Uri Bram: I'm very glad to be here today with Phares Kariuki, technologist and entrepreneur -- I've been telling people for years that you're my favourite philosopher of technology and it's great to be able to interview you. Phares, what are you thinking about these days?
Phares Kariuki: Thank you Uri for the very kind introduction. My thoughts of late have been focused primarily on the role that trust / justice plays in growing an economy.
There's a direct correlation between trust and economic progress: society isn't trying to ensure that people do what they promise, they simply cooperate.
The secret to the human race isn't so much our intelligence, rather it's our cooperation. The best hunters cooperate; persistence hunting is how human beings evolved in the savannah. Killer whales and African wild dogs also persistence hunt and this leads to some of the highest kill rates of any predators.
Cooperation is based on trust that people will do what they say. We have government to primarily enforce contracts and resolve disputes. When government doesn't do this, people find ways of self governing and end up acting in bad faith - many times to protect themselves as acting in good faith is suboptimal, leading to higher transaction costs when dealing with people in general.