June 2006 Archives


Quick! Someone make a t-shirt for these people.

It should say:

"Non-conformity is the new conformity"
"zealotry is sexy again!"

("I'm with stupid"'s already been done.)

Pride is such a terribly dangerous thing. And too often people confuse pride in their work (what they have produced, with love and attention and skill and experience and and), and pride in their tools. (Or worse, instead of pride in one's society's culture/contribution to humanity, pride in one's rivers and lakes, cities and towns, laws and forms of government, ideologies and religions, color of eyes, hair and skin... etc etc...)

Pride yourself on (the quantifiable) doing good, not (the terribly subjective) being good.

/rant off. ;)

Launched another redesign

Just launched Howard Rheingold's SmartMobs redesign.

Smartmobs new

Work on this started months ago and Howard was patient enough to wait through my completing other jobs. I'm quite happy with this redesign. I'd say it's a "Boris-flavored mash-up of Khoi Vinh and 'Web 2.0-ish' styles."


Here's an idea of what the homepage used to look like:

old smartmobs

I think we can all agree... "it's muuuuch better!"

Musical Nokia

I'm poking around Nokia trying to decide between an N70 or N80, but that's not the point.

I called up the Nokia main portal page, then moved my attention over to something else for a moment, and in so doing inadvertently moved my mouse... over the "Business Solutions" button... twice.

Two notes rang out. "ding" "dong"


Further ludic exploration reveals that the two green "Business Solutions" and "Culture of Mobility" buttons have the playful characteristic whereby sequential notes of a melody are played on individual mouse-overs.

Neat. I played with it for a while. I suspect I know who inspired this.

That's gonna hurt

iPod loop

Flexible hipster... ;)

10 years on

I just came across this interview with Joi done in 1995.
Reading it I am struck by a few things:
- 10 years ago Joi was roughly my age.
- He saw very very clearly what was going on, on many different levels and across many sectors, and thus it was very very easy for him to predict certain things (most of which came to pass) and bank on them successfully.
- Having that vision comes from being open, attentive, curious and having access to a lot of people and information.

Note to self.

Spreading wings

yhj crane - spread your wings
(written on thursday... i think...)

This morning I got a handshake for a lease to be signed this weekend for an office which i will take possession of in two weeks. It's 300 square feet, 3 blocks from home and across the street from one of my regular hangouts. I've already filled the room with 3 cool collaborators... and one part time (for now) helper.


You did say "go home now and spread your wings", right? ;)

Cellular automata talk


Should be interesting.

How multicultural is YOUR city?

We have 6 processions of honking cars a day during World Cup here. How about you?
(Could also be titled "How many World Cup monkey fans live in your city?")

No phone

For anyone trying to call me: no phone.
I left my charger in San Francisco (!) and Aaron's apparently been busy.
Perhaps now's a good time to get a new one...

Still no phone, and to make matters worse, my home internet connection has gotten super flakey in the last 24 hours, intermittently dropping out completely every 45 seconds or so. I feel like I have some sort of Parkins-Heimers' where my motor skills are hit and miss and my memory spotty. :\

Creative Commons Japan

So we just turned on the newly designed Creative Commons Japan website. There's prolly a few details to tweak and things will need to be adjusted in the coming months but hey that's what maintenance agreements are for! hint. hint. ;)

I had a lot of fun doing this site, not to mention quite the challenge doing an information architecture and information design (well, ok, layouts ;) for information I couldn't actually read! Thankfully Dominique was a hands on guy and dove in to help out with content and advice and support. Merci mon ami!

Thanks also to Gen Kanai for thinking of me and giving me this opportunity. Dude, one of these days I'm gonna have to sit down and finally do your site too...

Creative-Commons-JapanI also really enjoyed making the CC Japan logo. Simplicity is hard to do well, and if I may say so I think I pulled it off nicely, inserting the japanese just so and changing the color of the (CC) mark. Respect to whoever created the CC logo; simple, straight forward and totally powerful. Just my style.

Also, this project went so very smoothly, and that for a few reasons, all of which relate to the client being:
- involved, but not intrusive or meddling
- clear and precise on what is wanted, but "carte blanche" on how it should be done and look
- single point of contact (Even though I was in touch with a number of people during the project, one and only one person ever discussed details of it with me. Awesome.)

I really felt like a superstar on this one. Alright, let the bashing commence! ;)

(Oh thanks to Patrick and Stevey for critiques as well!)

Marvin! Robots!

Picture 2

My friend Marvin, whom I met at the Global Voices conference in London last december, sent me an email the other day. Amongst other things he shared this:

I wanted to tell you of my success in being accepted as a Fellow in the Digital Vision Program at Stanford. For 9 months, starting in September, I will research and develop my project, Robotics Stimul-I, and then return to Jamaica to implement it.

Robotics Stimul-I builds on the work I started with the innercity kids in Jones Town, and aims to show that learning robotics can increase literacy and numeracy for a group of at-risk youth. This activity will take place at a the community's own Robotics Learning Center that will be built as a part of the project. The idea of such a facility has it's roots in MIT's Computer Clubhouse concept and is also inspired by Lego Mindstorms Centers.

Once this is completed, it will Jamaica's first Robotics Learning Centre and the first community resource of this nature, built right in the heart of the innercity.

Please recommend any person(s)/organization(s) that you think might support this project.

I am really happy to see Marvin's momentum with this. I'm definitely going to try to hook him up with anyone I know who might have any kind of interest in this stuff, from robotics to community projects.

The screencap above was us trying to troubleshoot iChat AV between him and his sister.

Good sign

My motor-memory of which way to turn the taps in my shower to regulate water temperature... is gone.

Conversely, my motor-memory of how to quickly zig-zag my way up through traffic on The Main... is still full in effect. Thankfully. ;)

Off we go

About to settle into my last night in Tokyo. Three months. In 24 hours I am over the Pacific again, heading back to Montreal.

I feel anxious anticipation; I wonder how I will react to diving back into my old life, which now seems so distant from me. I know that I will immediately go buy my usual mid-summer groceries at Valmont. I will go have a pho on Cote des Neiges, I will hang out at Laika and go have a drink at Boa.

I will sit at my desk, in my apartment, eating a tomato and prosciutto salad after having taken a jog up the mountain.

None of these things are bad. They are, or at least where once, all highly enjoyable to me. But they are old. They are worn in, and out. Or so I think they may be.

This is what I anxiously anticipate. I *want* the routines to be broken. I won't know if they are until I go back to where they, and I, are from, and see.

And see I will. :)


Some reporter
Originally uploaded by Mezito.

I see at least 4 layers of reality in this photo. How about you?
(There are many more of course, but not directly portrayed, or even portrayable, at least not easily/cheaply, yet...)

À propos de rien

Barlow had these lines in a recent email about a friend of his' death:

Fighting clinical depression is inevitably a lonely struggle. What could be less conducive to compassion than a disease that make you whine? Laymen and loved ones tell you to get a grip. They make you feel ashamed to be sick. Even if they're more enlightened about the disease, they can't help but harbor a secret, naturally human, belief that you are suffering a failure of will rather than biochemistry. Meanwhile, the doctors consider little but the neuro-soup and turn you into a shambling medical experiment, testing pharmaceutical nostrums on you that are as blunt as the mind is subtle, though just as unpredictable. But, for you, life just trudges on. It remains, despite whatever visible signs of well-being - wonderful spouse, great kids, well-located house, etc. - a purgatory of uselessness, barren of joy and meaning. Love, incoming or out-going, becomes something you think, not feel.

I don't know if I am clinically depressed, and I sure as hell ain't pining to find out, but this made me think hard, still does actually, about many things.

Perhaps that's just the problem, innit? Hrm. Dammit, what a cliché.


An email confirming an IRC meeting made me realise my June 12th flight "home"... is on MONDAY. Monday, not Tuesday as I thought it was.

Not Tuesday as I had planned for it being.

Not Tuesday as I had worked so hard to accept it being.

Not Tuesday as I had somehow convinced myself I could leave on...


I won't go! You can't make me!!

Sigh. Relax man, get a grip.

So anyways, Air Canada will not take my money to upgrade my ticket. Absurd.

You have nice boots

 Bag Photo Syoruda Sh203 Sh203S U

Actually, new bag. Thank you for suggestion of Sudahanp, Hiromi.

(The title of this entry is an inside joke between some old old friends of mine back home. It is said with a heavy french canadian accent and is à propos nothing. Just something one of us said once and we all found funny. In fact, the one who uttered the phrase has been nicknamed "Belles Bottes" every since.)


pummeled by waves
Original by cr2joe.

For as long as I can remember now--memory fails when the brain is deprived of oxygen--I've been stuck in an unrelenting onslaught of waves.

Each set is unaware of the sets before it, the sets coming in from other directions. Many directions. All directions.

Each set thinks "gee, what's his problem? this is just a simple set of waves, nothing serious", but they don't realize I am being pummeled from all four.

Each set thinks "gee, his being in Japan is really slowing him down. He must be slacking off."

But I am treading water, badly. I am drowning, almost.

I have half a mind to stand up and walk back to the beach. To hell with this surf.

(Of course I won't. Just saying.)


So if you see this, it means the move went well and we are live from my new server.