W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > July 2021

Re: VC-HTTP-API - A follow up on the RAR presentation

From: Kim Hamilton <kimdhamilton@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2021 13:55:34 -0700
Message-ID: <CAFmmOzd70JdtazWFoC4FKQ86xkoSbHnCPmbymbvH67ZeYiUrjA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Moses Ma <moses.ma@futurelabconsulting.com>
Cc: Dave Longley <dlongley@digitalbazaar.com>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, daniel.hardman@gmail.com, "public-credentials (public-credentials@w3.org)" <public-credentials@w3.org>
Tag yourself, I’m “occupy identity” with a healthy dose of “if we build it”

On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 1:13 PM Moses Ma <moses.ma@futurelabconsulting.com>
wrote:

> Thanks Dan!
>
> I guess I'm just a big ole hippie on the inside. Group hug now!
>
> By the way, I really wanted to thank Adrian for his cruise ship example,
> and that review of the Excelsior Pass. Great stuff!
>
> Moses
>
> PS, it sure would be great if Dave, Manu, Adrian and some of the others
> could spread some love and appreciation around in reply to this thread.
>
>
>
> On 7/8/21 12:01 PM, Daniel Hardman wrote:
>
> First of all, huzzah! to Moses for being positive and complimentary. And
> thank you for the chuckle about the lambo.
>
> Thank you, too, Dave, for your clarification. I apologize if my comment
> came across as impugning your motives. It appears that this was the case,
> at least for some readers, and I regret it.
>
> As far as Dave's analysis, I agree with parts, and disagree with parts.
> But debating it won't be constructive at this point, so I'll just let it
> stand as an intelligent POV that I can't fully align with..
>
> My larger point -- and what got me feeling defensive -- was about the
> narrative that there have been no crisp articulations of power imbalance
> concerns with this group's approach to standardizing credential exchange.
> That is simply not true. There *have* been crisp articulations with clear
> examples and concrete counter-proposals. I thought my suggestion
> was modest: to reframe the design space as broader than HTTP -- WITHOUT
> asking anyone to implement a single line of non-HTTP functionality. (And I
> thought I framed my suggestion not as an "Occupy!" one, but in terms of the
> need to integrate VCs with offline digital cash -- a need being
> investigated by an estimated 70% of the world's governments right now
> <https://hackernoon.com/cbcd-19-countries-creating-or-researching-the-issuance-of-a-digital-decentralized-currency-b57a609e695b>...
> Yet I think I was still seen as a wild-eyed revolutionary. Sigh.)
>
> The group chose not to accept my ideas, and I suppose that's a legitimate
> outcome since majority rules. But having made that choice, it is unfair to
> now claim ignorance to the tradeoffs that have been made. All the issues
> that Adrian is mentioning are tradeoffs implied by the HTTP-centric
> approach you chose. The narrative that should ensue is "We've given these
> concerns a fair hearing and chosen not to address them," rather than the
> you-have-yet-to-demonstrate-why-and-how-and-the-burden-of-proof-is-on-you
> narrative I was hearing.
>
> --Daniel
>
> On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 7:39 PM Dave Longley <dlongley@digitalbazaar.com>
> wrote:
>
>>
>> On 7/8/21 6:55 AM, Daniel Hardman wrote:
>> > Indeed, the way I received Dave Longley's response to my concern was
>> > essentially, "I don't care about those problems because they're not use
>> > cases of my customers. If somebody besides online institutions wants a
>> > standard for credential exchange, let them find their own money and
>> > write their own standard." (Note my careful language "the way I
>> > received" -- I may have received it wrong. I'm not claiming my
>> > perception is objective reality--only that I received it that way.)
>>
>> You did receive it wrong and I'm sorry for miscommunicating my point.
>> Unfortunately, it was at the end of the call so there was no time for
>> clarification. We all want a more equitable future. I do ask for more
>> assumption of good intentions on the behalf of others here. This future
>> is important to all of us -- despite your comment that made it seem like
>> I did not care. I just think my approach is more likely to see success
>> than how I perceive what you presented as an alternative.
>>
>> My point was:
>>
>> 1. Funding sources for new technology will go elsewhere if you put too
>> much of a burden in front of them. Then no progress toward our common
>> goals will be made.
>>
>> 2. I believe we are more likely to see success when we work to evolve
>> existing ecosystems rather than try to invent separate ones that must
>> be adopted wholesale ("build it and they will come"). We must make the
>> on-ramp slope flat enough to ensure newer, more equitable technologies
>> are adopted by existing companies and users.
>>
>> 3. People are asking others to do free work and/or take on very high
>> risk for them -- and they seem to be unaware of it ("*you* build it and
>> they will come"). Telling those people that they *only* care about money
>> and/or "institutional customer" use cases comes across to me as cheap
>> virtue signalling and, I'm sure to others, as offensive.
>>
>> Every little piece of SSI technology that is adopted by existing
>> companies helps change the culture to support more SSI technology. To
>> me, that means we need to have an architecture that allows that sort of
>> adoption.
>>
>> If "SSI technology" is just a giant stack that you have to embrace all
>> at once -- I think we will fail. I *do* say to people who rigidly
>> believe that's the only way forward -- to find their own funding and
>> create their own standard. That part of what I said you may have
>> received correctly, but the above context wasn't fully there. Hopefully
>> it is clearer now. I, for one, will not work on an approach that I think
>> ultimately harms our shared cause. That does not mean that I question
>> the motives of those taking that approach.
>>
>> Slow progress is not failure. In fact, it is often the only alternative
>> to no progress at all. I believe that it's easy to create barriers
>> in software design that are high enough to cause entire projects to
>> collapse on their own weight, resulting in no progress. It is especially
>> easy to do this when there is insufficient focus on creating near term
>> value. This is how I view some of the technological offerings I've seen
>> in this space.
>>
>> It isn't that I think their end goal isn't laudable -- it's that I think
>> those approaches are more likely to be *barriers* to achieving those
>> goals rather than catalysts.
>>
>> In short, the way you received my comment was the opposite from how I
>> intended it -- and for my poor choice of words, I apologize.
>>
>>
>> --
>> Dave Longley
>> CTO
>> Digital Bazaar, Inc.
>>
> --
> *Moses Ma | Managing Partner*
> moses.ma@futurelabconsulting.com | moses@ngenven.com
> v+1.415.568.1068 | skype mosesma | allmylinks.com/moses-ma
> Learn more at www.futurelabconsulting.com. For calendar invites, please
> cc: mosesma@gmail.com
>
Received on Thursday, 8 July 2021 20:57:02 UTC

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