Update: You can now read the entire article via this link at Linux Journal.
Let me tempt you with a few tidbits from the story:
Identity is a first-person matter. It comes from the inside, not the
outside. So does everything else we do as individuals. Which is why I’m
not just talking about identity this time. I’m talking about everything
that’s missing in everything we’ve been doing ever since we first started
calling computing “personal”, way back in the late Seventies.
All the identities in our wallets and purses, from social security numbers
to credit card numbers to library and museum memberships, are given to us by
organizations. More importantly, they represent “customer relationship
management” (CRM) systems that at best respect a tiny fraction of who we are
and what we might bring to a “relationship”. What CRM systems call a
“relationship” is so confined, so minimal, so impoverished and so incomplete
that it insults the word.
No matter how “user-centric” we make our CRMs, the fact that we burden the
vendor side with the entire relationship reveals how one-sided and lame the
whole system really is. Also how antique it is, in a time when individuals
are only becoming more empowered by digital technology and networking. It
doesn’t matter how respectful we make “federation” between CRMs of different
companies. The CRM system will remain broken until it appreciates, embraces
and truly relates to customers — not just as complex human beings, but as
entities with many other relationships, and as potential sources of highly
useful intelligence. Not to mention money.
As usual Doc hits the nail on the head.
If we want individuals to be valued, then we must also value those things that make individuals individual. An individual’s Credentials. History. Behaviour. Values. Relationships. Intentions. Even fingerprints and DNA. Whatever that individual wants to share with others. Whomever the individual wants to share with. Whenever and however that sharing is done. At the individual’s behest and choice.
[A number of useful links are also provided, particularly to what Steve Gillmor and his Gang have been doing in this space, as also the work being done by Drummond Reed et al.]
And no, this is not a mutual admiration society of A-listers like Doc and apparent A-lister wannabes like me.
I do not want to see, or be part of, a society that makes “agreeing with someone” a sin. I do not want to see, or be part of, a society that makes “cutting people down to size” and “belittling” someone in a Weakest-Link way something to be admired. What utter tosh.
I want to see, and be part of, a society that encourages people, that provides constructive criticism, that has covenant and not contract relationships, that believes in building people up rather than smashing people down.