Media discussions of privacy, freedom and the information age are starting to get more interesting, as folks finally start to realize a core truth… that everything eventually leaks. That the reflex of whining and demanding shadows to hide-in will never work. The data we entrust to banks and retail chains? The trade secrets that companies rely on for competitive advantage? The cherished spy programs of our governmental professional protector caste (PPC)? If these do not leak because of hackers, or accidents, then would-be (or self-styled) whistle-blowers will see to it, sooner or later.
It has long been pointed out that information is not like other commodities. It can duplicate itself at virtually zero cost, and those copies can escape even without you noticing it’s happened. That is Fact Number One. Everything eventually leaks.
Fact number two is one I’ve tried to point out for decades. That this is fundamentally a clash of values and civilizations. The Western Enlightenment (WE) has always been the rebel and underdog, versus the 99% standard human (and zero-sum) pattern of top down control by hierarchs. (There was never much functional difference between leftist-communist oligarchies and right-wing wealth-inheritance oligarchies; both hewed to the endlessly-repeated feudal model.) In contrast, the positive-sum WE has many disadvantages and instabilities, though it is also vastly more creative, successful and productive. The one trait that tips the balance, though, is Fact Number Two:
All enemies of the WE are lethally allergic to light. Go ahead and name one. If it is not allergic to light, then it probably is not an “enemy” at all, but a peaceful rival that can easily beincorporated into the diversity-friendly WE. (Indeed, the “western” part is already fading away.)
Which provokes our core question… is the world of information leakage one that we should (at a fundamental level) be fighting against… at all? Or actively encouraging?