On Proper Miscommunication
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No, this isn't a prank. The Department of Miscommunication does, in fact, exist. Those joking letterheads still floating around are fake. They don't bother us much for the exact reasons I suspect you of suspecting.

We’re real and terribly important.

Please, have a seat. Feeling up for a cigarette? Oh, yes, I know. My doctor was actually asking me just the other day why I keep smoking, you know what what I say? I'm smoking because… I like it.

We, the Foundation, have been learning the health risks of smoking since they were packing cancer sticks with baseball cards. You're working among a pack of geezers like me these days, right? A smart guy like you probably wonders why there's so much more smoking here than other facilities you've worked at.

They're not being cavalier. It's all they know, preserved in amber. We've never lied to our loyal workers. We've only… made sure they're learning only what's necessary. Careful, controlled omission.

We don’t create disinformation here. Not in charge of scrutinizing all those incomprehensible addenda, either. As a matter of facts, there's nothing new coming through our hands. Only everything that is already being told.

Oh, the actual infohazards? That's the smokescreen. Keep people worrying about what outsiders might be trying to slip in and they'll be tripping over themselves to hand over their data. Identifying and processing dangerous materials is all done by bots. Just make sure you're reading the memos I send out each week for office cooler talking points. Our lives may be depending on it.

Anyways. Start thinking about the avenues through which information flows. Back in the old days, we had to scrutinize a lot of doctor's handwriting. Technology is making it easier and harder. Phones, computers, mail tubes, telegraph lines, we've got our eyes inside watching what goes where. You won't even be sending smoke signals without us knowing.

Oh, no, that's impossible. I never even started trying. Us, this whole thing, it's going to be possible to hold back the world forever. We're compartmentalizing. The deeper into the Foundation you go, the less access to the outside world you're getting. Most of the time people stop looking on their own. Too much worrying about the muggles keeps the mind off saving them.

Bringing us to the ultimate mission, why we exist, what we're going for. Just to have enough, a critical mass of skilled people to keep the very most important lights on when everything else is falling.

We can't have the researchers dumping millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere worrying about climate change. If they start forgetting that their work is keeping a thousand world-ending wonders at bay, there's no climate agreement to stop that.

If there's word of the instability of the political system, we might not keep perpetuating despotism for the sake of keeping the masses free.

Discovering exactly what is going on in Site-13, well, that Overseer Council might just start shuttering this whole project.

Oh, we're not working for anybody else in the Foundation. This is sort of what you might call… a self-creating and self-perpetuating department. If people say they haven't heard of us, start laughing along to the joke. If they're laughing at the name, less likely to look into funny business.

Come on, I'll show you around.

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