Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tom Friedman: Human Airport Nonfiction Table

Ezra Klein:

It's of course inevitable that Tom Friedman would fall solidly under the spell of a book entitled "How." The man is a human airport nonfiction table -- he can't help himself. Give him a single-word title with an overeager thesis and he's set.


Look: I am young people. I do Google folks. And you know what? There's not much there. Most people don't even come up. And certainly most screw-ups aren't in online existence. If you start a blog under your name, or populate your MySpace profile with keg stands, you'll be creating a record you may not be interested in. But the pictures of you as an acrobatic alcoholic can be taken down when you apply for jobs -- nothing permanent about that fingerprint -- and surprisingly few folks start blogs under their own name. The record just isn't that substantial. And it's certainly less substantial than it was a few generations ago, when you'd probably be applying for jobs in the city you grew up in, where there was a living, communal memory of the time you fell off the barn drunk. And naked. Now that you're applying three states away, nobody remembers that. Not even Google. Possibly not even you.

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