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  Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
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metahuman
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Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« on: 2003-12-13 06:21:44 »
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Just to add to our discussions about the rationality / irrationality of trust...

************ <snip>

Key Trend: The Decline of Trust

1919
Eight members of the Chicago White Sox throw the World Series in exchange for money from gamblers. Deceit meets America's national pastime.

1920-1929
The muckrackers: Sinclair Lewis exposes phony evangelists, Ida Tarbell exposes the Rockefellers, and everyone exposes evil businessmen and corrupt politicians.

1959
Appearing before the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Columbia University professor Charles Van Doren admits to participating in fixing the hit NBC quiz show "Twenty-One." We can't trust professors, either.

1961
Burt Lancaster wins the Academy Award for his portrayal of an amoral evangelist in Elmer Gantry, based on the Sinclair Lewis book.

1965
Thirty-one-year-old Ralph Nader, a fance since childhood of Ida Tarbell and Sinclair Lewis, attacks General Motors in his book "Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-in Dangers of the American Automobile." General Motors compounds its problem by invading Nader's privacy to find information with which to discredit the author.

July 19, 1972
Americans learn that a Republican security aide is among the five men arrested two days earlier for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate hotel and office complex.

August 8, 1974
Impeached for his attempt to hide his administration's role in the Watergate break-in, Richard Nixon becomes America's first president to resign.

1982
Janet Cooke is fired from the Washington Post after admitting that her 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning story on drug use included a totally fabricated story. Further investigation reveals that Cooke also fabricated her Vassar and Sorbonne educations and fluency in four languages. She is discovered twenty years later selling Liz Claiborne in a Kalamazoo, Michigan, department store. In an Only-in-America twist, her discoverer learns that Cooke has sold the movie rights to her story for more than $1 million.

1982
John DeLorean, a former top General Motors executive, is indicted for money laundering to raise money for his new car company.

1989
Praise the Lord and pass the $20 million: Jim Bakker, who earlier confessed to an affair with church secretary Jessica Hahn, is sentenced to five years in prison for defrauding members of the Praise the Lord ministry of $158 million.

1990
Michael Milken, of the once well-regarded financial firm Drexel Burnham Lambert, pleads guilty and is sentenced to ten years in prison for securities fraud and racketeering in the sales of "junk bonds." Recognizing the harm to its name, his firm ceases operating as Drexel Burnham Lambert.

1995-2000
In defending a federal class action suit against them, tobacco company executives testify they did not know that smoking cigarettes could be harmful.

2002
Enron and Arthur Anderson. The likely beginning on an era of distrusting huge companies.

In "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," Lily Tomlin offers an understandable reaction to the last fifty years: "I worry that no matter how cynical you become," she says, "you still can't keep up."

We do not know who to trust.

In the 1970s, millions of Americans hitchhiked. The biggest challenge was not the risk--no one felt any--but other hitchhikers, with whom they competed for rides. Today, no one dares enter a stranger's car. Hitchhiking is less popular than whaling.

We disbelieve our newspapers, our priests and preachers, and our political and business leaders--and one another. Fifty-five percent of Americans in 1960 agreed that "most people can be trusted." By 2000 only 34 percent did.

This feeling has evolved from the baby boomers' famous warning, "Never trust anyone over thirty" to the bumper sticker "Question Authority" to the even broader "Who can you trust?"

"A generation is coming of age in America that doesn't take the news straight, that doesn't take the utterances of public figures straight, that doesn't take social games straight. . . . It sees giant con games everywhere." -- Jacob Brackman, The Put-On (1971)

We even disbelieve our own "knowledge." Read the best-known thinkers of the Enlightenment, writing a little over two centuries ago, and you feel amazed by their confidence. They saw a Newtonian world that worked like a machine. Understand the moving parts and you could predict everything. Mankind was about to control the world.

Today, our world looks neither controllable nor predictable; it looks chaotic. Chaos theory fills the shelves of our bookstores and, with the popular book and movie Jurassic Park, enters our mainstream.

We feel uncertain--including about others. But because we feel we can trust fewer people, we value those we trust even more; they are more rare and therefore more valuable. We love the assurance they provide, that there is someone we can rely on in this chaotic world.

Our choices--both their sheer number and type--add to our uncertainty. We cannot see or inspect much of what we buy. Estee Lauder, the woman behind the famous perfumes, expressed our problems with intangibles when she observed, "If a person cannot smell it, a salesperson cannot sell it."

Our senses help us tell if something is right. But how do you smell, taste, touch, or hear a service? What sense can you rely on to determine if you have chosen the right doctor, consulting engineers, or bank?

You worry, what if the service fails? Does the firm offer a warranty or a full refund? Services rarely do, and often can't. You cannot return a bad haircut, knee surgery, or catered party.

Fear, uncertainty, doubt--marketers first noticed this trio of feelings among prospects for computers and software, and dubbed it the "FUD Factor." Today, FUD dominates everything. Clients are fearful, uncertain, and doubtful. But.

Like all problems, this presents you with an opportunity. The ability to inspire trust has becom more rare, and as a result, more valuable--particularly if you explore the recommendations that follow.

************ </snip>

The latter was written by Harry Beckwith in his book What Clients Love.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0446527556/metavirus-20/
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Re: virus: Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #1 on: 2003-12-13 13:20:44 »
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metahuman wrote:

> 1982
> Janet Cooke is fired from the Washington Post after admitting that
> her 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning story on drug use included a totally
> fabricated story.

Interesting story (and site) here>>
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/day/04_17_2001.html

> We disbelieve our newspapers, our priests and preachers, and our
> political and business leaders--and one another. Fifty-five percent
> of Americans in 1960 agreed that "most people can be trusted." By
> 2000 only 34 percent did. 

What can we conclude from this? Were Americans in 1960s more
trustworthy or more naive?

> This feeling has evolved from the baby boomers' famous warning,
> "Never trust anyone over thirty" to the bumper sticker "Question
> Authority" to the even broader "Who can you trust?" 

Don't forget the next step, the X-files inspired "Trust no one".

> "A generation is coming of age in America that doesn't take the news
> straight, that doesn't take the utterances of public figures
> straight, that doesn't take social games straight. . . . It sees
> giant con games everywhere." -- Jacob Brackman, The Put-On (1971) 

This would seem to be an improvement (assuming giant cons games
*are* everywhere).

> Today, our world looks neither controllable nor predictable; it looks
> chaotic. Chaos theory fills the shelves of our bookstores and, with
> the popular book and movie Jurassic Park, enters our mainstream. 

Though JP got the science wrong, chaos theory is is not controversial.
The world is not entirely controllable or predictable.

David
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Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #2 on: 2003-12-13 16:45:35 »
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[Lucifer]
Interesting story (and site) here>>
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/day/04_17_2001.html

[metahuman]
"It's because I'm black, huh?" ;p

[Lucifer]
What can we conclude from this? Were Americans in 1960s more
trustworthy or more naive?

[metahuman]
Both.

[Lucifer]
Don't forget the next step, the X-files inspired "Trust no one".

[metahuman]
Then there's the positive steps usually taken by banks: "the bank you can trust." Just do an Internet search for that phrase and you'll find many banks using the same ol' cliche.

[metahuman]
Common usage of the term "trust"
http://www.foresthill.org/EXirrational.htm

Good research on the ir/rationality of trust
http://www.pbi-institute.com/articles/trust.pdf
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Re: virus: Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #3 on: 2003-12-13 22:29:37 »
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Trust is when you have reason to suspect that someone will fulfill their stated commitments.  In computer systems, all you have is trust.  You trust that each component will work as advertised.  When they do not, you have breakdowns.  You can patch and work around... but at some level, trust is the dominant paradigm without which nothing can be accomplished.

I trust that COV is a community-built religion.  I trust that the ratings systems aren't seeded. 

Without trust I would have no reason to participate.

I can workaround a few breakdowns in this trust - patch them.  But if there were too many, I would leave.

Trust applies to computers, religions, society.... It is the glue that binds us and is the basis of progress and powerful community.
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First, read Bruce Sterling's "Distraction", and then read http://electionmethods.org.
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Re: virus: Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #4 on: 2003-12-13 22:26:20 »
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Trust is when you have reason to suspect that someone will fulfill their stated commitments.  In computer systems, all you have is trust.  You trust that each component will work as advertised.  When they do not, you have breakdowns.  You can patch and work around... but at some level, trust is the dominant paradigm without which nothing can be accomplished.
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First, read Bruce Sterling's "Distraction", and then read http://electionmethods.org.
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Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #5 on: 2003-12-15 01:07:35 »
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[simul]
Trust is when you have reason to suspect that someone will fulfill their stated commitments.  In computer systems, all you have is trust.  You trust that each component will work as advertised.  When they do not, you have breakdowns.  You can patch and work around... but at some level, trust is the dominant paradigm without which nothing can be accomplished.

[metahuman]
No, I'm sorry, simul, but you are wrong again.
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Re: virus: Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #6 on: 2003-12-15 10:23:43 »
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I'm wrong because metahuman says I'm wrong.  We should just trust you, I guess.
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First, read Bruce Sterling's "Distraction", and then read http://electionmethods.org.
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Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #7 on: 2003-12-15 13:10:20 »
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[simul]
I'm wrong because metahuman says I'm wrong.  We should just trust you, I guess.

[metahuman]
You're wrong because your definition of trust is emotional rather than objective. You're wrong because your definition of trust is the same definition commonly used by rightist Christians to justify their faith and to denounce atheism as irrational. This is why you're wrong. Do your research, man. This is the Church of Virus not the Temple of Idiocy.

For starters, read the pdf I linked to: http://www.pbi-institute.com/articles/trust.pdf.
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Re: virus: Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #8 on: 2003-12-15 15:12:15 »
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Trust is "reasonable expection of a person doing what that person has stated he/it will do".

Then I showed an example of how trust, as defined, is used in designing computer systems, and extrapolated how trust, as defined, is used to build a society.

Can you explain how that definition of trust is "emotional".
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Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #9 on: 2003-12-15 16:30:24 »
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[simul]
Trust is when you have reason to suspect that someone will fulfill their stated commitments.

Trust is "reasonable expection of a person doing what that person has stated he/it will do".

Can you explain how that definition of trust is "emotional". [Missing "?" purposeful?]

[metahuman]
The commonly suggested definition of trust is "a rational expectation of goodness." This definition is limited and poorly stated; it's also your definition, and it is incorrect.

It is not rational to assume truth where contradictory evidence exists. This brings us to the basic philosopher's question: would the collision between the tree and the forest floor have produced a sound if there were no witnesses to the event? Based on previous experiences, I answer "yes" thus irrationally assuming truth. In this case, however, {the decision to assume} was rational as previous knowledge of like events had been individually experienced.

Rationality is about decisions. To describe a tool of communication as rational or irrational is idiotic. I know of no above average intelligent person that would describe a hammer as rational or irrational. It's simply a tool. Trust is simply a tool.

Trust is not a requirement for progression or community development. I know. I've been involved in community development for as long as I've been visual memetic engineer. That's around 6-7 years. What is required to build and develop a community? Relationships. Some may say that relationships are about trust. They would be right if the claim weren't so general. Some communities build on trust. Some communities build on goals. Some communities just build.

Take the Church of Virus as an example. The CoV develops on goals. Its official goal is "to compete with the traditional religions in the human ideosphere with the idea that it would introduce and propagate memes ... for leading a truly meaningful life and attaining immortality without resorting to mystical delusions." As obnoxiously stagnant the Virus meme may be perceived, we're all working towards a common goal while we pursue individual goals.

Communities, like businesses, that develop on trust will fail. They will crumble and disappear. This is due to the volatility of trust. In a computer, if a component fails or betrays the "trust" as you put it, the system will either a) crash or b) alert the user of the event and suggest that the system be repaired. In other words, once that trust is betrayed, it is reasonable to assume that everyone will be skeptical of each other.

Communities that build on goals and utilize rational decision-making to achieve its goals will succeed nevertheless.
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Re: virus: Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #10 on: 2003-12-15 21:37:16 »
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I defined trust as a "reasonable expectation" based on past experience. 

Goodness never entered into my definition. 

For example, I trust that some drivers on the freeway will be lousy.  And I trust that there isn't a bomb in my closet.

One can trust in an expected outcome, without making subjective "good or bad" decisions about the outcome.

If you don't think that's what trust is, then we can't continue the conversation about the impact of trust on society.
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Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #11 on: 2003-12-15 23:30:19 »
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[simul]
If you don't think that's what trust is...

[metahuman]
I don't think that's trust. I know that's not trust.

Your examples are literarily flawed:

You: I trust that some drivers on the freeway will be lousy. 
Reality: I accept [as truth] that some drivers on the freeway will be lousy based on previous experiences.

You: And I trust that there isn't a bomb in my closet.
Reality: And I accept [as truth] that there isn't a bomb in my closet based on previous experiences.

Most people will resign to using your flawed statements rather than being specific as being specific takes more time and sounds "intelligent."

Previous experience is not a requirement for trust. One can trust in God without evidence of existence of the being. One can trust that David Lucifer will grow wings and fly out of Hell. Trust is synonymous with faith. Faith is synonymous with belief and confidence. All beliefs have a higher chance to lead the believer to an irrational decision. Some would argue that the rationality of a decision does not affect the goodness of the decision. I disagree. The results of a foolish / irrational decision will always possess the attributes of such a decision.
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Re: virus: Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #12 on: 2003-12-16 09:51:50 »
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Metahuman,

I defined trust and then used it as I defined it with complete accuracy.

My examples are only flawed because you threw out my definition and ignored the context of my statements.

Trust is not, for me, synonymous with faith.

Trust, for me, is "rational expectation" and faith is "irrational expectation".

I choose to make this distinction between the two terms.  My definition of trust is, therefore, more useful, as an abbreviation for the concept of "rational or reasoned expectation based on prior experience". 

My definition also coincides with the dictionary definition, but not with some popular usage - as you point out.

I don'y use the terms interchangably.
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Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #13 on: 2003-12-16 17:47:43 »
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[simul]
Trust is not, for me, synonymous with faith.

Trust, for me, is "rational expectation" and faith is "irrational expectation".

I choose to make this distinction between the two terms.  My definition of trust is, therefore, more useful, as an abbreviation for the concept of "rational or reasoned expectation based on prior experience".

[simul]
Can you explain how that definition of trust is "emotional"?

[metahuman]
You've just answered your question.

[simul]
My definition also coincides with the dictionary definition, but not with some popular usage - as you point out.

[metahuman]
Here's a tip: get a dictionary and a thesaurus. Luckily, Wordsmyth.net has both.

http://www.wordsmyth.net/live/home.php?script=search&matchent=trust&matchtype=exact

Of the 10 definitions of trust, 10 of the definitions--directly or indirectly--imply faith: faith, confidence, reliance, belief, hope, dependence. It seems in most cases regarding definition you want to use a personal definition thus using an emotional definition. Definitions should not be subjective. They should always be objective so that the effectiveness of oral and written communication can improve.
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Re: virus: Re:Key Trend: The Decline of Trust
« Reply #14 on: 2003-12-16 20:07:04 »
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My definition is a useful definition of trust as reasoned expectation.

Confidence does not imply faith.

Maybe you could use some military training.
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