Tokyo blogger and venture capitalist Joi Ito
We continue our summer reading series with Joi Ito, a venture capitalist and blogger based in Tokyo. His firm, Neoteny, has invested in software for networking and Web logs, or blogs. He has his own blog, where he writes about culture, media and current events, and where he regularly updates a list of his 200 favorite blogs.
He checks in with two blogs every day — Boing Boing and MetaFilter — which feature content from multiple bloggers and provide links to everything from legal documents to book reviews. Here's a short list of books and blogs he's perusing this summer:
'Free Culture,' by Lawrence Lessig
One of Ito's favorite authors is Lawrence Lessig, founder of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. In Free Culture, he explores the tensions between corporate copyright ownership and creative works in the public domain.
'We the Media,' by Dan Gillmor
Ito just finished the uncorrected page proofs of We the Media, a forthcoming book by Dan Gillmor. A columnist for The San Jose Mercury News, Gillmor writes about how audiences have become part of the media they consume.
'Orientalism,' by Edward Said
Said's analysis of how the West views the Arabic world inspired Ito to read other books by Middle Eastern scholars.
'Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society,' by Bruno Latour
Ito says one of this book's most intriguing ideas is how scientific data become accepted as facts based on "referrals" from research studies. His sister gave him a copy of this book, he says, "to add rigor to my arguments" that he posts on his blog and in online discussion groups.
Blogs (See Web Resources below for links):
Ito loves the collaborative nature of blogging. He says that blogger Salam Pax, a 29-year-old architect who produced The Baghdad Blog, introduced blogging to the straight-talking female behind Baghdad Burning.
'Akma's Random Thoughts'
Ito's occasionally flippant remarks about Christianity inspired this blogger to contact Ito about his views on religion. "He questioned my questioning of Christianity and we started this dialogue. And I now have a reverend that I can call up on the phone and ask him questions about God."
This is a blog by an Iranian nicknamed Hoder. Ito says Hoder sparked a blog revolution in Iran. "Hoder is kind of the bridge between the Persian blogs and English readers. It's interesting to see the popularity of blogs in cultures where you do have lack of freedom of the press or some oppression of free thought."