Six degrees

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 December, 2011, 12:00am

Joichi Ito (below), one of the world's leading techno-futurist entrepreneurs, was in Hong Kong last week to give a speech about 21st-century innovation and creativity. The chairman of Creative Commons, Ito has also found time to popularise several genres of electronic music in Japan and bring underground fashion label Anarchic Adjustment to the country. That slightly subversive side isn't quite so surprising when you consider that he is a godson - although probably not in the Christian sense - of Timothy Leary ...

The psychologist, writer and countercultural hero unsuccessfully ran for governor of California shortly after he was released from prison for marijuana possession in 1969. His campaign slogan was 'Come together, join the party' and a song was created to accompany it. Called Come Together, it was performed by a man whom Leary joined at the Montreal Bed-In. There, Leary contributed vocals to Give Peace a Chance, another well-known ditty by the performer, John Lennon ...

A top songwriter and peace activist he may have been, but in his early years the Beatle had his rough edges. His first wife, Cynthia Powell, bore the brunt of much physical and emotional abuse, including the indignity of finding her husband, evidently post-coital, at their family home with Yoko Ono. Lennon and Powell first got together while students at Liverpool College of Art, when she dyed her hair blond in an attempt to attract his attention. Powell had heard he was obsessed with famed blonde Brigitte Bardot ...

The French actress and animal rights activist has been in the spotlight in recent years for her increasingly unpleasant views, including her complaints that France is being invaded by Muslims. She was convicted of inciting religious hatred for writing that she was 'fed up with being under the thumb of this population that is destroying us' in a letter to then French interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy ...

France's president himself has a mixed history with Muslims. On the one hand he tried to open up dialogue with French Muslims when interior minister; on the other hand, while president, he has been one of the more vehement opponents of Turkey joining the European Union because it's 'in Asia'. For this, he has been criticised by, among others, officials of Turkey's close ally, the United States, including former deputy secretary of state John Negroponte ...

The politician, who has been US ambassador to the Philippines, Mexico and Honduras, comes from a famous family. His father, Dimitri, was a shipping tycoon, and younger brother Nicholas is co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, which earlier this year appointed a new director: Joichi Ito.


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