Friday, November 03, 2006

Public Openness And Personal Honesty - Part 1: The Premises

Complete honesty is probably not a feasible goal; Everybody is concerned about a minimal set privacy... Our egoistic nature implies that we wouldn't give unnecessary power to anyone, especially those we don't trust. As many people recognize knowledge is power, and therefore giving out information for free is an act of empowering others (possibly) against our egoistic purpose. The matter of fact is slightly more complex: Our social constructs implies that certain benefits are shared among the society, which implies that collaboration leads to a greater benefit that even extends to our egoistic needs. In short we can see that sharing of information leads to a case of "selfish unselfishness" that many people can recognize where sharing comes with a benefit.

As you might have realized I am an advocate of opening up the doors of information, because as I believe knowledge is the power that drives our lives to its ultimate potential, and that's when our societies will bloom with technological advancements we have not dreamt of. Those words I have spoke of before and wikipedia is one of the prominent organizations that recognize the supremacy of sharing of knowledge. Blogging also comes as an important anchor to the more profound goal of universal public sharing of information. It is for those reason this blog stands against all forms of censorship and withholding information. This post is meant to take that premise to further extents.

Information comes in many forms: It might be scientific fact, an idea, a proposition, even a sound or a shape!! As any satanist, we can recognize that even the most trivial pieces of information can lead to great discoveries. Consider the famous Newton's apple example: A really simple incident of a falling apple has lead Newton to reshape science with his famous gravitational field theories. So now it becomes clear why even the most minor or trivial information does make a difference!

Taking this discussion to a more personal dimension, we can add two premises to our initial premise. Lets first define "honesty" as the readiness and willingness of a person to share information. The first premise is the intuitive recognition that personal-level honesty has higher potential than public-level honesty, that's to say that anyone is more likely to share certain information with a select number of people rather than provide that information to the public. The second premise - that might be less concrete - is that material honesty has higher potential than emotional honesty, which is to say that a person in general is more likely to share non-emotional details rather than personal emotions-related details.

If we take the two above-mentioned premises we can reach the conclusion that for any person in general, that person has more potential to be honest about non-emotional issues with a select number of people than being honest about emotional issues with the public. Taking a quick glance at our daily life can verify those inferences.

In this series:
Public Openness And Personal Honesty - Part 1: The Premises
Public Openness And Personal Honesty - Part 2: Elaboration
Public Openness And Personal Honesty - Part 3: Public Nudity


Tala said...

you post is all true. i fully agree except that you should define honesty more profoundly.

Sometimes honesty reflects being simple minded or unshielded and easy to break, well, its very true that when you give information you empower who is infront of you. but whether it is something dangereous,, well,, i talked to a friend about this before and my opinion was No. because if that was the truth and you believe it correct, why hide? if you hide this means you are afraid. when you shield means you are afraid.

but since that talk. i have to say that i changed my mind, one should not be too open because its not good. i dont know why. but i guess this is true about emotional openess.. you know why in my opinion, because if you talk about something too much, it loses its value. and when you make it public, its not yours anymore. its not even special. its normal.
sometimes its like talking out your weakness and no one wants to give others this information

Tala said...

and if you want to take it from strategical POV, its good to be the only source of information. to be inpredictable and to be like a shadow. i always see time as this element, which is there and not there.. vast yet shrinkable.. to be the source and the reference.

Devil's Mind said...

Its good that you have some perspective about what is will be presented later on in this post (as u see, its still unfinished with [To be continued] mark)...

What I am going to try to demonstrate are two things: 1- Why honesty is a good thing, 2- How we can become more honest.

because if that was the truth and you believe it correct, why hide? if you hide this means you are afraid. when you shield means you are afraid. - Thats a good question to ask oneself: "What am i hiding? and why am i hiding it?", as u said dishonesty is a mark of fear. As opposed to that, an honest person is a strong personality with nothing to be afraid of.

because if you talk about something too much, it loses its value. - I disagree here! Come to think of it, why does being honest about an issue lessens its value? In fact, I believe being honest about something enables you to dig deeper into the truth of things giving them even more value than you initial had in mind.

sometimes its like talking out your weakness - Thats the point I am aiming at: When you hide something, you are hiding your weaknesses. Here you have two choices: The first, is to be shy and weak and never face your demons. The other choice - the one I believe is the better one - is to face your fears, become stronger, and finally defeating those fears and consequently you dont have to hide anymore.

Tala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tala said...

what if you were honest with someone who is not honest? or not as open, doesn't that indicate that he/she knows more than they should because you simply dont know about them? it indicates that you became omehow predictable, its not something good that who is infront of you and yet not a close human being is able to predict how you think. you give them a key to destroy you if they wanted..

here comes the Trust Factor, i guess we mix up honesty with trust, they are parallel..
here is what im trying to say: Honesty is a characteristic, but it doesn't mean you have to say everything, because everything cannot be told to everyone. the information you willingly give out which could be anything of any value to others is governed by trust. discussing anything with anyone is openness. but really honesty means that what you give out should be correct but what you give out its another story!!

sorry for deleting the previous comment.

Devil's Mind said...

Good points, and I agree. Sure I wouldnt say giving out information randomly is a really smart thing to do, and publishing sensitive information to the public domain is not a decision to be taken lightly.

But what I am try to say is, take for example nuclear weapons technology... When do you think the militarizes would publish the "secrets" of nuclear weapons?! The answer is a straight shot: When they develop weapons that outpowers nuclear weapons then nuclear science would be an obsolete science and there would be no risk to publish it... right?!

Thats the point, when you publish certain information, this means -if you were one of the smart ones- that you have even more advanced information to back you up, right?

So if we have two hypothetical countries. The first one teaches nuclear industry to its high school students, while the other teaches how to mix Hydrogen and Oxygen to produce water, you can with high confidence state that the first country is more technologically advanced than the second one. Do you see what I am saying?

Tala said...

"there would be no risk to publish it... right?!"

"you have even more advanced information to back you up, right?"

there is always a hidden advanced information no matter whether the display was simple or complicated ... countries, companies and orgainsations are different than people as interacting with each other..
but whether you publish the info to public or not, who wants to find a way to get to it, would find his way..
when we say this material is published to public and its open to all,to end users who just browse, i assure you there will be definately a purpose for putting it in hand. nothing is given out for free. there should be a reason for allowing the publishing.. this is what i assume, it could be for good cause or bad as well but the cause.. is there.

about publishing as in publishing, when you think short term it means something, and when you take it long term it reflects another aspect, whether for companies, coutries, or daily reflections in blogs or stuff.. you always see more when you look at it on the long term.. it tells a lot.

Aseel said...

That's an eye opening post.. I agree with sharing information because personally, I think that privacy is a bit overrated and developed to support the individuality of each person in this growing world.. I have a question though:

Don't you think that "Transparency" is a better term than "Honesty" when it comes to sharing information?

I don't know but I think "Honesty" is like a requirement to the person sharing information but not necessarily followed by the receiver. While "Transparency" in communication or information sharing requires a two-way honesty and complete sharing of information. from both party.... I know my thoughts aren't well sorted... Just think about it.. back to reading the other posts