October 10, 2006
In my favorite of the Patrick O’Brian novels, there’s a scene where Stephen Maturin and the spymaster Sir Joseph Blaine are discussing a privateering action which made the fortune of Captain Jack Aubrey. Blaine has a line like this: “But a kind of vicarious cupidity and delight in gain makes me gross: forgive me, Maturin.”
I couldn’t help thinking of that all yesterday when the Google acquisition of YouTube was announced. Everyone I knew was IMing me to discuss the matter, and all the tech blogs were gaga with the news. It’s fascinating how strong an emotion, or set of emotions, can be aroused by the sight of people you actually know becoming unholy wealthy.