May 20, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Aspen Daily News "Truth and consequences"

Dave Danforth:
".....Thompson might have been fine at his job, with or without the alleged degree.  Computer science is a respected pedigree at a shop like Yahoo. The company’s challenger had more evidence about the company’s CEO than the company was willing to admit (see: denial). It was now all about credibility. By May 13, Thompson was gone, and the dissident had won three seats of the dozen on the Yahoo board.

The dissenter had broken a sweat. He did a little research that escaped Yahoo. The CEO had never bothered to ask himself what might happen if some outsider poked at the blemish on his resume. Thompson appeared to be caught up in the terminal stages of denial. Whatever the origins of the Stonehill computer science degree, he’d made a bet when he thought he wouldn’t get caught.

There are denials and then denials. When Congressman Anthony Weiner tried to defer responsibility for some salacious photo tweets, we knowingly laughed. Such is life in Congress these days that it didn’t hit home. Congress, we reasoned, is full of jokers who don’t really get anything done. Certainly no degree is required.

The voters would certainly vote Wiener out — not so much because he’d tried some freshman boasts of his sexuality, but because he’d lied about it. So he quit. But that doesn’t always hold true. When Louisiana Sen. David Vitter was discovered on the client list of a Washington madam in 2007, he found some sympathy. Fun seeking in the Bayou caused few constituents to hit the panic button, and Vitter won re-election three years later. But then, he’d never lied about it. His bet that he wouldn’t get caught held no fatal consequences.

We are in a modern world where executives and politicians rest their livelihoods on a bet about whether they’ll get caught. Often they have a grace period, in which they can beg, repent, and gain redemption. We are big on forgiveness — for about a week.

But when a bet gone wrong plunges the bettor into denial, we have instead sunk into the land of truth of and its many unforeseen consequences....."  (Read more?  Click title)

"Truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident."

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