It's not oil or eggs or toilet paper—but something far more important
The older I get the more I realise that all of the cliches are true. Honesty really is the best policy. And it is often a greater compliment to be trusted than to be loved.
Huxley says, I told you so. It's like those who manipulate the world, read Huxley and Orwell, and thought, Yah, this is a good idea, let's do that. The older I get, and I won't be getting a lot older, the more I withdraw from the world & the less I know about people, the more I like them.
"Trust-based communities aren’t some impossible dream. ...both online and in the real world." I agree, however, I am not sure that 'online' will ever make that dream possible. The erosion of trust will lead people back to what makes us human: face-to-face interactions, relationships based in reality, interacting with the environment we actually live in etc.
At the beginning of Lent I stepped away from all news and social media; it added nothing of value to my life, but rather ate life's minutes away (see my post Reclaiming your stolen focus https://schooloftheunconformed.substack.com/p/reclaiming-your-stolen-focus) I have not gone back and don't plan to (with Notes, substack is starting to slip into the social media field and I am not sure that is a good move for the platform).
Trust may be scarce, but attention is even scarcer.
The education institution is rotten to the core and hasn’t taught kids to think critically for decades. That’s one reason why we are so susceptible to all of this fakery. I truly believe that institutions all depend on the stupidity of the public and it will only get worse. Thanks for writing about an important topic though.
You have pinpointed the biggest problem in our global economy and human society. You can't trust money. You can't trust your next door neighbor. You can't trust politicians. You can't trust lawyers. You can't trust what you see and hear. Given the opportunity to deceive someone for personal gain, most people are willing to risk getting caught. This is human nature. The bigger the challenge to deceive, or the bigger the payout, the more people are tempted to be dishonest. It is frightening. Like you said, the answer lies in transparency, respect, and plain honesty. I hope some entrepreneur figures out a way to make money on "truth". I would invest in that "scam".
This article is testimony to a central truth of our time: that in the midst of so much technological progress, there has been little to no spiritual progress. Or, if there has been, we don't hear about it.. The forces of ambition, greed and the thirst for power, fame and wealth seem not to have diminished at all - they are as operative today as they were in the time of Jesus or the Buddha. Now the preponderance of these unwholesome traits are becoming much more deadly, amplified and spread as they are by the advances in digital and AI technology. I bet Mark Zuckerman and others like him have no idea who Hannah Arendt is (to mention one name) - it truly feels as if we are being led into the abyss by a new generation of Hollow Men.
Well said. This pretty much says it all. What is missing is trust in these illustrations because they are fashioned from lies. The Blues is a respected form of music because it can be relied upon to give us the truth. We can trust it.
It strikes me that it’s only a matter of time till AI gets into the record business. Imagine AI generating a music track that sounds exactly like someone very popular. Imagine it not claiming to be that person, but using a pseudonym that some listeners suspect may be the actual artist. Will listeners be able to tell the difference? Will they care? Or imagine the estate of a deceased artist using AI to release “new” tracks from that artist. Forgive me if I’m late to the party and this is already happening.
The ANTIODROMIA of evidence: media turns information into its opposite, evidence becomes so ubiquitous we don’t know where is up or down anymore.
It becomes a mass that can be molded to whatever shape you want, you can derive opposite conclusions from the same set of data.
You cannot digitize trust.
The only thing I trust is the reality of my own experience.
But even that doesn't always feel real...
"The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made."
Attributed to: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Jean_Giraudoux
Assuming you can TRUST Wikipedia!
In 2014 when journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIS I didn't doubt the gruesome act really happened (I never watched the video). Deepfake tech was years in the future. Today, I read of a video showing a Russian soldier purportedly beheading a Ukrainian and question its reality. Scary.
You can see this trust erosion at all ages, and especially with younger generations. And I don't blame them! When we talk about trust with them, some have barely entertained that notion due to all the violations of their trust from adults and entities in their lives. And the response I've seen from some is to sever ties with parts of the Internet altogether; stopping the chase for milestones in life, because how can they trust they can build towards these anymore? I really hope we can turn this around.
Just before moving to France, I tried to switch my phone account to T-Mobile, as it was recommended for European service. I made the mistake of clicking on a Google T-Mobile ad. It was fake, but they were very good. I called the number in the ad and a woman kept me on the phone for half an hour and phished all my info, SSN, etc. She then told me she couldn't switch my account on line and i had to go to a T-Mobile store. Fortunately, I went immediately and found out it was a scam. I contacted T-Mobile and Google, yet the ad remained up for months. Money trumps trust.
Thanks, great issue, great article. The upside of this is that there's only one way to go: internally. Wr got to Listen to that inner voice (not the automated internal dialogue of the mind, it's the one deeper down) and train ourselves to go with our intuition. It knows. It ain't mumbo-jumbo, it manifests through your emotions, your physical state and gives many clues. That's why all this cluttering of the sources is happening : to make it harder for us to listen.
It took me too many years to finally realize that humans are more emotionally driven than logically driven. The psyche is like a rider (our conscious mind) on an elephant (our subconscious mind). We like to think the rider is always in control, but the problem is that our elephant wants sh!t and our rider ends up just being the elephant’s lawyer trying to make logical excuses for the elephant’s bad behavior. That’s why we are so susceptible to bad ideas that appeal to our elephant’s dark side.
It’s been a bad spell for truth lately. If I were a rich philanthropist, I’d fund projects to promote critical thinking skills in schools. On the upside, it’s been interesting seeing the Dominion voting machine civil trial unfold. Those lying SOBs! Their morality might be long gone, but at least they’ll probably get a piece of their pocketbook.