Yoshihiro, here are my responses to my interview questions.
Hope this is sufficient!


So I have some question about FringeWare.

>First, what is fringe culture?

We usually describe the denizens of fringe culture as "neophiliacs." I don't know how well that translates into Japanese, but "neo" means "new" and "philiac" means "lover," so this describes one who loves to be at the edges of what's new and what's cool. That's associated with digital cultures or virtual cultures, which are the cultures growing on and around computer networks, because if you're "wired" you have the fastest communication, and it's global, which means that you can stay in touch with the newest of the new.

Another way of describing fringe culture is just in terms of being outside the mainstream, what we began to call "counterculture" in the 60s and, later, "alternative culture." These folks are not always affiliated with computers or with what's new, but because they are extremely perceptive & aware, they see things that most folks don't see about the human condition...so they're on the outside because they see a different world, therefore can't fit in with folks whose vision is different, more limited.

Before we had a global computer network, the folks on the fringe were isolated in their respective geographical and national spaces, but now they can find each other online and create communities...it's sorta like boarding the Mayflower to leave for the new world, only we don't have to go anywhere, we just have to log on and we're in a different community that's not limited by nationality or ideology.

At FringeWare, we think of the new neotribal cultures as cyborganic, which is a term that we coined based on the term cyborg, a partially organic robot. What we're really describing is a friendly interface or relationship of man to machine. Not necessarily an implanting of technology without the body, as described in so many cyberpunk works, but a uniting of the body with new technologies in ways that are life-enhancing rather than destructive to life.

>Second, how do you establish commercial market? Is it possiible that altenative culture can succes commercially in coomputer culture scene or new media scene?

We're capitalists, but we don't believe in economic explotiation, so we're working with a model of capitalism that is friendly to the interests of human beings, i.e. "economics as if people mattered," E.F. Schumacher's phrase. Though in many ways we are constrained by the capitalist environment to follow the usual behaviors suggested by "profit motive," we are trying to evolve toward a concept of marketing that is integrated with community, that is driven by affiliation rather than hype. We sometimes describe this as a "street market in cyberspace."

>Third, why do you think that this computer culture have possibiltiies for you?

For me as an individual? Well, more than anything, I'm a communicator, and there is no more powerful communications medium in the world. Consider this: you're in Japan, on the other side of the world from me, but we're conversing online as though we were next door neighbors.

Then there's the possibility for community development, and I guess we're putting that to the test as more and more folks find themselves online. But I think we're building a new kind of relationship here, one that is potentially very lilberating. We're moving our souls over fiber optic cable, and we have the potential to evolve a very conscious way of experiencing the world, if we're not buried first beneath a glut of mindless entertainment. I hope you'll all demand something better than that; I know that we are...

thx jonl

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TAZ/CEO, FringeWare, Inc. jonl@fringeware.com URL http://fringeware.com/staff/jonl/jonl.html voxmail 512-444-2693 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= FringeWare

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