Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I trust...

When I get an idea for a blog post at work I email my personal address from my work address so I can remember it for later and stay focused on work instead of thinking about it more just then. I hope (or, I guess, I trust) that nobody's reading those emails. Sometimes they're kind of weird. Anyway, I sent a few today. How about this...

1. I wonder whether (or, perhaps, I trust that) somehow we programmers can make something better than MS Outlook's meeting reminders. Every time I get one I'm thrown into a fit of frankly terrifying rage. I wonder how much of it is the crummy implementation (for the record, my office is still using Office 2003 and I don't know if they've improved since then) and how much of it is inherent in being reminded that one has to go to a meeting.

2 (and finally to the point I guess). We (as people) really tend to trust people, especially those in apparent positions of power or authority. I was trying to think of a way to generalize something I was thinking about earlier, about how most people don't really do the work to verify that their employers, landlords, businesses we frequent, etc., aren't out to scam/kill them, and I guess it comes down to something that we all know already. But would we all be better off if we trusted no one? Is our trust in people with some power/authority related to the fact that our society generally does an OK job of rewarding people that deal fairly (in "deal fairly" I'm not counting externalities — basically we do a good job of rewarding people that enter into exchanges beneficial to all their parties)? Is it different in places where that's not the case (Russia, with its large base of educated people and limited opportunities for them in “legitimate” enterprise, and thus its mythical abundance of computer hackers, might be an example)?

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