Basically we all want to trust the future; we like to believe that technological progress will be utilized in a way that benefits the well-being of humans everywhere. But that’s not what I had in mind when I said “trust in the future”…I’d like to talk about trust, why we need to be able to trust each other, and why it will be even more vital in the near future. Without it, we’ll be heading straight for a totalitarian society without freedom or humanity, so we’d better start finding ways to learn to trust each other again, because right now we’ve lost the ability to do so; it’s the big thing behind crypto-currencies on a public decentralized blockchain, a trust-less transaction in which two individuals don’t NEED to trust each other because that part of the agreement is delegated to a smart contract.
In the current state of affairs such a solution seems not only adequate, but vital; the ideology of free trade, capitalism, itself is based in distrust, it’s a constant bartering during which all parties try to maximize their own advantage, it’s described in game theoretical plays with names like “the prisoner’s dilemma”.
This is something completely different from the old-fashioned “gentlemen’s agreement” or the mutual benefits derived from “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine”, where the basic premise is a measure of trust and even a true win-win scenario that never happens in capitalism.
But a smart contract is still a contract, and the contract itself is the expression of our mutual distrust. Our agreement isn’t real until it’s written down somewhere, so it can later be enforced using the rule of law; we don’t trust each other and have made an extensive rule-book by which we lead our lifes. And within the corporation where we work, we have an additional rule-book by which we all agree to shape our behaviors toward each other, the management and customers; we cannot trust each other without that rule-book because we’re afraid we’ll be taken advantage of without it.
The organisation of humans is therefore far from organic.We are organisms and we live on a planet that can be construed as a living organism, which is in turn part of a living universe; we can not in reality separate ourselves from all that, in particular the other people around us. Everything and everyone relates to the rest; we form a living network that behaves like an organism. Imagine a universe with only one star, and nothing else. This star is lost and nothing can be known about it; it can’t even be established if it’s moving or not because there’s nothing to relate with. Now add a star, and we still know nothing; if the distance between them doesn’t change, we don’t know if their position is fixed or if they both move simultaneously, if they seem to approach each other, then which one is moving?
The problem persists even with three stars when you consider the possibilities of moving in a plane as opposed to the third dimension, and adding a fourth star, an individual “overseer”, the question becomes: which is the fourth star doing the overseeing?The point is that all we know about anything or anyone is just knowledge from a particular point of view, and our point of view is always our own, it’s all we’ll ever know. This persistent first person perspective on the universe conspires with the ideologies of individualism we’ve saturated our western societies with, to completely separate ourself from our fellow human beings and nature. We all fancy ourselves to be that fourth star… But in reality we’re not apart and just on the inside; in reality we have tremendous effect on each other and on our surroundings. We are co-creators of our world and of each other. And the technologies we’ve developed point to ever more and faster connections between us, and it’s only natural that we consequently get to know each other better over time.
In a world where the individual pursuit of more money is the prevailing mantra, I can not trust my doctor. No, really, if he prescribes some medicine or treatment, I can’t know if he did so with my health, or his own wallet in mind. “Trust is good, but control is better,” isn’t it? In this world it is; did the butcher inject his meat with water to cheat the scales? Did the used-cars salesman tell me everything about the car I just purchased? Is the customer really King? Is a good consumer a trusting consumer? Or do we constantly need protection, a counterweight to the singular goal of making more profits of capitalism’s agents?The internet and social media have created a true global village.
Almost. Because, while we’re much more connected, we haven’t become closer; the trust needed for that to happen just isn’t there, or we would all use our real names and wouldn’t mind sharing our address, or get angry when we’re “doxed.” The video below is the world we’re heading towards, without a doubt, bar some exceptional change in ideology away from capitalism. Don’t be fooled; the fact that the report is about China, the biggest so called communist country in the world, shouldn’t blind you from the reality that the proposed surveillance state comes from our global masters who also control our governments. China is just one of the first, a good testing ground, but we’re to follow soon. Maybe, just maybe we NEED cryptocurrencies to grain a foothold in the general population sooner rather than later, just to save us from ourselves ;-)