February 07, 2003


Joi Ito is plotting to use the Internet to pull of a revolution in Japan, bringing real democracy to the country.

There is one possible problem with that plan, however. As of today, there are 17 550 (seventeen thousand fivehundredfifty) Internet patents in Japan.

Very likely at least 30 of those cover the business idea of using the Internet to bring about democracy. Which would be very convenient for those opposing change.

Any volunteers to check those patents?

Even if that check confirms that there are only revolutionary patents but no patents on revolution, I am afraid that it will take many years for Joi Ito's plan to move anything. And even if we had a perfect Internet democracy in Japan right now, the real question would still be what to do, rather than how to do it.

Posted by Karl-Friedrich Lenz at February 7, 2003 08:44 PM | TrackBack


I do disagree with the last point. I think the market will decide what we need to do. Competition would be a good start. Also, Japan has piles and piles of plans that have never been executed. I don't think we have a lack of plans. Just a lack of a system to execute those plans.

Posted by: Joi Ito on February 7, 2003 09:24 PM

Thanks for your comment.

I wish you the best of luck with your project, but I am afraid it will take rather long.

For starters, I am going to include blogging in the things I am going teach to law faculty students in a course on Internet literacy this year.

Posted by: Karl-Friedrich Lenz on February 8, 2003 11:36 AM
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