This is an article written by Cyber Republic community writer omoemm, originally written in Medium. Omemm is a contributor to the Canadian and Belgium communities.
Trust defines us
During our whole life, we interact with other humans. We share feelings, thoughts, services and sometimes goods. We do it because we trust our fellow human being. We trust our family and friends (hopefully). We are able to build a rich life of sharing thanks to this.
Trust is a core component of any human life. This is true for a single human, but it is also true on a broader scale. We built villages, roads, cities, railways, electrical networks, we developed ways to communicate instantly across the globe, we went to space. These technological leaps are way beyond the ability of a single human. It is only through collaboration through months, years and sometimes lives that all this can be undertaken. To collaborate on a large scale we need trust. We need to trust the workers, the suppliers, the planners, the entrepreneurs and every single person that contribute to the masterpiece. The people we are working with provide their brain, strength and willingness to our projects because they also trust another human being somewhere in the chain.
Trust is not an easy thing to build. Hopefully humans are hard wired to develop tools to build trust. One example of such a tool we developed is the language. Another tool is the mind itself. All around the globe humans developed mind tricks that led them to trust strangers. These mind tricks are what I will call myths. By collectively believing to a same myth, humans start to trust each other. They can because they know they share a common set of values and beliefs. These myths are omnipresent in our lives : see the religions, the nations, the money. They all exist only within our minds. They are nothing but ideas. Since we collectively believe they do exist, they do exist. They are part of our lives and do have tremendous influences. Myths are powerful. Good or evil.
Trust is not an easy thing to build. Hopefully humans are hard wired to develop tools to build trust.
Throughout the span of history and as humanity evolves, it seems that these myths are slowly (we are talking centuries here) but surely merging.
- Languages that could differ from village to village are slowly grouping into single languages shared by huge populations. If you are not a native English speaker like myself, you will probably notice that your own language is influenced by the most spoken languages : French is influenced by English and vice-versa.
- Money that could differ from village to village is slowly merging, every country uses fiat money pegged to another fiat money. Gold is accepted everywhere.
- Religions that could differ from village to village are also slowly looking alike, the monotheists religions digested most of the animist cults that existed.
Humanity is slowly becoming more homogeneous. There is no conscious decision leading that evolution. It is simply more efficient. I assume that humans at some point in the near future will never suffer from barrier languages anymore because it is simply more efficient. Either we will speak the same language or we will develop a real time translation tool. Humanity is naturally looking for the most efficient protocol of communication.
Humanity is slowly becoming more homogeneous. There is no conscious decision leading that evolution. It is simply more efficient.
The Internet allows us to accelerate this whole process of exchanges that lie at the heart of our lives. With that tool, we share feelings, thoughts, services and sometimes goods. The Internet brings a lot of improvements in our lives: I can write to my family across the globe, I can learn things that I could never have envisioned, I can share these thoughts with you the reader without knowing you. The Internet is powerful. Good or evil.
However, the Internet has flaws. We all know that the feelings and thoughts that we share on the social media immediately become part of databases owned by private corporations. We also know that services such as house renting and car driving are held in the hands of private corporations. We also know that buying digital goods such as video games or e-books only give us access to databases owned by private corporations: I can not give my preferred e-book to my little brother after I read it. I can not resell my video game after I finished it even though I supposedly own it.
All these human needs I have cannot be fulfilled with the current Internet without sacrificing something along the way: privacy, middle-man fees, ownership, etc. At some point, the development of the Internet took a wrong path.
Just like it was necessary in the past to have a Roman empire to build roads and develop civilization. These private corporations were necessary in the evolution of humanity. In the past the empire had a cost: humans were killed, cultures were destroyed and wars were waged. Today using the services of private corporations has a cost. We pay it unknowingly when we use their services. This cost is much more subtle but is far from negligible: it is by capturing this cost that these corporations could grow powerful and rich. This cost is made of our data, our privacy, our lack of ownership. However, these data are intrinsically ours. This wealth is ours. We deserve ownership of our data and our digital goods. We deserve to share feelings, thoughts, services and sometimes goods on the Internet freely and without sacrifice.
All these human needs I have, they can not be fulfilled with the current Internet without sacrificing something along the way.
We need a new Internet.
We need to introduce a layer of trust in our online life that has never been seen before.
We need an open protocol that is designed and built by the people for the people.
We need to regroup ourselves and build this masterpiece.
We need it because sharing feelings, thoughts, services and sometimes goods defines us.
This is why dear reader, I am a citizen of the Cyber Republic. This is why I contribute to the Elastos vision. If you have any will and any skill, join the Cyber Republic. We are waiting for you.
I would like to give a shout out to this book : “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”. A masterpiece that I deeply recommend. The ideas presented in that book influenced me and some are found in this piece of thought.