In your opinion is Bradley Manning A HERO or A Zero?
There has been a lot of discussion here about the many dimensions of complexity involved in the Bradley Manning case. I wont add to them, they are well enough covered.
I would just like to look at the question.
Hero or Zero?
Black or white?
Right or wrong?
One or Zero?
What does the question imply?
It implies that it is possible to meaningfully condense a very complex set of near infinite value judgements into a simple binary.
Can anyone meaningfully contemplate infinity when one can only express number as 0 or 1?
Bradley Manning is neither Hero nor Zero.
He is a very complex human being – as are we all.
He has some aspects that are very highly developed, and other aspects that are still very simplistic.
It seems that all aspects of awareness start from simple binaries – true/false, right/wrong, black/white; and progress to gradations of the infinite.
It seems that we all start out being very certain of our judgements – they really are right or wrong; yet the more experience we have, the more we are able to see that all choices have unforeseen consequences; and if we are lucky, we start judging others less, and simply put more of our energy into making the best choices we can, and doing what we can with the consequences of other people’s choices that flow our way.
I see Bradley Manning as an individual within a system that is fundamentally corrupt and corrupting, not from any specific intention, but simply from the deep incentive structures within the system.
We have choice to create systems with different incentive structures, and it seems clear to me that no system can ever deliver certainty. Nothing can deliver on that sense of right and wrong that we all necessarily must have at the base of our intellectual development. We must accept that we must pass beyond all shadows of that particular set of illusions.
I am sure that was part of what was present in his actions, and I suspect, from listening to his statements, that there was a fair amount of ego in the mix as well – which is why I said its complicated.
We are all complex entities.
Does any of us really know why we do anything?
We can certainly dream up all sorts of excuses and justifications after the fact, and most of those seem to be fairly unconscious and automatic. There have been some really interesting experiments with split brain people on this topic.
I am not a great fan of secrecy, and I am carrying quite a few confidences which I will not disclose because I agreed not to.