The Cost of Testing, Accountability, and Transparency

Mike the Mad Biologist

With ‘accountability’ being all the rage, it’s worth noting the difference between accountability and transparency:

Accountability proposals, when applied to lower level employees, have a tendency to backfire due to Campbell’s Law. If there’s an unsolved shooting attempt with no known injuries and police are on the hook to lower gun-related incidents, then this will get filed as ‘property damage.’ That doesn’t help anyone, as any possible follow up on that crime will be minimal. Even if only a small percentage of these misclassified cases are solved, that’s actually a good thing: arresting chuckleheads who shoot at people off the streets helps. But recording these incidents (most of which are unsolvable without some dumb luck) honestly makes the case clearance rate much lower.

Accountability should be in place for upper-level management and policy makers (including politicians and their official or unofficial advisors); their decisions create the environment in which…

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