Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Global Politics Category

Conversation with Jonathan Zittrain »

I recently co-taught a class that merged content, students and a TA from MIT with a course that Jonathan Zittrain has been teaching for many years called Internet and Society, the Politics and Technologies of control. In addition, there was a program that ran together with it called the Berkman Assembly. It was a really great program and I hope we can do something similar again. There's an article about it on the Harvard Law site. Just as the Executive Order from the Trump Administration calling for a travel ban from seven Muslim countries was playing out, I was...

Conversation with Jamila Raqib »

I first met Jamila when she and her associate Alia reached out to us after we posted a video on Civil Disobedience inspired by and citing Gene Sharp. Jamila is the executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution that Gene Sharp founded to focus on understanding and spreading his methods for non-violent action. We had a conversation about this with Tenzin Priyadarshi - the video is here (Sorry about the poor audio quality). After talking to Jamila some more, it was clear that she inspired many of us and we could learn a lot from her. In addition, it...

Conversation with Christopher M. Schroeder »

Conversation with Christopher M. Schroeder about Whiplash The Book, entrepreneurship, the Middle East, media and many other things. Audio available on iTunes and SoundCloud....

Conversation with Peter Seligmann, the Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Conservation International »

I met Peter in Marrakech at a private meeting that he and others had organized during COP22. Peter is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Co-founder of Conservation International, one of the most effective conservation efforts I know of. I caught up with him on Thanksgiving after we were both back in the US. We talked about biodiversity, COP22, sustainability, conservation, indigenous people, climate change, complex systems and the theory of change. The audio is available on SoundCloud and iTunes....

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....

Conversation with Julia Reda, MEP and Pirate Party of Germany »

I learned about Julia Reda reading Kaz Taira's blog post about her visit to Japan for a Movements for Internet Active Users (MIAU) meeting. Julia Reda is a Member of the European Parliament representing Germany, and she also serves as a Vice-President of the Greens/EFA group, president of the Young Pirates of Europe and a member of the Pirate Party of Germany. She is was the rapporteur of the Parliament's review of 2001's Copyright Directive. We set a Skype call and some of the EU's secret conversations about copyright leaked just as the call was starting so we used...

Urgent: Reports that Bassel Khartabil has been sentenced to death »

Bassel Khartabil, a leading figure in the Syrian Open Source software community, has been imprisoned by the Syrian government since March 2012, accused of "harming state security". The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has declared his imprisonment arbitrary and called for his immediate release. Khartabil's wife, human rights attorney Noura Ghazi, has recently been contacted by insiders in the Assad government and told that Bassel has been secretly sentenced to death. (English translation/comments on Noura's Facebook post, which is in Arabic.) It is impossible to confirm these rumors, but this is deeply disturbing news for friends of Bassel and...

MIT Media Lab reaches out to jailed Syrian activist with research position in Center for Civic Media »

I am proud to announce that we have offered Bassel Khartabil a position as a research scientist in the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab, where he will work directly with its director, principal research scientist Ethan Zuckerman. As a research scientist at the Media Lab, Bassel will be able to continue his longstanding work protecting spaces for online speech-work that fits naturally with the core research mission of the Center. In particular, Bassel is currently working on reconstructing in 3D the ancient ruins of Palmyra, one of the sites raided and destroyed by ISIS. Bassel Khartabil...

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....

Chinese does not block content? »

I'm on an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) panel on openness and free flow of information. We've been talking a lot about China and a gentleman from the Chinese delegation to the UN in Geneva was in the audience. He stood up and confirmed that "China does not restrict access to any content." I did not know that. ;-P UPDATE: Would like add that my position was that we are bashing China too much on this panel and I pointed out that there are good things going on there. I just thought it was silly to completely deny content restrictions in...

an inconvenient truth »

I went to a screening of an inconvenient truth (IMDb). an inconvenient truth is a film directed by Davis Guggenheim about global warming and Al Gore's life long effort to learn about and educate the world about the reality and risk of global warming. My position on global warming had always been that it was probably a bad thing. Pollution was clearly increasing and it increased the risk of some non-linear event occurring. Having said that, I wasn't THAT concerned and thought that there was still some dispute in the scientific community. Watching this film has caused me to change...

Disaster Tourism »

By Thomas Crampton Turns out that disasters nowadays do not seem to turn away tourists for long. From a story I wrote on trends in Disaster Tourism that is in today's paper: The number of leisure travelers visiting tourist destinations hit by trouble has in some cases bounced back to a level higher than before disaster struck. "This new fast recovery of tourism we are observing is kind of strange," said John Koldowski, director for the Strategic Intelligence Center of the Bangkok-based Pacific Asia Travel Association. "It makes you think about the adage that any publicity is good publicity." Is...

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...

Collaborative Newspaper Column - Wiki-style? »

Posted by Thomas Crampton Tech editor of the International Herald Tribune seems open to publishing a column of blog-generated ideas. I need topics of interest our newspaper's readers (wealthy global audience of frequent travelers with diverse interests in politics, economic and culture). Conversations on this blog that might work have included my postings on Global Sociology of Online Shopping or Joi's post on ideas for new inflight software. Input welcome on: Layout - should it be in blog-style or reworked into a newspaper format. I tend to prefer reworking it, but my editor liked the idea of experimenting with a...

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....

Party with the Axis of Evil? »

Posted by Thomas Crampton North Korea, exaulted member of George W. Bush's axis of evil, just invited me to a festival, but I don't think I can make it. I have, however, attended three previous Kim Jong Il birthday party. Based on my experience, I can say that Pyongyang shows a declining level of party sense. The first I attended was the snazzy party at the Hong Kong jockey club in 2002 The pretty fancy birthday party in 2003 And the distinctly downmarket event party in 2005 (terrible wine!) For the record, I crashed the party each time. The North...

Myanmar/Burma »

Posted by Thomas Crampton I wrote a story on the Global fund deciding to pull out of Myanmar on Friday. The fund fights HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB, diseases that are the scourges of many developing nations. Click here for their press release. The fund had been criticised by some for going into the country (some feared they could be seen as providing a support for the goverment) and they were also criticized for pulling out (they did not try hard enough). Who is correct? BREAKING NEWS: Rumor is that general Maung Aye has ousted general Than Shwe. If true, we...

London Explosions »

Anyone who is tuning in right now... about 2 hours ago a series of explosions were reported in London involving the Underground and a bus. The BBC reports "Large numbers of casualties have been reported after at least six explosions on the Underground network and a double-decker bus in London." UPDATE: Most big media sites are slow or down. You can get to many of the blogs post via Technorati for queries such as "London explosions". Lots of pictures on the Flickr London Explosions Group / Flickr Bomb tag. Wikinews article. (Note: I think Wikinews has had the fastest and...

Hoder's going back to Iran »

Hoder, our favorite Iranian blogger is going back to Iran. He needs our help to get there as well as possibly keep him out or get him out of jail. See his blog for details....

International Campaign Against Extremism »

Daniel Lubetzky @ One VoiceInternational Campaign Against Extremism After a successful pilot in Chicago with talks at four universities, OneVoice decided to roll out this fall an International Education program. The program aims to counteract polarization on campuses and communities worldwide - sending Israeli and Palestinian OV representatives with nationalist credentials from each side to college campuses plagued with divisions. They will discuss OV's work and methodology and expose students and community leaders to the imperative alternative of working together pragmatically to support their leaders' quest towards conflict resolution. The program was conceived after the realization that extremist groups...

Censorship through boycotts »

The American Family Association recently pressured P&G to drop ads on pro-gay shows and web sites through boycotts. I'm glad we don't have them "protecting" us in Japan. More info on Adam's blog....

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...

Chinese Anti-Japan Protests »

There is a good blog post by Andrea about bloggers in China talking about the anti-Japan protests. As a Japanese who has a great deal of sympathy and empathy for China, what I find difficult is trying to understand the various threads and how Japanese people can try to make a difference. In particular, the hateful and extreme actions of some of the Chinese make it difficult, if not scary to even try to open a dialog. At the same time, the extremes in China are fueling the nationalists in Japan and not helping the cause for the more moderate...

Hoder ponders Ziba Zahra Kazemi »

MetaFilterTruth? Rape, Torture, and Lies An ongoing Canadian saga has a sad new twist today: photojournalist Ziba Zahra Kazemi was likely brutally tortured and raped before her death in Iran in 2003. Arrested after a demonstration, the official Iranian line has been that her death was an accident due to injuries from a fall. The ER doctor who treated her has now spoken out, after being granted refugee status in Canada. Wikipedia has an excellent outline of the entire story.Hoder ponders what he should do to prevent similar treatment when he returns to Iran. What sort of pressure can help...

More notes from Atocha »

Atocha StationJoshua Ramo who was moderating a panel at the Atocha summit asked the question, is the world more democratic since 9/11. Clearly most people thought no. One person in the audience stepped up and said that the elections in Iraq were a good sign and that Iraq was more democratic. A young man from Iraq jumped in and said that he didn't believe that the elections had made Iraq more democratic citing the low turnout and the problems they were having getting started. Then a young Iraqi woman who was working on monitoring elections jumped in and said that...

Atocha Summit opening remarks »

I just heard some excellent comments by Kumi Naidoo on a panel. I was going to blog them, but I'm sitting next to Rebecca MacKinnon and I looked over her shoulder and noticed that she's taking better notes and is about to post something so I'll link to her instead....

Hezbollah TV on US Terrorist Exclusion List »

One of the things I'm going to talk about on the panel today is the addition of al-Manar, the satellite TV station of Lebanon-based Hezbollah to the Terrorist Exclusion List on December 17, 2004. The TEL limits immigration for foreigners associated with organizations on the list. This is not the worst of the various lists to be on, but according to Jack Shafer, they are the first media company to be added to this list. My understanding is that al-Manar represents the Hezbollah party in Lebanon. It is an official party with democratically elected politicians. While the content of al-Manar...

Atocha workshop today »

Today I'll be attending the Atocha Workshop.On March 11th 2005 the Atocha Workshop on Global Terrorism, hosted by the Safe Democracy Foundation, will create a repository of original thinking on Global Terrorism that will continue to be fed weekly in the form of a weblog by creative thinkers on the subject from around the world. The launching event will take place at the Atocha Train Station on March 11th, 2005 at the restaurant Samarkanda. Here, in in an atmosphere that will encourage creative thinking, around 200 people will participate as policy proponents, webloggers or as public; all will be engaged...

Kofi Annan speaking on terrorism »

Kofi Annan is speaking now. He says that terrorism is a direct attack on human rights and the rule of law. If we destroy human rights and rule of law in the response to terrorism, they have won. Many responses to terrorism, even by those among members of the UN damage human rights. Upholding human rights is not merely compatible with fighting terrorism, it is essential. He is going to work on UN guidelines to responding to terrorism while following International human rights guidelines. UPDATE: full text of speech. via Alvy...

The Infrastructure of Democracy »

I am at this moment co-moderating the Democracy, Terrorism and the Open Internet panel at the Club de Madrid International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security with Marko Ahtisaari. We worked all day yesterday drafting a document we are calling "The Infrastructure of Democracy". The draft is currently available on the Global Voices wiki. Please give us some feedback. Special thanks to Martin Varsavsky for giving us the opportunity and to John Perry Barlow, John Gage, Dan Gillmor, Chris Goggans, Pekka Himanen, David Isenberg, Rebecca MacKinnon, Andrew McLaughlin, Desiree Miloshevic, Jeff Moss, Ejovi Nuwere, Kazuhisa Ogawa, Marc Rotenberg, David Smith,...

Lessig on democracy in Europe »

Lessig Blogthe "democracy" that is Europe So despite the fact that the EU Parliament has rejected software patents for Europe, and despite the fact that there is not a qualified majority of member states supporting it, the EU Council has now endorsed their draft of the "Directive on the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions." This struggle continues to astonish me. There's no good economic evidence that software patents do more good than harm. That's the reason the US should reconsider its software patent policy. But why Europe would voluntarily adopt a policy that will only burden its software developers and only...

U.N. landmine commerical won't air in US »

Mark Frauenfelder @ Boing Boing BlogU.N. landmine commerical won't air in US. A U.N. commercial depicts American girls playing in a soccer match. A girl steps on a landmine and there's a big explosion. Kids get blown apart. CNN and other networks don't want to air the ad. The explosion appears to kill and injure some girls, sparking panic and chaos among parents and other children. Shrieks of horror are heard through much of the spot, and a father is shown cradling his daughter's lifeless body, moments after celebrating a goal she had scored. It closes with a tag line...

North Korea denies Boing Boing »

Xeni at Boing Boing linked to a flash movie on a North Korean site promoting vacations to North Korea. The North Korean Friendship Association was not pleased. Read the funny updates....

Gesture lost in translation »

Xeni @ Boing BoingJenna Bush, Spawn of Satan Is it me, or is Jenna Bush holding up the sign of Satan next to her father's face in this photo? Choose picture #7 in this MSNBC slide show. Here's the original MSNBC Link, and here's a link to a copy of the photo I saved locally (it's now offline at MSNBC) (thanks Jeremy) Update: BB reader Charles Bestal says, "As a University of Texas student, we hear a good bit about the party animal around campus -- but it should be noted that she is most likely invoking the school's hand-sign...

WEF meeting in Davos »

People have been pinging me about this, so I guess I should post something about it. I'm not going to Davos this year. I wasn't invited this year. Not sure exactly why... But I'm in pretty good company... Anyway, I posted some thoughts on the Forum over on Omidyar Network which I'll post here as well. Joi ItoThis may sound like sour grapes, but I didn't get invited to Davos this year, but after going for 4 years, I was also planning on possibly not going. It's great fun meeting old friends, but I'm finding many of the smaller conferences...

Blogs help reform in Iran »

Hoder @ MetaFilterBlogs help reform in Iran Blogs contribute to political reform in Iran (New York Times): Former vice-president of Iran, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, said that he learned through the Internet about the huge gap between government officials and the younger generation. "We do not understand each other and cannot have a dialogue," he said. "As government officials, we receive a lot of confidential reports about what goes on in society. But I have felt that I learned a lot more about people and the younger generation by reading their Web logs and receiving about 40 to 50 e-mails every...

Getting out the vote in Ramallah »

OneVoiceGetting out the vote in Ramallah More photos are available in the new Palestinian Elections gallery.Good luck and my cheers for everyone working on getting out the vote in Palestine!...

The Great Wall of Iran »

Editor: Myself - HoderNo more blogging and net-socializing Friends in Iran, journalists and technicians, are saying that judiciary officials have ordered all major ISP to filter all blogging services including PersianBlog, BlogSpot, Blogger, BlogSky, and even BlogRolling. They have also ordered to filter Orkut, Yahoo Personal and some other popular dating and social networking websites.Anyone know if TypePad or LiveJournal are being blocked? Is Google doing anything about this? UPDATE from #joiito: [Catspaw] Joi: Livejournal and Typepad both accessible form the major Iranian ISPs...

Richard Gere and Chief Islamic Justice in Palestinian Pro-Vote PSA »

One Voice is a project lead by my friend Daniel Lubetzky. He is doing a lot of cutting edge work bringing peace to the Middle East particularly by trying to amplify the moderate voices of the people in Palestine and Israel. We have been bugging him to start a blog and he did. He's given us a scoop on his new blog.One VoiceThe first-ever Get-Out-The-Vote Campaign in the Palestinian Authority, conducted by OneVoice-Palestine, is about to release a Public Service Announcement that will turn heads: it juxtaposes Sheikh Taysir al Tamimi, the Chief Palestinian Islamic Justice, and Father Attallah Hanna,...

Antoin on the crisis in Sri Lanka »

Some of us have been having an email exchange online about how we can help tsunami victims. Here is an email from Antoin that I found particularly interesting. It concurs with an IHT article I read the other day which said the biggest problem in many regions was not the volume of support but the coordination and the most limited resource was airspace, airstrips, and coordination.AntoinHi folks, I've been staying with some Sri Lankan friends living in London. But they really don't know what to do. They are perplexed really. There is a relief effort, and a lot of people...

Bloggers tortured in Iran, says ex-VP »

Bloggers tortured in Iran, says ex-VP via Jeff Jarvis...

The death penalty »

From today's paper...Tegucigalpa, Honduras (AP) - Unknown assailants opened fire this week on a public bus in northern Honduras, killing at least 23 passengers and wounding 16 others ... The assailants left a note that said they represented a revolutionary group that opposes the death penalty... Beijing (AFP) - The Chinese authorities have sentenced two Hong Kong men to death for smuggling digital player components into the southeastern city of Xiamen...I don't want to be judgmental or anything, but killing 23 people to protest the death penalty and sentencing to death people for smuggling digital player components both seem a...

Global Voices manifesto draft »

There is now a draft of the Global Voices manifesto on Hoder's wiki. It will eventually be moved, but we're working on it there for now. Here is the current draft.We believe in free speech, both in protecting the right to speak and extending access to the tools of speech. We define speech broadly to include many media that facilitate expression. The broadest right of free speech has always extended primarily to those who owned technology for publishing and distribution, beginning with the printing press. It is now possible for anyone to publish and have access to a distribution channel...

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...

China blocks Google News »

Reporters Without Borders says that that China has started blocking Google News just a few weeks after Google started self-censorship on their search results. via We The Media...

Ukrainian revolution blog »

Nice on-the-ground reporting from a blog from Ukraine - The ukraine_revolution blog. via Loic...

Croatian diplomat fired over blog comments »

DMeurope.comCroatian diplomat fired over blog comments 17/11/2004 by John Tilak The Croatian government has recalled an official from its Washington embassy after he apparently wrote on his blog that the diplomatic meetings were boring and that there was no difference between President Bush and the Democratic candidate John Kerry, according to a report from Reuters. Third secretary at the Croatian embassy in Washington DC, Vibor Kalogjera, 25, had been narrating his experiences under the pseudonym "Vibbi". He is said to have violated state laws on foreign affairs and civil servants.I guess this makes sense. It's interesting to think about the...

Hoder, the Iranian blogger is getting death threats »

Hoder, the Iranian blogger is getting death threats.Editor: MyselfNow they've moved to BlogSpot and have made another blog with the same name with a more precise content to backup their claims. They now have picked particular posts from my Persian blog, in which they think I've insulted the God, and other sacred concepts of Islam and therefore, quoting from a Quranic verse, I deserve to be killed.I will be meeting Hoder for the first time at the upcoming Berkman Center's "Internet & Society 2004: Votes, Bits & Bytes" on December 10. This will be Hoder's first trip to the US....

Israeli and South African passport stamps »

I'm going to Israel this month and South Africa next month. I've heard from a few people that both Israeli stamps and South African stamps in your passport make it very difficult when traveling to Arab countries. Does anyone know if this is true? Is there any way to ask them NOT to stamp your passport? Is THAT a cause for being hassled?...

Followup on the Japanese hostages »

I blogged earlier about the very negative reaction that the Japanese taken hostage in Iraq received in Japan. The main reason was that when the parents asked for their release, they didn't apologize to the Japanese government and even denounced the war. I believe it was a rather unfortunately, but understandable reaction in the context of Japanese culture for the Japanese to say, "we told you to stay away from there, and how dare you cause such shame on Japan without even apologizing." I recently talked to someone involved in the Arab press and learned that if the parents had...

VoIP crime »

David WeinbergerVoIP crime US citizen Ilya Mafter has been detained by the Belarusians for committing the crime of Voice over IP. The government says that he caused about US$100,000 in damage to the country's telephony providers "as a result of illegal communications services using IP telephony that were organized by Mafter."Such illegal communications services hurt telephone companies and in many countries these telephone companies are run by the government or wield a great deal of power. Sometimes it's easy to forget that competition with monopolies is illegal in many countries....

Panel Consensus »

I'm sitting in the Italian Parliament (I think.) The panel I was on was dealing with the impact of digital/Internet on content creation and distribution. It started yesterday and continued today. I think it lasted about seven hours or so in total. I found myself in violent disagreement at the beginning because they kept talking about piracy. The interesting thing about this panel (probably more common in other cultures, but new for me) was that we had to come to a written consensus by the end of the session and present it in the Parliament building. It would then be...

Do you know where your data is? »

People have been reporting about the FBI ordering a hosting provider, Rackspace, with offices in the US and the UK to seize at least two servers from Indymedia's UK datacenter. Indymedia is a well known edgy alternative news site which was established to provide grassroots coverage of the WTO protests in Seattle. It has grown into a multinational resource for some hardcore journalism including a lot of work on the Diebold and the Patroit Act issues. The reports as well as Indymedia's page on this story say that the FBI has not provided a reason for the seizure to Indymedia....

WSJ reporter confirms authenticity of private email about being in Iraq »

Mark Frauenfelder @ Boing BoingWSJ reporter confirms authenticity of her letter to friends about horrific conditions in Iraq Farnaz Fassihi, a Wall Street Journal correspondent in Iraq, confirmed that a widely-redistributed letter she emailed to friends about the nightmarish situation in Iraq was indeed written by her. Too bad the WSJ doesn't allow this reporter to write these kinds of stories for the paper. "Iraqis say that thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for insecurity," Fassihi wrote (among much else) in the letter. "Guess what? They say they'd take security over freedom any day, even if it means...

Addressing Wikipedia's systemic bias »

Ethan explains that although Wikipedia tries to maintain an neutral point of view (NPOV), it is inherently systemically biased by its demographic to pay more attention to articles that the contributors know about and research from sources which are available online. Xed, a Wikipedian has tried to address this systemic bias with a new project called the "Committee Regarding Overcoming Serious Systemic Bias On Wikipedia" or CROSSBOW.From draft CROSSBOW manifestoWikipedia has a number of systemic biases, mostly deriving from the demographics of our participant base, the heavy bias towards online research, and the (generally commendable) tendency to "write what you...

Wikipedia inacessible from China »

As of yesterday, Wikipedia is inaccessible from most of China. It appears to be inaccessible from 11 out of 12 points in China. It was blocked for a few days back in June or so, but this block appears to be broader than the last one. Hope this one gets resolved quickly too....

Iran cracks down on reformist web sites »

Hoder reports government crackdowns on reformist websites and bloggers....

The Chinese Firewall »

I was wondering why so many of my favorite feeds weren't coming into my news reader and I realized (duh!) that I'm in China and Blogger and TypePad are blocked. It's one thing blogging about it from Japan, it's another thing actually being blocked and realizing how much of my world just sort of disappears. There are proxy servers, but I hear that even then, if you use one for too long, they get tracked down and blocked literally while you're surfing......

Encouraging Cameraphone Use -- For Less Than Encouraging Reasons »

The FeatureEncouraging Cameraphone Use -- For Less Than Encouraging Reasons Instead of banning them, Chinese authorities have creatively adapted cameraphones as yet another tool to control its citizens, if the latest allegations prove to be true. Authorities there reportedly threatened pro-democracy radio talk show hosts, after which they all quit. This didn't involve cameraphones until new reports emerged that authorities have contacted the families of callers to these shows still living on the mainland. They have been told to convince their relatives to vote for pro-Beijing candidates and then snap a picture of their ballots with a cameraphone to send...

Joking about horrible things »

The post by Xeni about Stealth Lynndie-ing reminded me of a story I heard recently from a unnamed source involved in Israeli and Palestinian relations. Apparently after an official meeting, an Israeli and Palestinian were having coffee and the Israeli asked the Palestinian to tell him a joke. Here is the joke the Palestinian told: So there's this young guy from Hebron (I guess they make fun of people from Hebron...). He goes to the PLO and says he wants to become a suicide bomber. The PLO gives him a gun, a belt-bomb and a cell phone and tell him...

Growing anti-Japanese sentiments among Chinese »

China Photosvia ReutersThe New York Times has an interesting story about the rowdy anti-Japanese crowds at the recent Asian Cup soccer match in China between China and Japan.The New York Times"Kill! Kill! Kill!" the Chinese fans yelled. Or, echoing a patriotic song from another era, they shouted, roughly: "May a big sword chop off the Japanese heads!" What's surprising is not that there were anti-Japanese sentiments, but that the article asserts that such sentiments are on the rise. According to the article, "... increasingly, the most strident criticism of Japan now comes from a generation born long after the end...

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...

Brainstorm 2004 - interview with Ashraf Ghani »

Ashraf Ghani is Afghanistan's finance minister. He was interviewed by David Kirkpatrick Here are my notes....

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....

Cracking Iranian codes »

Bruce Schneier has written an interesting article discussing the accusation of Ahmed Chalabi of informing Iran that the US had broken its codes and when Iran knew that the NSA was cracking their codes. He digs into the history of Crypto AG, the NSA and Iran. He links to an article about Hans Buehler, the Crypto AG salesman who was arrested by Iran in 1992 on suspicion that Crypto AG had installed back doors in its encryption machines. There is no conclusion, but this story reminds me of Crytonomicon and the interesting world of information, misinformation and spying....

Eva Biaudet's blog »

I'm at Eva Baudet's office right now helping her get her blog started. (She's writing her first post now.) She's a member of the Finnish Parliament and a member of the Swedish People's Party. She's a fellow GLT and I met her first in Davos. I've been coming to Finland almost every month these days and Eva's been educating me about Finnish and European politics. Finally I get to teach HER something. ;-) Good luck on your blog Eva, and I hope you can keep it going! Thanks to Boris for the design....

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....

Those Sexy Iranians »

photo from Hoder's photo blogThe New York TimesThose Sexy Iranians ...True, girls and women can still be imprisoned for going out without proper Islamic dress. But young people are completely redefining such dress so it heightens sex appeal instead of smothering it. Women are required to cover their hair and to wear either a chador cloak or an overcoat, called a manteau, every time they go out, and these are meant to be black and shapeless. But the latest fashion here in Shiraz, in central Iran, is light, tight and sensual. "There are some manteaus with slits on the sides...

Orientalism by Edward W. Said »

Just finished reading the famous introduction to Orientalism by Edward Said. Said was a professor of comparative literature at Columbia University and was a well known Palestinian scholar who died in September of last year. Orientalism was written in 1978, but probably continues to become more relevant.Basically, he argues that the whole notion of the "Orient" or "Orientalism" is a body of culture, academic work and politics that tries to identify the East as "them" in terms that have evolved through Western imperialism. He makes the point that even work that doesn't appear immediately political had political impact and was part of the larger process of the development of Orientalism. Reading it brings back memories of Trader Vic's and pictures from British Museum exhibits of "Headpiece from dead savage."He points out some important issues which ties into the racism as stereotype discussion we had about Lost In Translation. The simplistic stereotypes and the images of the the East leads to a kind of fascination with the Orient, but also creates a false sense of understanding and fake academics upon which many ignorant, racist and imperialistic political decisions are made.A version of the introduction is available on The Guardian Unlimited Books web site so I'll give you a few quotes from there.Edward W. Said...Orientalism is very much a book tied to the tumultuous dynamics of contemporary history. Its first page opens with a description of the Lebanese civil war that ended in 1990, but the violence and the ugly shedding of human blood continues up to this minute. We have had the failure of the Oslo peace process, the outbreak of the second intifada, and the awful suffering of the Palestinians on the reinvaded West Bank and Gaza. The suicide bombing phenomenon has appeared with all its hideous damage, none more lurid and apocalyptic of course than the events of September 11 2001 and their aftermath in the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. As I write these lines, the illegal occupation of Iraq by Britain and the United States proceeds. Its aftermath is truly awful to contemplate. This is all part of what is supposed to be a clash of civilisations, unending, implacable, irremediable. Nevertheless, I think not.I wish I could say that general understanding of the Middle East, the Arabs and Islam in the US has improved, but alas, it really hasn't. For all kinds of reasons, the situation in Europe seems to be considerably better. What American leaders and their intellectual lackeys seem incapable of understanding is that history cannot be swept clean like a blackboard, so that "we" might inscribe our own future there and impose our own forms of life for these lesser people to follow. It is quite common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle East, as if ancient societies and myriad peoples can be shaken up like so many peanuts in a jar. But this has often happened with the "orient", that semi-mythical construct which since Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in the late 18th century has been made and remade countless times. In the process the uncountable sediments of history, a dizzying variety of peoples, languages, experiences, and cultures, are swept aside or ignored, relegated to the sandheap along with the treasures ground into meaningless fragments that were taken out of Baghdad.[...]The major influences on George W Bush's Pentagon and National Security Council were men such as Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, experts on the Arab and Islamic world who helped the American hawks to think about such preposterous phenomena as the Arab mind and the centuries-old Islamic decline which only American power could reverse. Today bookstores in the US are filled with shabby screeds bearing screaming headlines about Islam and terror, the Arab threat and the Muslim menace, all of them written by political polemicists pretending to knowledge imparted by experts who have supposedly penetrated to the heart of these strange oriental peoples. CNN and Fox, plus myriad evangelical and rightwing radio hosts, innumerable tabloids and even middle-brow journals, have recycled the same unverifiable fictions and vast generalisations so as to stir up "America" against the foreign devil.[...]Think of the line that starts with Napoleon, continues with the rise of oriental studies and the takeover of North Africa, and goes on in similar undertakings in Vietnam, in Egypt, in Palestine and, during the entire 20th century, in the struggle over oil and strategic control in the Gulf, in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Afghanistan. Then think of the rise of anti-colonial nationalism, through the short period of liberal independence, the era of military coups, of insurgency, civil war, religious fanaticism, irrational struggle and uncompromising brutality against the latest bunch of "natives". Each of these phases and eras produces its own distorted knowledge of the other, each its own reductive images, its own disputatious polemics.My idea in Orientalism was to use humanistic critique to open up the fields of struggle, to introduce a longer sequence of thought and analysis to replace the short bursts of polemical, thought-stopping fury that so imprison us. I have called what I try to do "humanism", a word I continue to use stubbornly despite the scornful dismissal of the term by sophisticated postmodern critics. By humanism I mean first of all attempting to dissolve Blake's "mind-forg'd manacles" so as to be able to use one's mind historically and rationally for the purposes of reflective understanding. Moreover humanism is sustained by a sense of community with other interpreters and other societies and periods: strictly speaking therefore, there is no such thing as an isolated humanist.[...]Speaking both as an American and as an Arab I must ask my reader not to underestimate the kind of simplified view of the world that a relative handful of Pentagon civilian elites have formulated for US policy in the entire Arab and Islamic worlds, a view in which terror, pre-emptive war, and unilateral regime change - backed up by the most bloated military budget in history - are the main ideas debated endlessly and impoverishingly by a media that assigns itself the role of producing so-called "experts" who validate the government's general line. Reflection, debate, rational argument and moral principle based on a secular notion that human beings must create their own history have been replaced by abstract ideas that celebrate American or western exceptionalism, denigrate the relevance of context, and regard other cultures with contempt.[...]The terrible conflicts that herd people under falsely unifying rubrics such as "America," "the west" or "Islam" and invent collective identities for large numbers of individuals who are actually quite diverse, cannot remain as potent as they are, and must be opposed. We still have at our disposal the rational interpretive skills that are the legacy of humanistic education, not as a sentimental piety enjoining us to return to traditional values or the classics but as the active practice of worldly secular rational discourse. The secular world is the world of history as made by human beings. Critical thought does not submit to commands to join in the ranks marching against one or another approved enemy. Rather than the manufactured clash of civilisations, we need to concentrate on the slow working together of cultures that overlap, borrow from each other, and live together. But for that kind of wider perception we need time, patient and sceptical inquiry, supported by faith in communities of interpretation that are difficult to sustain in a world demanding instant action and reaction.Humanism is centred upon the agency of human individuality and subjective intuition, rather than on received ideas and authority. Texts have to be read as texts that were produced and live on in all sorts of what I have called worldly ways. But this by no means excludes power, since on the contrary I have tried to show the insinuations, the imbrications of power into even the most recondite of studies. And lastly, most important, humanism is the only, and I would go as far as to say the final resistance we have against the inhuman practices and injustices that disfigure human history.I just picked out some paragraphs there were particularly interesting to me, but the whole thing is really interesting so I suggest you read the intro in its entirety.

N Korea's Kim criticized at home for apology to Japan »

Japan TodayN Korea's Kim criticized at home for apology to Japan Friday, May 7, 2004 at 04:00 JST WASHINGTON — North Korean military hardliners have been critical of leader Kim Jong Il for apologizing to Japan for the abduction of Japanese nationals, a U.S. expert who visited North Korea in April said. This makes it difficult for the North Korean leader to make a decision to break the impasse over the abduction issue with Japan, said Selig Harrison, Asian project director at the Washington-based Center for International Policy. He said the hardliners were angry because they think North Korea should...

Interesting discussion about the new Iraq flag »

Interesting discussion about the new Iraq flag over at Design Observer. via Oli...

Loic's rant at the European WEF (Davos) meeting »

Loic's rant at the European WEF meeting. With his French accent, Loic criticizes France and is our designated agitator at the Warsaw meeting. Wish I had been there to heckle him. ;-) Interesting talk. Loic's soliciting comments on his blog....

Does Google help governments censor results? »

Wired Magazine, January 2003Brin was no expert on international diplomacy. So he ordered a half-dozen books about Chinese history, business, and politics on Amazon.com and splurged on overnight shipping. He consulted with Schmidt, Page, and David Drummond, Google's general counsel and head of business development, then put in a call to tech industry doyenne Esther Dyson for advice and contacts. Google has no offices in China, so Brin enlisted go-betweens to get the message to Chinese authorities that Google would be very interested in working out a compromise to restore access. "We didn't want to do anything rash," Brin says....

World Economic Forum weblog »

The World Economic Forum has a weblog now. via Loic...

Genocide in Sudan »

There is genocide going on in Sudan. A must read essay about it and how you can help. via Jim Moore...

Wearing black in protest »

GlutterCHINA HAS FURTHER CURBED FREE SPEECH AMONG ITS CITIZENS THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT HAS BANNED ALL TYPEPAD SITES WITHIN CHINA. ANOTHER BLOW TO FREESPEECH AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION WITHIN THE COUNTRY. THIS IS A SAD DAY. GLUTTER TURNS BLACK AS A MEANS TO PROTEST AND BRING ATTENTION TO THIS ISSUE If I could so much ask, I would like to suggest others who own typepad sites and other blogs to put a note on theirs as a means to spread the word.So until TypePad blogs are unblocked, you will all have to bear with this ugly black border around my blog....

Is TypePad blocked in China? »

I just got email saying that TypePad is being blocked in China. Can anyone else confirm this?...

Racial stereotypes in Korean newspaper »

copyright hani.co.kr Speaking of racial stereotypes... Here's a cartoon of bloggers writing about the the impeachment in Korea from a Korean newspaper. On the other hand, at least they're reading the blogs. via dda on IRC...

Don Park on Korean President Roh's impeachment »

Don Park on Korean President Roh's impeachment...

China shutting down blogs »

Isaac MaoThe biggest ever block on blog in China Blogbus.com, one of the biggest blogging service in China, has been ordered to shut down it's service from noon today....

Terrible terrorist incident in Spain »

In case you're just waking up and reading blogs before reading the news. There has been a terrible terrorist incident in Spain. News on CNN.com. The last count I saw was over 170 192 people dead. Several commuter trains in the early morning to Madrid. Government says it was the ETA. Victor has compiled a lot of information on the attack....

A text message from Iran »

Newsweek"We will not take part in the funeral for freedom." A cell-phone text message circulated in Iran to protest against a clampdown on reformists in last weeks of parliamentary elections....

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...

Jimmy Carter blogs Africa »

Jimmy Carter blogs Africa via Ross Mayfield...

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...

Emergent blogging from Iran »

Yesterday, Jeff Jarvis introduced us to the Iranian blogger, Pedram Moallemian. Pedram blogs at the eyeranian. He is one of the outspoken Iranians who blogs in English and help us understand what's going on on the incredible number of Persian blogs. He explain that the Persian blogs can be traced to the short explanation written by Hoder at Hoder.com explaining how to use Blogger in Persian. There are now over 100,000 Persian blogs. Most of the blogs are about politics and sex as well as other things like poetry. The suppression of free speech in Iran is one of the...

Emergent Democracy Worldwide »

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

Rebecca launches a blog about North Korea »

Rebecca, from CNN, who is now at Harvard on sabattical, has just launched a new blog about North Korea. It's an cool experiment in blogging/journalism by someone who has a lot of on-the-ground experience covering difficult topics like this.This is an experiment in interactive, participatory journalism. And in the new age of internet web-blogging, we are ALL journalists. NKzone is NOT a conventional news or information website. Our members will build NKzone collectively with unique, personal, and (whenever possible) first-hand insights about the world's most mysterious country. Please approach this site not as a "viewer" or "reader", but as a "participant"...

Gapminder »

Gapminder is a truly amazing site of visualizations of stunning facts and statistics. Thanks for the link David!...

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...

Global crackdown on profanity »

Michael Powell wants to crack down on profanity in the US and the Brazilians arrest this pilot (via antti) for flipping them the finger. "He made an internationally known obscene gesture when he was being photographed by the Federal Police," according to the article. With all of the increased reason for profanity directed against establishment, I can see how a global war on profanity is essential for the security interests of the civilized world. :-p...

Rev. Moon pushing genocide »

Here's another racist influential leader ranting, this time about genocide."There will be a purge on God’s orders, and evil will be eliminated like shadows," the Unification Church leader Rev. Sun Myong Moon, the owner and primary funder of money-losing right-wing Washington Times, said last week. (The comments were posted online by Rev. Moon’s webmaster and picked up by blogger John Gorenfeld.) "Gays will be eliminated, the 3 Israels will unite. If not then they will be burned. We do not know what kind of world God will bring but this is what happens. It will be greater than the communist...

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...

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...

F---ing USA? »

The FCC says it's OK to say "fuck" on TV. So it is OK to broadcast, "fucking USA" ?Via MetaFilter and Boing Boing

Israel Reels at Pilots' Refusal to Go on Mission »

I'm sure most of you have already seen this news, but 27 pilots including a brigadier general and two colonels, nine in active duty, signed a letter saying that the Israeli air strikes were "illegal and immoral" and that they refused to take part in such missions.ReutersIsrael Reels at Pilots' Refusal to Go on MissionAn F-15 pilot who signed the letter, identified only as Captain Alef, told Israel's Channel Two television: "If dropping a bomb on a seven-storey building only to find out 14 innocent civilians were killed, of them nine children and two women, if that is not an illegal order, then what is?" Israel drew international condemnation last year when 16 civilians died after an F-16 warplane dropped a one-ton bomb on a residential neighborhood in Gaza City to kill Salah Shehada, a top commander in the militant Islamic group Hamas.This is truly a significant issue. If upstanding members the Israeli military feel that the justification of the attacks on the Palestinians is weak, it's clear that the extremists who are pushing for the continued attacks are on fairly weak moral ground.This reminds me of the work that Peaceworks is doing to try to amplify the voice of the silent majority in Israel and Palestine who are against the continued conflict.

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.

Ethan Zuckerman, Africa and blogging »

Ethan Zuckerman is the founder of geekcorps.A US-based, non-profit organization, we place international technical volunteers in developing nations. We contribute to local IT projects while transferring the technical skills needed to keep projects moving after our volunteers have returned home. Ethan's a GLT and one of the few blog savvy GLT's here. We've both evangelizing weblogs like crazy this trip. Ethan works a lot in developing nations and we talked about how to get technology to developing nations and how blogs could help get more coverage for issues in developing nations since the mass media tends to underreport them. One important part is to make them feel more culturally "close" in the way Salam Pax created a voice for Baghdad in the blogging community. We need more African bloggers. The other thing is to for other bloggers to understand and blog more about things going on in other parts of the world.Ethan pointed me to a great resource for news about Africa, allAfrica.com. I think I'll start here...

Baghdad Burning »

Doc links to a "Girl Blog from Iraq", Baghdad Burning by Salam's friend Riverbend.

Dinner Panel on Defining the New World Order »

David Kirkpatrick : "Everything is on the record."This means I can blog! ;-)Panelists: Madeleine Albright - the 64th Secretary of State of the US, General Wesley Clark - Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Paula Dobriansky - Under Secretary for Global Affairs of the US Department of State and Kishore Mahbubani - Singapore's Ambassador to the UN.Question: "Are we safer now since the war in Iraq?"Madeleine Albright, "was Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat? No. So we are less safe now than before the attack. Understood the 'why' but not 'why now'. I'm now concerned about where (WMD) they are now. Many people in the US hate the UN, because it is full of foreigners, which can not be helped. (laughs) Support Bush's notion of more democracy in the middle east."Paula Dobriansky: We are safer. The issue of what brought us in. 9/11. I don't think anyone would have thought that what took place on 9/11 was possible before that. The topic is new world order. We are not safe from a variety of threats. From rogue nations, or terrorists. There was a false sense of security. Then we look at Iraq specifically. 12 years of negotiation. Over several US administrations. Some security resolution. Hundreds of investigators. Inspectors who were on the ground in and out. The uncertainty of our security. The kind of volatility that exists out there. The environment has a great deal of vulnerability. The question is, are we better with Saddam's removal. The answer is "yes".Kishore Mahbubani, "If you come from outside the US, for the rest of the world, the key question, is 'what now'. what is the impact of the Iraq war on the rest of the world. In the rest of the world, there are more questions being asked than has ever been asked before. Part is due to the Iraq war. "Friends of America" want America to succeed and would like some introspection in America to figure out how to get it right and how to reach out to the rest of the world. "What percentage of the world in their hearts of hearts want American to succeed vs. fail in Iraq." Many allies want American to fail and many others want America to succeed because we need a world order. "Tipping point". What can America do to make sure it doesn't reach the tipping point.Wesley Clark, A few days after 9/11 Clark went through the Pentagon to check on his commentary. A joke was going around. "If Saddam didn't do 9/11, too bad, he should have, we're going to get him anyway." Those seized on that event to take out Saddam. Going after Sadaam cost us a year on the war terror. 40,000 troops who should have gone into Afghanistan were being held by Rumsfeld for Iraq. "It doesn't matter why, or how it comes out, but we went in there and kicked some ass, and boy they'll respect us now." The UN is not a world government, but it is an important part of creating legitimacy. I am concerned about WMD, but where are they? Not enough intelligence. The impact of instability of the action. There were some erroneous assumptions made. "I" for Iraq. Incomplete and indeterminate. Policy problems, bad planning, slow and cumbersome. We have a threefold problem. Al Qaeda, Iraqis trying to live, the Shia are organizing and deciding what to do. While we are worrying about terrorism and WMD, North Korea has crossed the redline. I'm happy Saddam is gone, but we have a plateful of stuff to do, but I think it's arguable whether we're more safe or not.Paula : AIDS... After 9/11 worried that heath issues would get marginalized or sidetracked.Albright : I sympathize for Paula who has to defend uni-dimensional administration policy. Defending the Bush administration is difficult, defending the UN is more difficult. Need for UN has never been greater.

Islam tutorial with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Founder, American Sufi Muslim Association »

Some quotes...In America, we have the constitution. If something is socially unjust, Americans say 'It's unconstitutional'. In Islam, the equivalent is, 'this is un-Islamic'.I regard Osama Bin Laden as the Robin Hood character. If we had a democracy in Saudi Arabia, Bin Laden would run for office.There was a study that came out in June. The question was how the rest of the world views the US. Bin Laden was one of the top 4 on the list of who could help change US behavior. The approval rating, even in Europe has gone down over the last year.The American Muslim community can help interface with the Muslims in the rest of the world. The American Muslim leaders and the American Jewish to work on issues such as the Palestinian issue.Q: What about the role of women in IslamA: Ideals and realities often have a gap. Even the framers did not really give people equal rights at the beginning. The ideal equality, but it didn't end up that way. The prophet was very much a feminist. The problem was when the Koran was implemented, local culture became law. Over 95% of law in the middle east is not from the Koran. The industrial revolution and the spreading of wealth increased the role of women. You can see this in the Middle East as the countries become wealthier, there are more lobbies to allow more equality for women.If the Islamic world were more democratic and were more economically healthy, you wouldn't have many of the problems you have now. The rage in the Muslim world is focused on local issues. The war on terror should be focused on creating a light at the end of the tunnel and helping people raise themselves up.

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.

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.

This war is probably helping China »

China as the winner of US v. Iraq

Satire blogs »

A roundup of hilarious satire blogs. Blogs by GW Bush, Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il.Kim Jong Il Live Journal link via woj@MetaFilter

Christiaan on mutual respect and the Arab world »

Christiaan van der Valk posted a thoughtful item about mutual respect and the Arab world on the GLT list.

Movies from the anti-war parade in Shibuya »

I've posted a two movies clips I took at the anti-war parade in Shibuya. The first one is a 1.7MB QT movie of the Japanese drummers and the second one is a 780K QT movie of the big black flags of the anarchics waving in the air walking down Koendori in front of the Marui department store. I imagined that we were marching for the overthrow of the Japanese government for a moment. ;-)

My position on warblogging »

Recently I've been getting email and comments in my blog pushing me to try to elaborate on my position on the war or to engage in the debate. I don't want to right now. I have several reasons.

My comments about the dysfunctional Japanese democracy probably apply to other countries too »

I have been criticized as being a "Japan Basher" for my comments about the dysfunctional Japanese democracy. I'd like to point out that I criticize everything that I think is wrong and don't discriminate by nationality. I don't think Japan is the only country with problems. In fact, I think that many countries of similar problems with their democracy.Greater DemocracyJoi Ito has posted some thoughts about Japan's problems, and he could just as well be speaking about the USA.

America the super-duperpower »

From FOXNews.comHouse Majority Whip Tom Delay (R-Texas)DELAY: John, we're no longer a superpower. We're a super-duperpower.At least we don't have politicians in Japan calling us a "super-duperpower". How embarrassing. Looking at the press these days, it almost seems like politicians in the US are sounding stupid on purpose...

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...

Chinese government announces it's Linux initative »

First spotted on Slashdot. I once made a comment at a conference in Hong Kong that more than half of the Internet would soon be Chinese and that China may end up running Internet protocols before long. Everyone liked that comment (in China) and it ended up in the paper. ;-P In protesting the Japanese government's security weaknesses, we often talk about the issue of the government's love of Microsoft products. We often talked about China's push into open source and Linux. I think that from a security perspective and a "leap frog the West" perspective, making open source a...

Notes from Brainstorm by David Kirkpatrick »

David Kirkpatrick wrote some notes about a session that I participated in at the Fortune Brainstorm conference. I have interspersed my comments in italics. FAST FORWARD A Glimpse Inside Brainstorm Which is more important: democracy or human rights? At a recent FORTUNE conference, international panelists debate. 08/13/2002 By David Kirkpatrick Fortune.com The talk at FORTUNE's recent Brainstorm 2002 event got pretty darn interesting, as businesspeople mixed it up with experts and thinkers from other domains. In one part of the Brainstorm program, each FORTUNE editor or writer moderated an hour-long session of 8-10 randomly assigned participants, with no set topic....

The King of Jordan »

John Gage set up 802.11 in the main room of the conference so I'm online live now. Cool. The king of Jordan is talking now and I'm sitting between Stewart Brand and Paul Saffo. Shimon Peres and his bodyguard are sitting next to Paul. We're all sitting in Herman Miller Aeron chairs sponsored by Herman Miller. (The Levis of the new economy.) The King of Jordan just said, "We find ourselves between Iraq and a hard place." ;-) The King was incredibly articulate and impressive. He said that it was the Americans who supported Islamic extremism in the region because...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe
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