Dan Connolly's tinkering lab notebook

Collaboration and crime at a distance at HASTAC, WWW2007

I went to the 1st International HASTAC Conference, April 19-21, 2007 at Duke University in Durham, NC, USA. My stated role was to tell the story of How the W3C Process Got Its Stripes to this humanities research community on a The World Wide Web Evolves panel that Harry Halpin arranged.

After a short history of my role in the development of the Web and W3C, I noted that the Internet not only faciiltates remote collaboration; it also opens the door to crime at a distance. Extortion of the form "say... nice web site you got there; it would be a shame if something happened to it" is a reality. I'm interested in research into how much the Internet can tolerate before we see the tragedy of the commons.

I noted the Proof-of-work proves not to work result by Laurie and Clayton in 2004 as a fairly surprising result based on what looks like fairly straightforward and unsophisticated economic analysis of spam, zombies, etc. Does the humanities research community have expertise in statistics and economics of preserving cultural values such as open communication? (Oh yeah... and I meant to encourage them to look at social/ethical issues around OpenID and distributed authentication, but I completely forgot.)

While HASTAC is somewhat on the leading edge of the humanities community, I'm not sure their scope includes what I'm looking for.

Meanwhile, at the Web Science panel at WWW2007 in Banff, Peter asked "Where are the cultural anthropologists?" I was pleasantly surprised that some of them were there. Again, at Harry Halpin's prompting.

tags: , , ,