Notes on #el30 web chat: Ben Werdmuller & Stephen Downes
This week’s hangout/web chat on the #el30 course happened to be at a time I could tune-in. It was a pleasure to listen as Stephen Downes talked with Ben Werdmuller about social networks, the concept of blockchain, information, the Indie web, websites, and entrepreneurship.
Below are the key points that jumped out for me. I wanted to find a clear way to separate their conversation from my thoughts without misattributing any of their discussion or making it look like I thought it up! So I’ve left the main text as my paraphrased notes of the conversation, and my commentary as labelled, indented in italics. I would love to hear what your takeaways were and what they made you think. And yes, I continue to mull over the idea from my earlier post for this week of the string and what we do with it. The images have been chosen to guide you through those thoughts.
The hangout: They jumped straight in.
(Stephen) I’d like to think of Blockchain as a graph.
(Ben) It’s a ‘ledger’ system. It removes the ability for the person to control what they reveal and who they reveal that to – as it is all open, so there are big privacy issues.
It’s important to understand how powerful metadata can be.
(Stephen) ‘Metadata doesn’t help me’
(my thoughts) The privacy concern isn’t how it helps you, though. It’s more about what it reveals and if you’re ok with that. See this example, presented by Bruce Schneier where one person revealed his metadata and amateurs were able to figure out nearly every aspect of his life. That’s not to say having your life be public is bad, but with each situation we need to be aware of and consider what the risks are.
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