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” Imagine a field before us composed of all the information that exists in the world—inside government computers, people’s letters, things that have already been published, the stream of information coming out of televisions, this total knowledge of all the world, both accessible and inaccessible to the public. We can as a thought experiment observe this field and ask: If we want to use information to produce actions that affect the world to make it more just, which information will do that? So what we ask for is a way to color the field of information before us, to take a yellow highlighter and mark the interesting bits—all the information that is most likely to have that effect on the world, which leads it toward the state we desire. But what is the signal that permits us to do that? What can we recognize when we look at the world from a distance? Can we somehow recognize those things that we should mark as worthy candidates to achieve change? Some of the information in this tremendous field, if you look at it carefully, is faintly glowing. And what it’s glowing with is the amount of work that’s being put into suppressing it. So, when someone wants to take information and literally stick it in a vault and surround it with guards, I say that they are doing economic work to suppress information from the world. And why is so much economic work being done to suppress that information? Probably—not definitely, but probably—because the organization predicts that it’s going to reduce the power of the institution that contains it. It’s going to produce a change in the world, and the organization doesn’t like that vision. Therefore, the containing institution engages in constant economic work to prevent that change. So, if you search for that signal of suppression, then you can find all this information that you should mark as information that should be released. So, it was an epiphany to see the signal of censorship to always be an opportunity, to see that when organizations or governments of various kinds attempt to contain knowledge and suppress it, they are giving you the most important information you need to know: that there is something worth looking at to see if it should be exposed and that censorship expresses weakness, not strength.
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