Tap Dancing On A Minefield

“They say it can’t be won,  the way the game is run.   But if you choose to stay,  you’ll wind up playing anyway.”

Do you trust me?   I’ve been thinking a lot about trust lately.   The guys at connect.me  had a pretty good idea– that trust should be based on inter-personal recommendations.    But as Saul has pointed out,  the foxes are already in that hen house.  (Full disclosure– I am a connect.me trust anchor.   I honestly don’t know what that means.)   While I certainly wish the connect.me  team well  I honestly don’t see that site as having any major effect on trustworthiness online.

Even for folks who write dictionaries, trust is not an easy word to define.   For instance,  here is what dictionary.com  has listed for trust:



reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.


confident expectation of something; hope.


confidence in the certainty of future payment for propertyor goods received; credit: to sell merchandise on trust.


a person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.


the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.


I think I’ve most always filed trust into the  “I know it when I see it”  category,  much like the Supreme Court on pornography.   It seems to me that so much of what we do depends a great deal on being able to trust the people we interact with.  I’m convinced that Facebook and Google are dead wrong that knowing someone’s wallet name is a good reason to trust them.    I’ve known  (by their wallet names) a number of people who proved spectacularly un-trustworthy.


I don’t think I am ever going to write a dictionary.  I’m honestly unsure if I will ever be sure of just what trust is.  But I definitely don’t think that any web site is ever going to easily solve the issue of trust.   And sometimes, it seems to me,  social networking is very much like tap dancing in a minefield.  Or living in an old Jackson Browne song.

6 comments on “Tap Dancing On A Minefield

  1. I view trust as a risk assessment.

    I don’t know you, we’ve never met, probably never will. Neither of us use our wallet names, we each have no idea who the other is. Do I trust you… ‘yes’… I trust you in the context of our relationship to date. I’ll open links you post for example.

    I agree with you about wallet names, Emma Geraln means the earth to me, I would never do anything under this name to damage my reputation.

    • Actually. My wallet name is at the top of the About page on this site. I’m not trying to keep my given name a secret. For me it was actually the fact that an orthopedic surgeon in Ohio has the first 15 pages or so of Google results locked up with journal articles and stuff…Libdrone is my own creation and I’m the only one of them 🙂

  2. You are spot on with your title “Tap dancing on a minefield” when trying to define or even understand trust.

    I have been as often, badly let down by people I trusted in the past as I have been pleasantly surprised by others I initially distrusted.

    My experience tells me that it is possible to like but not trust some people and trust but not like others.

    As for trusting people on social media sites, I do not know if I give it too much thought, I think I have a neutral, or fluid position on whether I trust them or not until something arises that sways my opinion one way or the other.

    A major factor in swaying that opinion is how consistent the person is over time. Is he or she swaying with the wind of popular opinion or standing fast to his or her on-line personality.

    Now I am going to show my contrary side. I would almost certainly trust my two worthy adversaries from our pot stirring debate last week because as much as I might disagree with their views, they nailed their colours to the mast and their resolution did not waver. So while I might not trust them running the country for example, I would trust them 100% to do whatever they said they would do in most matters.

    Switching topics, your background photo today looks just like the field around my house and barn after 3 warm days, melting snow and now rain.

    • The post that will explain the background photo will go live in about half an hour. Fascinating that you would readily trust the women you disagreed with. (I confess that I wrote this post at the last minute and just kind of threw it up there. I don’t consider it one of my better ones.)

      • You are correct, it seems an oxymoron, but trusting people we disagree with and vice-versa, is probably a lot more common than we might at first think. It is a subject I am going to delve into on my own blog.

        Think about some of the people we have to do interact with in business and dealing with bureaucracy. Some delightful people are totally untrustworthy, but other despicable characters can be trusted to do their job with complete reliability.

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