The good historian is like the giant of the fairy tale. He knows that wherever he catches the scent of human flesh, there his quarry lies.
A clown I knew who was retiring from Ringling Brothers gave me his giant shoes, and somebody else made me a clown suit.
We get information in the mail, the regular postal mail, encrypted or not, vet it like a regular news organization, format it – which is sometimes something that’s quite hard to do, when you’re talking about giant databases of information – release it to the public and then defend ourselves against the inevitable legal and political attacks.
One can decide that the principal role of knowledge is as an indispensable element in the functioning of society, and act in accordance with that decision, only if one has already decided that society is a giant machine.
Fling but a stone, the giant dies.