Privacy in California, and Japanese Blogs

Patricia Dunn, the ex-Hewlett-Packard chairwoman, was indicted. Good. Who did she think she was? Under what moral scheme did she think it was justified to launch an illegal investigation into the private lives of Hewlett-Packard board members, just because she was upset that one of them might have leaked information to the press?

Privacy is quickly disappearing from our culture - but it's good to know that at least in the courtroom of one California judge the concept has some merit.

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According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, blogs are even more popular in Japan than they are in the USA. "It may be that they represent an appealing outlet in a culture that discourages public self-expression," says Yukari Iwatani Kane, who wrote the story.

By April, Japan had produced 8.7 million blogs, compared to an estimated 12 million in this country. On a relative basis, considering that Japan's population is about 120 million compared to 300 million here, that's strong.

A great story about a Japanese blog: A Japanese businessman went online a few years ago to secretly complain about his domineering wife. Under the pen name "Kazuma," he chronicled how she snatched food from his plate, sent him shopping in a typhoon, and made him sleep in the living room when he caught a cold.

Now his wife is a superstar. Dubbed Oni-yome (Demon Wife), she's the main character in a book, a television drama, a comic-book serialization, a videogame, and an upcoming movie.

More power to the Internet for democratizing creative production.

posted by M. Masterson @ 9:12 AM,

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