The rapid spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 is a reminder of the vital need for truthful information, co-operation and kindness. Rumors, hype and fear can make a growing crisis much worse than it already is. We decided to re-release an episode from 2019 on the case for trust: Why designing systems that are based on trust can improve public safety, and lead to better economic, social, psychological and educational outcomes. "We’ve internalized the assumption that humans can’t be trusted, and therefore, that we all need to be constrained and coerced into doing the right thing, pretty much all the time," wrote our guest, technology consultant, futurist and thinker Jerry Michalski.And yet, there are examples of systems designed from trust that work surprisingly well. 1. Anyone can edit and make changes to Wikipedia pages. Most of us rely on this open-source online encyclopedia for accurate information. 2. Micro loans go to people of very limited means, who should be terrible credit risks. But their default rates are lower than for conventional loans. 3. Netflix has no limit on vacation time and days off. The only guidance to employees that they act ethically and Netflix’s Best Interests. 4. The international, self-supporting fellowship, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), is also highly successful group that is designed from trust. "It turns out that on average people are more trustworthy than we think they are," says Jerry. "Wikipedia has discovered this as have many, many other kinds of services."
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