Friday, April 11, 2014

the transparency factor

Judging by a Reuters news story, Kuwait may or may not have its own version of Edward Snowden on its hands.

The Gulf state has banned all public references to a recording that implicates unnamed people in a plot to overthrow the government.
The topic has featured extensively in local media and prompted a rare statement from the ruler's office this week, which told people to stop discussing the case in order to preserve national unity.
If it's not the Vatican trying to squelch access to the embarrassing, up-the-chain-of-command evidence of priest sexual abuse or the Department of Homeland Security hinting vaguely at "terrorists" behind every lamp post or the Israelis hollering righteously when someone points out their vile treatment of Palestinians ... well, I guess every institution defends the status quo and wants to be thought well of, even when the evidence tells a less lustrous story.

Preserving national unity ... preserving personal comfort ... maybe it's just woven into human DNA. But just because institutions writhe and rebut and spin-doctor is not a good reason for individuals to do the same. Aside from anything else, check out the hapless flounderings of the institutional world ... is there some reason to emulate actions held in low esteem?

Abraham Lincoln said something along the lines of, "You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Is there some compelling reason to go on fooling yourself?

I have come to distrust individuals and institutions that promote "transparency:" Too often the promotion takes up so much time that there is none left over for being transparent.

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