I dunno. Obviously this sort of things whips up my innate distate for conspicuous consumption. But Duffield is one of those folks who has walked the talk in his profession -- he is apparently well-loved by his PeopleSoft employees, and has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to saving dogs and cats, since there are still enormous numbers of people who are too selfish, lazy, and retarded to take care of their fucking pets themselves.
So there's that. Duffield's philanthropic endeavors, while maybe not quite on the scale of Bill Gates, still bespeak a certain measure of character. And his dream home, his would-be Garage Mahal, bespeaks a different side, a rather ugly streak of almost uniquely American (at least in modern times) yahooism. When you get right down to it, Duffield really just wants to get into a pissing contest with Larry Ellison, it seems.
It's tacky, but it's hard to get too worked up about it, when we don't walk the talk about anything else. We bitch about gas prices and wastefulness, but NASCAR seems to be chugging right along. We complain about wasting arable land and scarce resources, but the masters of the universe seem to have little or no trouble persuading taxpayers to foot the bill when it comes time to build a new stadium or racetrack or whatever. They don't exactly build those things on the landfill out in the sticks.
In the face of that persistent trend, I find it difficult to single out Duffield to receive our heaps of contempt, scorn, and dismay. The 8000 square foot home he plans to raze for this monstrosity looked gorgeous, from what pictures of it I've seen, and it should be far more than enough for two people. I don't see how a 72,000 sq. ft. monstrosity is going to grant them happiness, but this is what happens when the idle rich get bored.
I have a feeling that there are more Americans who are envious of Duffield's extravagance, rather than disdainful of his oversized footprint.