Inventing technologies that allow us to change behavior at scale in populations for the better - TED talk Nicholas Christakis
I've been working on an extension of the idea behind the PGP web of trust model for some time, we need to allow user control of anonymity while allowing for reputation and differing levels of identity proofing. Our system of freedoms in speech and thought require that identity not be centrally controlled and monitored by any single entity, not even a trusted government, but the social contract between human beings requires that people have reputation and repercussions for unacceptable actions. In modern cities as well as modern online fora there can be severe negative behaviors because of relative anonymity and lack of repercussions. Some rating services and even some legal systems now encourage deletion of negative records, a "right to have sins forgotten". This is the opposite of the sort of social contract technologies we need to enable to change social behavior in a positive way. Immediate benefit could be seen for security researchers, exploit writers, systems crackers, white, grey, and black hats, users of online dating services, and those purporting to offer opportunities for artistic or professional careers. Benefits to society as a whole could be much greater, if it gains wide currency.
The other meaning of currency brings us around to bitcoin. Adi Shamir recently discussed what interactions absolutely require strong identity proofing for society to work, and what interactions require anonymity. The decision should not be driven by fear of bad actors, "The only thing we can't make is something we can't think about." as Charlie Sorenson so aptly put it, so we can build a system that drives bad actors out, whether they are criminals, attackers, or politicians... while not only allowing but encouraging freedom of thought, expression, and creativity. I'd like to go back to Steven Levy's definition of a hacker as a particularly gifted and creative programmer or maker, the pursuit of elegant hacks and the hacker ethic at MIT in the 50s, the goal is still no less than improving the world.
Canada says: exercise a high degree of caution due to crime, explosions on the St Petersburg metro on 3 April 2017. Crime against foreigners is a serious problem. Some victims have died. Kidnapping for ransom is also common. Exercise extreme caution in crowds and places frequented by skinhead groups, including open markets. Violent crime is common. Pickpocketing, assaults and robberies occur frequently and are often committed by groups of children and teenagers. Criminals may also pose as police officers, particularly in St. Petersburg.
US State Dept says: High-profile armed robberies are an almost daily occurrence. Criminal gangs collude with the local police and operate with near impunity. Foreigners have become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion by law-enforcement. Anyone entering Russia who has claim to Russian citizen, regardless of any other citizenship held, is fully accountable to the Russian authorities for all obligations of a citizen, including the required military service.
Anyone have personal, recent experiences traveling there from US?
The RSA Security Conference has accepted my talk on Rapid Threat Modeling Techniques, April 20 - 24, 2015, in San Francisco! This will be my first time speaking at RSA, but I always enjoyed it back in the days when I used to go as an attendee.
Theology possesses a vain-gloriousness which places its faith in human theories; but science, at its best, is humble before nature herself. It has no thesis to defend: it is content to kneel upon the earth, in the way of my friend, the old professor, and ask the simplest questions, hoping for some true reply.
...[the professor quotes Job 11:7-8] "Canst thou by searching find God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven: what canst thou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know?"
I have been a botanist for fifty-four years. When I was a boy I believed implicitly in God. I prayed to him, having a vision of him—a person—before my eyes. As I grew older I concluded that there was no God. I dismissed him from the universe. I believed only in what I could see, or hear, or feel. I talked about Nature and Reality.
And now — it seems to me — there is nothing but God.
Looking at the Detroit Science Center website to decide if the dinosaur exhibit will be any good, read "Ask your young child what they want to be when they grow up. Although this may seem a silly question to ask a 3 year old, reinforcing the expression of individual interests helps your child develop a healthy sense of self."
So, what do you want to be when you grow up?
- A chicken.
Questions you can ask:
Do you know anyone right now who does this job?
What are some things you think a person who does this job has to do?
- Lay eggs!
What would you wear if you were going to do this job?
- (more silence)
Okay, this is just too good, I have to share this with the world... (type type type)
- What are you doing, daddy?
I'm telling everyone you want to be a chicken.
- Oh no no no I want to be a rooster!