Friday, August 28, 2009

Tokyo, hacker space and disruption...

Hi girls and guys. How are you doing?

This time, it's about the Tokyo Hacker Space
(THS). My purpose, again, is not to destroy the object of the discussion but to raise questions to improve the overall thing.

First of all,
although I have absolutely no experience organizing and attending hacker spaces, I believe that such a space should aim at creating disruptive things, using the values of the country where it' s active.

So I'd say that a hacker space must generate "Local Disruption".
Hackers, what do you think?

Here, obviously we're in Japan.

From my perspective, there are 3 things that are genuinely interesting in Japan:

1- virtual realities: with in particular, 2-dimension worlds (such as mangas) and video games. You still have Nintendo
as a leading innovative company. No need to talk about the manga culture.

2- sexuality: after all, a lot of foreign people (male and female) come to Japan because they are interested in Japanese girls and guys (including me), sex wise. Nothing wrong about it. And it's not specific to Japan, you would say. OK, fine.
But fuuzoku (風俗), gokon (合コン), soap land (ソープ), hosto (ホスト), kyabakura (キャバクラ), and love hotels (ラブホ) are specific to Japan.

And this is an area which has to be explored, in case you are interested in rationalizing sexuality, which I am.

provides people with so much sexual information. We must do something about it, besides having sex., seriously.

3- robotics: I have two companies in mind, right at this very moment.

Cyberdyne and Honda.

Have a look at HAL and Asimo, if you don't know them yet.
Artificial intelligence is something I would love to work on personally but it seems that it requires higher resources than just working on an Arduino.

But, let's go back to the topic of this post. Last Thursday, I went to the first barbecue of THS. It was nice to see such a large place. But I couldn't see people with a special expertise in 1-, 2- or 3-.
Probably I shouldn't be too much demanding right, from the first day.
But more importantly, I couldn't see any people that wanna disrupt things in the good way. If there are no disruptive leaders to follow, how on earth will you be able to construct new things and how on earth are you going to have fun, really?

However there are core members, and the Shannons (Lauren-san in particular) are among them.
Without them, there wouldn't be even any physical place.

Yet, I believe that core members are not enough. You need a bunch of disruptors (Karamoon is one of them.)
Otherwise, the place will become a kinder garden or a bar, very quickly...

I may be wrong but I wanted to give you my take on that.
Again, as we are used to saying at BunkerSofa , memes are selfish and shameless. We do not criticize the creators. We criticize their creations.

Please tell me what you think. Cheers.


  1. As a general rule, you are free to do whatever you want to do, innovate or study. So, if they seem not to do "local disruption" in your sense, that sould be fine, right?

    However, what I think you have a problem with, Pascal, is the fact that, from what you saw from the last BBQ party, you found that it did not reflect the name of Tokyo Hacker Space and the bran "Hacker Space", right?

    From your perspecive, "Tokyo" should correspond to
    local values peculiar to the disruption you can find in Tokyo.
    "Hacker" should correspond to the notion of disruption and brainstorming and not drinking networking event..

    Do you confirm my interpretation of your thoughts?
    If so, then I agree with the blogspot☆

  2. yes I have a problem with the definition of hacker.

    So let s rely on wikipedia:

    That s true that there is no notion of disruption.
    A hackerspace is a space to share, collaborate, make things which are not necessarily new.

    Fine, in that case, I am out. but I still have this image of the hacker that wanna disturb the dogma.

  3. #2. hahaha. actually, I thought you made a good point about it becoming a kindergarden or a bar. I also would like to see some disruption, however the level that hacker spaces are open to may not really be a target for that. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's not a professional organization, but could lead some to choose a related profession. Obviously, the current economic situation isn't going to help any of that. The ones that would normally have the money and skill to help make all of it possible are having to focus on the basics of daily life at the moment.

  4. The key to a hacker space regarding your particular 'quests,' is that; If you can convince others to go along with you, then you can do it.

    So... Its not that anyone at THS is against your suggestions. Its simply that 1: It hasn't been thought of. 2: You are the first to suggest those particular avenues of work 3: we are much more focused on actually realizing the space, rather than pinning down what each and every one of us will do.

    Don't be 'out' simply because the group hasn't chosen to do what you want. Consider it an opportunity to 'hack' the 'hacker space'

    Once the space is running and self sufficient, there is no hard and fast rules about the kinds of projects you want to work on. Its both individual and collaborative. Do your own thing.

    And, one final note: You dont really know who are experts in what fields based on one meeting. To be honest, If you are looking for people who made Asimov like creations, you are shooting pretty high. But, I for one have a strong interest in robotics and some of the knowledge (at least on the hardware side) to back that up.

    It takes time to build a community.. especially one like a Hacker Space. It will evolve as the membership grows, and the individuals gain more skills through the utilizing the space itself.


  5. Hi MRE.

    Tks for the constructive comment.

    I agree on the fact that If I really want to do something regarding 1,2 and 3, I should propose everyone the topics, which I did not.
    The reason? Well I am not that used to talking in public.
    So maybe the THS will be a good opportunity to start doing so :)


    Regarding your robotics knowledge, I d be very happy to know more about your taste. Artificial intelligence is really the revolution that can change the world drastically.

    And what can I offer potentially to the THS?
    Well I would start projects regarding 1-,2- and 3- by defining a set of principles, by defining the product and the roadmap.
    (At BunkerSofa, this is what we have been doing since the beginning. We are developing an items discovery system.)
    I think I am very good at questioning things and analyzing concepts. Again, this is the area I would be likely to contribute to.

    I agree also on the fact that you have just started the thing. So it s easy to criticize like I do from the beginning.

    But I cannot help myself. :)
    I would be happy to keep on questioning things so that you can make the best out of the space.

  6. Sean, i agree on the fact that such a hacker space does not need to be disruptive, in essence.

    And this is the main question: should a hacker space be disruptive?

    I think yes.

    But if the majority of ppl think no, well it s gonna be difficult for me to find ppl whith whom I wanna share things and since sharing is crucial in a hacker space, I am gonna be kicked out quickly :)

  7. This video of the THS gives me the feeling that it s about the communications gap between Japanese and foreign in Tokyo.
    And about sharing good life together, at least good time.
    Where is the disruption?


  8. ビデオはこれです:

    the video I was talking just above is :