Video and Transcription of Joi Ito at our February 8, 2009 Reunion and Reception

Joi Ito, Tim’s Godson, said a few words to the crowd at our February 8 event.

Actually, the whole reunion and reception was originally Joi’s idea!

(That’s Futique Trust Trustee Denis Berry introducing Joi Ito in the very beginning.)

Complete Transcription

Denis Berry: That young man that spent so much time in Timothy’s living room – here’s Joi Ito.

Joi: Hello. Thank you. I’m one of the new nerds. I actually didn’t know Tim that long, I met him in 1999… (Ed note: People speaking up in crowd – Joi is ten years off – they all figure out it was more like 1989. See the next blog post for details about how they met.)

So I had just a sliver of his life, but it was very intense. So it’s really interesting for me, to meet and see all the people from before that, that he talked about so much.

But, I remember one of the things that we’d focus a lot on was this whole notion of “cyberspace.” He kept talking about the social thing. It was about empowering. It wasn’t about vending machines and efficiency and power. And so, one of the things, first of all, he would have invented MySpace and Facebook and blogs and all this stuff, if were here. So he’d actually be rich. Unfortunately, he didn’t get that far.

But, one of the really important things also, I think, was that, as he was preparing for his death, he was thinking about the online stuff. He was thinking about the archives. But he wasn’t necessarily the best at keeping things kind of in order. I mean, he was kind of a mess, to be honest. And so, what’s really amazing about this party, and what you’ve done with the archives and the digitization, is, in the past, wasn’t it – John weren’t you the one to say “you get the Timothy Leary you deserve” right? So we would all get the little Timothy Leary that we deserve, we would be on our way, and we would never come back together again. And the archives would end up in some basement somewhere, and that’d be the end of it. But now, if we could put the archives back online, and all of put the Timothy Learys that we deserve, connect again, and tie up our lose ends, we can actually re-create him, and he’s coming back to life.

And this is really what we’re doing. And this is really the Internet that Barlow’s been talking about – that Tim’s been talking about, and actually, in fact, ya know I think it was – i’m trying to remember who it was – said that “the last collapse was the Internet fending off the attack” right – and I think that the new internet is all about the social, and so I think putting the archives online – putting us all back together, reconnecting loose ends, is really about bringing Tim back to life.

And luckily, we have every excruciating piece of his life in the archive, so as long as we can keep those safe, and put that back online, I think Timothy will be actually “back.”

And, one thing I remember, when there was, actually a John C. Lilly event, in Tokyo. And, everybody was talking about Lilly all day long, and at the end of it, he was supposed to go up and speak. And he said, “You know, I’m not going to say anything, because you all know me better a lot better than I can ever remember anything about me.” And, similarly, I think, collectively, we know more about Tim than he ever did. And so, we will actually make a Tim that’s much more complete than whenever he was alive. And so, hopefully, we can work together and for that we need to save the archives and make them available online. Thank you.

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