Saturday, March 03, 2007


Recently I met with Mr. Mochio Umeda, the famed visionary based in Silicon Valley, in the headquarters of the IT venture "Hatena" in Tokyo. In the talk, we touched upon the subject of "rage".

Mochio described how rage directed towards the status quo has driven technological innovations in the United States. Experience has shown that whenever people with visions for a (in their view) better future clash with those who have established interests in the present system, the futurists on average have scored victory in the long run.

In the beginning, naturally, people with visions are stuck with the present system, friction from several directions preventing their every move. Their rage towards the status quo then erupts, and kick-starts a series of movements that eventually lead to the breakdown of the present system.

Mochio described a particularly impressive anecdote about one of his mentors. This visionary, who have advocated the concept of life-long computing long before the technologies which would materialize the concept, once mail-ordered a software. That software came in a floppy disk. When the mentor saw the disk packed in a box with filler materials, he was so outraged that he tore open the box and destroyed the filler materials, crying that the only essential thing in the box was the "digital bits", and everything else was redundant and superfluous.

We all know how digital information has come to be distributed in the modern world.

It is reported that the BBC has come to an agreement with youtube about the distribution of its content in the newly emerging internet video site. No matter whatever legal reasons you might cite to explain why a particular change would not happen, things that serve people's interest in the long run would materialize. And behind the rapid development of technologies and social structure are the rages of the visionaries and digiratis.

1 comment:

susie said...

I wonder whether or not rage towards status quo drives technological innovation in Japan as well.