The WoT – revisited

My previous post on the WoT did not provide a clear indication of my understanding, and also had some erroneous statements. This is an improved summary of what I know about WoT.

There are 2 ‘processes’ to note regarding the concept of the WoT:

  1. Assigning a rating to a person you know, who will become a part of your WoT. Everything constituting any sort of connection between you and somebody in your WoT is reduced to a single number – the rating. This means that the definition of the number is obviously variable from person to person, and could even vary based on circumstance, state of mind and lunar phases for that matter. This rating represents what that person means to you in whatever way you like. In turn, you will (hopefully) receive a rating.
  2. The process of building your WoT, i.e trust in the community, in the way you desire. This is entirely under your control.

The WoT ratings, well the connectivity graph can be used to generate valuable information about the credibility equation for a hitherto unknown entity. This could even include the indication that no useful information is available regarding the unknown entity in your WoT. Extending even beyond an unknown entity, the WoT provides a relatively inexpensive infrastructure to formulate a probability based 1 reduction of the unknowns, which in turn aids in the credibility assessment.

The rating does not eliminate the unknowns. Nor does the subsequent interactions between you and somebody in your WoT have to guarantee any sort of result (by virtue of being present in your WoT). In fact, discounting the legal binding and words on a signed piece of paper – there is never any ‘true’ guarantee that somebody will fulfill their obligations in any kind of interaction, with or without the WoT.

The WoT does not claim to be such a instrument either. The rating itself is enabling a social graph, and the process of building trust is shaped by each individual’s approach in doing so. Other than the said key pair – the system does not demand or require any additional information.

As diana_coman said – … the failure-insurance; the world never hands a failure-insurance, there is no such thing.

Okay – what if that information ‘gathered’ from the WoT was biased in a way that is not recognizable? Is the WoT system/rating really universal in the sense that it is lucid to indicate when it won’t work / help?

The answer can be gathered from this article, and it is worth referring to this footnote. Through the WoT connectivity graph the extent of overlapping connections can be seen. Though, what anybody infers from the rating is subjective – some fundamental conclusions are not unfathomable, as explained here, and here. These can be used as building blocks to extract the information needed. In essence, the WoT will always convey some information, and the inference and subsequent action plan is generated by you.

Ultimately, it is what you are able to derive from the people in your WoT and the ratings, which determines how well it works for you.

Footnotes:

1  to the extent possible, which is also governed by your imagination and capabilities.

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