[E-Lang] Other languages with secure capabilities

zooko@zooko.com zooko@zooko.com
Thu, 10 May 2001 10:59:44 -0700

 MarcS wrote:
> Human trust relationships are enormously complex and subtle. Not only is
> "trust versus distrust" a false dichotomy, so is "trust-more versus
> trust-less" (or, "on a scale from 0 to 10, how much do you trust him?").
> Only when we build computer systems do we discard all the deeply-ingrained
> knowledge of this stuff that seems prewired in our neurons, and go with
> these kinds of crude approximations.

In my opinion the ability (and perhaps the desire) to think of relationships in
terms of "us versus them" (== "trusted" vs. "untrusted") is hard-wired into
human brains.  This is consistent with the evolutionary "just-so story" that
historically humans who cooperated with the members of their tribe and competed
against members of other tribes had better survival than humans who tried some
other behavior.

This hypothesis (neurological hard-wiring of "us vs. them") is also suggested
(though far from proved) by psychological, neurological, anthropological, and
linguistic evidence.

Congratulations on that essay on the meaning of "trust", MarcS.  It deserves
to be widely propagated.