An interesting piece I found on Bruce Schneier’s blog that talks about security and trust, specifically with regards to the security of your passwords and hopefully, a password manager. There certainly are problems and potential issues with regards to security and passwords, no matter how you choose to manage those.
However the part of the article that caught my eye was the opening, where it says “All these other industries we rely on have evolved codes of conduct, regulations, and ultimately laws to ensure minimum quality, reliability and trust. In this light, I find the modern technosphere’s complete disdain for obtaining and retaining trust baffling, arrogant and at times enraging.”
Is that true? I know we find that there are more systems in place in pharmaceutical, construction, and other professions. These independent groups can provide some certification, evaluation, and standards for their members and practitioners.  I’m not sure how much more trust there is in these fields, and sometimes I think it’s just an illusion of more standards and practices. We find all sorts of moral, and professional failures in these businesses, though perhaps more accountability in the legal sense.
Is it because these professions are more mature? Perhaps. In some sense, I think many of these fields benefit from the reality of their products and services. We can see, hear, feel, and touch the effects of decisions and actions in most fields. We can interact with our technological systems, but in many cases the complexity behind simple interactions is more like magic to most people that we’d care to admit.
Plus we seem to be quite willing to build things that don’t work well, and then quickly change them to respond to issues. In some cases we might be more like the people that build quasi-useful products hawked on late night television than the engineers that construct bridges.
Steve Jones

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1 Response to Trust

  1. It doesn’t hurt that many people in other professions can lose their ability to work (through license revocation) or even go to jail if they fail to uphold certain codes.

    I often wonder how much of it is exactly because what we do has no physical product. I think that a lot of it, too, is because our industry doesn’t really care about our history (as well put by Alan Kay:


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