Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

21 May 2006, 14:54 p.m.

MC Masala on "House, M.D."

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2006 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Would you rather work with an affable incompetent, or with the most abrasive genius ever?

Software developers, the stereotype goes, have House-ish characteristics: They don't care about their colleagues' emotions and see everyone who does as unduly delicate and probably incompetent. The common term for directing hacker scorn at a "suit" or a "drone" is "flipping the bozo bit." Once a programmer has decided you are a bozo, his mental processes ignore everything you say. But Dr. House goes one step further. He doesn't care how others feel, not because he's socially inept, but because he sociopathically manipulates everyone, including his closest friend.