Causes and Effects

A number of issues have been bouncing around in my head lately:

  • Can you really have a sovereign identity on someone else’s network?
  • Sovereign identity might mean “Your identity is your problem.”
  • Blockchain might be oversold, but for the wrong reasons.  Blockchain: the Emperor’s New PKI looks at this.  Amazon was oversold back when it was a book catalog, but no one predicted that it would help revolutionize the supply chain and later help define cloud services.  Blockchain’s known potential is for better contracts and building networks, but it might make its biggest impact somewhere else.
  • How much autonomy do libraries have to act?  In one class, it was mentioned that even library directors are equivalent to middle managers.  Very few libraries stand alone without attachments to other institutions. 
  • How far would a willingness to act take libraries?  Since 1978, libraries have waited for the political winds to change, waited for MARC to be replaced and are now waiting for a Blockchain based replacement for OCLC.  I have not heard of libraries lobbying or moving ahead on linked data.  There is a Blockchain based network of libraries in Chile.
  • Blockchain is praised as a tool for building new networks, but it can also be used to reinforce old ones.  
  • So far, are Blockchain networks better than what they might replace?  For example, is Bitcoin better than other payment systems?

There will be more…


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