Design from Trust Requires Thoughtful Design

Design from Trust doesn't spring forth naturally. It isn't the default condition for human societies.

In fact, it appears that Design from Trust was more common long ago, before we became "civilized." but that's a longer story.

The tl;dr: Long ago, many societies around the planet figured out a wide variety of ways to organize their activities that involved much hard-won wisdom. "Hard-won" because many other social groups managed to extinct themselves, often by exhausting natural resources. (Sometimes they were extincted by others, which is yet a different thread.)

In countless cultures, people learned what plants had medicinal properties, where to go when the ocean receded sharply (uphill! tsunami!), how to burn the land carefully in ways that made it more productive, how to bring miscreants back into the tribe without having to kill or ostracize them, how to allocate surplus fairly to families who most need it, how to get the cyanide out of cassava to make it edible, when and how to grow different plants to minimize pests and maximize yields, and much more. (See Indigenous Ways of Knowing.)

Most of the examples I've just cited are pre-literate, which means these insights were passed down orally, through the equivalent of apprenticeships, or through cultural instruments like songs, poems, rituals or songlines.

What about now?