W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > April 2014

Re: Anti-extremism as a strategy (was: Google payment plans)

From: Tim Holborn <timothy.holborn@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:07:29 +1000
Cc: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, "public-webpayments@w3.org" <public-webpayments@w3.org>
Message-Id: <690B92D5-5A4B-4BFB-819B-CD70F2D50FC4@gmail.com>
To: Fabio Barone <holon.earth@gmail.com>
Hi Fabio,

On 11 Apr 2014, at 1:19 pm, Fabio Barone <holon.earth@gmail.com> wrote:

> I appreciate these constructive ideas.
> Nevertheless, I consider myself a lurker on the list and 
> a bit of a skeptic in regards of big companies and banks and big-interests,
> and I am way off most of people's motivations here.
> But Manu incited me to contribute my points of view some time ago.

I think Manu did good :)  I also consider that surely, there are ways in which you can assist in illustrate a vision that might solve problems your aware of; constructive is always considered i imagine...

> Payments is about money, and money is about banks.
> Banks and governments have the monopoly about money.

Payments is not simply about money; but money, is about economics and the means in which people, individuals, families, legal entities forge an existence and become recognised for work - as one measure.  what’s perhaps most important is to consider the concepts of economics, rather than banking or finance specifically (understanding they’re related).  Economic rational transcends trading within banks exclusively; toward the role the banking industry play in supporting economic, humanitarian and knowledge growth.  all of these latter concepts relate to science, and yes, without due-consideration some of the areas can be a mine-field. still, as a community - we’ve got learning, reviewing, considering, responding and an array of other positions taken by members on any given ‘note’ surrounding the efforts to create a standard for web-payments. like a path clearly defined by the look of particular trees in a forest, only the locals know what tree the others are talking about perhaps...

> Standardization is basically impossible nowadays if you have to face strong
> opinions like from giants. We have had already
> strong voices here saying basically "if this then without us".

I entirely disagree. Strong opinions, strong personalities are part of dealing with significant issues. In most cases strong opinions are pursued by a particular employee or group of employees for a particular incorporated legal entity; rather than being the voice of giants specifically. I actually wrote about this a while back http://www.newzulu.com/en/photos/opinion/2013-11-01/4489/the-semantics-of-an-egalitarian-meritocracy.html#f=0/40201 therein; the article was started as i considered the words of a real giant (who many have very strong opinions about) in his speech considering the notions of an ‘egalitarian meritocracy’ - interesting works, and not the type I fear…  perhaps those works more fearful, are selected by the employees who know less than they should, but act carelessly without responsibility in-full for their actions; Whilst this is simply an idea, suggestion or consideration of my own... In a more ‘fluffy’ sense; most people seek to contribute in positive ways, so it gets down to the science.  Someone i regard highly, said (to me) something along the lines of there being 3 types of science; good science, new science and bad science. 

remember the ‘mission’ surrounds the concept of a (semantic / knowledge aware) information technology language designed to offer a vendor neutral standardisation opportunity for those with strong opinions, heavy hands and responsibilities.  Manu’s offered more specific ‘mission outlines’ for the group, born from the visibility he has in his role relating to the group.  with regard to contributors, distractors, etc. Most people don’t like to invest in bad-science and whilst people can be fooled for a while, perhaps off the back of a PR Budget - science seems to win in the end, no-matter how much a control freak may try to spin the world in a way that best suits them, myopically.  

> I wonder if the noble ideas of many people here have a chance of succeeding in this space. 
> Joseph Potvin's list of successes and failures shows successes in community
> building and (partial to full) failures in getting buy-in from the big players.

with regard to changes of success - I believe - very much so…  Perhaps sometimes, some people just get too excited about the idea of something, before they’ve spent the time to understand it using scientific methods; which in the case of corporate ‘big players’  can then lead to millions being spent on some project that ends-up struggling to get ROI or being made redundant by some other group of bigger fishes undertaking the same practices yet again.  Community engagement with relation to innovation, is amongst the most difficult tasks that exist. innovation always leads to change, disruption, opportunity.  people take different views on that. anyhow. 

The economic potential for at least identifying, labelling, providing privacy, transparency or identity to web (for specified purpose) offers far more economic opportunities than any risks might reasonably measure; especially when specifically related to the establishment of standards, rather than specified business practices.  Perhaps the people to really watch-out for are those little fishes selling list-data for outbound direct marketing campaigns.  Hopefully, they’ll need to innovate their business practices in future.

> So I wonder if the strategy of being nice and play with the big fish promises
> more favorable result than a more bold but uncertain approach with going "extreme measures".

‘extreme measures’ is all a bit hollywood and we’re not here working on a film script. tangentially, now due to tech.standards it’s far easier to go make your own film; and have it encoded for your local cinema; and whilst i can ‘see' the scene of a programmer in a dimmed room, under a lamp, building his path for ‘extreme measures’ - like the stories said so many times, often sadly so; the reality is this is about science and shared values, when considering the sociology of it (i guess?).  

I do not believe we have an all-or-nothing approach, we simply build an option that has not previously existed.  Whether this option is used by open-source developers building new POS systems that they want to ‘web enable’ or how it fits into the eco-system; their is a myriad of different levels and issues to the orientation of building something that works throughout this very important part of life, civics and citizenship. 

at the end of the day; commerce http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce - is not simply about money. it’s about working on something of value and through that work being recognised in a manner that helps an adult live a life of dignity, and that children may grow to their fullest potential (amongst the simplest of considerations). Many other descriptions are notably provided by the UN Human Rights considerations, agreements, et.al - which, by the way, are authored by people highly involved as perhaps the ‘biggest fish’, to whom the others are answerable.  

perhaps the problems you refer to consider the idea that the rule of law is currently selective? that transparency, methods to support economic growth might be contrary to the business interests of particular legal entities? i’m not sure why your sceptical considerations lead you to believe that perhaps - the concepts held within that of a film-script might assist more effectively? or if this is not your position, why others would consider this to be so.  films to provide great exposure to issues, stylised script recipes, known faces, but without standards we’d not be watching them.  

> (I didn't really understand though what those extreme measures are,
> maybe I missed an email).
> The OAuth 2.0 protocol is a great example of how a great idea with much heart blood
> got watered down through intervention of vested interests.

I think perhaps; is their a lack of general understanding about Linked-data, RDF, RWW, WebID, Ontologies, etc? it would be difficult to understand the lifecycle without understanding these parts to how web will be changing from relationalDB’s to graphs; and the scope of investments already made in such technologies, systems, business practices more broadly; in some industries for a very long time… 

if there’s ways traders can acquire greater insights than a competitor - well, they’ll buy something that gives them a competitive edge.  

> I don't mean to brake any process here though. 
> Just offering my opinion.

i’m obviously not sure of the back-history with some of the comments that have been popping up; and whilst i’ve been looking / working with / on, standards for many years now; in different industries, 

i’ve found that whether it’s the heritage of a shipping container, a railroad track, a power plug, networking standards, www or the array of standards required to be build on-top of these systems;  the reality of standards when they’re appropriately implemented has always been good for business, and those who’s lives are dependent upon the operation of the socio-economics any open-standards directly or indirectly, beneficially influenced. et.al

that said; we’ve got alot of science to get done before this potential standard; exists.   still early days, IMHO.   The more contributors the better, and for those who need to brush-up on Semantic Web and the relationship between RDF (and related stuff) and these standards should send a request. 

sorry for the long response.  guess, i figured an array of (political) concerns highlighted, needed an appropriately well-considered response. 

> 2014-04-10 13:21 GMT-05:00 Timothy Holborn <timothy.holborn@gmail.com>:
> I've actually gone up against the "google wallet does it already" argument about 18(+) months ago.  Emailed the person making these statements and posed the question / statement made to Vint Cerf.  Vint was good in his reply, the person making the statements then got rather upset.
> I wouldn't be so quick as to suggest anyone is a competitor, including google; at least not in the traditional way many people remember Microsoft I guess... Javascript wars, etc.
> More broadly;
> People still get taught HTML(5) in universities using w3schools to source info; for sites that must validate with the w3c validator; obviously, the proprietary extensions don't validate; yet examples shown to explain "what is possible", use those extensions (properly authored for each browser, etc.); but nonetheless, providing a good example of frustrations that will likely to be an on-going feature of the innovation and stability cycles exhibited throughout the web.
> IMHO - Google is potentially a massive service provider, but also one highly involved in making open standards n such.  WebRTC comes to mind as an example, and an example of an app that's currently not working for them - google wallet.
> Another good example in the rww space is GitHub.  A great alternative.
> To get these standards working, we'll need a collaborative ideology, which of course, is what it's all about.
> Challenging, certainly. But also purposeful. In a meaningful way.  Functionally, many things are impossible without standards that are vendor neutral.
> Timh.
> Sent from my iPad
> > On 11 Apr 2014, at 3:57 am, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com> wrote:
> >
> >> On 04/10/2014 06:54 AM, Anders Rundgren wrote:
> >> The W3C payment initiative has the two worst imaginable competitors:
> >> Status Quo and Google. To fight this, requires more than just
> >> technology; it requires a *strategy*. ... That's what I in an
> >> off-list message meant with taking *extreme measures*.
> >
> > While I appreciate some of your cynicism, the basic premise of your
> > argument is off, Anders. :)
> >
> > Here's why:
> >
> > You're approaching this whole payments standardization process as a
> > large conflict where "extreme measures" will ensure a favorable result.
> > If it's one thing that your approach will do, it will be to alienate
> > exactly the sort of organizations that we are going to need in order to
> > make this initiative successful.
> >
> > While there is certainly competition in the form of the status quo, and
> > some pretty compelling proprietary products from W3C member companies,
> > it would be wrong to frame the discussion where we're working /against/
> > W3C member companies (or the payments industry, in general). If that
> > happens, we can only hope for fragmentation in the marketplace and a
> > failure of what we're trying to accomplish here.
> >
> > Here are a few goals that we're trying to achieve:
> >
> > 1. Build a basic set of technologies for the Web platform that create a
> > level playing field as it relates to sending and receiving money on the
> > Web.
> >
> > 2. Bring as many of the existing financial industry players as we can
> > along without causing too much disruption to their day to day
> > operations. Some will refuse to join us, but it won't be because we
> > didn't try very hard to bring them along.
> >
> > I'm having a hard time understanding exactly what you're proposing, but
> > it sounds like your "extreme measures" will destroy much of the good
> > will and progress that we've achieved to date. Please be clear in what
> > you're proposing we do as a community. I'm going to send something out
> > in a bit outlining what we have done as a community to date, and what
> > I'd like us to do as a community over the next 12 months.
> >
> > -- manu
> >
> > PS: Mailing list arguments are good, as long as they have a concrete
> > outcome. What exactly do you want to see happen?
> >
> > --
> > Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
> > Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
> > blog: The Worlds First Web Payments Workshop
> > http://www.w3.org/2013/10/payments/
> >
Received on Friday, 11 April 2014 05:10:33 UTC

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