This article summarizes and comments on a recent McKinsey report on digital identity (previously covered here). The focus here is on identity as commodity. "McKinsey estimates that over half the economic value of digital ID will accrue to individuals in a variety of roles including consumers, workers, and asset owners. The remaining economic value flows to the private- and public-sector institutions with which the individuals interact, such as providers of goods and services, employers, and suppliers of government benefits." I think that's very optimistic; we haven't seen half the value of anything accruing to individuals recently.
If you think I am sometimes sharp with my criticism you should reas Clark Glymour's scathing review of Rani Lill Anjum and Stephen Mumford's Causation in Science and the Methods of Scientific Discovery to see how it's really done. Clark Glymour, just to be clear, is the real deal - he has a long and well-regarded history in the field. And his review describes what to me sounds like a first-year political science student's misunderstanding of scientific method. So we can look forward to another generation of retorts like "correlation is not causation" and other pseudocriticism. And that, I suggest, is who this book is written for.
The answer is 'probably not'. But we'll get to that. The article is an interview with Bill Sahlman, who authored a HBS case study of Khan Academy (you have to pay for it, because that's how Harvard rolls, but I wouldn't). The discussion is more or less an annotated history of Khan. But it's sort of funny how it works out. It's also the way the company worked out. It began with Sal Khan making simple videos that anyone could access and that became really popular without any marketing, then along the line, someone convinces him he needs to do adaptive content recommendations, and so now it needs marketing and revenue and a business plan, and I guess this is deemed a success. But from where I sit, 'probably not'.
In what has the appearance of a paid-placement post the author extols the benefits of on-demand tutoring. "A student that’s struggling with advanced chemistry can quickly locate someone that’s certified and safe. This provides the tutors with a reliable source of new clients." What it doesn't discuss are the low wages and poor working conditions, nor Uber's penchant for losing money hand-over-fist year after year.
Oh yeah, there's no way this could go wrong. "Facebook Inc. revealed plans on Tuesday to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra, the latest development in its effort to expand beyond social networking and move into e-commerce and global payments." The plan is to tie your personal finanances - Zuck Bucks, as they're already being known - to your personal Facebook account. Because there's no way any of that data would be misused. By a company everyone trusts to do the right thing.
This presentation applies 'critical dialectics' (ie., "logic focusing on contradictions in social context") to analyze the phenomenon where "the word open is used as if the concept were essentially good." It is not hard to think of instances of 'open' which are bad - an 'open wound', for example, or leaving your front door open while you're on a business trip. Heather Morrison focuses on one of those contradictions, where 'open' is reified to the point where it means 'open for business' (ie., open for commercial exploitation). I think that while the presentation may rely too much on the ambiguity of the word 'open' the points raised are nonetheless good ones. Abstract and slides only; no audio or video, unfortunately.
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Copyright 2019 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.