Ian thinks: Yes this is a bit meta but its great to deep dive into the cutting edge research of BBC R&D’s lab. Remember its all for the benefit of the citizens of the UK and far wider. Worth also listening to the Human Values podcast series if you want to know more about what Lianne talks about.
Ian thinks: Following BBC R&D’s new forms of value, one of the key research aims is using personal data stores. Solid is one such personal data store and its hit a mile stone with a number of different partners.
Ian thinks: Bruce Schneier’s talk from Tech Open Air is well worth 20mins of your time. Its a combinations of what goes into these notes. Security, privacy, hacking, dis-information, policy and the internet.
Ian thinks: Juan’s thoughts are important to take in, he touches on so many points from ethics to politics. All framed within alongside technology disruption. I did find it strange he never used Brexit in his last reply about example of breaking up a nation.
Ian thinks: Wired magazine creates a quick and dirty test looking at Youtube’s recommendation algorithm. Plus that classic notion that your phone is listening to you.
Both are crude but if the social dilemma has taught me anything these actually help convince people
Ian thinks: Good to hear more about the mysteries figure which is Signal’s CEO Moxie Marlinspike. His views of taking back our privacy, moving systems into the public infrastructure category and making encryption the default; is quite telling looking at his past. Unlike most, he has the knowledge and system to actually implement with others the reality he thinks about.
Ian thinks: This interview with Marina Gorbis from the institute of the future with Douglas Rushkoff is full of status-quo busting thoughts. The centre idea is how the allure of scale is actually the main problem the human race faces.
Ian thinks: Openschufa a project which aggregates your GDPR requested financial data with others to reveal bias, is the type of services I was hoping would come out of GDPR’s data portability rules. Look forward to seeing more like this.
Ian thinks: When I visited Ghent last year I did notice the city centre was very quiet from the lack of cars. I had no idea but it felt like a place to live and walk. Lessons for other European cities?
Ian thinks: Centralised digital identity is easy to understand, but self-sovereign identity is being pushed as the way forward. However this essay by Philip Sheldrake, really shakes up the notions of identity in a way I’m still struggling to think about now.
Ian thinks: This paper really sets out the problems of the current mainstream internet. Platform building opposed to open protocols which everybody can use. Its well thought out and substantial in its arguments.
Ian thinks: Its fascinating to hear about the unsolved puzzle of shadow brokers who sold NSA surveillance tools on the open market. Another reason why government encryption back-doors are such a bad idea.
Ian thinks: There is a lot of scepticism about crypto technology but I found this video from Crypto startup school, useful looking at the direction and focus of the actual applications which currently exist. The questions are pretty intruding too.
It was pretty bad but no where near as bad as it could have been. Others have thought exactly the same as I have, bitcoin and direct messages was just the start, they could have started world war 3.
It was NOT a hack it was Twitter being centralized and employees having clearly too much access to accounts. Had Twitter been on Etheuem's blockchain this would have never happened. @jack you guys can't integrate @metamask_io or @Ledger@authereum ?
Ian thinks: Taiwan mainly avoided the Covid19 lockdown. Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s Digital Minister, shares how tools/techniques like crowdsourcing, a transparent supplies system and the use of humor on social media have resulted in less than 500 confirmed cases.
Ian thinks: There’s a lot debate over the advantages and disadvantages of working from home. Each case is different but I found this economist video had all the points nicely wrapped up in short video. Lots to think about as the world starts to open again.
Looking at the list in the Guardian, its clear the amount which are profit making businesses just like zoom. Its not exactly their fault, the scenario of the public using your service for to run a help group wasn’t in the business plan.
Maybe its time there was a business which did have that in their plans? Maybe not a business at all? Maybe an organisation with public interest & benefit at the centre of its remit?
This is something I was thinking through with Herb the other day, as we talked through the problems with Zoom. Could an organisation like for example the BBC run a video conferencing system for the benefit of the public?
Wouldn’t this conflict with existing commercial businesses and be a problem? Nope not if done correctly. I used healthcare when talking with Herb.
The NHS is a catch all and provide baseline health care. If you want to pay for better/quicker healthcare you can pay BUPA or someone else. In the same way, could the BBC or others provide baseline video conferencing aimed to give everybody a free platform which is basic but focused on important things like privacy, security, anonymity, etc. This means no custom backgrounds, no filters, no full HD, etc. Thats the realm of the commercial providers.
I know its a thin line but we can’t such important public services be hostage to commercial factors/models.
There is another aspect to this, the public sector could finally double down on services which preserve privacy and security of the public with software which is audit-able, has levels of transparency and is decentralised & distributed in nature. For example I was checking out Jitsi with its webRTC support. Jitsi meet might struggling if everybody is hitting the main site but as its self installable, suits a more decentralised model. A public company could easily set it up and run it for under-served audiences?
Ian thinks: Kate made the link between human needs and the environmental demands to support life on earth, in such a engaging and simple to understand way. This is the kind of connected thinking which will drive forward much needed changes.
Ian thinks: There is so much about open hardware hackers doing incredible things to battle Covid-19. This short video sums up so many great projects in one go and gives some great advice for those wanting to help.
Ian thinks: Helena and Douglas discuss the importance of localism or decentralised, can serve and solve the problems of people. Douglas’s monologue about Covid-19 and how our current media is warping our perception is so apt.
Ian thinks: There is a formula for mis/disinformation (fake news if you must) and its been exploited to the max. This documentary highlights the problem stopping on news we all have heard including #pizzagate. Don’t have HBO, here is a Guardian review
We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed by looking at the sorry state of the UK during our EU withdrawal or the tech press panic over the corona-virus.
To quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Ian thinks: Signal as a behemoth is concerning but its clearly made the best use of open source licenses to keep itself in check. Love the new systems which are being built on the protocol, real opportunity for something very new.
Ian thinks: The comparisons are spot on and its clear podcasting is going through a massive change right now. Spotify’s play to commodify and dominate is hard to break unless there is experiences they can not own.
Exploiting technology or exploited by technology?
ian thinks: curious tale, but it does raise a question about digital access and backups. Least we forget about power and when things go technically wrong.
Its a number of mistakes which leads to £476.50 fine and a wrongful conviction. This made me reflect on my own usage..
I personally don’t use my phone to pay for things and like the idea of the Curve card because although the mobile app is useful, it can be used without my phone. I do have a card attached to my phone but never use it.
When using mobile tickets for flights and planes, I put them into google drive meaning if my phone is dead, broken or stolen I can still get the tickets with my other devices or another persons device. For this reason I avoid all apps which only display the ticket in side of it. For example the trainline app’s eticket isn’t ideal, hence why I tend to get paper tickets still. When travelling via a plane, I find most of the airlines have a copy you can get via PDF with the 3D barcode included. This goes straight into Gdrive and synced with dropbox on all my systems.
This is also why I prefer services which work offline because mobile/wifi access can be patchy and I don’t want to be reliant on network access to get into my password store or for the 2nd factor. Google maps offline has been a massive help in the past and I haven’t had a bill like I got in America in over 10 years. Shame it doesn’t sync the offline maps to my other devices
I always tend to carry around a battery pack and have a stash of cables in my laptop bag and try and keep the phone charged enough. Especially when going somewhere for a while. Everyone use to follow the ABCs (always be charging) but we all know that’d not great for lithium ion batteries.
Seems a lot to think about but so far its served me well…
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
There is so much going on with this on-going research but the core is identification of the human values at different stages of life, not age.
People prioritise different values at different points in life, which refers to value priorities. Changes to value priorities vary in response to different stages of life (e.g. school to university), new environments (e.g. relocating), and specific events (e.g. facing a significant life event).
This is powerful as there is too much research pointing to ages. Its clear my values changed when I was a student to where I am as a full time employee for 15+ years. Life events can also include things like (I would argue) Brexit, which has me personally strongly valuing growing myself and exploring the world more than I use.
Its a good starting framework and we are only at the start of this research… And I have to say massive kudos to Lianne who pushed well-being from a long time ago when most didn’t fully understand the relevance. She was right on the money and waited for others to catch on.
Theres so much more to do, but the aims are high and important for not just the BBC, but all public service entities around the world. Measuring the impact and quality on peoples lives beyond the shallow meaningless metrics for public service is critical.
if the NHS doctors was measured on the impact of healthcare not number of people they saw in one day?
If programmes were focused on genuine impact to peoples lives not filling time with meaningless filler?
If libraries could see the long term impact of the people who did their research years ago and made critical decisions about drugs use years later? Like myself!
But this is just the start of the journey…
This is big research and something we are not doing alone. If you are doing similar get in touch, we could all make a difference! Noticeable initiatives include Nicola Sturgeon’s TED talk recently.
So with no further ado, heres the first of maybe many.
We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed by looking down at our feet or at the new Prime Minster. To quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Ian thinks: The Chinese social credit “system” is discussed everywhere especially when talking about the other end of the scale from surveillance capitalism. Republica’s panel discussion about its actual implementation today, debunking some myths and brought everything in sharper focus from a western view.
Ian thinks: Jamie King’s podcast with episode with Sean Tilley of We Distribute (and formerly the Diaspora project) about the early days of Diaspora, a open source Facebook alternative which was even talked about by myself. The interview picks up a gear when talking about the Fedverse which is all the rage as a viable alternative for the next generation internet
Ian thinks: Nice follow on from the interview with Sean Tilley, there is a very detailed document from Chris Hughes one of the founders of Facebook. About the advantages and disadvantages of Facebook as a social network. The document proposes how to “Defeat” Facebook with trust, transparency, controlling broadcasting, eliminating horrors, killing the real names policy, etc.
Ian thinks: You hear it all the time, but this is a nice summary of a lot of the different aspects which leads to the conclusion that our traditional notion of privacy is dead or dying? The important part is the linked datasets and the consistent need to surveil for those companies business model rely on surveillance capitalism.
Ian thinks: Jonathan Zittrain introduces the term “intellectual debt” to the table while thinking about the accountable of AI. Screams algorithmic literacy supported by more transparency, governance and accountability. Jonathan makes some good comparisons how we didn’t understand how Aspirin worked till 1995 but was commonly prescribed and used.
Ian thinks: When you open source anything, there is always the chance someone will do something with it you don’t like, want or could even be illegal.This is the latest example of how the spirit & diversity of open source is being tested. Mastodon’s federated model has ways to deal with this but its not foolproof and still not palatable for its creator and supporters.
Ian thinks: Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s working draft document for the future web is open for review till September 8th. Is the aim is to have one shared contract for governments, companies and citizens realistic? I encourage all to complete the form to feed into the process
I had the pleasure of being on the panel of re-decentralising internet at Futurefest, last summer. (when England was still in the world cup and the weather was super warm) Feels like so long ago. I’m quite glad its audio only because I was sat in the sunshine sweating a lot!
The internet isn’t where we want it to be. With power increasingly centralised in the hands of very few players, citizens have little say in where we want the internet to go next. But challenging existing dynamics won’t be easy: we find ourselves caught in the crossfire between the dominant American models (driven by Big Tech) and the increasingly powerful Chinese model (where government reigns supreme). Is there scope to create a third, European model, where citizens and communities are in charge?
In this session, we discuss alternative trust models for the internet. This session is part of the European Commission’s Next Generation Internet initiative. We will hear from Manon den Dunnen, strategic specialist at the Dutch National Police, Ian Forrester, Chief Firestarter at BBC R&D and Marta Arniani, innovation strategist and founder of Futuribile / Curating Futures. Chairing will be Katja Bego, senior researcher at Nesta and coordinator of the Next Generation Internet Engineroom project.
Don’t get me wrong some of it did make sense but I felt like they were shooting the messenger not listening to the message. Now to be fair I was listening in the shower and getting ready; so may have missed some key parts while washing my hair. But by the end I was shouting out loud, have they never heard of the Quantified Self?
The point of time well spent isn’t about Tristan dictating some rules from on high. Its meant for us to question our relationship with ubiquitous connected technology and the way the companies behind them influences our lives.
Berners-Lee warned of “two myths” that “limit our collective imagination” when looking for solutions to the problems facing the web: “The myth that advertising is the only possible business model for online companies, and the myth that it’s too late to change the way platforms operate. On both points we need to be a little more creative,” he said.
“I want the web to reflect our hopes and fulfil our dreams, rather than magnify our fears and deepen our divisions,” he said.
Berners-Lee has always maintained that his creation was a reflection of humanity – the good, the bad and the ugly. However, his vision to create an “open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries” has been challenged as the web has become more centralised.
Its very much why I was interested in space wrangling the decentralised space at Mozfest last year. Centralised power corrupts I maintain. Tim is right we need a better vision but rather than spend all that effort trying to reform a horribly broken system of corruption, greed and power. Make an viable alternative which makes the existing model obsolete… (love Buckminster for this great quote)
Its time to build a public service internet which maintains its values, diversity and distributed nature of the public; as an alternative to whats currently seen as the whole internet… We don’t need a new internet, we need competing services with different business models which can talk to each other and give options to the people.
You want a private park which is nicely maintained and don’t mind paying for the privilege? Fine. But if you want a park which is public and has a lively community because its free to the public due to taxes. Fine too. Similar to health care, libraries, transport in Europe, you can pay but there is a baseline.
Critical when thinking about the digital divide and the next 1 billion people.
This still leaves a gaping “digital divide” that exacerbates existing inequalities: you are more likely to be offline if you are female, poor, or live in a rural area or a low-income country.
“To be offline today is to be excluded from opportunities to learn and earn, to access valuable services, and to participate in democratic debate,” Berners-Lee said. “If we do not invest seriously in closing this gap, the last billion will not be connected until 2042. That’s an entire generation left behind.”
Two years ago, the UN declared internet access to be a basic human right on par with clean water, shelter, food and electricity. However, in many places, getting online is prohibitively expensive – the cost of 1GB of mobile broadband in Malawi is more than 20% of the average monthly income. In Zimbabwe, it is nearly 45%.
The internet for most people is the private internet. Its the property of the 5 stacks and the wanna-be startups fighting for position in the patriarchy (hey lets call it what it is). Its a place of attention grabbing, advertising, monetization.