In an hour or so I'll be heading back to SFO and flying to Tokyo. I wish I had time to purchase this T-shirt fot the trip: American Apology Shirt.
It's even free today since it doesn't officially start until tomorrow...
--Dav via Danger Hiptophttp://www.danger-island.com/dav/
A couple of weeks ago I ran across an excellent weblog posting about Aspect Oriented Programming which presented a clear and concise explanation including java source examples. I just now had great difficulty locating again when I wanted to pass it on to my co-workers, so I'm posting it here to make it easier to find if I should want to do so again: Understanding AOP.
In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up looks like a quality java blog site, by the way, although I've finally found a blog with a name and URL as bad as mine.
I'm in North Carolina at the moment on a two week business trip, and when I get back to San Francisco I'll leave within 24 hours for two and a half weeks in Tokyo with Mie. To say I can hardly wait is an understatement.
And besides the enormous pleasure of simply being on the same continent as the lovely Mie, I'll even manage to be there for the First International Moblogging Conference which will be held July 5th. I'm looking forward to the conference and the opportunity to meet many of the Japan bloggers I follow. Mie is even speaking at the conference!
We had wanted to check out a love hotel during my visit. Love hotels rent rooms by the hour to lovers who wish to have some private intimate time together. They are quite popular and not considered sleazy at all because in the common overcrowded conditions most Tokyoites must endure, families (sometimes extended) squeezed into small apartments, the love hotels sometimes provide the only privacy available. Mie had the idea to moblog the visit, since a well known trait of love hotels is that they usually have incredibly creative and kitschy rooms which make for great photographs. I thought this was a great idea, and we became further inspired to encourage others to join us (in cyberspace that is, they'll have to get their own rooms) ...so I'm proud to announce The First International Moblogging Love Hotel Conference!
Many weeks ago I did some post-processing on my friendster data to separate each user point by degree of separation from me. I also added some new code to the geosphere applet to allow a user to control whether points from a group are shown or not. I got busy and never got around to setting up an applet that actually displayed the data though, but I finally got some time. So here's the result: a friendster network grouped by degree of separation.
I'm now grappling with the issue of creating an open and chatty atmosphere on IRC and not restricting people's behavior very much, but still keeping it a comfortable place for people who don't enjoy talking about sex and are uncomfortable with pornography. I don't think pornography has any place on my channel and I officially ask people not to "promote" pornography.
I mention Joi's issue because it got me thinking again of the old Internet problem of mapping social constraints that have evolved in the real world into cyberspace equivalents. The usual example is the "bad part of town" construct. In the real world pornography isn't such a big deal because the strip clubs, adult bookstores and theaters are all in the "bad part of town" where your innocent child or delicate sensibilities won't be wandering around and unexpectedly stumble upon a patch of lurid activity. Of course on the Internet you're never more than a few keystrokes or a random mouse click away from something that would just ruin your day. For example (and I seriously suggest you DO NOT CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK and just take my word for it): http://www.goatse.cx/ (told ya).
When WASTE was released it turned up the heat on some musings about the graph network of the Internet social fabric that I had simmering on a back burner for the past couple of years. I've since then had a number of discussions with others about what an Internet based on a peer-to-peer network-of-trusted-networks would look like. Joi's post caused me to re-examine the "bad part of town" problem in new terms.
So here's my five minutes of brain storming on the matter:
IRC is a wide open public chat system. The barrier to entry is low and most channels are public and unmoderated. You can have a private IRC channel that is hidden and/or invite-only (I've been on one for 6 years now actually), but that wouldn't work for something like #joiito because I'm pretty certain Joi wants to participate in communication between total strangers (people whose only assured commonality is that they read his blog), not just people already in his social network. In the real world you can have a gathering in a public place, say a weekly meetup at a cafe, and be reasonably certain that the meetup won't be overrun with people who are behaving in a matter that is disrupting the social norms. If you're having a gathering to discuss the works of Don Delillo and someone comes in and starts taping Hustler centerfolds to the furniture the problem will be taken care of in rather short order. Meatspace allows a number of mechanisms for resolving and preventing it. Social shame. Security guards.
Moderators are the IRC equivalent of security guards, but many people find the idea of moderation a bit draconian. There currently isn't much of a cyberspace equivalent of social shame though. No one knows you're a dog, yada yada yada. Some people basically behave like cretins online.
In the new network we are imagining these days Trust Networks can implement a social shame mechanism. WASTE allowed for encrypted communication though public key cryptography. The nice thing about this is that it not only provides a good level of encryption but it also provides identity authentication. I believe it has been suitably demonstrated that people are willing to give up anonymity when the occasion calls for it (although, strictly speaking it's not necessarily your real world identity that is authenticated but your online identity, so some level of anonymity is available, like a blind study). Once your identity is established then social networks such as FOAF and reputation systems can create a foundation for the same sociological mechanisms which work in the real world.
So imagine that Joi creates an IRC channel and configures it so that anyone with up to 6 degrees of separation from him can join it. Besides the popular folk wisdom, I know from examining the growth-per-hop of my own social network that the chances are pretty good that most everyone who would want to join #joiito would meet that requirement.
In this scenario, anyone who is on the chat channel has a reputation to protect. And even if someone doesn't care about their reputation, then someone along the network path leading back to Joi will care. Joi is friends with Alice. Alice is friends with Bob. Bob is friends with Chuck. Chuck posts the goatse.cx URL to #joiito, which everyone knows is a no-no. Chuck gets warned, but he keeps it up. Chuck gets banned. Additionally Bob gets marked as someone whose friends aren't to be allowed into the group. Bob is automatically alerted to this and isn't too happy. Bob emails Chuck and says "Dude, what the hell is wrong with you?" Perhaps Bob could at this point drop Chuck from his to-be-trusted set of friends, which will automatically lift the ban on his other friends. Note that there can be different sets of social network connections, like "I vouch for this person in this context" categories, such as "professional", "polite", "intellectual", "cool".... Perhaps the #joiito configuration specfies the "intellectual" and "polite" connections.
Chuck could create a new persona and try to get into the network again, but someone has to exchange links with him. If anyone becomes known as someone who links to just anyone then they will become untrusted themselves. It seems to be feasible to embed a reasonable social shame and reputation mechanism that is no more draconian than the one that works in the real world.
Interested in Japan? You might want to read this humorous essay titled So You Want To learn Japanese...
Depending on who you are speaking to your politeness level will be very different. Politeness depends on many things, such as age of the speaker, age of the person being spken to, time of day, zodiac sign, blood type, sex, whether they are Grass or Rock Pokemon type, color of pants, and so on. For an example of Politness Levels in action, see the example below.
Japanese Teacher: Good morning, Harry.
Harry: Good Morning.
Japanese Classmates: (gasps of horror and shock)
The bottom line is thatPoliteness Levels are completely beyond your understanding, so don't even try. Just resign yourself to talking like a little girl for the rest of your life and hope to God that no one beats you up.
Tonight I watched the most wholly depressing movie I think I've ever seen, Hotaru no haka (aka Grave of the Fireflies). It is an almost unbearingly beautiful and heartwrenching work of Japanese anime which tells the tale of a young boy and his toddler sister who are orphaned by the Allied assault on mainland Japan and struggle to survive, seemingly subsisting only on hope, love and denial.
After that movie ended I really needed something to cheer me up, so I tried Ping Pong, a more recent Japanese film which concerns itself with high school table tennis players. In some ways it is like any sports film, thematically exploring competition, glory and discipline, and sociological constructs like heroes and friendships, but it covers it with a more pensive atmosphere (think asian philosophy) than your typical western sports film. The movie is well made and felt about as fresh as I could expect from something in the sports genre. It was inspiring; not in a overwhelming way, but in a deeper more subtle way like drinking chilled sake.
The movie is about corruption and criminal underworld influences in children's television programming. Stewart plays a network executive, Robin Williams plays a psychotic children's show host and Edward Norton stars as Smoochy the Rhino, the show host with a heart of gold.
Stewart is always deriding either the movie or his performance in it, so I wasn't expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. The movie is quite funny and has some good performances. Stewart isn't great but he's not so bad either, and he has a minor role in any case. I thought Edward Norton did a fine job although I would have liked to see the submerged anger of his character fleshed out better. Robin Williams was in over-the-top full psycho mode, which I personally always find fun to watch. The main problem with the movie was it was probably a bit too long.