I'm making this as a sort of a placeholder post because an issue that keeps coming up—both in things I want to say (in comments to recentlyfolded's mod posts from yesterday) and in private discussions with other fans—is that what we're discussing is on the bleeding cutting edge of both technical and technology-and-society research. The thing I want doesn't exist; it might port from some technologies that do exist, but it's not a social network, it's not an archive, it's not a data center—it's some weird chimerical beast that draws from all of those things, and also is going to require input from experts on lots and lots of things that I, at least, am not an expert on.
I would very much love to crowd-source some research in, and also ideally get in touch with some fan-friendly academics doing research in, the following areas (WIP):
- Computer science:
- Machine learning: supervised learning for (e.g.) abuse detection in both text and images; community-owned machine learning data sets; machine learning that is transparent and responsive to community stakeholders.
- Distributed systems: distributed networks/"the swarm", archival concerns and persistence of data in swarm computing, legal concerns and privacy in swarm computing.
Please leave a comment here (comments are screened) if you are or know of an academic or academics doing research in these or other relevant areas I haven't thought of. If you are okay with me unscreening your comment, please actively say so in the comment itself; otherwise, your comment will remain screened and be viewable only to me and the other mods. However, if the information you reference is publicly available, I will link it in the directory (below) without referring back to you.
For example, if you say, "Dr. Jane Foster wrote this great paper on swarm computing, http://arxiv.org/pdf/whatever and has also written about the fannish internet here, http://arxiv.org/pdf/whatever , her contact info is available on the Unseen University website here: http://whatever - please don't unscreen my comment" — I would post this as "Dr. Jane Foster: "Title of swarm paper" - URL, "Title of fan paper" - URL," with no reference to your username; and I would contact Dr. Foster privately to explain what we're working on and ask her if it was OK to link her contact info before I did so (if I did so). You do not need to tell me whether or not you are, yourself, Dr. Foster; I will assume that you are not her, but you want to remain anonymous, and I will not mention you when I contact her.