I’ve added a new page to my main site, containing an assortment of old cards and pieces of identity. I had these all in a drawer, and I should really throw them away, except for a feeling that they have some value as souveneirs. So, in a bout of archival zealotry, I scanned them all.
I’m putting them online because I feel they also still have residual value as identity cards. Even cards which expired several years ago can act as a historical record, they are still useful means of identifying someone.
Each bureaucracy has their own standards for how to prove someone’s identity, and they often prefer documents issued or certified by the state. That’s because the state acts as a sort of trusted authority, whatever comes from the state is considered trustworthy. So, most of the time, you can prove identity with a passport, a driving licence, or a proof of registration on the electoral roll. This is flawed for the first part because it doesn’t account for the possibility that your one trusted authority might be compromised, and secondly: not everyone has a passport, a driving licence, or is registered to vote. Arguably the population which doesn’t travel abroad, doesn’t drive, and isn’t registered to vote is quite small, but so long as that population exists there will be no means of universally identifying everyone.
Most bureaucracies like to think about things as either ‘trustworthy’ or ‘not trustworthy’ with no middle ground between the two. The alternative I’m angling for with my collection of cards, is to break away from trust as a binary model. There are precedents in cryptography for decentralised authority, or a ‘web of trust’. I think of the web of trust as a balance between the trust in one individual source, against the additional security of a second source. With my cards, I’m tipping that balance all the way across to the point where each piece is not itself particularly significant, and trust lies in the collection as a whole.
It’s also worth keeping in mind the risk that running a personal website is a form of self-doxxing. That’s why I’ve blacked out most of the numbers or codes on the cards.
I played around a little with the CSS for the page, here’s my first responsive design.
Here’s the final thing with two columns, a few days later.
It’s at the stage where I think it looks okay on both mobile and desktop. Compare that to how this blog looks on mobile. I’ve been wanting to change the CSS here too, although I don’t know enough SASS to confidently mess with it.
In terms of other changes, I added a few lines to my deploy script for automatically backing up my posts. I added a link in the blog header to download the latest compressed post archive, and the link title gives the date it was generated.
Every other dated archive file is also saved outside the blog, just in case.