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July 27, 2009


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You can reset - in the sense of starting a new direction - but you can't erase the past. Particularly in today's online world where so much of our reputations exists in perpetuity and maintained by others. The computer analogy cited in Gaines-Ross' post is appropriate, but not in the sense it is intended. You can delete all your incriminating files and restart the system as many times as you like. But the data never really completely disappears from the hard drive. We like to think otherwise, but it's still there for someone who knows where to look for the picture of that goat.

Or for someone who simply talks to one of Dmitri's embarrassed customers or investors.

Plus, attempting to "reboot," "reset" or whatever you choose to call it, takes about 100 times more effort, time and focus than keeping your reputation in a good place in the first place.

Well, and then there's the other problem: A reputation is organic, unknowable and existing IN THE MINDS OF INFINITE OTHERS.

How are you going to "reset" a thing like that? It would be easier to reset yesterday's weather.

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