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Trust, but Verify

I saw a post about common human sayings being weird to aliens, and another post about the concept of being a “rules lawyer” and finding loopholes and adding fine print being foreign concepts to aliens, and it made me think of one of my favorite axioms, “Trust, but verify.”  A Russian proverb made famous by Ronald Reagan in the context of nuclear disarmament, it is a pithy distillation of a very real trend among humans.  If a prisoner behaves well and presents themselves as worthy of trust, we will release them, but only on the condition that we verify, via check-ins with a parole officer.  

On a personal level –

“Human-Clark, why are you installing a camera in your room?”

“Well, the doors on this ship don’t lock.”

“… and?”

“I need to make sure no one messes with my stuff.”

“But… every member of the crew has sworn the same oath, to support and respect each other.  No crew member would take from another!”

“Well, yeah.  I’m just making sure.  Can’t be too careful.”

– and on an intergalactic level.

“Ambassador Human-Terrance, why are human ships in these systems?”

“They’re making sure the unaffiliated systems aren’t building their navies.”

“Ambassador, even the unaffiliated systems signed the Polaris Accords.”

“I understand that.  We’re just making sure they abide by it.”

“Have you received intelligence that they are violating the treaty?!”

“Not at all.”


So that’s another contradiction in humanity.  We’ll go up and hug the two-ton predator animal and call it a “good kitty”, but we also install cameras and spy on our closest allies on the off chance they might betray us.

Dishonest hypocritical pastor loses it all.

I use to be very religious. At the end of that period in my life, I became involved with a new church that was pastored by a charismatic young pastor who seemingly had everything going for him. But the fucker was greedy. Too greedy. As the saying goes: “pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.” Pastor Hog got slaughtered.

My wife and I were looking for a church. An old friend invited us to a new church that was energetic and full of friends. We started attending regularly and eventually became involved with the leadership of the church.

After a while, I started to become uneasy around the pastor. The way he communicated with people just rubbed me the wrong way. I slowly realized that he was a manipulator and compulsive liar. Quick with an overzealous compliment but slow to explain himself when issues arose.

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We’re taking questions about social media & mental health

As researchers and advocacy groups examine the impact of social media usage on mental health, they are discovering both positives and negatives. While social media fosters community and allows people to connect in ways that are possible only because of the Internet, social media can also come with risks– bullying, harassment, and language of hate. This Tumblr Issue Time discussion brings together panelists from media, advocacy, and healthcare to discuss the relationship between social media and mental health, explore the positive effects it has on community, and examine solutions for how you might mitigate or address some of the negative risks. 

Our panelists will answer your questions in an Issue Time right here on @postitforward on Tuesday, May 30th. Ask anything you’d like. 

The Ask box is open now!

You can read more about our panelists after the jump,

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