In 1913, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said as much in a now-famous article in Harper’s Weekly. “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases,” he wrote. “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
It is too early to tell if 24-7 sunlight will substitute for the rapidly shrinking church and religious faith in the business of morality and ethics, as we’re just a few years into this inadvertent social experiment.
Moreover, the sunlight itself can be complicated, striped as it is with 50 shades of black. While they seem to do good in bringing misdeeds to light, white-hat hacks, like the Impact Group’s takeover of Ashley Madison data and Edward Snowden’s leak of U.S. government classified data, too often break laws or dart unthinkingly across bright moral lines.
When my youngest daughter was three years old and unable to grasp that she could be seen even if she closed her eyes, she’d cover her eyes with her hands and shriek “Don’t see me!” when I’d come across her doing something wrong. Like a good comedian, she conveyed a truth hidden behind a laugh.