ALS Topic 9 -
The End of Trust - So who is left to believe in?
Focus questions for Adelaide Lunchtime
Seminar, 26 May 2018
questions below are not supposed to suggest biased answers. You
really can adopt any point of view your can suggest evidence for. Do
be prepared for others suggesting counter-evidence! Note: clearly
not all of these questions can be properly covered in a meetup, but
they give us a conscious choice about what to talk about while
making the background context clearer. It is up to the people who
come on the day to choose what aspects they would like to deal with.
1. 'My word is my bond' - except when it's
not. Who mostly speaks the truth, and who doesn't?
there professions where it is a requirement to lie? Has this changed
over time? Evidence?
3. Sociologists talk about 'high trust
societies' and 'low trust societies' (Google it..). Where would you
put Australia? Evidence?
4. How does child raising affect
whether a child puts a high value on honesty/trust, and how does
this ultimately affect communities? Evidence?
5. What part do
mass media and social media play in creating or destroying a culture
of public trust?
6. At what point does public 'security'
(what the government spends money on) undermine private security
(what you can actually do safely yourself)?
7. Do religions
and ideologies create an environment that promotes public trust, or
do they undermine it? Evidence?
8. The people (and
institutions) you place trust in is sometimes diagramed as an
expanding circle of concentric rings. Those on the innermost ring
are those you trust the most, and those on the out rings are those
you trust least. Draw your version of this diagram. Who is on the
outer limits, who is on the inner?
9. Trusting someone can be
based on a) your perception of their honesty; b) your perception of
their competence; c) your perception of their goodwill; d) your
perception of the cost to them of betrayal - i.e. their
self-interest; e) your perception of the power or lack of power they
exercise; f) your perception of their status. Think of examples
where each of these factors could influence your trust. Which
factors influencing trust are the most important for you? Why?
10. What is your default attitude in meeting strangers: a) trust
them until they prove untrustworthy?; b) distrust them until they
prove trustworthy ? Justify you approach.
Comments & Links
Nicola K S (30 Jan 2018) "Study reveals why we trust some strangers
and not others". The Guardian @
Fleming Consulting & Co (October 11, 2016) "The End of
(2014) "Fakes, liars, cheats, deceivers, animals in the forest" @
York Times (22 December 2017) "In Code We Trust" @
1. articles at
legacy site: http://thormay.net