I was sad to hear that a colleague of my boss recently resigned his job at The New Yorker. His name is Jonah Lehrer. He's written a number of pieces but is best known for his two books "How We Decide" and "Imagine."
Actually, it's likely that now he'll best be known for his resignation from the New Yorker as the act stemmed from an admission that Bob Dylan quotes used in his book didn't have a source.
I met this guy. I also handed him a condom that had a hand written note from my boss on the packaging - (my boss could not attend Jonah's book event but I was going so boss made me the messenger).
It's sad. Really really sad. And you also have to wonder how something like this could happen. My boss just published a book on Dishonesty and some the thoughts he put forth in his book help me better understand what might have gone on.
I'm in the midst of reading a book called "The Night of the Gun" by David Carr. Carr is now at the New York Times but spent a good chunk of his life on crack, cocaine, in jail, etc. In an attempt to write a memoir Carr has to do some investigating and reporting on his own life because he was too fucked up to remember most of it.
At the suggestion of a friend I started another memoir called "Let's Pretend This Never Happened."
Both memoirs included prefaces about being as close to the truth as possible. They pointed to the fallibility of our own memories and interpretations. There is no intent to not tell the truth but that might happen anyway.
Perhaps this standard operating procedure in a post James Fry world?
I think how one remembers something is just as important as what actually happened. A lot of my friends use online chat and they're able to dig into chat history and reference something that was "said" by another. I'm not sure if that's better or worse than trying to piece together or replay a conversation.
Perhaps I need a disclaimer on my blog.