Trusted Digital Identity and the Infinite Regress Problem

Tim Bouma
Tim Bouma
Mar 26, 2018 · 1 min read

I was pondering the ‘Turtles all the way down’ issue, and I encountered another way of describing it — the ‘Infinite Regress Problem

In brief (according to Wikipedia), the infinite regress problem is a series of propositions where the proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, the truth of proposition P2 requires the support of proposition P3, … , the truth of proposition Pn−1 requires the support of proposition Pn, ad infinitum.

Ad infinitum, or turtles all the way down. It looks like this:

The vertical ellipsis above means ‘turtles all the way down…’

I gave some thought how a trusted digital identity might be reflected as the infinite regress problem. This is what I came up with.

For a trusted digital identity, it is not an infinite regress program, but you will ultimately have to rely on evidence of identity issued by the public sector (government).

Tim Bouma

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Tim Bouma

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