The Ultimate Value: Trust

The nuclear disaster in Japan is illustrating — yet again — what happens when trust is violated or is allowed to rot:

Doubting Assurances, Japanese Find Radioactivity on Their Own

The corrosion of trust, at first aimed at faceless bureaucrats and lawmakers in distant Tokyo, now includes governors, mayors and city councils as well, a potentially unsettling trend because it pits neighbors against neighbors. That trust may also be hard to restore: under pressure from concerned citizens, bureaucrats in Tokyo have expanded their monitoring, but many people doubt that the government’s standards are safe or that officials are doing a thorough enough job of testing.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.


“We need to do strict research to make people feel assured,” said Keiichi Miho, the mayor of Nihonmatsu, a city of 60,000 people west of the Daiichi plant. The mayor is one of a growing number of local officials who have tackled the issue directly, spending millions of dollars on steps like creating a radiation map of his city. “That’s the only way to regain credibility.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Once the trust of the public has been shaken (hello, AirBNB, the latest example among others), it takes extraordinary measures to repair the breach.

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Filed under Collapse, Disaster, Pottersville

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