Sun 9th December 2007, 1:25am
It's certainly good to see that there are still a few Wikipedians left who have some, uh, balls.
Not that they'll be around much longer, I suspect...
At the risk of repeating myself, it's important to remind people that there's little or no moral basis for Wikipedia's bias in favor of Gary Weiss. Both Weiss and Mr. Bagley have attacked each other viciously on a variety of websites, and both have blogs that (by Wikipedia's standards, at least) are "substantially dedicated" to bashing each other. If anything, Weiss's screeds against Bagley are far more vicious and personal, referring to him as "hideous" and "disgusting," while Bagley usually sticks with slightly less pejorative terms like "pathetic" and "obsessive." Admittedly though, it's to Weiss's credit that he generally avoids mentioning the dispute in his Forbes.com online column, but that may be more due to strictures imposed by Forbes.com, rather than a deliberate act of self-restraint on his part.
However, for people who work in the IT sector, it has to be pointed out that Weiss is not only an outspoken proponent of "naked short selling" - a rather questionable practice at best - he's also a huge supporter of Indian offshore outsourcing. He has gone so far as to argue that restrictions be lifted on export of nuclear components to India
- restrictions that were put in place to help prevent World War III from breaking out in the Kashmir region. Weiss is also married to an Indian national, and spends a great deal of time there, "consulting."
Meanwhile, Patrick Byrne and Overstock.com were recently the subjects of a positive review in Information Week
, which states:
Overstock employed the concept of agile development, where teams of developers work with business units to create new functionality. It moved away from offshore development, which the company had used with little success. "I was the biggest proponent--as a stupid Dilbert management kind of guy--saying, 'Let's outsource.' Now I've come completely 180 degrees to the agile approach," Byrne says, adding, "We found it's worth it to pay up for more expensive and more serious people."
Apparently, as a result of their site's redesign by domestic, well-paid Java programmers (along with a fairly good ad campaign), Overstock recently had the second-biggest post-Thanksgiving-Day "spike" of any online retailer.
And while it may be that naked short selling isn't the "real" or "main" reason for Overstock's past financial problems, the idea that it's better to protect so-called "gullible investors" - most of whom are super-rich to begin with and know full well that the stock market is always risky - at the expense of potentially forcing Overstock into laying off hundreds of workers, or going out of business entirely, is just about the worst form of snide, greedy hypocrisy imaginable. Byrne may not be a particularly good CEO, or even a particularly good employer, but maybe the Wikipedians who support his enemies should stop for a minute to realize that Byrne isn't
the only one being targeted by Weiss - and by extension, them.
Frankly, as I see it, the unquestioning support of Weiss by Wikipedia is tantamount to supporting the loss of American jobs, primarily to line the pockets of greedy, and possibly quite shady, investors. And this is all in the name of punishing a so-called "cyberstalker" whose activities are really no worse than those of the other side.
All of this can be verified by even a cursory look at what's actually going on.