from Balaji | by Balaji



over 1 year ago

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Four kinds of trust falling at the same time. Trust in vote counting Trust in verified tweets Trust in vouched reserves Trust in visual images Cryptographic verification is a partial solution. But also need high-trust startup societies.

The slow vote counting process is making it hard for some to trust the political system. Estonia does have a better alternative in the form of cryptographically verifiable voting. But they also have a higher trust society.

The change in checkmarks is making it hard for many to trust statements from verified accounts. GitHub does have a better alternative in the form of GPG-signed commits. But the real answer may be that people just trust the people they know, and assume institutions are fake.

The collapse of FTX is making it hard to trust mere assertions of solvency. Crypto does have better alternatives in the form of mathematical proof-of-reserve & decentralized key custody. But the long-term also involves building new high-trust societies.

Advances in photorealistic AI are making it harder to trust images and video. We do have a better alternative in the form of ENS-signed images, so you’d know it came from hisname.eth. But you’d still need to trust that person hadn’t edited it.

Broadly, technological centralization in the 20th century produced scaled societies that depended on — and abused — trust. Now we may be moving towards a re-Dunbarized world. Catabolism of scaled states into smaller, high trust societies. Trust each other, not institutions…

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