Trusting Certifications, Keeping People Honest

There are many certifications in our society. From jobs to food, it’s everywhere. When something is certified, it garners a level of trust. We don’t verify what is trusted, because it’s certified to be something so we just accept that it’s that way.

You have a Microsoft certification? Then you can apply for certain jobs others can’t.
You have Cisco certification? Then the same applies.

Employers will only give you the time of day if you have the certification. You’ve been marked as a superior product in the human resources department of life. Once you’re certified, it’s like you passed a test. It’s like having a degree to “prove” you know something. But do you? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t, but other will think you do, because you have been certified with a degree or some such.

What if you just give yourself a certification or degree? People would still accept it as valid, unless they do some verifications. They could look up your certification at Pearson Vue, or another certification institution, or look up if you actually graduated from the school you got your degree from. Otherwise, if someone doesn’t verify a claim, then it’s a trust based on belief that someone has a degree or certification.

We as human resources, the workforce, are graded, and so too is our food. Organic produce has a certified organic label.

If you buy organic produce, then that means the producer of the who grows the crops is passing a test to get the label of approval. They can’t use certain methods to grow their food. They can’t use some types of fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, etc. The food tends to cost more for less harmful pesticides to be used, and for more care to the health of the food being passed onto human consumption.

But how do you know if it’s organic or not? We don’t really know, we just trust that those who have the label are getting it legitimately. We trust the regulating agency that gives out organic labels to producers to be honest and doing their jobs to provide consumers with products that are certified to be of a certain quality or grade based on how they are grown compared to other produce.

Maybe a company gets the organic certification, but then starts to use methods they aren’t allow to in order to have that certification. Organic certification is paid for, it’s not free. Individuals could be paid off to give false certifications as well, and we wouldn’t know.

If you grow organic, then it’s organic. But you can’t sell it as organic, unless you pay for the certification and go through the process of being certified. If there were no certification authorities, any one could say something is organic, even if it wasn’t, because many people just want to make money and don’t care about being honest about what they are selling. So the consumer would be buying something that isn’t what they are told it is.

It would be great if we could trust people and businesses to be honest about what they are selling us. But since that’s not the reality of the way people choose to operate, we have to trust in authorities to make sure businesses and people are honest.

We trust the label. We trust the certification. But we haven’t verified if it is what it claims to be. We don’t have testers to test the fruits and vegetables for certain pesticides. I think it would be handy if we could. Imagine not having to rely on an authority to certify and tell you something is a certain way, and trusting their word, or trusting a label that technically anyone can use. We would be able to check to see if some product is really living up to the standards that they are claiming to.

This would be very handy, since even if someone is honest and grows organic, that doesn’t mean the grocery store or corner shop will be. How easy is it to just take a non-organically grown produce and stick an organic label on it? I don’t know, but I think you could probably buy some organic stickers from someone who is dishonest and just trying to make some money, not caring about the effects of their actions.

Can we also use a tester for people and check to see if someone is living up to the standards they claim to be? Unlike a device to sample and test for chemicals and verify if a product is organic, people can’t be verified that way. If we don’t have the knowledge, we can’t verify if they have it either. But we could access an institute and see if someone has the certification or degree they claim.

What if there was a huge database or blockchain that had everyone’s certified qualifications listed and accessible for anyone on the planet? But, even if it’s in the immutable ledger, it would only be writable by an authority, otherwise anyone could fake their own certification and people would blindly trust the blockchain data.

Maybe it could work if there were multiple verification links between people, and if a business or person had many sources of verification from people that were trusted, it would have a higher degree of trust in the certification listed. Those who are trusted to validate others have a reputation for doing honest work, and they validate businesses or people. As more of these trusted validators certify someone, they get accepted as certified in the blockchain.

I dream of an ideal day where we can be evolved in consciousness and not want to rip people off, cheat them, or lie to get ahead in a job or to make money. Where people won’t be out to exploit others just so they can get ahead, where harm to others and creating negative consequences has people stop before they do something because they care about not doing wrong.

Are we going to be forever stuck with authorities to trust in and make sure others are being honest? Despite being centralized, at least certification authorities aren’t the centralized governmental authority that has so much control over out lives and creates negative things in our lives. A certification institution doesn’t have that power, only the power to say someone is or isn’t certified.