"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

An open mind

You hear about it with corporations – having a specific culture, in which things happen in part because they’re simply expected to, or not to. It’s true of other organizations too; patterns of thought become ingrained, and alternative ways of thinking just have a hard time taking root.

Consider the Idaho state Board of Education, recently hand-slapped, sort of, for “a non-knowing violation of the Open Meeting Law.” Today reporter Betsy Russell (of the Spokane Spokesman-Review), who filed the initial complaint leading to the AG’s action, blogged this:

“The state Board of Education has sent out its schedule for meetings this week, and it includes “open government training” this Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., followed immediately by – you guessed it – a closed-door, executive session at 5 p.m.”

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