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Biggest a-hole in IT

Based on the theme of the least and most admirable people in IT, I propose a biggest a-hole in IT thread.

My vote is for Larry Ellison.

Jeff
Friday, February 28, 2003

What does this kind of ad hominem attack help us? Or you for that matter?

Should I now vote you the biggest, while I do not even know you and have only this minor digression from social courtesy to show for it?

That would be disrespectful of me, so I won't. Please pay others the same kind of respect. If you think it matters, discuss it with your target, and make it constructive, but don't go around someones back slinging dirt.

Practical Geezer
Friday, February 28, 2003

I wouldn't know. There are so many options, but Eric Raymond surely springs to mind.
Then again. Scott McNeily must be in a class of his own, where a-hole does not realy quite capture the true flavor of the character.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, February 28, 2003

Well said, Practical Geezer.

This kind of thread is a troll that doesn't even have the virtue of provoking.

Stephen Jones
Friday, February 28, 2003

Geezer and Stephen,

I admire your character. We have just been f*ckd majorly in the butt once more by the political powerplays some of the individuals mentioned above represent, so given an opportunity to vent ...

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, February 28, 2003

Whats the difference between 'Biggest a-hole' and 'least admirable'?

Ged Byrne
Friday, February 28, 2003

Thought as much. You seemed more reasonable from previous posts. I am sure that now that you have been able to count to ten, you agree that personal attacks don't get you anything, except some temporary relieve.

When I get frustrated by a Microsoft product I too sometimes wish someone would hold Bill Gates personally responsible for the mess.

Practical Geezer
Friday, February 28, 2003

"Whats the difference between 'Biggest a-hole' and 'least admirable'?"

Emotions?

Practical Geezer
Friday, February 28, 2003

I'm just glad I changed my 'Full name' as soon as someone else started using it...

RocketJeff
Friday, February 28, 2003

Maybe not the biggest, but a good candidate for the top 10: Kevin O'Connor, founder of Doubleclick.

My axe is personal. I worked under him at the company he ran prior to Doubleclick. He was a smarmy, self righteous frat boy type and was also a terrible coder. The kind of jerk that would flip out a piece of code that would lock up and wouldn't bother to run it first. An arrogant a-hole, in other words.

It stands to reason that one of the biggest jerks I've known would create one of the most annoying technologies on the internet, and would also try to sideline into developing intrusive dossiers on other people's personal details.

All by selling pipe dreams on other people's money at inflated IPO prices, of course.
Second prizes go to the self righteous pinheads that he surrounded himself with from his old company.

Character Judge
Friday, February 28, 2003

It's threads like that that will inspire
a troll-hostile code enhancements to this
discussion forum...one would hope.

Li-fan Chen
Friday, February 28, 2003

Apart from the "a-hole" thing this tread seems just like a normal continuation of the "Most admirable ..." discussion.
They could all be regrouped under "Comments on well known characters in IT".
I admit that "Most admirable ..." seems more civilized, but  isn't it is basically the same troll for personal comments on public characters?

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, February 28, 2003

I don't find this thread offensive.  As someone relatively new to IT, I find it helpful to hear people comment -- positively or negatively -- on the character of big names in the business.

That said, why is Scott McNealy an a-hole?  Someone earlier said that it doesn't quite capture the full flavor of his character.  Would you care to elaborate?

Just curious.  I have little experience with Sun, except that I had an encounter with some Sun people a while back -- they were nice as could be, talked to me for an hour, dying to sell me some stuff, but when it came time to ask a favor of them, I couldn't get my calls returned.

programmer
Friday, February 28, 2003

anonymous-hole.... the biggest anonymous-hole in IT..... hmm...I know but I can't say...you know, Heisenberg and all that...


how about a real topic dude?

doobius
Friday, February 28, 2003

I would like to nominate myself.  You people don't know me very well but I can be a tremendous asshole.  I'm in IT and physically I am pretty large.

On the principle that there is no such thing as bad publicity, I really think this could help my career and I demand your support.

Erik Lickerman
Friday, February 28, 2003

Shesh Practical Geezer, you're a bit thin-skinned!

<quote>
What does this kind of ad hominem attack help us? Or you for that matter?
</quote>

It helps vent and find out if other people agree with you. I don't see how this topic is any less of value then the least/most admirable IT topics. If you don't like the topic then don't read it--you can choose to disengage at any time.


<quote>
Should I now vote you the biggest, while I do not even know you and have only this minor digression from social courtesy to show for it?
</quote>

Your vote should be for someone significant.


<quote>
If you think it matters, discuss it with your target, and make it constructive, but don't go around someones back slinging dirt.
</quote>

Uh huh, I'm sure Jeff is goign to go call Larry Ellison right now.

ab

ab
Friday, February 28, 2003

Related question on this biggest a-hole topic: what are the criteria for deeming a person an a-hole? We've had these character assasination/buildup threads w/o anyone really laying down a definition to follow and everyone kind of freelancing and inventing their own definition.

Is this a professional thing? That is, is the person an a-hole because they are pitching their company in a way that others just don't approve, or their company makes or uses a technology that others find disagreeable? Or is this a personal character thing - where we are inferring personal characteristics of lying, manipulation, heartlessness, outright cruelty, and arrogant misuse of the trust of others.

Is arrogance in and of itself an a-hole metric?  Warning: to someone who is unsuccessful and frustrated, everyone in a similar line of work with any self esteem whatsoever is an "arrogant asshole".  The arrogance tag is very often accompanied by jealousy. I've been called or implied an asshole to my face by some programmers I've worked around who were too much born and bred losers to ever stick their neck out and bat for themselves. So I became a proxy for their personal cowardice and lack of character.

So the labeler's personal motivations and position weigh heavily in any sort of judgement of credibility.

For my money, the biggest pox on this industry at the face to face level is the sheer quantity of self justifying BS from people that claim that they're some sort of demi-god and that others are lesser than they in all dimensions.  Also, wealthy does not necessarily equate to unduly arrogant and middle class and unknown doesn't automatically mean "nice guy".

I've run into quite a few jerks and a-holes at the level of leaders and managers that really ought to have nails driven into their tires just because of what they are and what they do to others.

FWIW...

Bored Bystander
Friday, February 28, 2003

To me, when you really boil it down, an a-hole is a hypocrite.

I vote we should acutally start saying hypo-hole.

Rob
Monday, March 03, 2003

When did hypocracy become the ultimate sin?

I've known lots of people who used the excuse "At least I know I'm a jerk." Ok, so they're not hypocrites, but they're still jerks.

Chris Tavares
Tuesday, March 04, 2003

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