A friend and I just had a wonderful 1:1 chat, and I wanted to share it here (with her permission). She asked me to remove her name because she thinks she was off her game – I think she’s crazy – but I will respect her request none-the-less.

Please excuse the raw nature – this is a straight copy+paste chat log from Adium.

Also, for clarity, my timeframe for this world peace is not days, weeks or even decades. There are also all sorts of things that can screw my assumptions up. But this is an interesting thought exercise none the less.


9:11 – My Friend:

Chris, about your idea that our connectedness will bring world peace… someday?

9:11 – Chris Saad:

yes – most people think i’m crazy
… i think it’s already happening

9:12 – My Friend:

Do you think that it’s making us more moral?

9:13 – Chris Saad

no… i think it’s broadening the set of people we apply our morality to

because we are coming to the obvious revelation that everyone is human, everyone has the same fundamental desires (safety, love, hope) and deserves a fundamental level of respect and dignity

9:14 – My Friend:

do you think it’s changing our ideas of what morality is?

9:14 – Chris Saad

… i think humans are always fundamentally selfish – but they prioritize themselves first, and people like them second

… all i’m saying is that people will increasingly realize that there are a lot more people like them than they originally thought – i.e. everyone

9:15 – My Friend:

I think yes we are redefining our standards of morality b/c of the connectedness

9:16 – Chris Saad

I think it looks like that at the surface
… but it’s only because we are applying our same morality in different ways

9:16 – My Friend:

interesting

9:16 – Chris Saad

which sort of creates a new morality or at least a different looking morality
… but its probably the same morality more broadly applied
… e.g. we’d never bomb a state of the US
… that’s morality
… so why would be bomb a state of the world
… that’s ‘otherness’ which is dissipating
… but its the same morality
… man i speak a lot of shit like i know what i’m talking about
… i should get a bullshit award
… i do believe it though

9:21 – My Friend:

maybe it was the wrong question.
do you think moral codes are changing
morals w/i established groups

9:22 – Chris Saad

can u give me an example of a moral code and how it might have changed?

9:23 – My Friend:

Churches granting priesthood to homosexuals, for example

9:24 – Chris Saad

see i still think that’s a broadening of application of an existing morality

… the original moral code was to grant priesthoods to those who worked for it and were pihas  (sp?)

9:24 – My Friend:

maybe it’s just a swinging back of the pendulum

9:24 – Chris Saad

… i could be wrong – this is just my opinion hah

9:29 – My Friend:

… but to everyone

you posit then that it’s a broadening of moral code – a shedding of the sense of “other” for a set of fundamentally understood values

9:29 – Chris Saad

a broadening of the application of moral codes
… but yes

… we’re not broadening the scope of the moral code, we’re broadening the group of people who fit inside the original scope.

All they are doing now is applying it to a broader set of people – people once considered ‘other’
… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
… this is our fundamental morality
… its only just being applied more broadly
… to more people – not just americans, or males, or straights

9:30 – My Friend:

and this is one of the contributions to a more peaceful world?

9:30 – Chris Saad

its sort of like the big bang, planets and solar systems are not moving – the space itself is moving heh
… like dots on an inflating balloon
… the dots aren’t moving – the balloon is

9:31 – My Friend:

we’re on the whale. I just wanted to better understand your view.

9:32 – Chris Saad

presumably it does lead to more peaceful world yes – just like *most* people would not rape their daughter, they would also not rape their neighbor or their countrymen or a foreigner

… we would not embargo our family, or our neighbors or our states or our foreign neighbors – even the word foreign becomes obsolete

9:35 – My Friend:

what about the big brother aspect of all this connectedness?

9:35 – Chris Saad

I’m not sure it’s strictly related

… although if most things are public, then ‘big brother’ becomes more like ‘social consciousness’ – taboos break down and privacy based on fear (taboos like health conditions, weird sexual interests etc etc) begin to lose meaning

9:36 – My Friend:

Interesting.  Why not?

9:38 – Chris Saad

well privacy is still a right – social media is not about giving up privacy but it does somewhat diminish the need for and the value on privacy because as I said above taboos begin to evaporate

DataPortability is boring?

September 29, 2008

Drama 2.0 has made a guest post on Mashable suggesting that DataPortability is boring. I obviously disagree.

Let me address each of his main points one by one.

(1) The average Internet user probably isn’t an active member of dozens of Web 2.0 services. While this may be difficult for some to believe, the truth is that most people don’t feel compelled to sign up for every new Web 2.0 service that launches. And quite frequently, users sign up for services that they eventually end up using very little. Data portability seems a lot less compelling when one recognizes that many, if not most, mainstream Internet users aren’t actively investing their time equally across a wide range of Web 2.0 services.

Actually you’re wrong. Data Portability is not about ‘Web 2.0’ – it’s about any web-based service. A typical user might use CNN, Yahoo Mail, Facebook, AIM, their cell phone and their PC or Laptop. That’s a lot of apps. Imagine the possibilities of having them sync some aspects of your data.

(2) The average Internet user probably doesn’t need or want to take his friends along to every Web 2.0 service he or she signs up for. These services can be fun and entertaining, but the notion that every user wants to be able to import his data when signing up for a new one is asinine.

Really? I remember the same argument against Telephones, PCs and Cell phones. It’s only asinine if you have a failure of imagination.

The point is not what users do today, but rather what new applications and innovation are possible in a standards based data ecosystem.

(3) Privacy is just as important as openness. Where does my data end and yours begin? If you believe that users of Web 2.0 services have some inherent “right” to control their own data but that this data is in inexorably linked to the “social graph,” what “rights” do users have to control where “shared” data goes?

Openness is the wrong word. The DataPortability project does not refer to the ‘Open Web’ for a reason.

Privacy is also the wrong word. Privacy is too broad a term that has no actionable attributes. We need to focus on words that represent features for implementation. Features that allow Access controls and permissioning for example.

As for shared or derived data, the lines are being drawn and the issues are being debated. Just because it’s hard to work out doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.