Monday, November 29, 2010

The Wikipedia Blowback Machine

Over the past half century the government has increasingly marked documents as 'secret', essentially shielding them from critical reading or challenge, and ever-increasing amounts of dubious documents were labeled as such for exactly those reasons. 300-page 'reports' emerged from one door, blinked in the sun hardly long enough for anyone to read the titles, and then disappeared into another door, effectively, forever.

And then, one day, this dustbin of history exploded, scattering the 'secret' collection of secrets, rumors, information, and disinformation across the landscape- the real-life analogue of the moment that Jack Nicholson's wife, in The Shining discovers that the novel he is writing consists of the single sentence "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" written over and over and over.

A few people will be momentarily embarrassed by the releases, but all will take consolation from the fact that it can't possibly all be true. The only real secret they were hoping to protect is the fact that the US government has SFB, but the cat's out of the bag now.

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