From the Web 2.0 World

I spent a lot of today looking through my ‘tech’ feeds (yes I have an RSS reader going again) and found some interesting posts….

You Departed – so you can leave messages for your family after you die from Tech Crunch

Identity Theft targets pedigree poodle from Boing Boing

Why Open Source Software is Social Media from James Governor’s Monkchips

Their has been an interesting conversation about the word and meaning of ‘USER” in the software world.

Thomas Vander Wal – Still Throwing Out the User
Tech Crunch – Long Live the User
Charlene Li – observations from the ‘user’ debate

The DHS secret list of buildings you can’t photograph from Boing Boing.

Blackberry vs iPhone on TechCrunch
This really cute parody video

Community Organizer #1 Job of the Future by Seth Godin

House Cats and their Domestication History on Boing Boing.

Ikea opens hostel for shoppers in Norway on Boing Boing

Highlights from BlogHer

Ok. I will give you the IDENTITY highlights first…

I lead a session on OpenID at the unconference on sunday and the two of the four guys who were at the unconference came to the session (none of the women did). They wanted me to explain what it was because they had heard the ‘buzz’ about it and wondered.

I did get to explain OpenID to a feminist activist and photographer Laurie Toby Edison who was active in the 60’s she understood it. This was a good feeling. After years of explaining the idea (at first in theory and now in reality) of Identity on the web – I know I can explain it to just about anyone who has some computer/web literacy (it helped that she had been active blogger for over 2 years). I think this is our major challenge…expanding who is using it. I think there is a huge opportunity to get the women bloggers using OpenID – hopefully there will be some services that cater specifically to that audience.

I found a search engine that lets you link up you on the web – called Lijit. Basically you tell it your LinkedIn, Flickr, Twitter, Flickr, Blog addresses and…it can then search across them…it makes YOU and your content a resource. I said to Tara their evangelist “so it is like ClaimID but with Search” but she didn’t know about ClaimID. I am inviting her to DIDW so hopefully we can all get the scoop on Lijit. I have been thinking about the ‘non-google’ search engine space and what is out there that is better then google.

I ran into Hakia again. They are a semantic search company (this is going to be ‘the year of sematic search I think… (or as we sometimes like to joke there are 3 years in one year ‘internet time’) [reminder to self…blog about visit to the Sematic Technology conference this spring] I have not used their search engine yet – there does seem to be a fair number of ‘non-google’ search choices that look interesting…I hope they get together and collectively let us know more about other ways to access info on the web because I am getting board of google in a way. I am smarter now…it is like google is the typewriter and I want a wordprocesser.

The Experience Project – this is a place where you can go and tell your story…and they will connect you with a community of folks who have similar stories… these may be stories that are really personal and you have not shared with anyone. They keep you anonymous/psdonomoys – I asked if it was like Post Secret Interactive and they said – yeah kinda. I think the freedom that we have to be on the net and the ability to find community around issues and episodes in our past that we feel social shame and embarasment is a very good thing. I really want us to protect the freedom to be on the web without suvelance and tracking because it is a good thing.

Regular Highlights:
I had a good time at BlogHer this year. Last year was challenging…emotional regression to highschool times….the ‘popular’ girls all prancing around in their really fancy outfits…wearing makeup and fancy shoes…hanging in little cliques. The ‘unnofficial theme’ last year turned out to be “Revenge of the Mommy Bloggers” We had Baby bibs in our swag bags along with Condoms (the male kind but designed for “her pleasure.” (It turns out I did get a condom this year but it was the ‘business card’ for a blog called Motherhood uncencored.)

This year the ‘unofficial theme’ turned out to be a much more inoquous and fun one…”Crafters Take Over” and there was peace between “mommies and non-mommies.”

I went mainly because I helped them run the unconference on Sunday after the ‘official’ conference ended. Many who attended thought it was the best day of the conference.

After the unconference I had dinner with Jessee Engle who is launching a really cool service called Design My Room that does for design what open source does for software – they have top designers do rooms…and you can lift the looks and THEN design your own room – making tweeks and changes.

With the election coming up and women particularly ‘single women’ being seen as a powerful voting blog this was no surprise. I met Gina Cooper the ED of Yearly Kos, Dana Singiser Director of Women’s Outreach for the Hilary Campaign and Ramona Oliver Communications Director for Emily’s list. Granded none of these conversations was a very long but I am hoping that I can at least raise the possibility of OpenID adoption amongst campaign sites.

I met some new women Tech Friends that were really fun Gwen who just moved back from Japan and Tara who is the new evangelist for Ligit.

Tibits from the Road

I have had a a full week at OSCON for the beginning and BlogHer for the weekend. I was still in Chicago still at the W hotel as I wrote this yesturday.

So I will start-off with Slashdot Headlines:
Terms of Service for Online services can not be changed without notifying users. YEAH!
Hopefully this will create an insentive for the industry to become more transparent about the terms of service they are using and adopting an easy to understand set of icons.

Parents Encouraged to buy Office 2007 for their kids. Of course Slashdot wonders about free alternatives. A friend in Portland was telling me his girlfriend a teacher in the schools there was prohibited from downloading FireFox onto her Windows computer. She raised this issue and got the prohibition reversed and even BETTER the school district this year is adopting Open Office.

Outcomes from O’Reilly Open Source Convention
Eben Moglen take on Tim O’Reilly
From the Zend Blog:

Eben used this event to re-invigorate the debate about software freedom by attacking Tim O’Reilly, who he claims has wasted his time cozying up with the new powerhouse companies of the Web 2.0 generation and getting rich, while failing to use his influence for the bigger issue of software / knowledge freedom.


Software Freedom Law Center director Eben Moglen threw down the gauntlet to O’Reilly founder and CEO Tim O’Reilly. Saying that O’Reilly had spent 10 years making money and building the O’Reilly name, Moglen invited O’Reilly to stop being “frivolous” and to join the conversation about software freedom.

From Snap Logic:

At first I thought it was simply old friends giving each other a hard time but soon it was clear that Eben had an agenda and was using the venue to make his point. I don’t have any problem with a speaker having a point of view and arguing it vigorously, but when it turns personal and vitriolic they’ve clearly cross the line.
I think this was clear to the audience as well. How else could you intrepret statements like:
1 You spend to much time with your billionaire friends
2 You’ve wasted the past 10 years trying to make money while freedoms are under attack
3 This Web 2.0 stuff is silly, ‘thermal noise’

Robert Kaye’s Take on it.

R0ml’s talk that I missed :(

On Perverting Code

The first was on “Preventing Code”, about how businesses treat code like some sort of dangerous weapon that their employees must be prevented from using at all costs.

An Open Source Lexicon:

After talking about the fallacy of rhetoric in modern business language, the remainder of the session was dedicated to replacing our modern business language with words from antiquity, almost all of which have meanings very close to what we want. I’m not surprised that most of the words come from the literary (as in books) domain. We are, after all, writing and publishing software. Shamefully, no one recorded this session. I couldn’t even attempt to do it justice here. [I COULDN’T AGREE MORE!!!!]

Who says the English language doesn’t have a proper word for what we mean by free software? Liberal Software.

When the 9/11 of the net happens what will we do?

I picked up a copy of the June 2007 issue of Release 2.0 at OSCON’s Executive Breifing – Lawrence Lessig is interviewed in there and it is SCARY.

What are you most worried bout now? That 9/11 event on the Net …what comes after it. Recently I was talking to a senior government official, someone who used to be close to policy decisions in the White House. WE were talking about the Patriot Act, how it was written in the 10 days between 9/11 and when it was passed by Congress. It was there, waiting. I asked him whether there was a similar act for the Internet. He said, “Yes- and Vint Cerf won’t like it.” Such radical policy making would change the character of the network. I am also worried about who is paying attention. All the progress in the Net happened when no special interest groups were rallying against its core values. First the content industries and now the phone and cable companies have strong financial interest in corroding the core values of a neutral network. Thanks to the economy of influence in Washington, it’s easy to buy cover for any ridiculous idea these industries would present. So many of their ideas would destroy the Net as an engine of economic growth. This imbalance between innovative technology on the one side and an extraordinary amount of money against that architecture on the other really terrifies me. These companies have no long-term interest in the success of the Internet. They just want a larger part of a smaller pie. We need bipartisan common sense around what makes the Internet work.

I got good news from my friend Karri WinnLawrence Lessig is going to be speaking at this years San Francisco Green Festival. Hopefully he will inspire the community gathered there to get more involved in these issues.

One of the things talked about at BlogHer by a few of us was organizing around technology/policy issues with. I also think that the tech community must be more politically aware and active.

This was also highlighted at OSCON with a presentation by Rick Falkvinge about freedom and the policial party fighting for net freedom in Sweeden – The Pirate Party. They have now got a wedge slice of the seats in the parliament and are seeking to weild power by giving the priministership to which ever party will give the cyberrights and policies they need for a free society. It is really cool.


Why I don’t trust telco’s

This Horror story is why I don’t trust telco’s AT ALL. ($3000 bill for the iPhone) I am very willing to pay reasonable price for reasonable service. I am not sure why this is hard for them to GRASP but being raked over the coals.

THANK GOD FOR GOOGLE getting into the spectrum auction and forcing it to be for open usage.

From CNET:

The company is pushing the FCC to adopt rules in the upcoming 700-megahertz auction set to ensure that winners of certain spectrum licenses will have to adhere to four openness principles. These include guaranteeing that consumers can use any device or software on the network, as well as forcing winning bidders to offer spectrum at reasonable wholesale prices to ensure that small companies can get access to wireless capacity to build competitive wireless services.

OSCON is unfolding

I flew to Portland on Monday to attend OSCON. There was a BOF about Women in Open Source that had a goal to folks on the ‘what is next’ as opposed to support for experiences that women have had. A few books were mentioned:
Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology
Unlocking the Clubhouse Women in Computing

I happened to find this site of books from Center for Women and Information Technology when looking up these recommended book titles. It is a wealth of resources.

I put forward ShesGgeeky the (un)Conference that I am producing with some other women this fall. (More information to follow soon – I am working on getting the registration ready etc.) – If you want to save the date it is October 22-23. If you would like to help out be in touch.

Yesterday I went to the FLOSS Foundations meeting. We talked about Trademark issues for foundations and open source projects in the morning and fundraising in the afternoon. There was interest in leadership training in the group so I will now be working on moving an initiative forward in that area that I have been thinking about for a while.

I had a GREAT dinner with Mark Dilly and Greg Biggers at Rocket. This was all while David Recordon was being honored for his strategic efforts at the Google Open Source awards. Yeah DAVID!

Today I caught the end of Mark Shuttleworth’s talk in the Morning and attended
1) How to Heard Cats and influence people (I took notes blog post to follow)

2)the conversation on who gets to define what Open Source ‘is’ discussing the controversy between OSI and the SugarCRM and Social Text license. (OSI approved the license). This evening they had a conversation looking into the future of OSI – I offered that instead of talking into a mike for a layout set for 300 when there was 30 people in the room. So we did a fishbowl and I think got some where with their desire to define the issue they are trying to resolve. It was clear that more clarity on their mission would be helpful rather then just the tasks laid out in they bylaws.

I got a stunt double position at the OSGeo booth because a friend couldn’t make it so I filled in and temporarily became ‘geo-grrl’ fro the afternoon (I will be back there this morning.

There is alot of awareness of OpenID out there on trade show floor. Joyent is adopting it shortly. Rearden was considering it. I heard the positive inclinations from a key mainstream site that might adopt. (Ok I could have a major scoop here…but I have a feeling the programmer who let me in on this fact…was not supposed to have it show up ‘in print’ – so I am going to respect that.)

After the evening OSI conversation I headed “home” early to rest…because I have a red eye to BlogHer on tomorrow night. I would venture to say I am the only person attending both conferences this week.

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Plaxo is becomes OpenID relying party Tonight.

I am down here at Mashup Camp that I am facilitating tomorrow and the next day. At the social hour around the pool I ran in to Joseph Smarr and got the scoop.

“We’re releasing full OpenID relying-party support, so you’ll be able to sign up for a Plaxo account using an OpenID and/or attach OpenIDs to your existing Plaxo account. I’m also publishing a step-by-step implementation guide for OpenID-enabling existing sites based on the work I did for Plaxo.”

He has put up a whole set of shots on Flickr outlining the steps.

This is another great step for OpenID!!!!
They are also publishing an implementation guide for relying parties.

The Identity Files: Biometric DB of Iraqis and Afghans

From the Stars and Stripes.
Biometric database helps U.S. track Iraqis, Afghans
Commentary by me below the article quotes

Many details of the database are classified, but according to Joint Multinational Readiness Center strategic planner Arnie Geisler, who helps train U.S. troops in Germany, it is being compiled by soldiers using equipment that scans an individual’s retina and fingerprints and takes a digital photograph of his or her face.

The equipment takes four measurements of each face and converts them into a biometric algorithm, which is stored in the database along with the retina scan, fingerprints and the person’s name and address, he said.

“It will show you if there is a match for someone who is wanted in the system,” Geisler said.

Vandal said soldiers add people to the database when they pass through entry control points, when they are detained or if they work on a coalition facility. Inputting the data and confirming it takes two to five minutes depending on the proficiency of the soldier using the equipment, he said.

The number of Iraqi and Afghan individuals in the database is classified, he added.

Geisler said biometrics are the cutting edge of military training.

“I don’t think a lot of nations are using biometric scenarios in training. We do individual biometric training here because it is so new. They are training soldiers on the latest biometric technology almost as soon as it comes out and it is available to the units,” he said.

JMRC’s biometric training was showcased to coalition partners from Europe, Canada and Australia at a conference in Hohenfels last week. The goal of the conference was for combat training centers from the various nations to compare best practice for training troops in the war on terrorism, Geisler said

When I read this what runs through my head is all about practicing on them so they can figure out how to do it ‘well’ and then impose it on us in the name of protecting us from terrorism. Let me put the dots together this week we found out that the FBI was using datamining ‘for more then just tracking terrorism.’ What we don’t know is how far the use of these tools go now and how far it will go in the future. Oh and I just got my first “CLEAR” card application while going through San Jose airport. I get to pay them $99 fill out the form – “take your photo and ‘capture’ your biometrics [fingerprint and Iris scan] along with two forms of government identifiecation, one of which must establish that you are a US citizen or permanent foreign resident. A US passport is strongly preferred.” Then your application will be submitted to TSA for a ‘security assessment.’ Once you have been approved for the program we will mail you a Clear card.

So this network is just starting to be built for all of us here in this free land of the United States.

Oh Yeah. As secrutity minded folks have pointed out it doesn’t make our airports more secure – it makes them less secure by giving a low security line – the one that would be terrorists are going to try and penetrate the airport by.

Background checks are based on the dangerous myth that we can somehow pick terrorists out of a crowd if we could identify everyone. Unfortunately, there isn’t any terrorist profile that prescreening can uncover. Timothy McVeigh could probably have gotten one of these cards. So could have Eric Rudolph, the pipe bomber at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. There isn’t even a good list of known terrorists to check people against; the government list used by the airlines has been the butt of jokes for years.

And have we forgotten how prevalent identity theft is these days? If you think having a criminal impersonating you to your bank is bad, wait until they start impersonating you to the Transportation Security Administration.

The truth is that whenever you create two paths through security — a high-security path and a low-security path — you have to assume that the bad guys will find a way to exploit the low-security path. It may be counterintuitive, but we are all safer if the people chosen for more thorough screening are truly random and not based on an error-filled database or a cursory background check.

These systems and networks can be used to track us for ALL kinds of reasons including really BAD ones just as the Nazi’s did in Germany to track down the people they wanted to exterminate. This may sound ‘extreme’ to worry about this – our government would never do ‘that’ but there are conversations about how to deal with illegal immigrants that include mass deportation. This year the Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. It highlights and important point – it is not that some how…there are a few evil people – it is that all people can turn evil because of the nature of human nature. With these Digital tools and systems about people the capacity to do harm increases. It worries me to have biometric databases of all of us in government hands. It worries me that all this information can be correlated across all my activities relating to government. It worries me it could be correlated to private sector databases about me. I think we have A LOT of work to address the social implications of the tools and systems proposed.

The Identity Files: A P0rn StAr stole my Name

This story is interesting for a few reasons. It raises the question about plain old names. I think this is going to become more and more of an issue with google ranks and potentially other social networks mattering so much. More commentary on a tangent below.

A Porn Star Stole My Name:Texas woman claims old teen pal hijacked her moniker for stage name

JULY 3–Lara Madden is a 25-year-old porn movie actress who uses the stage name Syvette Wimberly when starring in films like “Anal Camera 19.” While Madden’s professional alias is catchy and distinctive, the name is identical to that of a former Texas high school pal of the X-rated performer. As a result, Kristen Syvette Wimberly, 25, has filed a lawsuit against Madden and the porn distributor Vivid Entertainment for the misappropriation of her name. In a June 26 complaint filed in Harris County District Court, Wimberly notes that she and Madden became friends after meeting at the beginning of ninth grade in Kingwood, Texas. That friendship, however, “ended due to conflict,” according to the lawsuit, a copy of which you’ll find below. The complaint adds that Madden (who is pictured at right) married while in high school and did not graduate with Wimberly, who lost contact with her former friend. Until recently, that is, when Wimberly discovered that, “there was a woman appearing in multiple explicit pornographic videos” using her name. Wimberly soon learned, the lawsuit reports, that the porn actress who boosted her name “was her former high school friend Lara Madden.” The porn star, Wimberly alleges, deliberately chose to use her name, despite realizing that it would cause “extreme embarrassment and unsubstantiated association with the pornography industry and other consequences.” Wimberly claims that Madden’s actions have caused her emotional distress and mental anguish, for which she is seeking monetary damages. Wimberly also wants a permanent injunction barring Madden and Vivid from continuing the use of her name. In a TSG interview, Madden acknowledged appropriating Wimberly’s name because she thought it was “really cool.” Madden, who said that her first name is actually Laura, denied ever being friends with Wimberly and said that she did not marry in high school. She added that her porn career ended in 2005 after she appeared in 13 films. (6 pages)

What if someone where to pretend to be ‘me’ in a social network and accumulate ‘my’ friends. I am sure this is happening somewhere to some people. The thing is that it becomes obvious you are not actually connected to the real person when you send the ‘fake person’ a virtual good. Then you run into them at a physical event and ask them about getting it. Well if they didn’t get the item you know you are not actually connected to them. I never link to people I don’t know in social networks (I have about 15 “friend requests” in facebook that are from this category of people). It is as some geeks in my network have talked about – what your PGP signing policy matterrs – is is based on knowing the person over time or just because you saw their easily faked ‘government documents’ and have no idea who they are because you have never interacted with them. These sorts of social norms.

From Slashdot: Most Scary to Least Scary

FBI datamining for more then just terrorists:
“Computerworld reports that the FBI is using data mining programs to track more than just terrorists. The program’s original focus was to identify potential terrorists, but additional patterns have been developed for identity theft rings, fraudulent housing transactions, Internet pharmacy fraud, automobile insurance fraud, and health-care-related fraud. From the article: ‘In a statement, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the report [on the data mining] was four months late and raised more questions than it answered. The report “demonstrates just how dramatically the Bush administration has expanded the use of [data mining] technology, often in secret, to collect and sift through Americans’ most sensitive personal information,” he said. At the same time, the report provides an “important and all-too-rare ray of sunshine on the department’s data mining activities,” Leahy said. It would give Congress a way to conduct “meaningful oversight” he said.'”

from the just-forward-your-mail-to-homeland-security dept:
“You probably already knew that the FBI was data mining Americans in the “search” for potential terrorists, but did you know that they’re also supposed to be looking for people in the U.S. engaged in criminal activity that is not really supposed to be the province of the federal government? Now the feds are alleged to be data mining for insurance fraudsters, identity thieves, and questionable online pharmacists. That’s what they’re telling us now. What else could they be looking for that they are not telling us about?”

From the is-that-anything-like-the-lime-in-the-coconut dept:
“The kernel meets The Colonel in a just-published Microsoft patent application for an Advertising Services Architecture, which delivers targeted advertising as ‘part of the OS.’ Microsoft, who once teamed with law enforcement to protect consumers from unwanted advertising, goes on to boast that the invention can ‘take steps to verify ad consumption,’ be used to block ads from competitors, and even sneak a peek at ‘user document files, user e-mail files, user music files, downloaded podcasts, computer settings, [and] computer status messages’ to deliver more tightly targeted ads.”

From the how much can you remember department:

The research reveals that the average citizen has to remember five passwords, five pin numbers, two number plates, three security ID numbers and three bank account numbers just to get through day to day life.

Six out of ten people claimed that they suffer from “information overload,” stating that they need to write these numbers down in order to remember them.

However, more than half of the 3000 people surveyed admitted to using the same password across all accounts, leaving them at risk of potentially severe security breaches.

Professor Ian Robertson, a neuropsychology expert based at Trinity College Dublin who carried out the study, said: “People have more to remember these days, and they are relying on technology for their memory.

“But the less you use of your memory, the poorer it becomes. This may be reflected in the survey findings which show that the over 50s who grew up committing more to memory report better performance in many areas than those under 30 who are heavily reliant on technology to act as their day to day aide memoir.”

Who ownes that copy?:

‘Copyfraud is everywhere. False copyright notices appear on modern reprints of Shakespeare’s plays, Beethoven’s piano scores, greeting card versions of Monet’s Water Lilies, and even the US Constitution. Archives claim blanket copyright in everything in their collections. Vendors of microfilmed versions of historical newspapers assert copyright ownership. These false copyright claims, which are often accompanied by threatened litigation for reproducing a work without the owner’s permission, result in users seeking licenses and paying fees to reproduce works that are free for everyone to use…'”

Second Life – the real picture emerges:

The LA Times is running a story today saying that marketers are pulling out of Second Life, primarily because — surprise, surprise — the ‘more than 8 million residents’ figure on the game’s Web site is grossly inflated. Also, as it turns out, the virtual world’s regular visitors — at most 40,000 of them online at any time — are not only disinterested in in-world marketing, but actively hostile to it, staging attacks on corporate presences such as the Reebok and American Apparel stores.

RunBot Robot Walks:
“The basic walking steps of Runbot, which has been built by scientists co-operating across Europe, are controlled by reflex information received by peripheral sensors on the joints and feet of the robot, as well as an accelerometer which monitors the pitch of the machine. These sensors pass data on to local neural loops – the equivalent of local circuits – which analyse the information and make adjustments to the gait of the robot in real time.”

from the free-at-last dept:
“IBM is making it easier to utilize its patented intellectual property to implement nearly 200 standards in the SOA, Web services, security and other spaces. Under a pledge issued by the company Wednesday, IBM is granting universal and perpetual access to intellectual property that might be necessary to implement standards designed to make software interoperable. IBM will not assert any patent rights to its technologies featured in these standards. The company believes its move in this space is the largest of its kind.”

Interop was AMAZING!

The Interop Event last week at Burton Group Catalyst was a huge milestone. The event lived up to its name…

cat·a·lyst [kat-l-ist] -noun
A person or thing that precipitates an event or change.

The energy in the room was really high. Everyone was excited. People said there was interest from enterprises (the attendees at the conference who were not vendors) in the technology and how they could help them with identity management.

It was so inspiring after all these years to actually see the vision manifest so concretely. I was at my first ‘identity meeting’ in June of 2003 when Planetwork hosted an ‘extra day’ with Identity Commons (1). It was described this way by an attendee:

I attended the “extra” day of the conference today. I was in a session that could have been called: all digital identity, all day and all of the night.

So four years later it was really amazing. As Dick highlighted we are finally up to “the chasm“.

As I was there looking at the sign on the wall in the photo and feeling the energy and all the work I really wished that Owen Davis and Andrew Nelson were there to witness it all. Hopefully they can come to the Internet Identity Workshop this December (3-5). The social issues that this new technology raises was one of the main reasons they founded Identity Commons in 2001. These topics are just starting to become really important to deal with and working groups are beginning to emerge. The fact that Cryptographic trust does not equate to Social Trust was highlighted by Neuenschwander in his talk on the final day. (in googling cryptographic trust I came across Chris Allen’s essay on Progressive Trust). We still have lots to ‘talk about’ to get it all figured out (more shared language and understanding to be built – see the last three paragraphs of this post).

Happy Belated Canada Day

Canadian Flag
First thanks to Ted Leung who took this photo last year at Gnomedex when it was Canada Day and we sang Oh Canada.

Canada day is a great Day particularly for all of us in Identity who are Canadian. The list is long and I don’t know everyone who is in the community and is Canadian. At the RSA Identity Gang Dinner we had fully 10/30 folks who were.

There is me (of course).
Kim Cameron
Paul Trevithick
Laurie Rae
Pamela Dingle
David Huska
Dick Hardt
Garrett Serack,
Kevin Miller,
Paul Madsen
Even Mike Milinkovich
(if you are not on this list and want to be let me know – I am not leaving you out on purpose just can’t do all the recall I need to do to make the list complete. I know there are several more folks on Kim’s team at MSFT.).

I have a page that has Bruce Mau essay that to me explained conciesly why we are into the topic. on why Canadians are so into Identity (It has been there for more then a year – linked from the side bar. I recommend any of you wondering about it read this – it is more complex then ‘just health care’.

I went and saw Michael Moore’s movie Sicko yesturday. It was a great film and did a good job of depicting the healthcare system I experienced growing up – see any doctor you want, get care 100% free. One of the things that got me thinking was that if the United States did figure out how to do universal health care that might really be a blow to Canadian identity. From the wikipedia article on Canadian Identity.

Much of the debate over the contemporary “Canadian identity” is argued in political terms, and defines Canada as a country defined by its government policies, which are thought to reflect deeper cultural values….such as publicly-funded health care… [that] make their country politically and culturally different from the United States.

In a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation contest to name “The Greatest Canadian“, the… highest ranking [was] social democratic politician and father of medicare Tommy Douglas.

Thanks for saying Happy Canada Day Kermit. He even quoted Marshall McLuhan musing that if he were around today he wouldn’t be surprised so many of us in identity are Canadian.

In his posthumous work The Global Village, he writes:

Yes, Canada is a land of multiple borderlines, of which Canadians have probed very few. These multiple borderlines constitute a low-profile identity, since, like the territory, they have to cover a lot of ground. The positive advantage of a low profile in the electronic age would be difficult to exaggerate.

Canada has another advantage over the USA which, sadly, resonates even more today than when McLuhan first wrote the words:

It is by an encounter with the hidden contours of one’s own psyches and society that group identity gradually develops. That Canada has had no great blood-letting such as the American Civil War, may have retarded the growth of a strong national identity, reminding Canadians that only the bloody-minded could seriously wish to obtain a group identity by such violence.

Update: Dale just sent me a link to this explaining then Canadian equivalent to “As American as apple pie”

“As Canadian as possible under the circumstances.”

Save Internet Radio
I read The Day the Music Dies in the SF Weekly yesterday. I had heard about this issue but didn’t realize it was so pressing. I am a huge Pandora Listener – I love it because I don’t remember music names and stuff…I don’t have a “music brain” but I like music…so I put in a song I like and it plays more like it.

I encourage you if you are in America and have a congress person call them. (I can’t vote so I feel weird engaging in the political process until I can.)