Experts often possess more data than judgment

Good judgment comes from experience,
and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
~ Will Rogers
Experts often possess more data than judgment.
~ Colin Powell


“Software giant Microsoft is laying off one of its most controversial employees: ClippyIn Office XP, Microsoft plans to hide the Clippy character tool from view and help people in a less obtrusive manner.

Office customers are wondering why the Redmond, Wash.-based company took so long to give Clippy the boot.

“Not one person in my office, from the receptionist to the sales people to the engineers to the CEO use the blasted paper clip. Not even my wife, who is an elementary school teacher, uses it,” Ketan Deshpande, senior software engineer at, wrote in an e-mail to “In less time than it took MS to put this Web site together, they could have pulled the dumb clip out of their software.”…”Every time I have to install or reinstall Office the first thing I do on each application is turn off Clippy. I have tried several of the variations of the ‘animated helper,’ but I have found them all too annoying to leave on,” Mizera wrote.”

“Microsoft Tool ‘Clippy’ Gets Pink Slip” 4/11/01

“It looks like you’re writing a letter. Would you like help?” No question drew more ire from Microsoft Office users than Clippy’s snappy opener. The assumption-prone office assistant made its debut in Microsoft Office 97 as an acrobatic virtual paper clip ready to help complete any task. The only problem was that Clippy had trouble holding its tongue. As soon as the word Dear hit the page, it burst into letter-writing mode, ready to help structure a person’s most private thoughts.”

“The 50 Worst Inventions: Clippy” TIME, 5/27/10

“An auditorium hall full of Windows developers witnessed an execution at the Professional Developers Conference here Wednesday, as Microsoft product managers coolly and deliberately killed the Microsoft Office Assistant.

The assistant, a paper clip with expressive eyes and hyperactive eyebrows that offers user tips, has been the source of wide scorn among developers, who have little use for its cuteness and intrusiveness. The assistant’s demise triggered a hearty round of applause.

Brian Valentine, general manager of the Application and Tools Group at Microsoft, and product manager Tom Rizzo showed developers how to get rid of the agent with a line of Visual Basic code that Microsoft will post to its Web site for downloading.

In the demonstration, Rizzo clicked on a menu that offered the option “kill the assistant.” After choosing that option, the paper clip said, “I’m melting, I’m melting,” and then disappeared.

“Good riddance,” one unidentified developer commented to a colleague after the deed was done.”

“Microsoft’s paper-clip assistant killed in Denver” CNN 10/16/98