Re: Meritocracies and freedom of information

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Sat Oct 13 2001 - 12:25:04 MDT

"Chen Yixiong, Eric" wrote:
> "Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> > So, here is the question:
> > Should access to information be based on accreditation?

Others have stated the problems with gaining the education to be
accredited if the information is restricted, but Eric brought up an
example of the flip side:

> Both MM and AA enjoys advantages (and corresponding disadvantages) in accordance to their status.
> Rights & Limitations of "Aspiring Apprentices"
> . Prohibition from Free Discussion of "Dirty" Politics, Violence & Pornography
> Rights & Limitations of "Mentally Mature"
> . Prohibition from doing anything of great future consequences with AA

Ah, but could an AA not then become mature, though deliberately
tricking the system (say, by simply declining to declare MM status),
and then exploit the MMs' prohibitions while using a pseudonym or
similar to get around the limits on discussion? Even if some acts were
traced to the AA, the MMs could not do anything that would
significantly limit the AA's future.

Basic problem: legal categorization of people is imperfect. If it
benefits people to exploit the difference between the law's intent and
its reality, people will do so. (Ideal systems can be imagined, but
historically, any attempt to implement always introduces bugs. Merely
saying "this one will be perfect" has, when tried, only resulted in
less attention being paid to actually fixing the bugs.)

This is a problem with the accreditation, too, since "accredited" and
"not accredited" are but legal categories in this case. However, here
the abuse is more likely to be by those who do the acceditation, since
there are few benefits to not being accredited, but many perceived
(and, IMO, mostly false) ones to making sure that people you do not
personally know and trust can not exploit a field of knowledge.

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