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Formal/hierarchical Institutions Protective agencies: e.g. FBI, CIA Arena-Markets for creative competition: Democracy, science, enterprise & courts. The People: chaotic and flighty, but ultimate source of creativity, resiliency, accountability and sovereignty. How does information flow among society’s three levels? And within each level. Trap of human nature: We see those distant from us needing accountability most. Foreign rivals, other social levels, other institutions within our level… Yet we feel we have excellent reasons for secrecy! To refuse information. Evade accountability. Some reasons may be valid! And yet… … yet we all know what comes of that logic, if unchecked. Each part of this civil bargain - every vital trait, e.g. freedom - relies on information flowing like blood. Like oxygen. The true test of maturity? “ Light must shine, even on me. Let’s find a way to do that… while still letting me do my job.” POTUS FBI CIA Congress Courts
Dangerous Horizons: Analysis and Conclusion 1. It’s natural for professional anticipators and protectors to emphasize anticipation and protection. Standing close to the problem, we list/prioritize anticipated dangers to throw money at. But these are assumptions. And assumptions are the enemy of good anticipation! 2. The sheer number of potential failure modes guarantees that harm-doers (some even well-intentioned) will hit from a myriad other directions. Especially less-guarded ones. 3. Despite these limits, anticipatory protection is worthwhile! Critical vulnerabilities must be found and guarded. Professionals must do their jobs. 4. But equal effort should bolster systemic strengths that make society robust and resilient. Strengths found “lower” than the professional protector caste. In markets, science, and citizens no less brave or capable than their ancestors. 5. Our plausible foes (e.g. today’s fashionable “terrorists”) all share an allergy to light. 6. In contrast, democracy, markets and science all do better in the open. Conclusion: professional anticipators & protectors should remember the long term goal - - a secular trend toward an open-transparent world. The stakes are too high for self-serving assumptions. Civilization will only succeed if we all participate. If we empower citizenship.
Left for another time -
Prediction & credibility…
Horizons and history…
Citizen volunteers - CERT members, Boy Scouts and guardsmen - were essential during the 2007 San Diego firestorm … as they were on 9/11… … and during ever crisis since the republic began. A lesson we forget at our peril.