Chris Ceppi and Rule Sets

Chris Ceppi of Ping proposes the idea of a “Rule Set” to describe the Laws of Identity. The term was invented by Thomas Barnett, a strategist who has developed “a widely respected interpretation for the underlying dynamics of globalization and the way globalization causes and resolves conflict around the world.”

In his (Barnett's) view, conflicts and breakdowns occur when activity races ahead of the Rule Sets that govern that activity. This is a pattern that can be seen in the current situation with digital identity on the Internet. Many systems and practices for dealing with identity have developed organically and tactically and the resulting breakdowns include mass inefficiencies, risk to privacy, barriers to developing new systems, etc.

What Kim is developing is a language for discussing a Rule Set that can govern the ways Identity is handled on the Internet – this is an incredibly generous and ambitious endeavor. That said, I can understand the built in suspicious reaction to his use of the term Laws.

I think Rule Set works for me – and we do need Rule Sets in this area, so in my little world…Identity Rule Set it is.

Craig Burton tells us to stick with the word “Laws”. Referring to “Rule Set”, Craig says:

Not bad. I think it is weaker than laws though.

The naming of these things is crucial. I can't emphasize the importance of the use of words and developing lexicon. I still think they work best as laws.

I think it's important to seize Chris’ uber-point: that the conflicts and breakdowns which have occured in the realm of identity have resulted from activity racing ahead of an understanding and acceptance of the laws that govern it.

Published by

Kim Cameron

Work on identity.