1) His words are watched
2) He inspires conversations and entire, lengthy blog posts
I completely disagree with the author's position and assumptions (as I've detailed in another comment) but this is hardly bad news for Patrick. We're all sitting here debating how much more money he should be making. This submission is the second-most popular story on HN right now.
This is an extraordinary win for Patrick's personal branding efforts, even if it comes with a pretty uncomfortable smell to it. It's unbelievable, inasmuch as Patrick has hacked a non-computer system for personal gain.