Michael H Goldhaber on Fri, 17 Dec 2010 13:57:29 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Wikileaks is old hat

IMO Jackson Pollock was an extremely great painter, unequalled by any follower in over half a century, by no means just a product of hype, his work in  no way the same as what a 5-year old  might do. Abstract expressionism such as his  is very different from abstract art of 40 years earlier (not 50), and, also,  while that arguably began in Russia, it didn't stay there long.  

The analogy to wikileaks  is at best, then, not very suggestive. I think the jury is out on what wikileaks and its offshoots might achieve on a sustained basis, if there should be one. Hype is to some extent the very point of wikileaks. It may be that it is technically similar and no more shocking than other things that have been released, say on YouTube, but its leaks have certainly garnered much more attention. 

If huge amounts of supposed secrets come out every week from now on, presumably the excitement will fade, and investigative reporters would have to mine the results just as much as they now do to obtain similar revelations. I suspect governments would still function pretty much as at present, since secrecy is much less important than many think. On the other hand , they will be embarrassed more often, which wouldn't hurt. In the margins, that might slightly help democracy, but not more. 


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