Friday, April 29, 2022

Pride’s Pravda

 Pride’s Pravda


The difference between belief and Belief equals the difference between truth and Truth, which equals the difference between pravda and Pravda. The latter is for things called ‘faiths’, but which I call ‘Prides’, as in ‘mortal sin’ and ‘pack of apex feline predators’.

Every religious faith tends to become a Pride, and every nationalism, and every ideology. It can be hard to tell the difference between a faith and a Pride. One rule of thumb is that a faith can laugh at itself, but a Pride dare not.

Capital-B Belief in the Truth of one’s Pride makes sense, in a Stockholm-syndrome way. But it’s wise to leaven your heartfelt loyalty to your Pride’s Pravda with a bit of prudent hypocrisy, just in case the inevitable collapse happens on your watch.


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Three Berkeley Trips

        Three Berkeley Trips

     By a Goat, Sleep, and Abstinence



          I had some wild times during my days in Berkeley, California. The Sixties were long gone by the time I got there, but some of the spirit lingered, and I sought it out. My three trippiest times there had nothing to do with drugs. These three weird experiences were caused by, respectively, a goat, sleep, and abstinence.


          Trip 1, by a Goat

        Or: Thurber’s World


          I was visiting Marion Zimmer Bradley’s house. After a few rounds of dilemma chess with the fantasy writer’s son, I stepped out to their back yard for a stroll and a breath of fresh air.

          It was evening; the zenith had darkened to deep blue, the horizon glowed orange and red. A crescent moon shone, and a few stars, and Venus too.

          I stopped, amazed; for there in front of me stood a goat. An Angora goat, waist-tall, with silky white hair… and a single horn.

He was Lancelot, a successful animal-husbandry experiment by Morning Glory and Otter Zell. At the goat’s birth, they had surgically fused Lancelot’s two hornbuds together; the fused hornbud grew into an imposing monohorn.

          Lancelot was a unicorn. That surgically-modified Angora goat looked like he had stepped out of a medieval tapestry. Morning Glory and Otter Zell claimed that surgery like theirs was entirely possible for the medievals; so perhaps unicorns had been real enough all along.

          Just then, in the evening twilight, with Moon and Venus overhead, that unicorn looked more than real; for Lancelot was eating Marion Zimmer Bradley’s rosebushes. Those of you who have read James Thurber’s stories know the one about the unicorn eating the rosebushes. In that surreal moment, I learned that a visit to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s place can put you in a Thurber story.

          I also learned that unicorn droppings are about one centimeter long and about half a centimeter wide.




          Trip 2, by Sleep

        Or: Which was the Dream?


          I was sitting up in bed, reading a book. It was late, I was tired. Then I noticed something odd; the words of the book were changing and shifting. But why? Then I noticed something even stranger; my eyes were shut. I felt my eyelids firmly sealed together; yet I could see. But how?

I realized that I was asleep and dreaming. Within that lucid dream, I looked up from the book and scanned the room. There was the bookshelf, there were the knick-knacks, there was the couch, there was the computer desk, there were the windows and shades… all dreams.

          Then I willed myself awake. I opened my eyes, and the first thing I noticed was that I was slumped over. I sat up, closed the book, and looked around. Same bookshelf, same knick-knacks, same couch, same computer desk, same windows and shades.

          The two rooms were identical.



          Trip 3, by Abstinence

        Or: Planet of the Boobs


          The nurse said, “You need to schedule another blood test next week.”

          I shrugged. “OK.”

          “And to test hormone levels,” she continued, “you’ll have to abstain from all sexual activity.”

          “All sexual activity? For a week?”


          “Including masturbation?”


          I shrugged. A week without masturbation sounded easy enough. We scheduled the blood test, I went home and put away my one-hand magazines. (These were in the days before the Internet.)

          A day came and went without inconvenience, then another. But on the third day something odd happened. I was walking down Telegraph Avenue, and I noticed that every woman on the street had unusually large breasts. Not just some of the women; all of them. This strange change in half the human population of Berkeley persisted all day, and I realized that it wasn’t them, it was me.

          My perceptions were distorted, due to hormonal imbalance. Every woman’s breasts weren’t really bigger than before; they just seemed that way to me. I was hormone-addled, and seeing things strangely; I knew this, but the knowledge did not decrease the perceptual distortion effect. 

          The effect increased on the fourth day. Every woman, everywhere, had an amazingly ample bosom. I knew that was an illusion, but it was a very convincing illusion. I tried not to look, or seem to notice; but my judgment was probably as impaired as my perception; so if you noticed, then please forgive my peeking, dear women of Berkeley!

          By the fifth and sixth days, I was adrift in an impossible parallel universe of fantastic mammary antigravitation. I knew that I was hallucinating, but still I saw the mirage as plain as day. I was amazed how clear, specific and florid the hallucination was; and as before, knowledge of illusion did not dispel illusion.

          On the seventh day I went to the clinic and gave a blood sample. Then I went home and got out the one-hand magazines.

          The next day, every woman’s breasts were back to normal size.


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

On Creative Defeat

         On Creative Defeat

      Or, Three Little Words



          There comes a moment in any married man’s life when he learns – or is carefully taught – a strange magic spell which, when properly used, turns night into day, storms into rainbows, and misery into joy. Unmarried men will scoff, but I am not exaggerating in the least.

          You learn this incantation, as you do all true magic, in the midst of crisis. You and your spouse have reached an impasse, and the pressure and heat is rising. At the verge of mutual defeat, you suddenly experience an instant of searing insight, and a joyous recognition of the perfect solution. Thus spiritually prepared (for only thus can one even utter the spell) you speak three little words.

          Three little words, and that’s enough. The quarrel ends, and all is peace and joy. And what are these three little words?

          “I love you,” perhaps?  So think unmarried men, romanticists, and other fools! No, any married person of experience knows full well that the Three Magic Words are:

          “You're right, dear!”



Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A Philosophical Disagreement

           A Philosophical Disagreement



          I was at the gas station, paying for a tankful of gasoline, when Gina, the owner, asked me how my wife Sherri is. I said, “Well enough,” and then added that ‘well enough’ is my stock answer to how-are-you.

          Gina, as ever an optimistic extravert, said, “You can do better than that. If you say ‘I feel fantastic’ all day, then by the end of the day you’ll feel fantastic.”

          I, as ever an introverted pessimist, replied, “Ohh no no no no no, that’s not how my so-called mind works. If I say I feel fantastic all day then by the end of the day I’ll feel awful for not feeling fantastic!”



Monday, April 25, 2022

A Glimpse Into My So-Called Mind

           A Glimpse Into My So-Called Mind



I offer this tale as a glimpse into my so-called mind.

Sherri and I were are a fancy restaurant. Across the room was a dinner-party at a big table; and right above it, one of the lamp-shades was just a little bit crooked.

Of course I didn’t cross the room, climb onto the table, walk past the dinner party, and straighten the lamp-shade; but I wanted to.


Friday, April 22, 2022

On Human Speech and Machine Hearing

       On Human Speech and Machine Hearing

          Brought to you by “That I Know How List I’m”



What The Human Said, According to Audio Recording:

Hi James Peacock this is Nathaniel Hellerstein, calling from 415-***-****, I am told I am to give in, uh, textbook orders for Fall, I'll be teaching Math 112 and it'll be the usual textbook for that, uh, McKeague, Elementary Algebra, same as before, uh, please call me, call me back or, or email me on the uh, the, uh-uh, on the, ub, on the, on the, on the campus email, uh, confirming the receipt of this, this message, I hope to hear from you soon, bye bye.



What The Phone Robot Heard, According to Automated Transcript:

Hi James Peacock this is that I know how list I'm calling from four 1 (500) ***-**** I am told to give in diet textbook orders football I'll be teaching math 1:12 and then I will be the usual textbook for that I in the keyed elementary alter the same as before please call me call me back or email me on the is is on the.




Only we can probably count that email confirming that receipt of this this message hope to hear from you soon bye bye.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Stalked by a Bot

 Stalked by a Bot




The phone rang. I picked up on the third ring and said, “Hello, who is there?”

A robot voice said, “Good-bye.”


Several days later, the phone rang, I picked up on the third ring, “Hello, who is there?”

A robot voice said, “I’m sorry, that is not a valid extension.”


After that I picked up on the third ring every time, in the hope of getting a third creepy robot. Finally: Ring, ring, ring, I pick up, “Hello, who is there?”



And that’s a trifecta! Have I been rejected by a bot?



Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Coping Strategy

           Coping Strategy


          I have given up on immortality and will settle for reproducibility.

Monday, April 18, 2022

On the Crime Shortage

         On the Crime Shortage

          Written in the late 2010s


          I think that police brutality is caused by a crime shortage.

Crime rates have been falling in America since the early 90s, despite wars, recessions, natural disasters and the W administration. I credit the banning of leaded gasoline 20 years earlier, in 1973. That stopped poisoning young brains, and twenty years later crime dropped, just as it did in every other country that banned leaded gas.

In the 60s, conservatives blamed high crime on the ‘criminal element’, meaning blacks, the poor and dissidents; liberals blamed high crime on ‘root causes’, meaning insufficient nanny-state; and it turns out that both were right and both were wrong. The ‘root cause’ was indeed a ‘criminal element’, namely element 82, lead!

Well, we tracked down that criminal element, and we’ve addressed the root cause, and we’re reaping the benefits; but the bloated police-and-prison state created in response to 80s-level crime rates still exists, and it’s still defending us from crime rates that no longer exist.

There’s no longer enough crime to justify the crime-control. Thus, a crime shortage; the flip side of a crime-control surplus. Nonetheless the war-on-crime continues. The warrior-cops just resort to warring on inferior targets, like the innocent, or the compliant, or protesters, or journalists, or the family dog, or… anyone. If they cannot find crime, or imagine it, then then must commit it themselves.

Fortunately there is a solution; when a policeman commits a crime, then let us relieve him of duty, and then prosecute him. This alleviates both the crime shortage and the crime-control surplus.

There are similar shortages of terrorism and war, and surpluses of their control; and these have similar solutions.

Friday, April 15, 2022

From Hitler to Pharaoh

 From Hitler to Pharaoh

          (written circa 2013)

          Awhiles back, a meteor and a Passover inspired me to investigate our world’s spiritual condition. I have some good news and some bad news. Short version: the good news is that Hitler’s dybbuk no longer rules the world; the bad news is that instead we are ruled by the ghost of Pharaoh.

          For the long version, I start with the meteor at Chelyabinsk. Dashcam videos impressed me with the cosmic fury of the meteor, but also with the iron nerve of the Russians. Sure there was a mysterious fireball homing in on them; sure it was blindingly bright; and sure it exploded with the force of a 500 kiloton bomb; but they were going to make that turn at the traffic light, and they were going to make it smoothly! What valor! What fortitude! What courage under cosmic bombardment! The people of Chelyabinsk all deserve medals!

          My emotions were not just admiration for stalwart character; they also included grief, horror and shame; for that 500 kiloton airburst stirred up painful memories of the Cold War. Those dashcam videos were like a glimpse into the nuclear holocaust that we didn’t have. The nightmare was; you’d be in traffic, and suddenly there’d be a bright light, and it gets brighter, and brighter, and brighter...

          - but lucky us, it faded away, and it was just a meteor, and the people of Chelyabinsk were going to live, hallelujah! Jesus said, love your enemies. I don’t agree with everything that man said, but this time I get it.

          This is even though I never thought of the Russians as enemies!  More like fellow victims of collective insanity. Here’s something strange; I couldn’t hate their rulers, the Communists! Well, maybe a little, because I was told to, but not thousands of megatons worth of hate. Here’s something even stranger; I couldn’t even hate the anti-Communists! Well, maybe a little, and I didn’t need to be told to; but again, not thousands of megatons worth of hate.
          None of the Cold War made any sense to me. Nobody wanted it, everybody hated it, we even called it M.A.D.; but somehow we all signed on passively. Your tax dollars at work. It was as if the world was in thrall to an evil spirit.

          Which brings me to Hitler’s dybbuk. The Cold War was Hitlerian, from top to bottom, inside to out, and beginning to end. Genocide was not a flaw of the system, nor a bug, nor even a feature; genocide was the system. The cold warriors never did the evil deed, though they got close at times; but the threat was deed enough. The Cold War was state-run thermonuclear terrorism; it was psychological abuse of the entire world; it was a crime against mankind. If the Cold War wasn’t evil, then what is?

          Part of the wickedness of the planetary death machine was its deflection of responsibility. Russia played Hitler to America; America played Hitler to Russia; and therefore it was all the other side’s fault! No-one was to blame, and anything was permitted! America and Russia; best-worst of frenemies!

          Philip K Dick’s, in his science-fiction novel, “The Man in the High Castle”, described an alternate history where the Axis won World War Two. A book in that world - also named “The Man In The High Castle” - imagined an alternate history where the Allies won instead. Someone in that world, wondering about this, threw an I Ching hexagram. It read “Inner Truth”. I get Dick’s point.

          But enough with memories! For it’s past now; Gorbachev ruined the whole cozy scheme by walking away. Since then the Pentagon has been scrambling for ways to justify a Cold War budget. They thought they had a winner with stateless terrorists, but frankly this Baby Boomer is unimpressed. I’ve survived superpower thermonuclear terrorism; an underwear bomber leaves me cold. Yawn!

          I distinctly recall being promised a peace dividend. It didn’t materialize. Instead the grinding down of the middle class continued, and continues to this very day. Though labor productivity has doubled in the past forty years, post-inflation wages for the poorest 80% have been stagnant or declining. For forty years. Not only have some of my students never known rising wages; some of them are children of parents who have never known rising wages.

          These past four decades have seen a technological revolution, and an economic counter-revolution. Vast new wealth now exists, thanks to computers; but those gains have gone exclusively to the very richest amongst us. The 10% to some extent; the 1% to a greater extent; the 1% of the 1%, beyond all belief.

          Which brings me to Pharaoh’s ghost. The world is now an oligarchy. It is run by malefactors of great wealth. The plutocrats are above the law; they have no loyalties beyond profit; they are accountable to none; their ambition is limitless; their methods are extreme; and they do not know or care about the mass suffering their greed causes. In the security of their rigged wealth, the 1% of the 1% believe themselves immune from the consequences of their crimes and follies. The price will be paid, but not by them; that’s the system.

          From a Hitlerian Cold War to a Pharaonic New World Order! I suppose it’s a slight improvement; being a debt slave is a lesser evil than being a radioactive corpse; but the lesser of two evils is still evil. Also you could argue that Hitler’s ghost merely softened us up for Pharaoh’s.

The question I put to you, dear reader, is; what will be the shape of our liberation? For the 1% will fall; their immunity from consequence is painful to us but will ultimately be fatal to them. Reality will not be denied; that is the doom of all lies, and all empires. Hitler’s thousand years was twelve; and Pharaoh too fell.

My dream is democracy; rule by the people. How do we get there?

Despite historical setbacks, I am optimistic. It is Passover today, and the Haggadah teaches us that each generation must regard themselves as personally redeemed from the house of bondage. The slave-driver thought himself a god, but he wasn’t. Down he went; and it took only ten plagues.


Thursday, April 14, 2022

How Tyranny Won in Spirit

           How Tyranny Won in Spirit


          I say that Hitler won World War Two, in spirit; for how else are we to describe nuclear deterrence? After Hitler, the threat of genocide was accepted as a political norm, indeed as the foundation of world order, even though it was a crime against humanity. We who survived that system called it, fittingly, MAD, meaning Mutual Assured Destruction. In what way was the Cold War not Hitlerian?

          In this way only; the superpowers preferred to threaten all with the genocide that Hitler did to some. Jews, Roma, homosexuals, Communists and dissidents were the test subjects; the experiment was a success, and the program was updated and adopted by the nominal winners of the war.

Those nominal winners added two reforms; to use atomic fission rather than poison gas for genocide; and to advertise the city-death threat but not do it (except twice), rather than murder millions but in secret (mostly). They improved upon Hitler by upgrading the energy to nuclear and the terror to psychological. Force plus guile equals power.

          Thus Hitler was defeated in body but victorious in spirit. The Hitlerian spirit of genocide ruled the world; but in the end Hitler’s dybbuk was exorcised by the end of the Cold War, and the nominal victory of Capitalism over Communism.

          Like World War Two, the Cold War had an outcome split between body and soul. Communism was defeated in material terms; but now its spirit rules the planet. I cite as proof of this the global surveillance state, socialism-for-the-rich, the suppression of dissent and small business, and the lawlessness of authority.

Another more positive victory of the Communist way is the ruling technology of the age; namely, the Internet; for the Internet is Communist in spirit.

          That was inevitable, given the technological problem that the Internet solved. Any spiritually Hitlerian polity must have a command-and-control system. How can that system maintain internal communications during thermonuclear attack? That’s a project as mad as MAD itself; yet the technologists succeeded!

          The miracle came at a price; the technological abolition of intellectual property. For if a C&C system is to survive thermonuclear war, in which any one communications node can be vaporized instantly, then no node can be central. None can hoard information, all must share and share alike. The collectivity of the Internet is what makes it work.

          Anything on the Web tends to become the common property of all humankind, sure as rivers flow down to the sea. The Web interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. The same applies to ownership. Private property is an absurdity on the Web, as is money.

          That’s the Communist dream come true, built into the wiring of the Web! But with the dream comes a nightmare; Communism’s inherent inefficiency. How to profit from what is owned by none or all? What incentive to create is there beyond altruism?

          We have already lost the music industry, book publishing, and newspapers; TV and movies are under siege; and many more industries will go broke soon.

          Information wants to be free; yet information also wants to be paid; therefore information is broke! How Communist!


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Retort to Puck

 Retort to Puck



O what a tangled web we weave

when first we practice to deceive;

but since experience makes us wise

we soon grow skillful in our lies!

Monday, April 11, 2022

Proof Difficulties

             Proof Difficulties


          It is difficult to prove nonexistence, or universality, or uniqueness, or optimality; for tomorrow you may find an example, or a counter-example, or a second example, or a better example.

Friday, April 8, 2022

The Self-Contradictory Second Amendment, plus SARA

           The Self-Contradictory Second Amendment


The Second Amendment contradicts itself. On the one hand, well-regulated militia; on the other hand, uninfringed bearing of arms. But to regulate is by definition to infringe. One can make a lawyerly distinction between infringement and regulation; but the difference is relative to the observer.

          Shall guns be controlled? For instance shall they be kept out of the hands of children, criminals, traitors and the insane? If not then the militia is not well-regulated; if yes then arms-bearing may be infringed.

Suppose that Mr. Discord, who constantly earns his name, wants a large stockpile of powerful weapons; may he buy it or not? If yes, then the militia is self-evidently ill-regulated; if no, then bearing arms is a privilege not a right; and if it’s a judgement call, then the Second Amendment has no legal force and in effect does not exist.

          Perhaps, as a face-saving compromise, Mr. Discord has to fill out and notarize some paperwork before legally purchasing his arsenal. This paperwork, called the “Well-Regulated Militia Form, Schedule 23”, asks about name, address, e-mail, phone numbers, social security number, age, citizenship, restraining orders, psychiatric record, criminal record, safety and skill certification, types and numbers of weapons purchased and payment type. But you know how well Mr. Discord copes with paperwork. He’d call it bureaucratic interference with the free market.

Some say that the “well-regulated militia” clause is there just to justify the “bearing arms” clause. But if so then arms-bearing is the means, and well-regulation the end; so any arms-bearing that undermines well-regulation is against the stated intent of the Second Amendment. Any policies that aid one half of the Second Amendment and hinder the other half are in violation of it. Therefore the Second Amendment can exist only as a compromise.

          No other amendment has a qualifying phrase. There is no First Amendment call for “well-regulated” speech or religion.

          So the Second Amendment takes both sides of the gun control debate; therefore it can be quoted by both sides. How convenient! From this I predict that the big federal gun-control law, when it comes, will be titled, “The Well-Regulated Militia Enforcement Act”.




Appendix: The Second Amendment Repair Act

I propose the following as legislation before Congress.


The Second Amendment Repair Act

1. The right of the people to keep and bear arms in a well-regulated militia shall not be infringed.

2. Well-regulated militias shall not arm those under adult age, nor arm those found guilty of treason as defined by the Constitution.

3. States have the right to enforce additional regulation of their militias.


Commentary by the author:

Compare clause 1 of SARA to the original 2nd Amendment:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Alas, poor Amendment! The sentence lies there, broken into four fragments, as if someone had dropped it on the floor. My critique of the 2nd Amendment is both literary and political; for its shattered incoherence is due to an unresolved political dispute. Washington insisted on good regulation of Jefferson’s popular militias; his objection was jammed on as a subordinate clause given top billing.

Clause 1 of SARA fixes the grammar of the 2nd Amendment. It’s a single coherent clause; that prevents partisans from exaggerating one clause and ignoring another. The original had well-regulation as an explanation for the need for the right to bear arms; here well-regulation is part of the right itself. This makes explicit the necessary link between rights (arms) and responsibilities (well-regulated). Clause 1 is as much about gun control as about gun rights.

This re-emphasis on regulation empowers clause 2. No children in arms, nor traitors; that’s necessary. If the militia is well-regulated, then it may not arm children or adolescents, who are not well-regulated people; and if the militia is of the state, then it may not arm those levying war upon the states. I choose these two regulations for the sake of clarity. Age is on public record; and treason is defined in the Constitution. (Article 3, section 3.)

          Clause 3 establishes that militias belong to the states, which they may regulate as they see fit, as a matter of state’s rights.

          This proposal is very conservative, in the non-Orwellian sense of the word ‘conservative’. It makes few changes in the original text, beyond rewriting it for clarity. This rewriting explicitly mandates both gun rights and gun control. Such rewriting is necessary because of the 2nd Amendment’s fragmented condition.

          Since DC vs Heller in 2008, we have been living with a partial reading of the shattered 2nd Amendment, one that ignores the first two fragments and fetishizes the next two. So due to Scalia’s judicial activism, for over a decade the 2nd Amendment has been half-repealed, to malign effect now self-evident.

I propose that we repair it, and reinstate it, whole.



Thursday, April 7, 2022

To The Next Mass Shooter, A Modest Proposal

           To The Next Mass Shooter

          A Modest Proposal


          Dear Sir:

          I get where you’re coming from. They don’t, but I do. Life sucks, doesn’t it? You’ve got no friends, and you get no respect. Girls won’t date you, the asshole boss pays an insultingly low slave-wage, so your revenge arsenal cost you all of your money. You’re trapped, you’re dying inside, you hate everything and everybody, especially yourself, so you want to go out with a bang. I get it.

          I write to offer a suggestion. You see, all of your predecessors did their massacres all wrong, and we’ve grown bored with them. We’re jaded. Somebody shoots up a movie theater? Ho-hum. A school? Yawn. A church? Whatever!  Then we do nothing, and a day later we forget all about it. So what’s the point? Nobody’s impressed anymore!

          The problem is the choice of target. Killing masses of unarmed civilians is for wusses. It’s unsporting; and what’s worse, it’s no fun. Sure, it’s practical to slaughter the defenseless, but what do you care about practicality? You’re mad as hell, and they’ll never take you alive! You want action, not survival; you want to prove something. So leave the women and children alone, and target heavily-armed men!

          Now, where can you find a big crowd of well-armed men? A crowd that you can walk right up to, while just as well-armed, and they’ll do nothing before you open fire? Not the police station, nor the Army barracks; those guys are paranoid about other guys carrying. Really the police and the armed forces are gun-control organizations. They’re all about control: of the guns, by the guns, and for the guns.

          If you want a rabble of well-armed posers mentally unprepared for battle, then the best target for you, Sir, is the gun show.

          Never mind the odds. If you kill two of them right away, then no matter what happens next, the score will be at least 2 to 1, so you win. And your spree might last longer than you’d expect. Plenty of your predecessors were never stopped by gun-carriers; sometimes because those carriers couldn’t make a safe shot, sometimes because they didn’t want to look like mass shooters themselves. Really it’s because they’re posers. They want to seem as dangerous as you really are.

If you don’t mind dying, then the gun show is a soft target. You’ll shoot down plenty of them before they shoot back, and then they might miss you and hit each other. You might even spark a random fire-fight! You wouldn’t survive it, but so what? Think of the headlines!

          You won’t see them, of course, but we will, and finally we will be shocked. Shocked, I tell you! Finally a convincing rampage! Shooters shooting shooters: proof of the practical necessity of well-regulating the militia! Proof that even posers will believe!

          We might even name the resulting law after you.

Think about it.



Wednesday, April 6, 2022

On Political Security

         On Political Security


            Teller used to say that failure to have internal circulation of information is always worse than the damage from leaks, since the enemy is going to spend as much effort as needed to find ways to get the information he want: then he knows it and vital parts of your establishment do not.

             Julian Assange agrees with Teller, and has said so:


             The difference is that Assange wants to maximize, not minimize, self-defeating bureaucratic self-censorship. His theory is that Wikileaks poses a Prisoner’s Dilemma to any conspiratorial institution; either open up internal communications and become vulnerable to a whistleblower, or censor away both leaks and efficiency. Since they cannot trust themselves, they must censor themselves, and therefore dumb themselves down. Thus freedom of the press works against corruption.

             Therefore press freedom is opposed by corruption’s beneficiaries. They will say, for instance, that releasing the information endangers National Security; but what is at stake is not national security; it is “Political Security”, which I define as the job security of the political class. Political security is the corruption of national security.

             Political security is often confused with national security, especially by the political class; but in truth they are not the same. Political security and national security are two, not one, especially when the political class thinks they are one, not two.