View profile

Wicked Minds - Issue #8: Trusted Sources

The Messenger
Wicked Minds - Issue #8: Trusted Sources
By Socratus • Issue #8 • View online
Trust is the glue of human existence, and perhaps animal existence. Or all of existence. I don’t know what a tree feels as it’s being uprooted, but I bet it’s not a nice feeling.
We can interpret many of our institutions as “technologies of trust.” The nation state is an important example, offering both carrots and sticks to keep us together. Not everyone gets the same security as others and nations are adept at turning some communities into villains, destroyers of trust - that’s the first step in the long arc towards genocide.
There’s also the root of all evil, i.e., money, which is arguably the single most important technology of trust. Don’t believe me: think about this fact - you are willing to press a button and go back to playing Fortnite, knowing that a package will be at your door in an hour or a day or a week. Isn’t that something else?
Money makes that trust possible. It tames risk, allowing us to take a chance on new ventures knowing that uncertainty can be quantified. Here’s the paradox though: the expansion of risk also expands the scope of exploitation & competition, bringing the commons into the circle of exploitation.
Money and Mathematics are closely related and as far as I can tell, they are the only tools we have invented that have a recursive character to them, spawning towers of speculation in both senses of that term. Finance is the outcome of the recursive character of money, while computing is the outcome of the recursive character of mathematics.
Cryptocurrency brings money and math into one package!
We will need ever more trust to address our planetary challenges and there’s no escaping money as a medium of trust. I am fascinated by what cryptocurrencies and blockchains etc will do and the new instabilities they will bring.
PS: check out the Five Books site for other book recommendations.

On liberty, security and our system of racial capitalism – Olúfẹ́mi O Táíwò | Aeon Essays
What falling robots reveal about the absurdity of human trust | Psyche Ideas
At least in one influential camp, private property protected by law is the foundation of trust and prosperity.
👆🏾that screenshot is from the Wikipedia page for Acemoglu and Robinson’s book on the rise and fall of nations👇🏾.
Why Nations Fail - Wikipedia
But once again, what arises as a solution to the problem of trust - law governed societies that ensure property rights - creates enormous damage when it expands to the planet as a whole. Is it possible that the commons is a better approach to the management of trust?
Is it time to upend the idea that land is private property? – Antonia Malchik | Aeon Essays
Did you enjoy this issue?
Socratus

Illustrating Wicked Problems

In order to unsubscribe, click here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue