Two interesting posts at Life With Alacrity. First, thoughts on the growth of progressive trust in real human relations, and what it means for technology:
Computer trust rarely works the way that human trust does. It starts with mathematical proofs—that such and such a mathematical algorithm is extremely difficult, thus something built on it must also be difficult. These are then built on top of each other until a system is created. It often seeks a level of “perfect trust” that is rarely required by human trust.
One of the reasons why I chose to back the then nascent SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Standard back in 1992-3, was that I felt that it much better mapped to the progressive trust model, and thus to human trust, then did its competitors.
At the time, the SET
standard was backed by all the major players—Visa, Mastercard, Microsoft, etc. […] But SSL
starts out very simple—first it just connects two parties, then it establishes simple confidentiality between them. If one party wants more confidentiality, they can upgrade to a stronger algorithm. Then one party can request a credential from the other, or both can.
Then a post, Intimacy Gradient, on architectural patterns that may have relevance to the design of social software:
Refuge and prospect come from the landscape architect Jay Appleton. Prospect is a place where we can see others, and refuge is a place were we can retreat and conceal ourselves. A specific prediction of his theory is that people prefer the edges of a space more then the middle. Often prospect and refuge are in conflict, as a prospect tends to be expansive and bright whereas a refuge is small and dark, but there are cases where they are combined in one place; this is why we value private homes with a spectacular view so much, and why we pay so much to stay at scenic retreats. So what are the edges of our social spaces? Are there ways that we can signal either prospect and refuge?