Secrets – a fragmentary thought

Hypothesis: most of us have at least one or two things that we really really don’t want someone to know. (Google and the NSA could confirm this.)

Some secrets are shameful (like the ones I carried around for years). Some aren’t so much shameful as embarrassing (like that I can’t describe this Cheerios ad without crying). And some, we keep secret for the sheer pleasure of having a secret (like… oh, wait – I don’t want to tell you that one).

The iceberg principle applies to secrets: for every secret that comes out, ten (or a hundred) remain hidden. And still, information wants to be free. Not in the “costing nothing sense” – it doesn’t like being secret.

Over time, many (most?) secrets do come out.


  1. There’s a passage at the start of Don DeLillo’s Libra (incredible book, everyone should read it) where CIA agents are discussing secrets and how, if we give everything personal away, we risk losing who we are, losing our separate-ness. Interesting passage, although today internet anonymity puts a whole new slant on that.

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