Are you humane?

There is a japanese term, ichigen-san otogawari, roughly: "by introduction only". It describes a practice of some restaurants to only accept guests they have a relation to – by introduction through a former guest, or by a prior conversation in person or by exchanging a couple of emails. It's not about exclusivity, since everyone is welcome. The prerequisite is solely to explain one's motivations for coming, and making a modicum of time and effort to understand the restaurant's approach. This way, it is protected from diners who come without actual interest and appreciation for what is offered – it can operate with a level of safety and comfort.

This principle may be an influence for better digital spaces – in contrast to the ubiquitous and immediate access expected in digital media. Direct relations disperse the focused pressure created by social media networks: Requiring a human mode of interaction, requiring users to momentarily think and consider the other, to consider language, is enough to transform expectations and ensure eye level in following interactions.

Ichigen-san otogawari acts as a kind of captcha – ensuring that the guest, client or user is actually human. Not in the sense that it is not a machine or bot, but in the sense that it has the capacity to be attentive for a brief moment, and considerate of others. It is a vetting system any human being is able to pass.