I have to admit that I've now read Larry Lessig's article in The New Republic, Against Transparency, three times, and I still can't figure out what he's trying to say. He seems to be arguing against the concept of transparency because (1) it doesn't solve everything and (2) some bad stuff can happen from transparency as well. Finally, his argument seems to rest on the idea that if transparency doesn't solve everything, then people are going to push back against it. I don't find this argument particularly compelling. The thing is, it feels like a strawman. I haven't seen anyone who suggests transparency by itself is the end goal. Pretty much everyone seems to recognize that transparency is the first step in a process. Once you have the transparency, that enables others to build on that transparency -- whether it's analysis or tools for analysis. Lessig's piece seems to suppose that the point of transparency is that everyone will dig into the raw data -- which is an obviously silly notion. But if that data is exposed, then more people can actually provide those valuable tools and insights on top of it. And I don't see how that's a bad thing.
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