Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson was just sacked, reputedly over a computer science degree he never earned. (His degree was actually in accounting.) Deceit is everywhere - not only in resumes, but, I suspect - in the fiber of this story.
Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson was only there for a few months, hired to re-invigorate a company that was once a Wall street darling. But investor romances are nothing if not fickle. Remember when AOL and MySpace were magical names?
What really happened here? What if Thompson had worked a miracle on Yahoo and managed to ratchet the company back to the top of the digital heap? Would investor groups have cared about his bogus educational credential?
Couldn't they have spotted his prevarication before he was hired? In the information age, there are no secrets - only the ones people choose to ignore. How many CEO's and politicians get a free pass on far worse behavior just because they have better spin doctors?
Which brings me to the bigger picture. How do we stuff the privacy genie back in the bottle? From Travolta to Lohan to your friendly neighborhood chiropodist, we're all living in a big terrarium where the light never goes dark and the sand isn't deep enough to cover a bad pedicure. Is being able to order discount toothpaste with a mouse-click worth the complete and utter lack of privacy we now suffer?
The flip side of the information age is the "gotcha" age, peopled by digital detectives cum snitches. Everybody's clicking away on everybody else as they dig for criminal activity, moral turpitude, or barring those trophies, a Tweet that was "inappropriate." Whatever that means.
Perhaps the most over-used word of this age is "transparency." For politicians, fine. They work for us. But I'd prefer some more opaqueness for the rest of us.