History and Transparency

Are we in a world of too much transparency, or too little has always been the question people have argued and debated. It seems like people like to pick and choose what they would like to know more about and what they would not like to get public. Many individuals preach privacy and the right to privacy as something which should be upheld and maintained for the sake of citizens, but why do we still seek transparency in issues where national security is involved? These issues time and time again are questioned and debated and there never seems to be a solution or one set decision on what should be done. Reading these two articles “Archiving Tweets” and “WikiLeaks and the Historical Community,” made this opinion of mine even stronger?

When it comes to our personal lives, we prefer and expect to have our privacy, but if we as individuals are comfortable enough to update every breathing second of our lives on social websites like twitter-we should not be concerned about the decison of Library of Congress’s to digitally archive public tweets. In today’s date, most individuals are machine driven, or technology driven. We always have access to the internet and social networking websited like twitter and facebook on our laptops, desktops and even cell phones!  We are constantly seen walking down streets balancing our walk and our typing speed on blackberry phone keypads. If this is the case, then it may certainly be a wise decision to record the behavior of humans and how they maintain a craze to have their voice heard and get noticed via these meduims of socialization. Historians may in fact come across a lot of jergen and incomprehensible tweets, but I would certainly agree with one of the commentators on the “Archiving Tweets” article, somewhere or another historians will find what they are looking for.

History is not something which remains constant and neither are the means in the way history is both taught and studied and read. If this is the case then technology has already started making the process for both historians and students different. We have more means of doing research and collecting data then we may have ever had before, in addition the ability to archive public human activity on the net, could help conclude on many other things concerning perhaphs human activity, performance, sociology and politics. The wikileaks incident dumped many government classified documents out in the public, whether this should be a national security concern within itself is very important to realize. Where do we find the balance between openness and secretcy? Who makes these decisions? Well I wish there was an easier way to find the answers to questions like these, however, incidents like these which happen once in a while do nothing to aid in answering these questions. I would have to agree with the author, K.C. Johnson, document dumps like this one only complicate the situation even more.