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Roger Hicks
10-08-2009, 23:26
Snap answer. Don't think too long about it. Overall, can people be trusted?

This was prompted by an article in the latest Royal Society of Arts (RSA) journal. In the 1950s, 60% of Britons answered 'yes'. Today, it's under half that.

Similar results apply in the USA, and in France there has also been a fall. But in some Scandinavian countries there has been a rise.

I find this fascinating. It reflects the famous Thatcherite view that 'there is no such thing as society' and also the truth that there is an ever more poisonous divide between (for example) Republicans and Democrats: people just don't want to value somene else's opinion any more, or to consider for a second the possibility that they might be mistaken.

Relevance to RFF? Easy. There are lots of kind, trustworthy, helpful people on this forum. Is this perhaps the on-line future? Or are we deceiving ourselves, and isolating ourselves from the poisonous trolls who are the real future? My hope and belief is that the trolls are in fact a tiny, tiny minority and that a civilized forum (like this one) can keep them in their place.

Any thoughts?

Cheers,

R.

laurentb
10-08-2009, 23:31
Yes.

I'm maybe a bit naive, but I'll usually trust people until the prove me wrong. I'm working in a technical field (IT) and this is one of the foundations of my work : if I can't truct the person in front of me, then I simply can't work since I can't rely on the information I collect.

fergus
10-08-2009, 23:51
Yes.

I take people at face value.

This has caused me two problems but that's over many years, and such things are quickly forgotten. The other 99.99% more than makes up for that. It's a happy way to live.

Michael Markey
10-08-2009, 23:59
Roger

I think that by and large people can still be trusted. I refuse to allow myself to become cynical about these things (cynical in the modern sense of the word).True there is a feeling that one needs to be more cautious ,certainly when you can`t assess the situation up front ,such as on the internet.In such circumstances though forums of like minded people such as we find here go a long way to address that.
I will trust people until they prove me wrong ,then they are off my list.

Michael

pakeha
10-09-2009, 00:04
Maybe trust is higher in a community[society] than an economy and many people live in economies now rather than the former.
I trust people i choose to in a given situation, some guy in a suit wanting to sell investment advice-NO and yet i will trust some stranger on the other side of the world with a purchase, seems what we trust people with has changed also,
oh and i hav`nt trusted a priest since that little incident at the back of the choir room 40 years ago:eek::D

Spider67
10-09-2009, 00:05
Yes.

Another thing which often get's mixed up with trust: Can other people meet our expectations, especially when we don't give them at least a hint
.....I hope you don't ask because of my invitation (winking smiley)
Des

laurentb
10-09-2009, 00:07
some guy in a suit

I'm not sure I'd trust myself when I'm wearing a suit :D (I usually don't !)

pakeha
10-09-2009, 00:13
whew, glad to see the smiley, i did not intend to offend the suit wearers out there, just my generic term for `real eatate folks, lawyers , accountants, politicians etc

OurManInTangier
10-09-2009, 00:15
Yes, I tend to trust people until I discover that this trust is misplaced, although this trust is a relatively superficial trust. As with respect, something which people appear to demand these days, real trust is earned through actions and not words.

With relevance to RFF I don't think things will change, as with the rest of the world there will be those that stand up to help, encourage, exchange and enjoy the things we share in common. There will also be those with their own agenda, those who wish to belittle, wind-up, intimidate, profit from, dismiss or merely disrupt for their own amusement. Then there will be the misunderstandings that muddy clear waters and the debates that get out of hand, things that can be mistaken for intentional trolling due to the expansive and international nature of internet forums.

I think that your hope is the reality. Trolls and those 'we' find to be untrustworthy are a small yet regular irritant that will never quite go away whilst never being able to fully disable that which we enjoy. As when your dog gets fleas we can use the IGNORE button as our fleaspray.

icebear
10-09-2009, 00:16
Hi Roger,

interesting line of thought and yes, I guess there is a certain connection between the preference for the particularities of of old fashioned cameras especially RFF and maybe Leica ;) and the values that most people in our forum appreciate. That makes life more difficult for trolls - hopefully.

Mongo Park
10-09-2009, 00:39
Put another way - I say that I generally don't distrust people. Rest assured, Roger, the trolls are in a small minority. PS love reading your articles in AP - first page I dive to - although in the next few weeks I'll be going to the "token" page first to cut out my token for the M9. PS2 glad you are on the mend.

Keith
10-09-2009, 01:15
Yes ... until proven otherwise!

johannielscom
10-09-2009, 01:25
I predict the general verdict at RFF with be a rather strong 'YES!'

In general, we all here seem very decent and genuinely truthful guys and girls, at least that is my feeling about RFF folk.

Personally, I am looking forward to the next holiday season and would very much like to start an honorary "Pitxu-clean out your closet" thread to dispose of unused camera gear.

That thread still has very fond memories with me. And I have never ever seen any thread like it on other forums.

My vote: YES!

Paul T.
10-09-2009, 01:31
I do trust people.

But I realise I don't trust companies. This was crystallised when I was explaining to my 8 year old son about advertising; why Coke and Big Mac commercials are so ubiquitous, and how they make products as cheaply as possible and then sell them as hard as possible; that these companies don't 'like' 8-year old kids, they want to make money out of them.

In the last 30 years, there has been a huge change in attitudes; but I believe it's extinction of the ethos of 'service' that's had far-reaching effects, rather than a deterioration in personal morality.

Keith
10-09-2009, 01:37
I predict the general verdict at RFF with be a rather strong 'YES!'

In general, we all here seem very decent and genuinely truthful guys and girls, at least that is my feeling about RFF folk.

Personally, I am looking forward to the next holiday season and would very much like to start an honorary "Pitxu-clean out your closet" thread to dispose of unused camera gear.

That thread still has very fond memories with me. And I have never ever seen any thread like it on other forums.

My vote: YES!


Interesting you should mention Pitxu (Richard Jenkinson) ... as volitile as he could be at times he added something to this forum that will likely never be replaced.

I miss his input to the gallery and 'picks of the week' thread. :(

robbo
10-09-2009, 02:30
I say yes. Maybe my view on life is too naive, but I just do not see what is gained out of so-called trolling.

Sean Moran
10-09-2009, 02:55
This is a fascinating area, Roger!

I think the underlying question is 'What is an intellectually-virtuous stance towards testimony?' We can locate ourselves philosophically somewhere between outright scepticism and naive credulity.

We can (i) form a judgement about a person's trustworthiness by induction - that is by checking on a number of occasions for a match between their testimony and what we find to be the case by more direct means. Or, we can (ii) adopt a default position of trust until some warning signs of insincerity are present (eg, the person having an 'interest' in the statement s/he is making; examples would include someone pursuing an agenda which is definitely not in our best interest but very much in theirs: politicians, real-estate wallahs, salesmen, advertisers ...).

I personally favour the latter stance of being trusting. We accept our colleague's account of her weekend activities until she starts telling us about seeing the god Pan in her washing machine - who then smiled at her. This latter (actual) revelation still does not completely undermine one's trust - neither does it show insincerity - but it indicates possible (definite?) epistemic incompetence in one specific area.

So, in the fora, we ought (I feel) to accept at face value what posters say, unless there are reasons to the contrary, eg: their having a vested interest, making statements which do not cohere with our own pre-existing knowledge or having demonstrated insincerity or incompetence on a number of occasions.

Trust me,

Sean in Tipperary ;-)

Roger Hicks
10-09-2009, 03:15
Thanks, everyone. This is all I had hoped: further insights into the degree of trust we can (reasonably) expect to give and receive, and where and how we place that trust.

There are of course many factors to take into consideration, some no more than blind prejudice based on people we've met with particular names, and others based on sad experience (for example, insurance companies, and worse still, American insurance companies).

Paul's point about the service ethic is, I think, very important, and closely related to personal contact. One of my bank managers, now long retired, said that he'd always dreamed of managing his own little branch, but that once he got there, it was nothing like the bank he had joined. All decisions were centralized: he was little more than a glorified salesman and front-man.

Of course small bank managers made mistakes, and could even be corrupted, but I can't help feeling that on balance, people like Keith (my bank manager) were a lot better for the bank and for their customers than today's call centres and computer modeling by people who don't know what a customer looks like.

Paul's other point about living in an economy rather than a community is fascinating, as is Sean's about the intellectual virtue of a given stance.

This is all making my recuperation pass faster. Thanks agan!

Cheers,

R.

sepiareverb
10-09-2009, 03:16
Most? Yes.

I've long known that appearances are not to be trusted. Many of the nicest people I've ever known would likely scare the average person.

edodo
10-09-2009, 03:21
When you stop and ask : "which way do we go?" and they all say :"follow me!". How do they know?

Giles, Giles and Fripp.

lightshot
10-09-2009, 03:27
On here - yes.

In other places or in other situations a qualified yes. I trust people until proven wrong. Sometimes it causes me problems but usually not. I would rather live my life as trusting and trustworthy than the opposite.

I agree with Paul T as well. I trust individual people more than I trust companies.

Silva Lining
10-09-2009, 03:40
Yes,

There are always a few rotten apples, but by and large I think most people are decent, at least I hope they are!

oftheherd
10-09-2009, 04:07
Interesting thread sir. My way is to trust people until proven otherwise, or given any indication on first meet that I shouldn't.

My observation has been that people who are trustworthy usually do. Those who aren't, usually don't. I think we judge others by what we are. If we tell lies often, we expect others to do the same. If we steal we expect others are theives. Those who are liars and theives h;ave no other frame of reference. Those who are honest do, and think that of others.

mabelsound
10-09-2009, 04:08
People should be trusted, but sometimes they let you down.

newspaperguy
10-09-2009, 04:21
There's an old Irish saying my maternal grandmother loved:

"FOOL ME ONCE; SHAME ON YOU.

FOOL ME TWICE; SHAME ON ME."

dan denmark
10-09-2009, 04:26
i trust my dog and he trusts me.

edodo
10-09-2009, 04:26
People should be trusted, but sometimes they let you down.

I agree, also the letting down in itself only hurt sometimes on some occasions, that is life after all, it has to be messy!

BillBingham2
10-09-2009, 04:37
Yes. I start most everyone out at 100%. Have to admidt I do a bit of profiling from time to time, based upon hard earned experience. If I do not fell really good I fall back upon that old auditor saying "Trust but Verify". I still get burned but I've found that if you treat folks with respect it works out well.

B2 (;->

Bill58
10-09-2009, 04:56
I just got burned on a $600 watch by a guy (AKA Rudi Wilburn) in the UK. My understanding is the UK police are on him. It's the 1st. time and I'll be a helluva a lot more cautious the next time.

35mmdelux
10-09-2009, 05:34
I got burned here recently. He doesnt need tracking on a sale, items gets lost (supposedly), then I get chargeback. So much for trust.

Roger Hicks
10-09-2009, 05:52
Yes, the internet does not foster trust. In fact, when it comes to buying over the internet, my default position is that I do not trust someone unless (for example) they are someone I 'know' from this forum or elsewhere or unless I can buy with a credit card, in which case it's the card company's problem.

Cheers,

R.

wgerrard
10-09-2009, 05:56
I trust people until experience proves me wrong, but I'm less surprised when someone violates that assumed trust.

Because an increasing number of the people we rely on for both mundane and important matters -- mail delivery, mortgages and banking, food sales, whatever -- are essentially anonymous and liable never to be seen again, there's an increased chance that they, and we, will try to gain an unfair advantage. I.e., it's easier for us humans to lie to, or cheat, someone when we think we'll never see them again.

mpjmp
10-09-2009, 06:05
Unfortunately, I work in a profession (criminal justice) where lies are commonplace and come with the territory. After a while, you begin to look for certain body language, stories that don't add up, or explanations that are contrary to common "street" sense. Even then, you still get fooled on occassion. I try not to let it affect my overall trust in mankind, but often I find myself skeptical until satisfied that something is "the whole true." Were I not in this line of work I think I would be more generally trustworthy of people.

oftheherd
10-09-2009, 06:19
Unfortunately, I work in a profession (criminal justice) where lies are commonplace and come with the territory. After a while, you begin to look for certain body language, stories that don't add up, or explanations that are contrary to common "street" sense. Even then, you still get fooled on occassion. I try not to let it affect my overall trust in mankind, but often I find myself skeptical until satisfied that something is "the whole true." Were I not in this line of work I think I would be more generally trustworthy of people.

I've spent nearly 50 years in security or police work. One certainly does tend to become jaded. It is a thing to be cautious about, but not given up entirely. Too many of the bad guys spend all their waking hours looking for ways to fool and or cheat those they deal with. Just work on keeping your perspective (as you probably already know).

johnny9fingers
10-09-2009, 06:20
People yes, career politicians no.

kermaier
10-09-2009, 06:40
I think that trust between people (or organizations of people) falls into two categories (doesn't everything? :)):

1. Direct Trust

This is trust in future performance based on a sufficient history of past performance to use as a predictor. In practice, this need not be as cold as it sounds. You trust your grandmother because she's shown her love for you all your life -- you don't have to consciously reevaluate that calculation every time you see her for that to be true.

2. Brokered Trust

This is when you trust one entity because another entity you already trust vouches for its trustworthiness. Often this form of trust is situational -- you trust someone to perform a particular type of action, but maybe not other types. For example, you trust the mailman to deliver your incoming mail to you and your outgoing mail to the post office, because your government says you can trust him to do so (hmm, maybe you *don't* trust the mailman, then....); but you might not trust the mailman to deliver your child to a neighbor's house further along his route.

I think that included in the category of brokered trust is society- or community-based trust. You trust banks not to steal your money because you trust that government regulatory agencies will prevent them, and that the legal system will punish them if they're not prevented. When the government is proved to be not so trustworthy in its role as overseer of the banks, then trust in banks is diminished.

In a community, you trust the people sitting next to you at your local prayer services not to shout obscenities at you while you relax on your porch. This is because the community would punish them for such acts, by ostracism, etc. The community exerts powerful psychological pressure on its members to adhere to the community's standards of behavior. This does not absolutely prevent all bad acts, but it fosters trust among member of the community.

Similarly, virtual communities have standards of behavior, and a desire by their members to remain members in good standing. This is why we RFF members trust people we don't know personally to honestly complete transactions involving thousands of dollars' worth of camera equipment shipped around the world. In the vast majority of cases this works out fine, as it should. If the parties were not constrained by a shared interest in remaining members in good standing of RFF, I submit that there would be a far higher incidence of cheating.

3. A Priori Trust (wait, I thought there were only 2 categories?!)

Adopting a stance of trust toward fellow humans with whom you have neither a direct nor a brokered relationship, may be a laudable thing from the perspective of personal morality or character development. We would like to believe that everyone can be trusted until they prove otherwise, because this makes daily interactions with strangers far less anxiety-producing.

I submit that this *not*, in fact, trust; it is a form of hope or faith. Trust-until-untrustworty vs. distrust-until-trustworthy is not an example of glass-half-full vs. glass-half-empty. As Simon mentioned above, trust, like respect, must be earned; trust or respect conferred in advance of experience is superficial indeed, and not to be confused with the real thing.

Regards,
Ari

Al Kaplan
10-09-2009, 06:45
I've spent forty years on the fringes of politics, first covering it for the newspaper, later doing photography for various political campaigns, etc. For over 25 years I did all the photography for the local congressman as well as for the City of North Miami. I've also served on a number of advisory boards. Yes, sometimes I wear a suit. For the most part I'm working with honest people, and the system is pretty good at weeding out the others.

Benjamin Marks
10-09-2009, 06:53
Forget the polls. If most everybody didn't trust most everybody else most of the time the thing we call "society" wouldn't exist at all. If the Iron Lady was right about this (no pun intended. . . no, wait, pun intended) we'd all be paralyzed by fear in our isolated homes armed to the teeth and mad as hatters from pulling nightly guard duty. The world of "Mad Max" is a world with no "society" - only armed tribes. Right now, my car is parked in an unguarded garage, my neighbors all keep their rural Vermont homes unlocked and don't lock their cars at night, my children go to schools with no guards, what little cash I have is in a neighborhood bank with no plexiglass between me and the tellers, my library lends me hundreds of books a year on merely my promise to return them when I am done, I can travel to other cities, other countries without making special security precautions . . . wait, banks? libraries? schools? trust in one's neighbors? free travel? that actually starts to sound like something that Dame Margaret may have misplaced.

The reason why con artists can make a living and we consider sociopaths so terrifying is that trust does exist, deeply and at so many levels within our world.

Ben Marks

notraces
10-09-2009, 06:54
yes - yes ---

pevelg
10-09-2009, 06:55
3. A Priori Trust (wait, I thought there were only 2 categories?!)

Adopting a stance of trust toward fellow humans with whom you have neither a direct nor a brokered relationship, may be a laudable thing from the perspective of personal morality or character development. We would like to believe that everyone can be trusted until they prove otherwise, because this makes daily interactions with strange far less anxiety-producing.

I submit that this *not*, in fact, trust; it is a form of hope or faith. Trust-until-untrustworty vs. distrust-until-trustworthy is not an example of glass-half-full vs. glass-half-empty. As Simon mentioned above, trust, like respect, must be earned; trust or respect conferred in advance of experience is superficial indeed, and not to be confused with the real thing.

Ah, I am glad to hear this. I too was thinking along similar lines. Though I tend "trust" people on first encounter, I do not really call that trust as much as giving them the opportunity to become trustworthy.

shadowfox
10-09-2009, 07:14
Yes...

as long as you can figure out where he/she draws the line between truth and convenience.

Roger Hicks
10-09-2009, 07:28
Some of this is why I said 'snap answer'. It's very easy to analyze trust at considerable length, or to rename it at your convenience, but Benjamin summarizes it perfectly. As Hobbes pointed out a third of a millennium ago, without society, the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. The question is how we create 'social capital', one aspect of which is trust -- and how we destroy it.

A society with a high general level of trust has considerable commercial advantages, in that you don't need a 36-page contract, lawyers and accountants to write a book, if you can trust the other person to do the decent thing. I've written lots of books, often on no more than a verbal agreement, but in the last 20 years, contracts have grown longer and longer and more and more paranoid.

Cheers,

R.

tbarker13
10-09-2009, 07:45
Being totally honest, I'd have to say that I lean toward not trusting people.

As one of my old J-school profs (a former UPI bigwig) once said - "If your mother says she loves you, check it out."

That said, I'd say that my leaning is only very slight. The world of journalism is a little like police work in this regard - it is quite common to find yourself dealing with people who lie, mislead and twist the truth the suit their own purposes. It teaches you to be cautious.

But really, isn't this a matter of what we are being asked to trust people with? This is a very tough question on which to demand a straight "yes" or "no" answer.
Most of the previous posters were pretty emphatic in their trust of others.
But how many of them would be comfortable loaning a board newcomer $1,000 today on the promise that it would be returned later? How many of them would be willing to send that newbie their spare M4 to play around with for a couple weeks? None, I'm betting.

It's very easy to trust people when there are no consequences for being wrong.

zenlibra
10-09-2009, 08:10
It's very easy to trust people when there are no consequences for being wrong.

My snap answer was yes, but after reading this thread I lean toward no. I take people at face value and believe people are generally decent, but if anything of value comes into play I have to think about it.

kermaier
10-09-2009, 08:51
Some of this is why I said 'snap answer'. It's very easy to analyze trust at considerable length, or to rename it at your convenience, but Benjamin summarizes it perfectly. As Hobbes pointed out a third of a millennium ago, without society, the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. The question is how we create 'social capital', one aspect of which is trust -- and how we destroy it.


OK, snap answer: No.

I think life these days is becoming more Hobbesian, in the sense that even within many (so-called?) societies it's increasingly dystopian -- and my assumption is that people have a growing tendency to find a way to rationalize their self-serving, anti-social behavior.


A society with a high general level of trust has considerable commercial advantages, in that you don't need a 36-page contract, lawyers and accountants to write a book, if you can trust the other person to do the decent thing. I've written lots of books, often on no more than a verbal agreement, but in the last 20 years, contracts have grown longer and longer and more and more paranoid.


Well, yes and no.
Contracts are a way of creating trust brokered by business law for purposes of a mutually beneficial transaction. When the barriers to direct trust are higher, the brokered trust must be more elaborate.
But contracts are also a way of defining what rights and responsibilities each party has in the event that the deal turns out to be unprofitable. I mean, people may be dependable when things are going well, but when things turn south, people tend to look out for their own interests first and those of their business associates second. This is not necessarily an issue of lack of trust, but simply defining the rules of the game.

::Ari

kxl
10-09-2009, 09:40
A PERSON can be trusted.

People? NO, for the simple reason that you have to take into account the lowest common denominator.

Roger Hicks
10-09-2009, 10:25
OK, snap answer: No.

I think life these days is becoming more Hobbesian, in the sense that even within many (so-called?) societies it's increasingly dystopian -- and my assumption is that people have a growing tendency to find a way to rationalize their self-serving, anti-social behavior.



Well, yes and no.
Contracts are a way of creating trust brokered by business law for purposes of a mutually beneficial transaction. When the barriers to direct trust are higher, the brokered trust must be more elaborate.
But contracts are also a way of defining what rights and responsibilities each party has in the event that the deal turns out to be unprofitable. I mean, people may be dependable when things are going well, but when things turn south, people tend to look out for their own interests first and those of their business associates second. This is not necessarily an issue of lack of trust, but simply defining the rules of the game.

::Ari

Dear Ari,

Highlighted portion: yes, in some countries.

Do we all want all countries to be like this and to assume that TINA rules (TINA = There Is No Alternative)?

I'd rather walk away from an unprofitable deal, even if it costs me money, rather than deal with an arsehole. I don't know about the most recent incarnation of Hove Books, but I decided not to sign a contract with them many years ago, and there have been other publishers since.

Not all people are arseholes, unless they chose to be. An earlier post about trustworthy people trusting others, and the untrustworthy not trusting them, certainly resonated with me.

No one is totally trusting all the time. That would be lunacy. But those who never trust anyone -- and indeed, those societies where trust is at lamentably low levels (UK, under 30%; Brazil, under 10%) -- look to me as though they want lives that are solitary, poor, nasty and brutish, if not necessarily short.

Cheers,

R.

bmattock
10-09-2009, 10:26
Snap answer. Don't think too long about it. Overall, can people be trusted?


Singular, yes. Aggregate, no.

Roger Hicks
10-09-2009, 10:31
Singular, yes. Aggregate, no.

Dear Bill,

As you normally only deal with them in the singular, what is the aggregate if not a collection of singulars?

Cheers,

R.

kram
10-09-2009, 11:11
Yes, I trust people. However, when listening to salespeople and politicians, my bulls**t detector is turned up to max :-)

dee
10-09-2009, 11:20
Having an invisible dee'sability - Lost girl-child inside - Autism ... GID ...
[ I mean ' my hand ? too high / wide / heavy / ' stretched out ' / wobbly scared lost ]
I was terrified of telling anyone and just tried to copy normal - with no comprehension of how 'real' people work . [ I still don't , but it does not matter ]

However , I found that most were understanding and more than willing to help and support me .
OK , over the years I have been bullied and used , but in the main , it's been good - better that I expected .

If someone rips me off or whatever , it's just a drop in the ocean - unimportant in respect
of those who allow me to be me , wierdness and all .

I thought that people here , with so much experience and being a part of what to me , is a confusing , out of phase world would perceive me as crazy or childish 'cos I fixate on Leica II and Leica likes - and Contax ... but that did not happen . Just as I was welcomed into the establishment by two Leica Dealers with encouragement and support well beyond selling a camera or two .

I have even been gifted with a precious rebuilt Sonnar / J 3 by Brian for my Contax IV ...
Awesome , and the antithesis of the response I anticipated for combining a near scrap Contax with a Kiev 4 top plate .

I had no idea how to respond to [girl]freinds who seemed to like being around me , or had patience with me - being ignored or put down , I could respond to as normal , but this ... ?
I have to say that I have learned to trust - and it's good .

OOPs - long winded again !

Brian Sweeney
10-09-2009, 11:48
Trust but Verify.

Al Patterson
10-09-2009, 11:50
Snap answer? Overall, no.

However, upon getting to know more about individual people one can develop trust. It is like respect. It needs to be earned, not just granted because we both exist.

giellaleafapmu
10-09-2009, 11:54
i trust my dog and he trusts me.

I also trust my two dogs (despite one of them is a rescued theorically vicious Rotweiler mix) and they trust me but unfortunately where I am (South America) I cannot trust human beings and I have a proof and confirmation of this every single day.

Ah, just so that flame does not start: I love the place I am in, I know a lot of lovely South Americans which I trust but in general there are too many persons who cannot be trusted and too high crime rate to answer in a different way.

GLF

bmattock
10-09-2009, 12:20
Dear Bill,

As you normally only deal with them in the singular, what is the aggregate if not a collection of singulars?

Cheers,

R.

Evidence suggests that individual persons behave significantly differently than when they are members of a crowd. Social behavior is in some ways better and in some ways worse than private behavior.

I trusted a member of RFF some time ago when I sent him some of my LTM lenses for him to play with, and he repaid me by being trust-worthy and returning them. I would not therefore say I would send my LTM lenses to any member of RFF at random. "Pass the Camera" shows that that eventually someone proves less than trust-worthy.

delft
10-09-2009, 12:33
Roger,
I find comfort in the thought that there is scientific support for the notion that a basic trust, until proven wrong is a superior strategy in situations where mutual trust decides on the outcome of an action. I googled 'tit for tat experiment' and found a.o: http://www2.owen.vanderbilt.edu/Mike.Shor/courses/GTheory/docs/Axelrod.html
Now, the next question is: can scientific experiments be trusted? Be that as it may, I would have been disappointed if a sneaky, no-good, political strategy had come out superior in this experiment.

Greetings,

Dirk

Mephiloco
10-09-2009, 12:59
I choose to err on the side of believing in the general good of people, within reason. Though it's different than trust, I've been helped many times by then strangers when I was down on my luck, stranded, or what not while the conventional wisdom in those situations was that I was screwed.

35mmdelux
10-09-2009, 13:35
When I was in the US Army 35 yrs ago I needed to go home to tend to urgent business before shipping out. Earning all of $180 (USD) monthly I was short of cash to cross the country. A guy I hardly knew loaned me the amount to get home and told me to pay him back when I reached my new base. I paid a month later but I never forgot that experience. I've rarely met such a decent person.

Thardy
10-09-2009, 14:19
Yes, I trust people. However, when listening to salespeople and politicians, my bulls**t detector is turned up to max :-)

The heart of man is deceitful and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

NIKON KIU
10-09-2009, 14:36
You should have made this a Poll.
Generally on RFF---> Yes
Some of those other forums---> No

Kidding aside, if there is no trust, society would be a scary place.

Kiu

John Camp
10-09-2009, 18:29
"Trust" is situational, isn't it? If you get an e-mail that tells you that some guy in Nigeria had $40 million in a safe, and that we can all recover it if...Well, in all charity...no. If a stranger asks me to trust him in a situation that is financially critical to me, and in which he could profit by betraying me, I'd be skeptical. If somebody is dressed like a gangster, and says he's got something to show me right over here...I'd be skeptical. But in virtually all other routine face-to-face daily contacts, sure, I'll trust you. A person may get burned sometimes -- even by his/her friends -- but mistrusting everybody is no way to go through life. I certainly try to be trustworthy myself.

JC

Al Patterson
10-09-2009, 18:33
"Trust" is situational, isn't it? If you get an e-mail that tells you that some guy in Nigeria had $40 million in a safe, and that we can all recover it if...Well, in all charity...no. If a stranger asks me to trust him in a situation that is financially critical to me, and in which he could profit by betraying me, I'd be skeptical. If somebody is dressed like a gangster, and says he's got something to show me right over here...I'd be skeptical. But in virtually all other routine face-to-face daily contacts, sure, I'll trust you. A person may get burned sometimes -- even by his/her friends -- but mistrusting everybody is no way to go through life. I certainly try to be trustworthy myself.

JC

If only I had $1 for every one of these emails I have received over the years....

Al Kaplan
10-09-2009, 19:46
I've managed to cut way down on the amount of emails I get from Nigeria. I reply that I know that slavery is still fairly common there and that a pretty young girl can easily bring between $10,000 and $25,000 here in the U.S. "You get her a tourist visa and a round trip plane ticket (you need the round trip ticket to show that she IS a tourist) and I'm sure that I can find homes for several girls a month, then split the profit with you!" It's been at least six months since the last email.

Roger Hicks
10-09-2009, 22:46
Roger,
I find comfort in the thought that there is scientific support for the notion that a basic trust, until proven wrong is a superior strategy in situations where mutual trust decides on the outcome of an action. I googled 'tit for tat experiment' and found a.o: http://www2.owen.vanderbilt.edu/Mike.Shor/courses/GTheory/docs/Axelrod.html
Now, the next question is: can scientific experiments be trusted? Be that as it may, I would have been disappointed if a sneaky, no-good, political strategy had come out superior in this experiment.

Greetings,

Dirk
Dear Dirk,

Thanks very much indeed. I was familiar with the prisoners' dilemma and tit for tat, but not the fish.

This thread has also illustrated that trust is not something to be subjected to heavy analysis, because most of those who attempted analysis (not all!) seem to have come to the conclusion that you can't trust people, whereas most (again, not all) of those who went for a snap answer say that they do trust people. Overall, of course: there are always individuals or situations (such as Al's slave girls, a scam of which I had never heard) where alarm bells go off.

I still disagree with Bill and kxl, because I don't see how you can deal with 'people' instead of 'a person'. Of course the behaviour of crowds is different from the behaviour of individuals; of course there are those who are untrustworthy; but as John and Nikon Kiu say, life without trust would be pretty dire.

The question of what you risk/stand to gain is obviously relevant. Of course it would be rash to lend a total stranger $1000 or an M2, but equally, if your car has broken down and someone volunteers to give you a lift, do you ask "What's he getting out of this? Am I about to be abducted and eaten by cannibals?"

Many years ago, a friend of mine said, "Don't thank me. Pass it on." He's still a good friend and I've tried to follow his injunction ever since.

Indeed, on a very closely related point, Frances and I treat this friend's daughter as our own. She was with us on our 7700 km tour of Europe in May/June. Some people have assumed that there was some bizarre sexual motive in this. Well, I don't deny that if I were 20 years old (she's 19) I'd be fighting her boyfriend for her, but I'm not: I'm exactly 40 years older than she is, and I'm married and want to stay that way, and she is, well, pretty much a daughter (and a bit of sister, as she was born on my birthday -- we celebrated our common birthday in Hungary). Some people can't handle this, because they always think the worst of everyone. I feel sorry for them.

Cheers,

R.

Turtle
10-10-2009, 02:47
There's an old Irish saying my maternal grandmother loved:

"FOOL ME ONCE; SHAME ON YOU.

FOOL ME TWICE; SHAME ON ME."

I preferred the G Bush version :D

In answer the the OP:

People cannot be trusted IMHO unless you have cause to - that would be my snap reply. I have been burnt enough times to approach from a position of skepticism unless I have reason to do otherwise. I would trust a seller here more than epay for example, if they have history and seem to genuinely love what they do.

Damaso
10-10-2009, 03:50
Most, no. Some, yes.

noimmunity
10-10-2009, 04:09
Well, it's a good question.
But I think the real question begins with "can you trust yourself?"
To what extent do I have confidence in my own judgment?

The choices we make are always empowering so long as we understand that it is we who make them. One's finality is bound to one's accepting these decisions, and act upon them not as if forced to do them, but as a gift that our spirit tells us. Avoid as much as possible to think that one is a victim and therefore entitled to XXXX.

I will say that since coming to Shanghai, I have never ever seen a single place where so many people distrust so many others at such a deep level.

bwcolor
10-10-2009, 07:15
People can always be trusted to do what they perceive to be in their own self interest.

Roger Hicks
10-10-2009, 07:27
People can always be trusted to do what they perceive to be in their own self interest.

This is flatly untrue, unless you define 'self interest' to include 'the promotion of a civil society'. Many people vote for things that will be personally uncomfortable in the short term, because they can see that in the long term, inequality will make things a lot more uncomfortable for everyone.

This is, after all, the nature of a representative democracy (or elective monarchy, as exists in the United States). We vote for those who will do best for us in a civil society. As Hobbes himself pointed out, we cannot call the same form of government one thing when we like it, and another when we mislike it (monarchy/tyranny, aristocracy/oligarchy, democracy/anarchy).

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
10-10-2009, 07:31
Well, it's a good question.
But I think the real question begins with "can you trust yourself?"
To what extent do I have confidence in my own judgment?

The choices we make are always empowering so long as we understand that it is we who make them. One's finality is bound to one's accepting these decisions, and act upon them not as if forced to do them, but as a gift that our spirit tells us. Avoid as much as possible to think that one is a victim and therefore entitled to XXXX.

I will say that since coming to Shanghai, I have never ever seen a single place where so many people distrust so many others at such a deep level.

I am sure you are right, but equally, I have to balance my judgement against yours (unless I am an omnipotent dictator). I completely accept your point about 'victimhood', and an extraordinary number of people seem to think that voting for the person who didn't get in will automatically make you a victim.

Cheers,

R.

35mmdelux
10-10-2009, 07:39
People can always be trusted to do what they perceive to be in their own self interest.

TRue. This is classic.

bwcolor
10-10-2009, 10:37
Roger:

Your political point of view sure reads a good bit into a post that wasn't in the posters mind. I give you an "A" for passion, but your bias is showing. I don't define anything. I leave this up to the individual. Would you like to dictate to individuals as to how they should think? I wonder..

Roger Hicks
10-10-2009, 10:50
Roger:

Your political point of view sure reads a good bit into a post that wasn't in the posters mind. I give you an "A" for passion, but your bias is showing. I don't define anything. I leave this up to the individual. Would you like to dictate to individuals as to how they should think? I wonder..

No, hang on, you said 'people', implying all. I said 'many people'. You're the one who's dictating...

Cheers,

R.

bwcolor
10-10-2009, 11:29
Rodger:

Yes, I was responding to your use of "people" in your original post. You see, I don't see a practical result from my point of view in that I don't know how any one person interprets their best interest. One person might want to seem compassionate so that others praise them. Politicians do this all of the time. Another, might see the social implications and how global issues influence themselves and their family. Another might just kill you, or I for the money in our pockets. I can't project what is in any one person's mind, but I "believe" that people "generally" act in their own interest.

Cheers..

antiquark
10-10-2009, 11:57
Most people can be trusted, but you have to guard against the few who can't be trusted.

Roger Hicks
10-10-2009, 11:59
Rodger:

Yes, I was responding to your use of "people" in your original post. You see, I don't see a practical result from my point of view in that I don't know how any one person interprets their best interest. One person might want to seem compassionate so that others praise them. Politicians do this all of the time. Another, might see the social implications and how global issues influence themselves and their family. Another might just kill you, or I for the money in our pockets. I can't project what is in any one person's mind, but I "believe" that people "generally" act in their own interest.

Cheers..

Fair enough, but 'in their own interest' at that point may include altruism, or at least, the desire to be praised for apparent altruism, at which point, the concept of 'in their own interest' tends to dissolve somewhat.

I completely agree: people generally act in their own self-interest. It's just that (a) it doesn't always happen and (b) it's hard to project what they will perceive as their own self interest.

Cheers,

R.

Steve M.
10-10-2009, 12:19
Assume everyone is honest but keep one hand on your wallet.

Roger Hicks
10-10-2009, 12:21
Assume everyone is honest but keep one hand on your wallet.

Now that, I'll drink to!

(Finishes glass of Cardhu.)

Cheers,

R.

thomasw_
10-10-2009, 12:22
In God I trust, everyone else pays cash. I know it is a rather cynical view, but I consider it realistic. My assessment of human nature comes from years of being a teacher and working with 15 to 18 year old kids; under stress or fear of failure or pressure, most people are flawed and not very trustworthy. And, what is most alarming, especially if you write off my experience as being 'O that's just because its high school kids, not adults;' consider that my biggest deceivers tend to be parents who will lie to me because they feel that it covers for their kid. No wonder then why the kids are as they are.

bwcolor
10-10-2009, 13:06
Fair enough, but 'in their own interest' at that point may include altruism, or at least, the desire to be praised for apparent altruism, at which point, the concept of 'in their own interest' tends to dissolve somewhat.

I completely agree: people generally act in their own self-interest. It's just that (a) it doesn't always happen and (b) it's hard to project what they will perceive as their own self interest.

Cheers,

R.

Yup, we agree. I'm of the Advaita drift, so I'm a bit off the deep end with respect to many issues related to the sense of "I" and "me".

back alley
10-10-2009, 13:08
trust but verify

dee
10-10-2009, 13:51
How about being honest ?

Let me invite you to the twilight zone , where everything I do , who ' I ' am has to be a lie , a falsehood . I have what I now know to be severe , absolute Gender Identity Disorder or GIdee for short .
I illustrate this because it is an extreme which , mercifully , few will endure , but has echoes of identity
and honesty

This means that Her frequency is known / real / common sense ... and ' not her ' frequency / physicality is unknown / terrifying .
To an extent , that I sought out ' other girls being boys ' who were my mentors and playmates . I did not want to be a ' girl ' nor feminine as such - just complete / right .
I have no sense of Him being anything to do with me - indeed anything him , each ref to he / she , is torture .

My head remains in deefault - ie of HER , when all the rest is alien and torture ... all that I am is unformed , and what is , deformed .
I tease it a Miss Aligned , 'cos I have to laugh at it .

It's incomprehensible to most . Some tomboys and women tune in to my frequency - a culture / language / being which I learned extensively - to survive as ' me ' in extreme adversity . It's easier for her to recognise Her signals / reflection , than it is for Him to understand why I don't respond in his world .

I know this now , but before ... at an all boys football school ... nightmare .

So , what do I do / say now ?

I live as ' man ' having no sense of what that is . Reflect men who communicate with me - just copying who , how he is , feel that ' I ' am being lost somehow , not being .
Go through most of the motions , endure being seen as such ...

If I ' admit ' my bizarre truth , I alienate most of society and restrict my acceptance - yet am more real , which happens with a few precious girl / tomboy ' sisters ' .

Whatever I do and say , I am lying , untruthful , I cannot be trusted . I have no idea how to respond to a boy or girl child in case I screw him/her up with confused signals

Maybe mechanical toys are a gender free escape ! I don't do many people in my pics !

I am lying , not to myself , I now know what is going on , but whichever face - adult man / child tomboy , I present , I am not being truthful .

Could you trust someone living two lies ? He or She ? Should I remove both of me's from this place 'cos this just isn't acceptable or is off topic - when it's who / how I am ?
By saying this , am I '' admitting '' a serious flaw which should be hidden , not spoken of , as it has been for 6 decades ? It's not about you know what , but IDENTITY , my very being .Should I continue to lie by deefault by allowing the illusion of man inclusion to continue ? Does it matter ?
Maybe not , most will say no - but think how you naturally respond to a guy or girl - it does matter .

Within this ' condition ' I try to be honest in terms of every day stuff , but all the time I am haunted with this sense of lying by being .

I am responding in Roger's space , because he shows such understanding and tolerance - but elsewhere ?
I like joining in here , but always feel like I am lying by dee'fault ... but have left places where being me is uncomfortable for others .
I HAVE to trust , because the alternative is isolation and being 100% not me ... the sense of being invisibe , lost , a ghost changeling child . Yet , I don't trust others to recognise this 'cos their minds are not designed to ! LOL ! Tricky equation huh ?

A few bad experiences on e-bay pale by comparison - believe me !

dee'mented ? dee'lusional ? more like indee'stinct !

Al Kaplan
10-10-2009, 17:01
Dee, I suspect that a LOT of us here could accept you just as you are, while understanding that the duality of your everyday existance must be hell. Society just isn't structured for people too far from the norm. We know that. Be yourself here. Photography is for everybody. ~Al

Roger Hicks
10-11-2009, 01:04
Yup, we agree. I'm of the Advaita drift, so I'm a bit off the deep end with respect to many issues related to the sense of "I" and "me".

This may amuse you: the reason I was able to enjoy the hallucinations when I was in hospital under morphine was that I knew they were illusions. But you're right: some people have considerable difficulty in relating to non-duality (the Clear White Light of Reality) while for others it's self-evident that this must be all there is, ultimately.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
10-11-2009, 01:19
Dear Dee,

It may be that more people are closer to your situation than you imagine. To take a very light-hearted example, until I was 10 or 12 years old I imagined that there must be some sort of legal obligation to carry sports reporting in newspapers, because no-one would want to read that drivel. Obviously it was at the back to get it out of the way, where no-one would read it.

In other words, an awful lot of us don't actually know or understand how the majority think, but we are obliged to emulate them to a greater or lesser extent, more or less incomprehendingly. Of course yours is an extreme example, and I don't wish to diminish it for an instant, but many of us have more than a glimpse of where (to use the old Californian expression) your head is at.

I suspect, too, that this sense of alienation -- mild in my case, severe in yours -- is one of the roots of creativity: consider how we earn our respective livings. Perhaps you and I should start another thread on this. We are forced to look at many things as if for the first time; things that many people take for granted. I think it's from Jeremiah: I will show you hidden things, hidden things you have not known.

As I have said elsewhere, yours are among the opinions I value most highly on this forum, for their absolute honesty and the way in which you laugh (sometimes with pain, it's true) at your own weaknesses. I see no BS in you, no hatred, no false priorities. As you say, a few bad e-bay experiences aren't what we're talking about.

Cheers,

R.

dee
10-11-2009, 04:23
LOL , R , I agree about the sports section ! A scene of major bullying and trauma at school .

Thanks - One of the elements which I suggest when ' talking ' to others with ASD glitches is that everyone has similar probs with rationalising / understanding input / stimulii .
[ especially when someone says ' they don't understand me ' - my response is ' You don't understand them , why should it be different ? ' It seems to work as it lowers expectations and calms that need to be listened to . This comes with ideas from others in dealing with how it is , not how we would like it to be .

I hate when there are attempts to create a them and us scenario - I remember being called ' retard ' and ' Girl ' at school , and wondering why everyone else could not see it !
Also , in the 50s , ' disability ' was something to be ignored / shut away - not linked to a middle class child .
I guess I find it all so ridiculous - how the brain can go it's own way irrespective , overiding , shattering Common Sense [ The Dominant Absolute ] which I vainly tried to follow for all those years . ASdee is able to look down on it all with dee'tachment - putting the puzzle pieces together free of expectations ...

As for hidden things -I can ' hear ' other lost / abused ' little girls ' inside grown ups . Always have done , easy peasy - I thought others could too - so why are they playing a pretend game and what are the rules ?
That has not changed one iota !
Mostly , others twist what she says to fit her picture , I can't do this - just take in who / how she is .
I can't ' compare ' 'cos it's just of the moment ... as if I am borrowing safe familiar through her .
She also reinforces my sense of being ... so survical tactic ?

Crazee ? Maybe , but seeing her blossom , become herself , is awesome and worth being crazeee .

bwcolor
10-11-2009, 06:57
This may amuse you: the reason I was able to enjoy the hallucinations when I was in hospital under morphine was that I knew they were illusions. But you're right: some people have considerable difficulty in relating to non-duality (the Clear White Light of Reality) while for others it's self-evident that this must be all there is, ultimately.

Cheers,

R.
Rodger:

Your breadth of knowledge and writing skills are a bit of kinder 'shock and awe'. As an afterthought... the worry that you reference with regards to trust and all such questions go away once seeing is clear.

Roger Hicks
10-11-2009, 07:01
LOL , R , I agree about the sports section ! A scene of major bullying and trauma at school .

Thanks - One of the elements which I suggest when ' talking ' to others with ASD glitches is that everyone has similar probs with rationalising / understanding input / stimulii .
[ especially when someone says ' they don't understand me ' - my response is ' You don't understand them , why should it be different ? ' It seems to work as it lowers expectations and calms that need to be listened to . This comes with ideas from others in dealing with how it is , not how we would like it to be .

I hate when there are attempts to create a them and us scenario - I remember being called ' retard ' and ' Girl ' at school , and wondering why everyone else could not see it !
Also , in the 50s , ' disability ' was something to be ignored / shut away - not linked to a middle class child .
I guess I find it all so ridiculous - how the brain can go it's own way irrespective , overiding , shattering Common Sense [ The Dominant Absolute ] which I vainly tried to follow for all those years . ASdee is able to look down on it all with dee'tachment - putting the puzzle pieces together free of expectations ...

As for hidden things -I can ' hear ' other lost / abused ' little girls ' inside grown ups . Always have done , easy peasy - I thought others could too - so why are they playing a pretend game and what are the rules ?
That has not changed one iota !
Mostly , others twist what she says to fit her picture , I can't do this - just take in who / how she is .
I can't ' compare ' 'cos it's just of the moment ... as if I am borrowing safe familiar through her .
She also reinforces my sense of being ... so survical tactic ?

Crazee ? Maybe , but seeing her blossom , become herself , is awesome and worth being crazeee .
Dear Dee,

Beautiful!

Cheers,

R.

JohnTF
10-11-2009, 08:01
Roger, seems to me as if you are more Kantian than religious in your moral foundation.

I happen to agree, but if I choose to trust someone, and I generally do, but if it does not work out well, it is really on the other person, I do not choose to be someone who is constantly thinking ill of other people until proven otherwise.

OTOH, I know realistically that some people are more motivated with their own interest, even at the expense of others, I prefer to avoid them if I know this.

I would like to think most people commonly act as a matter of course, altruistically, given the opportunity, but it seems to make the news when it happens. I like to hear when the person so noted does say they did what anyone else would do.

I have a good friend who chose, at this time, to give two years to the Peace Corps in her early 40's, working in Mexico, and I know her quite well, as she was my student, and later worked for me, becoming my friend.

I have given her cameras, and in college, she was robbed in India of all of her film, losing her photos, and while she was upset, she hoped the person robbing her was spending the proceeds to feed someone else.

I regress now and again, mostly in thought, and think there are a few people need a kick to aim them in the right direction, so I am quite sure she is better at my goals than I am.

She gives me a hard time when I try to help her too much, but I hope everyone knows someone as deserving as she.

She drank the d'Yquem with me to celebrate her birthday, it was 30 years old, and we have known each other 30 years.

I don't think a decent life is possible without trust.

You have to trust that it works out most of the time.

Regards, John

porktaco
10-11-2009, 08:41
trust but verify. maintain boundaries, acquire information, test and re-test, protect one's self. but operate from a position of hope.

dee
10-11-2009, 09:44
.. I was told that resentment against another hurts only me - he/she coul not give a ....
I guess thats how it is for me about honesty and trust - let go of the bad stuff , focus on t he awesome - that Roger , that fine teacher , actually talks to me , and Brian is sending me the most awesome , perfect lens in my whole world - 1959 J 3 in Sonnar mount - for my hydrid Contax IV - as a gift !

shadowfox
10-12-2009, 06:28
The heart of man is deceitful and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Now that one comes from an authoritative source ;)

That's why I mentioned earlier that we can trust people as far as they draw the line between truth (deep inside they know it), and convenience (self-serving motives or instincts). This is a "heart" problem.

Also I agree that in general, people are more trustworthy as a singular person as opposed to as a collective.

JohnTF
10-12-2009, 22:45
ps-- your post reminded me I forgot to turn on the security system. ;-)

I think of it as helping some potential untrustworthy individual more easily find a more trustworthy path.

J

Bill58
10-12-2009, 23:28
I just got 3 M.O.s, each for $750, for a $600 watch from Nigeria. What do you think the chances are of those M.O.s being stolen/ counterfeit? hahaha

I'm sending them to the UK police.

bwcolor
10-12-2009, 23:35
You make me laugh. I forgot to turn off the security system prior to opening a window. Now, I'm wide awake and so are my neighbors.

fergus
10-13-2009, 04:20
You guys need alarms in your homes? wow...