Re: Digital Press Passes and Decentralized Public Key Infrastructures

You wrote: "What you're really asking is: what is the tribe/nation state?"

Sure. A claimed membership in a tribe or nation might be a
credibility signal for some people, at some times, for some contexts. A
digital press-pass, issued by some organization might also be a good
signal. But then, just about any statement made about someone or some
source of information could usefully inform a credibility assessment.

I sometimes think that a great deal of the discussion about credibility is
motivated by a hopeless search for definitive credibility signals when the
reality is that such things simply don't and can't exist. Just as there is
not and never will be a universally accepted arbiter of truth, we can't
expect there to be any single, or even a usefully finite set of arbiters of
credibility. Each of us has our own set of credibility signals that have
some specific and potentially unique or at least non-shared meaning or
weight. Even if a "Digital Press Pass" were to exist, there should be many
of them made by a variety of different issuers who each have a different
sense of what it means to be a member of the press.

It seems to me that the most important thing is not looking for the
credibility signals themselves, but rather working on the problem of what
to do with whatever signals may exist and making it possible for even more
signals to exist. I suggest that it is more important to allow the broadest
possible range of statements to be made and then to work on how to assess
and present those signals in such a way that someone can reasonably use
them to work out issues of credibility. We might find that some part of the
credibility assessment process can be assisted by or even performed by
software, but that should be secondary to ensuring that people have the
information they need to make their own assessments.

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. Once built, that list itself
will be rated, as a result of statements made by others, as to its utility,
completeness, credibility, or whatever. Some lists will have strict
standards which are applied consistently. Others will not. In any case, it
doesn't matter since the proof of a list's utility will come in its use. As
long as we provide a means for people to make discoverable statements about
their experience with the list or their assessment of it, the right thing
can eventually happen.

For me, and I think for many people, the most compelling information about
some statements' credibility is probably whether or not I have prior
experience with its author. Thus, the list of people whose Tweets I follow,
or have as friends in Facebook, or who I've exchanged email with,
identifies those about whose credibility I'm most confident. Thus, for me,
the key question when reading some statement is: "Do I know the author?
What was my prior experience with them?" I'm only secondarily interested in
knowing if the author is someone who is trusted by someone I trust. (i.e.
they are a New York Times reporter, or Pulitzer Prize winners, a friend of
a friend, or whatever.) Each of us, I think, has our own personal and
unique set of signals that indicate credibility. No single system or marker
can serve us all.

So, yeah, membership in a tribe is a good signal for some folk. But, not
for all. The important thing is to simply provide an ability to make
statements about tribal membership or any other attribute of a speaker.
Having done that, the interesting work can begin.

bob wyman

On Wed, Jul 21, 2021 at 7:56 PM Michael Herman (Trusted Digital Web) <> wrote:

> RE: Probably the biggest problem that you can't get around is: Who
> decides who is in and who is out?
> What you're really asking is:
>    - what is the tribe/nation state?
>    - who are the members of the tribe/nation state?
>    - how does someone become a member of the tribe (or citizen of a
>    nation state)?
>    - how (on what grounds/policies) can membership/citizenship be revoked?
> Further reading:
> Best regards,
> Michael Herman
> Far Left Self-Sovereignist
> Self-Sovereign Blockchain Architect
> Trusted Digital Web
> Hyperonomy Digital Identity Lab
> Parallelspace Corporation

Received on Thursday, 22 July 2021 04:22:56 UTC