Weekend Report

Back at work now after a busy weekend that started with dinner in rainy Shibuya, a stop at Neoteny, rush to the office, home early, quiet night, up early, prowling the back streets of Akihabara, buying hard drives, Sobu sen to shinjuku, yakitori in a back street chicken shack in Shinjuku listening to the Beatles, mad dashes through Shinjuku station, taxis, trains, cell phones, new friends, new restaurants, after midnight at a blues bar drinking Lagavulin and listening to Leadbelly, missed trains, taxis, new friends on spare futons, up at the crack of dawn for bagels and coffee, installing hard disks and having them catch fire, more trains to Shinjuku, the “Romance Car” train to Kamakura, soba lunch, temple with no Daibutsu, slow bus, temple with Daibutsu, lots of pictures, playing catch with an Akatombo toy, train to Enoshima, fireworks on the beach, beers and yakisoba at a beach cafe while watching the topless surfer girl and finally local trains home, somehow managing to wake up at each necessary transfer and dragging ourselves back to our suddenly-empty apartment.
Pictures will follow…

Busy Morning

Boris got in to Tokyo last night so Yuka and I braved the rain for his first glimpse of Shibuya and a nice dinner at Sei Ryu Mon.
This morning, we stopped by Neoteny‘s office for a quick hello with Joi, so Boris could pick up a camera keitai and try to do some moblogging.
(We also got Moblogged by Joi with his incredibly cool camera phone.)
(Of course we all pulled out laptops and popped on to IRC for a quick chat…)


This picture is one of Yuka’s – a display of stockings in Shibuya the other night.
(She’s a better photographer than I am…)


Saw Victoria Beckham tonight in Omotesando at the Missoni shop.
Woo hoo.
Hard to miss the huge crowd that was following her around, tracking her with GPS cellphones and instant messages…

Halley’s Comment

The other day on Joi Ito’s IRC channel, someone asked what the big deal about weblogs was. Why, after years of being written, did they suddenly seem to matter so much? Why are so many people paying attention to them now?
Being in a bit of a trollish mood, I ventured that perhaps they matter now because women were now playing the game, where, for the most part, they hadn’t been before.
Some of the people reading instinctively disagreed, but as I was reading what I was writing, I realized that I just might be on to something.
Blogging tools have made it easy to just write, without having to prove yourself at proficiency with VI and FTP and a myriad of arcane tools and commands. Of course there have always been women who were good at using these tools, but until some point, personal publishing on the web was about publishing on the web, which was a bit about having bragging rights, which is a bit of a male thang
Now, anyone can publish, it’s as easy as using hotmail. The process can fade into the background and the message can rise up and take prominence.
I think having women along side us is teaching men how to be better writers. I know that I write more honestly and I care less about who reads, or, more specifically, how many people read.
I welcome the change – It’s more rewarding.
Halley Suitt wrote a piece the other day that seems to say many of the same things that I was feeling:

Halley’s Comment

Around about 1999, a new bunch of blogs started showing up

Just so you know

It’s about the quotes.
No, not the things I might happen to quote, but the way I do it. Yes, I put the period outside the quotes wherever possible. I know that it’s “wrong”.
I do it anyway.
I mean, of these two, which makes more sense, logically?
This is a “word.”
This is a “word”.
Yes, the second is much better…

Maybe it comes from writing computer code, where punctuation has to fit logical rules. I can’t remember if I always did it this way, but perhaps.

An interesting thing to note, although a bit apocryphal at this point, (since I’ve forgotten where I learned it,) is that the custom of putting ending punctuation inside the quotes is a fairly recent custom, one born with the invention of movable type. (Not “Movable Type”, the weblogging program, but actual movable type as in presses and Gutenberg.)
Back in the late 1400s, typesetting was born. Since printers could now play with things like justified text and leading and kerning, they noticed that they could really make sentences line up nicely in columns if they didn’t have a period hanging off the end of the sentence after a quote…
Until that time, the way I do it was considered correct.
Speaking of early printing, I used to have a few sheets of “incunabula”, which are things printed with movable type before the year 1500. If you ever see examples, you may be struck by how new and fresh they look, due to the incredible quality of the paper they used. They’re fairly cheap to buy, generally they’re just a page from some Latin religious text, not interesting in what they say, but in the fact that you can hold something in your hands that was made over 500 years ago…