Disclosure as Tactic and Strategy

Robert Frank has a nice piece on the “full-disclosure principle” in today’s NYT Business section. It’s called “To Disclose or Not? Ask the Frogs.” Give it a read to find out what the frogs have to say on the topic.

The full-disclosure principle suggests that it’s alway better to disclose information to potential adversaries lest they think the worst on the assumption that in a population of competitors there are always some that you are better than; even if you info shows you in a poor light, it will make you look better than those who are in reality worse.

It’s a great example of a simple result built on some simple assumptions and which very frequently doesn’t seem to hold. Why is that a good thing? Because it points us right toward what is peculiar about the situations where it doesn’t hold. This is precisely where we start to do a little “sociology of information.” Frank does this in the article when he ponders why political candidates aren’t full disclosers.

Author: Dan Ryan

I'm currently an Academic Program Director at MinervaProject.com. I've been a professor at University of Toronto, University of Southern California, and Mills College teaching things like human centered design, computational thinking, modeling for policy sciences, and social theory. I'm driven by the desire to figure out how to teach twice as many twice as well twice as easily.

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