Luca De Biase
An Italian journalist writes about what's happening in his funny country:
a laboratory for the study of broken democracy and creative capitalism.
Plus news about media and cultures.

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Lunedì, 18 ottobre 2004

TAIPEI - For those that didn't notice Joi Ito is here. And has just commented the previous post. I thank him: I just started this blog and it is an honour to have him in these pages.

Here is Joi in a picture that I took in Naples.

In his post, he is encouraging and rational at the same time.

Says Joi: "I think that even the extremes should be voiced and represented and their voices protected. I think the key is whether we can then discuss and cause positive action. I think blogs have delivered more than expected by most people, but less than promised. I think we still have a ways to go before I would call what's going on here an "emergent democracy." On the other hand, I think this medium is one of the best we've got and we should try to figure out ways to encourage the kind of discourse that encourages protecting the extremes, but eventual neutrality. I think Wikipedia is a good example. If you read the discussions sections, you will find some extreme stuff. On the other hand, it ultimately is very Neutral Point of View on the page." (Joi's blog in linked at your left hand side)

Well, yes this is blogging about blogging. But it is also a very serious matter. Because if people enabled by the best tool for expression become just a bunch of radicals that don't listen each other, than people are less than worth the freedom they always claim to want.
4:51:41 PM    comment [];

TAIPEI - I was talking to David Weinberger (yes, the guru) the other day in Seattle. And then I talked about the same subject to Enrico Pedemonte (the Italian correspondent for L'Espresso) in New York.

Are bloggers helping the world of media to radicalize or are they creating the conditions for a new and better form of citizenship?

What do you think?

Making a blog to be heard often means to be as radical as possible. And the Internet can host the most atrocious pieces of information that we can see, as those cruel examples of bloody actions in Iraq seem to demonstrate.

But bloggers are also those that criticize conventional information and verify it in a volunteer effort to find the truth together. Which is a basis for a new democracy, as Joi Ito says.

What do you think?

Yes, I know: the Internet is like the real world, with the bad and good things mixed together in a messy way. But the dynamics of communication by blog is going to affect that real world. In which sense will that happen? Radical or civilized?

I believe civilized. But only through a lot of radical fighting. Europeans know what that means: our present civilized way has come out of the worst cruelties that human beings can possibly perpetrate.

--- please visit my Italian site at: ---
5:00:55 AM    comment [];

TAIPEI - Cultures and professionalism. Neil Payne of Kwintessential, a culture specialist firm, told CNN about different approaches to business in different cultures.

And that's exactly what I'm talking about, here.

I'm in Taipei, as I told you yesterday. And I feel the difference in my mind. But as I compare what I see and what I am, I find that Italians and Taiwanese have many more similarities than I thought. We are both relaxed and not very frightened of being late. We make much of the same gestures to say things like "your are crazy" and "we will arrange this between ourselves without involving any public authority". You know what I mean.

This is also very different than in Japan or Germany.

But one thing is to say that there are different cultures in business as in anything else. Another thing is to say that Westerners have a sense of professionalism while the others think in a more unprofessional way. It is a new development for me. I always thought that way, too. And I always complained about the lack of professionalism in Italy. But traveling I find that professionalism is more of an ideology than a reality, more of a myth than a discipline, more of a set of communicational skills than a true cultural phenomenon. All over the world, networks count more than skills. The difference, the very important difference is between societies that privilege hierarchically organized relations or open networks of peers.

--- please visit my Italian site at: ---
3:41:24 AM    comment [];

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