How to behave in regards to trusting others is something most of us have been taught from a young age. Parents tried to tell us, “Trust is earned, not given,” but, after some time, that gets forgotten. Usually, when we live in trustworthy environment, we take the shortcut and start giving trust to people immediately, and that is the beginning of all troubles.
Just like with the flu or polio vaccination, communities where “Trust is earned” has a “Community Immunity” *1 to different type of frauds and all sorts of other breaches of trust. But, as with polio, after a long time of enjoying the benefits of vaccination, someone will occasionally miss the jab, and then, a year or two later, he or she will start spreading the news that he or she has not received the vaccination but still did not caught the illness. From there, the news will spiral from bad to worse, as someone will start claiming that all vaccinations are just a waste of money, and especially time — probably a hoax of big companies or government. As for “Trust is earned,” you need years, and, when you give it immediately, you can achieve the same results in minutes.
Many supporters of the quick/non-vaccination approach will write articles, where they will explain that, even if you get the illness (“get cheated”), and you get hurt by it, you will get over it quickly, and you do not have to worry about it.
In politics, in business, in marriage, in relationships, and in daily life, trust is an important component, but it is not a necessary one.
What do I mean by this?
Trust is like a belief: you need it only when you do not know how something works. Whenever you need beliefs to explain something, that is a clear sign that there is something new to discover; after you learn things, and knowledge shines light on it, you do not need those beliefs anymore, as now you know. At that point, regardless of the fact that your beliefs can match physical reality, you can discard them, as, by gaining knowledge, you came to the end of the road. In that sense, regardless of someone in the past believing that the Earth is flat or round, once we learned the truth, both of these beliefs lost their original purpose. We do not have to believe anymore, as we have proof.
With trust, it is all about information; if someone has all the necessary feedback and information about some physical event, trust is not a necessary element in that process. In other words, I do not need to trust in my client paying the job I have done for him, if I have all necessary mechanisms to protect me (law, contract, company validity, bank account validity, account status, company status, bill of exchange...), if he fails to fulfil his part of the bargain. Although, sometimes, it is possible that, even when contracts are there, they will not work for both parties equally, as unfairness can arise from a lack of knowledge about laws and our ability to read the small print.
In Abrahamic religions, those 10 commandments, in some sense, serve a similar purpose as trust, but they are trying to accomplish the same outcome with a different approach. They are trying to immunise society by prevention — trying to create a protection buffer against those germs that will occasionally try to damage or infect society (about this in more detail in some of the following articles).
The above-mentioned contracts, laws, and some others are not the only mechanisms which are there to protect us; we have created electronic communication, audio and video surveillance, and many others, which are, in a technical sense, some better than others in giving us feedback information about a possible breach of trust.
Some of those, like a mattress that tells you whether you were cheated on *2, with an entire report measuring all sorts of parameters, are, at least from a technical point of view, are terrible solutions (I won’t even try to go into discussions about what one reader explained as a sad state of that person’s psychology), as we all know, if someone wants to cheat, he/she can do it outside of the house, and he/she won’t need a lot of time or space to do it.
Police, on the other hand, have their own methods of getting the truth out; if we disregard stories about torturing people to get information or injecting Sodium thiopental *3 into someone, then a polygraph is a viable option, but, for now, they have one huge problem: you have to know what to ask, and they do not work 100%. However, with technological advancement, polygraphs and brain scanners will become much better; first, they will 100% tell whether someone is lying, and, next, they won’t even need to speak; the scanner will just read information from their brains, accurately and without mistakes, without people even noticing that they are giving away valuable information. It could even be woven into your next futuristic hat.
In the future, those contact lenses that will soon replace your mobile phones, or that neural lace Elon Musk was talking about, or maybe nano-robot-artificial-neurons that will seamlessly bind with our native neural network will one day give all information about all people to everyone, or, if we end up in dystopian society, just a privileged few, who will have control over all information.
When those electronic components become parts of the brains, we also would be exposed to hacking, in the same way as our computers now are exposed to hackers (which could create all sorts of problems). If accessible to everyone, we will all know or have access to information about all people, almost becoming a swarm mind. Now, this prospect can be frightening, as the first thought of many is, “What if someone sees me naked or while masturbating?” Well, everyone will have information on who has done it, along with information on who is watching you or the recording of you, and, from that point on, it would be possible, by some form of futuristic law, to raise the issue on another level . Furthermore, transparent access to all information makes things less interesting. Right now, we are not “supposed” to see everything, and that makes things more tempting and can be successfully used as a tool of oppression and control; therefore, when information is open and widely available, the knowledge that we could be watched would make us less likely to watch others.
An even more SF-ish solution would be some kind of mechanism to gain information from our “Matrix” about any event, and all information about all of the real world transactions/events would have been stored in some aetheric memory , the same way moments of a video game are stored in the memory of our computers. We would not need any type of law or bureaucratic mechanism; every time corruption, murder, theft, betrayal, or cheating happen, it would be possible to rewind the series of events form that point, back in time to the point when the crime happened. Sometimes, a similar type of device is called chronoscope, chronovisor, or time viewer, and it has been described by many fiction authors (like Philip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov) and it is mentioned in many movies, as well. Deja Vu (2006), starring Denzel Washington, is one good example.
In the same way as previously-mentioned technologies (neuro-lace, brain scanners, etc.), if the chronoscope was real, and if we could peak into our peer informational parallel universe — if used in a dystopian, totalitarian society — it would easily cause an immediate nuclear World War, as one government possessing such a device would have an unprecedented advantage over everyone else, as there would not be secrets to protect. However, if used for the good of everyone, it would bring profound change for society, but there would be one huge caveat: it would definitively remove most of our social life drama.
Maybe you won’t be able to prevent crime or betrayal from happening, but you would exactly know what happened, there would not be a need for long interrogations or court cases involving an expensive army of lawyers, and everything would be clear as day.
Time viewing is hardly a new SF concept; almost 2000 years ago, in the Bible, Luke 8:17 says, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be known and illuminated.” This tells a lot; like many other parts of our past fiction that sparked great inventions, maybe, in the future, this sentence will spark inventions that will make our past readily available, for us to see and learn from it.
And, maybe, just maybe, we are already there, but the story is a bit different than we think. Maybe we all live in a simulated universe that challenges our informational matrix (which we frequently address as our soul) in the path toward becoming all-powerful gods, for the sake of the safety of others. Maybe we need to pass a test or few...
And, who knows? In the end, maybe someone from above sees it all...