Secrecy Destroys Knowledge

by Mike Sententia on January 18, 2012

You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.

Today is SOPA blackout day. And I want to talk about it, but in a broader context: Sharing vs secrecy.

Modern knowledge exists because we share ideas. Because we stand on one anothers’ shoulders to see farther.

SOPA is intended to stop piracy (it won’t), but it’s implemented so broadly that it will shut down innovation.

But we, as mages, damage our own innovation with our traditions of secrecy.

When you figure something out, and don’t tell people, that forces them to duplicate your work. Maybe they never will. Maybe that insight is unique to you, or to you and a dozen other people, and most people will never realize it.

But it’s bigger than that. Even if everyone will eventually realize what you did, we as humans only have a finite time to realize everything we’re ever going to realize. Eighty years, give or take, minus time to sleep, do a day job, love a family, and all the other things we’re going to do.

If science had a tradition of secrecy, we would have no Einstein or Schrodinger, just another Newton every few generations, re-discovering gravity.

If you have a good idea, or some experiments, publish them. Start a blog. Leave a comment here. Whatever you do, put the ideas out there, so other mages can build on them. Over time, that’s how you create better magick.

Back to SOPA: See wikipedia for technical details. And read Why I’m a Pirate for the bigger picture that inspired this post.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Taylor Ellwood January 18, 2012 at 3:41 PM

I’ve never really liked the tradition of secrecy in occultism. I’ve felt sometimes that it’s just a game people play to try and posture. Like you, I prefer to be more outspoken. Glad you are writing this blog.

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Mike Sententia January 19, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Thanks Taylor. And thanks for linking me from your blog. Glad to have you on board.

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