Archive for the ‘’ Category

WDYDWYD part 2

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

So I ignored the signs about identity. I waffled back and forth trying to create privacy on important things like home addresses while trying to maintain my brand. In a way I was forced into it. Whenever anyone hears the name Silona and they know me – they assume it is me. It’s a reasonable assumption. But when some students of mine discovered, I realized I had more to do. was a porn site for a dominatrix in the Czech Republic. Unfortunately she never showed her face and hard dark hair and a similar build to mine. Everyone seemed to believe me that it wasn’t me but.. the seeds of doubt were there. I knew I had to work more on creating and preserving my own identity. And I was tired of addressing the issue – “no that isn’t me…”

So I gave up on privacy. For me it had become a lost cause. So many sites and agencies wanted my address and phone. It had accidentally been published. So many things depended on my SSN and name. I had already been stalked once and because of that Dad and I had done concealed handgun classes together. (Yes I own 4 guns. Yes I am a Texan and a military brat.) I realized privacy as secrecy was a thing of the past – it just took me awhile to completely accept it.

I know it’s hard. I mean I do large scale databases for a living.

So I went looking for a way to fix it… my first attempt was a royal failure.  I realized things don’t just need to be available.  They need to be equitable.

As individuals, the electronic medium was forcing us to be transparent to businesses and government but they did not have to report back to us.

I decided to strive to create more equitable relationships.  Step was get government transparent… step two was business.  But I didn’t tell many people.  See in 2004 in Texas – most people already thought I was a little “unrealistic.” (to put  it nicely.)

Recently though I refocused.  Now I am focused on citations for government documents, creating citable data, and openbanking.


Banking: 1) trust and credit

Friday, November 13th, 2009

So I keep rewatching that clip of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” the bank run…

And I can’t help but think about how intertwined it all is.  This notion of trust and banking and how it doesn’t work without trust…

So what is trust?

Main Entry: 1trust

Pronunciation: \ˈtrəst\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse traust trust; akin to Old English trēowe faithful — more at true
Date: 13th century

1 a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b : one in which confidence is placed
2 a : dependence on something future or contingent : hope b : reliance on future payment for property (as merchandise) delivered : credit <bought furniture on trust>
3 a : a property interest held by one person for the benefit of another b : a combination of firms or corporations formed by a legal agreement; especially : one that reduces or threatens to reduce competition
4 archaic : trustworthiness
5 a (1) : a charge or duty imposed in faith or confidence or as a condition of some relationship (2) : something committed or entrusted to one to be used or cared for in the interest of another b : responsible charge or office c : care, custody <the child committed to her trust>

in trust : in the care or possession of a trustee

Wow… look at how much even the definition of trust involves banking concepts.  I didn’t expect that… Primarily because  our main usage is something a bit more amorphous.

So I turn to wikipedia for something more:

The wikipedia page talks about  trust being more emotional and deeper than just reliance…  I believe that is crucial to understanding how the public feels in regards to the banks and the banking situation.  It is not the mere disappointment of a broken system that they rely on instead it the emotional reaction of broken trust. But why such emotion?  I mean it is just a system right?

But if I search again on the term “regaining trust”… the majority of articles are about cheating spouses.  I think this is also telling in regards to the level of betrayal people feel in regards to trust.

Banking for most of time has been a very personal relationship.  It has only changed in the past 30yrs where people no longer know their banker.  I think that emotional connection is very important in regaining trust in banking.  I do think it’s going to take some serious work to be regained much like dealing with a spouse that has cheated.

My solution… transparency.

We have to admit what is wrong and put structures in place that illustrate we won’t do it again.  I can’t help but refer again to the art of apology from website.  We might not be responsible (after all we are creating something new.)  But it doesn’t matter.  Apologize anyhow and show how it isn’t going to happen again.  Show how and why people can trust you again.  Show them how you will protect them. So they can believe and have hope. Because in the end… it is emotional.

I think that communicating trust is going to be key for creating a new bank and it’s why I made it my first topic for my series of banking posts.


Open Banking – Compelling arguments

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

So I have talked to many of you about Open Banking at this point.  Now I am working on a presentation for the potential clients.  I keep doing and redoing and redoing and… you get the point so

I was wondering – What you thought were the most compelling arguments about openbanking?

I’ll add in some of my own in the comments section…

help me convince them!  As I know others of you believe in this as well!


Opportunity costs

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

So one of my favorite stories/ demo’s I used to do for my new students was that of the “Big Rocks”

I would bring in a large glass vase and then I would place big rocks in it and ask if the vase was full…

Most would say yes.

I would then pour in small rocks and then ask again if it was full.  Some would say yes

I would then pour in sand and ask if it was full.  By then most had caught on and would say no.

And then I would pour in water…

I called it a lesson in priorities. So long as you figure out what your “large rocks” are in life you can fit most stuff in around those “large rocks.” Just remember to put your large rocks in first like family, children, school, work etc.

I think the hardest part for me personally in regards to that lesson is the huge wealth I am surrounded in in regards to opportunity costs.  I can’t help but look at the other large rocks – I took out and placed on the ground.

So many things I can choose to do with my time. And every time I choose to do something. I am choosing NOT to do a ton of other things.

I am at a standoff in regards to the social media world. Email, twitter, facebook – these should all be sand filling around my big rocks. And they are not. Instead processing them have been big rocks in my day. Mainly because of communication issues and others’ demand on my time.

I think what is missing most is an ability to truly prioritize and to accept losses when I do miss emails, texts, direct messages on twitter etc. The biggest opportunity loss is the fact I do not want to prioritize on open government anymore – sunlight is doing fine in that arena. Instead, I want to do Open Banking. It is all I think about. (ok maybe a few other idea pop up :-) but it is sticky!) SO I have traded Big Rocks.  And that means having to dump out all the others and re-sort…

I need to focus on how to make Open Banking happen.


mutual data ownership – stop giving away money

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

I was reading an interesting blog post today

Where he basically ponders the loss of control of data… esp in regards to the cloud.

The current scenario of you (individuals, businesses, groups etc) uploading all your information onto the cloud without proper contractual safeguards means that you have no control over your data…

This is why I am arguing we need to have mutual ownership of data. The multiple parties get to have a traceroute of thier mutual owned data. We can see who has touched it and where it has been. That portion becomes immutable (and if the data is important enough hashed and tagged in multiple locations for verification purposes.)

We can then create contracts with these cloud entities about individual ownership and force them to acknowledge our mutual ownership of the data.

Currently you give aware tons and tons of money every day! Why do you think google and facebook is worth Billions? because you GAVE it to them (forever and ever amen.) Every single idle thought, your favorite movies, your friends listing, your best friend listing, your address, your email, your game playing behavior, every thing you would never give a survey or the government – you have given to them AND most importantly SIGNED THE RIGHT TO THEM. and yea honey – that is worth some serious cash because it is some serious power.

We need a Creative Commons style contract for all this data. So that we can create some checks and balances here!

because it gets scarier than Google and Facebook (how can it get worse that a behavioral profile of all my searches?)

well it can become a profile of how you spend your money (credit cards, shoppingcards) which could effect your credit rating (hello thoughtcrime?)

or your gps data (hello ATT – or have we forgotten about them giving everything away without a search warrant?)

There is a reason Sandy Pentland calls datamining on gps data “reality mining.” Because there is NOTHING more revealing that is being gathered on you today… and nothing worth more money!

take ownership! get paid for it! sue for damages when it is stolen or misused!


3 tweets about Data ownership

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

1) How can you tell when you do not fully own the data? when people can lie to you about it :-) #dataownership #openbank

2) How do you know data is mutually owned? When at least two parties are needed to verify it as true #dataownership #openbank

3) I am amazed at the people/businesses who are offended at the idea of “mutually owned” data then complain about “false” data

I wrote these as simple ways to explain the concept of mutually owned data. It seems there are many people who feel that data is like an object and only has one owner.

I think most data is created and is actually more like a child with parents. Those parents have responsibilities to the child data they create. Good parents understand accountability and citability. Bad parents let their data roam around abused and used and often corrupted :-)


Open Banking, metrics and money

Friday, September 25th, 2009

metrics metrics metrics

With an openbank I get to prove a concept with the most old fashioned metric there is – money…

for what is money than the most generally accepted metric?

I want to educate people about the ownership of their data. No better way than to attach it to their money.
Show them that Data is the new money.
No better way to prove to businesses that people care than to make alot of money off of it.
No better way to get other banks to follow suit than to take money away from them.

yep I am a bit of a more pragmatic gal these days…


back from burningman

Friday, September 11th, 2009

And I have much to think about…

The biggest issue is me needing to be a bit more heads down for some of my work. it is an issue of priorities… and time…

I have been doing way too much, for way too long, for way too little money. It is simply not sustainable.

I thought long and hard about what matters most to me and what my CORE goals are…

It is hard to leave something I have worked so hard on for 5 years. But it is time to retire the Transparent Federal Budget and to rethink the role of the League of Technical Voters.

I think the time is now for the OurOpenBank. It is going to mean a drastic change for my work/social sphere. And I have to get up to speed on some topics I never really thought I would study. But it is important and my new priority. I have seen way too many signs of the dangers up head.

Just like when I saw how to run political campaigns in 94, MMOs in 98, and transparent govt in 04. It is time. Mutual ownership of data is the next thing and the only way to have true control over an ever changing fractionated identity.

I believe an open bank is the best way to go about this.

I know this will disappoint some people and I am sorry. But I am not sad that I have worked on these projects for the past 5 yrs and I did change the way some very important people saw possibilites. I mean when I started everyone told me I was nuts and yet I was able to reach and exchange ideas with some amazing minds.

I am not stopping on my mission to make the world a better place. I simply feel like for a time I got caught in the details without remembering the fundamental reason I started doing Transparent Government is the first place.

I started because of concern for the individual’s pursuit of happiness. I started because of my concerns of loss of privacy and social structures. I started because I perceived a dangerous inequality. This is a continuation of that story. It is more linear than just the concept of “government” this is going to hit people where it hurts the most – money.

I will start again here.


podcast w Phil Windley from is up

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Phil gets me to talk about steps 4 and 5 for the openbank as well!

And jokes about this week being @silona week at itconversations :-)

now just need to write up both my posts for O’Reilly Radar! and then no geek alive can miss seeing my picture on the two topics of Citability and OpenBanking!

also some reference links from things I talk about…

and I guess I should put something up at and .org since I own them but not yet I think… I will make them point here for now.


OpenBanking – what do I mean by that term…

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Since I seem to be one of the main people using the term of #OpenBank (at least in MY echochamber) so I feel l like I should define this hashtag publicly. (Also note I have registered and will be raising investment funds shortly so I have like vested interests and such.)

When I say OPEN I am going a bit further than just “Transparent.” Things can be transparent without being Accessible. (See this blog post for an enlightening example 😉

I admit I am a huge fan of “show me the raw data.” And I often tell Government wonks – stop worrying about interpreting the data just release it RAW and we will work with it. To be honest, I don’t want them interpreting it. Rarely does the government employee have the same motivations as the individual citizen. Therefore cannot do an appropriate interpretation without biases showing. Their interpretations will be subjected to their odd internal metrics which are too abstracted from the public. (see post on Govt metric issues.)

So what am I trying to achieve with #OpenBank? I want an open and accountable bank.

I see this as a 6 step process. I am going to only talk about 3 steps here. ( The other three are kinda out there and I have noticed many of my ideas need 3-5yrs marinate time before anyone else doesn’t think they are nuts so I am holding off… maybe in a month or two)

So the 3 steps I created 2.5 almost 3 yrs ago are…

1) The new #OpenBank will

a) be completely transparent to its customer about all data gathers on the customer.

b) will acknowledge the Mutual ownership of data btn the bank and customer

c) create equitable contracts in regards to the accrual and usage of that data hereby creating equanimity and trust.

2) The new #OpenBank will be transparent about the Bank’s data and status and will release all FDIC data to the public. It will foster a community of stakeholders to openly interpret the data like but with special support.

3) It will create internal mentoring communities that eventually will help with the loaning process.  There is a reason has a 95% return rate.  The special mentorship Nonprofits are key.  They know the individuals, the community, the conditions etc.  They are motivated to make sure the customers can repay the loan.  There are no levels of abstraction that allowed the previous trading of mortgages that resulted in fraud.  We can bring that back to banking on a large scale.

So that’s the first part of my plan… whacha think?