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OpenHumanity

Nobody wants to be a liar
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Imagine open-source ideals applied to every aspect of human existence. Since “every aspect of human existence” is a pretty hard thing to describe in less than 100,000,000 words, I'll start with a random starting point and branch out. Let's say I have an on line Book store, and I want to make it into an OpenBusiness. To do this I have to meet a number of license criteria:

- Publish all current and past financial information on line, giving my customers a verifiable break down of what my expenses are and what my revenue is. It is verifiable due to the fact that the customers themselves can see their own transactions appear and can post corrections and objections on line for everyone to see (think ebay feedback) - Publish all business related communication on line (emails, instant chats, VoIP conversation recordings) - Publish all client names and contact information - Publish all source names and contact information ... in general I have to open up my business just as if it was source code.

Of course, by now your heart is pounding either with fear: this guy is naked – he'll get robbed out there ... or with greed: this guy is a moron – let's put him out of his misery before he hurts himself. I say that if you find yourself naked in the middle of the city (and refuse to put your clothes on), then the only other way not to feel naked and/or like a moron is to get your self to a nudist beach.

If a critical mass of business around me adopted the same OpenBusiness model all this fear would disappear. We would all be on a level playing field. All the hassle of having to hide information or to paint a nicer facade for the clients would disappear as well. OpenBusiness would now deliver greater value to the customers just like the open source movement has done for software. When buying a book from the OpenBusiness bookstore you could easily see very interesting information that could guide your buying decision. The usefulness of the information would be intensified by the fact that many OpenBusiness would be linked together. For example:

- How much profit is this company making on the book compared to some other company? - How many children-man-hours were required during the production of the book? - How many trees were cut down to produce the book? - How much recycled material was used to produce the book? - How much money is going to the author of the book?

All this information would be available by querying the OpenBusiness information interface. Bookstores would stop competing on the basis of who has the lowest price, and start competing on basis of what's most important for their clients. The classic “bottom line” would be replaced by a holistic re-evaluation of value ... this would increase efficiency and cooperation between the OpenBusiness bookstores.

As you can well imagine all this would hinge on absolute trust in transparency. To achieve this OpenBusiness would have to be only one small component of the whole picture. OpenGovernment, OpenNGOs, OpenPoliticalGroups, OpenTaxation, OpenLaw, OpenPolice, OpenArmy, OpenEducation, OpenFamily, and OpenRelationships would all have to follow soon.

And what about the obvious counter examples of things that just can't be made “Open”? Will we have OpenTerrorism, OpenWar, OpenConflict, OpenTheft, OpenAssasination, OpenAbuse, OpenRape? No. My theory is that when the Open movement reaches a critical mass it will make many of the negative realities of human existence obsolete. Lies and mis-information will become obsolete. Would you lie if everyone could read your mind? Would you care that someone can read your mind if you could read everyone else's mind also?

I think everyone would like to tell the truth but it's way to scary if you are the only one talking. Ohh, you like to tell a nice evil lie once in a while? Me too, that's where the game industry steps in with the "Grand Compulsive Liar" game series.

ixnaum, Aug 25 2005

(?) OpenPortfolios http://www.openportfolios.com
I started this one. [ninehigh, Aug 25 2005]

Mindswap (Trust and Reputation) http://trust.mindswap.org/
[ixnaum, Aug 28 2005]

Person Tagging http://www.dividedl...9105/Person_Tagging
link relevant to a comment [tristil, Aug 29 2005]

Corporate Fallout Detector http://www.gizmodo....detector-105373.php
[tristil, Aug 29 2005]

Overbaked http://groups.yahoo.com/group/overbaked/
[wagster, Aug 31 2005]

(?) Stupid Idea OpenHumanity Discussion http://www.stupididea.com/openhumanity
[tristil, Sep 01 2005]

Transparent accounting http://www.daviddfr...sAcc.html#id2797163
The notion of a "global namespace of accounts" should be of especial interest. [LoriZ, Dec 02 2005]

P2P manufacturing http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/?p=8
You may find this addresses many of the theoretical concerns raised. Especially noteworthy is the Big Blue Saw. [LoriZ, May 13 2006]

Electronic Frontier Foundation http://www.eff.org/
[JesusHChrist, May 14 2006]

Scratchpad.wikia OpenHumanity Discussion http://scratchpad.w.../wiki/Open_humanity
Yet another fan site! [LoriZ, Jun 12 2006]

What if Amazon were Free? http://searchengine...article.php/2161741
Since you used a hypothetical online buukstore as a ferinstance or case study, I suppose this is apropos. [LoriZ, Jun 30 2006]

OpenHuman http://openhuman.org/
[ixnaum, Nov 07 2006]

Semco http://www.cioinsig...NKT0209KTX1K0100481
CEO Ricardo Semler set up a profit-sharing system and insisted that the company's financials be published internally, so that everyone could see how the company was doing. [LoriZ, Feb 02 2007]

Open source surveying and prospecting http://www.marginal...o_for_the_gold.html
Frustrated that his in-house geologists couldn't reliably estimate the value and location of the gold on his property, Goldcorp CEO Rob McEwen did something unheard of in his industry: He published his geological data on the Web for all to see and challenged the world to do the prospecting. [LoriZ, Feb 24 2007]

MIT's OpenSource Education http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html
This is partly related: MIT has started publishing most of their courses online for free access and self-directed study. Does not directly apply to the 'truthiness' of the education, but other interesting ascpects of opensource movements [glemieux, Mar 09 2007]

my OBC idea OBC
Thinking along the same lines [zeno, Jun 01 2007]

Autlabs, whose goal is better employment prospects for autistic folkx. http://autlabs.wikispaces.com/
Their "business plans are not trade secrets, they are open documents available for public review and critique." [LoriZ, Jun 15 2009]

Workers’ control and the fight against business secrecy http://www.fifthint...st-business-secrecy
The capitalists keep their plans and accounts a closely guarded secret from their workers. Against business secrecy, therefore, we fight for the opening of all enterprise bank accounts, account books and computers, to the inspection of the workers themselves. [LoriZ, Sep 27 2010]

[link]






       You have a beautiful mind. I don't think this is even idealistic, it's just the future, the only thing is how far in the future.   

       Critical mass will only come about when everybody is given access. Google is a step towards open access, but there are lots of things that are still in the way. Most of the things are behind most of the people who communicate online, rather than out in front of us, meaning they are things we assume everyone knows, like how to turn a computer on, how to open a browser, how to sign up for an email address without getting so frustrated that you throw your computer away. If you can make participating in the online world as easy as talking on the telephone or hanging out on the porch then you will be halfway there.
JesusHChrist, Aug 25 2005
  

       //Bookstores would stop competing on the basis of who has the lowest price, and start competing on basis of what's most important for their clients.//
Would they all charge the same price? If not, they would still be competing on price, even if not deliberately. Your 'For example' questions in para 5 all have the same answer: "I don't care." Why would a store publish all of this information? Why not simply take advantage of the business intelligence that other stores have published, thereby optimising their own operation?
angel, Aug 25 2005
  

       //Why would a store publish all of this information? Why not simply take advantage of the business intelligence that other stores have published, thereby optimising their own operation?//   

       To be a licensed OpenBusiness, you'd have to meet the criteria of openness that I outlined. If you don't fine, but that's where the critical mass comes in. If most businesses are secretive then it forces all new businesses to be secretive also. If most businesses are open it will open most other businesses to open too.   

       Just to throw in one more example in. Think about OpenCountry concept. If a whole country adopted this open concept today they would get completely raped in a week. Other countries would just look up useful info and take advantage of it. Only if a critical mass of countries adopted this then they could provide sufficient mutual protection to each other to be "safe".   

       As far as a good starting point, I think maybe OpenNGOs or OpenCharity should be the first to be chalenged to become open. Supposedly they are more pure than angels - so let them prove it and let them become OpenNGO/OpenCharity licensed. This way you and I could go into their every email, and every record in their finances and see with our own eyes and not just "take their word for it". But even in this area it might be hard to reach critical mass because I think even NGOs and charities have too much to hide - think about UN oil for food program for example.   

       Does anyone else have ideas for good starting points? Areas where groups - want - to prove that they have nothing to hide? Programmers and their source were the first to step up - who could be next?
ixnaum, Aug 25 2005
  

       I'm sorry, but I still don't see the point. You're saying that if all businesses did this, there would be no disadvantage in not doing it, but what are the advantages? Particularly, what are the advantages in doing it when not all other businesses are doing it?
angel, Aug 25 2005
  

       I like it - but - the only way it will be achieved is when the means of production become cheap enough to be essentially worthless.   

       It is easy to have open source software, because it has no tenable value. But premises, machienery and goods etc are all capital, and as such are too tempting to most people for them to resist keeping things for themselves, or running off, flogging the gear and starting up somewhere new.   

       That doesn't mean I don't think this idea could work, and I do think what you have here *is* more here than just a 'let's all' (live in a utopian paradise) - Because it has been proven to work incredibly well in the software world.
zen_tom, Aug 25 2005
  

       Come the revolution, we shall seize control of the means of production. Oh bugger - they're not worth as much as we thought. Oh well, let's go down the pub instead.
Ian Tindale, Aug 25 2005
  

       Are all these things that matter to us humans even knowable, much less recordable and sharable?   

       It would take enormous resources to collect & verify the microdata, and only large companies could afford that infrastructure. I don't think anyone's utopia includes only a few large companies dominating.
sophocles, Aug 25 2005
  

       One thing that I think we'd need to sort out first is OpenLanguage. All the languages I know of have plenty of words that differ by tiny shades of meaning. That's what makes a language rich, and helps us communicate. But consider; what's the difference between OpenWar, OpenDefence, OpenPeacekeeping, OpenPoliceAction, OpenPre-emptiveStrike, OpenAdvising (was reading about Vietnam earlier)... it's perfectly possible to be completely truthful and still mislead everybody, and what does openness mean then? And it's all very well banning 'Misleading Statements', but very difficult to do this in practice. If you don't allow people to qualify their speech by saying things like 'At this point I believe that..' then I think you'll find people unwilling to take part in this Open thing. And if you do allow it, that's a can of worms right there.
  

       In the UK at the moment, there's a big fuss about a poor innocent guy who got shot by the police on the underground. Eyewitness accounts, broadcast within hours if not minutes, suddenly seem completely mistaken. If that's not a demonstration of how difficult OpenPolicing would be, then I don't know what is.   

       Interesting website, by the way.
moomintroll, Aug 25 2005
  

       //It would take enormous resources to collect & verify the microdata, and only large companies could afford that infrastructure//   

       The infrastructure might not be expensive, in fact it could be freely available through OpenSource. If all the companies participating in OpenBusiness shared a standard business protocol, OpenSource applications would spring up to query and manage all the information - only publicly.
ixnaum, Aug 25 2005
  

       // The only way it will be achieved is when the means of production become cheap enough to be essentially worthless. //   

       I agree with you here - I think I went bit too far into the utopian futureland when I said "every aspect" that is definitely far fetched *today*. But I still believe that there are many human activities that could be opened today. Many businesses and organization are nearly purely virtual with their biggest capital being knowledge and information. All their capital consists of a $300 computer and a chair to sit on.
ixnaum, Aug 25 2005
  

       // but what are the advantages? Particularly, what are the advantages in doing it when not all other businesses are doing it? //   

       What are the advantages of open source when not all other businesses are doing it? Stability, flexibility, security, lower costs, increased innovation rate. The reason M$ will *choose* to go open source eventually is because closed source will have lost out. The only question is when, not if.
ixnaum, Aug 25 2005
  

       //One thing that I think we'd need to sort out first is OpenLanguage//   

       Yes, although numbers are also a form of communication. If all participants share the same protocol the numbers can be free of false statistics. For example Ebay ... you get a combination of both.   

       Numeric: Good / Bad feedback ratio represented by the number of stars Words: Detailed description on what happened .. you can believe it or not, it's the overall picture together with the detail that gives you the sense what the words mean.   

       Words can lie most effectively when there are few voices, when the number of voices increases we *approach* truth
ixnaum, Aug 25 2005
  

       My stance on open source, which suprised many of my fellow students when I expressed it during last semester (they knowing how I'm a linux user (although I'm primarily a OS X user)) is that you will rarely see innovation coming from the open source arena. What you'll see is copycatting - some of it pretty good, some of it unrestrainedly aimless, most of it not user-experience finished or documented properly. Then there's a very limited quantity - a handful - of 'flagship' open source projects that you can always point to - the apache family, samba/rsync, linux and bsd itself, and suchlike. Most of the rest of it is simply copycatting, not innovating, from OpenOffice.org all the way down to the million and one OS-X-alike icon sets that people persist in creating for Gnome and KDE.
Ian Tindale, Aug 25 2005
  

       Not so impressed with the open-source movement at the moment - I've been trying to find some stuff for my Palm. This was easy five, six years ago - now you have to pay for everything.
moomintroll, Aug 25 2005
  

       //Not so impressed with the open-source movement at the moment//   

       That's mostly to do with the inefficiencies of reverse engineering closed source. OpenOffice is not as good as M$ Office only because so much effort was wasted on making it compatible.   

       Lack of inovation is partly due to the above point ... that's why if you want to see inovation you have to look at technologies that deal with open standards: VoIP, XML, SQL, PHP ... in those OpenTechnologies OpenSource rules - by far. In closed technologies - if you know the secret you are the king. Not because your technology is better - but only because hold a key to a valuable secret. But it's only a matter of time before the secret is reverse-engineered or leaked.... just look at Samba, Exchange compatibility, .NET   

       Even Mac OS X suffers the same problems. The only reason for it's salvation was the fact that the grand master and ruler of the universe Bill decided in all his glory to allow Mac to run M$ Office. It's pragmatic realities like that which make all the difference between success and failure. That's why the idea of critical mass is so important.
ixnaum, Aug 25 2005
  

       I agree that openness is good in very many situations. Anyone who didn't believe this would not typically visit the halfbakery.   

       But, look at, for example SOX (Sarbenes Oxley). This was a law passed in the US in the wake of massive corporate corruption (Worldcom, Enron), that is mandating more disclosure, openness, auditability to the internal workings of companies. The result? Massive drains of company resources to document what they weren't even documenting before. Even if you had an open-source infrastructure (websites, databases), you'd need labor to do data entry. That's the burden that may not have enough value. Not every small company (3-15 people) is going to afford to hire another 1-2 people to do data entry.
sophocles, Aug 25 2005
  

       //you'd need labor to do data entry//   

       I don't agree with this. Increasingly pen and paper are becoming obsolete. - Phone conversations can be automatically archived and published online without you even knowing about it (VoIP) - Email can be fed online automatically (Web Scripting) - Instant messaging can be fed online automatically (Web scripting) - Financial information can be made available automatically (SQL/XML technology) - Online meetings can be recorded and published automatically (Video/Audio recording)   

       ... that covers 80%+ of business activity these days .. right?   

       The only parts you would miss are person to person meetings. The only reason this could work is because the world is becoming virtualized.... more and more every day. Soon what I said about there not being an easy way to record live communication will be obsolete. If I wanted to open up every single thing about my own business up it would be relatively easy to do with today's technology. (and I'm running a small 1 man show here)   

       But I do agree with this earlier statement that seems to reflect your concern also.   

       // If you can make participating in the online world as easy as talking on the telephone or hanging out on the porch then you will be halfway there. //   

       ... my point is that we are *almost* there.
ixnaum, Aug 25 2005
  

       ixnaum, what a beautiful idea. How long have you hidden from us?
DesertFox, Aug 25 2005
  

       //... that is mandating more disclosure, openness, auditability to the internal workings of companies//   

       There is your answer *mandating* ... if anyone mandates that I do something I'll be making whining noises and doing it 2x slower just to show them how much they are hurting me. Just tell me what you did when your parents mandated that you cleaned up your room ... there is your answer.   

       I never said anything about mandating. I claim "nobody wants to be a liar" not "nobody should be a liar" ... big difference   

       What is more time consuming? Hiding the truth or letting everyone have a look and make up their own minds?
ixnaum, Aug 25 2005
  

       [DesertFox] ... I have not hidden from halfbakery... halfbakery has hidden from me :-)
ixnaum, Aug 25 2005
  

       perhaps it has its reasons...
po, Aug 25 2005
  

       [po] ...perhaps
ixnaum, Aug 25 2005
  

       [normzone] covers his eyes and begins counting rapidly to 100 while [halfbakery] runs and hides....
normzone, Aug 25 2005
  

       ixnaum, you're going to throw in the margin you need to live on a month during your next raise discussion?   

       Margin is already not hidden. Read any public company's 10K, they have to disclose it.   

       Competition is not only healthy but necessary to survival, and there is no competition without incentive.   

       As to marketing fud and fluff, yes, it is tiresome, but wishing it away is a WIBNI.   

       Ian is waiting for you at the pub :)
theircompetitor, Aug 25 2005
  

       Since it would take an army to evaluate your own existence, it would take a multitude of bean counters to scrape up all of this information, the costs of which would quickly put the business under.
RayfordSteele, Aug 25 2005
  

       I had an idea very similar to this a few years back. I called it the transparent corporation. I don't know if I deleted it by accident or not, but it had more fishbones than any of my other political ideas.   

       The times, they are a-changin'...
dbsousa, Aug 25 2005
  

       //Competition is not only healthy but necessary to survival//   

       I didn't say anything about getting rid of competition. I agree that without competition it's all over.   

       Look at the open source community. There is competition between projects. But the competition is based on quality, speed of delivery, innovation and user acceptance. So, just because you make your book store one of the many OpenBusinesses doesn't mean you can't compete any more. Instead of competing purely on who has the lowest price / highest profit (or better yet who can con the public into believing they have the lowest price / highest profit) the competition will become for who is the most efficient in whatever values people have. People who value money will still look at the lowest price. People who value environment will look at that aspect. People who value human rights will look at that.   

       Competition will be even more of a driving force. If you will want to start your own book store and compete with a book store that is clearly incompetent in a certain area you could. You could learn from your competitions mistakes and they could learn from yours. In fact just reading this should make you think - what a tough job that would be - I'd actually have to start earning my right to survive in business I couldn't survive just because I happen to have a pretty large bookstore that can pull its weight around and squash competition. And I believe this is the case with anything. Being secretive provides people and organizations with greater security, stability, and power. Being open on the other hand creates true competition - since you have to *earn* everything you get (cheating is made hard or impossible)   

       Going back to the real life open source example: Microsoft's closed technology secrets and monopoly is not driving competition - it is killing it. M$ doesn't have to *earn* it's money - open source does.
ixnaum, Aug 25 2005
  

       ixnaum, I'm a programmer, I don't believe in open source, and I have made a lot of money on Microsoft technologies, as have probably more people than almost any other example.   

       If we can accept that wanting to make money is not evil, then we can work on accepting that wanting to "protect" how you make money is not evil either.   

       This idea can't help being a WIBNI or advocacy in my book
theircompetitor, Aug 25 2005
  

       Sure money is not evil. Protecting your money is not evil either. I saved a bunch of it over the years myself (plus 1 and 1/2 croisants) I just think it's not the most *efficient* way to spend human potential. Earth is apparently running out of resources and space - so efficiency is becoming pretty important factor for survival. I believe openness as a mode of life is more efficient than closedness. You simply get more bang for each unit of human potential.
ixnaum, Aug 26 2005
  

       yes, wouldn't it be nice. ixnaum, would human existence be more efficient without wars?   

       Operator?
theircompetitor, Aug 26 2005
  

       //I believe openness as a mode of life is more efficient than closedness.//
Which is why Bill Gates is so much poorer than Linus Torvalds.
angel, Aug 26 2005
  

       angel and their competitor, but that's my point. Money isn't necessarily a measure of efficiency. Is Michael Jackson efficient? Was Spain efficient after the time it conquered the Aztech empire? Is USA efficient?   

       And did all these places/people get the way they are by being efficient?   

       Michael Jackson - I'm not sure he saved up penny by penny to buy his Neverland Ranch. The money just rolled in through his door one day and he said "I'm rich now"   

       Spain - They stole the gold - period. Now this might lead us somewhere, when you think about it from perspective of Spain - stealing was the most efficient way for them to make a living. When I say that openness is more efficient than closedness I mean for all parties involved. If I steal $100 from Angel I can't really claim - hey look at me how efficient I was, I made $100 in 2 minutes. *I* was efficient - but *we* were not efficient at all during our contact. *We* were inefficient because now Angel has to spend effort on more security in case of contact with Ixnaum and Ixnaum has to spend more effort not to get caught by the authorities. (there is your answer [yourcompetition] ... wars are efficient localy for the winner but inefficient globaly)   

       USA - a combination of Spain (Power) and Michael Jackson (Status/Luck)   

       I'm sure you will find many examples of rich people/countries who got that way because they were efficient - that's all good. That doesn't disprove my point. I didn't say that "money is never a measure of efficiency" ... all I said that "money isn't necessarily a measure of efficiency" ...   

       Actually money is definitely useful in all this, because with money you could measure efficiency quite well within a OpenBusiness environment. Even though money is nice because it is familiar to us, in an OpenBusiness environment you have other interesting benchmarks to look at other than the crude money figure. And depending what you are trying to measure you might - or you might not - find that there are benchmarks that better suit what you are really looking for in life.   

       But back to the question of efficiency. Is Linus more efficient than Bill even though Linus has less money? My answer is yes. The goal was to create an OS. Linus used less resources from earth to get his job done than his counterpart Bill. The interesting thing to notice is that the context matters a lot. If we focus on the individuals - rather than the earth as a whole system. Bill used much less of his own resources/time/effort than Linus. But that's kind of like the spain example - ya, stealing is efficient localy but inefficient globaly.
ixnaum, Aug 26 2005
  

       You could catch a shoal of herring with an argument like that.
Ian Tindale, Aug 26 2005
  

       Ian .. and why would that be?
ixnaum, Aug 26 2005
  

       [ixnaum], the point I've been making is that regardless of the merits of your idea, it's a WIBNI which theoretically is outside the bounds of the HalfBakery.   

       As to the merits, there have been some spectacular failures in trying to improve upon the efficiencies of markets. While you don't appear to be attacking markets directly, markets depend, among other things, on greed.   

       This does create certain localized inefficiencies (as in the case of a run on the bank), but over the long term has worked better than other models.   

       This greed makes it unlikely that the human condition would permit the economic parts of your idea to trully ever work, just as that other great idea, control over the means of production and to each according to his needs, didn't really work out either, though it works for ants.   

       The answer to better software is not, and will never be, open source. But that's an overbaked argument, as this is becoming as well.
theircompetitor, Aug 26 2005
  

       Yes I think you are getting at something. Humans are excellent at optimizing their own survival given any set of rules out there in the society. (a.k.a. greed) This means that introducing new rules to the game of life will inevitably be bent and the individuals who do the best job of bending them "win". So the rules of openness will be bent as well - corruption will inevitably creep in. Ebay with it's smart check and balances has corruption also. But Ebay has less corruption than your typical mall given the relative lack of security measures in place. All I'm saying that there are levels of corruption and levels of securit neccessary to control corruption. My idea is that it is possible to systematically balance corruption through organized openness. The survivability of openness in a closed environment is proven by open source community ... it's not getting as raped as one might expect.   

       My idea basically sais that openness as a means of organization can compete with closedness - and gradually take over over as a primary means of organization over an extended period of time. (no revolutions here)   

       As for halfbakery being the wrong venue ... I think you are absolutely right. This idea is too theoretical and speculative .. it doesn't provide anythign conrete - how? when? ...... and definitely doesn't follow the spirit of the Hullaballoon. But this is my first posted idea so I'll try to be more careful next time :-)
ixnaum, Aug 26 2005
  

       //Money isn't necessarily a measure of efficiency.//
That rather depends. Bill Gates, in common with pretty much everyone else in business, is in business to make money. The fact that he's managed to make quite a lot tends to indicate that he and his company are pretty efficient at what they do; which is not 'selling software', it's 'making money'.
angel, Aug 26 2005
  

       //Bill ...is in business to make money. The fact that he's managed to make quite a lot tends to indicate that he and his company are pretty efficient at what they do//   

       They are just as efficient as Spain was efficient at getting at the Aztec gold. I agree. But do you agree with me on the idea of global efficiency and local efficiency? If Ixnaum steals $100 from Angel and it takes him 2 minutes he'll be as efficient as Bill gates is..... $100 every 2 minutes working 8 hour shifts 40 hours per week that's roughly $30,000,000 per month.... not bad :-) ... and Ixnaum doesn't even have to pay taxes ;-)   

       ... but that's local efficiency ... globally both Ixnaum and Angel (or whoever else is invoved with this scheme) are screwed (because of the reasons I mentioned in an earlier comment)
ixnaum, Aug 26 2005
  

       ixnaum, You've got a concrete idea here, or a family of concrete ideas. You could define each one separately, and each would be seen to be very practical and quite specific, but that would get boring fast. Your main idea, relating to corporations or as you say, better yet NGOs and charities, is simply a good idea waiting for a technical implementation. It's possible to get very specific here: charities receive many of their donations through online payments; these are already stored in a database; from this a rolling budget can be displayed in real-time; purchases can be made with corporate credit cards, so that the credit card company can do the bookkeeping; these annotated deductions can be displayed to the public in real-time; the software to do all this could be developed as a turn-key opensource software package. The benefit to the pioneering charity would be the competitively positive distinction of being the first "open" charity. People worried about making their donations count would favor this charity over others. This isn't WIBNI, it's totally straightforward.   

       Nice Plone site, ninehigh :).   

       ixnaum, if you have an essay or a dissertation on this, I have a virtual server you can host on. I even have a spare domain, stupididea.com. No, really :).
tristil, Aug 26 2005
  

       tristil - your stupid idea sounds like a good idea :-)   

       I think I'll let this OpenHumanity bake some more in here first though ...
ixnaum, Aug 26 2005
  

       //You could catch a shoal of herring with an argument like that//   

       1. A shoal?
2. herrings argue?
blissmiss, Aug 27 2005
  

       //Otherwise everyone in the Halfbakery would use their real names without fear.//   

       You don't necessarily need to use your real name for OpenHumanity to work. No one wants to give too much unnecessary information. But giving information that is clearly relevant to the "transaction" between individuals is easily justifiable. For example, if I'm involved in a dating service I wouldn't mind publishing my height,weight,age,and gender. However if I'm selling books online I would be extremely reluctant to give out any of that information.   

       For example, even though Ebay is very anonymous it seems to control fraud quite well. That's because Ebay publishes only the relevant information that is needed for people to trust each other.   

       Of course as the applications for opennes become more wide spread the relevant range of information about you will also grow.   

       The biggest obstacle to this idea is fear. You can't force or convince people (or even yourself) not to be scared. The only thing you can do is slowly remove fear by incremental conditioning - by slow voluntary change   

       If someone says that they can mandate OpenHumanity as a policy I will tell them that they are out of their minds. People would run away from it with fear - and so would I. But I believe that OpenHumanity can grow little by little (and it is right now as we speak). OpenHumanity can work best when people don't have much to hide regarding their particular activity. Some areas that might be good candidates might be OpenNGOs or OpenCharities since theoretically they have less to hide and therefore less to fear.   

       Private information gives you power. That's why any goverment or business action to take away your privacy feels to threatening. If someone wants to take your power away you will definitely feel threatened. But power causes problems. Think guns instead of privacy for a moment - just as an illustration. Guns give people power. If someone wants to take away your gun they want to take away your power. No one should be forced to give up their gun (I think guns are stupid and don't provide *real protection*, but I wouldn't say it's a good idea to *force* everyone to give up their guns because that wouldn't work - because there is simply too much fear) OpenHumanity doesn't take away people's "guns" it's just a system to voluntarily reduce everyone's gun caliber.   

       OpenHumanity doesn't take away people's privacy it's just a system that helps people voluntarily reduce it. If you participate on Ebay, you have just given up your privacy regarding your past purchases and sales... and most importantly you did so completely voluntarily and without fear... that's the scenario that OpenHumanity would operate under.   

       ...The more I think about it, I'm simply writing about a trend that is already here and I believe will grow into the future .. so it's not really my idea ... my idea is that instead of stumbling across applications by accident we could harness OpenHumanity as a model.
ixnaum, Aug 28 2005
  

       //if morality represents the ideal world, then economics represents the actual world//   

       Yes that's absolutely right bobdam... but it doesn't apply to the concept of OpenHumanity. OpenHumanity is not driven by morality and morality is not the goal of OpenHumanity. Morality is the side effect. In the exactly the same way as corruption is not the goal of economics.   

       OpenHumanity is simply a "tweak" to the economic process that has the side effect of achieving some interesting moral ideals. If OpenHumanity was ever to become a moral force it would be it's end. The concept would become completely warped into something that would never work ... and that I'd be personally against.
ixnaum, Aug 28 2005
  

       //even though Ebay is very anonymous it seems to control fraud quite well//
Really? Is that why a Google search for "ebay fraud" returns 980,000 hits?
angel, Aug 28 2005
  

       me want much love wanting me. [+]
daseva, Aug 28 2005
  

       We have just folded space from Ix...many machines on Ix.... new machines.   

       I like your idea intrinsically. I almost always tell the truth when asked - because it is right, because I'm a crap liar, and because I lack the foresight to see the implications of speaking the unadulterated truth. This often gets me into some trouble - total openness is not really viable. I imagine the first company to do this would do quite well due to the publicity they would attract, but as more companies did it the advantages would start to diminish.   

       One interesting implication of your (WIBNI) idea lies with the drug companies. They are very protective of the intellectual property that they hold as they have aquired it at great cost. There are thousands of trials of thousands of drugs that will never be published, their development being shelved in favour of something that will make more profit or get to market quicker. Other drug companies will then retread the same research path not knowing that others have done it before them, a shocking inefficiency by anyone's standards. It would be nice to see a mandate (oooh!) that enforced drug companies to publish results of any research that is longer being developed. I was going to post this as an idea in it's own right, but I'm still working on the details.   

       It's ok [daseva], we all love you. Take two of these.
wagster, Aug 28 2005
  

       yep wagster, we should in fact dictate what the pharmas work on. tht way our healthcare system would be at least as good as the ussr's
theircompetitor, Aug 28 2005
  

       Nonono [tc], they should work on whatever they want to, but if Merck is investigating an obscure cancer inhibitor it should be able to force disclosure of any research done on that particular compound by GSK or whoever, *so long as* that company has discontinued research into that particular compound (i.e. not invested within the last 12 months).
wagster, Aug 28 2005
  

       //Really? Is that why a Google search for "ebay fraud" returns 980,000 hits?//   

       That's pretty low isn't it? Just think about what ebay is. Bunch of strangers who can't look each other in the eyes for trust purposes, who have made up nick names, and can't come knock on each other's doors to kick each other's asses if they get ripped off. And only 980,000 hits in that kind of environment? That's pretty low to me.   

       Imagine if same thing as Ebay was doing was implemented on the street store. You would cut street store fraud/corruption quite a bit.   

       I never said Ebay is perfect - I said Ebay seems to be doing something relatively smart considering the challenge of what they are trying to accomplish   

       * and also 980,000 isn't quite a true statistic. You searched for "ebay fraud". This would include any site that mentions those two words together. What if there are 900,000 sites that say "Ebay has extremely low fraud levels"?
ixnaum, Aug 28 2005
  

       theircompetitor, wagster ... I don't like this talk of *force*, *mandate* ... I think that would fail because there would be so much back lash. And because of the backlash the companies would invest millions in fighting the system or tricking it. That would just fail.   

       If there is no way to setup a voluntary system then that part of society has not reached the critical mass (from other supporting areas - doesn't have to be from the same area)   

       I have to go to work :-) ... but I'll give this some thought because it's interesing challenge for my idea to work. The challenge is: what prerequisites would have to be in place for pharmaceutical companies to open up voluntarily?
ixnaum, Aug 28 2005
  

       They would have to have a stake in any profits generated. Even a mandatory disclosure system would need to have that if the laws were to make it through congress/parliament. If a drugs company had undisclosed intellectual property sitting on a database doing nothing, it might consider releasing that information to a competitor doing similar research if it was cut in for X% of the profits of any drug arising from the use of that information. Coopetition.
wagster, Aug 28 2005
  

       Open Pharmaceutical Research   

       I promised the prerequisites for pharmaceutical research to voluntarily open up. The gist of it is something like this: Right now pharmaceutical research is very secretive since it operates in a winer-takes-all environment. If company A is 99% done with research on a new drug but company B is 100%. Company B can patent the new drug and prevents company A from getting a single penny. Company A would be stupid to share anything with company B and vice versa. The only way to reverse this situation would be to create an economic environment where both company A and company B's contributions would be accurately accounted for. Once they are accurately accounted for and company A did half of the work and company B did half of the work then both should share in profits 50/50.   

       The one pre-requisite here is accurate accounting. I don't know enough about pharmaceutical companies to give a detailed account - and also it seems a bit dry so let's take make the halfbakery into the example instead.   

       Take for example this idea of OpenHumanity. Who should get the all the credit? Should I get 100% because I was the creator? Should I get all the croisants? Or should the credit be divided amongst all the halfbakers who helped me tweak the idea by providing useful comments?   

       For example, angel has provided a lot of comments "against" OpenHumanity from the beginning. For me these were extremely helpful - probably even more so than some of the positive comments. I believe halfbakers such as angel or theircompetitor should be rewarded for helping to shape the idea. Perhaps something akin to Slashdot where you get credit for providing insightful or funny comments. As to the concern "who should give the credits out?" it should be everyone involved. Just because I give credit to angel doesn't mean that all of you can't give it to bobboy.   

       This sort of contribution accounting can be applied in pharmaceutical research also. Everyone in the community will be credited by their peers (not by some central overseer). The credits will be given for helping to prove that certain paths that will not lead to a solution (negative feedback) as well as to the paths that are promising (positive feedback). The same thing could be done with investment into pharmaceutical research. If a company invests $10,000 for research, the peers will give credit to the company for doing the investing. If the company finds out that the peers are too ungrateful for the $10,000 and stingy with their credits it will find some other peers to give the $10,000 to instead. When the solution is finally implemented, the credits are accounted for and everyone is given their fair share ... from a multinational company that risked $10,000,000 by contributing to the project to a high school student who had a smart idea and shared it with the community.   

       Once again, I stress that the technology has to be in place to make the accounting very easy. As easy as giving croisants. Without the right technology the overhead of accounting will outweigh the increased efficiency.
ixnaum, Aug 28 2005
  

       i like the idea, but how will we ever trust it?
IcarusByNight, Aug 28 2005
  

       // i like the idea, but how will we ever trust it? //   

       There will not be any central authority to trust. All the trust will come from collection of individual interactions. If 100 people say that ixnaum is a bad person and 2 people say that he is good then I would say you should not trust ixnaum.   

       Ebay does this relatively well. There are also some new technologies dealing with trust. They work on the principle that if you trust Steve and Steve trusts Bob then you also partially trust Bob. Have a look at the mindwsap link.
ixnaum, Aug 28 2005
  

       [+] ixnaum for the courage to battle this one out. For the WIBNI crowd; this can be implemented rather easily in a limited way. As an experiment.   

       I would submit that the open society is already beginning to happen. The mass migration to sql/xml based information is creating the possibility of tying in ecological factors in everyday life decisions. Individuals might even pay for an understanding of the ecological impact of their choices every day.   

       The 5Billion$ organic foods industry proves that people like to have someone organize facts about farmer practices to certify that their food is transparent and they will pay a premium for food from a grocer who places a higher priority on quality than cost.   

       What happens when the actual farmers field data and toxicology becomes available in relation to your local grocer's product? Both independent datasets making a statistical rendezvous somewhere in your sphere of awareness.   

       [scenario] The three million dollar paper plant is going to need the 120 million gallons of aquafer water that the county paid 5 billion dollars to remediate. The local taxpayers paid 7 million dollars on cancer treatment that was linked to environmental factors through useage statistics from the local agro-chemical foundation and epa.   

       The community shares their opinions in a webcast/live interactive town hall meeting held in a local community building but linked to local city councils in the county or region affected by the plant, its effluent and pre existing toxins.   

       Meanwhile, industries that can show net ecological advantage are scouring the earth for a database provided location for their company to do business in. This database is fed by communities with ecological constraints to include the mentioned parameters, local population and workforce information, as well as any incentives for relocation of a business.   

       As a result, another company is found that specializes in restructuring the polluting process of that paper plant and the fee for this restructuring is offset by the community as a loan that costs them less than medical care and remediation would. [/scenario]   

       E-bay is a good start, but the early concept of the bazaar is more apt. There was an open source software called bazaar with this in mind, but I have no idea what's going on with it now.   

       A few sites claim to provide this and others exist for trading eco credits like stock shares or something.   

       I think the means of your idea implementation are not direct. It just might arise as a symptom of a truly connected system. When datasets are available from all sources and can be combined ad hoc, who knows what is possible?   

       I like the idea of world wind being introduced as an interface for this.
subflower, Aug 29 2005
  

       subflower -- no one ever said you can't try and implement WIBNI ideas, look at Communism? Out of bounds is still out of bounds.
theircompetitor, Aug 29 2005
  

       theircompetitor --- just because something "would be nice" doesn't mean that it can't be implemented. Give your reasons why it can't be implemented and why it will fail. Cars would be nice - and they exist. Space exploration would be nice - and it exists.   

       I absolutely don't agree with you comparing OpenHumanity to communism. I have lived half of my life in a communist country and half of my life in a capitalist country. The flaw with communism is extremely simple - communism is not voluntary. And the success of capitalism is that it is voluntary.   

       OpenHumanity *has to be voluntary*. I have said this many times over and over in this discussion. *Any* mandate, force, or law that would supposedly help OpenHumanity by forcing individuals to participate will mean sure failure. OpenHumanity is a form of capitalism that is purely voluntary and that competes to win. (Survival of the fittest) My argument that OpenHumanity outperforms and outcompetes the older form of capitalism by the sheer efficiency of openness. If you have an argument that it can not outcompete capitalism then let's have it ... that will make sense.   

       But there is no basis for you to say that OpenHumanity shares any of the ideals, goals or flaws of communism ... that doesn't make any sense...
ixnaum, Aug 29 2005
  

       ixnaum, I share that background, btw. But where is Communism was "imposed", Capitalism is far from "voluntary". Just look up the research on primates and shiny pebbles. The whole point is that it uses self organizing mechanisms (i.e. bazaar) that do not require WIBNI.
theircompetitor, Aug 29 2005
  

       ixnaum, I'm sure that OpenHumanity shares *some* of the ideals and goals of communism, and as you keep stressing, it must explicitly avoid the flaws of communism, specifically centralization and top-down control. I like what you say about competition. This is the part that I find most exciting--that if communism is considered retrograde to free market capitalism, then OpenHumanity business practices (like opensource) may be the hypercompetitive logical successor to closed-box capitalism. What's fascinating to me is that there's no logically consistent way for the prevailing systems (for example, proprietary software)to prohibit the emergence of open systems, since these are brought about by voluntary uses of one's own property and labor. It seems to me that we should separate out the arguments against the idea *on principle* from the arguments against the idea as being either *ineffective* or *dumb* (harmful to self), and discuss both. The arguments on principle seem concerned with the *tone* of a world run according to OpenHumanity. The arguments against the efficacy of OpenHumanity are clearly in contradiction with the arguments about tone, since open systems won't be able to take over the world if they are ineffective or bankrupt their patrons.   

       Certainly, it is possible that a world too open might be claustrophobic and weird. I have attached a link to a description of a creepy example of too much openness.
tristil, Aug 29 2005
  

       theircompetitor, I love self organizing mechanisms as well. Furthermore I believe OpenHumanity is such a mechanism.   

       Maybe this is obvious but self organization doesn't mean "no rules". It just means rules that naturally evolve from the set of existing rules. Without any rules we would have anarchy until self organization would bring in new natural rules. Kind of like hitting the reset button. I don't want to hit the reset button on the world. I think we have pretty good rules to start off with where OpenHumanity can grow on the current rules called capitalism, democracy etc. The environment exists today in which that growth can begin.   

       I've said it already - maybe it was a wrong move on my part to post OpenHumanity as an idea here Halfbakery. OpenHumanity is more of a model or template for creating more concrete ideas (OpenCharities, OpenBusinesses, OpenPharmaceuticals etc) Rather than posting a thousand OpenBla ideas I grouped them under one model. Rather than saying 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 ... I would rather say n+1. I'm just lazy that's all :-)   

       So I agree that OpenHumanity is not a concrete implementable idea where you could say "let's have OpenHumanity by 2010" However,   

       I disagree that OpenHumanity is WIBNI.   

       The ideas that fall under OpenHumanity are clearly implementable - the evidence of this is all around us: Ebay, Open Source, Slashdot, Blogs, Expert Exchange... All I'm trying to do is bring all those instances under one simple model.
ixnaum, Aug 29 2005
  

       //I'm sure that OpenHumanity shares *some* of the ideals and goals of communism//   

       Ya, sorry I think I got too excited :-) .. Yes it shares *some* but it's definitely closer to capitalism than communism. Like you said tristil, it's a "hypercompetitive successor" to capitalism.
ixnaum, Aug 29 2005
  

       ...you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...
crater, Aug 29 2005
  

       oh crickey, it's 60's night at hb.
po, Aug 29 2005
  

       The thing is, this is veering close to a theory (which is something the HB doesn't do) and retreating from an implementable (and theoretically patentable, if it were some other kind of nuts-and-bolts idea?) concept that the HB is comfortable with.
Ian Tindale, Aug 29 2005
  

       People keep thinking and writing, and that's good enough for me.
wagster, Aug 29 2005
  

       ixnaum, in your idea you mention OpenLaw, which is curious for the law *is* an open system. Anyone can participate, all the information is made available, indeed, all parties bound by a law are deemed to know the law, irrespective of whether or not they have taken the time to investigate. It is one of the fundamental principles of the administration of law/justice that it is utterly transparent - open - at every step. Yet will still have lawyers, which seems at odds with your notion that "If you place it in the public domain, they will come." The reason for this is linked to moomintroll's "OpenLanguage" point. An Open system, a transparent system, requires a definitional certainty (or accuracy, if you prefer) that is at odds with Joe Schmo's language comprehension skills. Hell, it's usually at odds with those of a lawyer.   

       Further, even within a closed and defined system like the law - it is, after all, just a finite bunch of rules, written down - the level of complexity is beyond the ken of even Slaughter & May or <insert large US law firm here>. With the ideal of openness expanded to a global scale, the sheer quantity of information is such that, to make any sense of any part of it leads, in my opinion, inexorably towards further and narrower specialisation, and therefore to more lawyers.   

       Whatever you do, whatever you try, it'll all end in lawyers.
calum, Aug 29 2005
  

       calum, in another word: interpreters. Okay, so here's a concrete implementation based on an existing idea. See the link above. I think a logical extension of this idea is a credit card linked to this kind of data. So yeah, I'll be employing some "lawyers" to maintain, sort through and interpret this data and to pass judgments. And of course I would need this data-analysis entity to itself be open, so that I would know it couldn't be bought off. On the other hand, a lot of what corporate lawyers do is to prohibit the release of various documents and restrain candor. So it might be a wash, all things considered.
tristil, Aug 29 2005
  

       calum, that's an interesting point.   

       The way I see law is an institution that provides the final word during disputes or grievances. If there are more disputes in the world the law system will be more busy - if there are less disputes the law will be rarely needed.   

       Openness will reduce the number of disputes and grievances. Why? Disputes and grievances come mainly from fraud, corruption, lies, theft, murder, etc. In a open society those acts will be harder to perpetrate. For example: if you run an OpenBusiness, it would be harder for you to commit fraud than if you run a regular business.   

       As for OpenLaw ... since it would be one of the last things to open up it's way too far in the future for me to see it clearly... so please excuse my fuzziness and gaps.   

       In general my intuition would say that it would have something to do with proper accounting of guilt or innocence. Right now law aspires to achieve absolutes - black/white, right/wrong, guilty/innocent. OpenLaw would probably deal with the issues in relative terms   

       For example: The verdict would come out as - Bob is 70% guilty, Bill is 20% guilty, town administration is 8% guilty, and state administration is 2% guilty   

       Think about this: Has there been any single individual o one has ever been 100% right or 100% wrong in any action that they have taken (some have come close but none reached that criteria) The reason why we continue to use absolutes is because we don't have a better way at this moment.   

       Note that there would be such a large amount of OpenHumanity prerequisites for OpenLaw to take place that I submit this whole thing about how OpenLaw would work as a speculation - so please take it with a grain of salt...and be gentle :-)   

       That said, regardless of what happens with OpenLaw, I do stand behind my view that OpenHumanity will aid the current law system.
ixnaum, Aug 29 2005
  

       //Dear Madam, We have noticed that recently you changed your brand of tampon. May we ask the reason why? //   

       Just replace the words "brand of tampon" with "favorite color" ... why would anyone care? If people know this info only about that one "Madam" she will be sigled out and feel threatened and ashamed, but if everyone knows about each other's tampons the taboo will dissapear - because it will become meanigless ... who will care?? ... people care more if it's a big secret. If you go shouting it in the street they will just ignore you.   

       ... I call this the nude beach principle.
ixnaum, Aug 29 2005
  

       ixnaum, I don't think you're addressing the tone problem here. Maybe people just don't want to live in a world where other people know what brand of tampon you use... although, it's true that there is obscurity through ubiquity. Even though your idea is essentially OpenEverything, perhaps you should reserve the possibilities that 1) some things will not be opened, because people will not volunteer to open them, and 2) some things *should not* be opened, even if in the movement of history they will be opened. This is perhaps the flip-side of the competive pressure toward openness. For example, consider OpenSexualHistory. (This also raises the consideration that disclosure of information might require mutual voluntary consent by affected parties.) But the competitive advantage is clear: you know all of a person's past sexual partners, you can contact them, get "reviews" and health certifications, etc (in fact, I believe sites like this exist). There is no question that this arrangement is effective and even beneficial, but is it *good*? Consider that the emergence of such a system would create not-so-subtle pressures to conform. "Sir, I've noticed that you've marked half your monthly budget as "private". What do you have to hide?"
tristil, Aug 30 2005
  

       //1) some things will not be opened, because people will not volunteer to open them, and 2) some things *should not* be opened, even if in the movement of history they will be opened. //   

       1) if there is a good context or reason to volunteer the info they will, if not then they will not. ( I wouldn't volunteer information about what brand of tampon I use here on HB because there is no reason for doing it, on the other hand I would gladly volunteer the same information to a company doing research on the health problems associated with using brand X)   

       2) This is very similar to 1) ... the context has to exist.   

       ... for example your OpenSexualHistory ... that's a context.
ixnaum, Aug 30 2005
  

       Context, or contest?
theircompetitor, Aug 30 2005
  

       tc, definitely a contest :)   

       ixnaum, This brings up the idea of selective disclosure. Right now a lot of the opening up is happening in select groups. For example, there are some pictures on flickr that everyone can see, and some that only friends and family can see. This makes sense given the embarrassing/intimate nature of some pictures. Is this totally consonant with OpenHumanity? This means that there are degrees and contexts for openness. You would feel betrayed if the company doing research were to disclose the information that you only selectively disclosed to it. Of course, I think you are describing some sort of open database that is open to all drug companies, but not to all the public--otherwise, one is simply *selling* one's personal information to one drug company. Which is more open, just not totally open.   

       Maybe it helps to describe the current situation as the antithesis of this future openness. Currently companies send you cease-and-desist letters with non-disclosure clauses relating to the *contents of the letter*, patent the genomes of human beings, leave out half the ingredients on packaging labels, prevent you from transfering email between accounts, etc. I think one of the points of OpenHumanity is that all these activities are, by the letter of the law, legal and within various contractual understandings entered into voluntarily by all parties, *but* it turns out that it is not necessarily within the interest (especially the long-term and "environmental" interest) for these companies to do these things. The focus should be on discovering selective, often counter-intuitive, benefits of *more* openness, rather than openning all doors at once to see what will happen.   

       A prickly example where more openness can benefit various parties is OpenLawEnforcement. Law enforcement's main paradigm is closed--keep the criminals guessing--and is only occasionally opened when they want the media to help out with catching a suspect. Law enforcement might benefit from help from the public if they opened up all their information on a case--main suspects, leads, last whereabouts, etc. Or, the CIA might have more success catching and stopping terrorists (for example, Bin Laden) if they published their most recent intel on whereabouts ("Bin Laden's in Hyderabad...no, now he's on 3rd & Pine, near the gas station...wait..."). But this is prickly, 1) because it interferes with the current *reliance* on secrecy and 2) it brings in a ProAm public to collude with the police and CIA, raising fears of a police state. But it's important to understand that this all happens in an atmosphere of openness, so that people will be free to comment on, dispute, and revise the claims of the police and CIA. This is part of the debate over whether security through obscurity (as it is practiced in the US) is really the best path to security. If it isn't, the way in which it isn't is counterintuitive.   

       Speaking of openness, what is the copyright status of the text on this page?
tristil, Aug 30 2005
  

       Yes degrees of openness is important concept... kind of like the minswaps's trust network (see link)   

       And I'm not sure what the copyright status of this text is 8-O ... all I know is that if we were in a well established OpenHumanity, each participant in this conversation would get partial credit from their peers (or not) and share in any potential profit. Right now the copyright is kind of weird since winner-takes-all so there would be only one of us who gets all the credit and benefit.... that stifles cretiveness, sharing and competition because people get understandably scared - "what if I don't get to share in the copyright and I contributed my brilliance to the success of the idea?" ...
ixnaum, Aug 30 2005
  

       Well, there is creative commons, which is different from what you propose. One of the main benefits of openness is that you stop worrying about whether your labor will bring you direct benefit ...because you have enough trust in the system that you will be rewarded eventually and indirectly by the system. The guy who proposes a good idea and releases it into the public domain is likely to be rewarded by being hired on as a consultant by one of the parties trying to exploit that idea.   

       I asked because we could move this discussion somewhere else, if anyone is interested in continuing it.
tristil, Aug 30 2005
  

       // ...because you have enough trust in the system //   

       Yes... and since you can't convince people to trust or force them to trust a system OpenHumanity also needs top-notch security measures.   

       As for moving to a different place I'm all for that as long as we don't loose a bunch of half bakers in the process ... I'm enjoying the environment here so far.
ixnaum, Aug 30 2005
  

       Don't worry, discussing this idea elsewhere is unlikely to decimate the ranks of halfbakers. There are places for long term discussions that have superceded the original idea - you don't have to take this there yet but it is polite (=necessary) to do so if asked by a moderator. Welcome [ixnaum], glad you like it here.
wagster, Aug 30 2005
  

       ok so how do we move? :-P
ixnaum, Aug 31 2005
  

       One of these days, I'm gonna read this whole thing.
daseva, Aug 31 2005
  

       I've put in a link to the Overbaked group. I don't hang out there so this isn't a recommendation, but that's where long running political discussions/arguments tend to be sent when they aren't really ideas any longer.
wagster, Aug 31 2005
  

       //Overbaked group//   

       No one seems to go there much these days , rumours say it be haunted.
skinflaps, Aug 31 2005
  

       If a company voluntarily makes all information openly available to everyone, its competitors will take full advantage. You don't win enough to keep playing if you keep showing your cards. That's why it's a WIBNI.   

       Do you really believe this:   

       //Think about this: Has there been any single individual o one has ever been 100% right or 100% wrong in any action that they have taken (some have come close but none reached that criteria)//
yabba do yabba dabba, Aug 31 2005
  

       yabba, This assumes that business is a game of poker, and that the only way to make money is by being sneaky. It's true that you have to guard the intellectual property to a product if you're selling a thing, but a lot of companies sell services; for example, IBM sold its personal computers division to Lenovo because they make money now by setting up opensource systems for businesses.   

       ixnaum, here is what I propose, if you are interested: we compile a list of "open" sites and concepts, through Google and the open tag on del.icio.us. Like I mentioned earlier, if you have any essays or further thoughts, we can host them. Then if we can guarantee enough participants, I can set up a listserv or bulletin board. It depends on the amount of energy and spare time you have; it could be a nice little information page with the links, or it could be a gathering and discussion point.
tristil, Aug 31 2005
  

       //move this discussion somewhere else// where do you suggest?
po, Aug 31 2005
  

       tristil - sounds good.   

       I will work on that in my spare time. My email is tomas at florien dot ca.   

       Talking about open concepts ... I was thinking that wiki is sort of replacing books in form of an open format. With wiki there isn't only one single author, but many individuals participate. Of course wiki isn't quite as readable and consistent as a book is but it is heading in that direction. Would you have time to setup a wiki for the purpose of developing OpenHumanity idea further? If not maybe I can put toegether something like that.
ixnaum, Aug 31 2005
  

       //Do you really believe this:   

       Think about this: Has there been any single individual o one has ever been 100% right or 100% wrong in any action that they have taken (some have come close but none reached that criteria)//   

       Ya I believe that ... it was more of a challenge to you ... do you know such an individual?
ixnaum, Sep 01 2005
  

       All, I've created a little gated community at the above link, stupididea.com. Once you've been vetted for decency (read:money) and trustworthiness (read: sound ideology), you'll be granted a visitor's pass (read: sign up.) Then, after the background checks come back, you will be assigned a Platinum Member Awards Clearance (read: I have to manually assign permissions). This is so that you can add pages, files, folders, images, etc, but in the meantime you can post to a forum. I know, the irony.
tristil, Sep 01 2005
  

       Sophocrat ... the constraints are not as bad   

       Bounded rationality - there used to be a time in history when managing and understanding 5,000 records for a single individual was a major problem. Now with information visualization technology it is possible to visualize multi-dimensional sets containing millions of records. Rationality is not bounded when computers aid in human rationality.   

       Division of labour - this is related to the bounded rationality constraint. If you were right about bounded rationality I would agree, but rationality is definitely not bounded any more. The only constraint in the information age is imagination. And imagination and creativeness is what OpenHumanity adresses directly.   

       Privacy - yes privacy is power and no one should be forced to give it up. But openness is also power and people do have the means of participating if they choose so. I've adressed that already (with the gun example, and some others) ...privacy its not a constraint on OpenHumanity - security on the other hand could be a potential problem that has to be watched closely.
ixnaum, Sep 01 2005
  

       ... but there is one very serious constraint .. resources. By the time the technology and interconectedness reaches the level required for full efficiency of OpenHumanity we'll all be dead because such technology growth probably can't be supported by the planet. .... so that's the only utopian thing about OpenHumanity ... it's an utopia because we'll be all dead by then or fighting over the last cow alive :-) ... suddenly being open will not matter all that much ... all that will matter is who has a bigger rock in their hand to smash their colleagues on the head with.
ixnaum, Sep 01 2005
  

       //fighting for the last cow alive//   

       [+] I haven't read the whole page, got tired of it first. But you got your idea clarified to me.   

       If this OpenHumanity really comes to life, then by that date humanity would no longer be bound by resources.   

       Same case as when computer aids make visualization of > 1,000,000 records of information possible.   

       :)
neuromancer, Oct 05 2005
  

       [ixnaum], I haven't read the annotations, so excuse me if I'm rehashing something, but:   

       //Would you lie if everyone could read your mind? Would you care that someone can read your mind if you could read everyone else's mind also? //   

       I don't want everyone to know what I'm thinking, full stop. That thought horrifies me utterly. I would end up needlessly hurting a lot of people, and I would also hurt myself. Sometimes, it is important to keep our thoughts to ourselves to avoid breaking up friendships or relationships. Sheesh. A world like the one that the above quote suggests is disgusting in my mind. Ever read 1984? I do not want my every thought to be exposed.   

       And that is just ignoring the basis of your idea, which is sound and croissant worthy. But really. That bit was creepy to the extreme.
bookends, May 14 2006
  

       //but to wade through an infinite amount of meaningless openly disclosed crap would be hell indeed//   

       Not exactly... How many people actually ever look at the Open Source code? A very small minority. But the point is that anyone -can- if they want to. Those who want to look through all the details provide an efficient summary for those who don't want to be bothered.... that's hardly hell.
ixnaum, May 15 2006
  

       I assume examination of the openness of open humanity would be through database queries, which might be of more general interest then program source code.
LoriZ, May 17 2006
  

       And what exactly would stop collaborative corporations from just... merging?
sweet, Jun 12 2006
  

       Sweet:   

       One strong incentive for merger, the incorporation of proprietary information or exclusive access or privileges thereto (called "DNA" for some reason by PR types), would not exist. Perhaps not all merger/acquisition or expletive-deleted equity-finance activity in the business community is a by-product of enforced information asymmetry, but c3rtainly some not-trivial percentage of it is.
LoriZ, Jun 30 2006
  

       UPDATE: check out the link for OpenHuman.org (this idea now appears to be another step closer to being baked) ... not exactly what I had in mind, but interesting nevertheless.
ixnaum, Nov 07 2006
  

       Hmm.. I don't think I want to sign up there. I think I'm pretty open, but I'm not so trusting I would like to share all my information on a web site that will be read or mined for data by people I don't even know about.
jmvw, Nov 07 2006
  

       //Sure there are a lot of sad people in this world,//   

       Many of us right here. ;)
pertinax, Feb 04 2007
  

       Hi all. I've put up a link to my idea that is very similar to this one. If you like this one check out the other and the annotations.   

       I have nothing intelligent to anno here but maybe when I get a chance to read everything here I will post again.
zeno, Jun 01 2007
  

       Is wikileaks helping to move us in this direction?
xaviergisz, Dec 02 2010
  

       //Nobody wants to be a liar// Unfortunately, I no longer think that is the case. There are people who are fundamentally predatory and manipulative, and to whom lying is like oxygen. They will sometimes learn to use truth or near-truth in deceptive ways, but that's really just a more sophisticated and insidious form of lying. Psychopaths are a particular example, but not necessarily the only one.
spidermother, Dec 02 2010
  

       Great idea, until somebody opens a competing business advertising that instead of "a holistic re- evaluation of value" they're selling the same merchandise for 10% less. They could probably even say their method of keeping prices so low is a closely guarded trade secret to drum up business.   

       Personally, I'd rather save 10% than read a company's profit and loss statement before buying a coffee table book.   

       The exception would be for companies that people are investing in where the more info the better, but theoretically, that information most effecting investors is available to them already and there are laws against falsifying this documentation. Problem with that is, just because it's "open" doesn't mean it's true.
doctorremulac3, Dec 02 2010
  

       //Is wikileaks helping to move in that direction?   

       Information wants to be free. As long as information infrastructure continues to improve in terms of bandwidth and cost, more and more information will be freed up.
Ultimately, everything will be known by everyone. On the way there people will build dams to stop information from leaking out. Information is power/money these days - hoarding and/or controlling it can be quite lucrative. Ultimately those dams will leak. It won't be an act of revolution, more like gradual erosion. The only real way to stop it is to stop IT progress. Each advance in bandwidth and storage capacity puts greater pressure on those dams. Imagine doing the wikileaks thing with 56K modem? How many could you really leak? It's funny how the words fit ... the magnitude of these leaks really is determined by the size of the internet pipe. Bigger the pipe, the faster the information will be freed. If the government/people with power want to stop this leak nonsense, best thing they could do is make internet access illegal or severely restrict internet bandwidth, and make large hard drives restricted somehow too (not gonna happen any time soon).

The real interesting question is what comes after the information age. What happens once all information is freed up? Imagine if years from now the average Joe has an internet pipe that was big enough to download a torrent with all world's text emails ever sent... and Joe had to wait only a week for the download to finish? .. including spam.
I bet then we will enter something like "analysis age". The one who can analyse and understand all this information the best wins. Having the information will be meaningless because everyone will be swimming in it and won't know what to do with it. Arguably we already have one foot there.
Even with wikileaks ... there is this feeling of a needle hidden in a haystack. What's the government so worried about? After all, everyone knew that Afghan officials are corrupt .. that's boring ... where is that juicy bit? .. finding that is harder than just reading from beginning to end. It requires understanding of context, history and people involved.... it needs good analysis.
ixnaum, Dec 04 2010
  

       //Problem with that is, just because it's "open" doesn't mean it's true.   

       What you are describing is the analysis problem. Let's say the company releases every email they ever send, and make every phone call available for anyone to hear. Who will actually read all that boring crap? And who will listen to all those hours of music on hold? Openness is meaningless without efficient and accurate analysis. We are not technologically close to that yet - but we will be arriving whether we like it or not.
ixnaum, Dec 04 2010
  

       Well, information doesn't "want" anything but yea, it can be hard to control once it's out there.   

       So what does it all mean? The biggest change I see is essentially free education being available to everybody on earth and the education available on the internet will continue to get better with time. The internet will have the same impact on learning that agriculture had on eating. The rich will continue to send their kids to college to fine tune their binge drinking skills, but a good education won't be almost exclusively within the purview of the middle and upper classes any more.   

       There are downsides but they can be controlled and I don't think they should be celebrated. Wanting privacy is like not wanting somebody to look up your butt. It doesn't necessarily mean you're hiding anything up there. I don't want my privacy destroyed by technology any more than I want it taken away by some jack booted KGB thug rifling through my comic book collection looking for subversive material. Inevitable? Maybe, until somebody clever finds a way to solve those privacy issues for a profit.   

       That being said, the number one protector of privacy in the information explosion age is probably the "who cares?" factor. Remember the devastating revelations about Sarah Palin when somebody hacked into and released all her private emails? Neither do I.
doctorremulac3, Dec 04 2010
  

       //Wanting privacy is like not wanting somebody to look up your butt.   

       I agree that that's where the "who cares" factor comes into play. If everyone's but was online, no one would care.
The TSA body scanners are bad because the flow of information is one sided. Government gets to collect, keep and analyze the info on you freely. You on the other hand having emerged on other side of the body scanner haven't gained anything in return. And when you do get something (wikileaks) you get jailed or assassinated. It's just not fair that's all.
Information is the new currency. Privacy is the mechanism you hold on to that currency.
For example take me. Even though I came up with this idea I'm a very private person (not on facebook or anything of the kind) ... why? Am I a hypocrite? No, I just feel the time isn't right. I'd rather hold my information close to me until the playing field is leveled. ... All I'm saying is that the leveling of that playing field is inevitable... and once it's level things will get interesting (in a good way). Why will it get level? Because privacy will never be "solved" ... information by it's nature can't be stopped from leaking out eventually.
ixnaum, Dec 04 2010
  

       Well, if so that would make commerce tricky since if anybody has access to anybody else's social security and credit card numbers, bank codes etc there would be no walls between us and people who would take advantage of that information for nefarious porpoises. But again, this poses a challenge for the entrepreneur. Where there's a bill, there's a way.
doctorremulac3, Dec 04 2010
  

       My credit card information is not private. Ask any good hacker out there. It's already somewhere, it's just hard to find (needle in a haystack problem). With time, this security/privacy barrier that keeps it private is getting weaker and weaker. Encryption or any magic bullet won't fix it. One thing that really amazed me was reading that banks now consider all residential customers as havin their computers compromised in some way. The idea of 100% security/privacy is dead.

But you are right, boundaries have to exist for business and human relationships in general to keep moving forward. For example, I believe that in the future, everyone's credit card number will be public knowledge. What will confirm your identity is the array of information the other party has on you (and vice versa). Actually if you think about it, this is already in place, it will just get more elaborate. Your credit card information is no longer just the number.... to do a transaction you need all of the following: first name, last name, billing address, security code, credit card password (in some cases), expiry date, the credit card number itself... and maybe more (ex probably can't be in Nigeria doing a big online purchase if you normally do business from USA). This list will just grow until eventually the bank will be requiring things like N.I.A.U.I.D. (Non Invasive Ass Unique ID) during any transaction.. ;-). Note that this NIAUID will never be the single point of verification, it will be just another factor. And this will go both ways. You verify them, they verify you.

Of course, doing this manually is not sustainable, that's where efficient analysis comes into play. All this freely available info has to analysed and shared efficiently.
ixnaum, Dec 04 2010
  
      
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