Every now and then I’ll run across an article that changes the way I view the world. Sometimes it’s for the better, sometimes for worse. Sometimes it’s just so “funny because it’s true”, and that is what I ran across today.
Today Calvin Trillin of Slate.com introduced me to ACI. What is ACI? ACI is the newest and quite possibly the best way of measuring pretentiousness. Before you scramble to Dictionary.com, pretentiousness (in this context) can be summed up as talking about something for the sake of showing off, making yourself seem more important than you are, or “utter douchebaggery” in my parts.
ACI stands for the “Asshole Correlation Index”, or, a way of measuring the likelihood of a person being an asshole. The higher the ACI, the higher the liklihood. This may sound strange, but every person that does anything has an ACI percentage. That is to say that a person riding a bike down the street has an ACI % as does as a person smoking a cigar, a person wearing alligator-skin shoes, and a person vacationing in Italy. The fact that a person has an ACI % does not make them an asshole…again it is simply the likelihood, or percentage that they are based on what they are doing or saying.
Trillin’s article on ACI documents several examples. I encourage everyone to read it as it is quite funny, but to sum it up he documents a conversation between himself and an older gentleman at a bar. The older gentleman has come up with the ACI concept and shares it with Trillin when hearing a group of men discussing wine “in voices that seemed intended to enlighten oenophiles who were strolling past Rockefeller Center.”
To quote directly from Trillin’s article…
“Among people who think of themselves as wine connoisseurs there’s a 61 percent ACI.
“That’s not even particularly high, as these things go. That means that nearly 40 percent of people who think of themselves as wine connoisseurs are people who have learned a lot about wine for one legitimate reason or another and are not pretentious about it. Those guys over there are in the other 61 percent, I’d wager. When they get through analyzing a few pinot noirs that they wouldn’t actually be able to tell apart, they’ll probably turn to cigars or single malt scotch. People who spend a lot of time discussing both cigars and single malt scotch, by the way, have a 78 percent ACI. That’s high—much higher than connoisseurs of either one singly. If you add wine to those two, it’s off the charts.”
The piece goes on to document men who wear a blazer over a dress shirt with the dress shirt unbuttoned to the navel, people that live in the Hamptons, and those who offer to pick up the check compared to those who don’t.
After reading the article, I have determined that in my honest opinion, domainers as a whole have a low ACI%. You may agree or disagree, but I personally would place the ACI of a person who says they’re a domainer at 13%…and here’s why. Domaining isn’t a sexy industry. As much as we try to make it cool with parties at the Playboy mansion and in South Beach, I don’t know many people who openly brag about being a domainer. It’s not likely to hear someone at a bar bragging about that .com they picked up, nobody cares. Domainers are for the most part pretty modest. They keep to themselves, unless someone reaches our with a question or for help, and then most domainers will share their knowledge not in a pretentious way but in a helpful way.
Domainers are simply passionate about their industry. Again there’s nothing sexy about combing over page after page of drop lists, we do it to try and better ourselves. We don’t do it to sound or look cool, we do it because we have a real interest. Sure there are those that think they are god’s gift to the industry, holier than thou types…and they account for the 13%. Every industry is going to have these types but I think we’re fortunate to be in one that is full of primarily genuine people.
So, I’m proud to say that if you are a domainer, you have a low ACI, and probably aren’t an asshole. But remember, this ACI is based purely on the fact that you’re a domainer. If at DomainFEST you are talking domains while drinking a $60 scotch when you can’t tell it’s difference from a $10 scotch, wearing a button down dress shirt and jeans with holes, and making .XXX jokes about the cocktail waitress, your ACI just jumped through the roof.