joi_ito17 karma2015-05-29 17:31:07 UTC
I'll answer more later if I have time, but here's a blog post I wrote about some of the reasons: http://joi.ito.com/weblog/2015/01/23/why-bitcoin-is-.html
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joi_ito17 karma2015-05-29 17:28:54 UTC
Funny. Some just asked me this over lunch. This is actually a really long question but also a short one. My main focus in life is surrounding myself in interesting and fun people and curating my environment to be maximally fun. It's sort of a self-selecting process that sometimes requires pivoting out of jobs like working in Hollywood where I didn't find a high percentage of people who fit my particular tastes. I find that as I get older, I have a better intuition of where to find people I like and how to create environments that attract people that I like and empower people in my environment to be as "childlike" and fun as possible. The Media Lab, it turns out, is the best place I've ever found for this. I don't have solid goals or a plan - I'm very happy in the moment and it seems like I get happier every day. I'm also lucky to be surrounded by people who are good at all of the things I suck at... Maybe more later on this if I have time.
joi_ito12 karma2015-05-29 17:09:52 UTC
When the Media Lab was founded 30 years ago, Nicholas Negroponte said that the Media Lab was about "demo or die" as opposed to "publish or perish" which represented a departure from the paper writing of academic to a more prototype and demo model. This fit well with the roots in architecture which also focuses on the atelier model of building things. This actually allows rigor at an interdisciplinary level that couldn't occur if participants across disciplines had to write an academic paper together. This worked very well for 30 years especially when a large percentage of the impact of the Media Lab was through influencing other organizations such as the sponsors of the Media Lab to create products such as guitar hero, the Kindle or LEGO Mindstorms.
However, with the diminishing cost of deploying things like websites or even hardware, researchers at the Media Lab are increasingly able to deploy directly. Last year, we change "demo or die" to deploy or die to signal a shift from just building prototypes (Nicholas actually said, "the demo only has to work once") to thinking about and actually deploying our work directly into the world.
joi_ito11 karma2015-05-29 17:38:32 UTC
Actually, the majority of the people I meet, I meet because of the Internet. The Internet not only provides the logistics of meeting people in the real world, but provides context, serendipity and even makes meetings more efficient because you don't spend as much time explaining all of the background... at least for me. I'm sure you can find a way to use the Internet to meet less people, but you can find a way to use just about anything in a stupid way.
joi_ito10 karma2015-05-29 17:41:03 UTC
This is slightly over-stated, but Europe tried not to do the Internet. Japan said that they weren't doing the Internet, but Jun Murai and others did it anyway. In the US people were encouraged to do the Internet. I think that in Japan, there is a bigger gap between the established top-down way that technology is developed and the super-savvy grassroots engineers. In a way, this is the "tatemae" "honne" problem. I think it will always be this way. I think the key is to at some level, ignore the authorities and just work initially with the people - a sub-culture - who know don't give a shit about the what they're "supposed to be doing".
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