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Who Can You Trust?: How Technology Brought Us Together – and Why It Could Drive Us Apart Paperback – 5 Oct 2017
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Beautifully-written . . . the thesis is completely compelling. This is an important book (Andy Haldane, Chief Economist, Bank of England)
This is that admirable and all too rare book that gives you "an idea to think with" that helps to put new things in place: from Brexit, Donald Trump, and Blockchain to Facebook and your discontents. Who Can You Trust is a primer for a new world that sets you up to be a better citizen, consumer, and parent. In the new world of decentralized trust you need to think about who you trust, why you trust, and what that really means for what kind of new society we are building. A beautifully written, clear eyed book...I learned so much. About so many things I wanted to know. So quickly (Sherry Turkle Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology, MIT, and author of Alone Together)
Profound . . . will cause you to think deeply about your business, your relationships and your life (Don Tapscott, bestselling author of 16 books, including 'Blockchain Revolution')
Trust affects everything - from neighbourliness and shopping to democracy. This fascinating and well-researched study of the shifting tides of trust shows both the power of new technological solutions and the often surprising problems they bring in their wake. Every reader will gain new insights into one of the great issues of our time (Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive, NESTA)
A timely and accessible framework for understanding what trust is, how it works, why it matters and how it is evolving. It is an important primer to the obstacles and opportunities we face as a society if we are to repair and redefine trust across socioeconomic, political and cultural divides. The stakes are high. (Rebecca MacKinnon Washington Post)
Extremely thought-provoking . . . a must-read for anyone interested in how the world works - and will work in the future (Will Dean, co-founder and CEO of Tough Mudder)
Some people can educate and others can entertain; in Who Can You Trust, Rachel Botsman does both. Read it for insight or escape as it takes you on both journeys (John Eales, most successful captain in the history of Australian rugby)
Thrilling. Brilliantly exposes the central paradox of the IT revolution - that it connects us while keeping us apart. Rachel Botsman encourages us to take responsibility for the kind of world we want to live in, and to preserve society's most fragile asset: trust (Hugh Mackay, Social Scientist and best-selling author of sixteen books)
Timely, lucid and beautifully written. This is one of the most important books you'll read this year (Richard Glover, Columnist, Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Radio Broadcaster)
This book perfectly walks the reader through the past, present, and future of trust as we know it. Rachel Botsman's expertise on this topic is unmatched. It's an absolute must-read for business leaders and everyday consumers alike (Nick Shapiro, Global Head of Trust & Risk Management, Airbnb and former Deputy CIA Deputy Chief of Staff)
About the Author
Rachel Botsman is a world-renowned expert on an explosive new era of trust and technology and what this means for life, work and how we do business. An award-winning author, speaker and lecturer at Oxford University's Saïd Business School. She writes and comments regularly for The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and more. She's also a contributing editor at Wired.
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As society and the world of business change so rapidly it's important to keep up with the implications, both good and bad, for our lives. In many cases we don't even realise these implications exist.
Rachel Botsman's book is an outstanding analysis of the current state of trust in our platform driven world, and the implications for both individuals and society.
If you're already reading the reviews I assume this is a subject that interests you - so no need to wonder if this book is worth it, it is...totally.
The old models of leadership and trust are disintegrating. This is an exciting time to be alive !
Keep that thought in mind as you consider this broad claim by Rachel Botsman in the Introduction: “We are at the start of the third, biggest revolution in the history of humankind.” The first two – local and then institutional -- are identified in context. Her focus is on the third. “still very much in its infancy, is [begin italics] distributed [end italics]. A trust need not mean the previous forms will be completely superseded; only that the new form will become more dominant.”
Botsman wrote this book in order help her reader understand the implications of this new trust era: “who will benefit, who will lose, and what the fallout might be.”
The material in Chapter 4, “Where Does the Buck Stop?, is of special interest to me. Botsman locks in on Uber and Airbnb, two communities that seem to represent potential for both the best and worst of distributed trust and mistrust between and among everyone involved in each transaction. She addresses important issues that include reliability (fulfilling expectations), accountability (keeping promises and correcting screw ups), and protection (platforms to mitigate the risk of bad things happening). “When it comes to trust in distributed systems, we need to know who will tell the truth about a product, service, or piece of news, and who to blame if that trust is broken. Where does the buck stop? In this new era, people are still working that out.” This chapter all by itself is worth far more than the cost of the book.
Recall the remarks by Confucius to one of his disciples. Obviously Botsman agrees that, without an understanding of how trust is built, managed, lost, and repaired, “a society cannot survive, and it certainly cannot thrive. Trust is fundamental to almost every action, relationship and transaction.”
Moreover, “The emerging trust shift isn’t simply a story of dizzying upsurge in technology or the rise of new business models. It’s a social and cultural revolution. It’s about us. And it matters.”
Yes, what Marshall McLuhan once characterized as our “global village” has become more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous than at any prior time that any of us can remember. Trust or mistrust now flows between and among individuals, enabled by increasingly more efficient and more effective technologies. For example, those involved with AI, IoT, and automation.
“Distributed trust needs us to allow space for a [begin italics] trust pause [end italics], an interval in which to stop and think before we automatically click, swipe, share, and accept.”
Who we can trust will largely depend on what we can trust. That is why understanding the system is so important. And that is why the information, insights, and counsel that Rachel Botsman provides in this book are essential.