Thinking Ahead: Sean some people did…you didn’t.

So the Guardian is reporting about Sean Parkers remarks at the Techonomy conference.

Thinking ahead.

None of us could possibly have understood what it would mean to have a billion or two billion people potentially using these platforms regularly,” said Parker. “That wasn’t something that factored into anyone’s analysis in the starting of these companies. You just want to be a successful company. You want to understand the mechanisms that work, you want to play into them, you want to reinforce them, you want to be a successful company.”

While it is refreshing to hear some self reflection after the fact about the consequences of building a social platform driven by profit with an incentive to get people to engage with it – personal and social costs be-dammed.

I think people did for-see and could understand some of the negative effects he is discussing – the problem is they just were not in the mix of young men founding these companies at the time.  The fact is the narrow demographic of who was empowered with funds to create these systems (By men likc Sean Parker and Peter Theil) and who thcy subsequently chose to hire and listen to early on (Read the Boy Kings to get the inside scoop on that) speaks volumes about what was built.

As a side note I developed an outline for building a distributed social network for spiritual activist leaders and their followers in 2003-4. I even raised $35,000 and had two protoypes build in Drupal.    I like to think if I got funding beyond that and had the chance to develop the vision we were thinking about the social consequences.

Communities considering the future of social tools and online communities did think thoughtfully about the future and how things could play out and what was needed to support things evolving well from a user-centric perspective.  A great starting point published in 2003 is the Augmented Social Network: Building Identity and Trust into the Next Generation Internet.

Is Google+ is being lynched by out-spoken users upset by real names policy?

Following my post yesterday Google+ says your name is “Toby” not “Kunta Kinte”, I chronicled tweets from this morning’s back and forth with  Tim O’Reilly and Kevin MarksNishant  KaushikPhil Hunt,  Steve Bogart and Suw Charman-Anderson.

I wrote the original post after watching the Bradley Horwitz (@elatable) – Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly) interview re: Google+. I found Tim’s choice of words about the tone (strident) and judgement (self-righteous) towards those standing up for their freedom to choose their own names on the new social network being rolled out by Google internet’s predominant search engine disappointing.  His response to my post was to call me self-righteous and reiterate that this was just a market issue.

I myself have been the victim of a Google+ suspension since July 31st and yesterday I applied for a mononym profile (which is what it was before they insisted I fill out my last name which I chose to do so with my online handle and real life identity “Identity Woman”) 

In the thread this morning Tim said that the kind of pressure being aimed at Google is way worse then anything they are doing and that in fact Google was the subject of a “lynch mob” by these same people.  Sigh, I guess Tim hasn’t read much history but I have included some quotes form and links to wikipedia for additional historial context.

Update: inspired in part by this post an amazing post “about tone” as a silencing/ignoring tactics when difficult, uncomfortable challenges are raised in situations of privilege was written by Shiela Marie.  

I think there is a need for greater understanding all around and that perhaps blogging and tweeting isn’t really the best way to address it.  I know that in the identity community when we first formed once we started meeting one another in person and really having deep dialogues in analogue form that deeper understanding emerged.  IIW the place we have been gathering for 6 years and talking about the identity issues of the internet and other digital systems is coming up in mid-October and all are welcome.  The agenda is created live the day of the event and all topics are welcome.

Here’s the thread… (oldest tweets first)

 Note all the images of tweets in this thread are linked to the actual tweet (unless they erased the tweet).  [Read more…]

Proactive Development of Shared Language by NSTIC Stakeholders

This is the “punchline section” (in my response it is after what is below…the history of collaboration in the identity community):

Proactive Development of Shared Language by NSTIC Stakeholders

In 2004-5 the Identity Gang (user-centric identity community) was 1/10 the size of the current NSTIC stakeholder community.  It took us a year of active grassroots effort to develop enough common language and shared understanding to collaborate. NSTIC doesn’t have 5-10 years to coalesce a community that can collaborate to build the Identity Ecosystem Framework. To succeed, the National Program Office must use processes to bring value and insight while also developing  shared language and understanding amongst stakeholders participating.

[Read more…]

ID biz models “in the future maybe” says Johannes

Johanne Ernst is a builder of Identity technologies (and one of the clearest thoughtful thinkers about identity technologies and markets. He just posted a great post about business models in the identity space. I know he has at various times tried raise money as an entrepruner in this space – so he has thought a lot about the business models.

For those of you who don’t know Johannes he developed Light-Weight Identity (LID) a URL based ID system at the same time Brad Fitzpatrick did at Live Journal and then participated in merging it all together into YADIS discovery which became woven together with OpenIDv1, XRI/i-names  and sxip to become OpenIDv2. He also was the first drawer of the identity triangle (OpenID, SAML, InfoCards) which evolved into the Venn of Identity.

Many people have ideas for value-added services that could be sold once sufficiently many users used internet identities at enough sites. The trouble is that the transaction volume for OpenID (or any other identity technology on the internet) is still far too low to make this viable.

The mot important sentence is this one – Let’s not confuse being majorly annoyed how long this is all taking (speaking about myself here) with something being fundamentally wrong (because there isn’t).

I take heart with what he has to say especially because he addresses it to a big part of what I do – organize (un)conferences to continue momentum for the field.

From his post:

Value-added services:
Many people have ideas for value-added services that could be sold once sufficiently many users used internet identities at enough sites. The trouble is that the transaction volume for OpenID (or any other identity technology on the internet) is still far too low to make this viable.

So the verdict here is: perhaps in the future.   

So what’s an analyst, or conference organizer, or entrepreneur, or venture capitalist to do?

My take: Hang in there, keep the burn rate low, make no major moves, would be my advice. (Believe it or not, sometimes I’m being asked about my advice on this.) All the signs are pointing in the right direction, the latest being Google’s major OpenID push. Let’s not confuse being majorly annoyed how long this is all taking (speaking about myself here) with something being fundamentally wrong (because there isn’t).

Sooner or later, at least the value-added services opportunity will emerge. Perhaps others. But so far it has not yet.

On Gaza

I don’t write about politics on my blog that much but have spoken up about some of my travels in the world and what I have seen.

I thought with all the twitter blips going by about “the ground invasion in gaza beginning I wanted to share what I wrote about in the summer of 2006 my own personal visit to Gaza in the summer of 2000.

This is the last 1/2 of a post a post called “Security theater and the “real” threats – inhuman conditions“.

Speaking of ‘they’ – who are they? I just watched a film from Netflicks – Death in Gaza. It was of two documentary film makers one of whom died while shooting the film. I spent the summer of 2000 in Jerusalem for 10 weeks I lived and worked there and did what I call “NGO tourism”. I worked at one of the worlds foremost human rights organizations – BTselem the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories and then also worked at the PCATI the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (while there I got my education in what torture is going on and how it affects people – really awful).

My fellow international interns and I would spend our weekends traveling about going through the Westbank and up to Nazareth, and Haifa over to Televiv down to Hebron. [[you can read what I wrote about Hebron here]]

One time we got to go to Gaza for 2 days. One of the interviewers for B’Tselem was traveling there so the two of us got to go with him. We got hooked up with two guys who worked in an NGO in Gaza and went on a tour for a day… from one end to the other … inside the camps and everything. It was amazingly powerful. Just like in the movie I saw the little kids the ones who are 5 and 6 happily playing away not really knowing there life circumstances yet. Then the older boys would glare glints of anger in there eyes. They are 10-13 years old knowing what they don’t have. The get that it is not normal to have open sewers in the streets. It is not normal to have 10 people living in one room. It is not normal to be growing bunnies up stairs that you kill to have food or a donkey living in your living room. Why do they know this…there are satalite dishes…basically everyone has a TV and can see what life is like in Isreal, and America and the rest of the normal arab world. When you think about that maybe some of this makes a bit more sense. It is not normal to feel like going to school you could get killed (as they young girl in Death in Gaza talks about). It is not normal to have your school playmates killed by gunfire (like the little boys have happen to them in the movie). Or bulldozers coming to plow your house down in the middle of the night (like threatens to happen in the movie ) How can you feel peaceful in this kind of environment?

I know after witnessing what I did that day I was shaken. I really felt my soul had been shaken up like my body was still and it was moving. It was eerily like the feeling I had after exiting the memorial museum at Hiroshima. The thing was…what I had witnessed that day was happening to real people ‘now’ not a historical event from 60 years ago. The depth of suffering is quite intense and the failure to connect with people as people and to really resolve the conflict continues to cause suffering. More bombs and planes and threats of nuclear weapons going off doesn’t make the situation better. It makes it worse. Send in armies of compassionate empathetic listeners. Make public peoples family stories and histories. Find some way through. There are some amazing stories of reconciliation that have happened in Israel/Palestine. They prove it is possible. I do have hope but not if everyone just sees an enemy instead of people, families and societies with real human and community needs.

I was sorting through my stuff over the weekend and found something from B’Tselem. They still send me the reports the write. It was a 11×17 fold over about the wall situation in Jerusalem. Just really disruptive to normal peoples lives. The whole of the Westbank is oriented around the trade flows through main cities. The most main one being East Jerusalem. The fact that they want to cut the Palestinians off from their main economic hub is just mean. People don’t like people who do mean things. Why is this so hard to understand!

It makes me very sad to hear there is a war happening. There has been a war on the Palestinian people for a long time.

Some elements that are not obvious to people is the depth of connection to land and history that is present along with the really bad living conditions.
* In the refugee camps villagers who fled their villages together – still live together 50 years later – they have a sense of identity as people of a place (a place that only the oldest people alive still remember) but that the young people feel they belong to too.
* The number of people and the conditions of living are very hard to imagine – they have the density of New York – but all in cement block houses that have tiny rooms 9×9. 1200 people a km.
* They don’t have electricity in the winter because the wiring is so ad-hoc that it is to dangerous to run in the winter.
* They don’t have sewage systems – other then the ones that run in the street.
* When the Israelis had a presence in Gaza they had their own roads – the good ones – that Palestinians could not drive on. (I was driving around with palestinians so we were on the “bad” roads).
* They have families of 10 living in one room houses.
* They have families that have a donkey’s living with them in their one room too.

These are extreme living conditions and the reason they voted for Hamas has to do with the fact that the islamic organization the religious arm of the political organization actually helps poor (as they are called to by their religious texts) impoverished people by feeding them. If you lived in these kinds of conditions wouldn’t you vote for the group that on the ground in practical reality actually helped you a bit.

There are some other interesting things to know about the Palestinian people… How do I know all this – yes I visited the territories but I wrote my senior thesis 40 pages on “The Lost Opportunity for Sustainable Development in Palestine” – 10 of them specifically about demography.

* They have HIGH levels of basic education Palestinians have the highest levels literacy in the arab world.

* They have a lot of higher educational institutions.

* They have the highest level of educational attainment of women in the arab world (normally educated women cut back on the number of children they have).

* Even though the women are relatively very educated – they are very committed to having children and lots of them

Women living in Palestine have a total fertility rate (TFR) of 5.6 children—significantly higher than women in other countries that have similar levels of education and access to health services. (Women in Gaza have 6.6 births, on average, while women in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) have an average of 5.2 births.) they are clear they are fighting a long term demographic “race” with Israel. More palestinians means more votes and more bodies to resist the injustice they have suffered.

* They have a very young population (in 2005 – 18% was below the age of 5, 45% was below the age of 15) this means that is lots of young men of marriageable age and seeking work.

So you put all this together
1. a population that watches TV from around the world on satellite dishes,
2. that lives in abject poverty
3. That is highly educated and mostly in the arts (political science, economics, english, comparative literature etc…)
4. Young men without an economic opportunities compounded by the fact that without this they can’t marry and thus can’t have sex. THEY ARE FRUSTRATED.

They know – they see every day on TV what they don’t have. We live in a globalized world and it is not just about ‘us’ those in North America and Europe knowing about the rest of the world – the rest of the world has the same tools too. They see the gap – with their own eyes and it makes them angry.

I don’t want to be all down on this post. This went by on twitter a few days ago It is about a contributor/admin on WikiHow (the wiki for how too manuals) and it made me cry – it is why I love the internet and the power it has to connect people and give people meaningful ways to contribute and help one another.

Many of you know that the dedicated wikiHowian and new admin, VC, lives in Gaza. (Actually VC is only a new admin on the English wikiHow. He has been an admin on Arabic wikiHow for a while.) And everyone knows that there is currently a war in Gaza right now. Even before the recent fighting started, VC suffered from sporadic internet access caused by electrical outages. So I felt lucky to get this email reply when I asked how he was surviving the war:

It is terrible indeed, however, it is kind people like yourself and other wikiHow editors that keep me going on, sane and to some extent even happy that I have friends who really care about me without even really ever seeing me. Thank you very much for asking and checking on me. I’m safe and sound and so is my family and my friends. The circumstances however are hard on the children, but with some tenderness, love and patience, they’ll get through it (or so I hope). The area where I live in Gaza is considered relatively safe as it is the center of the city.

It is in rough and extremely hazardous situations like these that we usually need something to hold on to … to believe in. wikiHow and its community has been that and more to me. It was and still is what I turn to so as to find comfort and peace of mind. The wikiHow community members are so supportive and kind. When I set at the computer and start doing anything related to wikiHow, it is currently my only escape outlet where I can, for some sweet moments, forget about the war, the harsh circumstances and the suffering all around me. And when I see a message by one of the editors, whether discussing some wikiHow related matter or simply saying “hi, how are you”, it makes me feel … alive, not cutoff of the world outside … having what I call a “universal family” that cares and comforts me.

For all of that Jack, I’d like to thank you for founding this wonderful family, making it possible for me and many others to feel at home no matter what.

Having Fun in Vancouver

I just got back from 10+ days away on Cortes Island at Hollyhock. I am feeling refreshed and renewed.

I am spending about 4 days in Vancouver and then heading to Seattle. While here i am meeting people that I knew when I used to live here.

I had dinner with my sister my first day here. She is doing well and has a very interesting identity related job. She works for a branch of the government that deals with estate disbursement. So when people die and they don’t have a will or an executor or when they do have a will but no executor it is the office she works for job to find the people who get the assets. She does a lot of digging around in and accesses birth and death registries throughout north america putting together the needed identity paper trails. Next time I am up here I will interview her about her job so you can hear first hand about the challenges she encounters.

My friend Irene from highschool #3 invited me to an interesting conversation about wisdom. It turns out Ellen was there from highschool #1 and remembered me. She asked if I had done a science fair project on bleach and fabric – which I did do. She reflected that it seemed to her that I didn’t like highschool much – yep. The experience was more neutral for her.

Yesterday I had lunch with Aunt she told me all about my cousin and his current challenges in highschool – turns out some of them are similar to the ones I had but quite a few are not. We went for a walk on Granville St and then shoe shopping for me.

I then hung out with Newell Cotton who is sort of like a little brother to me. He was 1/2 in age between my sister and I (she is 3 years younger then me) and his mom baby sat the two of us quite a bit when we were little. It was really fun to just sit and talk about what we are both doing now but with a deep sense of familiarity and connection that only comes when you have known someone since they were like 2 years old.

I then got to spend time with my friend Braden who was from highschool #3 we met when I was a senior and he was a freshman – he is someone that I spoke with regularly when I was off at college and visited while home.

I have felt really good about spending time with people here and knowing that in the coming year spending more time in Vancouver will be a good thing.

Tomorrow I am meeting the other ‘odd kid’ from my elementary school and he also went to highschool #1. I will share an update about that tomorrow.

The most important news of the day

is the new data portability logo of course.

I am a big fan of having problems be solved in this problem space and just hosted the second collaborative ‘get it done’ workshop in this area in the last 8 months – on Friday and Saturday see the report all about what got done. We have another one coming up in a month – the DATA SHARING SUMMIT May 15th.

Brussels (feedback way late)

Apparently some of you had a terrible dinner experience in Brussels in April at the Identity Open Space. Well so did I.

It was one of the low points of identity community organizing involving logistics in a foreign city. I had an offer from a local in the (identity) community to help out with anything that I needed help with for the Identity Open Space. I asked him to help find a venue for our dinner. I trusted him to do this and it was not really a good choice. It was far away (although walking distance), the room was crowded, it was hot, we had a set menu, the food was not good and it was expensive. So I am sorry to all of you who endured it.

Lessons learned:
1) Don’t fully trust the local (get secondary confirmation from an additional person)
2) Tap more knowledgeable local sources – like hotel concierge to find venues for dinner.
3) Ask the co-coordinating organization for help too (that would have been Liberty Alliance in this case).

Sorry again to all of you who had a bad dinner experience. It was not my intention. I really wanted to be able to eat and talk together and discuss identity as a community. I know that my table had a good conversation so I hope that others did too.

User Agent’s Spotted at Supernova

I had a good time overall at supernova. I found two user-agent’s.

Well what is a user-agent? they are programs that work on the users behalf. I found this definition on Dr. K’s Blog:

it would seem that “user-centric” identity is about creating an “agent-in-the-middle” architecture for identity systems. An agent (usually automated) for the user sits in the middle of the identity flow, analyzing the flow request and determining how to handle the response. The determination would be based on policies defined by the user. It may require the agent to bring the user in for an explicit approval, or it may automatically approve or reject the flow based on previous user preferences (similar to the user checking the box that says “do not ask me again”). It may also apply a configured rule or policy to the identity flow that determines the action to take – ask user, approve, reject.

So who were these agents? One was WiMoto – when I fist talking to Scott Redmond he was explaining his tool…and I just didn’t like it..about advertising on my phone etc…THEN all of a sudden I ‘got it’ – I said “oh this is cool you have a user-agent.” I explained what it was from our ‘user-centric identity’ perspective. He was like sure I guess what is that we have. I met him early in the evening of a cocktail party where he would be demoing throughout. At the end he said he was eternally indebted to me for giving him that word “user-agent”. Apparently it let him communicate effectively to the other folks all night. It is now on the front page of their website. I still don’t get exactly how it works though.

The second user-agent I found was MyStrands – it is a mobile social networking app for night clubs. So you can text to the screen when you are in shared space together (like at the night club). It also lets you opt in to get information about the bands and clubs. So it is a promotion network. They look like their are going some where!

MyCyberTwin and Blog Creativity

I just found this really creative Blog entry that a woman put together to promote her book using her kitchen and whiteboard markers. It is quite entertaining.

So why do all this creativity when you can just create your online clone. This was the strange identity link for the day.

Sorry I have not been more talkative on my blog.

The Kathy Sierra thing sort of hit home hard. I have some thoughts about it that I will post some time.

I have been busy doing good talking about OpenID at NTEN’s NTC (The Nonprofit TEchnology Network – Nonprofit Technology Conference) I managed to talk to 50 of the 70 vendors on the floor 2 were doing OpenID already and enthusiastic (PicNet/Joomla and Golightly Online) about 4 were like yeah we have heard of it and plan to do it about 10 had heard of it but couldn’t tell me what it was and the rest … well we had not shown up on their radar yet.

I also learned some stuff from the folks at Free Range Graphics about story telling. I hope this can help us in some of the stories we hope to tell about identity and our community. I also learned more about Vlogging and feel more inspired to try again.

I am still in DC talking with Reuniting America folks and heading back to participate in Museums and the Web closing plenary on the 14th. Web 2.0 Expo starts on the 15th and I am talking bright and early on the 16th. I am still working on my talk (sorry Brady). I am feeling much better about it after talking about it with many people and getting clear on what I really want to say with my time. I get overwhelmed because I know so much…which part is really important for me to share in my 30 min and how do I make a good narrative out of it – that has been my challenge.

I head off to Geneva for the ITU-T Focus Group on Identity Management after that and then to Brussels for the Identity Open Space. Then it is off to Vegas for Mix07 where I was asked to speak on Identity with Kim Cameron, Marc Canter, and Scott Kveton. Then I am going to head to CFP – Computers Freedom and Privacy.

It is going to be a big month.

Gnomedex is not becoming the Attention ID Neutrality Conference

I was just going through my cards and went to the Multi-Media Me. This post “Long Live Gnomedex!” was at the top and it cracked me up. He ran through some of the rumors about what would happen to the conference. This of course was my favorite.

Did you hear the one where Steve Gillmor, Kaliya Hamlin and Werner Vogels had bought the rights and were going to change the name to the Attention ID Neutrality Conference.

I had hear the rumors too…that Gnomedex 2006 was the last one. He points to a post that Chris did refuting the rumors.

Return to the ‘default world’

The experience at Burning Man is really undescribable.
Organizers bill the festival as “an annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance.” I guess this as good way to think about it.

There are so many ways that it is radically different then the ‘default world’ that it just becomes hard to explain. I have many friends and aquaintances who have been to Burning Man or are Burners (people who self identify as part of the community and go again and again). I guess I never really sat any of them down to ask ‘what is it like’ I had a few impressions based on tidbits I had heard about but it was really just out of this world.

Trees – The first thing I did when we stopped at a rest stop on our way to Reno from Burning Man was to hug a tree. There are none of those in the desert except flaming mettle ones. It was just so amazing to see this life growing out of the earth. When I got home I marvlled at the flowers in our yard and the vines on our fence.

Earth – The earth at burning man is really present. The Playa is flat and present. You can’t help but feel the earth. The techno and music going kind of creates this beat that you feel from her. I was awake early for sun rise on Sunday morning. It was amazing with the cathedral gave an extra sort of awe to the whole sun rising experience. The feelings evoked were deep indescribable making tears well up.

Little bits of Magic – That morning I decided to go all the way out to Hope street and bikc back along the outside. Between 2:00 and 7:00 there is walk in camping along the edges. This is one place to camp if you want quite way out on the edge. I biked along found this little sanctuary. It was just a normal tent you might find in a famers market. It had underneith it a white carpet and a white couch (that was an old car back car seet) and several lovely white pillows. A white table and with a buddha in the middle. They had drapped wide white cloth streamers hanging down from the edges and a wind chime hung in the middle. The white streamers where waving in the wind and the chime dinged away…like little fairy bells. I was very tired and decided to stop and rest on the pillows for about half an hour it was lovely. It was these sort of spontanious goodnesses that just seem to be normal here that make Burning Man so great.

Navigation on the Playa – Burning Man is laid out in a circle . I really loved orienting to things this way. It gets you out of the ‘grid’ of the default world and gets you thinking organically. In the middle is ‘The Man’ at 12 o’clock is the temple and at 6 o’clock is center camp. At 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock there is a path out to the man and within the streets a circle of theme camps. Camping happens between 10:00 and 2:00. The space between 10 and 2 extends out into ‘deep plya’ and is where much of the art is. The street facing the Man is called the Esplnad. It is like a promonade where a lot of the evening activities happen. Then there was Anxious, Brave, Chance, Destiny, Eager, Fate, Guess, Hope. All addresses had a ‘time’ location and a Street.

Mutant Vehicles – Their are no normal cars at Burning Man. They are wonderously different. There are 30 foot high motorized tricycles, bunny rabbit vans, carrot cars, motorized couches, clouds, so many…you almost never see the same one twice. Out here in the default world they seem so boring. If you have a vision of a car…this is a great place to make it for and drive around for a week. Just get it approved by the Department of Mutant Vehicals.

Theme Camps range vastly relfecting a wide diversity if human experience and interest. Math Camp was for Mathematicians, Evolutionary Center was folks working with evolutionary consiousness, Pancake playhouse served pancakes every morning, the list goes on and on and on….

My Theme Camp – Sustainabilaville I stayed in Sustainabilaville at 8:15 and Eager. We had a tower made out of scafolding 5 high. Hanging from that was aluminet fabric that was invented in Israel to protect crops from the sun. We had 50% block for our morning light and 75% blog for the afternoon. On either side we had costco barns – one for the kitchen the other for our vanity and cloths. Our tents were under the morning side of the lilluminet and on the afternoon side facing the street we had a great living room area.
Identity on the Playa. This is really interesting. Most folks have a playa name – they range from Ra to Alphabetty, to . One of the reasons for this is that messages written in the playa info system are all publically avaliable on the web. One might participate in life activities on the playa that one does not want tied back to ones ‘default’ world name.

Resourcefulness and Creativity– Everyone brings all they need to survive for a week on the Playa. Food, Water and other Supplies. The only thing you can buy at Burning Man are Ice from ‘antarctica’ and coffee or tea at the Center Camp. Other then this no cash changes hands on the Playa. This makes for an interesting cash yet total abundance and creativity. People gift each other all kinds of things, stickers, bandanas, CD’s, food, music, art.

I would totally recommend Going to Burning Man if you can. I am going to work on organizing a theme camp near sustainabiliaville (based on there successful model of ‘how to do an oasis in the desert) for folks in the Planetwork and Identity communities who would like to go – go together. Feel free to ping me if you are interested.
The things that might bug you and how to deal with them on the Playa.

Dust. No question the playa is a dusty place. Water is a precious and not really bantied about as it is in regular life. Never leave camp without your googles and dust mask. you never know when a dust storm will pick up. If you have these two things you will be fine.

If you really want an escape from the dust you could rent an RV. To me this is a sort of cop out from actually being in the Playa. RV’s have showers.

You can set up your own shower and have a grey water evaporation system to avoid hauling all the water you used off the playa.

The one thing that was just great and basically helped me stay clean the whole time was (clorine free) baby wipes. Just use two of those to wipe your whole body down and you are clean as you need to be. Bring moisturizer and use it liberally. Minimize the exposure of your feet the Playa.

You can augment any of the above once every few days running behind one of the trucks that drives by spraying water on the roads to keep the dust down. (the problem with this is you have to hear a truck coming strip down in time and run behind the truck….down side your feet get way muddy.)

You know I was sort of dreading porto-potying for a week but was surprised. The contractors are really on top of keeping up with the traffic as it where, so they were really not that bad. They had germ gel to squirt on your hands after you go.

Nudity and Sex You have to be ok with seeing people naked – men and women. Having said that most people are not naked all the time. It is not uncommon to see penis shapes protruding from art cars or guys just wearing extra penis/balls on there costumes. I saw at least two guys dressed up as big penis’. Women walk around topless too and even nude. After a few days all of this sort of just recedes into the background and you can basically ignore it. It is sort of obvious where the sex and fetish camps are – if you aren’t into that stuff don’t go to their camps. There is so much more happening in Burning Man…you will find plenty of other interesting things to do.

Be prepared to be continually fascinated by new things. They come out of everywhere. All over. After a week of my return I find myself a week later looking at the world with a renewed sence of wonder – almost child like but perhaps more deeply conscious then that.

Identity related issues at the bank…

So the day before I went away to Gnomedex I went to the bank. I took out money but foolishly forgot my bank card in the machine. I don’t realize this until about 2 hours before my flight when I am travelling to the airport. I figure – hey there might be enough time for Brian to stop by the bank pick up my card and get it to me before i take off. He goes to the bank and they won’t even talk to him about. (he and I share a joint savings account at this bank – they know he is my husband). This is really annoying. But hey ‘security’. I figured they could call me on my phone number on the account or something to verify things but Brian doesn’t even.

So while I am in the northwest I go to Washington Mutual and get cash out. I don’t really call the bank cause I figure I can go and get my card from my local branch. I also want to keep using my credit card number (on the bank card) and do so to buy tickets etc. Today I am back and go and pay them a visit. They destroy the cards after like 2 days and they don’t even keep a record of which ones they do that with. There computer system can’t tell me if I actually did leave my card in the machine (are you kidding me!). If I report my card lost they will cancel the number meaning I can’t use it again and be without ‘a credit card number’ for like 7+ days. I am leaving the country on Friday AM so I will be away for 2 weeks. 2 weeks with no credit card number. It really sucks.

A teller in Washington State said I could get an emergency card perhaps in 48 hours. The costumer service person in my bank this morning looked at me like I was from outer space when I suggested this idea. With these numbers so essential to our ability to do transactions in the world couldn’t we have a way.

FREEDOM Infringed…

So I am really looking forward to the Liberty meeting up in Vancouver. I am working on buying an Amtrak Ticket for Brian and I back to Portland for OSCON the following week. To purchase a ticket I must give them my full name, birth date, and travel document information – this is my actual passport number.

I talked to customer service and was like – what do you do with the data. She gave me platitudes about how no one in there office was interested in my information. I was like – I work in the computer industry I am asking what happens to the data – what is your data destruction policy. She said they retain all data associated with my reservation on microfich at there head office for an undetermined number of years. I really would like to know from someone at Amtrak (if they read blogs) WTF happens to my data. Cause I know that customer services lady didn’t really know.

What does the boarder patrol do with it? That is an even more difficult question. I can accept presenting my ‘travel documents’ at the boarder when I cross but this data being inputed before we cross in the reservation systems is really crossing the line of acceptability. With all we know about how the US Government has been collecting data about us. I really don’t want to let them to collect any more. This is not Europe (or Canada) where there is a much higher trust of government in the population. The thing I really like about America is its freedom and the deep values laid out in the constitution. We must maintain these and I am afraid government surveillance is not a good. I hope we can get stickers that say ‘stop police state creep’ and actually do something about it.

How east and west coast are different….

I had a rather intense awakening to how different the east and west coast are culturally this week.

It seems that on the east coast when people make introductions to other people they have more of a sense of ‘ownership’ of the connection being made. I learned this from talking to a wise old friend sharing with him how a relationship that I had been having some break down in communication and a lot of hurt feelings. There is a cultural norm of including the introducee in the ongoing conversation between the two introduced for a long time. This period ends when the introducee sort of ‘turns the relationship over’ by almost formally bowing out – saying ‘ you two don’t need me any more.’

I had no idea about this cultural norrm. As someone who makes introductions all the time I really like to make them and let go as soon as the first hellos have been made. I don’t have time to manage the number of introductions that I make. I like to know how they worked out and if they are ongoing small updates are nice. But I am not really attached.

So with the above incident was the case and really have hurt some ones feelings a lot. I am not sure how to fix it or how to explain how we do things so differently here on the west coast. It was a big learning and I will work to be more culturally sensitive to east coast norms..

E-mail and Identity on Opening Move

Scott Mace has a great interview on Opening Move with Scott Chaise.
I would recommend it to understand the current state of ‘trusted’ e-mail and open standards as they come out.

Finally, the war on spam is shifting to controlling outbound email traffic. This has profound implications for Internet service providers and for their customers. Zombie spambot attacks are being met with responses including blacklisting of users and entire ISPs. At Inbox-IT 2005 in San Jose, Scott Mace spoke with Scott Chasin, CTO of MX Logic, Inc. about efforts from Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. to control the spambots.

How can adoption rates be increased for SPF, Sender ID and DomainKeys? What role will the FTC’s recently-released best practices recommendations for outbound email play? What are Port 25 blocking, subscriber reputation filtering, and acceptable use policies? What is the symbiotic relationship between service providers and the enterprise? How are enterprises liable for the spambot traffic they send out? What’s the growing distinction between message submission vs. message transfer? What’s the role of the IETF’s RFC 2476? What is the challenge and opportunity that identity management poses for the messaging industry? Is SMTP broken? What are malicious opt-out attacks?

How it ‘should’ work.

Doc is an endless source of amazement and wisdom. He has been communicating about this stuff so clearly for so long one wonders why they are not listening. At least the identity gang is.

The Net is a World
Craig Burton:
Think of the Net as a hollow sphere made entirely of people and resources it connects.
– It is the first world made by people for people.
We’ve only begun to terraform it
One of its virtues is the emptiness in the middle.

The Net is a World with Three Virtues
1. Nobody Owns it
2. Everybody can use it
3. Anybody can improve it

Notice the use of the word – body in these sentences not noone, everyone and anyone.

The history of the net is the history of its protocols.

Civilization doesn’t move all at the same speed.

mmm… this explains why marc is frustated with us meeting so much we are building infrastructure not buildings it takes a bit of time. Now that the infrastructure is there for real open standards for digital identity lets see what we can build with them.

Between two perspectives… Commerce and Governace lies infrastructure

FCC – They don’t know what they are doing???

This guest post on is quite interesting – the perspective of young folks working in government moving blindly through the system is an interesting one to remember. The highlighted part seems to highlight what is going on with the US government ( FCC & Commerce Department ) and the ICANN

The O’Connor resignation, though, has been reminding me of the year I spent, way back when, working for the Justice Department. Late in the year, Harry Blackmun announced his resignation, and I found myself part of an ad hoc team putting together a memo for a White House working group on the decisions of Richard Arnold, an Eighth Circuit judge then being considered for the top job. I got the gig helping to summarize Arnold’s jurisprudence not because of any merit of my own, and not because I’d done anything like this before (I hadn’t), and not even because I worked for a unit of the Justice Department that was concerned with such things (I didn’t), but pretty much by happenstance. I thought we wrote a pretty good memo, considering that none of us had ever vetted a potential Supreme Court Justice before, and we were making up our procedures as we went along.

What I began to realize then, and came to realize much more fully later on, is that government decision-making routinely is undertaken, with the best of intentions, by people who have never been in this situation before and are making it up as they go along. I was working for the government again a few years later — this time for the Federal Communications Commission — and found myself part of an interagency group trying to figure out what to do about the domain name system. That was the process that brought you ICANN. And the most salient facts about it were that (1) we had the best of intentions; (2) we didn’t have a lot of humility; and (3) we didn’t know what we were doing. And it showed.