Symposium on Reputation Economies in Cyberspace

Who can think of a more exciting way to spend a Saturday in December than sitting around Yale Law School listening to a bunch of legal gurus talk about issues of reputation in Cyberspace?

True, Fiona thought it would be more interesting to spend the day with her Papa and Nanna. Kim felt obliged to travel to New Hampshire to go door-to-door canvassing for John Edwards. However, I’m sure they recognized the importance of the symposium I was at.

I must admit, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I showed up, and I’m not sure that I can do justice to the symposium with this little blog post which I’m trying to quickly write during the Gallery Opening in Second Life before Fiona gets home.

There are many issues about reputations as they exist in cyberspace, and there were frequent references to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, Trademark law, Intellectual Property, various torts, specific cases, such as ABDUL JABBAR v GENERAL MOTORS and so on. A quick summary just isn’t possible. As I get time, I’ll write up more thoughts about that, as well as about some of the very interesting side discussions that took place.

So, can I come up with a quick summary? Well, we talked about establishing a cyber-reputation, and the role of privacy in protecting that reputation. We looked at assessing the quality of a reputation, and who ones what portions of a reputation. Discussions ranged from Dog Poop Girl and Star Wars Kid to *30 Reasons Girls Should Call It A Night*. I do wonder if Star Wars Kid can rid the world of drunken girls putting too much information up on Facebook or other girls that allow their dogs to leave too much behind on the subway.

Perhaps the most interesting observation was the idea that Facebook and related systems for managing reputations online are this Millennium’s equivalent of the Doomsday Book.

At the end of the symposium, Eddan Katz stopped short of saying, “See you next year.” I should have digested much of the information from this years symposium, so if I get a vote, it would be for Information Society Project to run another symposium on reputation economies in cyberspace next year.

Art Shows in Second Life

A week ago, I attended an art show in Second Life organized by students in Joe Sanchez’ class, Working in Virtual Worlds.

Tomorrow, there will be another art show worth checking out. Sky Hye will be opening her new gallery in LBD Villiage in Centro Italia. The opening will start at 1 PM (SLT) and will go on all day until 10 PM (SLT). I have another engagement for much of the day, so I will probably stop by at the gallery in the later afternoon, Second Life Time.

I met Sky at a networking meeting in Second Life a while ago, and got a chance to look at some of her work. I really enjoyed it and encourage everyone to attend. If you want to read up on Sky Hye before attending her artshow, you should check out the blog post that Sherpa Voyager put up about Sky on Second Seeker. While you’re there, spend a little time and check out some of the other wonderful posts that Sherpa has put up.

For those of you who come to read my financial markets posts, I’ll have more of them soon enough, but I do want to remind everyone that there is more to Second Life than just the financial markets.

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National Presidential Caucus

Back in October, I wrote about the Florida Primary Mess and the National Presidential Caucus. Well, today is National Presidential Caucus day and there aren’t a lot that are organized. My wife and I talked about organizing one for our home town, but there were too many things going on, and she is on the road up to New Hampshire to canvas for John Edwards this weekend.

We did have an event that was close to the caucuses being imagined. The Advancing the Dialog Presidential Proxy Debate had all the trappings of the caucuses, bright people presenting their views about the candidates they support. The one thing that it lacked was the actual caucusing at the end and any sort of tallying to see who won.

In New Jersey, they are having their own Presidential Caucus this evening. It looks like a great event. If you’re in New Jersey, you should try to make it.

Many DFA groups held caucuses or strawpolls at their monthly meetings. John Edwards won the Democracy for NEW YORK CITY Caucus. In the discussion there, it is mentioned that he also won in the Oakland, CA and Austin, TX caucuses or strawpolls.

Clinton won a strawpoll at a local fundraising dinner in North Coast, CA. As I commented about the Presidential Proxy Debate here in Connecticut as well as in my earlier post about the National Presidential Caucus, these sort of events, I believe, return us to the sort of democracy that is essential our country, a democracy where everyone participates, instead of simply a democracy where people watch a few ads, listen to a few soundbites and go to voting booths as uninformed voters.

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Chris Angle declares candidacy

Yesterday, Chris Angle, 58, of Redding, filed forms with the Federal Election Commission to run for Congress in the 4th Congressional District. Chris will be running as a Libertarian candidate. Chris is a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) and in 2004 filed for a patent for a ‘Process for incorporation of exchange traded portfolios (a.k.a. exchange traded funds) into life insurance or annuity policies with an optional principal protection feature’.

His website should be up in about a week and I am expecting to receive a copy of his platform shortly. I spoke briefly with Chris this afternoon and congratulated him on his decision to run. While I traditionally vote for Democrats and for that matter, no longer even live in the fourth congressional district, I was glad to welcome Chris to the race. Our democracy is made stronger by a lively, spirited and respectful debate. I hope that Chris will bring that to the 4th CD race.

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Establishing Trust in the Second Life Financial Markets

A key commodity necessary for the smooth functioning of any market is trust. The less trust, the greater the difficulties. In Second Life, where we only know people by the pseudonyms of their avatars, where we don’t know if someone has an alternative avatar, and where recourse is much less than in other aspects of life, trust is all the more necessary.

Unfortunately, between various scandals, fraud and stupid mistakes, the financial institutions of Second Life are not highly trusted. In order to address this, people banded together to create the Second Life Exchange Commission. It is a noble idea, that so far, has failed to live up to its promise.

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