Blockchains: It’s Complicated [...]

> A cautionary note about the blockchain hype. During the year that we have been working on this project, blockchain-based certification systems have become a hot topic (type the term into Google and see for yourself). Needless to say, much of the rhetoric has been exaggerated (and the same is true for some of the criticism). One important takeaway for us has been tha...

 

Not So Stinking Badges [...]

> As silly as they might seem, Nosek said the badges served a well-established purpose, by giving researchers a visible means to communicate information about their identities, beliefs, values and behaviors. People use such signaling all the time — think bumper stickers and hipster beards. Badges give scientists a way to signal that they care about research transpar...

 

Reputation is a Terrible Currency [...]

Cory Doctorow points out flaws in casting reputation as an economic system; it is not a measurable quantity and can be shown to turn out to be a currency that people game in a way that dilutes its intent. > Currencies need to serve as units of account – so you can price every­thing from vintage Star Wars figures to anti-fungal cream and calculate their total worth....

 

Distributed Trust Systems Are Complicated [...]

In 2013 Scott Leslie blogs about overcoming his objections to badges; he sees them as possible *disruption* to the accreditation system, but notes how previous well reasoned webs of trust have fallen short because they are too complicated for basic users > If you know the history of public key encryption, you’ll know that while both the centralized Public Key Infras...

 

Expanding The Transcript [...]

The University of Calgary developed a system for students to add non-course related experiences to their records. > The Co-Curricular Record (CCR) is the University of Calgary’s official document that recognizes a student’s out-of-classroom experiences. Out-of-classroom is defined as any activity that occurs outside of the classroom, lab, practica, or internship, ...

 

Journeymans Book of Apprenticeships [...]

There is a tradition of getting certification in the forms of stamps in books from master craftspersons; their experience is trusted to ascertain the stamp receiver has achieved s skill. > When we lived in small tight-knit communities, people knew whom they could turn to when they needed an expert (and whom to avoid). However, as we started moving around more and our ...

 

Anonymous Credentials [...]

Credentials can be granted that are not reliant on giving identifying details > Anonymous credential systems allow users to authenticate themselves in a privacy-preserving manner....