joi ito

joi ito b w

intriguing, interesting, resonating.

he’s making it easier for dear ed to change.


By opening up the Media Lab, Ito hopes to move closer towards his goal of “a world with seven billion teachers”, where smart crowds, adopting a resilient approach and a rebellious spirit, solve some of the world’s great problems. His is a world of networks and ecosystems, in which unconstrained creativity can tackle everything from infant mortality to climate change. “We want to take the DNA [of the lab], the secret sauce, and drop it into communities, into companies, into governments,” he says. “It’s my mission, our mission, to spread that DNA. You can’t actually tell people to think for themselves, or be creative. You have to work with them and have them learn it themselves.”

I want it to have a much stronger normative political message — a lot of the kids at the Media Lab today don’t want to make more money, don’t want to become immortal, they just want to figure out how to fix this unhealthy system we have. There are lots of kids who are not happy with this massive consumerism, this unsustainable growth, but who have really smart science and technology values. That’s a type of person we can draw into what I think will become a movement.”

Here, even if you’re the only person in the world who thinks something’s interesting, you can do it. Our funding model allows our students to do anything they want without asking permission. It’s like venture capital: we don’t expect every experiment to succeed — in fact, a lot are failures. But that’s great — failure is another word for discovery. We’re very much against incrementalism — we look for unexplored spaces, and our key metrics for defining a good project areuniqueness, impact and magic.”

Ito set out some of his key principles. These included: “Encourage rebellion instead of compliance”; “Practice instead of theory”; ” Constant learning instead of education”; “Compass over map”. “The key principles include disobedience — no one ever won a Nobel prize by doing as they’re told,” he explains later. “And it’s about resilience versus strength — you don’t try to resist failure, you allow failure and bounce back. And compass over map is important — you need to know where you’re going, but the cost of planning often exceeds the cost of actually trying. The maps you have are often wrong. These principles affect and apply to just about any organisation.”

Joi writes of tools for the coming chaos here.

wikipedia him.

director of media lab

link twitter

his site:

joi's site

brother to Mimi Ito.


via interview june 11 2012:

Wired: And in the face of that we ought to do what?
Ito: What you need to do is understand these changes are happening, and build systems and governments and ways of thinking that are resilient to this kind of destructive change that is going to happen. It’s a kind of change that is really hard to predict, it’s really hard to control, so how do you as a human being, or as an organization, survive in this chaotic, unpredictable system where planning is almost impossible?

Wired: Please tell me you have an answer.
Ito: There are nine or so principles to work in a world like this:

  1. Resilience instead of strength, which means you want to yield and allow failure and you bounce back instead of trying to resist failure.
  2. You pull instead of push. That means you pull the resources from the network as you need them, as opposed to centrally stocking them and controlling them.
  3. You want to take risk instead of focusing on safety.
  4. You want to focus on the system instead of objects.
  5. You want to have good compasses not maps.
  6. You want to work on practice instead of theory. Because sometimes you don’t why it works, but what is important is that it is working, not that you have some theory around it.
  7. It disobedience instead of compliance. You don’t get a Nobel Prize for doing what you are told. Too much of school is about obedience, we should really be celebrating disobedience.
  8. It’s the crowd instead of experts.
  9. It’s a focus on learning instead of education.

We’re still working on it, but that is where our thinking is headed.


love this:

joi ito post

what i’m trying to do is free someone’s soul from his/her image


Joi Ito (@Joi)
4/26/13 5:36 AM
My Freesouls story features on Fotopedia Reporter!…


here he is via  Skoll World Forum in a film from the opening plenary – via this fastcompany post

love image at 4:01 – moving between silos

3:20 – Premal – the power of a correct idea, spreads so quickly that scale happens at a never before pace..

4:45 – Joi – frugal engineering happens in the absence of abundance, living in a frugal society doesn’t mean you’re disadvantaged, it means you’re advantaged in thinking from the perspective of efficiency

5:00 – Premal – so wonderful to see the reverse

Joi – we’re trying to fix things with resources, rather than with understanding

6:20 – as we become more interconnected, .. we become more conscious

Premal – the problems of this world demand – audacious thinking


latest from

via keynote at

reimagining education conf

permission-less innovation is what’s driving the internet


joi on web at 25

Iwan Baan image


city science (mit) – like personal fabricating your city.. no?


ted 2014:

joi ted 2014


During Nicholas Negroponte’s era at the MIT Media Lab, the motto he proposed was: “Demo or die.” He said that the demo only had to work once.But Ito, who points out that he’s a “three-time college dropout,” wants to change the motto to: “Deploy or die.” He explains, “You have to get it into the real world to have it actually count.”

The cost of prototyping and distributing is becoming so low that students and software can do it too,” says Ito. 

What we need to learn is how to learn.”

Ito urges us to follow a compass rather than a map. Instead of planning out every exact points before you start, allow yourself to make the decisions you need as you go in the general direction of where you need to be.

“I don’t like the word ‘futurist,’” he says. “I think we should be now-ists. Focus on being connected, always learning, fully aware and super present.”

after the internet – people who survive have a different set of principles…

the cost of trying new things was almost zero – so people w/o permission/money can do things

from publish or perish, to demo or die, to deply or die (get it out into the world)

pull things when you need them rather than stockpiling them

you can’t plan life – but if you have a really strong compass…

focus on being connected.. always learning…. fully aware.. always present..


sept 2014:

These schematics and the engineers in the factories knew the state of the art and could apply this know-how to their own scrappy designs that could be more experimental and crazy. I

They place barely visible chips onto boards by hand and had a soldering technique that Americans will tell you can only be done by a $50,000 machine. What amazed me was that they used no assisted vision. … bunnie posits that they do it mostly by feel and muscle memory. It was amazing and beautiful to watch.

the low cost of labor was the driving force to pull most of the world sophisticated manufacturing here, but it was the ecosystem that developed the network of factories and the tradecraft that allows this ecosystem to produce just about anything at any scale.

Both Shenzhen and Silicon Valley have a “critical mass” that attracts more and more people, resources and knowledge, but also they are both living ecosystems full of diversity and a work ethic and experience base that any region will have difficulty bootstrapping.

perhaps could happen anywhere – if we just freed all the people up – Baan ness – all of us as ecosystem.



oct 2014:

It is hard for us to accept that people do not fall in love with works of art only for their own sake, but also in order to feel that they belong to a community. By imitating, we get closer to others—that is, other imitators. It fights solitude.  –  Taleb, black swan

most people are other people. trumping authenticity for attachment.

perhaps why ie: th experiment and this mit & twitter – won’t get us there – until we free people up to be themselves. twitter data is irrelevant – if it’s not really us. no? how to make it not an imitation. every day.


mar 2015 – talk at safecast – SCC2015 in tokyo:


2016 edge question:

Director, MIT Media Lab
We don’t know exactly how FMTs work, other than that the introduction of microbiota (poop) from a healthy individual somehow causes the gut of an afflicted patient to regain its microbial diversity and rein in the rampant Clostridium difficile.
Siddhartha perhaps preventative & detoxative – chip as rna ish
It appears that our gut microbes produce a wide variety of neurotransmitters that influence our brains, and vice versa, much more than previously believed. There is evidence that, in addition to mood, a number of brain disorders may be caused by microbial imbalance. The evidence is so strong that FMT banks such as OpenBiome have started screening donors for psychiatric problems in addition to a wide variety of health issues. Consequently, it is now harder to qualify as a donor to a fecal bank than it is to get into MIT or Harvard.
microbes more abundant in the human body than human cells,
There is increasing evidence that allergies and many modern ailments have come into existence only after the invention of modern hygiene.
microbes in the soil appear to be an essential part of the system
csu guy on dirt et al
systemic change. deep/quiet enough

for energy\alive\health ness..

let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

for (blank)’s sake… a nother way


on blockchain & bitcoin – feb 2016

I’m worried about the current situation of Bitcoin and the Blockchain.

Partially driven by the overinvestment in the space, and partially by the fact that Bitcoin is much more about money than the Internet ever was, it is experiencing a crisis that didn’t really have any parallels in the early days of the Internet.


The future of Bitcoin, decentralized ledgers and other Blockchain-like projects depends on this community.


Unfortunately, the wild growth of Bitcoin and now “the Blockchain” has caught this community off guard from a governance perspective, leaving the core developers of Bitcoin unable to interface effectively with the commercial interests whose businesses depend on scaling the technology. When asked “can you scale this?” They said, “we’ll do the best we can.” That wasn’t good enough for many, especially those who don’t understand the architecture or the nature of what is going on inside of Bitcoin.

perhaps scale comes from the problem/desire/core/focus.. being on something 7 billion people would be invested in… w or w/o money/reward.. et al… perhaps scale comes from that energy.. only.. ie: has to be all of us ness

Many companies that are used to making decisions around less complicated systems

decision making ness


If you try to build “something like Bitcoin but better!” it will probably turn out insecure, underwhelming, and will go against the the fundamental principles that give Bitcoin the potential to be as impactful to banking, law and society as the Internet has been to media, communication, and commerce.

? – what if bitcoin.. and measuring transaction/validation ness of blockchain has already missed it ie: www ness..? ie: by focusing on banking, law… et al..


Mobile Internet “feels” like the Internet, but it’s an ugly and distorted copy of it with monopoly-like systems at many layers. This is exactly what happens when we let the application layer drag the architecture along in a kludgy and unprincipled way.


I’ve been sitting back quietly hoping that things would just calm down, and they might eventually. But I see more and more misinformation and hype with “Blockchain” being reduced to the same useless suitcase words that “IoT” and “The Cloud” have become and it makes me sad and a bit mad.

I’ve decided to spend the next chunk of time trying to counteract or balance some of the most misguided stuff that I’m seeing in areas that will have an impact on our future.

Vinay‘s comments on tweet thread where Joi shared this post

Nov 2014 I started to talk about the governance issues in bitcoin, specifically libertarian coin and anarchist development governance.

I think the split that we are seeing now is produced by a functional power vacuum: bitcoin doesn’t ship with its own governance tools.

If bitcoin had an effective governance model (even “one vote per bitcoin” might work) it could stabilize and self-finance from BTC.

But as things stand I think it’s going to pass to #Ethereum to build a self-governing platform: the job needs smart contracts at least

and/or.. perhaps this is – proof of work – enough.. that we need to go beyond measurement/govt/contracts ness

io dance


mar 2016 – on disobedience:


Love @Joi’s take on civil disobedience.… I spent a year on faculty at @medialab where I specialized in disobedience.

One of my Nine Principles is Disobedience over Compliance.


I’m not encouraging people to break the law or be disobedient just for the sake of being disobedient, but sometimes we have to go to first principles and consider whether the laws or rules are fair, and whether we should question them


Society and institutions in general tend to lean toward order and away from chaos. In the process this stifles disobedience. It can also stifle creativity, flexibility, and productive change-and in the long run-society’s health and sustainability.


I believe that being “disobedience robust” is an essential element of any healthy democracy and of any open society that continues to self correct and innovate.


reinventing bookkeeping – april 2016

There is, for example, no reason that every entry in our books needs to be a number. Each cell could be an algorithmic representation of the obligations and dependencies that it represents. In fact, using machine learning, accounts could become sophisticated probabilistic models for what might happen depending on how things around them change. This would mean that the “value” of any system would change depending on who was asking, their location, and the time parameters.

yeah – or beyond measuring transactions even  –  each cell is hosting life bits.. not as value.. but as a means to connect.. to self (augment memory) and others (tribe ness)


It feels like we are using integers when we should be using imaginary numbers. Reinventing accounting should be more like discovering a new number theory than tweaking the algorithms, which is what I feel like we’ve been doing for the last several hundred years.

using imaginary numbers..? or disengaging from imaginary monies/measures/values..

ie: a nother way… io dance/hosting life bits (blockchain/stack ness: replace server farms – chip energy efficient –dna\ness)
ps in the open (idiosyncratic jargon)
decision making/B redefined via self-talk as data


living spaces


city ness


from march 2016 – shared by joi on fb june 2016—march-2016

The Internet and increasingly more powerful computational tools, accelerated the rate at which research can be conducted, shared and combined. This has generated a new opportunity but also increases the complexity, making it increasingly difficult to tackle many of the interesting problems through a traditional disciplinary approach.


we’re moving into an era in which system boundaries are not as defined. These underrepresented systems—the microbial world, say, or the global climate, or the environment—present significant design challenges.


I will create a vehicle for the exchange of ideas—a vehicle that brings those working in antidisciplinary space together in exciting ways that challenge existing academic silos. My ultimate aim is to create a new platform and network for the 21st century: a new way of thinking and doing that will spread beyond the Media Lab, and beyond MIT.
mech simple enough.. a nother way (short)
The peer review of academic papers was important in building scientific knowledge before the Internet, but in many ways it is holding us back now.  It often leads researchers to focus on proving the value of their research to a small number of experts in their own field rather than risking an unconventional approach—thus reinforcing a cliché of academia: “learning more and more about less and less.”
As the curator of the new journal, I will work on creating a model of interaction online; many of the contributions will be snapshots of in-person conversations. This intimate form of communicating is in stark contrast to the formal peer-review system, allowing contributors to tackle the most interesting problems and ideas of our times; it is itself an experiment.
self-talk as data ness – so imagine that .. with 7 bill people.. as the day. everyday.

In addition to building this new way of collaboration and publishing, I would like to develop a new, hybrid research-and-development process—a translation process that will deploy academic research into the real world and bring the real world into academic research.

rev of everyday life


We are entering another new age—one in which structured reason is not enough. A new kind of science is emerging, based on designing novel methods of addressing complex adaptive systems—systems that remain beyond our ability to fully understand. My work will contribute to a new way of conducting antidisciplinary but rigorous research with global effects that will allow us to survive and flourish in this new age we have entered.
perhaps. hosting life bits.. that io dance


‘structured reason not enough. systems that remain beyond ability to flly understand’ -host life bits that io dance 



Credit for Help on Blog Posts…

how about a mech (ie: hosting life bits).. that does the linking for us as we share (in whatever mode)


forbidden research


added to books to readWhiplash

thank you library..  whiplash


interview w obama

This may upset some of my students at MIT, but one of my concerns is that it’s been a predominately male gang of kids, mostly white, who are building the core computer science around AI, and they’re more comfortable talking to computers than to human beings. A lot of them feel that if they could just make that science-fiction, generalized AI, we wouldn’t have to worry about all the messy stuff like politics and society. They think machines will just figure it all out for us.


I don’t know if you’ve heard of the neurodiversity movement, butTemple Grandin3 talks about this a lot. She says that Mozart and Einstein and Tesla would all be considered autistic if they were alive today.

OBAMA: They might be on the spectrum.

ITO: Right, on the spectrum. And if we were able to eliminate autism and make everyone neuro-­normal, I bet a whole slew of MIT kids would not be the way they are. One of the problems, whether we’re talking about autism or just diversity broadly, is when we allow the market to decide. Even though you probably wouldn’t want Einstein as your kid, saying “OK, I just want a normal kid” is not gonna lead to maximum societal benefit.

OBAMA: That goes to the larger issue that we wrestle with all the time around AI. Part of what makes us human are the kinks. They’re the mutations, the outliers, the flaws that create art or the new invention, right? We have to assume that if a system is perfect, then it’s static. And part of what makes us who we are, and part of what makes us alive, is that we’re dynamic and we’re surprised. One of the challenges that we’ll have to think about is, where and when is it appropriate for us to have things work exactly the way they’re supposed to, without surprises?

supposed to..?


ITO: What’s important is to find the people who want to use AI for good—communities and leaders—and figure out how to help them use it.

let’s try hosting-life-bits via self-talk as data

seems obama keeps brining up moneys/wars.. as signs of whatever..


ITO: We have to rethink what clean means, and it’s similar whether you’re talking about cybersecurity or national security. I think that the notion that you can make strict orders or that you can eliminate every possible pathogen is difficult.


ITO: I think we’re in a golden period where people want to talk to each other. If we can *make sure that the funding and the energy goes to support open sharing, there is a lot of upside. You can’t really get that good at it in a vacuum, and it’s still an international community for now.

ie: two convos.. as the day


joi: I think one of the problems is that there’s this general notion of, how can you be smart if you don’t have any money? In academia, I see a lot of smart people without money.

– – –

President Obama (@POTUS) tweeted at 11:16 AM – 12 Oct 2016 :

Now this was fun. Artificial intelligence, space travel—hope you enjoy exploring new frontiers as much as I did. (

now this was fun…?

the fun..?
as Aleppo
as dopla
[same thing Don Tapscot.. on his fun lecturing about blockchain revolution..]
we have to take a break.. put fun/entertainment/busy-ness on hold..  rather than how we keep on putting people on hold..

go deeper


Joi Ito (@Joi) tweeted at 2:03 PM on Sun, Oct 16, 2016:
When we “surfed” the Net and when it was more punk rock – “My 1994 Column About Joi Ito’s Webzine” by @hrheingold


fb live on whiplash












joi: cp snow the seed lecture.. 1959.. intellectuals need to talk to scientists .. written as urgent.. defines today..john brockman.. in getting sci books popular..  first moonshots.. random kids getting into rockets.. today.. fewer people involved.. i hope this book can get randoms excited about science..

jeff: if you’re serious about democratizing scientific knowledge.. where beautiful/elegant ideas are known..  complex ideas to wide societies..

joi: the agility and permissionless motion.. that govt can’t… can we do more things like wikipedia..

whiplash: 9 tools to navigate an uncertain future

1. Emergence over authority

2. Pull over push

3. Compasses over maps

4. Risk over safety

5. Disobedience over compliance

6. Practice over theory

7. Diversity over ability

8. Resilience over strength

9. Systems over objects


how survive our faster future w walter isaacson

over anticipate short term under anticipate long term

trump doing things.. like he had read the book.. not planning.. going with flow..

emergence (sbj) of ant colonies..

8 min – arab spring happened so quickly.. infrastructure not ready yet

11 min – once the media becomes a battlefield.. and power gets more powerful more you write about it.. so if manipulated..

12 min – diff chunk on media we’ve never seen before.. seeing media as a game.. game in real life.. ie: not liking these powers speaking in complete sentences.. found out if you poke them.. can be quite entertaining..

15 min – kids who play for fun.. sophisticated.. help guide this movement..

warfare is about deception.. this is an online war.. don’t underestimate..  it’s a business.. ie: kids in macedonia after trump.. when that ends will go after healthcare

20 min – moving so quickly.. less about rules and laws .. more about responding quickly

29 min – a lot of people were criticizing us because we were so rogue.. now they’ve joined us..

31 min – on the importance of agility .. vs policy bogging you down

33 min – we have to assume that for some price.. anybody can get into anything.. so what are your threat models.. better to assume attacks and work on working way back.. than thinking can block

gershenfeld sel..

37 min – we’re not going to see one huge dominate ai.. best thing to look at .. ai’s…imagine corp even more opaque.. can move more quickly..

38 min – imagine an extended intelligence for every function.. who give you great advice.. as tend to be correct more and more and we don’t know why.. people will still feel in charge.. move to us becoming somewhat complacent in our civics.. not clear ..

40 min – depending on which breakthrus come out first..

44 min – because so much commercial value in ai.. small businesses and academia can’t afford these.. so see smartest aggregating into big co’s.. my point.. even if have all best intentions..not going to have sophisticated findings.. ie: facial recognition not noticing colored faces.. so.. now.. we’re building and saying.. what do you think of it.. rather than integrating as you build..

why we  need to let go and let 7 bn at it..

46 min – on manipulations.. ie: kids better learning outcomes.. by making robot more kid like.. so buy in more..

49 min – you have to be ready to give up control

why we have not yet

50 min – tricky now.. somebody’s inefficiency is somebody’s revenue

53 min – by tweaking the music i could manage the floor.. disco.. and how i think about the lab.. tremendous permission.. all making same music in our head..

? manage the floor..? can’t come from one person.. and again.. why we haven’t yet.. we have means to listen to and connect everyone (ie: via curiosity) .. we certainly aren’t doing that..

55 min – a system where other is embraced.. not another



Wrote this with Neha and Rob.

The Blockchain Will Do to Banks and Law Firms What the Internet Did to Media

unless.. we make banks/law firms irrelevant.. let’s host-life-bits that io dance on blockchain instead..

Yet, in the 1990s, the mainstream press scoffed when Nicholas Negroponte predicted that most of us would soon be reading our news online rather than from a newspaper.

Fast forward two decades: Will we soon be seeing a similar impact from cryptocurrencies and blockchains?

rather.. a similar impact on 2 convos..  on humanity.. why waste time/energy/blockchain/us/whatever.. on made up money..?

like the internet, blockchain technology is strongest when everyone is using the same network, so in the future we might all be talking about “the” blockchain.

indeed.. why we need to go deeper than ie: banks.. law firms.. cryptocurrencies.. if we want everyone using it.. must be deep/simple/open enough for all.. today.. money/measuring.. has never done that for us.. it has never included all of us..

This initial lack of commercial players and interests was critical….Bitcoin is the killer app for the blockchain.

? why wouldn’t we want the killer app to be non commercial..? ie: hosting-life-bits via self-talk as data

But the blockchain will also support a variety of other applications, including smart contracts, asset registries, and many new types of transactions that will go beyond financial and legal uses.

what if only transactions that matters.. enough.. is facil ing 7 bn curiosities.. everyday .. as the day.. [aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]

What cannot be disputed, however, is that Bitcoin is real, and it works.

works for what..? for fake\made-up money ness..? doesn’t work for people.. ie: not everyone is using it .. or can/will.. and why keep measuring transactions/us..? in humane..

We’re often seeing so-called blockchains that are not really innovative, but instead are merely databases, which have existed for decades,

isn’t that what money is..? database.. screwing with us..?

This is one reason why the work that we’re doing at the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab is so important: It is one of the few places a substantial effort is being made to work on the technology and infrastructure clear of financial interests and motivations. This is critical.

it is critical.. ginormous.. is it really happening..? clear of financial interests/motivations..?

Those who do so will be well placed to thrive in the new, emerging financial system.

how is that clear of financial interests..?


Conversation with Matsutaka Hosoo 12th head of Nishijin weaving family in Kyoto – English subtitles

7 min – ha.. punchcards

13 min – visiting nomads.. stay 2-3 wks


Joi Ito (@Joi) tweeted at 5:50 AM on Sun, Dec 31, 2017:
I can imagine an AI that can beat humans at games, but for most of us, life IS NOT just a game. Games require fairly clear parameters for winning. Personally, I don’t think of life as something I’m trying to “win” at. I wonder if an AI can have Ikigai?


depends how you define ai

i believe tech as it could be (facil ing 2 the day..self-talk as data] al) could get us to eudaimoniative surplus

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way


resisting reduction manifesto



My Ideas column – THE LIMITS OF EXPLAINABILITY – Academics, economists, and AI researchers often undervalue the role of intuition in science. Here’s why they’re wrong. – tweet link

The capacity to learn a complex concept and also learn the specific conditions under which that concept is realized is an area where children exhibit natural, unsupervised mastery.

Patricia Kuhl, professor of speech and hearing sciences at the University of Washington, argues that our ability to speak is fundamentally linked to the development of social understanding through our social interactions as infants. Elizabeth Spelke, a cognitive psychologist at Harvard University, and her collaborators have been working to show how infants develop a “intuitive psychology” to infer people’s goals from as early as 10 months.

Clearly, you can fool our intuition about statistics, just like the stacked rocks existing in the natural world confuse our internal physics engine.

But academics and economists often use such examples as reasons to undervalue the role of intuition in science and academic study, and that’s a huge mistake. The intuitive engines that help us quickly assess physical or social situations are doing extremely complex computations that may not even be explainable; it may be impossible to compute them linearly..t

Your brain and your whole body learn to move, synchronize, and operate in a very complex way to enter a state of flow where everything works without linear thinking.

Your brain goes through a tremendous transformation in your infancy. Infant brains initially grow twice as many connections between neurons as adults have, and these are pruned back as a child’s brain matures.

not yet scrambled ness

higashida autism law

While our ability to explain, argue, and understand each other using words is extremely important, it is also important to understand that words are simplified representations and can mean different things to different people. Many ideas or things that we know cannot be reduced to words; when they are, the words do not transmit more than a summary of the actual idea or understanding.

It may be that our view of many of the sensibilities of indigenous people and their relationships with nature as “primitive”—because they can’t explain it and we can’t understand—is in fact more about our lack of an environmental intuition engine.. t Our senses may have pruned those neurons because they weren’t needed in our urban worlds.

holmgren indigenous law

so too w ie: higashida autism law

It is this space, beyond the explainable, that is the exciting cutting edge of science, where we discover and press beyond our current understanding of the world.

lanier beyond words law

this is why we need to experiment w idio-jargon as our language.. tech/mech.. as it could be


Joi Ito (@Joi) tweeted at 5:23 AM on Thu, Mar 29, 2018:
My thoughts about Universal Basic Income in my Wired Column

Joi Ito (@Joi) tweeted at 5:55 AM – 29 Mar 2018 :

And the headline that Wired chose is a bit misleading. The punchline is that I don’t think that there is enough evidence to know if it will work, but that we should experiment. Also, that it is fraught with partisan political issues in implementation. (

ON DECEMBER 15, 2017, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, issued a damning report on his visit to the United States…”the US comes in last of the top 10 most well-off countries, and 18th amongst the top 21.”.. median net worth of nonimmigrant African American households in the Boston area is $8, in contrast to the $247,500 net worth for white households in the Boston area.


Like many of my friends who fiddle with ideas about the future of work, I’ve avoided actually having a firm opinion about UBI for years. Now I have decided it’s time to get my head around it.

None of us really knows what we’re talking about when it comes to UBI, akin to being in a drunken bar argument before there were smartphones and Wikipedia.

They (sv advocates) may be getting ahead of themselves. Luke Martinelli, a researcher at the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research, has written that “an affordable UBI is inadequate, and an adequate UBI is unaffordable.” I believe that is roughly true.

Technologists often forget is that we actually already have enough food to feed the world; the problem is that it’s just not properly distributed


Altman’s experiment, prosaically named the Basic Income Project, will involve 3,000 people in two states over five years. Some 1,000 of them will be given $1,000 a month, and the rest will get just $50 a month and serve as a sort of control group. It should reveal some important information about how people will behave when given free money, providing an evidence-based way to think about UBI—*we don’t have much of that evidence now. Among the **questions hopefully to be answered: Will people use the cushion of free money to look for better work? Will they go back to school for retraining? Will neurological development of children improve? Will crime rates go down?



(on finland) And so what started as a credible experiment in empowering labor and liberal values became a conservative program to get more people to go back to crappy jobs—and a great warning about the impact that politics can have on efforts to test or deploy UBI.


begs we offer an alt .. at the same time.. ie: life w no money

(on Chris Hughes new book).. According to his numbers

rowson mechanical law

He’s putting his money where his mouth is too, underwriting a project that will give $500 a month to residents of Stockton, California.

again.. random few.. not an ecosystem

Am I optimistic? No. Should we get cracking on trying everything we can, and is UBI a decent shot on goal? Yes and yes. t

we need to try ubi as temp placebo.. ie: via a mech that disengages us from money/measuring systemic ness.. as it could be

then this tweet

Also, I would add that I think UBI is a patch and not “the solution” and that a fundamental overhaul of everything needs to happen in the long run. I write more about the meta-issue here:

Original Tweet:

links to his resisting reduction manifesto

We’re in need of new visions of how we plan to co-exist with one another, and I do think that artists have the ability to pave the way here in very real ways..t

let’s focus on  2 convos.. w 7bn artists.. as it could be


interview w Nikola

Caitlin E. Krause (@MindWise_CK) tweeted at 8:43 PM – 5 May 2018 :

“He is a teacher who listens. And an interlocutor who wants you to disagree with him.” Entrepreneurial Activist Joi Ito on Whiplash and the MIT Media Lab via @singularityblog (

application of ideas to try to change things

7 min – today.. the only way you can really support the lab is to be interested in everything.. which is the opp of what academics is supposed to do.. so finding joi

8 min – in phd (working on now).. what is the architecture/values of community that has way to think about things very broadly but still reversely (?)..t

2 convos infra

as it could be..

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

12 mi – beware of fluctuation application

13 min – some of the most interesting people love talking to children.. because it challenges them to explain things..

24 min – the distribution problem is an complex system problem .. not an abundance problem..t

focus: meadows undisturbed ecosystem

30 min – ability to tap into things you can’t explain.. intrinsic motivation

33min – when i zoom out i zoom all the way out.. there really isn’t anything fearful to me.. if humanity goes extinct.. how major would that be..

36 min – biggest problems.. positive feedback loops thru capitalist system.. tech for growth/efficiency.. have created these expo growths.. we’ve externalized costs.. created systems that in past were adaptive.. so.. expo systems have thrown them off balance.. and social inequity..  these tools we’ve created like entrepreneurship and investment.. actually create the inequity

undisturbed ecosystem

39 min – i think we don’t currently have the tools/paradigms..  (novak): coop a fundamental feature.. even human beings when you don’t give them mech for calculation will default to a more coop altruistic interaction.. the complexity we generate comes from coop not competition.. t

so paradigm: let go

40 min – we’ve created a paradigm trying to increase productivity focused on competition that’s create dan unhealthy evolutionary system.. to change view.. econ view.. have to change value system.. greed is good should sound stupid.

41 min – when you turn things into financial transactions it will diminish the will for people to do the work.. extract a lot of the diversity/nuance..t

undisturbed ecosystem

graeber f&b same law

44 min – i was quite optimistic about the internet maybe solving the world’s problems by just giving everyone a voice.. and little did we know that just giving everyone a voice wasn’t enough..t

whoa.. we never tried that.. has to be everyone to work.. meadows law

as it could be..

51 min – art is the mutation.. saying.. i could turn this around.. artists help us advance by going into search spaces you wouldn’t go if just pursuing efficiency/finance gain.. because free of having to prove how you’d do it..

52 min – can use art to translate values out of a system

53 min – if new set of values.. often music/fashion/arts is a good way to get a global movement..

graeber model law

55 min – whiplash thesis: internet and computers and moore’s law has lowered costs.. and created a system that pushed/sped innovation to edges..

1:02 – a lot think co’s think of self vs the system.. almost cancerous

1:09 – lesson from book: compasses over maps..  emergence..  focus less on planning..

no train ness

1:10 – thesis.. the practice of change.. how can we understand/intervene interconnected self-adapted system.. i draw on work on dana meadows

meadows undisturbed law.. disengage from irrelevants/disturbances

1:12 – ie: game of monopoly.. based on game.. landlords game.. was to show capitalism was bad.. and parker bros changed goal.. what’s interesting.. rules primarily stayed the same.. they just changed the goal..t.. today.. working on rules.. but if goal is still to make as much money as you can.. you will continue (as is)

1:13 – we have great rules.. but ultimately if we could change the goals.. ie: not to make a lot of money.. but in fact to collab..  systems more about happiness/flourishing..

eudaimoniative surplus via 2 convos

1:14 – if you can change behavior of everyone in system..that changes..

meadows.. power to transcend paradigms.. one is econ measurement.. change focus on finance..

a nother way

1:16 – thesis: the way you do those interventions.. focus on climate health ineq and redesign higher ed

1:17 – thesis: systems dynamics provides what to understand/intervene..

undisturbed ecosystem

1:18 – asymptote is ai..

1:22 – when reality of world hits you.. have to have moral stamina to not freak out and .. to embark on a mission.. to subvert this growth oriented trajectory..

1:23 – i think if we can figure out an appropriate way to communicate w people the risks of expo thinking and the way to regulate in a way that doesn’t take away the flourishing..but tries to make the system .. self adaptive.. no one in charge..t

if set them free in an undisturbed ecosystem first.. expo & reg become irrelevant..

1:25 – have a critical view of sci tech w/o losing hope and optimism..


Joi Ito (@Joi) tweeted at 11:14 AM on Mon, Jun 04, 2018:
My latest @wired Ideas column article – The Responsibility of Immortality: Welcome to the New Transhumanism

we are really bad at fixing social problems. Even the ones that we like to think we’ve fixed, like racism, keep morphing and getting stronger, like drug-resistant pathogens.

stamped from beginning

mufleh humanity law: we have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity

I, for one, still dream of flourishing in the future through advances in science and technology, but hopefully one that addresses societal inequities, retains the richness and diversity of our natural systems and indigenous cultures, rather than the somewhat simple and sterile futures depicted by many science fiction writers and futurists. Timothy Leary liked to remind us to remember our hippie roots, with their celebration of diversity and nature, and I hear him calling us again


via douglas

Joi Ito (@Joi) tweeted at 1:03 PM on Fri, Jul 06, 2018:
“Survival of the Richest” – classic @rushkoff – ties into a lot of my recent thinking – good reading

This single question occupied us for the rest of the hour. They knew armed guards would be required to protect their compounds from the angry mobs. But how would they pay the guards once money was worthless? What would stop the guards from choosing their own leader?

they were preparing for a digital future that had a whole lot less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether and insulating themselves from a very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic, and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape..t

As technology philosophers have been pointing out for years, now, the transhumanist vision too easily reduces all of reality to data, concluding that “humans are nothing but information-processing objects.”.t

The future became less a thing we create through our present-day choices or hopes for humankind than a predestined scenario we bet on with our venture capital but arrive at passively.

This freed everyone from the moral implications of their activities.

Digital platforms have turned an already exploitative and extractive marketplace (think Walmart) into an even more dehumanizing successor (think Amazon).

Ultimately, according to the technosolutionist orthodoxy, the human future climaxes by uploading our consciousness to a computer or, perhaps better, accepting that technology itself is our evolutionary successor.

The mental gymnastics required for such a profound role reversal between humans and machines all depend on the underlying assumption that humans suck. Let’s either change them or get away from them, forever.

rather.. set us all free.. and assume good

 the result will be less a continuation of the human diaspora than a lifeboat for the elite.

when the hedge funders asked me the best way to maintain authority over their security forces after “the event,” I suggested that their best bet would be to treat those people really well, right now..t

gershenfeld sel

All this technological wizardry could be applied toward less romantic but entirely more collective interests right now..t

as it could be.. ie: 2 convos as infra

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

 For all their wealth and power, they don’t believe they can affect the future. They are simply accepting the darkest of all scenarios and then bringing whatever money and technology they can employ to insulate themselves — especially if they can’t get a seat on the rocket to Mars.

Luckily, those of us without the funding to consider disowning our own humanity have much better options available to us..the truly evolved human doesn’t go it alone.


Joi Ito’s dissertation, The Practice of Change: using networks, not markets, to solve problems
Original Tweet:

He’s just turned in a doctoral dissertation to Keio University and naturally, it’s open access.

Therefore in my dissertation I ask:

How can we understand and effectively intervene in interconnected complex adaptive systems?

In particular, my thesis presents through theory and practice the following contributions to addressing these problems:

  1. A post-Internet framework for understanding and intervening in complex adaptive systems
  2. Learnings from the creation and management of post-Internet organizations that can be applied to designing and deploying interventions.
  3. How and why we must change the values of society from one based on the measurement of financial value to flourishing and robustness.


baratunde(notes from convo here) & joi convo’d as keynote at inaugural Connected Learning Summit held august 2018 at the mit media lab

connected learning


Joi Ito (@Joi) tweeted at 12:16 PM – 6 Sep 2018 :
My latest column article – The Educational Tyranny of the Neurotypicals via @WIRED (

“Neurotypical” is a term used by the autism community to describe what society refers to as “normal.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in 59 children, and one in 34 boys, are on the autism spectrum—in other words, neuroatypical. That’s 3 percent of the male population. If you add ADHD—attention deficit hyperactivity disorder—and dyslexia, roughly one out of four people are not “neurotypicals.”

In NeuroTribes, Steve Silberman chronicles the history of such non-neurotypical conditions

on hold at library – thanks library


Joi Ito (@Joi) tweeted at 4:17 AM – 7 Sep 2018 :
A lot of this article was inspired by a conversation with @davemorin who is working on technologies and designs to help mental health with neurodiversity as a core value (

also adding nuerodiversity and dave morin

including autism, which was described by the Viennese doctor Hans Asperger and Leo Kanner in Baltimore in the 1930s and 1940s. Asperger worked in Nazi-occupied Vienna, which was actively euthanizing institutionalized children, and he defined a broad spectrum of children who were socially awkward. Others had extraordinary abilities and a “fascination with rules, laws and schedules,” to use Silberman’s words.

maté trauma law

Kanner, on the other hand, described children who were more disabled. Kanner’s suggestion that the condition was activated by bad parenting made autism a source of stigma for parents and led to decades of work attempting to “cure” autism rather than developing ways for families, the educational system, and society to adapt to it.

autrism et al

higashida autism law:

i think that people w autism are born outside the regime of civilization. i think that as a result of all the killings in the world and the selfish planet wrecking .. a deep sense of crisis exists.. autism has somehow arisen out of this..  we are like travelers from the distant past.. and if , by our being here, we could help the people of the world remember what truly matters for the earth that would give us a quiet pleasure.


maté not yet scrambled law

Our schools in particular have failed such neurodiverse students, *in part because they’ve been designed to prepare our children for typical jobs in a mass-production-based white- and blue-collar environment created by the Industrial Revolution.

perhaps *in total because they’ve been designed to prep w supposed to’s

I think that even the broad notion of education may be outdated, and *we need a completely new approach to empower learning: We need to revamp our notion of “education” and shake loose the ordered and linear metrics of the society of the past, when we were focused on scale and the mass production of stuff. Accepting and respecting neurodiversity is the key to surviving the transformation driven by the internet and AI, which is shattering the Newtonian predictability of the past and replacing it with a Heisenbergian world of complexity and uncertainty.

*ie: a nother way..

again.. higashida autism law

InLife, Animated, Ron Suskind tells the story of his autistic son Owen,

life animated.. ron.. owen

Owen’s story tells us how autism can manifest in different ways and how, if caregivers can adapt rather than force kids to “be normal,” many autistic children survive and thrive. Our institutions, however, are poorly designed to deliver individualized, adaptive programs to educate such kids

perhaps more important.. what they (everyone) has to help educate us ..again ie: higashida autism law

In addition to schools poorly designed for non-neurotypicals, our society traditionally has had scant tolerance or compassion for anyone lacking social skills or perceived as not “normal.”..t

lucas on not normal ness

higashida autism law:

i think that people w autism are born outside the regime of civilization. i think that as a result of all the killings in the world and the selfish planet wrecking .. a deep sense of crisis exists.. autism has somehow arisen out of this..  we are like travelers from the distant past.. and if , by our being here, we could help the people of the world remember what truly matters for the earth that would give us a quiet pleasure.

Temple Grandin, the animal welfare advocate who is herself somewhere on the spectrum, contends that Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Mozart, and Nikola Tesla would have been diagnosed on the “autistic spectrum” if they were alive today. She also believes that autism has long contributed to human development and that “without autism traits we might still be living in caves.” She is a prominent spokesperson for the neurodiversity movement, which argues that neurological differences must be respected in the same way that diversity of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation is.

temple.. eistein.. mozart via rhodes.. tesla

Ben Draper, who runs the Macomber Center for Self Directed Learning, says that while the center is designed for all types of children, kids whose parents identify them as on the autism spectrum often thrive at the center when they’ve had difficulty in conventional schools. Ben is part of the so-called unschooling movement, which believes that not only should learning be self-directed, in fact we shouldn’t even focus on guiding learning. Children will learn in the process of pursuing their passions, the reasoning goes, and so we just need to get out of their way, providing support as needed


Many, of course, argue that such an approach is much too unstructured and verges on irresponsibility. In retrospect, though, I feel I certainly would have thrived on “unschooling.”..t

the problem isn’t that it’s unstructured.. it’s that not all of us are doing it and doing it 100% .. it needs to be all of us .. as the day ie: meadows undisturbed ecosystem

In a recent paper, Ben and my colleague Andre Uhl, who first introduced me to unschooling, argue that it not only works for everyone, but that the current educational system, in addition to providing poor learning outcomes, impinges on the rights of children as individuals..t

indeed.. but so too does calling it out w/o a mech/alt in place.. ie: costello screen/service law

suggested mech: tech as it could be..  w 2 convers.. as infra

Not that anyone should generalize from my experience—one reader of my dissertation said that I’m so unusual, I should be considered a “human sub-species.” While I take that as a compliment, I think there are others like me..t  who weren’t as lucky and ended up going through the traditional system and mostly suffering rather than flourishing.

rather.. all of us.. and we can’t see it because we keep observing/researching ie: whales in sea world

We can also use modern technology for connected learning that supports diverse interests and abilities and is integrated into our lives and communities of interest.

true.. very thankful for that.. but today.. we can do better than that.. because/and.. it won’t really truly work until it’s all of us

At the Media Lab, we have a research group called Lifelong Kindergarten, and the head of the group, Mitchel Resnick, recently wrote a book by the same name.

mitch.. lifelong kinder

The group believes, as I do, that we learn best when we are pursuing our passion and working with others in a project-based environment with a playful approach.

imagine playing in the city.. as the day..

Many mental health issues, I believe, are caused by trying to “fix” some type of neurodiversity or by simply being insensitive or inappropriate for the person. Many mental “illnesses” can be “cured” by providing the appropriate interface to learning, living, or interacting for that person focusing on the four Ps. ..t

indeed.. what we need most .. what will be the roots of our healing.. is the energy of 7bn alive people

Joi Ito (@Joi) tweeted at 5:39 AM – 7 Sep 2018 :
A few other notes as I get feedback. Some point out that modern education isn’t great for neurotypicals either. Also, there ARE great teachers out there and some great programs. Don’t mean to say we should scrap everything. We just need to upgrade and rethink a lot of it. (

moten abolition law.. but again.. only when we have a nother mech in place ..for 7bn to leap to


paywall (doc)

Joi Ito (@Joi) tweeted at 5:32 AM – 8 Sep 2018 :
Went to screening of #PaywallTheMovie directed by @jason_schmitt last night organized by @mitpress and @amy_brand. Everyone needs to watch this documentary and we need to open academic publishing and this starts with changing tenure review and “impact factor” focus for journals. (

Joi Ito (@Joi) tweeted at 5:33 AM – 8 Sep 2018 :
Also, in case you missed it, the Europeans agree: (

Joi Ito (@Joi) tweeted at 5:52 AM – 8 Sep 2018 :
Here’s the link to the movie. And no, it’s not paywalled. :-) (


As we biologically and digitally augment, edit and transform ourselves while at the same time coming to grips with how indivisible from nature we humans are, I wonder if “humanity” will become as awkward as “mankind” has become as a word to mean “everything important.”

Original Tweet:

depends how we augment ie: the ai humanity needs..augmenting interconnectedness

mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity – Luma Mufleh


Stewart Brand (@stewartbrand) tweeted at 4:32 PM on Mon, Nov 19, 2018:
“For someone,,, who saw the power of connection build a vibrant, technologically meshed ecosystem distinguished by peace, love, and understanding, the polarization and hatred empowered by the internet today is like watching your baby turning into the little girl in The Exorcist.”

As our modern dinosaurs crash down around us, I sometimes wonder what kind of humans will eventually walk out of this epic transformation. t

black science of people/whales


on paywall ness

My new @WIRED Ideas column article – The Quest to Topple Science-Stymying Academic Paywalls
Original Tweet:

She was able to do what my Creative Commons colleague and dear friend, the late Aaron Swartz, envisioned but was unable to achieve in his lifetime.

So in some ways, it feels like “we won.” But has the OA movement truly reached its potential to transform research communication? I don’t think so, *especially if paid open access just continues to enrich a small number of commercial journal publishers..t

and esp if we think the most important stuff is in journals/academic-writing

knowledge futures group: The goal is to *develop and deploy infrastructure to allow free, rigorous, and open sharing of knowledge ..t and to start a movement towards greater institutional and public ownership of that infrastructure, reclaiming territory ceded to publishers and commercial technology providers.

*let’s develop and deply infra to allow truly free/rigorous/open sharing.. begs a mech to listen to every voice (7b plus) everyday.. ie: tech as it could be

we’re not paying attention (to people grokking what matters).. and we’re missing it/us..

It is imperative that we establish an open innovation ecosystem as an alternative to the control that a handful of commercial entities maintain over not only the markets for research information, but also over academic reputation systems and research technologies more generally.

we need to let go of ie: academic .. or any.. reputation systems..

It’s essential for universities, and core to their mission, to assert greater control over systems for knowledge representation, dissemination, and preservation. *What constitutes knowledge, the use of knowledge and the funding of knowledge is the future of our planet, and it must be protected from twisted market incentives and other corrupting forces.The transformation will require a movement involving a global network of collaborators, ..t.. and we hope to contribute to catalyzing it.

*won’t work (ie: will just be info – even non legit data) unless we’re listening to everyone.. everyday


on resisting reduction:

My essay In @WiredUK about Resisting Reduction, the topic of my next book coming out in the Fall from @mitpress – Forget about artificial intelligence, extended intelligence is the future

Original Tweet:

“Instead of thinking about machine intelligence in terms of humans vs machines, we should consider the system that integrates humans and machines—not artificial intelligence but extended intelligence.” In @wireduk, @joi issues a call against reductionism.

Original Tweet:

rather.. we should consider augmenting interconnectedness..

The Human Use of Human Beings, Norbert Weiner’s groundbreaking book on cybernetics theory. Out of that grew what I now consider a manifesto against the growing singularity movement,

human use of human beings

In Silicon Valley, the combination of groupthink and the financial success of this cult of technology has created a feedback loop, lacking in self-regulation (although #techwontbuild, #metoo and #timesup are forcing some reflection).

we need the feedback loop of curiosity

the notion of singularity – especially as some sort of saviour or judgment day that will allow us to transcend the messy, mortal suffering of our human existence – is fundamentally a flawed one..t

so too the notion of ‘intelligence’ .. also reductionist –

today we have means for deeper infra

We need to embrace the unknowability – the irreducibility – of the real world that artists, biologists and those who work in the messy world of liberal arts and humanities are familiar and comfortable with.

indeed.. am seeing intelligence.. and reductionist

We must question and adapt our own purpose and sensibilities as observers and designers within systems for a much more humble approach: humility over control.

indeed.. again.. that starts with the daily curiosity of 7b people .. let’s use tech to listen to and facil that.. ie: as it could be..


via joi fb share

2019 Applied Ethical and Governance Challenges in AI – Notes from Part 3: Intervention »

I’m not sure if it was the consensus of the class, but I felt that somehow we needed *a new design process that allowed for the creation of design stories and “tests” that could be developed by the users and members of the affected communities that were integrated into the development process – participant design that was deeply integrated into something that looked like agile development story and test development processest.. Fairness and other contextual parameters are dynamic and can only be managed through interactions with the systems in which the algorithms are deployed. Figuring out a way to somehow integrate the dynamic nature of the social system seems like a possible approach for mitigating a category of technical debt and designing systems untethered from the normative environments in which they are deployed.

daily curiosity  *ie: cure ios city.. via 2 convers as infra

tech as it could be..

because: curiosity and decision making

[wish we could talk]


My reading list with links to related talks, posts and classes:

Original Tweet:


everyday chaos, weinberger

carhart harris entropy law

explanation as orgasm (article), gopnik

I argue that explanation should be thought of as the phenomenological mark of the operation of a particular kind of cognitive system, the theory-formation system. The theory-formation system operates most clearly in children and scientists but is also part of our everyday cognition. The system is devoted to uncovering the underlying causal structure of the world. Since this process often involves active intervention in the world, in the case of systematic experiment in scientists, and play in children, the cognitive system is accompanied by a ‘theory drive’, a motivational system that impels us to interpret new evidence in terms of existing theories and change our theories in the light of new evidence. What we usually think of as explanation is the phenomenological state that accompanies the satisfaction of this drive. However, the relation between the phenomenology and the cognitive system is contingent, as in similar cases of sexual and visual phenomenology. Distinctive explanatory phenomenology may also help us to identify when the theory-formation system is operating.

age of surveill, zuboff

winners take all, anand

team human, rushkoff (justin & sarah?)

stamped from beginning, kendi

weapons of math, o’neil


Interview with @karaswisher for Recode – The problem with tech people who want to solve problems
Original Tweet:

“Tech people tend to want to just solve the problem,” Ito said on the latest episode of Recode Decode with Kara Swisher. “But the problem with the problem is it’s not like previous problems, where you just solve it. You actually have to keep asking the question, ‘Is this even the right question?’ ..t.. And this is why it’s much more difficult.”

taleb center of problem law

I felt like I needed to understand how communities worked in order to understand things..t

undisturbed ecosystem via 2 convers as infra

I’ll say that the key for the Media Lab is to always try to do the stuff that other people wouldn’t do..t

chomsky serious things law.. mufleh humanity law

And, if other people start doing it, we stop it.

I think generally, everybody’s working on trying to make the human condition better. But I think “better” is a really tricky word. It’s better for who, at what time scale?

I think that we’re more and more asking the question, “Are we solving the right problem?” And I think one of the problems with just straight engineering is you sort of assume that the person who gave you the problem knows what the problem is and your job is just to solve it.

I think what really is a key thing about the Media Lab which I love is that we really do embrace the other. We are always trying to bring in things that make us uncomfortable, things that we don’t understand sometimes. And I think that’s what’s very different from a traditional academic department, where you’re sort of extending but mostly going into areas that are either adjacent to or connected somehow to the thing that you’re doing

So, what is that to you right now? What’s something that makes you uncomfortable that’s being developed at the lab?

Well, I think for me, the privacy — the surveillance capitalism conversation.

the problem is that the data is biased..So, society’s dirty. And so, what you’re doing is you’re reinforcing, sort of, backward-looking status quo. It doesn’t allow us to be progressive..t

ie: we are like whales in sea world.. the deeper problem

I think it’s a lot like how to build strong, resilient communities and it’s less like trying to engineer a program.

Those are the things that I think we really need to do. I think there’s a new version of the hippie movement that’s going to happen where people are going to say, “You know what? I don’t want to play that game anymore. I’m playing a different game. And the game that I’m playing and the thing that I’m solving for is something really different than what you want me to solve for.” ..t.. And I think it’s going to be a kind of values rebellion. I think it’s already started.

i want to get space right in the way we got the internet wrong


via ethan

About that @BostonGlobe story… On me, and deciding to leave @MIT @medialab:
Original Tweet:


Quinn “I probably should be writing now” Norton (@quinnnorton) tweeted at 6:48 AM on Thu, Sep 05, 2019:
The thing i am most frustrated by right now is the assumption the rest of the money is perfectly fine.


Quinn “I probably should be writing now” Norton (@quinnnorton) tweeted at 6:50 AM on Thu, Sep 05, 2019:
It’s not like MIT ever stopped taking Saudi money or DOD money. I guess they mostly murder kids without touching their private parts, so that’s fine.

@chengela: Two updates to this story. First, I want to emphasize that @grok was the one who stood up to Nicholas Negroponte. She deserves credit for speaking out.



@grok: Next time I’m thinking of putting my career on the line by speaking truth to power and ugly-crying in front of 100 people, I’ll try to remember that a man will get credit for it in the press.

@grok: First of all, I’d be a terrible director, but second of all, now would be a good time to read my Guardian piece on why I want @Joi to stay and step up.

Jeffrey Epstein’s influence in the science world is a symptom of larger problems

I can count on one hand the real male allies in my world: people I have repeatedly seen stop and listen to the voices of the marginalized, without getting defensive. People I have witnessed throwing their weight around behind the scenes, at personal expense to themselves, for no reason other than to do the right thing. One of those people is Joi Ito, the director of the MIT Media Lab.


While the role he played was far from John Brockman’s, it was hard not to feel that my whole professional environment had been complicit.


Because the complicity goes all the way up, these problems require people with great power to fix them. Ultimately, I no longer believe that I can enact true change without the help of powerful allies. In my experience, one of the few people who is even capable of enacting change at MIT is Joi Ito. I hate what he did and I do not defend his actions. But I also know that he may actually act to fix his mistakes. Over the past eight years, I’ve observed him listen, introspect, and take action, even where it would have been easier for him to stay the course.

Men like Joi need to step up, and step up hard.

This is why I am leaving Brockman as soon as I’ve fulfilled my contractual obligations, but staying at the Media Lab. The Brockmans of the world are uninterested in change; Joi Ito has the humility to understand that change is imperative. Staying is a hard decision. I’m worried that change won’t come easily. And I’m worried that I am again missing the line between working from within and being complicit.

perhaps we take this opp to go even deeper than mit/money.. and focus on a means to listen to every voice everyday.. ie: 2 convers as infra via tech as it could be

mboya/rogers can you hear me law .. because mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity– Luma Mufleh


Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) tweeted at 9:02 PM – 6 Sep 2019 :
How an elite university research center concealed its relationship with a sex offender—documents show MIT Media Lab accepted donations directed by Jeffrey Epstein far in excess of what the university has admitted to, and worked to cover it up: (


Cesar A. Hidalgo (@cesifoti) tweeted at 6:32 AM – 8 Sep 2019 :
I shared this thread yesterday, a few hours before Ito’s resignation. I believe it helps provide context, & also, describes aspects of the lab culture that need improvement. Now that resignation has happened, I am happy to work with everyone in the lab to help it improve. (

Joi Ito has resigned as director, effective immediately. A letter from MIT’s President Reif outlines next steps.

Original Tweet:

via lawrence
Lessig (@lessig) tweeted at 0:18 PM on Sun, Sep 08, 2019:
On Joi and MIT
Geert Lovink (@glovink) tweeted at 5:35 AM – 10 Sep 2019 :
It’s likely Epstein’s money went to the Digital Currency Initiative, Joi Ito’s main initiative at MIT MediaLab. This money was raised with a purpose: blockchain ventures. (
via mary lou on fb – prelim facts.. joi was following mit rules