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

Re: Digital Press Passes and Decentralized Public Key Infrastructures

From: Bob Wyman <bob@wyman.us>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2021 16:44:12 -0400
Message-ID: <CAA1s49XQ-+SUvMsDVXbyrZ7A3mXcRtOb2UJ3sGmQ6w0XsH-srg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Annette Greiner <amgreiner@lbl.gov>
Cc: "public-credibility@w3.org" <public-credibility@w3.org>, "public-credentials@w3.org" <public-credentials@w3.org>
Annette,
You wrote: "A list of who’s trusted and who isn’t would need to include who
is trusted _in_what_context_."
This reminded me of a recent discussion on StackExchange of "How is it
possible that [insert known crackpot] has articles published in
Peer-Reviewed Journals?
<https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/170795/how-is-it-possible-that-insert-known-crackpot-has-articles-published-in-peer-r>
"
Of course, the response provided by many was that we shouldn't be surprised
when someone is an expert in one context but a complete crackpot in others.
(A classic example might be Hollywood actors who are often asked to expound
on world affairs... Who imagines that that might be useful?)

The reality is that we can't ever say with confidence that "X is credible,"
rather, the best we could ever say is that "When X speaks about Y, X should
probably be considered credible" and even then, we'd need to be careful to
specify the time period during which we should ascribe credibility. As Buffy
<https://academia.stackexchange.com/users/75368/buffy> commented on
StackExchange: "someone who has done important work early on [in
their career] can become a crank later in life." And, we should consider
the "stopped clock" syndrome mentioned by Graham
<https://academia.stackexchange.com/users/43789/graham>: Some statements
may have been very credible at the moment that they were made even though
later evidence or paradigm shifts made them less credible. (Should one be
considered "credible" if what they said was once credible but now is no
longer credible?)

bob wyman

On Thu, Jul 22, 2021 at 3:49 PM Annette Greiner <amgreiner@lbl.gov> wrote:

> One important angle on this question is the context of a statement. A list
> of who’s trusted and who isn’t would need to include who is trusted
> _in_what_context_. For example, a physician who specializes in dermatology
> cannot prima facia be taken as an authority on heart transplants, nor vice
> versa. Part of the misinformation landscape we’ve seen of late is
> characterized by people getting credit for roles in which they have no
> expertise because they have credit in some other high-profile role. It
> would be a serious error on our part to develop a mechanism of people
> generating lists of those who they consider trustworthy without reference
> to context.
> -Annette
>
> On Jul 21, 2021, at 9:21 PM, Bob Wyman <bob@wyman.us> wrote:
>
> The best answer to the question "Who decides who is in and who is out?" is
> probably "Who cares? Do whatever feels good." The important thing in
> building a curated list is to simply build it.
>
>
>
Received on Thursday, 22 July 2021 20:45:38 UTC

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