Let's Do Standards Right
At some time in the distant past, every country made its own
decision about the side of the road on which its people would drive
their carriages. In his essay The Dangers of Traveling by Road in
Countries, Eddie Wren notes some modern consequences: "Many
British people have been killed in America (and
versa) because they looked the wrong way when driving out of an
intersection/junction and were hit by a vehicle that was coming from
the 'wrong' side."
Add all the other countries with differing standards and you have a
very deadly problem, one that would have been solved if everyone had
got together on a simple global standard. But even if the makers
original side-of-road decisions had all had the will to agree on one
side, left or
right, worldwide, the means of arriving at a global consensus simply
The system of governance used by Osmio and its Standards Department
can change all that. That system is called Optimocracy.
While it's (probably) too late to change the physical highway's
protocols, we have an opportunity to rationalize the way our
Information Highway works, at least for those who voluntarily choose to
accept the governance of Osmio's Standards Department.
In centuries past, standards (good and bad) were often simply
created by edicts from unaccountable monarchs and dictators. In more
enlightened times, standards were the result of protracted struggles
and compromises among interested parties that took place in standards
bodies. One result of that process is a set of jokes such as, "A camel
is a horse designed by committee." In creating standards, differing
opinions are much less unhelpful than competing agendas.
Product makers know that the best designs come from a single mind. If the world's information infrastructure had been designed the way the iPhone and the rest of Apple's infrastructure had been designed, it would be more efficient, manageable, and secure.
But the designer of Apple's infrastructure was accountable only to Apple's stockholders. While its users can "vote with their feet" and choose products from another company, product makers seem to treat their users' personal information as a money making asset on the company's balance sheet. App builders are required to abide by a set of rules, which is good, but those rules are as much about profits for the infrastructure owner as they are about benefits for the user.
Open source does provide an alternative. But it's an ungoverned
alternative, leading to inconsistencies in the way the pieces attempt
to fit together.
Since Osmio is owned by its residents, and since Osmio is an
optimocracy, anyone can participate in Osmio's standards process. Thus
infrastructure owner is the individual user who benefits from its
Optimocracy is not simply electronic democracy. In an optimocracy, anyone can be a member of any of its governing commissions, provided that they participate in a verifiable way in the proceedings of the commission. A commissioner must digitally sign the various checkpoints in discussions, and must vote in a timely manner in order to keep their place on the commission.
Digital signatures imply digital identity certificates, and indeed ID certificates of measurable reliability are an essential part of optimocracy.
Governance of Standards in an Optimocracy
While every commission has an elected moderator, decisions in commissions other than standards commissions are largely a matter of consensus, the moderator's job being to facilitate that consensus.
Standards commissions are somewhat different. In a standards commission, ultimate design decisions are the responsibility of its moderator.
By vesting the final authority of each standards commission in one
accountable moderator-designer-arbiter, Osmio's Standards Department
brings us design integrity. Through an optimocratic process, the
moderator of each commission is accountable to its
commissioners, who have regular access to their moderator through the
debates. The moderator of standards must survive votes of confidence to
continue in office. As long as she does so, his standards decisions are
To be a commissioner you'll need a willingness to
significant time and effort to your chosen commission, and
you'll need to show that you understand the subject matter. You'll also
need to be a resident of Osmio or of a community that accepts Osmio's
ordinances as its own.
That in turn requires that you have an identity
credential issued by the City of Osmio Vital Records Department, with
an Identity Quality score equal to or greater than that required by the commission you wish to join.
Four Sets of Standards
Authenticity starts with measurably reliable identities that allow
their subjects to assert their identity without disclosing
their identity. The Authenticity Infrastructure consists of six
components, each of
which addresses some aspect of identity.
Facilities & Professional Licensing
In the physical world, buildings provide spaces that are secure and
manageable. Online buildings will provide precisely the same security
and manageability in non-physical spaces. The InDoors Infrastructure
consists of five components, each of
which addresses some aspect of the security and manageability of online
buildings (including one component that deals with the outdoor highway
system which brings us to those buildings.)
Lack of precision in the language of information technology has
allowed vendors to lock in customers through obfuscation. The Common
Vocabulary Infrastructure consists of a single
brings the benefit of the standardization of terminology from the world
of physical architecture, engineering and construction to the world of
online architecture, engineering and construction.
Measurably reliable identities, asserted from anywhere, will provide
new opportunities for participatory governance. The Optimocracy
Standards Commission produces and maintains a set of
principles, policies and rules.
Osmio's Design Roadmap: The Quiet Enjoyment Infrastructure
The Quiet Enjoyment Infrastructure (QEI) is an ID-PKI whose purpose
is to bring Authenticity to online spaces. A byproduct of Authenticity
is reliable information security.
QEI consists of twelve components in three groups. Click the "Learn More" link for the current QEI Roadmap.
Optimocracy Parliamentary Procedures
Optimocracy is the system of governance used by the City of Osmio.
Policies and decisions are made by commissions
Its procedures resemble those used by deliberative bodies, with some notable exceptions:
meetings are held strictly online, in synchronous or asynchronous
Any resident of a community that is governed by optimocracy may
participate in any of its commissions, provided they follow procedures
that are designed to assess whether they have folllowd the issues and
discussions in the commission.
Commissions are headed by moderators, who are elected by members of
The role of the moderator of a standards commission is different
from the role of moderators of other commissions, in that a standards
moderator has the final say on the adoption of a standard. The intent
of that policy is to
avoid a common problem in traditional standards bodies, which often
suffer from committee-itis, where conflicting goals of competing groups
must be accommodated in order to get an adoption vote passed. However,
the moderator of a standards commission, like all moderators, is
subject to recall at any time by a vote of the membership of the
Before they may be occuppied, all facilities in Osmio must carry a valid occupancy permit. The occupancy permit must be signed by the building inspector, who in turn must obtain releases from all licensed professionals who were involved in its design and construction and who will be involved in its management:
In addition to a professional license, the latter two professions may be practiced only by individuals who have been appointed to public office.
If you are involved in these professions and desire to practice in Osmio or in any of its administrative jurisdictions, or if you are applying for a municipal position such as building inspector (code auditor) or commissioner of any sort, you will need to obtain a professional license from this office.
What is required?
In order to obtain professional license you will need
A Digital Birth Certificate™ identity credential
Applying For A License
To apply for a professional license, or to learn more specific requirements, please click on an item:
Building Inspector (public code auditor)
Attestation Officers must first be commissioned as officers of the public (public officials) by the Secretary of State (in most jurisdictions) of the government of a geographic jurisdiction such as a state, province, or nation. As such, they must be empowered to administer an oath that places the affiant under penalty of perjury. In the case of some jurisdictions where notary commissioning standards are not strong, a notary public must be addtionally certified as a Signing Agent or equivalent.
An Attestation Officer candidate must present a record of at least
two years of integrity in active service as a notary signing agent or
equivalent before applying for qualification as an Attestation Officer.
An Attestation Officer must have the ability and equipment to video
record the recital of an Oath of Identity, and to digitally sign the
resulting file with their own Sigillum™ credential.
All Digital Birth Certificate™ credentials require an oath and affidavit, which in turn require (as do all notarial events) a face-to-face process, except in the case of the Virginia enrollment, where a commissioned Virginia e-Notary may perform the VirginiaDigital Birth Certificate™ enrollment procedure over a video link with the subject.
Other credentials that do not require a face-to-face enrollment
session may be issued by commercial enrollment agencies licensed by the City of Osmio Vital Records Department.
To become a commissioner, you must
See a list of current commissions.
The Department of Professional Authentication Standards is governed by a board consisting of authentication professionals of the highest standing. Its charter is to establish and apply a set of standards for the practice of enrollment of individuals in identity credential programs, as described in QEI’s Authority Infrastructure. See www.iccap.org for particulars
The City of Osmio maintains high standards for professional licensing, building codes, identity credentials, enrollment procedures and other important parts of the life of the community. The standards are developed both by the city's own Standards Board and in collaboration with other standards organizations.
standards are particularly important to our city, existing as it does
only in the online realm where we lack visual and aural cues to tell us
who is in the room with us.
Copyright © 2005-2015 The City of Osmio