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Re: on the nature of trust

On Fri, 13 Feb 1998, Marc Branchaud wrote:

-> One answer is that we can never fully trust anything.  But banks are
-> successful because at some point a depositor decides that the bank is
-> trustworthy enough.  That decision is based on information from different
-> sources -- the bank, the government, family, friends -- each communicating
-> over a different channel.

Yes. The depositor decides based on *performance* not on mere hearsay. So,
the same idea is represented in "certificates are trustful because they
certify" in which trust is a result of *performance*. If we accept that,
then we have to find ways to measure such performance. Which is as natural
as any learning process.

-> The point of Ed's definition, I believe, is that you can trust a transaction
-> with your bank's ATM because you've received enough other information over
-> other channels & from other sources (e.g. you got your bank card from a bank
-> representative).

Yes, out-of-band. For example, the lamb story:

When a lion communicates with a lamb, the lion does not need to receive
any transfer from the lamb besides that which is communicated in the
channel itself, whereas the lamb needs to *know* whether the lion is
hungry -- which is not information and which cannot be transferred in the
same channel. If such data were information, then it would be new to the
lamb (sorry, ex-lamb, now food). If such data would be transferred in the
same channel how would the lamb know that the lion was not lying?

-> The same paradigm applies to online messaging: you trust a message because
-> you've received enough other information in some external way.

Yes, as the lamb needed it, since the lion could be lying.

The same happens in credit-card processing whn you keep your partial
receipts to check the bill, for example. Surely, you trust the CC company,
but mistakes happen and -- funny -- they are normally in favor of the CC
company ;-) (the lion?)



Dr.rer.nat. E. Gerck                     egerck@novaware.cps.softex.br
    --- Meta-Certificate Group member, http://www.mcg.org.br ---