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All the World's One

Indulge me in a little wordiness as I build up a complex picture as simply as I can. In my writings, whether on search or social media or trust, I frequently make the point of mentioning being "good". Good as trying to be ethical, trying to be balanced, creating symmetrical relationships where possible and taking into account the long game over short term gains.

Given that I talk about social media platforms and marketing an d SEO and commercial relationships I am invariably challenged to explain how this willingness to be "good" has anything to do with the need to make money, increase market share, develop an audience and deliver shareholder value.

In response to that general question, today I give you this: Afghanistan. Currently 166th out of a list of 168 countries on corruption (which makes it amongst the most corrupt, not the least). And the question: why should we care?

We (most of you I talk to at any rate) don't live there. Our concerns are first world problems (wi-fi speed and traffic congestion on the way to meetings and getting some physical training done on a busy day). We may empathize with the plight of Afghans but ultimately it's their country and their business and they just need to get their act together, right?

Except perhaps, the world is connected. It has always been connected but the ripples that affected us in the past came slowly. Sometimes we could not even connect them to the event that created them. And now things move faster. When one country falters, others stumble too (the EU contagion fears when Greece could not repay its debts are only a summer or two back).

Afghanistan's culture of corruption means that it has lost control of its mining industry which has been taken over by a warlord who is issuing mining licenses to whomever and pays off everybody. Still, not our problem, right?

It's deplorable but why should we care (and to be honest I never buy jewelry as a gift these days, it somehow seems so meaningless to give someone a colored bauble when there are so many experience things you can gift or make other gifts that will have a practical as opposed to a decorative use).

We care about work and play, safety and terrorism. And on that note ISIS (who are about as monstrous as we can imagine in the way they view our world) is getting funded through Afghanistan's corrupt mining practices.

So, now...do we care? Because had Afghanistan managed to impose a rule of law organisation like ISIS would be starved of cash and without cash you can't really fight a war or start rebellions or get involved in acts of terrorism.

So being "good" and trustworthy and doing the right thing leads to the propagation of values that unite us all and they tend to overcome the petty, fear-driven issues that divide us.

We need good people because they then create good companies and good companies demand the countries they operate in to be equally good. And when we all think like this the world actually does change for the better and whatever issues come up are challenges to be solved rather than problems threatening to crash us.

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Trust Requires A Small Leap of Faith

That leap of faith is better done when we feel fairly sure everyone is prepared to do it.

h/t +Oleg Moskalensky for surfacing this study.

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Just a reminder of the impact of loss of trust. VW is far from recovered (and rightly so).
More than two years after Volkswagen AG was thrown into chaos by the diesel-emissions scandal, the German auto giant is still choking.

The latest reminder that the crisis is far from over came Friday when Volkswagen announced it will take a charge of 2.5 billion euros ($3 billion) because plans to buy back or retrofit tainted U.S. diesel cars proved more complex than expected.

-That brings total damages to about $30 billion and raises questions about whether Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller has the situation under control.

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The 'Trust' Question

There can be no absolute explanation that is sufficient to establish trust between two agents. The paradox is that the more one tries to explain to the other the bigger will be the gaps that will emerge in the information provided so the effort will actually backfire (think of any conversation you have where you need to completely justify an answer by providing the provenance of your motivation). The way around this paralysis which is likely to deliver a negative outcome is through approximation and assumption where both agents tacitly agree upon the general picture and, by doing so, quickly achieve a common understanding that allows trust to emerge.

In organics (i.e. humans) that makes for both speed and efficiency in relationship building and relational exchanges of all kinds. In machines it significantly reduces computing overheads.
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Trust In Motion

This video is a delight at many levels: physical coordination, the mental representation that comes out of long practice, the constant on-the-fly readjustment that happens as nothing ever stays still and every time the routine is executed many tiny variables change. And the trust that each partner has to have for the other. Without that, nothing would work here. Ever.

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+LinkedIn goes wonky.
Hello Dr. Zara Altair,

Based on your Linkedin Profile you're recognized as a Top Doctor, however you don't have a Top Doctor Badge in your awards section.

Once your badge is confirmed, your page will be prioritized on all Find a Top Doc search results in your area for your specialty, highlighting your achievements, education and expertise.

Determine eligibility for TOP DOCTOR Profile Badge here: Get My Badge

Find a Top Doc profiles Doctors, and publishes tens of thousands of pages of medical content linking to it's Top Doctors.

Additionally, The Badge helps you stand out from your competitors, dominate Google with 5 star search results, gain and retain patients, increase reimbursements, and remain in control of your online reputation.

When Algorithms Go Wrong
What is +LinkedIn doing with its algorithms? My writer profile is offering me a Top Doctor badge (for free) to add to my profile. How does this relate to 40+ years of writing? I'm baffled.
This is not a trust building activity. :)

Hello Dr. Zara Altair,

Based on your Linkedin Profile you're recognized as a Top Doctor, however you don't have a Top Doctor Badge in your awards section.

Once your badge is confirmed, your page will be prioritized on all Find a Top Doc search results in your area for your specialty, highlighting your achievements, education and expertise.

Determine eligibility for TOP DOCTOR Profile Badge here: Get My Badge

Find a Top Doc profiles Doctors, and publishes tens of thousands of pages of medical content linking to it's Top Doctors.

Additionally, The Badge helps you stand out from your competitors, dominate Google with 5 star search results, gain and retain patients, increase reimbursements, and remain in control of your online reputation. etc.

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United Airlines Lose $1 Billion

When you pretty much assault a paying customer for no reason and then throw him off an airplane seat he has paid for, there are bound to be some repercussions.

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Communication and Trust Change Human Behavior in Serious Disasters

Consider that how we behave during a catastrophic event depends upon the information we have, whom we trust and how many people we know.
Modelling People Behavior During a Catastrophic Event

I know it's Saturday and we have been focusing on pretty morbid events of late, more than a few of which revolve around survivalist scenarios or species extinction events, but this one has some merit.

Consider that in the event of a nuclear bomb going off in a highly populated modern city the behavior exhibited by the survivors will be the result of complexities such as the availability of social networks, communication and trust.

This is a fascinating read that reveals a lot about human behavior.

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A Poem About Trust in 2017

Defining trust in a group that lacks groupthink,
Is roughly not that single; nor an easy feat
It can't simply be earned, learned, or something to be yearned
By its definition, it's something quite discrete

When all things logical fly swiftly out the door,
With Line A to B skewed forevermore,
Who can we turn to if not for to each other?
The thing we seek - it's not just simple lore

It's what we build together - connecting here and there -
All we've ever wanted - and all we wish to keep
Yet if we give up now and lay down our lives to them
We'll never know the sweetness of all we wish to reap

Promise to me now you'll hold my thoughts so dear -
When asylum offers nothing and there is no global peace
Remember when I offered a hand that reached to welcome
Trust. What a noble thing to hope for - let it's glory never cease
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