Elitist and personality-driven: What Wikileaks tells us about how the world works

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PICARDIE — It’s like the world’s biggest gossip column has just brought out dozens of consecutive bumper, Christmas, double-issues.

Anyone who likes:
• reading rude comments about other people,
• listening in on boorish dinner table raconteurs, or
• subscribing to a Hello! magazine variant on public figures…
…will be delighted with the reading of the past few days.

Leaders are called names.  Petty gossip is repeated.  Minor faux pas are explained in painful detail.

It’s like reading your sister’s diary.

You are amazed, but instantly remorseful.

None of this was ever written for publication.  Can you imagine seeing everything you’ve said about your friends and relatives in the papers?

But there are (at least) two real and important points to take away:

1) Life is a pale extension of high school

This may be a 20-year-old quote from the TV show Thirtysomething, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Business, diplomacy… life remains a low quality soap opera in which we get too excited about the personal and private.   And not enough about the ideas and actions.

2) There is no ‘private’ anymore

If you write it, it will be stored.

If you say it into a machine, it will be saved.

If you went there, it will be found on a video.

Some people get a rush of ego-maniacal excitement from that.  So its worth pointing out: No one really cares about you enough to want to sift through the entrails of your private life.

However, if they had to… if there were reason to… there’s is a fighting chance that they could.

Forget the idea of privacy.  Or that someone has to have a good reason to access your data.  It doesn’t seem to work that way anymore.

And therefore there are things that we as people — and as employees and employers — should be doing differently.

Maybe now is the time to start to do that.


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