Author Topic: KU 3  (Read 39381 times)  

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #275 on: August 05, 2017, 01:18:31 AM »
I have severe RSI and would always read in Page Flip if I didn't have an e-ink Kindle (the non-touchscreen one with left and right page navigation buttons). The force needed to trigger a page scroll in normal mode is sufficient to trigger arm pain. Page Flip is not without pain, but a mere flesh wound by comparison with normal mode. I am so glad to have a non-touchscreen Kindle.

If normal mode hurts, you must have the wrong device. I have pain in my hands as well, and the Ipad Mini has no swipe issue of any kind.  I cant comment on dedicated readers, as I've never used one, but if your device is causing pain, you should be changing devices.

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If I subscribed to KU and you asked me not to read in Page Flip I would probably never read another book by you again unless I really really liked your work. Those with disabilities do not appreciate the able-bodied telling us what to do. If I trigger arm pain and ignore that pain and keep swiping I would be in pain for hours after I stopped reading.

Err....able-bodied? Moi? Obviously we've never met. I moved to the Ipad Mini as soon as I found the Kindle app, precisely because books hurt too much to read any more. Both holding them, and the neck and back. In comparison, the Ipad Mini gives me almost no pain at all.

If swiping is that bad for you, you need to invent a glove with a swipe attachment. So your movement is made at the elbow level instead. So whatever you call those pen things which swipe, a glove, and some gaffer tape. If I had that level of swipe pain, I'd have made it already.

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I feel you pain about Amazon's failure to communicate between tech teams and the KDP team, but I guarantee that you would not want to feel my pain.

Lets compare pain. I suffer from an endless migraine, where drugs which never work the same twice, push back enough pain for me to sometimes function. Added to that, I have back and neck pain, and variable RSI like pain in the hands and feet (which responds to an arthritis drug).

No, lets not compare pain. My normal is where other people dont get out of bed.

I dont want to feel your pain, but I guarantee you, you dont want to feel mine either.

So lets stop talking about pain.

Seriously, if I had your swipe problem, I'd be testing every single device available to find the best swiper, and if that failed, I'd be inventing a way I could swipe without the hand being involved.

At the moment, I'm trying to devise a way of writing books without a functioning brain. I'm managing editing, so not there yet, but its a start.

In the meantime, KU3 dropping my already depleted reads count, is not what I needed.

Offline BillyDeCarlo

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #276 on: August 05, 2017, 04:41:45 AM »
Those who think it's not possible to read in page-flip/thumbnail mode haven't seen my mom's 12+ inch tablet that she uses to read. Not everyone reads Kindle on phones.


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Offline loonlover

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #277 on: August 05, 2017, 05:59:29 AM »
I'm one of those who can't imagine reading in page flip mode. I do read only on a Paperwhite or Voyage. The page flip function was developed in response to readers' requests for several years to be able to navigate around in a book. And most readers I know use it to look back at something to refresh their memory on something that occurred earlier in the book. If you disable the feature for books in KU, you will anger a lot of folks.

I agree, it should not affect counting the number of page reads, but doing away with a functionality that was added for the benefit of readers would not seem the way to fix that issue.

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #278 on: August 05, 2017, 06:19:05 AM »
I don't think it's particularly helpful to be telling readers how they should be reading. I'm one of those who will quite happily read in page flip (I find it much more fluid and aligned with the way I read), and if I like it then I can only assume lots of other people do too. However, since there's no chance of Amazon looking for a solution, given that in their view it's not a problem, I would say it's probably best not to stress too much about all those pages not paid for.  :)

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #279 on: August 05, 2017, 06:47:23 AM »

But why isn't the boss of the KU section standing in the office of the boss of the page-flip section screaming, "YOU'RE F*CKING UP KINDLE UNLIMITED! REMOVE PAGE FLIP UNTIL YOU CAN HANDLE IT PROPERLY!"

And then doing it again in both boss's offices. And taking it to the top and screaming it up there.

Most likely because profits are up, everyone is getting their bonuses, and who wants to rock the boat that much?   Additionally, having worked in tech, the reason no one is fixing these problems could easily be that they feel the roadmap for KU will resolve them (albeit a year from now). Why fix a car you're going to be replacing in a year; as long as it's drivable now, that's good enough.  Or worse, they've concluded KU can't be fixed but refuse to abandon it because it's making them money.

The only time they will take this seriously is if their quarterly profits start to drop. And even then, they probably won't act until 2-3 quarters have passed with declining revenue.

The other thing is bad publicity. That's the one thing that will make any company stop, put the roadmap aside, and implement an "all hands on deck" fix.

And yes, technically, what zon is doing must be breaking laws. No question about it. But, unless someone internally ever leaks proof that they aren't accurately paying authors, they'll get away with it. I mean, Apple had employees jumping off buildings in China. Walmart (I think) was the one with that sweatshop that went up in flames in India killing most of the workers. The idea that these big corporations are concerned about "ethical" behavior is laughable, they are concerned about being seen as ethical though... so until they take a hit in the press, they will keep trucking along.




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Re: KU 3
« Reply #280 on: August 05, 2017, 07:01:52 AM »
Page Flip improves the customer experience, which is always going to be the direction Amazon leans. It's intended to allow customers to browse through and land on a specific page, not to read in. In Amazon's collective mind, it makes perfect sense that a page read would only count for the page landed upon and not the pages skimmed through prior to landing on that page.

People reading entire books in Page Flip mode is an unintended consequence. Correcting for it would be impossible, because counting pages read in PF would also count unread pages browsed past. I'm pretty positive that from their perspective, this is working correctly, and in the sense that 'more people use PF to browse than to read' they're probably right.

It's never going to get changed.

Offline P.T. Phronk

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #281 on: August 05, 2017, 08:03:55 AM »
It's never going to get changed.

Isn't there a really simple solution to all of this? If a reader stays on a page for more than the minimum time needed to read that page (at least a few seconds), whether it's in Page Flip or normal reading or any future display method, it counts as a page read. If they spend less than that time on a page, or outright skip past it with links or fast swiping, it doesn't count.

That doesn't affect the reader at all, fairly divides the pot when normal readers get through books, and makes it harder for scammers, stuffers, and skippers to get more of the pot than they should.

I'm not the first to bring this up, so I like to think Amazon's working on something like this, at their usual glacial pace. And yeah there are a variety of devices etc. etc., but each and every one of them is basically a supercomputer connected to the Internet. If you tell them to count, they're able to count.

Offline great_gazoo

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #282 on: August 05, 2017, 08:06:51 AM »
Yeah, and I'm saying - Anyone in KU shouldn't be able to use page-flip at all. Membership in KU should completely turn off the feature.

Are you serious?

What if I buy a 5 book boxset and want to immediately skip to the third and fourth book? You're saying I shouldn't be allowed to do that?

Scammers have to dictate and harm the features and abilities of genuine readers? Huh?

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #283 on: August 05, 2017, 08:18:39 AM »
And yes, technically, what zon is doing must be breaking laws. No question about it. But, unless someone internally ever leaks proof that they aren't accurately paying authors, they'll get away with it. I mean, Apple had employees jumping off buildings in China. Walmart (I think) was the one with that sweatshop that went up in flames in India killing most of the workers. The idea that these big corporations are concerned about "ethical" behavior is laughable, they are concerned about being seen as ethical though... so until they take a hit in the press, they will keep trucking along.
Proving that Page Flip underpays authors wouldn't be hard. There are people in this very thread who've acknowledged that they read whole books in Page Flip. I'm sure a few non-author readers could be found who'd be willing to sign affadavits to that effect. The hard part would be proving the magnitude of the problem. If it's not that big, then who cares? If it is, though, and someone were willing to lawyer-up and start researching, it's possible enough readers could be found to make the foundation of a class action lawsuit.

The problem is that someone would have to put a lot of work and money into it, and there's no guarantee what the result would actually be.

A better hope at this point would be enough people dropping out of KU to make Amazon nervous. For whatever reason, Amazon wants to maintain KU and wants to maintain incentives for exclusivity. KU readers want a large and varied stream of content. Sure, people raking in huge sums in KU will probably stick it out--and who can blame them? However, are there enough authors in that group to provide enough material for KU subscribers? Maybe not. Also, if, as some think, Page Flip use is growing, it's only a matter of time before some people who are now satisfied will become dissatisfied.


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Re: KU 3
« Reply #284 on: August 05, 2017, 08:20:22 AM »
Isn't there a really simple solution to all of this? If a reader stays on a page for more than the minimum time needed to read that page (at least a few seconds), whether it's in Page Flip or normal reading or any future display method, it counts as a page read. If they spend less than that time on a page, or outright skip past it with links or fast swiping, it doesn't count.

That doesn't affect the reader at all, fairly divides the pot when normal readers get through books, and makes it harder for scammers, stuffers, and skippers to get more of the pot than they should.

I'm not the first to bring this up, so I like to think Amazon's working on something like this, at their usual glacial pace. And yeah there are a variety of devices etc. etc., but each and every one of them is basically a supercomputer connected to the Internet. If you tell them to count, they're able to count.
I think more than one poster in the past who knew something about programming has proposed something like this. If Amazon is serious about keeping the program going, eventually it will do something like this. I just hope they do it before the entire program collapses.


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Re: KU 3
« Reply #285 on: August 05, 2017, 09:04:56 AM »
A better hope at this point would be enough people dropping out of KU to make Amazon nervous. For whatever reason, Amazon wants to maintain KU and wants to maintain incentives for exclusivity. KU readers want a large and varied stream of content. Sure, people raking in huge sums in KU will probably stick it out--and who can blame them? However, are there enough authors in that group to provide enough material for KU subscribers? Maybe not.

precisely. This is a very predictable and common situation in a market that is attempting to be monopolized by one vendor. Other vendors supplying that vendor then have to decide are they better at supporting that monopoly or not. The pro of support is usually short-term gains (through incentives the big boy gives) versus long term pain (once the monopoly wins, they then crush the very vendors that enabled their monopoly). Those who don't support it, usually suffer short-term pain, but gain long term (assuming the big vendor doesn't achieve monopoly). If it does achieve monopoly, then those who bet on it failing get crushed (but really, no more so than the other vendors who were loyal from the start, as everyone becomes slaves to whatever the monopoly company wants, as there's nowhere for anyone to go).

I said this before, Walmart is doing this to their distribution partners. They are forcing shipping companies to do business only with Walmart and to suffer fines if they are too early or too late with a shipment; they must now be exactly on time. They are turning the screws on their shippers in an attempt to squeeze out costs to compete with Amazon.

There's a bigger macro economic picture going on here and we're just little guppies in an ocean that is changing radically.

The only thing I know for sure is that it's a short-term strategy at best to do business with someone that you know has no issue ripping you off (intentionally or unintentionally, whatever the case may be). But as I've learned, the self-pub world does not operate based on simple business logic. It's based on desperation to be read and to make sales by any means necessary. So it's more of a hussle than a business for most people.

Anyway, in the end perhaps market stability simply isn't possible in a market with low barrier to entry and it will forever remain a mess (with a handful of authors who find a way through the traffic jam and develop their own little bubble of stability amongst the chaos).

All I know for sure is that the only thing Amazon cares about is the bottom line. So long as KU makes them money, there's no "real" problem.

Offline Calista Cage

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #286 on: August 05, 2017, 09:15:06 AM »
So I thought I'd come in and update our last test.  We took one of the books that originally she had opened, went into and clicked the link to the "about the author" to take her to the last page and closed it. It had only registered 3 pages even after 24 hours. That's the good sign, meaning that if you do the click from the TOC it won't pay for pages not read. We wanted that to stop the scammers.


Here's the down side...


I had her open that same book, go into page flip and then click to chapter 10, then go into "normal" mode and read through until the end. Basically, simulating if someone was reading the first 10 chapters in page flip and then the remaining few in normal mode.  Only 62 pages registered, which means that if someone read in page flip for the first 3/4 of the book and came out of it, you're only getting page for those not in page flip. 


One other thing. I've been talking to several author friends as well as a few readers and you'd be surprised how many read in page flip, especially on larger tablets. So it is happening.




Offline UK1783

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #287 on: August 05, 2017, 12:12:11 PM »
And yes, technically, what zon is doing must be breaking laws. No question about it. But, unless someone internally ever leaks proof that they aren't accurately paying authors, they'll get away with it. I mean, Apple had employees jumping off buildings in China. Walmart (I think) was the one with that sweatshop that went up in flames in India killing most of the workers. The idea that these big corporations are concerned about "ethical" behavior is laughable, they are concerned about being seen as ethical though... so until they take a hit in the press, they will keep trucking along.

I agree wholeheartedly. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google. They all give the impression of being for various social justices, but in reality they don't give a toss.

Amazon are only thinking of their customers and the only reason they introduced KU3 was to get rid of the scammers who were cheating Amazon, not out of any cause to protect Amazon writers.

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #288 on: August 05, 2017, 01:18:30 PM »


The only thing I know for sure is that it's a short-term strategy at best to do business with someone that you know has no issue ripping you off (intentionally or unintentionally, whatever the case may be)...

Anyway, in the end perhaps market stability simply isn't possible in a market with low barrier to entry and it will forever remain a mess (with a handful of authors who find a way through the traffic jam and develop their own little bubble of stability amongst the chaos).


This.

Using the stock market and investment world as a metaphor (just a metaphor folks, really, no brickbats please from stockbrokers and day traders telling me I know nothing about the stock market or investing), stability comes from diversification. Concentration is inherently unstable. Concentration results in higher earnings when that sector is hot, but lower earnings or even negative earnings when that sector experiences an unexpected shock or disruption. That's why it's wiser in the long run to be, say, an energy company than a coal-only company. Yeah, in the heyday of coal people made a ton of money, but eventually, things changed.

Add in the fact that it's not merely the market that can change and disrupt, but the whim of one company, maybe even one manager in that company, and the risks of concentration become clearer.

Again, YMMV and I'm not advocating abandoning KU wholesale, but to be diversified beyond KU if possible, and to be cognizant of the risks, and ready to change. For example, I went wide with my mystery-suspense books separately and earlier than my science fiction, because I found those readers seemed abundant on the wide sites and they were willing to pay retail.



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Offline BillyDeCarlo

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #289 on: August 05, 2017, 01:23:19 PM »
Maybe someone should get onto one of those websites that make online petitions easy and start up an indie author campaign/petition to the Zon to let them know at least there are a significant number of us that are p*ssed off and considering bolting. It's possible they have no idea we're on to them and/or the adverse effect of this change on us.


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Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #290 on: August 05, 2017, 01:47:43 PM »
Amazon are only thinking of their customers and the only reason they introduced KU3 was to get rid of the scammers who were cheating Amazon, not out of any cause to protect Amazon writers.
I would agree with the general point that large corporations are primarily worried about their own profits rather than their distributors or anyone else. Still, in the interest of fairness, it's worth noting that none of us have a clue why Amazon took steps against the scammers. The notion that they were cheating Amazon is really only true if Amazon was injecting extra money into the pot to keep the payout from falling below a certain level--which may or may not be true. I think a more likely scenario is that the bulk of the scamming activity was costing us collectively far more than it was costing Amazon. (At least, that's what a lot of people in this thread would have said a few days ago.)

Whatever Amazon's motive was, making the system harder for scammers to game does benefit all of us in the long run.

Should Amazon fix Page Flip? Yes. I read a suggestion somewhere that a page counts if a reader spends enough time on it, whether it's being read in Page Flip or not. However, we don't really know how much of an impact Page Flip has. Nor do we know that it's responsible for the decline in the last few days. After reading the other thread on August stats so far, I'm persuaded there could be several possible reasons the drop some people are seeing.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 07:38:07 AM by Bill Hiatt »


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Offline Jim Johnson

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #291 on: August 05, 2017, 05:22:30 PM »
Maybe someone should get onto one of those websites that make online petitions easy and start up an indie author campaign/petition to the Zon to let them know at least there are a significant number of us that are p*ssed off and considering bolting. It's possible they have no idea we're on to them and/or the adverse effect of this change on us.

Online petitions are a waste of time. Write up a professional-sounding email and email it to jeff@amazon.com. You'll get a response from someone in the executive client relations. They do read emails. Harder to know if they're making changes, but so far any time I've emailed Jeff or ECR, I've gotten responses. Enough of us send emails to them, they'll get the picture. Whether they do something about it is another matter.

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #292 on: August 06, 2017, 04:18:22 AM »
For whatever reason, Amazon wants to maintain KU and wants to maintain incentives for exclusivity.

Amazon sure seems to be trying just the opposite.  ::)
 

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #293 on: August 10, 2017, 11:51:50 PM »

I wrote it in a couple of days. Surely Amazon's crack team of programmers could do the same.

Fixing the bug would actually cost Amazon money though so it's way down on the backlog under the last Sprint before the end of time and way after all the 'make Pageflip even better so more people use it to read' Stories.

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Offline BillyDeCarlo

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #294 on: August 11, 2017, 03:31:34 AM »
Yesterday I had some sales and a few hundred page reads sometime before noon, and then book report ca-chinged and I looked and it was down to almost nothing - 28 cents for just a few page reads. It stayed that way until last night, although the KDP reports still shows the sales and page reads. Not sure what that was all about, but it seems things are still in flux.


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Offline Amanda M. Lee

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #295 on: August 11, 2017, 05:46:17 AM »
Yesterday I had some sales and a few hundred page reads sometime before noon, and then book report ca-chinged and I looked and it was down to almost nothing - 28 cents for just a few page reads. It stayed that way until last night, although the KDP reports still shows the sales and page reads. Not sure what that was all about, but it seems things are still in flux.
That was a Book Report thing because Amazon made a change in a file name. There are other threads about it. Ultimately it had nothing to do with KU3.

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #296 on: August 11, 2017, 07:56:56 AM »
Fixing the bug would actually cost Amazon money though so it's way down on the backlog under the last Sprint before the end of time and way after all the 'make Pageflip even better so more people use it to read' Stories.
It would cost them money in the sense that they'd have to pay programmers to do it. It could be viewed as a cost if we assume that Page Flip was intended as a way to avoid paying for lots of pages read. I suppose that's possible; stranger things have happened. However, it's certainly a high-risk strategy if Amazon wants to maintain KU, which it seems to. I think it's more likely Amazon actually believed in the beginning that readers wouldn't read books in Page Flip. (Some authors have expressed the same opinion.) Anyway, we know that some people read books in Page Flip, but we have no idea how many. It's hard to know how much Amazon gains from that.

Long-term, of course, Amazon can't sustain KU without indie authors. Most publishers have stayed away from it, and there aren't nearly enough Amazon imprint books to sustain the appetites of KU readers. That means it has to weigh short-term gains from not paying for some of the pages against potential long-term losses in enough authors pull out to jeopardize the future of the program. How much does Amazon make on KU and on extra purchases made by KU browsers? We don't know that either, but I'd bet it's considerably more than the amount it makes (purposely or by accident) from Page Flip.


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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #297 on: August 11, 2017, 08:05:20 AM »
I think it's more likely Amazon actually believed in the beginning that readers wouldn't read books in Page Flip. (Some authors have expressed the same opinion.) Anyway, we know that some people read books in Page Flip, but we have no idea how many. It's hard to know how much Amazon gains from that.

I don't think it matters how many readers do or don't read using page flip. The fact is Amazon have implemented a method where a reader can read a book in KU without the pages being counted. And, whenever anyone has asked Amazon about it, without bothering to supply any supporting numbers much less evidence, they tell us it's a small percentage and we shouldn't worry about it.

It's this sort of behavior that breaks trust between Amazon and the authors. Sure, some authors don't care, but there are enough that do for Amazon to do something other than nothing.

Offline PaulineMRoss

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #298 on: August 11, 2017, 08:30:54 AM »
I don't think it matters how many readers do or don't read using page flip.

This I agree with (although for different reasons from you). Yes, the page flip issue means that pages read are being systematically under-reported, but unless you assume that page flip is used more for certain authors' works or certain genres (which seems unlikely to me), then the under-reporting will be spread over the whole pool of pages read and the payout rate will be fractionally higher as a result. So it all comes out in the wash. In my opinion.

Now, scamming, botting, bundling, etc, designing to increase the share of the pool for certain authors at the expense of everyone else - that's something I get incensed about. But page flip, no.
 

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Offline MelD

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #299 on: August 11, 2017, 08:58:02 AM »
I don't think it matters how many readers do or don't read using page flip. The fact is Amazon have implemented a method where a reader can read a book in KU without the pages being counted. And, whenever anyone has asked Amazon about it, without bothering to supply any supporting numbers much less evidence, they tell us it's a small percentage and we shouldn't worry about it.

It's this sort of behavior that breaks trust between Amazon and the authors
. Sure, some authors don't care, but there are enough that do for Amazon to do something other than nothing.

I agree with this. Trust is very important to me. I see a good reason to worry when claimed fact cannot be verified. And even more so when the information I receive contradicts the reality I'm presented to. Transparency is usually denied where secrecy is needed.