDGE World Question CenterEmergent Democracy and Global Voices I am optimistic that open networks will continue to grow and become available to more and more people. I am optimistic that computers will continue to become cheaper and more available. I am optimistic that the hardware and software will become more open, transparent and free. I am optimistic that the ability to for people to create, share and remix their works will provide a voice to the vast majority of...

Annenberg Center »

I had lunch today with Jonathan Aronson, the Executive Director of The Annenberg Center for Communication of the University of Southern California (USC).The Annenberg Center for Communication of the University of Southern California (USC) supports leading-edge interdisciplinary research on the meaning of the new networked information age. Projects focus on drivers that will shape the future and on the impact of new communication and information technologies on politics, society, and innovation.I've spoken at the center twice in the last year or so and have really enjoyed the interactions. My sister Mimi is a Research Scientist at the Annenberg Center. Among...

Leadership in World of Warcraft »

This ended up becoming a longer and more rambling post than I expected, but I'm going to post it anyway since I don't write enough these days... The other day, I was doing an interview for a management and strategy magazine and one of the questions that came up in the conversation was why the management structures in Internet companies often end up being very old-fashioned. There is clearly some innovation, but not as much as you might expect considering how much the Internet enables us to be innovative in our communications and collaboration. We talked a bit about leadership...

22C3 Talk »

I just finished my keynote for the 22C3 conference. I'd been mulling over what to talk about from about 2AM or so this morning. After reading the program and the amazing breadth of the 150 or so talks and imagining the 3000 leet hackers that I would be talking to, I decided to put together a brand new talk hitting a lot of the points that often skip because they are controversial or difficult for me to discuss. I was a bit nervous kicking off what I think is one of the most important conference I go to. I am...

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....

Technorati Live 8 launches »

We just launched the Technorati Live 8 site.Technorati Live 8Technorati has teamed up with Live 8 to bring you the latest conversations about the campaign to Make Poverty History. Read first hand accounts of the concerts and events, and get all the news and opinion from the blogosphere. We've also put together some resources to help you find your way around Live 8 and the blog world: What is Live 8? Which organisations are behind Live 8? Are you new to blogging? Find out what it's all about. Get a Live 8 badge for your blog. Join in the...

Prix Ars Electronica 2005 Awards Announced »

The winners of the Prix Ars Electronica 2005 awards have just been announced. I was on the Digital Communities jury this year. We gave the highest prize, the Golden Nica to Akshaya, an Indian ICT development project. The two awards of distinction went to the alternative media movements NewGlobalVision/Telestreet in Italy and the Free Software Foundation. We also gave a special prize to BitTorrent as an enabling technology. The honorary mentions were: Upmystreet (UK), E-Democracy.Org (US), Wikimedia Commons (US), The Sout-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog (IN), Kubatana (ZW), Sistema de Información Agraria vía Internet para Agricultores del Valle de...

Extreme Democracy published »

Extreme Democracy, a collection of papers including "mostly" my Emergent Democracy paper has now been published thanks to the hard work of Jon Lebkowsky and Mitch Ratcliffe....

Interview in NeoFiles »

While I'm still importing my mailbox on my main machine, I thought I would metablog by linking to an interview I did for NeoFiles. The interviewer is R. U. Sirius who I met back in the Mondo 2000 "Birth of Cyberpunk" days. I once wrote an article for Mondo 2000 and R. U. Sirius was my editor. He got me to write the weirdest thing I've ever written in my life. This time, he kept telling me I wasn't being interesting enough and triggered a "how would you have explained it to Timothy Leary?" kind of rant. ;-) It reminded...

Thermodynamics and Evolution »

Susan Crawford quotes an essay by John W. Patterson called "Thermodynamics and Evolution", part of a volume of scientific responses to creationism. She ties it neatly to Internet governance at the end.Susan CrawfordHere is Patterson's conclusion: "In reality, ... the 'uphill' processes associated with life not only are compatible with entropy and the second law, but actually depend on them for the energy fluxes off of which they feed. Numerous other kinds of backward processes in simpler, nonliving systems also proceed in this way, and do so in complete accord with the second law." This all ties to internet governance....

Global Voices »

I participated in the Global Voices session at the Berkman Center and promised earlier to post my thoughts. The bad news is that we didn't get far enough to come up with a conclusive plan, but the good news is that I think we have enough momentum to move forward. The discuss was quite sober and practical and was not nearly as techno-utopian as we are often criticized of being and often tend to get. I think the key difference between this meeting and others that I have attended was the large number of mediums (Wikipedia, OhmyNews, traditional journalism, human...

Off to Boston »

I'm off to Boston today to participate in the About Internet & Society 2004: Votes, Bits & Bytes conference at the Berkman Center. Lots of interesting folks seem to be coming. The theme of the meeting is:How are technologies changing politics, both in the U.S. and abroad? The purpose of this conference is to take a skeptical, results-oriented look at the current state of politics after the 2004 election and from an international perspective in terms of issue-based campaigns, emerging business models, and new tools that affect politics both online and off. The conference will focus on the following questions:...

Get down and get taggy »

I'm going to quote David's whole post because it has a bunch of good links.David WeinbergerMetadata without tears Peter Merholz, AKA peterme, has an excellent article at Adaptive Path called Metadata for the Masses: But what if we could somehow peek inside our users’ thought processes to figure out how they view the world? One way to do that is through ethnoclassification [1] — how people classify and categorize the world around them. He takes and Flickr as examples of "ethnoclassification" (a phrase he tracks back to Susan Leigh Star),. (I am enamored of the branch of ethnoclassification on...

Free speech vs buying influence - Joho on 527's »

David Weinberger blogs about George Bush denouncing 527 groups. David links to Roji pointing out that this is a serious flip-flop from his original position. David's point is that on the one hand, the 527 groups represent a way to buy influence. On the other hand, limiting the ability for a 527 group to be formed and express a point of view is limiting free speech. I think the reason we have this conflict is the nature of media today. It shouldn't cost millions of dollars to get your message out; the system should be transparent enough so we know...

Emergent Democracy paper in German »

The folks at Ars Electronica have translated a shortened version of Jon Lebkowsky's edited version of my Emergent Democracy paper into German. It will appear in this year's book for Ars Electronica. Thanks for coordinating this Ingrid and thanks for the translation Susanne!...

Extreme Democracy online »

Extreme Democracy is a book being edited by Jon Lebkowsky and Mitch Ratcliffe. They've just put the book online in a blog format. The book will included a version of my Emergent Democracy paper edited by Jon. I really need to write another version of this paper that incorporates all of the new stuff and feedback that I've received... Adina has put up a wiki page with additional thoughts on the book....

Spirit of America »

Spirit of America is a somewhat grassroots, and quickly growing project to promote humanitarian aid in Iraq. It's interesting to note that both people for and against the war have signed on with their support. Dan Gillmor says, "Marc Danziger, a.k.a. the 'Armed Liberal' Web logger, supported the war in Iraq. Britt Blaser, a Howard Dean campaign adviser, did not." Both Marc and Britt are supporting this effort. Dan also writes, "'It seemed if you could essentially aggregate requests and syndicate those to potential donors, mainly using the Net and electronic outreach, you could respond with speed and on...

Sudan »

Passion of the present is covering the genocide in Sudan. See Jim's blog for more information on how you can help googlebomb to stop genocide....

Rumsfeld bans camera phones in Iraq »

News24.comRumsfeld bans phone cameras London - Cellphones fitted with digital cameras have been banned in US army installations in Iraq on orders from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, The Business newspaper reported on Sunday. Quoting a Pentagon source, the paper said the US defence department believes that some of the damning photos of US soldiers abusing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad were taken with camera phones. "Digital cameras, camcorders and cellphones with cameras have been prohibited in military compounds in Iraq," it said, adding that a "total ban throughout the US military" is in the works. via Smartmobs The...

Speaking at Weblog Conference in Naples June 4 »

I will be speaking at a Conference in Naples on June 4. The conference is called: Culture Digitali: I WEBLOG E LA NUOVA SFERA PUBBLICA, or Weblogs and New Public Opinion. The Conference has a blog and here is the entry with the program. The conference registration is not yet open, but I will blog about it when it opens. Some of us are thinking about getting together for lunch on June 5. If you want to hang out with us, please fill out this form. Look forward to meeting everyone....

We, the Media by Dan Gillmor »

Just finished reading the Galley Proof of We, the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People by Dan Gillmor. O'Reilly is the publisher and it should be coming out mid-July. The book will be published under a Creative Commons license and you will be able to download it free for non-commercial use. Dan is one of the few professional journalists that really understands the impact of blogs and other new technologies on journalism. It's amazing how many professional journalists I know pooh pooh blogs and keep on chugging like nothing is changing. We, the Media is a excellent...

ISC Pre-conference session with Martin »

I'm here in Switzerland at the University of St. Gallen ISC-Symposium again. I spoke at a leadership session last year about Emergent Democracy, but felt I didn't get the most out of the conference because I didn't get a chance to get to know the students who were attending, which is why I came. The 200 or so students attending this conference are chosen from hundreds of paper submissions from all over the world and they are an diverse and interesting group. In the addition to the students, there are a lot of government and business big-shots, but I get...

E-Voting Machines Get Official Thumbs Down »

Mercury NewsE-voting panel wants to dump troubled system SACRAMENTO - Less than seven months before the presidential election, an advisory panel Thursday unanimously recommended an unprecedented ban of touch-screen election equipment used in four California counties. The panel also urged Secretary of State Kevin Shelley to seek a criminal or civil investigation into the conduct of Diebold Election Systems, the Ohio-based firm that manufactured the troubled voting system.Yes! We really need to get rid of e-voting. It's such a bad idea and until now, I thought we were losing the battle. We need to make sure this doesn't end with...

Loic on European Emergent Democracy »

Loic blogs about and starts a wiki page on Emergent Democracy in Europe....

Weblogs and Emergent Democracy panel »

I'm the the following panel today at SXSW. Weblogs and Emergent Democracy Sunday, March 14 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm 18AB Traditionally, popular will in democracies is interpreted and applied to decision-making processes indirectly through representatives--legislators, lobbyists, activists, media, etc. Will expanded growth of weblogs and social networks, as well as tools for analysis of content and connections, bring us closer to the ideal of direct democracy? Adina Levin - Socialtext/EFFAustin Joichi Ito , CEO - Neoteny Jon Lebkowsky , CEO - Polycot Consulting LLC Mitch Ratcliffe - Internet/Media Strategies Inc. Zack RosenIf we say anything interesting, I'll post notes...

Ethan and Ben »

That' me holding BenDan GillmorEthan and Ben At the Emerging Tech conference, more than one person noted the striking resemblance between Ethan Zuckerman and Benjamin Franklin. Coincidence? You decide.A lot of the people working on emergent democracy look founding fatherish. I wonder if you start looking like a founding father after you start pondering or whether looking in the mirror each day causes you to go down the "pondering about democracy" path. Where does that put me?...

Echoing some echo chamber thoughts »

At risk of being labeled an echochamberist, I'm going to agree that danah has a good point in her post about echo chambers. (See David Weinberger's article for more background.) I think it is natural to communicate most with people whom you share context and I believe that if you separate strong ties and weak ties a la Granovetter's Strength of Weak Ties, there is definitely a lot of "strong tie" hang-out-with-your-friends action that goes on on blogs. I think that's natural. Most blogs are conversations between a small group of friends. It's clear that it's fun and easy to...

Caring about the rest of the world »

As a child I travelled a lot, but mostly between US and Japan. I dealt with a lot of bicultural issues, but the rest of the world seemed far away. In the 90's I started going to Europe and Asia more, but it was always to "civilized" places. Several years ago, I became actively involved in trying to reform Japan and I was allowed to be quite vocal about this. Last year, I gave a rant at Davos about how broken Japanese democracy was. Afterwards, Ms. Ogata, the former UN High Commissioner for Refugees told me that I should stop...

Bloggers will be reporters tomorrow in Iran »

hoderBloggers will be reporters tomorrow in Iran I'm trying to encourage Iranian blogger to go out tomorrow, the election day, and report what they see and hear in their city and blog it. I also plan to gather all posts related to it in one place either in my own Persian blog or in Sobhaneh, the collective news blog. I also consider a place in iranFilter for those Iranian who know English to provide translations the reports that are gathered in Persian. This can be the 9/11 for Persian blogosphere. It's the first event that potentially engages every body in...

Communities and echo chambers »

Shelly asks the question "What part of you, the writer, is part of a community? Where, within yourself, does community leave off and you begin?" and says, "But I guess we're accountable to each other, and that's the most dangerous censorship of all -- it's the censorship of the commons." This is an interesting question that Shelley has pointed out to me and I have been thinking about. In the comments on Shelley's blog, Doc ties it to the notion of the "echo chamber," the effect where we're all just talking to each other oblivious to the outside world. Many...

Emergent Democracy Worldwide »

Ethan prepared some notes for our session which starts in 2.5 hours....

Looking for examples for our Emergent Democracy Worldwide discussion »

Please help Ethan and I find some projects that might be examples we could use when talking about Emergent Democracy. Ethan describes more clearly what we are looking for....

DFA continues to move on »

Jim Moore blogs about the lessons that DeanforAmerica has learned and how it continues to evolve. He gives the example of which started as a movement to "move on" from the Clinton impeachment, then broadened its mission to counter the selling of the Iraq war, and now is purchasing ads to get Americans to think. Obviously, Jim and everyone at DFA is still hoping for a Howard Dean victory, but Jim also muses about the idea of DFA continuing to gain momentum and power.Jim MooreDFA's role in American politics DeanforAmerica will have powerful mission in American politics.  DFA will...

Ethan Zuckerman begins Emergent Democracy Worldwide discussion »

Ethan and I will be leading a discussion called Emergent Democracy Worldwide at the Digital Democracy Teach-In in San Diego on February 9. Ethan has posted a critique of Jim Moore's Second Superpower and my Emergent Democracy paper. He asks some important questions. One of the questions, which gets developed more in the comments is what made Salam Pax successful? One of the most difficult things that the we face is getting people to care about people in developing nations. Somehow, Salam Pax was able to get Americans to read his blog and get them to care in a way...

WDFA - Radio Dean for America »

WDFA - Radio Dean for America Lots of stuff going on at the Dean campaign, but the Net team just keeps chugging along. Zack has been working on the idea of "happenings" for the Dean Campaign, combining chat and Internet radio. They just did the first trial run and it was great. Anyone who has any thoughts or ideas, please contact Zack directly. Zack is uberzacker on AIM and his email is zrosen at deanforamerica dot com....

Identity and justice »

As a former student, I sure wish I had had (via Seb) when I was in school. I would have had a lot to say and I would have felt justified. Maybe I wouldn't have had to start our underground newspaper. On the other hand, I can see how this might be abused. There are some thoughtful comments from many people about the "Adopt A Reporter" idea over on PressThink. This is not a new issue, but an old issue that continues to accelerate. As Loic points out, blogging helps you manage your own identity instead of leaving it...

Three Mistakes in the Moral Mathematics of Blogging – Marko's Reply to Clay »

Marko points out three mistakes in the moral mathematics of blogging that Clay has been writing about and articulates very clearly some key weaknesses in the arguments....

Inequality and the role of "fitness" in power laws »

I've been trying to push against Clay's assertion that blogs exhibit a power law and that power laws cause inequality. You can't "fix" the system without breaking it. We've gone back and forth in different places and I THINK I've boiled it down to a few key points for me....

Digital Democracy Tech-In »

It's $100 to register and you can register even if you're not attending ETech. I'll be doing a session with Ethan Zuckerman on International stuff. Emergent Democracy Worldwide Joichi Ito, Founder and CEO, Neoteny Ethan Zuckerman, Founder, Geekcorps Time: 3:30pm - 4:15pm Location: California Ballroom C While we're building great new tools to build communities, we've done very little to ensure that people around the world have access to them. And even when we've made it possible for people in developing nations to speak, we've done little to ensure that anyone listens. How do we ensure that the "Second Superpower" Jim...

Tim Oren heckles us about the Internet not helping Dean close the popularity gap »

Tim Oren cites a poll by the Washington Post showing that the Internet has not helped Dean close the popularity gap with Bush. He says:Tim Oren @ Due DiligenceBut those who think the removal of big media means the newly empowered wil start singing 'Kumbaya' and turn into anti-Bush, anti-war 'emergent democracy' citizens are indulging in wishful thinking, and we now have evidence to that effect. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Joi.) These newly empowered participants actually have to be persuaded. And that's a very good thing, too.I agree. There is still a lot we need to do. I think...

Bush in 30 Seconds »

Fifteen "bush in 30 second" ads on MoveOn.Org. "a political advertising contest sponsored by voter fund."...

What can we do to help blogs promote justice? »

My last blog entry about blogs and justice was a bit theoretical and ended with more questions than answers. Maybe it was confusing. Let me try to be specific. I think blogging will go beyond text and by blogging I mean the whole space that includes all sorts of micro-publishing of micro-content in a highly linked and low-cost way. This includes camera phones, video and audio. There are many things going on right now that will be sand in the vaseline from a technology perspective. Most types of DRM will suck for micro-content distribution. So will things like the broadcast...

Are blogs just? »

Lou Marinoff described one definition of Justice as "doing the right thing at the right time." He continued by explaining that it means you have to define "right thing". There are at least eleven ways of being right. deontology - rules tell us what is right and wrong teleology - The end justifies (or sanctifies) the means virtue ethics - goodness comes from virtues, which are like habits humanistic existentialism - what we choose to do determines what we value nihilistic existentialism - "God is dead." And we killed him. So all moral bets are off analytic ethics - "Goodness"...

Gary Wolf's "How the Internet Invented Howard Dean" »

The Gary Wolf article, "How the Internet Invented Howard Dean" in Wired Magazine that I blogged about earlier just came online. As David Weinberger says, it's a covers the theoretical side of the campaign and is a good addition to Ed Cone's article on the operations and the NY Times Magazine article about the spirit of the campaign....

See you at ETech »

I'll be at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference February 9-12 in San Diego. It looks like I'll be doing a session with Ethan Zuckerman on the Emergent Democracy Forum day February 9th and a session with danah, Mimi, Howard, Scott and others on the 10th about mobility, identity and culture. Hope to see you there. The panel members are not "final-final" so they are not on the web yet. I'll post the description of the sessions and the final-final members here when we get everything confirmed....

A global democracy »

One thing that I am struck by, having been at several conferences lately where we have had discussions about US foreign policy is the inability for foreigners to affect US foreign policy. The US seems ready to ignore the UN and the rest of the world when they disagree with it.So let me get this right. The US is going to become the world's policeman and will bomb the bad guys into democracy. The US will become so rich and powerful that there will no longer be hatred and wars? The US will become the one nation to rule them all and American culture bind them?In this scenario the US is kind of like a super state, but only American citizens can vote, right? Only American citizens have rights. What does this mean exactly?I think that the US needs to seriously consider the consequences of alienating the rest of the world and trying to become a super-class global citizen and ruler of the world without a significant change in its attitude towards other nations and other cultures. We are in an integrated world where it is impossible to isolate yourself economically, culturally or even militarily.I'm not (yet) asking to be allowed to participate in the US elections, but I do think it is important to understand just how important it is for the US to get along with its neighbors. The only way to get along with people is to understand them and talk to them. The tragedy of the human psychological tendency to not care about cultures and people who you don't know or are different from you is something we can no longer tolerate.I think the US is going down the slippery slope of becoming one of the most hated nations in the world when it still possible for it to be one of the most loved nation if only it learned to listen to, respect and understand the rest of us.I guess my point is that we need some sort of global democracy that is inclusive of everyone which embraces diversity. I know I'm oversimplifying the issues, but I've been quiet the last few days so I felt like a rant. ;-)

Dean is asking YOU whether he should decline federal matching funds »

The Dean campaign has an important choice to make. He has to either choose to accept US federal matching funds and have his spending capped at $45 million or waive the funds and be allowed to raise and spend more. Bush is raising $200 million from large companies. With the incredible grassroots fund raising so far, Dean should probably waive the matching funds and go for it, he is asking on his blog and via email to all 484,000 members of his campaign what THEY think he should do.Howard DeanThis decision is no longer mine to make. This is a campaign of the people, by the people and for the people. Your successful effort of raising a historic amount of money through small contributions has made this choice possible. This is why I am putting this decision in your hands.I am asking you to vote on what kind of a campaign we will conduct from this point forward. No matter how well intentioned both our options are – the choice is difficult: do we choose option (a) to fund our campaign ourselves and decline matching funds, or do we choose option (b) and accept federal matching funds and the spending limits?You will receive a ballot via email on Thursday and have until midnight Friday to vote. The results will be announced on Saturday.This is really amazing. This is so grassroots and activating. Way to go folks!Via Jim Moore who was in Burlington with Dean volunteers. Jim has a great entry about this.

John Edwards to guest blog at Larry's place »

Senator John Edwards, a presidential candidate will start guest blogging on Lessig's blog Monday. The announcement is here. Very cool.

Gary Wolf on the Internet side of the Dean campaign for Wired »

I had a really interesting IM chat with Gary this morning. He's writing an article for Wired about the Internet side of the Dean campaign. He's blogging about it as well. Very cool. It looks like he's having a lot of interesting conversations. A must read blog entry, which will probably lead to a great article. Like Dan Gillmor and Jeff Jarvis, he is another journalists who seems to understand the value of blogging. And... free fact checking. ;-)

Emergent democracy is not the same as direct democracy »

Ross Mayfield rants about the problems of direct democracy and the difference between emergent democracy and direct democracy. This was one of the points that I had difficulty making during the Harvard Law School class. Rojisan and I talked about it last night too. Emergent democracy IS NOT the same as using technology to scale direct democracy. Emergent democracy is about leadership through giving up control, activating the people to engage through deliberation and action, and allowing emergent order to grow from the grass roots. It's the difference between a couch potato clicking the vote button and a group of people starting their own Dean coalition group.That's the difference between the Dean Campaign and what just happened in California. They may both be symptoms of people unhappy with the current regime, but they are very different types of democracy.

Speaking at the Digital Democracy class at the Harvard Law School Tuesday »

I will be speaking about emergent democracy at the Digital Democracy class at the Harvard Law School Tuesday. Thanks to Ethan and Andrew for setting this up. Looks like a lot of fun.UPDATE: We'll have IRC on the screen so drop by #joiito if you want to participate. We'll also try to set up a video feed from Boris's Mac. It's at the Berkman Center (Baker House) from 5pm-7pm.Here is a wiki page we can use.

Rushkoff on "Open Source Democracy" »

Ant's Eye ViewRushkoff on "Open Source Democracy"Douglas Rushkoff, in cooperation with UK think-tank Demos, is publishing a short book next week called "Open Source Democracy". He's giving away a PDF version of the book for free, though, with permission to republish it in whatever format you like, so go nuts. Those of you in the UK can also attend a lecture Rushkoff will be giving in London on the subject.Looks cool. Creative Commons license and everything. I'm going to read this on the plane back to Japan...

Howard Dean's Internet Initiative »

The Dean campaign just announced Howard Dean's Internet Initiative.I will be participating in the Net Advisory Net and I am in good company.The Net Advisory NetThe Net Advisory Net will present to the Governor and his team diverse and highly-informed opinions concerning the Internet and its potential impact upon society. While many of the members support Dean, he is seeking advice, not endorsements, and the advisors do not necessary support the campaign. Learn more at first NAN team will focus on how to bridge the "digital divide" by providing universal broadband access to the Internet. Initial members of the broadband committee include: Hal Abelson, Laura Breeden, DeWayne Hendricks, Joi Ito, Lawrence Lessig, Bob Lucky, David Reed, Richard Rowe and David Weinberger. Other working groups will be established to address the potential of e-government to increase our democracy, balancing the rights of artists and the public domain, protecting the privacy of customers and citizens, electronic voting, protecting children and vulnerable communities from Internet exploitation, and controlling spam without impeding the basic architecture of the Web. The goal of each working group will be to frame issues and hold conversations about public policies in order to prepare specific suggestions for the Governor to consider and proposals for addressing these issues in a Dean administration.I think the Dean campaign's involvement of the Internet could revolutionize the way politics and democracy work. I'm excited to be part of the team and am very interested in how this ties into emergent democracy. I'm also looking forward to taking what we learn and bringing it back to Japan.There is a less boastful and better post about this with a bunch of links on David Weinberger's blog.

Mob Spots »

Steven Johnson, the author of Emergence, (the book that inspired me to start thinking about Emergent Democracy) recently blogged about grassroots political ads created with desktop tools. He created a cool quicktime mock ad for the Clark campaign and later Sean created a version with music and voiceover. Steven created this with iPhoto and Keynote.Very cool use of desktop technology and weblogs. I hope we see a lot more of this stuff. I particularly like the collaborative aspect. Steven, you should put a creative commons license on your ad. ;-)

Off to Kyoto »

I'm off to Kyoto for the day to give a talk on Emergent Democracy. I think the audience is mostly professors and it's a 40 minute talk with 50 minutes of Q&A. Pretty long Q&A. It should be fun, but I'm sure I'm going to be ripped to shreds. ;-)There are some other interesting speakers. If I have wireless access, I'll be on IRC and will try to post the interesting thoughts.UPDATE: My wireless card works so I'm going to drop into IRC sometime between 0430 and 0510 GMT/UTC to give a demo...

David Weinberger on Howard Dean »

David Weinberger blogs about some of the negative comments from "The Net" to Howard Dean's blogging. He says:David Weinberger Before this, what would you have had to do to get the ear of a potential president of the United States? You could have a column in a national newspaper or you could get a hernia toting sacks of cash to the campaign headquarters. Can we at least pause for a moment of delight before we become blasé?I totally agree. This is SO MUCH BETTER than what we have today with other candidates. I don't think we need to necessarily "cut him a break" but I think we can be more encouraging.

Emergent Democracy paper in Japan Media Review »

The Japan Media Review just ran an edited version of the Emergent Democracy paper. Thanks Michelle!

Translation of Emergent Democracy Paper by Professor Shumpei Kumon of Glocom »

Professor Shumpei Kumon of Glocom has translated the Emergent Democracy Paper into Japanese and has been published it in their journal and is available online in PDF. I am a big fan of Professor Kumon and am honored that he has translated it himself.Glocom is also in charge of the Creative Commons localization in Japan.

posting IRC logs and testing emergent democracy »

While I was asleep, a debate raged on the IRC channel about whether IRC logs should be automatically turned into blog entries. kensanata pointed out that VotingIsEvil so I proposed a sort of deliberative democracy approach. Lets all have a discussion on wiki page and post our positions on the issue. The point would be to change your mind freely and try to sway the opinions of others and recruit them. Like neuronal recruitment. I don't feel strongly about this issue and it appeared quite controversial. I thought it would be a good experiment in emergent democracy on wikis. That and the emergent democracy of picking a party date. ;-)Boris writes about it here.

Attention Concentration and becoming a place »

Had an interesting chat with Alex Schroeder on the #wiki IRC channel. We were talking about whether my #joiito channel was increasing concentration of attention, etc. Alex has written some interesting stuff on his wiki about Attention Concentration.

Lunch with President Roh of Korea »

President Roh of Korea is visiting Japan and I was invited to attend a lunch with him today. He has been in office for about 100 days and was widely reported as being the world's first "Internet President". I wrote about it in Feb. Since then, his popularity has gone from about 60% to 40% because of difficulties in execution of domestic financial policy and constantly changing positions on the US and other issues. His trip to Japan was also very controversial back in Korea because Japan just passed a new law broadening the powers of the Japanese military's ability to defend itself on Friday. Former victims of Japanese military occupation are very negative about any expansion of the Japanese military.I was very interested in how the Internet would play a part in his leadership and deliberations so I was anxious to meet him and ask him about Emergent Democracy. Unfortunately, the "lunch" turned out to be a pretty formal and huge lunch with 150 business leaders. There was only time for two questions and the people asking the questions were already pre-chosen. The discussion focused around free trade, helping each other's economies, China and about Korea trying to become a hub for Asia and a railroad gateway to Europe.Mark Norbom, the CEO of GE Capital was at my table and I hadn't seen him for a long time so that was nice. Also got to see Chairman Nishimuro of Toshiba who I'd also not seen for a long time. Other than generally schmoozing around, it wasn't much fun and there definitely wasn't any emergent anything going on as far as I could tell.

Karlin Lillington blogs about my presentation at St. Gallen »

Karlin Lillington was at my small session at the ISC conference in St. Gallen where I talked about Emergent Democracy. I think she was the only blogger at session and she's written a very nice piece about the session for The Irish Times. Thanks Karlin!

Hooked up with Jim Moore at FiRe »

Hooked up with Jim Moore at FiRe. He shares an office at Harvard with Dave Winer. The last time I saw Jim was at the Fortune conference in Aspen last year and it was nice to see him again and catch up. We talked aboout the debate about googlewashing that his Second Superpower paper triggered.Jim, Dave Winer, Doc Searls blog about the current discussion which includes recent comments by the New York Times.We talked about Emergent Democracy and some of the problems with my current paper. He agreed to try to comment/edit it on my Wiki. People have made a lot of great comments on the Wiki and it's getting really interesting, but as far as I know, no one has edited the actual paper directly yet. It will be interesting to see who does it first. It's currently signed, "Mostly by Joichi Ito" but if enough people edit it directly, I will change it to something like "Hosted by Joichi Ito" or something like that.

Liquid Democracy »

Interesting post on my wiki by Bayle Shanks about Liquid Democracy.

Future of journalism »

Finally got a chance to talk to Dan about his new book and the future of journalism over lunch. We talked about what journalism really was. My thought was that journalism is defined in the constitution and is a part of democracy. Dan's notion is that the Net and blogging is changing the nature of journalism which in turn has a huge impact on society and democracy. This huge impact is one of the missing parts of my/our emergent democracy paper. Dan's going to focus on journalism, but obviously recognizes the connection with democracy.We tried to deconstruct what traditional media was. My thought was that the founding father defined "the press" as individuals and small groups with printing presses to represent the voice of the people and that currently, newspapers are just printing machine owners and paper distributors just like telephone companies are a bunch of telephone poles and pipes. Dan asserted that there was more to it. He explained that the protection from lawsuits is an very real risk to journalists and that media companies protect their journalist from such suits. I can see that. Relates to the discussion about the Creative Commons license.We talked about reputation a lot and about technorati. Nob Seki, follows up the discussion on his blog and discusses the notion of Trusted TrackBacks and the relationship between the interviewer and interviewee.

Talk at Glocom about Emergent Democracy »

I gave a short talk and participated in a discussion about my Emergent Democracy paper at Glocom. Professor Shumpei Kumon, the executive director of Glocom translated my paper into Japanese. I am EXTREMELY grateful for this. He said that the paper would not normally pass his requirements for publication because of the sloppiness in the logic and the attributions, but since he thought the process as well as the topic were relevant and interesting, he agreed to publish the paper in Japanese in their journal in June. I'll be able to post the Japanese translation by Professor Kumon on my blog after that. In parallel, Illume, a scientific journal is publishing another version of the paper (edited and trimmed down) in June as well. So, we'll see what the Japanese think about ED soon.I got a great deal of interesting feedback from the discussion.

Emergent Wiki discussion on Emergent Democracy »

The Emergent Democracy page on my wiki is starting to turning into a real wiki discussion. This is the first time I've participated in one. Since I'm the custodian, I guess it's my job to organize it. I just finished editing a bit, but it's still a bit sloppy. Very different style/dynamic than comments or mailing lists, but still very intriguing. Love the feeling of editing some kind of living text...Feedback would be appreciated. Do you think my header fonts are too big?

Talk at ACCJ »

Gave a talk at the American Chamber of Commerce of Japan yesterday. Americans living in Japan are the most fun to speak to because they generally agree with what I say. ;-) It's a bit like preaching to the choir and obviously, I'm not adding as much value as when I'm debating with my opponents, but the Q&A session after my talk was good and there were a lot of good comments and thoughts. In addition to my "ad hoc society of Japanese revolutionary wannabes" maybe I should try to participate in more meetings about democracy with foreigners living in Japan...

New social software blog »

A new group weblog authored by Elizabeth Lane Lawley, Ross Mayfield, Sébastien Paquet, Jessica Hammer and Clay Shirky to focus on social software was announced at ETCon I hear. Great team and looks interesting. It's also great that Clay is finally blogging after all of that "it's not for me" business. ;-)

Conscious humility and impact of culture on the design of networking tools »

I think that as we design tools for social networking, some of these nuances are going to become important. Different circles have different cultures. Some people thrive on ego and put-downs. Some people thrive on humility. How does this affect the design of the tools...

Social Capital of Blogspace - Ross Mayfield »

Ross provides an improved picture of the Ecosystem of Networks and ties in the idea of Social Capital.

More on Andrew Orlowski article about googlewashing »

Kevin Marks has written a nice rebuttal to Andrew Orlowski's article about googlewashing.

Flattering article in The Register about The Second Superpower paper and googlewashing »

Andrew Orlowski has an article in The Register about how Jim Moore's paper about the Second Superpower spread so quickly it now ranks #1 on Google. Talks about how A-List blogs contribute to the ability for a single entry to quickly outrank versions of the word.

The Second Superpower - James Moore »

Great paper by James Moore at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society about how the "will of the people" is the emerging second superpower. He talks about emergent democracy, the Internet and gives a bunch of great examples.Jim is one guy who I was HOPING would start a blog. Thanks to Dave and Doc, he's got one now.

A Minimal Compact Public Beta »

I'm a bit late in commenting on this, but Adam released it in the middle of my Silicon Valley immersive experience and had a hard time concentrating. His paper which is available as a pdf file or on his web page is an interesting idea.

Response to Doug Fox - Questions on Emergent Democracy »

Doug Fox asks some great questions about Emergent Democracy.I'll try to respond to some of them.

Scoble wonder if ED stifles leadership and radical ideas »

The emergent democracy paper was scobleized thus:

Sébastien Paquet on the challenge of converting leaders »

Sébastien Paquet quotes Tom Munnecke's comments on Dee Hock's letter, Dee Hock's article leader-followers and the World of Ends and has an "ah ha" moment about why David and Doc's vision is difficult to implement.

adding more information to links »

Jon LebkowskyWhuffie in LinksThe Emergent Democracy tribe's been discussing a possible enhancement of href links.

Clap to vote »

A custom that is common in Japan is that instead of the US style "motion", "second", "all in favor say..." process, many Japanese boards clap to vote yes. There isn't a clear way to show your lack of support for an issue other than not to clap. From a governance perspective, this clap to vote method seems to lack... robustness. ;-p

Howard's advice to Korea's cyberspace generation »

Alexa shows us that of the top5 websites in the world, 2 are Korean and they rank above Google which is 5th. Korea's new President is a self-proclaimed Internet president. Howard Rheingold sends the Korean cyberspace generation a message.

Emergent Democracy 1.3 »

I just finished version 1.3 of the emergent democracy paper.

An email from Dee Hock about the emergent democracy paper »

Dee Hock, the founder of VISA and well known for his work on leadership and "chaordics" wrote me an very thoughtful email in response to my emergent democracy paper. He talks about blogging, the Internet, VISA, culture, democracy, power, corporations, leadership and many issues that are relevant to our current discussion.

Emegent democracy brainstorming with John Vasconcellos and friends »

From left to right: John Vasconcellos, Brian Murphy, Mitch Saunders, Susan HoffmanCalifornia State Senator John Vasconcellos is an old friend and my mentor on many issues. He helped make self-esteem an important part of modern politics and is currently working on the Politics of Trust. When I am trying to think of new things, I often go to him for advice. I assumed he would know something about democracy so I sent him my emergent democracy paper and asked him for his thoughts.

Lunch with Ross Mayfield »

Had lunch with Ross Mayfield yesterday. Ross wrote a piece called The Ecosystem of Networks which described the three different networks: the political network, the social network and the creative network. This piece provided an essential framework for my paper on Emergent Democracy.

Dinner chat with Larry Lessig on Emergent Democracy »

Had dinner tonight with Lawrence Lessig to talk about emergent democracy and other things. Larry pointed out some interesting work called deliberative polling being done by Professor James S. Fishkin.

Robert Kaye from Musicbrainz »

Yesterday, I had dinner with Robert Kaye. He is the founder of Musicbrainz.

Emergent Democracy Paper 1.2 translated into French by François Granger »

François Granger just finished translating my Emergent Democracy paper v 1.2 into French. Thanks François!

Emergent Democracy release 1.2 »

Allan Karl sent me suggestions and edits via a marked up word file. I've made some edits based on his comments and accepted his suggestions on grammer, etc. I've replaced the original file with the new file and put the old one here.

Korea's new Internet president »

So I don't know how "emergent" this new Korean president is, but he is clearly much more aware of the Web than most world leaders. Korea has always been touted as leading Asia in Internet. It sounds like they are leading in Internet democracy as well.

Can we control our lust for power? »

Inspired by Clay's claims about the power law distribution of blogs, I've been thinking and writing (with many others) about emergent democracy in the hopes that blogs will not create an elite ruling class, but will allow direct democracy to emerge from the chaos. The irony of my technorati and daypop rankings increasing because of this does not escape me. It feels good to get attention, and this feeling is the lust that drives people to stare at power law curve. Liz and I were chatting in IM about this today and she quoted: "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." So, who is the Frodo Baggins of the Internet? Are bloggers hobbits? Who can resist the power law distribution and try to create a more democratic process.

Combating emergent terrorism »

I saw an interesting entry about emergent terrorism.The Art of PeaceThis brings us to emergent totalitarianism, or emergent terrorism. At first they may not seem susceptible to analysis as emergent phenomena, since by definition totalitarianism is a command system, and the greatest terrorist threat today demands obedience (at least nominally) to a strict and inflexible code of behavior. Yet many have noted how the decentralized network of Al Qaeda makes it difficult to cripple or destroy. This is not the first time they have been discussed as an emergent system, yet I think it's important to study their dynamics as deeply as possible if civilization is in a war to the death with them - we must know their strengths and weaknesses better than they know ours. And if we are truly to pit emergent system vs emergent system (rather than command vs emergent as the communists did economically) it must be at least in part us rather than our government who think about it.

Are we not ants? »

In my paper and throughout the "happening" I have argued that we are similar to ants in that blogs are exhibiting a emergent intelligence beyond that of the individual blogs.

Emergent Democracy Paper 1.0 »

Thank everyone for all of the constructive feedback and support in getting my thoughts to where they are. This was a community effort and a great example of emergent democracy itself. I've posted version 1.0 of the paper.

Emergent Democracy Paper Draft »

I just finished the day pounding away at my emergent democracy paper. I am very tired. Today was the deadline. It's 1000 words short and I'm so tired, I think the conclusion is quite week. I'm going to beg them to give me another day... It's about 5000 words now. If anyone has the interest and the time to take a look, I would greatly appreciate comments. Since I still have 1000 words to write, I can elaborate on any of the points really.My thesis is basically that weblogs will allow the net to exhibit emergent behavior and properly used, this will allow us to create a new form of global democracy. I think the community of toolmakers is the key to getting this done.Here it is in html.Clay and Ross, can I use the images from your papers?

My paper on emergent democracy »

I've finally started working on my paper on emergent democracy. It basically tracks the "Happening" but it will be for a non-blogging crowd so I will have to describe blogging and a variety of other things we take for granted. I'm going to write it in OmniOutliner and will render it with ActiveRendere and upstream it to my Radio page.

The about Time and CoValue of eBay Reputation: 7.6% of Price »

Great reference by Howard on Smartmobs to a paper about the value of reputation....

Decentralization, Community and Reputation »

In case you missed this in my Toshio Yamagishi entry... There is an interesting discussion going on in a Yahoo Group called Decentraliation. Rich Persaud made an interesting comment. I responded. People asked me to post Toshio Yamagishi's paper so I got permission and here it is. Toshio Yamagishi Dear Joi, I have sent the paper out for review--it will take some time for the paper to get published. Yes, I'm happy that it is widely distributed. You may do whatever you want to do with the paper. Best regards, Toshio Improving the Lemons Market with a Reputation System: An...

Science in Action - Bruno Latour »

Finally finished reading this book. Mimi recommended it to me when I was trying to write my paper for Ars Electronica. Now I can't remember the context of her recommendation. Anyway... A dense book, but a great book. It approaches the process of the progress of science and the development of "facts" from the human and social perspective. Latour starts out the book by chronicling the discovery of DNA and the development of the Eclipse MV/8000 computer. He shows how "facts" are black boxes that become fact through a process of competition that involves building networks of references until...

MRI and Game Theory Show Brain Likes to Cooperate »

Great article in the NYT about how a study shows that people's brains react positively when people cooperate. Using MRI scanning and the Prisoner's Dilemma, researchers were suprised by the results. This reinforces many of Toshio Yamagishi's ideas that I wrote about in a previous entry. Hard as it may be to believe in these days of infectious greed and sabers unsheathed, scientists have discovered that the small, brave act of cooperating with another person, of choosing trust over cynicism, generosity over selfishness, makes the brain light up with quiet joy. Studying neural activity in young women who were...

Commodifying Usenet and the Usenet Archive or Continuing the Online Cooperative Usenet Culture? »

Here's another example of the clash of cultures on the Internet. Google, trying to do a good thing has run into the wrath of old school Usenet types. ;-) From David Farber's Interesting People Mailing List: Abstract This article explores the conflict between the cooperative online culture of users who have created Usenet and the corporate commodification of Usenet posts by companies archiving the posts. The clash of decision-making processes is presented thorough the details of how Usenet users choose to petition a company to provide protection for the public archives it had collected. The company disregarded the petition and...

Met Toshio Yamagishi »

He shows that in closed systems people who focus on the relationships of the members and who do not trust work well whereas in open systems where it is more important to find many trustworthy people, it was better to assume people were trustworthy at the beginning.

Self Esteem and the Information Age »

For the Keizai Doyukai Newsletter...

Technology, Security and Cyber Arbitration »

An article I prepared for the Inter-Pacific Bar Association about Cyber Abitration....

Benkyokai on Trust with Jiro Kokuryo »

Reference Bibliography: Marcel Mauss, The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies Francis Fukuyama, Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity Toshio Yamagishi and Midori Yamagishi, Trust and Commitment in the United States and Japan...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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