I've been unable to nail down precisely why I don't like how WikiLeaks is releasing hidden, secret, classified, and other categories of U.S. government information. I don't believe the United States deserves the shroud of secrecy that protects incompetent, illegal, and malicious acts; neither do I trust Julian Assange's motives, presentation, or redaction. Every time I try to talk about the issue, it's like a life-or-death game of "paper or plastic bags" at the supermarket.
Thankfully, Clay Shirky has laid bare the cognitive dissonance
and teased apart distinctly different ideas that are being lumped into single categories:
As Tom Slee puts it, "Your answer to 'what data should the government make public?' depends not so much on what you think about data, but what you think about the government." My personal view is that there is too much secrecy in the current system, and that a corrective towards transparency is a good idea. I don't, however, believe in pure transparency, and even more importantly, I don't think that independent actors who are subject to no checks or balances is a good idea in the long haul.
I am conflicted about the right balance between the visibility required for counter-democracy and the need for private speech among international actors. Here's what I'm not conflicted about: When a government can't get what it wants by working within the law, the right answer is not to work outside the law. The right answer is to accept that it can't get what it wants.
Photo by Joi Ito via Creative Commons.
Embattled President Donald Trump has chosen Army Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster as national security adviser, replacing the disgraced and resigned Michael Flynn, whose name is stained with the still murky Russia scandal.America’s status, folks? It’s complicated.
Via John Aravosis: “Does no one in that White House do any advance work at all? Look closely. They’re just sloppy.”
Tiny Trumps is a new subreddit page that features the little fella in his daily life. From Melania making sure he doesn’t take a tumble to Obama doing his best not to laugh to Trumpkin entertaining Justin Trudeau, Tiny Trumps is my current go-to when I need a good chuckle.
Python is immensely popular in the data science world for the same reason it is in most other areas of computing—it has highly readable syntax and is suitable for anything from short scripts to massive web services. One of its most exciting, newest applications, however, is in machine learning. You can dive into this booming […]
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Instead of throwing out all the empties after your next party, why not transform them into some new DIY glassware? Cut back on waste and add some home ambiance with the Kinkajou Bottle Cutter and Candle Making Kit.The Kinkajou is designed as a clamp-on scoring blade to make precise cuts. Just slide a bottle in, tighten […]