Open Secrets: data with strings attached

These cases are often described as open-secrets.   Many people in the community are aware of the information about individual cases and about the pattern of behavior, but there has been some kind of understanding that the past events are resolved in some acceptable terms, and that ongoing behavior is restrained by certain conditions.   The oxymoron of open-secrets can be resolved by defining the open-part as being observed data, while the secret-part is restraints on how this data may be used in future decision making.

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Regulating the bearing arms within range of public

I am frustrated with the current debate about gun rights to be exclusively about the wording of an amendment written by people living some 12 generations earlier. I would welcome a fresh debate on proposing a new amendment that confirms but updates the rights granted by the second amendment. An amendment such as the above may advance the debate by minimally impacting gun rights for rural areas while allowing for closer regulation of public trust for arms in denser populations.

Better context information needed to understand breaking new stories and crisis management

These examples set a new standard for rapid access to context information to accompany the new information for breaking news. In the case of street maps and aerial/street views, this information required extensive investment long before the event occurred. In the case of the more recent information (street congestion, weather radar imagery, landslide risk assessments) there was a need for prior investment for models and technologies to provide this information on a timely basis. These investments were made on a global scale where the vast majority of this readily available capability may never been needed for matching with a breaking news story. But when a breaking news story does occur, we welcome the ready access to this information specific to the broader context of the story.

Modern sensitivity to offensive speech emerged out of the prohibition

Decisive democratic action is offensive action. Some group or many groups may be insulted by the decision. This was less of an impediment when the everyday culture expected insults and offense. The nature of speech was what we today call offensive. Consequently, there was no barrier to democracy making decisions that we today call offensive.

Economy of compensated opinions in a dedomenocracy

The original title for this post was to talk about balkanized data. In contrast to big data, balkanized data stays sealed and protected at the source. The large-scale analytics or policy making needs to engage with specific transactions with data owners to obtain the data they need for each specific analysis they are performing. This type of economy denies the centralized corporations or government access to volunteered release of bulk source data. Instead the centralized entities need to negotiate terms for each transaction. The terms will describe precisely what they want so the source can deliver the most appropriate answer. That negotiation will involve a monetary exchange with amounts proportional to the eagerness of the requester for that data. The result is the creation of a new economy analogous to intellectual property but where the property is simply personal data. Data is property. Owners will soon wise up about giving it away for free.

Controversy over Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA): Separate laws for young and old

The point of this post is to observe there may be a valuable lesson to learn from the current controversy over the conflict of religious freedom and right to same-sex marriage. The controversy may be providing bright data about the population’s natural division by age groups. We may learn from this that the problem may be easier to solve if we can resolve the arguments in two separate groups segregated by age. Coincidentally, this provides a possible additional benefit from my earlier proposals of dividing government by age groups.