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The Counter Pen

Part of a collection of essays on TRUST by @futurepaul

It’s only β€œtrust” if it comes from the β€œthis could actually harm me if you break my trust” region of France, otherwise it’s just sparkling eye-for-an-eye.

The counter pen is an invention originally marketed to banks, and most associated with banks. It’s a perfect symbol of how banks β€œtrust” people. Which is to say, they don’t actually trust people. A pen chained to a desk. Feel free to write with the pen! But try and walk away with the pen and you’ll discover the catch.

For banks, trust is a numbers game. If I hand out money to enough people, with good enough selection criteria and strong enough enforcement mechanisms, I should profit. Quantifiable risk is a very different flavor of trust.

Posted Oct 1, 2022