Embracing Those Skeletons In the Closet

By Conor Clarke

I have today's idea of the day over at the Atlantic Ideas Blog, although it's not so much an "idea" as it is a horribly vague, nagging concern about the future that for some reason my editors let me get away with. The basic concern is about what the metaphorical confirmation hearing of the future will look like, when we all have large, embarrassing stockpiles of digital information accumulated about one another. Will they assure mutual destruction? It frightens me just to think about all the stupid emails and blog posts I wrote in the past week, much less the past year!

The problem is that I couldn't come up with an actual solution (hence the lack of an idea) except to put in a plea for a cultural shift: We should all become more comfortable with skeletons in the closet. But any other ideas? Or anyone who thinks this just isn't a problem? One angle that I don't really consider in the piece is that a lot of the information dredged up might be damning and useful. I happen to think, for example, that the fuss over that hoary old "wise Latina" line is fair game.