Use of metaphors LO5616
Wed, 14 Feb 1996 11:15:30 -0500

Replying to LO5547 --

To David Hurst, who was responding to Michael McMaster.

Micheal said:
>the equivalent of "TRUST" in biological systems...
>they are ... tightly coupled... and the issue does not arise.

David said:
>I don't think I agree with that. It might be fruitful to pursue
>the notion that the biological analogue of "trust" in social
>system is the immune system, which rejects 'foreign"
>organs and infections.

I would tend to agree with Michael that the tight coupling is important.

I also find that I must agree with David, when he says: "Trust deals with
relationships between entities..." But I find I can't agree with the last
part of David's statements, in which he says "... not the entities."

In my view, "trust" is an emergent property/behaviour that results from
the tight interrelationships of two or more independent entities, in which
BOTH the entities and the relationships are critical. Generally, we need
to take a look at trust as an emergent property of some animal (including
human) social systems.

The dynamics of cooperation have been studied in game theory for a number
of years and I think we can begin to see how "trust" can emerge in systems
in which there is a long-term relationship between the individual
entities/members of that system.

For those interested in reading more about the dynamics of cooperation,
there was was an interesting article in Scientific American on the
mathematics (and simulation) of the dynamics of cooperation a couple of
months ago. I'd recommend it.

Peter von Stackelberg
Applied Futures, Inc.


Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>