[OpenID] OpenID Chance II

Bob Wyman bob at wyman.us
Fri Feb 2 19:31:58 UTC 2007

It's interesting to see that Citizendium is interested in getting verifiable
"identity data" concerning its contributors. However, I'm curious to know if
anyone can suggest a fundamental difference between the kind of "identity
data" that they seek and the kind of factual data that they will publish in
Citizendium itself. What, if anything, makes qualitative identity data
"different" from claims in any other realm?

To claim that an individual does or does not hold the degree "Phd" seems to
me to be very much like claiming that a battle did or did not happen at
Hastings in 1066. (I assume that Citizendium will, in fact, have recorded
within it the claim that such a battle did occur...) In both cases, a claim
is made by some authority and the strength of the claim will, I assume, be
largely related to the reputation of the authority. In both cases, however,
the binding between the claim and the claimant is independent of reputation.
The only difference between the first claim (re: Phd) and the second (re:
1066) is that one is a claim about a person and the other is not. However,
it seems to me that the technology used to make one claim does not differ
from the technology needed to make the second. Thus, it would be very odd, I
think, if we ended up with one method for making claims about people and
another for making claims about non-people... Citizendium should be able to
publish statements like: "Professor X claimed, on 1-Feb-2007, that a battle
was fought at Hastings in 1066." Then, just as people are likely to say
things like: "I know it is true since I read it at Citizendium," other
applications and other individuals should then be able to bolster their own
claims by referring to the claims encoded on Citizendium. How is any of this
different from  what we need to maintain and assert claims about qualitative

bob wyman
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