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If this blog were Us magazine, we'd say: Hunter-gatherers, we're just like them.

Because seriously, we are.

Here's the story. Humans today live and work in communities with vast numbers of folks we're not related to.

And we often quite happily cooperate and share knowledge with strangers or mere acquaintances. These exchanges allow us to innovate and develop increasingly complex technologies.

How Can Trusting Strangers Fuel An Economy?

May 15, 2015

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Trust And Consequences

About Rachel Botsman's TED Talk

The new currency of this economy is trust, says Rachel Botsman. Companies that rely on sharing invest in what Botsman calls "reputation capital."

About Rachel Botsman

Eighteen years ago, Dean Karlan was a fresh, bright-eyed graduate student in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He wanted to answer what seemed like a simple question:

"Does global aid work?" Karlan says.

He was reading a bunch of studies on the topic. But none of them actually answered the question. "We were tearing our hair out reading these papers because it was frustrating," he says. "[We] never really felt like the papers were really satisfactory."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The latest robot sensation in Japan is so lifelike that when she was on the floor of a Tokyo department store recently, she was confused for a human being. The new humanoid's name is Aiko Chihira, and she was working in customer service, clad in a traditional silk kimono.

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