kei’s notes

Trust is the basic unit of human connection

To describe what trust is is hard. To describe where trust is is easier.

Trust is needed when there is unknown between two parties who share the same interest/intention (encapsulated interest). The common interest/intention bring them together (e.g. trade, relationship, service). They both have expectation and vulnerability (different on both sides) this connection. Trust is needed from both sides to realise this connection and proceed to action, albeit there is unknown and risk.
==> [Trust is weaken when beliefs are shaken]

Small trust starts from an interpersonal level (e.g. trusting your friend in help). Bigger trust scales to an institutional level (e.g. trusting judiciary system will serve justice) or even on distrubuted networks (e.g. blockchain).

Trust leap (transforming trust into an action of change) happens when trust stack is complete. There are 3 criteria for erecting a full trust stack:

  1. Basic understanding of what the connection is about.

  2. Advantages outweigh disadvantages in this connection.
    ==> [The bad weigh more than the good]

  3. Security in peers / bandwagon effect threshold is met.
    Familiarity can help meet this threshold.
    ==> [Familiarity transposes existing stances]

Trust (same as technology or any other means/tools in general) can bridge over the gap to bring people closer. Nonetheless, it can also be misused for other personal/business purposes.

  • One way of bending the equation is by information asymmetry—by not overtly providing relevant information but keeping the other party in the dark during trust building.

  • Placing trust in the wrong person/party could lead to detrimental results, especially when regulations cannot bridle them timely.

  • Transparency properly brought to everyone can minimise this information asymmetry and provide an outsider’s view when making decisions (Kahneman; ch. 23). However, [Transparency can but not always help establish trust].

Record of trust should help people to build trust. Yet, in a society which overweighs records, people without records are ousted from the prevalent trust building formula (paperwork).

[Trust is different from trustworthiness]. Trust is an investment. Trustworthiness is a quality to earn.

Last update: 2020-06-20


Botsman, Rachel. Who Can You Trust? How Technology Brought Us Together and Why It Might Drive Us Apart. Perseus Books, 2017.

Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking, Fast and Slow. 1st ed., Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011.

Trust is the basic unit of human connection