Re: high and low-trust societies

Date: Sun Feb 11 2001 - 13:41:08 MST

In a message dated 2/11/01 8:12:53 AM, writes:

>Contrast this with what you see in classically low-trust groups that lack
>strong values of a civil society (adopting Fukuyama's terminology). One
>pushing and shoving in lines, because individuals harbor a feeling that if
>they won't, others will cheat and take an unfair advantage of their patience.

I noticed an impressive example of high-trust in that paragon of progress,
Silicon Valley. When I was there in the mid-90's, I would see people line up
their cars over a mile on the shoulder of the northbound 101, waiting to
make the turn onto the eastbound Dunbarton bridge. "Cheaters" could
stay in the right lane of the freeway and get into line just before the
I know, because that's what I did the first time I drove it. Nonetheless,
obviously most people did it, because otherwise there'd have been an
equally long line in the right lane. I thought it was very gracious, as it
kept an entire mile of traffic off the freeway. I was happy to join in
the line afterwards.

I've never seen anything like that in metro LA. On several occaisions when
I've participated in something like that, I end up barely moving, as cheaters
come as quickly as the bottleneck lets cars through. Ain't just a feeling,
it's reality.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:39 MDT