Good idea, but don't expect too much
Posted Feb 18, 2010 16:05 UTC (Thu) by drag
In reply to: Good idea, but don't expect too much
Parent article: Trust, but verify
If you blindly trust a doctor your doing it wrong. If you blindly trust a mechanic your a setting
When I need a car worked on I either do it myself if I can manage (oil changes, brake pad
changes, etc etc.. things that are easy) or I have very specific couple of shops that I know that
are trustworthy. I am willing to put myself in a great deal of inconvenience in order to go to a
mechanic I can trust. They are worth their weight in gold and very often carry a premium for
Same thing with Doctors. Don't blindly trust them. Do not believe what they tell you is true, do
not trust the drugs they prescribe to you are safe. You look up that stuff on the internet. I
mean, seriously, why do experts always recommend for you to get a second opinion on
anything that is remotely serious?
Plenty of times doctors have ignored symptoms that ended up killing patients. They prescribe
drugs that kill their customers. Anybody with half a brain knows that they have to rely on their
own judgment for many things since even if the people they are working with are wonderful
and have their best interests in heart they can still make mistakes.
That is the 'Trust But Verify' for doctors.. 'Get a Second Opinion'. That is fundamental
requirement. Is it foolproof? NOPE. But it's important. If you have a problem and you get
something that sounds funny from your current doctor then you hire a second, unrelated,
doctor to get his opinion.
And there are times I've gotten unsafe food from the supermarket. Had stuff go rotten or be
rotten in containers even if the date on the packaging says otherwise. I know that different
stores are more trustworthy then others and some stores have fresher food or higher quality
produce then others.
Hell you can see that in the rise of 'Whole Foods' types stores were they provide higher quality
food then the average supermarket. Not all of them are equal.
And on top of that some of the food they sell is not safe to you. Things like IceCream, while a
treat, have a very similar effect to a slow poison on the human body. If you blindly choose
your foods on what looks good and what tastes good then you're going to end up fat and
So on and so forth. It's not that these people are evil. But it's simply a requirement of a
healthy society that it's citizens have a healthy skepticism and be willing to put the effort into
understanding what is going on around them.
It's not that you don't trust them. Its that you do what you can, in your limited way, to make
you can trust them.
A central authority like Verizon can actually make everything worse. Anybody with some cash
can pay to get 'trusted'. It does not matter who. A official government-recorded corporation
can be created with as little as 200-300 dollars and a couple signatures. A P.O. box or trustee
can be a official address.
They give the illusion that a website is safe, when really you have no idea. That authority can
be used to shield and make dishonest people seem legitimate. It's used all the time.
Drug companies use the FDA to make their stuff seem safe, when it really is not. Same thing
with food. People trust the FDA to protect them so some dishonest people use that
perception against you.
So things like central commercial certificate authorities do not have the ability, desire, or
resources to make sure that a website is 'safe'. All the cert means is that the company is legit
enough to pay somebody money to sign their cert and that you probably have secure
communications with that host. Hell.. they could be completely honest folks, but have some
crappy webserver that allows for cross sight scripting attacks.
When you buy something online from a store you've never used... do you not google around
and see if you can find some sort of history or users complaining about that store? Do you
not check your accounts to make sure that payments taken out are correct?
That is 'trust but verify'
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