“The treacherous are ever distrustful…” (Gandalf to Saruman at Orthanc)

Andrew Gelman’s post: Ethical standards in different data communities reminded me of this quote from The Two Towers (Lord of the Rings, Book II, J.R.R. Tolkien).

Andrew reports on a widely repeated claim by a former associate of a habitual criminal offender enterprise that recent government statistics were “cooked” to help President Obama in his re-election campaign.

After examining motives for “cooking” data and actual instances of data being “cooked” (by the habitual criminal offender enterprise), Andrew remarks:

One reason this interests me is the connection to ethics in the scientific literature. Jack Welch has experience in data manipulation and so, when he sees a number he doesn’t like, he suspects it’s been manipulated.

The problem is that anyone searching for this accusation or further information about the former associate or the habitual criminal offender enterprise, is unlike to encounter GE: Decades of Misdeeds and Wrongdoing.

Everywhere the GE stock ticker appears, there should be a link to: GE Corporate Criminal History. With links to the original documents, including pleas, fines, individuals, etc. Under whatever name or guise the activity was conducted.

This isn’t an anti-corruption rant. People in other criminal offender enterprises should be able to judge for themselves the trustworthiness of their individual counter-parts in other enterprises.

Although, someone willing to cheat the government is certainly ready to cheat you.

Topic maps can deliver that level of transparency.

Or not, if you the sort with a “cheating heart.”

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