Every alive citizen of the planet is a de-facto member.
- Unknowns. They may or may not know us, We don't know them. They are in the ether.
- Lurkers. They know us. They may or may not like us. We probably know some minimal information about them, e.g., IP addresses; answers to public polls and participation in public forums. They count in "interested membership" counts by estimation. (That's not meant to be negative. It's okay to be a lurker. Most people are most comfortable in that role.)
- Active Members. We are in bidirectional communication! We know various degrees of knowledge about them based on the member's desires to inform us. Selective information is held in confidential form as though it were our own privacy credentials and privacy at stake. "Guard it as though it was yours." This is critical to trust, which is critical to getting close to engineering truth. (How much do you really weigh and what exactly, for real, is your diet, and recreational activities?1)
- Deactivated members. This is our "Black List" of community harmony disrupters. They became known to us as disrupters and have been censured. Reinstatement requires validated contrition and corrected behavior. They count as part of the whole of the population, but we vote for them in roll calls, just like the unknowns.
Active members can individually cast their own ballots on any and all roll calls. After individual member votes are accounted for, polling, statistics and modeling are used to allocate votes to the rest of the membership (all approximately 7.5 billion of you) according to models2 developed by the active members.
Unknowns and lurkers can root for teams, but since we don't know who you are, you don't participate in team activities. But, we're friendly, so some times we will do "membership events" where you can interact anonymously. We will do what we can to try to ensure a fair 1 person 1 member representation of opinion.
Deactivated members are disallowed from team activities.
Active Members are allowed freedom to roam and participate in a manner that suits their style and desires. You've identified yourself as an interested individual and we appreciate that. Join as many or as few groups and activities as you wish. Contribute to blog posts, establish a byline, write documentation, write software, learn about computer architecture, experiment with AI, play games (serious games), plan the future for your grand kids.
Badges, in some form, are symbolic forms of recognition and proclamation of interests, skill, and attitudes (among other things). Badges are optional and are managed by the member at their own discretion. They are useful from at least two perspectives, that of the owner, and that of a citizen in need of assistance. Badges are not self assigned, nor are they transferable from external environments and institutions. I applaud your academic and industry credentials, but I've seen a lot of folks without those credentials who don't feel respected3. That's bad for moral. Badges and badge levels are awarded internally primarily to identify and respect competence and a desire to assist others in terms of mentorship or guidance. They also identify learners and trainees who may need additional expanations. Volunteers for "assist others" tasks, including especially tutors, even if its just how to find your way around the campus, can apply for badges to facilitate collaborative engagement. (The whole thing isn't a contest. But contest awards can be developed for the game environments. Compare your own score, and that of your friends, on how local or national government is or should be doing in problem solving. Embarrass your congress person with their score compared to your score. And be able to justify why they should change their attitude about an issue of concern.)
It sounds silly, but it's a real problem. We are very serious about one person, one vote in all of this; and we're serious about being able to know who we are communicating with. All that "trust" talk wasn't just a flapping of gums. You see us. We want to "see" you. We will do our best to allow everyone to express their own opinions in a fair and equitable fashion. And, we were not born yesterday. Integrity is a serious issue with some human folks these days. It's dark out there. People are totally shattering civility and they think that it's a cool thing. It ain't. So we want to ensure we have some idea that our policies and principles will be upheld and respected. It's a community self respect kind of thing. So you need to badge up to get in. (Its a private club. I believe we have a right to discriminate on a basis like this. If we just don't trust you, we'll let you know, and you can appeal.) But getting a badge is easy. And if it isn't, we'll fix that.
We authenticate and manage membership based on OpenID authentication, and/or based on our own privacy and trust network. That means there are two pathways to "Active Member" privileges:
- Use an OpenID authentication to log in to the system (currently limited to this web site)
- Get invited by a trusted member of the benevolent overloads. (#1 above is so much easier on everyone.)
Ok. Here's the story. If you try to log in right now you are going nowhere. Nothing you can see here, or do here, will change. Those games I talked about, their design specifications. They are here yet. But you can "register" none the less, with a comment, by using the contact form, or by subscribing to a feed, etc. Follow Us in one way or another, and we'll keep you informed about progress, and making that log in mean something.
OpenID is an open standard and decentralized authentication protocol.
Promoted by the non-profit OpenID Foundation, it allows users to be authenticated by co-operating sites (known as Relying Parties or RP) using a third party service, eliminating the need for webmasters to provide their own ad hoc login systems, and allowing users to log in to multiple unrelated websites without having to have a separate identity and password for each.
Several large organizations either issue or accept OpenIDs on their websites according to the OpenID Foundation: AOL, Blogger, Flickr, France Telecom, Google, Amazon.com, Hyves, LiveJournal, Microsoft (provider name Microsoft account), Mixi, Myspace, Novell, Orange, Sears, Sun, Telecom Italia, Universal Music Group, VeriSign, WordPress, Yahoo!, the BBC, IBM, PayPal, and Steam, although some of those organizations also have their own authentication management. Facebook did use OpenID in the past, but moved to Facebook Connect4.
Users create accounts by selecting an OpenID identity provider, and then use those accounts to sign onto any website which accepts OpenID authentication. The OpenID standard provides a framework for the communication that must take place between the identity provider and the OpenID acceptor (the "relying party"). An extension to the standard (the OpenID Attribute Exchange) facilitates the transfer of user attributes, such as name and gender, from the OpenID identity provider to the relying party (each relying party may request a different set of attributes, depending on its requirements).
- 1. You don't have to study this for the exam, but asking to answer questions like that twice could create some interesting poll results. What's the real answer? What do you admit in public? What did you tell the pollster? Are you telling us the truth?
- 2. Note: Models may not use a 1 person 1 vote allocation strategy.
- 3. Because they came up with better answers than the "smart guys," who couldn't think outside of the box they were stuck in, could come up with.
- 4. If this becomes a problem we can fix it. Popular platforms should be lobbied for a way to provide authentication of their members