Creating a digital identity system ?

This is just some thoughts written down while reading 21 lessons for the 21st century. I’ll update if needed, feel free to discuss.

Reading 21 lessons for the 21st century makes we wonder how we could develop ownership on our own data / digital identity. We tend to rely on states, but they can be quite slow to move, evolve, especially when we look at how fast the digital landscape is moving. Therefore there is perhaps a room for a personal digital identity system which would allow us to give / remove access to our personal data and to to keep those informations up to date.

First I thought about a blockchain solution, allowing us to secure our data, but then I realized how much of our “identity” is moving. A blockchain solution would be a real problem for a lot of people.

Some examples I had :

  • Transgender people have to be able to change their gender and name
  • People leaving their country might adopt a new nationality
  • The simple act of moving out means our address isn’t something fixed
  • People can change their name by legal means, therefore even our names might change

People should also be able to own those data totally, which means some kind of self hosted solution as relying on a company (Facebook much?) to own those data is too big of a threat. But then, what kind of solution ? A physical system means it could easily get lost, a digital one would require both hardware and basic skills, and what happens if we lost the hardware ?

Still thinking about it, will update if needed.

Getting yourself to read more

I’ve never had the feeling that I was reading that much, or that I was doing something that looked so impossible to a lot of people. But as friends asked me this question several times, I came to realize that I was indeed reading a lot more than the usual people. Of course, everyone devotes one times to what one thinks important, but it seems that nowadays a lot of people regret not being able to read more. So I’m writing this to give you some tips that I gathered along, hoping it may help you 😉

Get back to reading

I see your reading capacity as a muscle that you have to train over time. You wouldn’t try a triathlon if the last time you went out for a walk was seven years ago would you? The same goes for your reading habits, don’t get too hard on yourself first. Five years ago I realized that I hadn’t read a book in two years. Not a single one. I realized that the idea of opening a book, and finishing it, was really “frightening” me. So I decided to slowly get back on reading.

You have to start small, and luckily, there’s a lot of things available. I’d recommend to buy a book of short stories, in the kind of stories you prefer (may it be science fiction, fantasy, horror, modern, … whatever you want). And just try to read one every night before going to bed. If it’s not doable, then read one each two days, whatever works the best for you. But aim for really shorts stories (around 20 pages is fine). Slowly you’ll train your reading muscle and you’ll realize that you are able to finish a story quite quickly, and a full book faster than you’d have thought. Once you’re at ease, simply switch to small books (under 100 pages), and you’ll be on the right track!

Always have a book with you

I couldn’t stress this one enough, but always have a book with you, seriously. You don’t realize the amount of time you’re wasting every day, waiting for the bus, waiting in the bus, waiting for a friend to arrive, … Instead of waiting, refreshing your social media feeds or whatever, you’ll now have a book at hand! And you will be surprised how fast you can finish it by using those little time chunks every time.

If you can, bring your book with you to the toilet. Even better, every time you feel the urge to go check Facebook during the day, to breathe a little, why don’t you read two or three pages instead? You can always have a PDF version of a book with you, and it’s not worse than checking social medias, it’s even better in a way.

Better, have several ones!

Okay, this one is a bit personal and might not suit everyone. It might even frighten some of you. But I’m always reading at least 3 books at the same times (often it goes up to 6). The idea is simple: if I’m not interested in a book, I can pick another one, instead of not reading at all.

The trick is to simply select some very different books: fiction, self-help, business related, philosophy related. For example at the moment the books am reading are really different: The Dice Men (fiction), Siddhartha (fiction & philosophy), The Paper Magicians (young adult fiction, perfect before going to bed), The Bed of Procrustes (business & philosophy), … I tend to also have some books in French, others in English so I can really switch to whatever I feel like at the moment.

Some even use audio books when they’re going to the fitness, but it’s something I’ve never really succeeded at (finished just one audiobook in my life), but if it works for you, go for it! I’m also using a Kindle for the last three years and I must say that it’s one of the greatest investment I’ve ever made. While it’s not close to the feeling of a real book, and that I can’t write in it, I love to be able to highlight parts of the books and extract them later, and I love to be able to carry 20 books with me when I go on holidays without it being an additional luggage.

I really hope that those tips will help you to get back to reading some books for this year. If you want, you can always add me on GoodReads, or share your experience, I’m always ready to learn new things 😉