No, it's not "accountability"
A lot of conservative and libertarian types
are missing the point about whistleblowers. They talk about the disinfectant of sunlight. They foolishly assume that myths like "democracy" and "laws" exist. They hope public knowledge will create this mysterious "accountability" which has never existed before and never will exist.
Nope. That's not the point, and that's not why whistleblowers and unofficial leakers are important.
One word: Blackmail.
More words: Knowledge is like any other commodity. When supply is tightly restricted and demand is high, value goes up.
Conspiracies need BLACKMAIL to function. This is literally and concretely true for intel outfits like CIA or GCHQ, which use their knowledge to kill and force compliance. When their secret methods and sources and circuits are publicly known, their power is reduced. It's true in a more subtle way for conspiracies like Michael Mann's climate criminals. When conspirators KNOW how to falsify data and misuse graphs and manipulate peer review, the conspirators can leverage their knowledge to gain power.
Even polling is blackmail, as the DNC leaks showed us. Polls were intentionally distorted by oversampling to create an impression of unbreakable consensus and power, which demoralized the Sanders faction and "disproved" the obvious cheating. No, we didn't win those caucuses by corrupt miscounting; you can see from the polls that you were losing anyway.
When competitors and ordinary folks ALSO know what the conspirators know, the knowledge loses its blackmail value and the conspirators lose their magic criminal superpowers.
That's why leaks are important. Leaks break the monopoly of rarity and increase the supply.
That's also why you need to maintain and trust your own independent knowledge
of the universe. When you have your own direct experiential knowledge,
you decrease the demand for the criminal's knowledge.
Labels: Experiential education, Metrology