A Crowd of One

No, it’s not a reference to the noise I manage to produce all by myself 🙂
“A Crowd of One” is the very suggestive title of the latest book from John Henry Clippinger. It came out few days ago, and I’ve just got my fangs on a copy (usual Borders) on my way back from the Japanese. Mr. Clippinger is one of the key figures in the Identity scene, and this is a book I don’t mind buyng hard cover (Douglas, every Sunday I get closer to buy you-know-what even if I know I’ll have maybe time to read it this summer, since it’s not directly connected to work).

I’ll have to find the time to read it with the attention it deserves, however I’ve made my signature scan of it. Few things jumped to the eye so far

  • “A Crowd of One” really explores idea in depth. In our book I write the opening chapters, where I get to introduce many of the key concepts: identity, trust, credentials… one of the sentences I often write sounds more or less like “this is not the place for making philosophy, however …” and then I cut short giving an operational definition. Well, it would appear that “A Crowd of One” *is* that place. Big time 🙂

  • It is fun to see the Italian Renaissance taken as an example, and seen from a non-Italian perspective. You’d be surprised by how much of what is described there sounds actual, from the words (“catasto” still exists) to the practices.

  • I’ve caught glympses of things I don’t necessarily agree with, like some OpenSource-Microsoft super polarization. The Open Specification Promise, if the author is referring to it, is depicted as a way of Microsoft of “coming to terms” with Open Source: I totally don’t agree with that, it is simply the act of aresponsible industry leader moving forward with the job begun with the introduction of the WS-* specs (which were designed to be THE EXACT OPPOSITE of vendor lockin). I had the luck to work with WS-* from the very beginning with enterprise customers, and I can tell you that we always truly bet on open standards also on the field, not just with press releases and announcements.

  • I think I will like how the author “instantiates” the Laws and lucidly explores what it will take to steer toward the Identity Metasystem.

OK, enough spotty peeking. As soon as I’ll have time, hopefully in few days, I’ll give the book the attention it deserves and I’ll eat it cover to cover 🙂