But... I'm hoping that people can still separate out the core idea that was there behind React World, and distance it from the fact that it was being put in place by people who had too much bad history to make it work.
Don't get your hopes up too high. People always seem to have a hard time distinguishing between a bad idea and a bad implementation of a good idea. (Just look at how many people call Prohibition the former when it was clearly the latter, for example...)
Not sure if trolling or serious, but just in case I was legitimately not clear in what I wrote, "the originator" that needs to be verified is the phone placing the call, not the person holding it. If Evulz McTrollington can place a call that the phone company thinks is coming from your phone at your house, then something's very wrong with the phone company's system, and that's the first thing that needs to be fixed.
Precisely. The entire point of a contract--any contract--is to limit the freedom of both parties in specifically enumerated ways. As such, it's entirely appropriate for a government tasked with upholding the freedom of its people to place reasonable restrictions on what can and cannot constitute a valid contract.
And on the other hand, sometimes they handle things very dangerously wrong.
My first experience with a 911 call was one such time. (There have been two; the other one involved reporting a house fire I saw, which it turned out they were already aware of.)
Several years ago, I was working at the front desk at a local clinic, when one day some guy walked in. He was apparently drunk or high or something, less than completely coherent, and behaved very belligerently, to the point where we got worried enough that one of my coworkers called 911.
The dispatcher answered with "911, can you please hold?" And proceeded to put her on hold without even ascertaining the details of the situation first. By the time the dispatcher got back around to us a few minutes later, we had managed to defuse the situation ourselves and get the guy to leave, but it could easily have gone a very different way!
Well, maybe not in a science context, but of course such reciprocity lies at the heart of Richard Stallman's GNU General Public License. The GNU GPL is also something that is often called "viral", but a better name might be evangelical. Let's hope that MNI's project is as successful in spreading the word about open science as the GPL has been in propagating free software.
...and that's why this will fail. Genuine reciprocity is voluntary, not coerced. "Viral" is a very good term for the GPL: if you write a program that has 99 features yourself, but you need a GPL library to make the 100th feature work, it "infects" your entire codebase and forces you to GPL the entire thing, essentially claiming all your code for the GPL even though the writer of the code that infected it did nothing to earn it.
What Stallman's zealotry has been most "effective in propagating" is backlash against Free Software. By the 90s it had already gotten so bad that a bunch of the best and brightest developers around got together and formed the Open Source Initiative that was basically dedicated to the idea that "we're really not all as bad as those weirdos in the FSF." And their more moderate, non-coercive principles have proceeded to make a huge difference in the world since then. Today everyone knows what "open source" means, while the FSF are still essentially ignored and unknown outside of a very specific niche in the programming community.
And that's a real shame because they've done a lot of good work and come up with a lot of good ideas that deserve to be listened to. If only they hadn't gone with what's basically the worst possible way to implement their ideas, the world would probably be a noticeably better place today for it. I guess this is why we can't have nice things.
If MNI is trying to consciously imitate them, all I can say is plus ca change...
The problem is, in the case of an actual active-shooter or hostage situation, restraint is really the last thing you want them to show. If I was being held hostage, I know I would want the cops to shoot the guy holding me hostage at the first opportunity, ideally before he even knew they were there, because that minimizes the risk that I end up dead.
The real root cause is that it's somehow possible to place illegal calls, (to 911, telemarketing, and all sorts of other abuses,) where the telephone company can't verify the originator.
Of course, in most cases, it's quite difficult for law enforcement to ever track down whoever called in the hoax report, and it's rare for the callers to ever be caught -- though it does sometimes happen.
OK, that's kind of bizarre, considering the number of articles I've seen on here covering telephone tracking technologies. If police (or the phone company) can trace your phone when you're not even making a call, to try to find someone who may or may not be a criminal, how hard can it possibly be in the case of an actual call to go to the phone company with a warrant and say "this call came in to this 911 center at this time, and the caller committed a felony. Tell us where the phone is that that call came from"?
I couldn't agree more, cable dudes. So why don't you set the example? In the field of hardware and software, there's another special word that means the same thing as "secret": proprietary. Give up your proprietary systems and switch to an open standard, and we'll believe you don't tolerate harmful secrets.
Until then, just go away and let the adults talk in peace.
WWI was started by Serbia and Austria-Hungary being unable to find a peaceful resolution to a political crisis precipitated by an assassination of an Austrian nobleman by a Yugoslav nationalist. How does France have anything to do with that?
Also, how does France (later) sending tons of soldiers to the killing fields reduce their population of smart people, when the best and brightest disproportionately tend to find ways to avoid serving on the front lines?
History shows that the French population is pretty good at revolutions - it may be time for another one.
History shows the French population is horrible at revolutions. They don't call the aftermath of the last one "The Reign of Terror" for nothing; it was one of the darkest points in the country's history.