George Lucas, developer

When I first saw Star Wars in 1977, I thought it was pretty cool. At the time, its computer graphics were revolutionary, and the creativity of the film was undeniable. But I've never seen a sequel I've liked, and while channel surfing, if I stumble across one of the movies, I can never stay with it for more than thirty seconds or so. (And I can watch professional wrestling for as long as five minutes.)

So, despite all his financial success, I don't really see Lucas as a genius.

But then this article came out yesterday. Lucas has evidently spent 25 years planning and lobbying to build a state of the art film studio on his Marin County ranch. But his neighbors in Marin, a bastion of wealthy liberalism, have objected. They say that noise from the construction would be disruptive, their view would be hindered, and the studio might alter the course of a creek which flows through his property.

So after years of bitter acrimony, Lucas has finally said he will take his plans for a studio elsewhere and will now build low income housing on his property instead. (Marin County has been under pressure recently for its lack of such.)

While it's not politically incorrect for his neighbors to complain about possible harm to their environment, it will of course be much harder for them to be equally vociferous about not wanting minorities as neighbors.

Lucas may or may not be a genius, but he's definitely sly.