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In other words, I know their intentions and I trust their actions will be informed by those intentions.There's also a less intimate, less personal form of trust.
Laura Entis illustration of the ten human skills amidst a city with a soft green background and an arm reaching out to it " data-medium-file="https://adobe99u.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/ten-human-skills-h.jpg?
In New York, I similarly had to trust everyone at La Guardia Airport, my New York taxi driver, and the staff at my new hotel -- where I am right now, writing this.
If I had to count, I'd guess I easily had to trust a hundred thousand people -- and that was all before this morning. There were 120 people on my plane, almost all of them strangers to each other, and at no point did anyone jump up and attack the person sitting next to them.
And it's not so much that I trusted the particular taxi driver, but instead the taxi licensing system and overall police system that produced him. This is true for biological ecosystems, social systems, and sociotechnical systems.
Similarly, when I used an ATM this morning -- another interesting exercise in trust -- it's less that I trusted that particular machine, bank, and service company -- but instead that I trusted the national banking system to debit the proper amount from my bank account back home. Also, in any cooperative system, there also exists an alternative parasitical strategy.This means there is a fundamental tension between cooperation and what I call defection.(Students of game theory will immediately recognize these terms.) It's a tension between us as individuals and us collectively as society. Before that, I woke up in a hotel, trusting everyone on the staff who has a master key.I took a Boston taxi to the airport, trusting not just the taxi driver, but everyone else on the road.That is, if their number gets too large or too powerful, the underlying system collapses.If there are too many tapeworms in your digestive tract, you die and then they die.There were a lot of complicated mechanisms in play this morning to ensure that no one mugged me on the street, my taxi driver didn't rob me on the way to the airport, and the plane was staffed with a competent pilot. Trust is a complicated concept, and the word is overloaded with many meanings. When I say that I trust a friend, or a spouse, I'm talking less about their specific actions and more about them as a person.I have a general reliance that they will behave in a trustworthy manner.At Boston's Logan Airport, I had to trust everyone who worked for the airline, everyone who worked at the airport, and the thousands of other passengers.I also had to trust everyone who came in contact with the food I bought and ate before boarding my plane.