East Asian Studies 190: Spring 2005

'04 version --not given, but '03 version and '01 version make interesting bits of History

The Big Questions for EAS190 in Spring 2005:

How do we (1) find and (2) manage the information we need? What does the available array of tools offer us? How are those tools evolving? We'll explore a wide range of resources and affordances, working with questions and problems that have something to do with Asia, with the understanding that the next 40-50 years will see more and more East Asian presence in events and processes of global significance.

For those whose motivation is linked to East Asian Studies, it's an opportunity to develop ideas that will underwrite the process of defining and constructing the senior thesis; for those with no particular East Asia background or interests, it's an instance of the general life-long problem of finding and managing and using information and information media.

American mass media have a very mixed record in their dealings with Asia, and indeed with any but "homeland" concerns. It's tempting to concentrate on the stereotyping and blinkered ignorances of the past... but also important to realize how many of those episodes of ignorance continue into the present. The mirror doesn't show a pretty picture, and there's not a whole lot of hope that technological process will change that very much.

What does it take to get our attention?

How are we to understand what is happening in East Asia? And what has happened?

20 April
Among stimulus materials to integrate:

Why China is growing so fast By Satyabrata Rai Chowdhuri (Asia Times 21 April)

China-Japan flames scald business By J Sean Curtin (Asia Times 19 April)

??other NEWS sources??

26 April
a bunch of links for today's class, and an assignment:

Explore some of the linked resources, searching for some things YOU are interested in (probably East Asian Studies folks should be thinking about possible thesis subjects). REPORT what you've found in a posting to the blog, by 9AM on Monday 2 May.

27 April
A couple of sound files: Marshall McLuhan, 1971

I want to consider "remix culture", looking at the obvious instances with mashups of course, but also exploring the many ways in which academic work is (and has always been) artful and responsible remix.

Four Minutes About Podcasting is a very nice intro. And The rise in blogs in Japan is another bit for today's class... Also need to find the video about Google's future...

on the recent train wreck in Japan

This seems to be making a splash again: In the year 2014... (The World: Googlezon And The Newsmasters EPIC) and transcript

Mapping Out Craigslist

Grey Tuesday, online cultural activism and the mash–up of music and politics (Sam Howard-Spinks)

History of the mash–up

The mixing of musical styles and texts has a history that far predates the first mash–up, or even Western popular music. In Cassette Culture, Manuel (1993) writes about the legacy of parody and tune borrowing in Indian music, in which familiar "texts" are laid over borrowed tunes and melodies, mixing folk and popular styles. This takes on a new life with the arrival of cassette technology, which ironically helps to reinforce tradition through a shift of control from the centre to the periphery, rather than the other way around. (One could argue that today’s mash–ups also draw on and to an extent reinforce traditional "folk" uses of music — as well as appropriating older songs — and with a corresponding shift in control).

Mash–ups, in a Western context, are not a revolutionary new musical invention but a branch on the musical family tree that can be traced back to at least the early days of hiphop. DJs such as Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash combined drum breaks on vinyl records to produce extended tracks that could then be rapped over by vocalists, and the first hiphop hit — "Rapper’s Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang — uses the instantly recognizable bassline from a Chic hit. From these roots one can trace the phenomenon of remixing, which became a standard way to expand the lifespan and sales potential of pop hits through the 1980s and 90s.

Taking vocal tracks and combining them with musical tracks from completely different genres was a new bud on the sampling/remixing branch. In his book Words and music, British music writer Paul Morley (2004) describes mash–ups in his own idiosyncratic way:

"The bootleg mix ... whereby anonymous raiders of the twentieth century, or ‘bastards,’ armed with a decent hard drive, a lust for life, a love of music that borders on the diseased, and a warped sense of humor mash up tracks taken off the Internet, twist genres across themselves, and rewrite musical history in a way musicians would never think of. Access on the Internet to a capella vocals and instrumental backing tracks means that homebodies, who are all in the mind, can ignore legalities and logic and all manner of niceties and splice together any music that takes their fancy."
Within the mash–up community, legend has it that the first true "mash–up" as it is understood today was a 1994 track by the Evolution Control Committee that combined a Public Enemy rap over a Herb Albert instrumental (Manriki, 2003). Some time around 2000, this new underground style found a home at a small club in London’s West End, where the Cartel Communique began a mash–up (or "bootleg" as it was called then) night called "King of the Boots". The name was changed to "Bastard," adopted from the term "bastard–pop," another early term for mash–ups. The popularity of the genre spread to clubs around Europe and eventually to the U.S. The mash–up garnered some mainstream press with the first release by Belgian brothers 2 Many DJs. This was not only a thrilling and imaginative mix–CD but also came with a story: the brothers had attempted to clear every song used on the CD in order to release it commercially, but were unable to do so, forcing it to remain underground.

The essential point is that this style of recombinant music has a past and was already on the verge of breaking through from the underground. It took an especially iconoclastic and instantly recognizable mash–up to grab mainstream attention, and Danger Mouse found the combination — the pop royalty that is the Beatles and the most famous hiphop artist of his day, Jay–Z. This might not have been enough on its own, but the heat was turned up by EMI’s legal reaction, which in turn was seized upon by Downhill Battle.

There are other factors that must be acknowledged in this history. One of the most obvious is technology. The explosion in mash–ups occurred in large part because cheap computers and easy–to–use software, such as Acid and Pro–Tools, have proliferated far beyond the sound–proofed walls of the professional recording studio. As well as simplified production, the Internet — and P2P in particular — was also necessary for the distribution and dissemination of mash–up tracks around the scene and around the world. Of course, quality and talent still play a large role: the Grey Album worked because it is good, not simply because it was a clever idea. It is also relevant that remixing and sampling are the currency of today’s popular culture. Cultural appropriation takes place on our televisions and cinema screens, in the advertising that surrounds us and in the music that is piped to us on radio — which is why the illegality of a project like the Grey Album strikes so many people as counter–intuitive. There is a political element to this point that I will return to in the conclusion.

Lessig calls for copyright law remix

Google Print: o'odham example

28 April
Folksonomies: A User-Driven Approach to Organizing Content By Joshua Porter (User Interface Engineering)

Joi Ito on Japanese punctuality

danah boyd on music-sharing behavior

me: so, how much do you use file-sharing these days?
teens: not much... everyone seems to say it's illegal and there's definitely a bit of fear
me: so do you buy CDs now?
teens: definitely not
me: how do you get your music?
teens: we go over to others' houses and copy music from their computers or make ripped CDs for each other or....

There were lots of conversations about how whenever industry or adults try to make it difficult for teens to do certain things, they always figure out how to do what they want anyhow. The thing about file-sharing kills me though because it reminds me that the sharing of music is still, always was and always will be a sociable process, shared between friends. Just because we're trying to put locks on the ability to trade music doesn't mean we haven't always done this and won't continue to do so. I remember the art of tape-recording from the radio station to make perfect mixed tapes for friends. Same practice, new technology.

The Long Tail on Mainstream Media Meltdown (and we need to talk about The Long Tail generally)

29 April
grasping what Google has done, using Stephen Arnold's Search Engine Conference presentation (11 April) and The Google Effect: Redefining the Landscape of Search pre-conference tutorial

BlogPulse is another way-in to indexing the blogosphere

LG busts out ‘Can U’ HS8000 phone with 2.6-inch LCD (consider the implications of this package of technologies)

reality check? re: Yahoo's 360

Engrish generator

The Hype Machine "archive of blog audio... What is everyone listening to?"

Google Zeitgeist ("Search patterns, trends, and surprises according to Google") --but really one's interests are way out on the Long Tail, not in the herd end...

daypop's wordburst

30 April
An interesting eddy, thanks to Kuro5hin:

Hacking Google Print (Greg Duffy)
saga continued
metafilter (see the home page of metafilter)

visualize page links --e.g., my current.html:

tree accesses the source code of a web domain through its url and transforms the syntactic structure of the web site into a tree structure represented by an image. this image illustrates a tree with trunk, branches and ramifications. first each tree is initialized, than all html links are detected, chronologically saved and finally displayed.
Consider the implications: The Sony Librie ...and note trackbacks

This is pretty remarkable: a means to search for strings within pdfs. From the Yahoo REST documentation (REST=Representational State Transfer): pdf search for 'finances' --replace 'finances' with another string in the URL:

1 May
cosplay.com ("The Internet's Premier Cosplay Community")

2 May
The worst thing you could do to South Korean teenager? Take away their cellphone

Amazon concordance

Amazon's concordance feature is fun and sometimes revelatory. For example, the list of the 100 most frequently used words in my book Small Pieces Loosely Joined begins with "although" and ends with "yet," which reflects my unfortunate tendency towards mealy-mouthedness. The two most used words in the book are "Web" and "world," which is another interesting reflection of what the book is about.

You can get to the concordance for any book for which Amazon has the full text by hovering over the cover image and selecting "concordance" from the popup... (Dave Weinberger)

(try it with Guns, Germs, and Steel ...and Virginia Woolf, the Intellectual, and the Public Sphere)

Pretty good guide for the Beginner: Using Bloglines (or How to keep up with dozens of blogs everyday)

3 May
Fort Culture consider the implications: "Do you use de.lirio.us or de.lici.ous? You can help build a great library of articles and websites related to all these seemingly-distinct issues by tagging with the word "fortculture"..."

Failed Business Model Tee

OhMyNews.com from Korea (hear a clip of Dan Gillmor describing the phenomenon)

for today's class

Hsiang-san on women, workforce, Japan:

I did a quick Annie search for 'workforce AND japan' and the topmost item is a Bingo:
AUTHOR Bishop, Bev.
TITLE Globalization and women in the Japanese workforce
IMPRINT London ; New York : Routledge, 2005.
CALL NO. HD6197 .B574 2005.
...and the SUBJECT Heading 'Women -- Employment -- Japan' takes us to this summary, which fingers 15+ items to explore. I made a set of 7:
TITLE Japanese women working / edited by Janet Hunter.
IMPRINT London ; New York : Routledge, 1993.
CALL NO. HD6197 .J355 1993.

AUTHOR Lo, Jeannie, 1965-
TITLE Office ladies/factory women : life and work at a Japanese company
IMPRINT Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, c1990.
CALL NO. HD6197 .L6 1990.

AUTHOR Kondo, Dorinne K.
TITLE Crafting selves : power, gender, and discourses of identity in a Japanese workplace
IMPRINT Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c1990.
CALL NO. HD6197 .K658 1990.

TITLE Re-imaging Japanese women / edited and with an introduction by Anne E. Imamura.
IMPRINT Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c1996.
CALL NO. HQ1762 .R45 1996.

AUTHOR Roberts, Glenda Susan, 1955-
TITLE Staying on the line : blue-collar women in contemporary Japan
IMPRINT Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, c1994.
CALL NO. HD6073.C62 J37 1994.

AUTHOR Brinton, Mary C.
TITLE Women and the economic miracle : gender and work in postwar Japan
IMPRINT Berkeley : University of California Press, 1993.
CALL NO. HD6197 .B75 1993.

AUTHOR Kelsky, Karen, 1964-
TITLE Women on the verge : Japanese women, Western dreams
IMPRINT Durham [N.C.] : Duke University Press, 2001.
CALL NO. HQ1762 .K45 2001.

What can we say about this set?

pdfs including 'Japanese workforce' ...e.g., What Does It Mean for Women in the Workforce?

EAS 190 forest:

Cross-Cultural Studies in Musics forest:

(after class: should have given the background to "consensual hallucination":

Case was twenty-four. At twenty-two, he'd been a cowboy, a rustler, one of the best in the Sprawl. He'd been trained by the best, by McCoy Pauley and Bobby Quine, legends in the biz. He'd operated on an almost permanent adrenaline high, a byproduct of youth and proficiency, jacked into a customized cyberspace deck that projected his disembodied consciousness into the consensual hallucination known as the matrix.
From Neuromancer, by William Gibson
Published by Phantasia Press in 1984 --see Christian Hubert, brainyquote.com, nonspace

4 May
SmartPhlow cellphone app tracks traffic

Dan Gillmor:

What Dave [Winer] and the other early blog pioneers did was a breakthrough. They said the Web needed to be writeable, not just readable, and they were determined to make doing so dead simple.

Thus, the read/write Web was truly born again. We could all write, not just read, in ways never before possible. For the first time in history, at least in the developed world, anyone with a computer and Internet connection could own a press.
(Grassroots Journalism)

Dave Winer:

Video is big with today's kids. I have gotten a whole new appreciation for it, carrying around the Archos. It's a kid magnet. They want to know what it is. I say it plays videos and music, and can run my own software. They think that part is really interesting. How do you get stuff on it, a seven year old asks. I connect it to my laptop. He nods knowingly. What interface? USB 2.0. Uh huh.

This is a new world ladies and gentlemen.
(Scripting News, 4v)

Steve Dahl: Radio is dead because... "I don't need 40 minutes a day of his life"... "What I'm listening to is so niche..."...

Dealing with the world around you: Bluetooth transmitter relays auto diagnostic data

Eleksen’s Bluetooth portable fabric keyboard

5 May
Amazon.com Statistically Improbable Phrases "Click on a SIP to view a list of books in which the phrase occurs..."

Electronic Paper: A Revolution About to Unfold? (Marie Granmar and Adrian Cho)

Developers have high hopes for paper-thin flexible displays, but some technologists say "killer apps" to drive the technology remain to be found...
Ultimately, developers envision a kind of smart scroll that downloads newspapers, magazines, and books wirelessly, says Nick Sheridon, a physicist at the Palo Alto Research Center in California and inventor of Gyricon's technology. Sheridon doubts electronic paper will ever entirely replace paper. "There are books that I will always want on paper," Sheridon says. "But I don't think that anyone is so attached to their newspaper."...
To turn their prototypes into commercial products, though, developers will have to learn to make electronic paper cheaply and in large quantities and build a manufacturing infrastructure capable of challenging existing display technologies. All that could take years, says Stewart Hough, an industry consultant with Advanced Technology Applications in Madera, California. Still, Hough says, companies such as E Ink and Gyricon have found market niches that should keep them afloat until the technology matures. "You've got to fund your habit," he says. And even skeptics expect the first bona fide electronic paper products to reach the market within a decade or so. Electronic paper is coming. The question is when will it arrive--and what will it do when it gets here?
6 May
Judging a Book by Its Contents: Wired on some of Amazon's exploration features
Bill Carr, Amazon's executive vice president of digital media, confirms that this is a serious attempt to sell more books.
"We've been spending a lot of time thinking, 'We have this rich digital content, how can we pull info out and expose it to customers that makes discovery even better?'" Carr said. "What you are seeing here are the fruits of a lot experimenting and brainstorming."
(see this on Statistically Improbable Phrases [SIPs])

7 May
Profiting from obscurity: What the “long tail” means for the economics of e-commerce (Tom Standage, May 5th 2005 From The Economist print edition)

9 May
For Kristen:

Basically, what I have high interest in researching is advertising.
Considering it is what I would like to do as a career post-graduation,
I think it is very important to be cognizant of subtle but effective advertisements
which influence our social realities.
Hence, I would like to do some research on gender?stereotyping in advertising,
specifically regarding women.

I want to point you in the direction of a bunch of disquieting ideas, things to think about as you stand on the end of the Diving Board of Commencement, headed toward the career sketched in that passage. I'm tempted to suggest that you begin with Naomi Klein's No Logo (HD69.B7 K58 2000) and travel outwards from there (see nologo.org, and Spike Magazine article). See also The Logo as Fetish: Marxist Themes in Naomi Klein's No Logo (Matthew Sharpe --and much more interesting than it sounds from the subtitle!). And perhaps also consider
Bakan, Joel.
The corporation : the pathological pursuit of profit and power
New York : Free Press, c2004.
HD2731 .B23 2004. (I have the DVD on order --should be here later this week)

Another essential: The Cluetrain Manifesto (full text here --see especially the Markets Are Conversations chapter ...and hear a minute of Doc Searls on the idea of "market as conversation" as a meme). See Clusty search for 'cluetrain' for some perspective(s) ...and it might be interesting to look at the Amazon SIPs for the book...

and here's a Piece of Evidence: Samsung Q30 notebook, now in red for the ladies --and see other stuff at Popgadget

Information wants to be free? Terry Calhoun, in Campus Technlogy

The origin of the phrase, "Information wants to be free," is with Stewart Brand, creator of The Whole Earth Catalog, CoEvolution Quarterly, and the pioneering online community The WELL. He coined it in 1984 at the first Hackers’ Conference, saying:
"On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other." (Whole Earth Review, May 1985, p. 49.) (Note: At the time, "hackers" meant "programmers.")
John Perry Barlow analogized that since we have no good solution to the challenge of securing digital information and that we are rapidly digitizing everything possible, we are on a sinking ship which is leaking information out from within and taking on water from without.
"Legal efforts to keep the old boat floating are taking three forms: a frenzy of deck chair rearrangement, stern warnings to the passengers that if she goes down, they will face harsh criminal penalties, and serene, glassy-eyed denial." (Wired Magazine, March 1994, “The Economy of Ideas”)

Every time I read these kinds of statements from more than 10 years ago I internally shake my head at their brilliance and my – at the time at least – cluelessness. Sigh.

...I just don’t think it’s true that the average human (or even me) nowadays consumes (more precisely takes in, it’s still all out there, except for olfactory information, which is based on actual physical substances which get used up as we receive the information they carry) more information than humans hundreds of years ago, and here’s why.

First, there is no doubt that we have far more bits and pieces and kinds of information available to us that ever before. But it’s pretty likely that without physical and electronic augmentation of the human brain that we do not have yet, that human brains have not only a ‘carrying capacity’ in terms of storage, but a number of variable limitations on incoming information bandwidth.

Second, we’ve probably increased the throughput of certain kinds of incoming information, but at the same time our culture and technology have placed many of us in an environment which is quite different from the ones that our ancestors lived in. That old truism (which may not be true, although it serves the purpose here) about the Inuit having so many words for “snow” actually points to the fact that the more people pay attention to something in their environment, the more they find there is to it. Kind of like where we’ve gone with science in the past couple hundred years.

Third, we--or rather our culture-–train ourselves to not recognize or see certain kinds of information. Even to actively avoid it. Take the common practice in crowded elevators of everyone facing the front while they travel up or down. We’re looking at a stainless steel wall instead of at maybe 15 other human beings, with all their different faces, hairstyles, clothing, and accouterments. Many of us have even let television or movie stars replace, for purposes of gossip and caring, the kinds of relatives and neighbors who would have filled those roles for us even only 100 years ago. Since what all those stars do is pretty intensely scripted, it’s like living in a gossip monoculture equivalent to 1,000 square miles of the same specific subspecies of wheat.

DJ Spooky Raps About Remixing (Wired News)

Another facet of Wikipedia: Talk: The Long Tail ...from my perspective, the important thing here is that the Process is transparent. We see the Web (in this instance, the Wiki) as a Read-Write Medium. Alas that so few in the ed. biz. seem to have caught on...

www.grokker.com --a Yahoo-driven visualizer of Web searches ...but hors de combat at the moment

Consider the implications: RSS Feeds Available from PubMed®

For Letisha:

Perhaps I could do something involving Japanese movies and their remakes

I really like the movies-and-remakes idea. For me the ones that come to mind are jidai-geki classics: Google 'fistful of dollars' and Yojimbo
and of course Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven. Problem here and now is that you'll have difficulty finding the non-Japanese films (though there's a chapter on Magnificent Seven in PN1995.9.L37 M43 1993, and we DO have Fistful of Dollars: VIDEO PN1995.9.W4 F5 1991 !! --and there's a chapter in Leone's biography: PN1998.3.L455 F738 2000 ...and see others, including an anime remake, available via Netflix. See Clusty search)

The challenge is to say something new, and to get beyond the obvious Web stuff and into other literatures on film --books, criticism in film journals, etc. We do have some cinema journal resources that you should explore, notably Cinema Journal and these film mags. The books on Japanese film need to be explored --don't know how much you'll find there.

for example: Japanese Swordfighters and American Gunfighters J. L. Anderson Cinema Journal, Vol. 12, No. 2. (Spring, 1973), pp. 1-21.

And ?? The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film --see amazon.com record --on order for Leyburn

SIP chains

For Allen:

I want to do my guide on the Enron scandal

A case of there's-so-much... how do we find what's really interesting and important? Lots of things to try, among them

10 May

i wanted to do my topic on opening a business in india. I understand that India is not considered "East Asian" typically but there is no asia major, so I had to deal with what was offered. I wanted to do my thesis on opening a entertainment center in Mumbai that would dip into pop culture as well as managing a full scale working establishment.

Now here's an interesting challenge, taken as an Information problem. Question is, where to begin?

I'll start with my InfoProsthesis: "entertainment centre" mumbai google search (NOTE 'centre' !!) --860+ hits, from which we surely learn that malls are one of the locales, hotels another. I think of 'franchise' as a search term... So ?what and where? are the "entertainment centres" now existing and under development in Mumbai? How would one decide where to locate a new one?

I see that a lot of development is taking place in new towns near Mumbai, like Navi Mumbai (and my friend Zini said as much when she stopped by a month or so ago).

New retail frontier unveiled for brands targeting young adults

What makes the retail space unique is the fact that the space being offered is part of what will be Mumbai’s first, truly integrated ‘young-adult entertainment centre,’ Fun Republic. Young adults as a segment do not currently have any integrated entertainment venues dedicatedly targeted towards their lifestyle and Fun Republic, Andheri, is set to fill this much-felt vacuum when it opens in the next 12-16 weeks.

Basic questions about practicalities... starting a business in mumbai google search: "local partners" are surely a necessity. How do you find them? What do you bring to the partnership? Capital? Skills? hmmmm... Very basic question: what do you have to offer that isn't already well-established? What niches might you fit into --or would you have to create one? What resources do you have for niche-making?

And more generally: starting a business in india google search gets a lot... Starting a Business Details — India from worldbank.org looks like a good basic starting point

case studies of Mumbai startups?

Some basic India info: Times of India is published in Mumbai, and has Economic Times as one of its sections

Looking for something recent and relevant in Annie, found this:
Working across cultures / John Hooker.
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford Business Books, 2003.
HM1211 .H66 2003.

It's interesting to consider the situation of an Indian who seeks to set up a business in the US: what resources can/do they call upon? NB that they are very often Indian community resources --family, extended family, etc. The most obvious case I can think of is the Patels in the motel business (patels motel business google search, for starters...).

Looking over all of the above, 3 May to present, it occurs to me that many of the items I've mentioned are **occurrences since you were born** more or less. Thus, William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984) with its instantiation of "cyberspace" and description of the "consensual hallucination known as the matrix" ...that fundamentally defines the world in which you've grown up. Microcomputers have been on desktops ALL of your lives, and The Web (with its tools of browsers and email and sound/video multimedia) has been with you, as basic reality, for the 10+ years that you've been sentient beings. But most of your uses have been 'passive' in that you've seemingly had (or is it taken? or been presented with?) few opportunities to be contributors, and not much occasion to consider and discuss what it all means to have such tools at fingertips. Google hasn't 'always' been there --indeed, Yahoo and Google weren't there at all 10 years ago (see Google history, and SJMN story on Yahoo's history, and Yahoo's 'Computers and Internet History'), and certainly weren't at the absolute center of people's InfoVerses, as they arguably are now, for most of us. Likewise, Amazon has been afloat for just that 10 years (see Robert Spector's Amazon.com: Get Big Fast [Z473.A485 S64 2002]).

An amazing, indeed unprecedented, decade.

Amazon finds 281 occurrences of "consensual hallucination"

Course pages






16 May
Samuel Johnson:

It is the duty of every man to endeavour that something may be added by his industry to the hereditary aggregate of knowledge and happiness. To add much can indeed be the lot of few, but to add something, however little, every one may hope. Rambler #129 (June 11, 1751)

ccmixter.org "a community music sharing site featuring songs licensed under Creative Commons, where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want."

buzztracker.org ("Using Google, the site gives a visual representation of news on the net." --Larry Lessig)

Bruce Mau's Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

?? What's the most important question?

On Women and Employment in Japan:

Google search "women's employment" japan
The Changing Sexual Division of Labor in Postwar Japan
TANAKA Sigeto (tsigeto@nik.sal.tohoku.ac.jp)
Kazoku Syakaigaku Kenkyu (Japanese Journal of Family Sociology, ISSN 0916-328X), 8: p.151-161, 208 (July 1996).

Changing Japanese Employment Patterns and Women's Participation: Anticipating the Implications of Employment Trends by Colleen M. Fox

'Equal Employment Opportunity Law System' and Women Bill Gordon

The Situation of Women in Japan
Japan Institute of Workers' Evolution
(see also History of the JIWE)

Glenda S. Roberts' review of Women's Working Lives in East Asia. Edited by Mary C. Brinton. Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2001

Gender Equality in the Workplace, at Home and in the Community
(Type of M-shaped curves differ by prefectures)

Problems of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law
By SAKAI, Kazuko

Female Labor Force After the Enforcement of The Equal Employment Opportunity Law
Sachiko Imada

Women's Employment in Japan: The Experience of Part-time Workers Kaye Broadbent
see Amazon record
The low status accorded to part-time workers in Japan has resulted in huge inequalities in the workplace. This book, based on extensive original research, including case study investigations in Japanese workplaces, examines the problem in depth, and hows the extent of inequality. It shows how many part-time workers, most of whom are women, are concentrated in low paid, low skill, poorly unionised service sector jobs. Part-time workers in Japan work hours equivalent to, or greater than, full-time workers but receive lower financial and welfare benefits than their full-time colleagues. Overall, the book demonstrates that the way part-time work is constructed in Japan re-inforces and institutionalises the sexual division of labour.

Japanese Women Working by Janet Hunter

A way of indexing del.icio.us: populicio.us new links by popularity in the last 24, 48 hours

Network effect from Wikipedia

Tag Soup from Yahoo

17 May
Gigablast indexes 2+ billion pages

Remix Your Web (O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, mid-March 2005)

Udell Keene screencast

Amazon.com, Ebooks and "Chump Change" (rjnagle on kuro5in)

...aftermarket reselling of books is decreasing the time window in which publishers and content creators can make money. A book retailing initially at $20 can sell used for 25 cents or less within a year or less (to the detriment of the author's royalties.) The biggest beneficiary of the "aftermarket" is none other than Amazon.com, with its ever-increasing transaction fees...

Curiously, in an age of widespread literacy and access to all kinds of books, people are reading fewer books and when they do, it is the same old crap everybody else is reading . People have offered explanations: competing entertainment choices, the decline of independent bookstores, the abundance of books tied in with other media properties... Litblogging has gone a long way to counteract this narrowing of tastes by exposing people to a wider variety of writers (the same has been happening in the world of MP3 Bloggers) . But mainstream success is still defined by the public as coverage in Big Media, which is increasingly focused on its own media properties.

...ontent creators need a way to sell and distribute content with less restrictive licenses (i.e., Creative Commons or Founder's Copyright). People are using more liberal licenses not just to be "nice" but to make it easier to publicize and promote their works. Audience building lies at the heart of the problem. As publisher Tim O'Reilly once wrote, "Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy."

By acquiring a Print-on-Demand (POD) company and an ebook software company, Amazon.com is retooling itself to offer a complete publishing solution to authors disenchanted with the current state of publishing. We may soon live in a world where authors can upload content into Amazon's content management system, which then can sell it on demand as a physical object or digital ebook.

...This past year marked two watershed moments in the ebook world: a grayscale ebook reader (Ebookwise 1150) began selling near the $100 range, and a high-end reader (Cybook ) capable of reading most ebook formats began selling near the $400 range. Both devices allow importing of .txt, .rtf and .html files.

Cory Doctorow's anti-DRM talk ("originally given to Microsoft's Research Group and other interested parties from within the company at their Redmond offices on June 17, 2004")

Self Publishing Changes All the Rules? Tim O'Reilly, April 24, 2005

google-watch.org, for a different perspective...

Lawrence Lessig, from Web 2.0:

Remix 1 3 minutes: "...an extraordinarily important freedom that our culture guarantees... a freedom to remix..."
remix 2 2 minutes: "the potential of this technology is new, and the restrictions are new..."
remix 3 another 2 minutes: "the world of freedom that text people enjoy was not written for the world that multimedia is..."

Remixed for today's class

18 May
Playlists, wireless discovery, and social discovery

Rolling up RSS

Some of the best brief characterizations of API, from http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/an_exercise_in_clarity_api.php

a protocol droid for computer programs - Megl

One half of a piece of computer velcro ;) - Warren

A set of sockets for other programs to plug in to. - Josh Wand

Superglue your cat to your dog. Meowoof. Except useful. - Jim Lindley

Makes your app a server, and other apps its clients.

“An API lets my code get at your data.”

19 May
I mentioned my own experience with Google Accelerator in class on Tuesday, but this posting puts it into a useful context in pointing to attention as the fungible. Steve Gillmor sez:

The main problem with spyware is unauthorized access to attention metadata. But like Rojo, and less efficient attention farms such as Bloglines, you know upfront that you’re delivering metadata to a proprietary cloud. With Web Accelerator, apparently you’re teaching Google to intelligently cache your pages based on look-ahead link farming. That by itself will produce some broadband acceleration, some Javascript autodelete errors, and a wealth of attention metadata about who, what, and when you read. So far so good–for Google.

Unlike spyware, you have agreed to provide this metadata in return for a service–acceleration, lack of latency, perceived real-time responsiveness. Google gets a larger footprint that expands upon search to the fruits of search. The more intelligently it mines this metadata, the more usefully it can predict what information you are looking for, not just the knowable links but the discoverable ones. This is the doorway to broad opportunities–the Google Office desktop suite, and the offline synchronization model that will push this to the enterprise.

With GMail extended to calendaring and RSS, a persistent and discoverable store for events and their corollary byproducts–tickets, babysitters, rentals, hotels, t-shirts, vertical iPods–is enabled. Predicting desirable events based on disruptively synchronous sales events (a low-fare rountrip to London and a Cream reunion RSS item with high bubble-up priority) will offer attention-derived value to users in return for their comprehensive metadata. Surely this is the monetization path for Accelerator.

The good news for us attention junkies is that the only way forward into that virtuous circle of metadata is API access. Just because attention may start or prosper in a proprietary space doesn’t mean it will remain locked there. One look at craigslist tell us that an open marketplace of attention metadata will emerge as the glue between these private gardens–a kind of forever wild preserve owned by the users. In this context, Bloglines is good, Rojo is better, Web Accelerator potentially even better, and all of them plus an attention garden the best.

It’s this aggregation of trust, affinity, and interest that we call our family in this virtual age. Attention is not automation; it’s the aggregation of gestures that model our instincts, hopes, and ethics. Cars extend our reach, but then we get out and walk up the steps to our destination. With attention and its fruit, we can turn search on its head, empowering ideas to find the people they need to spread their wings. Don’t worry–we’ll know it when we see it.

Consider disintermediation, via Alex Steffen and Bruce Sterling at SXSW:

disintermediate fabrication and fabjects

Wikipedia on Disintermediation

World Wide Words on Disintermediation

The Myth Of Disintermediation (Michael Hammer, Information Week July 10, 2000)

The Internet has spawned many myths, perhaps the greatest of which is disintermediation. This term first became part of the lexicon during the revolution in financial services precipitated by the high interest rates of the 1970s. At that time, consumers discovered they could get better returns on their money by disintermediating--i.e., cutting out banks and directly investing in the same money markets as the banks.

Today, disintermediation is supposedly dooming distributors, retailers, wholesalers, and all other intermediaries between manufacturers (or service providers) and the ultimate customer. Because the Internet lets customers connect to and order from the primary source of a product, there's presumably no need for traditional distribution channels and their costs and delays. The great role model for all of this is Amazon.com, whose success in the book business has caused much consternation and gnashing of teeth in many other industries. This is the conventional wisdom, and, as usual, the conventional wisdom is wrong.

A more reasoned view of the impact of the Internet on distribution channels is that it will transform but not eliminate them. The reality is that customers need a significant amount of value to be added to most products before they can buy and use them...

20 May
danah boyd on what buzztracker really shows (emphasis added!):

a visualization of the locations of Google News stories, letting you quickly see how litle of the world is actually covered by the news. This visualization complements Ethan Zuckerman's arguments about news coverage. What we need now are two maps - what the news covers and what the blogosphere covers. As much as Ethan's stats are useful, there's nothing like a map to let you viscerally get it.

23 May
Taxonomies and Tags: From Trees to Piles of Leaves (Dave Weinberger)

Consider this as a way of publishing:

Darknet Mini-book chapters

Concept: darknets

...the vast, gathering, lawless economy of shared music, movies, television shows, games, software, and porn—a one-touch jukebox that would rival the products and services of the entertainment companies...

For the most part, the Darknet is simply the underground Internet. But there are many darknets: the millions of users trading files in the shady regions of Usenet and Internet Relay Chat, students who send songs and TV shows to each other using instant messaging services from AOL, Yahoo, and Microsoft, city streets and college campuses where people copy, burn, and share physical media like CDs, and the new breed of encrypted dark networks like Freenet...

The Darknet is less a place or a thing than an idea. On a mundane level, the Darknet is about getting free stuff. On a deeper level, it’s about millions of people engaging in a shared media experience and finding a clandestine way to detour around restrictions imposed by the entertainment industries...

Certainly, much Darknet conduct is illegal. Clearly, many underground activities are ethically dubious or flat-out wrong. But much of it is also understandable as people look for ways to restore balance to a system that has become stacked against digital culture...

Story: The tech and CE industries get cozy with Hollywood

Darknet index, the whole thing...

Is the Long Tail full of crap?

First, let's get one thing straight: the Long Tail is indeed full of crap. But it's also full of works of refined brilliance and depth--and an awful lot in between. Exactly the same can be said of the Web itself. Ten years ago, people complained that there was a lot of junk on the Internet and, sure enough, any casual surf quickly confirmed that. Then along came search engines to help pull some signal from the noise and finally Google, tapping the wisdom of the crowd itself to turn a mass of incoherence into the closest thing to an oracle the world has ever seen.

On a store shelf or in any other limited means of distribution, the ratio of good to bad matters because it's a zero sum game. Space for one eliminates space for the other. Prominence for one obscures the other. If there are ten crappy toys for each good one in the aisle, you'll think poorly of the toy store and be discouraged from browsing. Likewise it's no fun to flip through bin after bin of CDs if you haven't heard of any of them.

But where you have unlimited shelf space, it's an infinite sum game. The billions of crappy web pages about whatever are not a problem in the way that billions of crappy CDs on the Tower Records shelves would be. Inventory is "non-rivalrous" and the ratio of good to bad is simply a signal-to-noise problem, solvable with information tools.

Which is to say it's not much of a problem at all. You just need better filters, such as good search engines. The fact that screens 10 and beyond of your Google search results are unhelpful doesn't matters because screens 1-3 are so useful. The noise is still out there, but Google allows you to effectively ignore it. Filters rule!

The following is this expressed graphically. As you go down the Long Tail the signal-to-noise ratio gets worse. Thus the only way you can maintain a consistently good enough signal to find what you want is if your filters get increasingly powerful.

Jon Udell's walking tour of Keene ...and see Bloogz citations

Two books to explore further:

McLeod, Kembrew, 1970-
Freedom of expression : overzealous copyright bozos and other enemies of creativity
New York : Doubleday, 2005.
KF2979 .M348 2005.

Lessig, Lawrence.
Free culture : how big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity
New York : Penguin Press, 2004.
CALL NO. KF2979 .L47 2004.
(says Siva Vaidhyanathan: "the best book ever written about intellectual property" [American Scholar 2005 Spring, pg 132])

The Last Class