Trust Without Teachers

But what kind of custodian of knowledge and trust is Google? For centuries, universities and academies have served this cultural function. They were bulwarks against falsehood and institutions for truth. They did not always live up to the epistemic and ethical ideals they propounded, but one of their primary tasks was to make facts and beliefs correspond. In important ways, then, universities are the cultural forebears of Facebook and Google.

What was the nature of the trust granted these institutions? If Google's engineers hope to ground trustworthiness in statistical computation, in what did universities and other institutions of higher learning ground their own trustworthiness? Why did communities, nations, and cultures turn to these institutions for knowledge they could trust?

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