"Trust" has little to do with computers or computing. It doesn't
really have a lot to do with business, either. Oh, it
does talk about the Internet quite a bit, and certainly the
implicit trust relationships of business come into play, but really
it falls outside of the subjects we usually talk about here.
This is a short book. I read it before breakfast, still in bed. It's
not going to tie you up for days, although you may want to go back and
read it again (I did). I think it's a very powerful book, interesting,
thought provoking and very much worth reading and passing on to
other thinking people.
One Amazon reviewer complained that it is too scholarly. I don't
agree at all: I don't think anything here is beyond the reach of an
average well-read person. You don't need a degree in Humanities or
Philosophy to read this - it may be peppered with references to
scholarly books and ideas, but it's perfectly readable by any
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The author builds the case that trustful societies are healthy societies
and suggests that we, as individuals and in governments, should be consciously
working to promote and enhance trust among ourselves. The base idea
isn't new ("Do unto others" isn't necessarily altruistic), but its
application as political philosophy has never had great support. I read
Kohn as suggesting that it should, not for reasons of religious ideals,
but for practical improvement of the fabric of society.
I agree with that. Trust is the glue that holds societies together.
Lack of trust does create unhappiness and worse (far worse). Fostering
trust at every level, from our individual relationships to our political
structures, can help improve all of our lives.
Grab yourself a copy of this. Read it, think about it, talk about it.
I think it is that important.
Tony Lawrence 2008-10-02 Rating: