Architecting a “best” Scenario: Digital Communities that Self-Balance on Reputation, Privacy & other Norms

From IIW

Architecting Future Scenarios: Digital communities that self-balance on reputation, privacy & other norms // Pen Names

Thursday 5E Convener: Matthew Schutte, Amy Ng Notes-taker(s): Matt and Amy

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

Future Scenarios Audio/Video link:  

This was a discussion about possible future scenarios for information systems and society. Discussions included: - The Borg - Totalitarian Regimes - Corporate Feudalism - Anarchist Dystopia - Global Networks that mimic local villages and reputation

Discussion also dove specifically into Privacy, Technology that facilitates privacy control as well as concepts such as areas where such technology fails for certain people or purposes while succeeding for others. Amy’s Notes for Pen Names: The session ended up being mostly about Matt's topic. In general, I had assumed that folks would want to have separate actual identities (legal) and pen name (artistic) identities. I also had a second assumption that people would want pen name identities to expire at some point, but the group didn't agree with this last point. I used an analogy of old computer systems: mainframe computers, VAX machines, SGI workstations, IBM desktops, the Atari 800, 5-1/4" floppy disks, 3-1/2" floppy disks, iOmega drives, etc., and talked about how those technologies didn't have forwards compatibility built into them, so why would we expect our identities to do that?

So the summary is that 1) everyone agreed that they wanted separate identities on the internet, and that there are various ways to achieve that technologically, and 2) no one agreed that those identities should expire, since the feeling was that it helped someone build their reputation online, and that the background / history would help aid that.

Matt - People within the group didn't think it was technologically likely that identities would expire, which is different from thinking that they "shouldn't" expire. An example: people can always snap a photo of the original, and could write translation software that makes "unreadable" content (due to storage in some deprecated medium) readable by anyone.

An awareness about the limits of our ability to use technology to enforce expiration led the people in the discussion to focus instead on searching for other tools to help communities agree upon, and enforce, expectations about concepts such as expiration of identities, redemption and similar such norms related actions.