Showcase Sunday - Trust issues: learning to trust again

in #showcase-sunday11 months ago

For today's #showcase-sunday I am returning to a post on trust from about two years ago. I see trust as an increasingly important component of the internet and something that the blockchains will increasingly look to question. Currently they are approaching it from the transactional standpoint alone, but eventually through webs of trust and trustless networks, a much higher degree of trust could form between unknown parties in a trustless network.

This might scare many people and rightly so perhaps as we have become accustomed to living in a world where there are very few consequesnces to our online behaviors, even though much more of our lives are getting lived online. As I mentioned about the new digitial economies, the more our lives and earnings get pushed into the realm of digital streams, the more important trusted relationships will become.

Trust issues: learning to trust again

In this world, we are all anonymous.

You think you know me, you think you know what I am like? Do you think you know what your friend is like, your family?

I was talking with a friend last night who said, "I don't trust many people", and I replied,

you don't trust anyone.

This may require a tiny bit of clarification but before I do that, do you trust anyone? Who are they and why do you trust them?

Flaws in judgement

So, the reason we don't actually trust anyone is because who we are actually trusting is ourselves. We are trusting our ability to judge someone's character based on the way we have read the cues exhibited. We transcribe our trust to someone after we have evaluated them through our filters.

Nearly everyone thinks that they are a good judge of character, yet time and time again this is proven false as others 'break trust'. No one can break your trust, all they can do is act differently to your evaluation and acknowledge the conflict. The blame of "broken trust" lays solely on the individual who feels that they have been wronged.

Who was in the wrong really, as if you look at the act of breaking trust, it is actually that someone behaved differently than expected and to say they are in the wrong is to say that they should conform to your expectations. What happens to "be yourself" when in practice that means, 'as long as you do what is expected of you'?

Cooperation and punishment

This is the problem with trust as it is really only a one-sided concept but involves more than one person. It is the cooperation between numbers that builds a community and for that cooperation to take place, it does require having trust in each, even though it is only the trusting of one's own evaluated opinion of the other.

We have evolved as social beings that have been successful because of our ability to form groups and work together toward a common goal. This cooperation is dependent on having the belief that each participant will act in the best interest of the group and most do as to do otherwise, is to lose the support of the group.

This worked well for many millennia and we developed personal strategies to gather, assess and apply our opinionated trust. It worked so well because interaction was face to face, groups were small, each relied on others for a range of skills and the cost of non-cooperation meant ostracisation, and that is a fate akin to death in a hostile environment where other groups are much more likely to kill a stranger than welcome them in.

Can I trust you, stranger?

This has changed massively though as a lot of interaction is faceless, the groups are enormous, skills can be bought and non-cooperation has no penalty as there are always options for survival after ostracisation from one group.

The problem now lays in the situation that we are designed for community but, there are none of the checks and balances to keep bad actors within from acting against best interests. Not only that, but because of the size and diversity of the groups, if one acts badly, there is always another group that has enough distance to not know of the transgressions.

This anonymity and ability to join numerous groups is how conmen and snake oil salesmen are able to stay in business. They only need the trust to last long enough for them to swindle and then they move along to the next town and new marks to run the con again. And, they too have developed strategies to play on the evaluation mechanisms, develop favourable expectations and win the trust of people.

Low risk, high reward, poor skills

It is an art form of deception and manipulation that is carefully crafted to normally satisfy the best interests of the individual over that of others. And, we have designed the perfect ecosystem to support it, the internet. It is an environment that facilitates scam through anonymity and reduction in public assessment points, while degrading the skills necessary to detect such things.

It is also a place that pushes heavily toward materialistic tendencies and since it is largely experienced alone, the opportunity for selfish greed is higher. For those that partake in the deception at the expense of others, there is the added benefit that one need not see the damage and harm caused. It gamifies society and community and makes winning much more individual and reward based without attention to civic duty.

All of these behaviours and interactions fascinate me at Steem. It is the reason why people give their owner keys out in chat, or send SBD to some random exchange account expecting return or think that some whale is actually asking for their help and it requires some cost action on their part.

Those that fall for the scams are those who look at the indicators, evaluate the situation as favourable and deem it worthy of the risk considering the return. What they don't consider is that their own greed colours their assessment and accentuates the positives and twists the negatives until they are no longer relevant.

Delusional relationships

Now, back to the start for a moment. Have you ever had your trust 'broken' by a person you care about? Was it because they didn't act like themselves, or was it because you evaluated 'who they are' badly? Why did you evaluate badly if you are such a good judge of character? Greed.

You wanted something from them didn't you? You wanted their status, power, body, love... you built up expectations based on what you wanted them to deliver and when they failed, you blamed them. Again, who is behaving badly? The one who acts on their nature or the one who expects someone else to behave against their own nature?

Trust is a complex system that is full of a wide range of variables that are very hard to predict when they influence upon each other and as contexts and circumstances change. Remember that when you place your trust in someone, it is a contract between your evaluations and expectations, not them, as they will do as they do. When your trust is broken, it was your evaluations and expectations that were poorly aligned with who they actually are.

Is that their fault?

[ a Steem original ]

This is a post for the @nonameslefttouse initiative



@tipu curate && @life.syndication resteem

lol who dropped it first?

Think it was me ;)
!giphy racing

giphy is supported by witness untersatz!

lols to both of you.

You're just so popular :)

Steem is a weird place :D


It was definitely you, by about 1 second! haha

I go the other direction and trust everyone. Only when they prove untrustworthy - rarely - do I stop trusting them and never forget it.

This comes from my 30 year accounting career that had a major focus on waste, fraud and abuse. The vast majority of problems came from people who were untrained or unknowledgeable to what they should have been doing. Very few people were actually out to rip off the company and they are easily caught if you know how to look.

On a personal level, I am a nomad, and usually in a place I have never been before with few resources and often not speaking the language. This has been my whole life story. Over and over again in all countries I have visited, trusting people has been my best plan. People come through and are more generous than you would ever believe if you trust they will be.

I was just today remembering a time I was lost at midnight in Northern Thailand. A guy on the bus managed to understand where I was trying to go and dragged me off a bus in the middle of nowhere. As soon as I got off the bus, I was wondering if I did the right thing. We were on the side of the road in the dark.

After a shaky half hour his whole family showed up in a van and drove me for miles and miles to the front gate where I needed to be. They refused my money and drove off into the night.

I could tell you 100 or 1000 stories like this one after 60 years of life. And I only had a couple where my best plan was to run.

This video is from a series on my yt channel for the topic. In it I say that evil in the world is too small to be relevant for my life, and so far, so good.

As for people on the internet, I have found a similar pattern. In over two years on STEEM, I have only seen a handful of people I do not trust. I assure you, I watch those few, and I am happy to see some of them got stabbed in our last fork.

Falling for scams, or thinking people owe you something are whole other topics. Live and learn :)

I go the other direction and trust everyone.

People say this, I am yet to meet one who actually lives it. The judgement comes far too fast and the situations impact a lot. Those that "trust everyone" generally are either naive or have the experience to be able to judge the situation well enough. Again though, it isn't trust in them, it is you trusting your evaluation.

In over two years on STEEM, I have only seen a handful of people I do not trust.

You should look a little wider. :D

I handed my 2 week old baby over to a homeless guy on the street who wanted to hold him and that worked out well. The two ladies with me were ready to die, while he ended up crying with gratitude and good memories of his own son.

So sorry you have trouble with STEEMers. Maybe I am just lucky here, but I think not. I stand by my few evil-doers idea.

I don't feel naive, just content with how I see people.

Since I am 60 now, I don't know how much lack of experience has to do with my attitude. I feel like I have seen a lot in all this time.

If you are coming to STEEMFest, maybe we can connect there and then you can see for yourself. I would love to meet-up :)

I handed my 2 week old baby over to a homeless guy on the street who wanted to hold him and that worked out well.

And if he had been on bathsalts? Had hepatitis?

I don't feel naive, just content with how I see people.

THe "content with how you see people" is the thing. I didn't call you naive. You might have enough experience to judge the situation, many do not. I back myself and have travelled in some hairy situations too. I don't recommend it for everyone though.

So sorry you have trouble with STEEMers.

I have no trouble here, I just don't live in any kind of illusion of the kinds of people that are here.

Unfortunately, I won't make it to SteemFest this year though which is a pity, as I would love to catch up ith some of the people I met last year and meet the new. Have fun.

And if he had been on bathsalts? Had hepatitis?

I trusted he did not. I turned out to be right. Or if he had either of those troubles, they did not present themselves.

I feel lucky to have my accounting education and experience so I did learn how to judge people. But prior to that, I was a teenage runaway for years, and still found most people to be trustworthy and helpful.

What kind of people do you think are on STEEM? Different that the "real" world?

I hope I will have fun at STEEMFest and plan to. It will be my first, but I already know a number of people coming, so it will be reunion is some ways.

If something had happened to your son, would you blame yourself? What if it affected him for the rest of his life?

Lots of different types of people on Steem

My obesity, poor health, and many near death experiences during his childhood has caused my son's severe ptsd. If I regret anything, it is that I was not able to regain my health until he was in his late teens by which time, the damage I did not see coming was already done.

Since then, he has lost no less than 15 of his close childhood friends from our small rich beach town. They have been lost to suicides, car wrecks, drug overdoses, medical malpractice, and other horrifying and tragic means.

One thing he has thanked me for more than once is that I taught him not to be afraid of strangers. He is out on the streets now in San Diego at the ago of 26, (not on drugs or drinking). I know his ability to trust others regardless of what type they are helps him get through each difficult day.

@tipu curate

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Only 3300? 👏😅

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Upvoted!, matey.

A screen shot from my post - in case you don't read it...
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