Social Trust

This is the trust with strangers, ie someone who you have not met before. It is the secret to successful society.

"... Countries with higher trust in strangers have higher economic growth, less corruption and happy citizens. They have lower suicide rates, less chronic illness and fewer fatal accidents......politicians often debate the best way to increase productivity or improve education. Few propose policies to raise trust..."
Ian Leslie 2018

There are 3 stages in the development of social trust:
i) local (when we lived in small groups and everyone knew everyone else, ie neighbourhood)
ii) institutional (occurred in the industrial age where were able to confidently do business with strangers thanks to the nexus of laws and contracts, rules and regulations, etc).
ii) distributed (trust flows horizontally through a vast digital organised network, ie people who share social media sites, etc).

Trust in a stranger implies a leap of faith in another person.

"...rather than extending human trust, it might be better to say that algorithms are replacing it. It's not the person we trust, it's a system of mutual compliance......Humans are caring and decent, but they're also erratic and dishonest. Machines are reliable and, as yet, free of self-interest..."
Ian Leslie 2018

"...the great decline in violence that took place in post-mediaeval Europe Society was accompanied by the emergence of the norms of conversation - good manners. Essentially over the course of centuries, and without anyone planning it, people developed protocols for when to speak in a conversation and how far to stand from another person when speaking. These protocols enabled strangers to converse, relatively free from the fear they were about to be smote with a sword. And the more they talked, the less they fought..."
Norbet Elias as quoted by Ian Leslie 2018

"...Our most noble qualities began as compliance mechanisms; the evolutionary basis for altruism is the knowledge that, somewhere down the line, favours get returned. Writing started as a technology of compliance. It emerged in ancient Mesopotamia as a way for bureaucrats to keep tabs on farmers. The earliest documents are not love poems or novels, but lists of crop yields and taxes. Writing things down didn't negate the need for social trust, which eventually enabled such trust to flourish beyond circles of friends and family..."
Ian Leslie 2018

It is thought that today's technologies may perform the same role, ie reducing our fears of being harmed by people we don't know and may actually encourage us to engage with them more deeply.
Sometimes peer-to-peer networks can feel impersonal. However, some of the most successful sharing apps are designed to support human interaction rather than it.

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