Monday, January 24, 2011

Secrets

Secrecy was arguably one of the hottest topics in 2010. In 2011, Julian Assange will hopefully vanish from the headlines, but how to deal with privacy and freedom of information will remain a central question for modern societies. Assange's story captured public attention but he hasn't impressed by being a particularly deep thinker. He seems motivated in the first line by making himself important, justifying irresponsibility with ideology.

So, let's look at some of the things that have been said about secrecy and the freedom of information. (And if that's too much for you on a Monday, you can instead design a new hairstyle for Assange.) First, what are we talking about? Depending on context, secrecy is sometimes called privacy, but fundamentally it's both the same: the deliberate withholding of information. If not only information is withheld, but it is replaced with faulty information, we'd be dealing with lies. But that's another topic that shell be discussed another time.
"True information does good."
~Julian Assange

True information does not always do good, neither for the individual nor for the common good. Competition is an essential ingredient for innovation and progress in our societies, and competition is also essential for ecological and economical systems. But competition doesn't work well with leaking secrets, and even true information doesn't do good in the wrong hands.

Consider for example a company is doing a costly survey to better understand consumer interests, and then invests more money into developing a new product. If this information was shared with a competitor, the competitor would have the advantage without having made the investment. Thus, the company which made the effort would put themselves at a disadvantage by spending money on their studies. Here, the withholding of information is simply necessary for progress.

You can make a similar case for science. As discussed in this earlier post, if you invest time, effort, and money into designing and executing an experiment, you want to get something out of this investment: Be the first to analyze the data obtained, the first to potentially have a Heureka-moment, the one to maybe win a Nobel prize. If your 'true information' was publicly available from the moment you first saw it, what would be the incentive to do the experiment to begin with? What "good" would it do for science to prematurely share information?

Of course, competition isn't always necessary as incentive. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), this decade's mammoth project, is basically without competition. Instead, it rests on collaboration. The insights that can be won are sufficient incentive in that case. But the LHC is not your average experiment, and whether one likes it or not, competition is a relevant driver of innovation.
"[I]nformation that organizations are spending economic effort into concealing, that's a really good signal that when the information gets out, there's a hope of it doing some good."
~Julian Assange

The consequence might be that the organization just goes bankrupt. In general, it's somewhat inappropriate to call that "doing some good."

So much about Assange. Now let's look at somebody else's take on secrecy:
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."
~Google CEO Eric Schmidt

One of the most stupid remarks on privacy ever. There are many reasons people might not want to share some information with others. You might for example not want a prospective future employer to know about your health problems. You might not want your neighbors to know what you're doing on weekends, because you have zero interest in them chatting you up on your hobbies. You might not want your girlfriend to know you were arguing with your boss again, because she'll worry and get a headache and won't be in the mood tonight. Add your own favorite example. Human culture is complicated, humans don't always act rationally, and when to best share what information with whom is a context-dependent and non-trivial question. You don't want third parties to pass on information you'd rather have passed on yourself when time is right. Instead of doing good, it might just ruin your life.
"Information wants to be free."
~Stewart Brand

Often cited, this quotation as it stands doesn't make much sense. Information doesn't "want" to be free any more than muffins "want" to be eaten. To be fair however, this sentence makes more sense within the context:
"On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable [...] On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other."

And indeed, leaving aside the rhetorical trick of assigning a will to unanimated bits and strings rather than admitting it's us who want information this or that way, there's two factors working against each other here and the ideal solution is thus neither extreme. It's as easy as this: Extreme positions are almost always wrong. Free information isn't always beneficial and information doesn't always do good, much like secrecy isn't always justified.

I would argue that the benefit of a piece of information to be publicized depends on the time and the manner in which it is being made public, and the best time and way is case-dependent. So there's no easy solutions and no catchy one-liners as answers.

But let's try and turn things around.

The necessary amount of secrecy tells you something about your society. If your government has secret information about other nations, it's an indicator for mistrust. If you don't want your employer to know about your health problems, it's because you suspect his opinion on your qualification will be affected. If you don't publicize your data before you've analyzed it yourself it's because you think your efforts won't be sufficiently credited. If you don't want a company to raise data about your shopping behavior it's because you're afraid you'll be swamped with ads.

In all these cases the need for secrecy arises because our societies are imperfect. Maybe, in an fictional world where ideas are credited where credit is due, where we'll all work together rather than compete with each other, where physical and mental conditions are perfectly integrated and not of disadvantage, where people don't have biases and all trust each other, in such a world true information might do good and therefore we'd want it to be free. But we don't live in this world.

42 comments:

Steven Colyer said...

Mathematics should be free. All others compete.

Tenure goes to those who survive. Those who survive do so by first understanding the system, then implementing it.

They can implement by doing something original, or advancing a field in an area so specialized they may as well be, or are, the only one working on it.

But if that fails, or they're lazy and/or incompetent, there's always politics.

Information is entropy, entropy is gravity (or so some say), and gravity sucks (therefore, it interests us). So Information sucks, but what sucks more, is the lack of Information. Ignorance.

And Ignorance is the enemy. An eternal one. In the set of all knowable things, the set of known things is small. Both sets grow over time, but the subset never catches up.

Assange believes in open government. NOTHING gets done in government if all truths are known, if all information is laid out on the table. Assange is a "hero" until the first person dies based on information he releases. From that point on he's a killer.

In business and academia, yes, information must be withheld if the competitors are to get a leg up on each other. That's the human way. Utopia, as you said, is an idealistic fiction.

Bee, all your points are well made. Well made, and well done. This is one of your best essays I've ever read by you, and provides much food for thought.

605U said...

Competition provoques mistrust and envy which leads to fear and hate. Competition needs of an end. Fulfilling the end its what is motivating you, and thats all wrong.

Cooperation is more efficient and more human.

cody said...

At the end you mentioned a idealized world that we don't live in; how might we best steer our world in that direction? Does the promotion of more openness and less secrecy on all or some levels help us in that effort? Or harm?

Personally I'd like to see a world with many fewer reasons to keep such secrets, I think it would be in humanity's (and earth's) best interest.

One last question: assuming you had two systems, one an optimal competitive system, and the other an optimal collaborative system, how do efficiency and prosperity compare? I want to assume collaborative systems can be as prosperous and more efficient than competitive systems, though in practice that may not be true at all. (Or even in theory?)c

Bee said...

Hi Cody,

All excellent questions. I think an idealized society in which there are no secrets, and indeed the keeping of secrets is not only not necessary but not beneficial, is only possibly with significant changes to human nature. In my post It comes soon enough we discussed for example the possibility of mind meld. I would guess that after this humanity as we know it would basically cease to exist. In such a case, I could imagine secrets to become superfluous or even harmful.

(Btw, the recent issue of SciAm has an interesting article Mind out of Body, which also comments on this possibility. It's an excerpt from a new book actually, maybe something to put on the reading list.)

Yes, I would guess collaborative systems can in principle be as prosperous as competitive ones, but it depends on the agents. We're stuck with humans-as-they-are, and I suspect that at present a purely collaborative system would not work as well as an at least partly competitive one.

In general, I think more openness than what we have today will indeed do good, especially when it comes to science. I'm just saying that if you push it to the extreme, it ceases to be only good. So there is a sweet point of 'just enough' openness that one has to find in each case.

Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi 605U,

See, you're doing exactly what I was criticizing: You're talking about an ideal world that you would like to have rather than the real one. As a matter of fact, humans *are* motivated by competition. You might not like that, but that's the way the world presently works. And that world, as it is, doesn't under all circumstances benefit from leaking secrets. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Steven,

What makes math different? Best,

B.

Steven Colyer said...

Because of Mathematic's fundamentality, Bee. Nothing is more basic, a proof is a proof. A true advance in Math doesn't stay a secret for long.

Which leads to the question, is software mathematics? Bill Gates has one opinion, others disagree.

Case in point: Karmarkar's Algorithm. Go to that link, and scroll down to the Patent Controversy section. From there:

At the time he discovered the algorithm, Narendra Karmarkar was employed by AT&T and they realized that his discovery could be of practical importance. In April 1985, AT&T promptly applied for a patent on Karmarkar's algorithm and that became more fuel for the ongoing controversy over the issue of software patents. This left many mathematicians uneasy, such as Ronald Rivest (himself one of the holders of the patent on the RSA algorithm), who expressed the opinion that research proceeded on the basis that algorithms should be free. ...... Opponents of software patents have further alleged that the patents ruined the positive interaction cycles that previously characterized the relationship between researchers in linear programming and industry, and specifically it isolated Karmarkar himself from the network of mathematical researchers in his field.

Uncle Al said...

Privacy, security, ownership, malice.

An individual has a right to privacy, Constitutional in the US. Homeland Severity universal illegal searach and seizure ended that; War on Drugs. Each of your tires contains an RFID. Your GPS converses with national surveillance. If you have On*Star, you are an idiot. LoJack can have its benefits.

Security is different. Every level of endeavor has valuables that are compromised by public disclosure - ownership. Violation of such security is theft of ownership.

When government, finance, industry, education... hide incompetence and criminality behind privacy, that is malice. Public malice is fair game for Assange et al. Make the bastards bleed.

Steven Colyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven Colyer said...

Al, where did that "lost" $6,000,000,000 in Iraq end up, do you think? Swiss banks, maybe? How can we ever know?

If Assange has "dope" now on the banks as he says, he should spill it now. What's keeping him?

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

Not much that could be added to what you’ve said about this notion some hold that complete transparency is all that’s needed to improve the world. The only thing I would add is to point out that nature itself seems to require a level of secrecy in order to have reality maintained. Of course one could argue there being a distinct difference between uncertainty and secrecy and yet in practical terms what marks the distinction when the bottom line being there is a limit to what anyone can ever know. Even more importantly is to ask if we were able to know could there be a reality at all as to be so concerned?

“On Bohm’s theory, there is, right now (that is : before those upcoming measurements get carried out) an objective physical matter of fact about what the future act of h’s is going to be: and (moreover) h knows with certainty, what that act is going to be; and (moreover) no other observer in the world (no matter how adept they may be at measuring or calculating) can possibly know (right now) what that act is going to be.

And so h, under these sorts of circumstances (even though the complete physical theory of the world here is a deterministic one), has what you might call an inviolably private will.”


-David Z. Albert, “Quantum Mechanics and Experience” (page 188)

Best,

Phil

Jakob said...

Secrets in research and secrets of governments and secrets of private companies are very different.

For example, I believe that government funded research should never be kept secret -- if the public pays for it, the public should have a right to know. Research that is conducted by private companies, without public funds, may be kept secret.

But the information that Assange leaked has nothing to do with research secrets. Assange leaked information that was withheld by the government. In the case of the videos of the helicopter attack, the military even told lies about the event. Our society needs whistleblowers that tell the public about such problems. If the government had the means to keep anything they want secret, how could we prevent abuse of power?

Zephir said...

/* information does not always do good, neither for the individual nor for the common good...*/

It's true, the free sharing of information brings problems in society, but it's just indicia of system problem of this society. I do believe, the ideal society would maintain no artificial barrier in information spreading.

Robert said...

I think there is definitely a distinction that should be drawn between private/corporate/government secrecy. For starters i think it is important to point out that a true and fair capitalist system in its idealized form as espoused by most economists can only work when consumers have the full information required to make informed decisions in the marketplace. Consider how different people's opinion of distributive justice would be if Rawl's veil of ignorance really did exist. It is exactly because some people have more information than others that they are able to exploit the rest. While I would not go as far as the other extreme to preach socialism, it is fair to say that disclosure is an important requirement for capitalist society to have. Without it, prospective competitors would be less likely to form to keep the balance between supply and demand fair.

Similarly as someone pointed out earlier, the government, being nothing more than a representation of the people, has a requirement for complete transparency. This line becomes admittedly grayer when we consider valid requirements of security.

Bee said...

Hi Robert,

I think it would be more accurate to say that the standard micro-economical model just assumes that consumers have full information. Whether that's the 'best' solution is a rather academic question since it's an unrealistic assumption. Even if all information were "free" in the sense of publicly available and without monetary cost, obtaining it always has a cost of time and effort. As a consequence, most people will ignore even available information that they, according to theory, should take into account to make 'rational' decisions. Best,

B.

Zephir said...

Of course, many people will always ignore some information, but this is not problem, you're discussing here by now. My point is, every censorship is and indication of poorly adjusted system. The free availability of information can serve as an ethical maxima (moral imperative), i.e. the criterion of ideal society.

Bee said...

Hi Zephir,

As I wrote, I also think that the amount of secrecy that a society deems necessary tells you something about this society. Leaving aside that we don't live in an ideal society, and in our non-ideal society some amount of secrecy is necessary, I also don't think that a society without secrets is necessarily ideal. To begin with, this raises the question who says what is an ideal society and what is a moral imperativ. Most people, me included, won't be particularly impressed that Zephir says so. Thus, I'd encourage you to explain why you think a society where nobody withholds information is morally superior to one where information may be withheld for one or the other reason. Best,

B.

Zephir said...

The society based on free competetion is the most effective under the situation, when all members are motivated to compete honestly. Unfortunatelly, this is just an ideal too - in praxis we need for every free trader some arbiter (usually governmental officer, who is opened for corruption), who is guarding the rules of free trade, i.e. this cooperation isn't free (laissez faire) in any way, but forced instead. This is why, the day of tax freedom converges to the half of year in most of countries.

It's evident, the society based on free cooperation would be more ideal in terms of its economical effectiveness, then the society based on forced cooperation (socialism) or competetion (capitalism).

Bee said...

Hi Zephir,

"It's evident, the society based on free cooperation would be more ideal in terms of its economical effectiveness."

That's not obvious to me, please explain. Best,

B.

hitchiker said...

Hi Sabine,
I agree. Yet, I feel you've missed an important point i.e. the competitiveness must come out of honest effort and not by use of morally reprehensible acts. There is a line to be drawn here and I think an intelligent man like Assange clearly understands the difference. He seems to be after the latter.

Consider for example the space program. As much as I would like to see different space agencies coming together such that progress is quicker, it is no danger of happening for the simple fact that different governments have spent( and continue to) different amounts of their capital on this idea. Perhaps NASA is then justified in being the best. But contrast this with the fact that the U.S. made extensive efforts to prevent a collaboration between the Russians and the Indian Space Research Organization on a missile project in order to protect this "competitiveness".
Similar examples could be drawn from other fields. If Assange understands this, I think he is doing us all a service.

cody said...

Thanks for the response Bee, this has me thinking that the main difference is in whether people think of themselves as competing with one another, or with nature, or some other non-human opponent. So (since I want to move in that direction) I need to popularize the concept that we aren't playing a zero-sum game.

I'm realizing too that we have a high degree of collaboration on some scales, which we then set in competition with one another. (And the results have been pretty astounding in many cases.)

In support of Zephir's claim concerning economic outcomes, we'd save by not reinventing wheels. E.g., if GCHQ had publicized Clifford Cocks' work we would have had RSA five years earlier.

An additional benefit might be less stress throughout the society. (Which has me thinking of Enron firing the bottom X% every quarter.)

Also, congratulations! I'm glad to hear everything went well with your two newborns.

Zephir said...

>That's not obvious to me, please explain. ... we'd save by not reinventing wheels

Coda actually said it all.

Forced competition is good, because we have no better option, how to force people into altruistic cooperation - but this situation is far from ideal because of its apparent redundancy.

For example, we have an OpenSource movement in the area of computer programming from apparent reasons: it's better to develop software projects in collaborative environment, rather then in competitive environment (fragmentation of platform, resources, etc.).

The dominance of Windows platform serves as an evidence of the fact, the economical criterion are stronger, then the quality criterion. It's cheaper to maintain single (albeit rather poor) computer system, then many high quality systems in mutual competition, because the cost of mutual compatibility overhead increases in geometric way with the number of platforms supported.

Zephir said...

"then" = "rather than", etc...

Thomas Larsson said...

Has anyone else seen the similarity between Wikileaks and climategate? In both cases publicly funded people are upset that their allegedly private communication was leaked to the media.

Neil B said...

Bee, thanks again for another thoughtful, "centrist" essay about the basic issues that doesn't degenerate into being cliché tripe from the "usual suspects." I'd like to see these in Newsweek (well, too long), the Economist etc. Send it to Obama, seriously, even though that sounds like artful cuteness. (Someone there would look at something from "scientist who also works for a policy joint" like Lightcome, PI etc. It's important since at least some of the "no secrets" people are trying to take advantage of our secrets by using psychobabble platitudes to divert attention from the nitty gritty of their ulterior motives, as you suggest.

As for what is traded out (as there must be trade-offs): the details of specific cases like how much real harm Wikileaks caused (to extent it can be judged) versus how much was claimed by the government, the need to reign in excessive secrecy that is done to protect the guilty, too-long holding of technical secrets that finally hold up economic growth for the rest of us, etc. Still, a good job doing the mission as given. PS good first comment there by Steven Coyler, except I don't see why the same argument about experiments shouldn't apply to mathematicians wanting to get credit etc. (I say partly since I've got my own hopefully new idea about generalizing differentiation to put out someday.)

Eric said...

Uncle Al said:
"When government, finance, industry, education... hide incompetence and criminality behind privacy, that is malice. Public malice is fair game for Assange et al. Make the bastards bleed."

Agree completely. I tend to find the arguments for secrecy made so far as pretty obvious and uncontentious. What is dangerous is when you try to lump secrecy derived and motivated by malice with those common sense reasons for secrecy. One might be surprised at the number of people, organizations, and governments that are very kind to themselves in ascribing good motives to themselves. I'm basically very pessimistic about those most driven to have power because (generally) they are the ones most likely to be overly kind to themselves.

Bee said...

Hi Zephir, Cody,

I personally certainly prefer collaboration over competition, so excuse me for playing devil's advocate here. I think the case you're making in favor of collaboration is very weak. Show me evidence that collaboration without competition indeed results in more benefits for the society, and what sort of values would the society need to have - I suspect they have to be dramatically different from the ones we have now, thus underlining my point about us not living in this ideal world you're talking about. Remember for example that (in wealthy nations) people's happiness depends not so much on their absolute income, as on their income relative to their 'neighbors' (I'm paraphrasing 'neighbors' because in a global village the 'neighborhood' may be quite extensive). Or open a random newspaper. It's all about who is prettier, richer, wittier, smarter or more famous, it's about which country has the highest GDP, which city is the greenest, which people are the friendliest, which nation is the high-techniest - it's all about competition.

Now neither of us might like that this is what motivates people (also in science), but that's how the world works. I'm asking then, if you remove competition, what replaces its driving force for creativity and innovation? Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Hitchhiker,

Sure. As I said, there's no easy answers. Leaking secrets is sometimes a good thing and competition is sometimes a bad thing, and sometimes it's the other way round. If nothing else, Wikileaks has shown that governments have too many unnecessary secrets. I was just saying arguments from ideology have a tendency to move towards the oversimplified extreme, where they are almost always wrong. Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

The fact is secrecy is everywhere in the world and the only thing that differentiates is the purpose it serves. For example the key you use to get into your home or start your car is a projection of secrecy, which is to protect you from those with bad intentions, while the same devise (locks) can equally keep information from us which is detrimental. The same thing occurs at the cellular level with the constant battle between organisms and what for them are considered pathogens with each attempting to defeat the other’s secrecy in an ongoing yin and yang struggle. However, even here to differentiate what is bad or good is difficult if not impossible to determine. So the bottom line is secrecy is a strategy (tactic) which in of itself has no implications of it being either positive or negative, as motive and result is what decides this; and even then it’s not always clear.

Best,

Phil

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

That's a nice example. Yes, secrecy is abundant in nature. Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

I’m glad you liked it and as I suggested with my earlier comment that even at the very fundamental heart of nature the necessity for secrecy might play a role. The interesting thing is to a large degree this is something which physics itself is attempting to get a handle on; so you might say what you do at least in part is to understand secrecy.

Best,

Phil

Bee said...

Hi Jakub,

"I believe that government funded research should never be kept secret "

What about military applications? Also, as I argued in my post, it's a matter of timing. I would agree that as long as it's not a matter of national safety, research funded by public sources should be made public - eventually. I wouldn't even tie this to the financial source since I think science can't progress with secrecy of data or methods. But if you force scientists to share their ideas and preliminary results it's not going to be helpful. Best,

B.

Steven Colyer said...

As is usual, Neil always provides great food for thought. Neil writes:

PS good first comment there by Steven Coyler,

?! Thanks, I think. So what was my second comment? Chopped liver? ;-)

... except ...

Uh oh ...

I don't see why the same argument about experiments shouldn't apply to mathematicians wanting to get credit etc.

If I understand you, and I may not (CYA theory in action, Backpeddling Division), are you questioning the degree of co-operation and openness between Mathematicians-to-other-Mathematicians and that between Physicists-to-other-Physicists, such that Mathemeticians should be more secretive (given human nature ... which is the reason for all of this ... that is to say the need of the individual to survive in a society at the expense of others if need be)?

If so, my experienmce with Mathemeticians is limited but not non-existant, also Peter Woit brings the subject up regularly on his blog and in his book.

Essentially, Mathematics has gotten very abstract (as well it should) and the need for co-operation and sharing is a virtual requirement these days.

Twas not always so. Andrew Wiles' working essentially alone for 7 years on Fermat's Last Theorem is a nice exception, but Newton and Gauss keeping Calculus and Non-Euclidean Geometry respectively in their deck drawers for decades shows how that can backfire.

Euler shared, and all that did was launch the mathematical notation we used today and Mathematical Physics itself into the stratosphere.

The 10,000 page proof of the classification of simple groups is more like what I'm talking about. It took a lot of people co-operating to make that happen. Share we must, share they did.

(I say partly since I've got my own hopefully new idea about generalizing differentiation to put out someday.)

Talk to a local Mathematician at Norfolk State or U Virgina or wherever the nearest professional grouping of Math pros are. They are the nicest people, I think they're pretty amazed when anyone is interested in their field, let alone their work.

Not sure really why they're less cranky than Physicists, but I speculate it's because their snail mail in-box and e-mail aren't crammed with Amateur pseudo-scientific crank theories of everything. :-)

Neil B said...

Steven, if I re-punctuate that sentence of mine:
PS good first comment there, by Steven Coyler,
then it shows I meant yours was the first comment at all, and happened to come from you; rather than your first comment of several. As for the content, I was just questioning why math should be especially free while others compete. It takes work to do math too, even if not as much tech support, and people want credit and not to have it lifted. BTW read about all the trouble Cardano got into for publishing other people's proofs (like of general cubic solution) even though he gave them credit.

PS for blog issues: I could swear I checked email follow-up comments (well maybe I didn't) yet I didn't get any, FWIW. Also, maybe cute idea to start using that captcha system that as side benefit digitizes old texts.

Steven Colyer said...

As for the content, I was just questioning why math should be especially free while others compete.

Oh OK, thanks for clearing that up.

Well I'm not sure how many different ways I can put this, but one basic difference between Math and the Sciences is that Math is a language. A theorem is not a theory, although they sound similar. Theorems are proven facts; theories are disputable.

As far as credit goes, and the withholding or blaming or taking thereof, that has little to do with the subjects and more with human survival strategy as I said, and much less of that occurs in Mathematics than the Sciences but it still happens.

Another example: Yau's contribution to Hamilton's contribution to Poincare's Conjecture via Ricci Flow for example. Yau was accused of taking credit until Hamilton shut that criticism up by confirming Yau contributed, as well as the grad students of each man. It wasn't just Perelman who contributed, indeed he found the proof, he completed it but he also gave credit where credit was due by turning down the Field's and the Clay prize.

Such drama all around. What a depressing subject.

pjmclach said...

I think it's worth mentioning that privacy is a right of individuals, and companies made up of invested individuals and not of governments.

Neil B said...

pjmclach, I'm suspicious of claims that governments can't have (or have "accepted" as) rights, especially if other organized entities like corporations (note irony that such entities are authorized by governments anyway to effectively exist as legal pseudopersons with some rights like persons and with limited liability etc.) And aside from the metaphysical issue of whether they "have" rights, the rational citizens of an accepted government would deem their G to have rights for the sake of their interests in like vein to the shareholders of a corporation. (Note also, some governments are considered as corporations in some sense; my town is known as "Corporation of Newport News."

As antidote to glib acceptance of corporate personhood however, do this this piece by Jim Hightower:
http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/664

holermann said...

Liebe Bee,

schreibe auf deutsch, weil das an dich gerichtet ist.

Dieser Artikel ist ein hervorragendes Beispiel dafür, warum ich aufgehört habe, dein Blog zu lesen.
Er klingt sehr gescheit, ist leider das Gegenteil und dabei völlig irrelevant.

Du hast 1. keine Ahnung, wovon du da überhaupt redest, siehst 2. den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht und merkst das 3. nicht einmal.

Bleib lieber bei der Physik, davon verstehst du wenigstens ein bisschen.

Schreibe dir das, weil ich den Eindruck habe, dass du eigentlich sehr intelligent bist, nur hast du irgendwie schon länger kein ehrliches feedback bekommen - und ohne das merkt man meistens nicht, wenn man sich zum Trottel macht. Je gescheiter man ist, desto kompletter macht man das dann nämlich auch; klingt paradox, weiss das aber aus eigener bitterer Erfahrung. Von aussen ist da leider selten Hilfe zu erwarten, jeder hat meist seine eigenen issues, mit denen er sich 'rumschlägt - schau dir nur mal unvoreingenommen die Kommentare in deinem Blog an.

(/Kritik)

Wünsche dir und deinem Mann alles Gute mit euren kleinen Mädchen; seid sanft mit ihnen und vergesst nicht, sie brauchen Körperkontakt, Körperkontakt, Körperkontakt ... am besten 24/7.

Bee said...

Hi Holermann,

deine sog "Kritik" ist komplett inhaltslos und ausserdem nicht zum Thema. Tschuess,

B.

holermann said...

Liebe Bee,

hab' gestern was vergessen:

Mein Eindruck von dir ist ausserdem auch, dass du sehr liebevoll und engagiert bist - sonst hätt' ich mir ja gar nicht die Mühe gemacht, nach all den Jahren (las schon lange mit) überhaupt was zu schreiben; mir fällt das gar nicht so leicht, könnte kein blog führen.

> deine sog "Kritik" ist komplett inhaltslos und ausserdem nicht zum Thema.

Schön wär's ...

Ein Zitat ist mir noch eingefallen, das du vielleicht nicht kennst:

Do not search for the truth;
only cease to hold opinions.
(Sosan)

Alles Liebe!

Bee said...

Hi Holermann,

ich hab mich wohl missverstaendlich ausgedrueckt, drum versuche ich es noch einmal: Kommentare zum Thema sind willkommen, den Rest kannst Du Dir sparen. Es ist mir vollkommen wurscht ob irgendeinem Holermann gefaellt worueber ich auf meinem Blog schreibe. Vielleicht solltest Du Dir das mal zu Herzen nehmen, was Du da gerade zitiert hast. Weitere Kommentare, die nicht zum Thema sind, werden im digitalen Nirvana verschwinden.

Mit freundlichen Gruessen,

B.