Myhrvold, and his outfit Intellectual Ventures, was/is one of the most egregious patent trolls of the lot. Their business model relies on victims being scared off and settling out of court. Courts, and IV's harassment targets, are beginning to become wise to this and their claims are being taken to court and thrown out - effectively breaking IV's business model. This has all been chronicled ad nauseam on HN. So perhaps, realizing this, we're now getting a flurry of puff-pieces to re-write the story ahead of them having to figure out how to make an honest living.
No amount of PR lipstick should redeem this particular pig.
In the author Renton's possible defense, he seems mostly to be a food writer. Perhaps no regular tech writer could schedule an interview?
He was on ABC's "Nightline" eight years ago, and he sharply pivoted when his "slice of life" story turned into a softball question about the nature of his real business: Patent trolling. I'll see if I can't find a video of it.
"Myhrvold and Microsoft are rank hypocrites, one inventor who has sold patents to them told me. (He declined to be named.) His point was that Microsoft in its tiger years complained about the dead hand of intellectual-property law, and the costly enforcement process, but now it acquires and exploits patents to protect its monopolies."
The frustrating part is when a government-granted monopoly makes that kind of ideating (including about who else's ideas to purchase) so much more profitable than executing. Maybe both are honest work, but the state of patent law puts gives so much more power to the person imagining things than the person making them work, it's crazy.
Why? You can be an asshole and be interested in things.
It's one of the big issues of modern western and especially US media to paint people uniformly, it makes detecting evil so much harder because mass media does not prepare citizens for the fact that yes, somebody can be an unrepentant criminal and like Buffy, or a corporate/SI stooge and listen to ska, or a neo nazi who DMs Honey Heist or Big Gay Orcs.
My confusion about NM was a bit more specific: intellectual Ventures seems at first glance to specifically disrespect the process of invention, by horse trading with exclusion rights completely divorced from the creation process they are intended to support. Yet Nathan is himself a creator! To your point, maybe he's just the jealous/narcissistic sort, or maybe he just doesn't empathize with folks whose creativity includes execution.
And the other way around.
"He was the physicist who went to Microsoft and made his fortune. These days he’s a patent troll, extortionist, bad chef and a litigious piece of shit"
I feel like that the tech community, for all of our preaching about meritocracy and rational discussion, we have no problem piling on a fair amount of demonizing of people who engage in things we don't agree with, but may have some social value.
One person's patent trolling is another's patent protecting.
Again, none of this to defend his worst actions, but it's not like Satan created IV and uses it to eat children. Yes, this is a puff piece, but I'm always surprised that our community has no issue crapping on some people with no acknowledgement of anything positive they add.