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Who Can You Trust?: How Technology is Rewriting the Rules of Human Relationships

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If you can't trust those in charge, who can you trust? From government to business, banks to media, trust in institutions is at an all-time low. But this isn't the age of distrust--far from it. In this revolutionary book, world-renowned trust expert Rachel Botsman reveals that we are at the tipping point of one of the biggest social transformations in human history--with fu If you can't trust those in charge, who can you trust? From government to business, banks to media, trust in institutions is at an all-time low. But this isn't the age of distrust--far from it. In this revolutionary book, world-renowned trust expert Rachel Botsman reveals that we are at the tipping point of one of the biggest social transformations in human history--with fundamental consequences for everyone. A new world order is emerging: we might have lost faith in institutions and leaders, but millions of people rent their home to total strangers, exchange digital currencies, or find themselves trusting a bot. This is the age of "distributed trust", a paradigm shift driven by innovative technologies that are rewriting the rules of an all-too-human relationship. If we are to benefit from this radical shift, we must understand the mechanics of how trust is built, managed, lost and repaired in the digital age. In the first book to explain this new world, Botsman provides a detailed map of this uncharted landscape--and explores what's next for humanity.


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If you can't trust those in charge, who can you trust? From government to business, banks to media, trust in institutions is at an all-time low. But this isn't the age of distrust--far from it. In this revolutionary book, world-renowned trust expert Rachel Botsman reveals that we are at the tipping point of one of the biggest social transformations in human history--with fu If you can't trust those in charge, who can you trust? From government to business, banks to media, trust in institutions is at an all-time low. But this isn't the age of distrust--far from it. In this revolutionary book, world-renowned trust expert Rachel Botsman reveals that we are at the tipping point of one of the biggest social transformations in human history--with fundamental consequences for everyone. A new world order is emerging: we might have lost faith in institutions and leaders, but millions of people rent their home to total strangers, exchange digital currencies, or find themselves trusting a bot. This is the age of "distributed trust", a paradigm shift driven by innovative technologies that are rewriting the rules of an all-too-human relationship. If we are to benefit from this radical shift, we must understand the mechanics of how trust is built, managed, lost and repaired in the digital age. In the first book to explain this new world, Botsman provides a detailed map of this uncharted landscape--and explores what's next for humanity.

30 review for Who Can You Trust?: How Technology is Rewriting the Rules of Human Relationships

  1. 5 out of 5

    Keyo Çalî

    I just started a business, and I thought the first and the most important thing that I must build is TRUST. Trust comes first, so I started my journey with a book about trust. Who can I trust and how can I build trust are two different questions, and you can't find an answer in the book for both of them, but instead it will help you understand what trust is. What is a trust leap, what is reputation, how trust is evolving from local and institutional to distributed, are we ready for the trust shif I just started a business, and I thought the first and the most important thing that I must build is TRUST. Trust comes first, so I started my journey with a book about trust. Who can I trust and how can I build trust are two different questions, and you can't find an answer in the book for both of them, but instead it will help you understand what trust is. What is a trust leap, what is reputation, how trust is evolving from local and institutional to distributed, are we ready for the trust shift, who is trustworthy, how to become a trusted influencer and many more questions are answered in detailed explanations.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marcella Wigg

    This is an interesting look at trust as a major shaper of human behavior, particularly in consumption habits, and how it has changed with the advent of apps like Uber and Airbnb. As societal trust in institutions like government and the press falls, there seem to be a variety of commercial entities that have managed to gain mass market trust, from getting into a stranger's car when they are our ride-sharing driver to purchasing illegal drugs online with cryptocurrency to staying in a stranger's This is an interesting look at trust as a major shaper of human behavior, particularly in consumption habits, and how it has changed with the advent of apps like Uber and Airbnb. As societal trust in institutions like government and the press falls, there seem to be a variety of commercial entities that have managed to gain mass market trust, from getting into a stranger's car when they are our ride-sharing driver to purchasing illegal drugs online with cryptocurrency to staying in a stranger's apartment via Airbnb. Botsman explores a variety of business examples and academic studies on the subject of trust in a conversational tone that could easily be understood by the most technologically uninitiated person. While previous reviewers are correct that many of the cases she cites are available elsewhere, they are nicely aggregated and incorporated into the narrative here with minimal unnecessary jargon. If you follow tech news, many of these examples will be all too familiar, but reading about them presented through the lens of trust is thought-provoking. Some concepts, such as her surprise that high degrees of trust exist in drug-peddling darknet markets, would likely be more relatable to an older generation of readers than mine. However, I would have appreciated a conclusion that pushed a bit more into an analysis of the large amounts of trust we now place in algorithms and tech companies. Botsman's statements that trust is a human concept ultimately and that we need to pay more attention to the reasons we place our trust in specific companies or services as technology shifts are no doubt true, but I wanted to come away with her insights into what that level of trust validation would mean, and I didn't find it. I also thought it would have been interesting to take a more extensive look at dating apps, especially those that claim to depend upon "social proof" of some kind (The League, Coffee Meets Bagel) or algorithms (OKCupid). Botsman touches on online dating, but it is unique from other examples in that relationships should, at least in theory, be less commodifiable than an Uber ride or an Airbnb night. Peeple was provided as an example of an app that did not allow opt-outs, but I thought that this was a weak example given the outrage that the very premise of this app created, the watering-down that had to be done before it was released, and the fact that it still does not appear to have found a substantial user base. Lulu, an app that allowed women to give uncensored reviews of men that they could not originally opt out of, might have been another example of an app with a larger userbase that similarly commodified people into five-star ratings, but bizarrely found a mostly college-aged user base. Ultimately, I think the degree to which you find the book revelatory will depend upon the amount you're already familiar with many of the concepts Botsman is discussing in the book. If you're new to most of the content, you may find it completely mind-blowing. I learned some new stories that I had not previously read about in detail, and enjoyed her strong writing, but expected something more revelatory than I encountered.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nguyen Hoang

    Rachel took us on a rolling coaster from Bitcoin to drug distribution on Darknet, from China social credit to bots and robots, all to clarify the bold claim that we no longer put our trust on local or institutions, but we are moving to the 3rd phase of trust: Distributed trust - a change that can make the world-as-we-know-it on fire. A truly thought provoking book. However, the broad cover of many topics means that only the surface is scratched, and I would definitely wanna learn more about thos Rachel took us on a rolling coaster from Bitcoin to drug distribution on Darknet, from China social credit to bots and robots, all to clarify the bold claim that we no longer put our trust on local or institutions, but we are moving to the 3rd phase of trust: Distributed trust - a change that can make the world-as-we-know-it on fire. A truly thought provoking book. However, the broad cover of many topics means that only the surface is scratched, and I would definitely wanna learn more about those topic.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark Mulvey

    It’s basically a collection of other people’s research studies, startups, books, movies, articles, concepts, terms, and quotes. (The bulk of one chapter was actually spent retelling the plot of an episode of Black Mirror) There are also a *lot* of references to professors and directors at brand name universities or consultancies. (Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, MIT, Bain, McKinsey... you’ll hear from people at these places every few pages) Anything interesting was already written before a It’s basically a collection of other people’s research studies, startups, books, movies, articles, concepts, terms, and quotes. (The bulk of one chapter was actually spent retelling the plot of an episode of Black Mirror) There are also a *lot* of references to professors and directors at brand name universities or consultancies. (Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, MIT, Bain, McKinsey... you’ll hear from people at these places every few pages) Anything interesting was already written before and can be found online in someone else’s blog or book or article, and you probably already know most of the examples anyway. The rest was made up of personal anecdotes involving affluent/privileged experiences with a new app or tech service. It has nothing new to say and no new insights to consider. One thing I liked was the author’s definition of trust—that was original—but you’re given it before the first chapter even begins. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  5. 4 out of 5

    Thijs

    Review + personal highlights Review Botsman gives a detailed description of the shift of trust: from local to institutional to distributed trust. She gives clear examples of how technology can attribute in the process of determining someone's, or something's, trustworthiness. Personal highlights • Financial crisis was not the first and last, but it was a big nail in the coffin of institutional trust. Same for panama papers, Volkswagen scandal, tesco's horsemeat, etc.. p. 3 • Brexit = a symptom of tr Review + personal highlights Review Botsman gives a detailed description of the shift of trust: from local to institutional to distributed trust. She gives clear examples of how technology can attribute in the process of determining someone's, or something's, trustworthiness. Personal highlights • Financial crisis was not the first and last, but it was a big nail in the coffin of institutional trust. Same for panama papers, Volkswagen scandal, tesco's horsemeat, etc.. p. 3 • Brexit = a symptom of trust shift: from the monolithic to the individualized. But it isn't the age of distrust, it's just a shift. p. 5-6 • Third biggest trust revolution in the history of humankind. From local to institutional to distributed. Other forms willl still persist, just a new dominant form. p. 7 • The explosive growth of the sharing economy is a textbook example of distributed trust at play. It's also why we are feverishly scoring and rating everything. p. 8 • Trust enables us to feel confident enough to take risks and to open ourselves up to being vunerable. p. 16 • Personaized trust: in a person. Generalized trust: trust we attach to an identifiable but anonymous group or thing p. 18 • Definition: Trust is a confident relationship with the unkown. p. 20 • Alibaba, Alipay, TrustPass: examples of how trust was key in the rise of online payments and alibaba. p. 22-23 • Trust leaps are important: they exapnd what is possible, what we can invent and who can be an inventor. Trust leaps extend the reach of our collaboration and creations, opening up new horizons of opportunity. p. 30 • Tuskegee experiment: doctors did terrible experiments on black people to learn about syphilis. This caused a distrust of black people in doctors, making them reluctant to go to the doctor and actually decreasing their life-expectancy of 5 months. p. 33 • Sy trust in so many elite intitutions collapses at the same time: 1) inequality of accountability (certain people are being punished for wrongdoing while others get a leave pass) 2) twilight of elites and authority (the digital age is flattening hierarchies and eroding faith in experts an dthe rich and powerful), 3) segregated echo chambers (living in our cultural ghettoes and being deaf to toher voices). p. 42 • Climbing the trust stack: first you have to trust the idea, then the platform, then the individual. p. 60 • The California Roll principle / Law of Familiarity: In the late '60ties people didn't liked sushi: too strange. Rolling sushi inside out + adding cucumber and familiair ingredients helped. Trust flows easilier if it is something familiar. p. 62 • The What's in it for me principle. The WIIFM factor. p. 68 • Trust influencers, p. 76 • When I get in a car with a stranger, is it the driver I am trusting? Have I placed some faith in Uber, the company, its team? Am I trusting the Uber brand? Perhaps I have cconfidence in the platform itsellf, the app, payments, rating system and its mysterious pricing algorithm? Some of the answers lie in the history of trust between people, companies and brands. p. 88 • With the dawn of social media in the twenty-first centruy, everything canged. Marketers were hit with a seisic shif tin the way trust worked with consumers. It became much harder for brands to exaggerate or make false claims, no matter how flashy their ads. p. 91 • Trust hierarchy of needs, from low to high: identity, security, safety, compatitbility, belonging. p. 93 • Trust is not the same as trustworthiness. Encouring generalized trust simply for the sake of creating a more 'trusting society' is not only meaningless, it's dangerous. For on ething, people are already inclined to want to trust blindly, particularly when greed enters the picturue. We have to look at trustworthiness. p. 112 • Trust signals: status, authority (white lab coat), endorsements of third parties. They change in the age of distributed trust to reviews and ratings for instance p. 115 • UrbanSitter: booking.com for babysitters: the most influential social connection was not the parents rating the sitters, but between the sitters: parents wanted to book the friends of the sitter they really liked. Trust lies within the group with the expertise (the sitters) rather than the group with a similar need (the parents). p. 121 • Trustwortiness is more important (more objective) than trust. Trustworthiness = Is this person competent? Reliable? Honest? p. 123 • Black online market as an example of distributed trust: Turns out, drug dealers care about their online brand and reputation and customer satisfaction as much as Airbnb hosts or ebay sellers. A typical vendor's page will be littered with information, including: how many tansactions they have completed; when the vendor registered; when the vendor last logged in; and their allimportant pseudonym. etc. Vendors put in real effort to demonstrate their trustworthiness. Tehy will even offer free samples p. 140 • Some vendors, eager to build brand, label their drugs as 'fair trade' or 'organic' to appeal to 'ethical' interests. Even 'conflict-free' drugs as brand. p. 141 • 'The real secret of Silk Road is great customer service.'p. 141 • Reputation is trust's closest sibling; the overall opinion of what people think of you. p. 144 • 'Padding feedback'= purchsing your own products on different account and give yourself positive reviews. p. 146 • Social credit score in China: we wil see the birth of reputation black markets selling ways to boost trustworthiness. p .156 • There's a compelling psychological reason people are willing to sign up to systems like this. Seame Credit has tapped into a fundamental aspect of what makes us human: the desire to push oursevles to be better. p. 157 • What will it do to our authenticity when we are tempted 24/7 to act nice to score? Distributed trust could also become networked shame, or turn life in one endless popularity contest. p. 164 • Mark Meadows, founder of Botanic.io: 'all bots should be required to ahve an authenticated identity so we can trust them. Bots need reputation. p. 189 • We are just beginning to udnerstand how anthropomorphism influences trust. It turns out that an autnomous car with a name and voice is perceived as more trustworthy more. p. 193 • Who is to be held responsible for autonomous machines? p. 202 • Blockchain: transfer of assets, supply chain certification, smart contracts. p. 226 • With Blockchain you have to trust the idea of the blockchain and the system. And given that most people lack the technical know-how to understand how the system really works, you have to trust the programmers, miners, entrepeneurs and experts who establish and maintain the cryptographic protocols. p. 230 • More than forty banks have a stake in a consortium called R3CEV to come up with shared standards for blockchains. p. 243 • A challenge: setting up trust systems that can adapt nd keep pace with an unprecendented rate of change. p. 253 • For the moment, at least, we remain in a mindset that wants a benevolent leader, an ultimate decision-maker to take charge and fix the problem. The positive is that all these processes are far more transparent than ever before, as well as under mass observation and open to comment from everyone with at stake in them. p. 254 • Challenge of distributed trust is that many new technologies, from bots to blockchains, either anonymize people or attempt to remove entirely the need to trust another human. Yet it's humans, with all our wonderful kinks and mutations, who make trust possible p. 255 • There is no simple answer to the question 'Who can you trust?' but we do know that ultimately it coes down to a human decidsion. Technology can help us make better and different choices, but in the end it's we who have to decide where to place our trust and who deserves it. p. 256

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    Listened as an audiobook. Narration was excellent. The book content is very good, but didn’t really offer me anything new. But then I have followed Rachel for some time on Twitter and read her previous book. It’s interesting and in my opinion the 2 chapters on BlockChain are the highlight of the book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rhys Smith

    Excellent explanation of how important trust is to our daily lives and the massive impact that a societal wide breakdown of trust in our institutions has caused. It also explained blockchain in a way that made sense for the first time I've ever encountered. Easy to read, fascinating, and really illuminating, this is worth your time. Excellent explanation of how important trust is to our daily lives and the massive impact that a societal wide breakdown of trust in our institutions has caused. It also explained blockchain in a way that made sense for the first time I've ever encountered. Easy to read, fascinating, and really illuminating, this is worth your time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tim Hughes

    Who can you Trust? is all about the importance of Trust in today’s society. How many of us have seen a Facebook ad, we have no idea who the company is, but have made a purchase? We trust that just because a company is advertising on Facebook it’s legit. After having written that, it’s a bit bizarre to think that. This summer I went to San Fransisco and stayed in a strangers house (AirBnB), we contracted strangers to come to our house and drive us around (Uber) and we made decisions based on the Who can you Trust? is all about the importance of Trust in today’s society. How many of us have seen a Facebook ad, we have no idea who the company is, but have made a purchase? We trust that just because a company is advertising on Facebook it’s legit. After having written that, it’s a bit bizarre to think that. This summer I went to San Fransisco and stayed in a strangers house (AirBnB), we contracted strangers to come to our house and drive us around (Uber) and we made decisions based on the recommendations of strangers (TripAdvisor). Many of the systems we use today are based on this notion of trust. Rachel also describes how technology is helping us to trust, she talks about the “dark web”, Blockchain, artificial intelligence and the Chinese use of “social credit” all of which will become mainstream in the next five years. She does this in both an informative and an easy to read style. Must admit I did feel that book was a little “intense” by enjoyed Rachel’s writing style and examples. Not many people have the family Volvo as the get away car in a bank robbery by the family nanny! No spoilers! If you are interested in the social economics of the way society works or are in business or a business leader, this book is worth a read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    John Meagher

    Jesus, santa claus, and uber are watching and judging you. This book is definitely worth checking out. It goes into much more than just ridesharing stories gone wrong. How faith in established institutions has been undermined, what makes AirBnb possible, the pros/cons of ranking each other in ever increasing aspects of daily life, and the horrors of China's social credit score that show how dystopian it could be. Jesus, santa claus, and uber are watching and judging you. This book is definitely worth checking out. It goes into much more than just ridesharing stories gone wrong. How faith in established institutions has been undermined, what makes AirBnb possible, the pros/cons of ranking each other in ever increasing aspects of daily life, and the horrors of China's social credit score that show how dystopian it could be.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Abdulhakeem Almidan

    "It is trust, more than money, that makes the world go round." - Joseph Stiglitz "It is trust, more than money, that makes the world go round." - Joseph Stiglitz

  11. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Takes the reader from 0-60 in all matters trust—past, present and future. Expertly researched and carefully cited—the author makes it easy to follow the breadcrumb trail. Objective, insightful, page-turner. 10/10 – would recommend.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    Trust. Personal data misuse. Fake reviews. Published in 2017. “Jack Ma [Alibaba] … What he spotted early on was how technology could enable trust – make unknown sellers seem familiar to people.” “The California [Sushi] Roll principle is based on the underlying rule of combining something new with something familiar to make it ‘strangely familiar’.” “That’s the human tendency, to feel more strongly about a loss than a gain. The basic idea of ‘loss aversion’ is a concept first discovered by Daniel Ka Trust. Personal data misuse. Fake reviews. Published in 2017. “Jack Ma [Alibaba] … What he spotted early on was how technology could enable trust – make unknown sellers seem familiar to people.” “The California [Sushi] Roll principle is based on the underlying rule of combining something new with something familiar to make it ‘strangely familiar’.” “That’s the human tendency, to feel more strongly about a loss than a gain. The basic idea of ‘loss aversion’ is a concept first discovered by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky…” “[Uber, Tinder, etc. are] accelerated trust based on a few photos and a handful of words: shopping through a catalogue of faces. It’s trust on speed. And when we are in an accelerated mode of trust, we can be impulsive. It requires a conscious gear change to slow down and think twice about our decisions. … Efficiency can be the enemy of trust. Trust needs a bit of friction. It needs time. It requires investment and effort.” “Systems are becoming so seamless that we are not always fully conscious of the risks we are taking or the falsehoods we are sharing.” For one week in 2012, the researchers tweaked the [Facebook] algorithm to manipulate the emotional content appearing in the news feeds of 689,003 randomly selected, unwitting users. Posts were identified as either ‘positive’ (awesome!) or ‘negative’ (bummer) based on the words used. … the researchers found people who had positive words removed from their feeds made fewer positive posts and more negative ones, and vice versa. … the effect, as the authors acknowledge, was quite minimal, as little as one-tenth of a per cent of an observed change.” “On UrbanSitter, when you go to book, you can see how many ‘friends’ have previously booked are in some way connected to that sitter. These connections make us feel more comfortable and confident about our decisions. They reduce the unknown. The collective wisdom of the crowd is enhanced by the wisdom of ‘friends’. It’s social proof on steroids.” “…trust really lies within the group with the expertise (the babysitters) rather than the group with a similar need (the parents).” “It’s the same practice Amazon took a suit against in a landmark reputation case. On 16 October 2015, in Washington, DC, the company sued 1,114 individuals for selling positive five-star reviews to Amazon sellers and Kindle authors. All the defendants in the case were advertising their services on Fiverr, an online marketplace where freelancers offer to do minor tasks for a flat rate of$5. … But Amazon was smart enough to know it needed to crack down on fake reviews because they undermine the foundations of trust in online marketplaces. If reviewers and their reviews can’t be trusted, the whole system falls.” “A team of researchers at Cornell University has developed software that can detect review spam. In a test on 800 reviews of Chicago hotels on TripAdvisor, the program was able to pick out the deceptive reviews with almost 90 per cent accuracy. In contrast, Cornell’s human subjects only managed to pick the fakes about 50 per cent of the time. … It turns out people are beautifully predictable when writing fictional reviews, using similar syntax, language, grammar, punctuation, too many long words and even similar spelling mistakes. The Cornell researchers found that deceivers user more verbs and long words than truth tellers, while the genuine reviewers used more nouns and punctuation.” “On 14 June 2014, the State Council of China published an ominous-sounding document called ‘Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System’ In the way of Chinese policy documents, it was a lengthy and rather dry affair but it contained a radical idea. What if there was a national trust score that rated the kind of citizen you were?” … “For now, technically, participating in China’s Citizen Scores is voluntary. But by 2020 it will be mandatory. The behaviour of every single citizen and legal person in China (which includes every company or other entity) will be rated and ranked, whether they like it or not.” “Under this system, something as innocuous as a person’s shopping habits become a measure of character. Alibaba admits it judges people by the types of product they buy. ‘Someone who plays video games for ten hours a day, for example, would be considered an idle person’ … So the system not only investigates behaviour – it shapes it. It ‘nudges’ each of those closely monitored citizens away from purchases and behaviours the government does not like. … What do their choice of online friends and their interactions say about the person being assessed? Sharing what Sesame Credit [owned by Alibaba] refers to as ‘positive energy’ online, nice messages about the government or how well the country’s economy is doing, will make your score go up. … And at [score of] 750, they get fast-tracked application to a coveted pan-European Schengen visa.” “ ‘The aim [in East Germany] was limited to avoiding a revolt against the regime. The Chinese aim is far more ambitious: it is clearly an attempt to create a new citizen.’ … ‘Many people don’t own houses, cars or credit cards in China, so that kind of information [credit scores] isn’t available to measure,’ explains Wen Quan, an influential blogger who writes about technology and finance. ‘The central bank [of China] has the financial data from 800 million people, but only 320 million have a traditional credit history.’ According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the annual economic loss caused by the lack of credit information is more than 600 billion yuan, approximately $97 billion. … China’s lack of a national credit system is why the government is adamant that Citizen Scores are long overdue and badly needed to fix what they refer to as a trust deficit.” “People trust a robot that is more human-like over one that is mute but significantly more efficient and reliable. ‘If you think machines are perfect and then they make a mistake, you don’t trust them again,’ says Frank Krueger, a cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist at George Mason University and an expert on human-to-machine trust. ‘But you may regain trust if some basic social etiquette is used and the machine simply says, “I’m sorry”.’ Such niceties are why some robots, like Bert C, are programmed to smile or frown.” “… the launch of tools such as Facebook’s Bot Engine, a tool that makes it relatively easy for any developer to build their own customized bots. Within months of its launch in April 2016, 34,000 bots had been created. “ ‘We need systems that communicate to us their limits, but the other half of that relationship is we need to be ready to hear that,’ says Stephen Cave. ‘We will need to develop a very sophisticated sense of exactly what role this machine is fulfilling and where its abilities end, where we humans have to take over.’ This will be extremely challenging because our natural tendency is to become over-reliant on machines.” “The blockchain, however, offers a way to capture and keep the history of an item – whether it’s a diamond, a valuable stamp, bottle or wine or piece of art.” “… an app called Tala, a company that makes loans to people without a traditional credit history in emerging markets including Kenya, the Philippines and Tanzania. … Approximately a billion people in the emerging markets have basic smartphones. … Tala can cull more than 10,000 data points from a phone in less than one minute to gauge a person’s ability and willingness to repay loans. ‘We look at behavioural things such as what are their current spending habits? Do they have consistency in their income? What other apps do they use?’ explains Siroya. … The size of a person’s network is a strong trust signal for potential borrowers. Turns out, if our phone calls last more than four minutes, we tend to have stronger relationships, and therefore may be more creditworthy. Similarly, people who communicate with more than fifty-eight different contacts tend to be better borrowers because they have a wider network to depend on. Even how we organize our contacts can be revealing. ‘If more than 40 per cent of the entries in a person’s contact list have both first and last names, it suggests a customer who is sixteen times more reliable than one with very few contacts listed with first and last names,’ explains Siroya. Filling in a first and a last name shows, in a small way, the care and attention we pay to something. Indeed, no single piece of information determines whether someone gets a loan – it’s the cumulative points of data that provide a clear picture of a person. ‘It’s a financial identity that looks more like a person and less like a score,’ says Siroya. ‘This is data that would not be found on a paper trail or in any formal financial record.’ It proves that a person doesn’t need a traditional credit score to prove they are trustworthy. Today, Tala is the fifth most used app in Kenya.”

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    I first encountered Botsman when I read What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption and really enjoyed her insight. Plus, given that I work in an industry (public libraries) where collaborative consumption and sharing is baked into our DNA, Botsman's work held particular professional interest for me. In "Who Can you Trust?" Botsman expands on her previous work by diving into the mechanisms that drive human trust. As a species we've gone from individual trust (we knew the reputati I first encountered Botsman when I read What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption and really enjoyed her insight. Plus, given that I work in an industry (public libraries) where collaborative consumption and sharing is baked into our DNA, Botsman's work held particular professional interest for me. In "Who Can you Trust?" Botsman expands on her previous work by diving into the mechanisms that drive human trust. As a species we've gone from individual trust (we knew the reputation of all the people in our immediate tribe/village) to institutional trust (governments, authoritative bodies such as the church, the press, higher education, business, etc.) to the place that we find ourselves today where trust is distributed again amongst individuals but those contacts may be spread around the globe. As we see institutional trust fall apart (see also: election of Donald Trump), distributed trust is on the rise. But it's a messy game. In China, starting in 2020, it will be mandatory for all Chinese citizens and businesses to have a publicly known, state-issued Social Credit System score. The theory is that a standard, uniform score of trustworthiness will reduce the friction of market-based transaction. That's the tentative upside. The glaring downside is that a person's trustworthiness score will be used in any number of ways that are Orwellian to the nth. Want to send your kids to a particular school? What's your SCS score? Want to get a visa? What's your SCS score? Want to get a rental car? What's your SCS score? And so on. And keep in mind that this is the state keeping the tally. Hard to be a dissident in such a scenario. Botsman is excited about blockchain technology being the savior of trustworthiness and while she makes some good arguments, I don't feel like I'm familiar enough with the technology to even comment at this point. With one exception: technology always seems to be trickle-down. The poor and disenfranchised will, if history is any guide, be the last to benefit and be the first to be taken advantage of.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marija Vaicaitiene

    The book is very easy to read and info is up to date. The author analyses trust in our daily life starting with uber, air bnb, Facebook and many other services and also dark internet. R. Botsman believes that trust is the most valuable thing for society, especially in the nearest future using artificial intelligence and robots, bitcoins and block chain.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    This book is without a doubt my favourite book in the series of books I read for SymSys Directed Readings in Social Informatics. It provides a fascinating and thought-provoking take on an element of human trust, a critical component of our society that is seldom explicitly recognized and often overlooked -- legal frameworks, as well as social, political and economic institutions seem to steal most of the limelight. Amidst the glut of books on digital technology and their impact on societies, thi This book is without a doubt my favourite book in the series of books I read for SymSys Directed Readings in Social Informatics. It provides a fascinating and thought-provoking take on an element of human trust, a critical component of our society that is seldom explicitly recognized and often overlooked -- legal frameworks, as well as social, political and economic institutions seem to steal most of the limelight. Amidst the glut of books on digital technology and their impact on societies, this book takes a novel approach. While most books expound in-depth on one singular or a narrow set of technologies or phenomena, such as Artificial Intelligence, or investigates the impacts of a single social media platform, this book starts from the perspective of trust, something exceedingly and exclusively human. It investigates how trust plays a key role in many aspects of society, not just interpersonal but crucially also in our social, economic and political systems, and how the shifting of trust exposes key dynamics and trends in our societies. It also provides a historic view, as the author traces the evolution of trust in our societies from ancient civilizations to modern times, documents their impacts and social uses, and projects into the future. She frames the evolution of trust in a few stages -- beginning with localized trust within small intimate communities built on interpersonal relationships, to institutionalized trust across systems, to the future form of distributed trust, most prominently represented by blockchain technology, on the verge of revolutionizing our world. A trend that is particularly profound is the decentralization of trust -- the shift of the trust away from established institutions, towards distributed and localized trust among interpersonal networks. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer in 2016, it is said that "a friend, or even a Facebook friend, is now viewed as twice as credible as a government leader" (13). It seems the increase in trust in our personal contacts and network is matched by the general decline in trust in establishments, such as governments, judicial courts, public health entities, and large companies. It is interesting to ponder the reasons behind the divergence, and to investigate to what extent it is facilitated by the rise of platforms. While the platforms enjoy relative effectiveness in facilitating trust between strangers -- to the extent of sharing something as intimate as your homes and bedrooms -- something virtually unthinkable a few years before the rise of the sharing economy, they are also instrumental in acting as a key check and balance against establishments. Platforms themselves facilitate trust between strangers due to their abilities to encourage trustworthy behaviour. For example, the trust that is "represented in quantitative metrics, such as reviews and ratings" (88) by service providers (eg. Uber drivers, Airbnb hosts) provide an incentive for them to ensure the quality of their service to whichever customer they are serving at any one time. On the other hand, institutional trust is on the decline because problematic institutions and their leaders at their helm and their wrongdoings are more likely to be exposed and made public quickly (34), as cases like the exposé of the infamous scandals of Panama Papers and Cambridge Analytica have proven. As opposed to the highly networked society now, in the past, it was "much easier to hide wrongdoings, such as Tuskegee, for years, even decades", maintaining the veneer of reputation for institutions, allowing them to garner public trust. The topic of trust is also becoming increasingly relevant in the current pandemic situation across the world. Amidst the extraordinary upheaval of the social, economic and political systems, and while we are grappling with the absurdities of a 'new normal', it would be interesting to see how trust among groups would be affected. For example, does the public now have increased levels of trust towards establishments and institutions, due to the fact that they inevitably are subjected to greater reliance towards governments' action and provision in crisis time, as well as greater awareness and dependence on the public health systems? Do they experience lower levels of interpersonal trust due to the fear of strangers as virus carriers and the risk of virus contagion? Or are there higher levels of interpersonal trust due to the great levels of community self-help and mutual aid networks going on in these challenging times? What is the effect of the steep decline in physical connections and diminishing of in-person gatherings, and the amplification of our online selves and ballooning influence of online platforms?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Manasvi

    If China adopts the national rating credit system for each individual, it is going to become a totalitarian state — with no freedom to express their views or forced to be responsible for views of their comrades. This is like Orwell’s 1984. Trusting companies like Uber and Airbnb based on rating system is a fair point but it still does not explain the trust (or lack thereof) in material posted on other social media websites. Most of the time it reflects the subjective mood or views of an individu If China adopts the national rating credit system for each individual, it is going to become a totalitarian state — with no freedom to express their views or forced to be responsible for views of their comrades. This is like Orwell’s 1984. Trusting companies like Uber and Airbnb based on rating system is a fair point but it still does not explain the trust (or lack thereof) in material posted on other social media websites. Most of the time it reflects the subjective mood or views of an individual. Yes, being proactive is an idea but can be effective only if you have the knowledge on how to verify information. Should the websites take responsibility for fake news getting viral or false advertisements? The book failed to address properly why technology is driving us apart. From kids playing together in playgrounds in the 90s to kids busy with their mini screens these days, technology has resulted in lack of social interactions in all spheres of life. I was expecting some more scientific analysis about that. And finally, yes, blockchain technology is promising but how would it affect our right to privacy in future? Overall, good points but a little more analysis and personal opinions of the author would have made it better.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Beth Berry

    A great read. One of my favorite quotes from the book is "Reputation will be the currency that says you can trust me" Rachel Botsman gives some great advice on how trust has and is changing. She does a good job of explaining why Uber and Airbnb have become synonymous with trust leaps which is a confident relationship with the unknown and the way trust functions in our society. Both millennials and their parents will enjoy this book. We all have ideas about trust and I appreciate how she tackles A great read. One of my favorite quotes from the book is "Reputation will be the currency that says you can trust me" Rachel Botsman gives some great advice on how trust has and is changing. She does a good job of explaining why Uber and Airbnb have become synonymous with trust leaps which is a confident relationship with the unknown and the way trust functions in our society. Both millennials and their parents will enjoy this book. We all have ideas about trust and I appreciate how she tackles them and lets the reader use his or her own judgment. She includes so many funny stories about things that are familiar to us like Facebook and Netflix, but she also introduces us to new concepts such as BlaBla Car where you can choose to ride with a stranger, but it based on how much they will talk during the long ride. Very enjoyable book I recommend it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Fipah

    3.5 stars = this was an enjoyable read A pop-science book that discusses how trust in the digital era has changed and presents varied examples of such how trust can be established and actually work. It does not, however, answer the question it poses: Who can you trust? I expected the author to address and answer to the overall feeling of distrust and disillusionment among many of us with regards to politics, climate change and inequality, yet this topic of distrust towards the rich and the politi 3.5 stars = this was an enjoyable read A pop-science book that discusses how trust in the digital era has changed and presents varied examples of such how trust can be established and actually work. It does not, however, answer the question it poses: Who can you trust? I expected the author to address and answer to the overall feeling of distrust and disillusionment among many of us with regards to politics, climate change and inequality, yet this topic of distrust towards the rich and the politicians and countries as a whole, albeit present in the blurb, is not addressed. Again, the book basically presents varied examples that deal with the topic of consumer trust, and it is an enjoyable, easy pop-science read. I'd expect more depth, but it was rather cohesive and interesting as food for thought.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chris Hansen

    A must read on the Trust landscape - blockchain, cryptocurrency and past sins This book is tremendously valuable in simply the indexing of Botsman’s sources. Wow! Add to that a well-told story of the nature of trust and how it has changed as society and its technologies have changed and you have this thought leading, and thought provoking masterwork. While very well researched it is not an “academic” piece but a moving read, full of excellent examples told as stories that is well suited to both e A must read on the Trust landscape - blockchain, cryptocurrency and past sins This book is tremendously valuable in simply the indexing of Botsman’s sources. Wow! Add to that a well-told story of the nature of trust and how it has changed as society and its technologies have changed and you have this thought leading, and thought provoking masterwork. While very well researched it is not an “academic” piece but a moving read, full of excellent examples told as stories that is well suited to both experts and the curious. It will be on the Required Reading List for my business unit, and I’ll highly recommend it outside of my circle, particularly when people ask me, “So what exactly is it you do for a living?”

  20. 4 out of 5

    dev lewis

    This book reads in the same fast pace of the kind of disruptive industries it chronicles. The author leaves very few stones unturned examining the dynamic evolution of trust-something we passively think about all the time but rarely actively reflect on it as our digital lives continue to grow and grow, sometimes at the risk of trusting too much, as Rachel points out. For those who research these industries for a living there might not be any “Aha!” moments but there enough stories and quips from This book reads in the same fast pace of the kind of disruptive industries it chronicles. The author leaves very few stones unturned examining the dynamic evolution of trust-something we passively think about all the time but rarely actively reflect on it as our digital lives continue to grow and grow, sometimes at the risk of trusting too much, as Rachel points out. For those who research these industries for a living there might not be any “Aha!” moments but there enough stories and quips from people doing cool things to keep you glued. There is definitely a US/Western European centric book but still balanced by some reporting from Asia and Africa.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Scott Wozniak

    This book shares a wide range of fascinating arenas in modern life where trust is critical and is being radically reformed. Remember when it was a truism not to get in a car with strangers? Uber changes who we trust. Remember when we trusted banks with our money above all else? The meltdown of 2007-2008 and blockchain are changing that. From dating to investing, the world runs on trust and is radically changing. But best of all, this book doesn't just outline all the ways that our trust mechanism This book shares a wide range of fascinating arenas in modern life where trust is critical and is being radically reformed. Remember when it was a truism not to get in a car with strangers? Uber changes who we trust. Remember when we trusted banks with our money above all else? The meltdown of 2007-2008 and blockchain are changing that. From dating to investing, the world runs on trust and is radically changing. But best of all, this book doesn't just outline all the ways that our trust mechanisms are changing. This book offers insights into the big ideas behind them and even has some thoughtful predictions and recommendations.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carl Phillips

    An easy read. A good introduction to the concept. Adds nothing to the debate that is new though. Crucially it lacks both a reliable argument (says distributed trust is the future jet fails to reconcile the problem she herself acknowledges that distributed trust breaks down when things go wrong) and much to say that is new. A lot of the trust models are old and while linguists may say that trust and trustworthiness are different recent research would seem to indicate that people are unable to ans An easy read. A good introduction to the concept. Adds nothing to the debate that is new though. Crucially it lacks both a reliable argument (says distributed trust is the future jet fails to reconcile the problem she herself acknowledges that distributed trust breaks down when things go wrong) and much to say that is new. A lot of the trust models are old and while linguists may say that trust and trustworthiness are different recent research would seem to indicate that people are unable to answer how when asked.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Liliana

    Rachel Botsman did a great work analysing the current distributed networks and which challenges we face and will be soon facing in our society. This book opened my knowledge to an aspect in technology which I hadn't thought about before. The socialisation and trust necessary to make the leap in order to accept a new service is so inherent that we don't actually think about it much. I highly recommend this book for its fascinating content, conscientious analysis and friendly way that Rachel addres Rachel Botsman did a great work analysing the current distributed networks and which challenges we face and will be soon facing in our society. This book opened my knowledge to an aspect in technology which I hadn't thought about before. The socialisation and trust necessary to make the leap in order to accept a new service is so inherent that we don't actually think about it much. I highly recommend this book for its fascinating content, conscientious analysis and friendly way that Rachel addresses her readers. On my top 30 for sure!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Yoric

    I didn't really get excited about the introduction of this book. Maybe the topic is just not for me, or more exactly, it's not my priority right now. I may take the time to get into it later on. I'm trying to guess where it's going. Something like: Trust is the pillar of evolution, without trust, we wouldn't have evolved, with adopting new technologies as they emerged. With new technologies, and the latest blockchain revolution, a new chapter of trust is opening, that will radically change and trans I didn't really get excited about the introduction of this book. Maybe the topic is just not for me, or more exactly, it's not my priority right now. I may take the time to get into it later on. I'm trying to guess where it's going. Something like: Trust is the pillar of evolution, without trust, we wouldn't have evolved, with adopting new technologies as they emerged. With new technologies, and the latest blockchain revolution, a new chapter of trust is opening, that will radically change and transform our society.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Klaudijus Valintėlis

    Seemed like an interesting read about the idea how important trust is in our lives, but actually its pretty shallow book, which scratches only the surface of news and researches that happening nowadays. If you don't live under a rock and read news time to time, you won't learn anything new or unexpected here. Whole book is basically what I used to do and lots of students do if they get homework assignment: just take most famous examples of some technologies or companies and expand some simple fa Seemed like an interesting read about the idea how important trust is in our lives, but actually its pretty shallow book, which scratches only the surface of news and researches that happening nowadays. If you don't live under a rock and read news time to time, you won't learn anything new or unexpected here. Whole book is basically what I used to do and lots of students do if they get homework assignment: just take most famous examples of some technologies or companies and expand some simple facts into long paragraphs which in the end won't make you gain anything of value.

  26. 4 out of 5

    lanthanhha

    A great read that unveils these factors triggering polarization, extremism, and misinformation. While trust for institutions tumbles, trust for peers takes the crown, and trust for technology insinuates into our belief system. The promise of convenience and information freedom lead to a deposit of trust in technological applications. The reality of this trust splinters into various scenarios. We have the airbnb putting your life and home into the hand of strangers, the communist control in the b A great read that unveils these factors triggering polarization, extremism, and misinformation. While trust for institutions tumbles, trust for peers takes the crown, and trust for technology insinuates into our belief system. The promise of convenience and information freedom lead to a deposit of trust in technological applications. The reality of this trust splinters into various scenarios. We have the airbnb putting your life and home into the hand of strangers, the communist control in the big data age, and lastly the block chain policing our money and encrypting information.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    This was a great, easy read with solid frameworks on understanding trust. Botsman is a clear navigator as she takes us from how we moved from local to institutional to decentralised trust using many useful case studies and analogies to explain her points. This is a powerful book for anyone who wants to understand how the economy (especially the gig economy) currently works and where it is going - you won't think about many operating or business models in the same way again. This was a great, easy read with solid frameworks on understanding trust. Botsman is a clear navigator as she takes us from how we moved from local to institutional to decentralised trust using many useful case studies and analogies to explain her points. This is a powerful book for anyone who wants to understand how the economy (especially the gig economy) currently works and where it is going - you won't think about many operating or business models in the same way again.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dalia

    I did not expect to like this book or for it to hold my interest for long, but I was wrong. I really enjoyed the diverse examples that were presented and how notions of trust were explored in detail. All of this was done while linking to technology’s current situation, history and potential future in a way that is accessible for different readers (I have no background in tech but kept up with all the content$

  29. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Rowe

    Not what you’d expect, but in the best way possible. An incredible look into what it means to trust, how we decide to trust, and how trust is changing. Rachel does an incredible job of analyzing how trust used to look, how it looks currently, and how it’s going to look. The future is bright, potentially scary, and unpredictable. This book takes a glimpse into what you can expect and how to prepare for the upcoming shift in how we trust.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hannamari

    Trust is an interesting lense to look at technology. Although this book presented little new information, its fresh point of view and numerous colourfull stories made the book interesting and a surprisingly light read. What stuck to me was the concept of evolution of trust: from local to institutional and lately to distributed trust.

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