Magazine article The Spectator

The Wiki Man: Rory Sutherland

Magazine article The Spectator

The Wiki Man: Rory Sutherland

Article excerpt

Credit: Rory Sutherland

A few years ago I would have quite liked to live in America. I'm not sure now.

For one thing, most of the things perfected by Americans (convenience, entertainment, technology, a very small bottle of Tabasco to accompany your breakfast) very soon make their way over here. On the other hand, the things Europeans do well (cathedrals, four weeks' annual holiday, more than two varieties of cheese, general all-round classiness) don't travel in the other direction. In fact, once the right-hand-drive version of the Ford Mustang reaches the UK in 2015, it is hard to think of any remaining reason to emigrate at all.

Besides, the political scene over there is just too absurd. The US has always been oddly polarised in lots of ways, not only politics. For instance there is almost no middle way between immobility and obsessive fitness: they don't seem to grasp the concept of a nice short walk. If you arrive at Yosemite or the Grand Canyon or whatever, there is no pleasant mile-long stroll on offer: instead you have two options -- put on hiking gear and walk through bear-infested woods for three days -- or else sit and look at the view from the car park.

But the treatment of Brendan Eich is extreme, even by the standards of American politics. Eich, as you may have read, was the co-founder and chief technology officer of Mozilla Corporation, best known for the browser Firefox. He had devised what became JavaScript, which was to play a significant part in the evolution of the web. Yet in mid-March of this year, when Eich was promoted to chief executive of Mozilla Corporation, his stay in office lasted barely two weeks when a story resurfaced that in 2008 he had made a single private donation of $1,000 in support of California Proposition 8, a ballot which sought to restrict marriage in California to hetero-sexual couples only. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.