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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The latest exposure by Wikileaks of thousands of secret documents about the aftermath of the Iraq war has once again provoked debate about transparency and the implications of the indiscriminate cascade of disclosure. Exposures like these and notoriously, the MP expenses scandal before the last election, have fostered the belief that transparency is now a necessary condition for a functioning democracy.
Transparency advocates argue that the public disclosure of information is more important than the right to privacy because it is vital to rebuild trust, that this is impossible if politicians continue to “hide secrets” from the public, that democracy is a sham unless it is forced into honesty by radical campaigners like Julian Assange, pictured right.
But does this compulsive desire to publish every note, leak every memo, really do anything to bolster trust in society?
The short answer is that it does the opposite: it fuels mistrust rather than nurturing a climate of trust. It breeds suspicion and fosters secrecy.
Read it all.
Update: If you missed it, make sure to see "The Web Means the End of Forgetting" by Jeffrey Rosen, which was posted back in the summer, as it covers the theme from another angle.
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