Each week we get more and more votes (which is awesome, keep it up), so it's interesting to see how closely clumped together the top two vote getters were this week for "most insightful." Every other comment was way
behind these two, and yet these two were neck and neck right up until the end. However, the comment by "rubberpants" ended up winning by a nose, with his or her simple summary of the new PROTECT IP Act
This has as much to do with "protecting IP" as the PATRIOT act did with patriotism.
Indeed. It would be more accurate if it was called the "Protect Legacy Business Model Act." Coming in second, just behind rubberpants, was an Anonymous Coward (again, who says that anonymous commenters are bad?) who responded to the post about how the music industry is desperate for techies
Consider me: 30 years of experience as a programmer, system administrator, network architect, software developer, project leader, etc.etc.etc. -- all of it on the ARPAnet and Internet. 45 years of experience as a musician, including classical music as a child (w/competition), rock, folk, jazz since on 3 different instruments. Music collection and music-related book collection that is overflowing the room it's in. I own 7 keyboards, 5 guitars and listen to music constantly. Yadda yadda.
So I could make a pretty good argument that I have a deep grasp of technology and music, not to mention considerable expertise with both.
But I won't work for the bastards that are trying to destroy the Internet: I consider them mortal enemies. I don't care how much money they'd pay me: the answer is no.
For "editor's choice," we've got another Anonymous Coward, also commenting on the new PROTECT IP Act, in which he or she points out the massive level of corruption within our government in that it appears to work for companies
, rather than people:
Seriously, we have all these expensive government agencies and just about every one of their purposes is to help ensure corporate plutocracy.
The department of homeland security - supposed to protect us against terrorists - wasting time protecting corporations against infringement (if anything shouldn't that be the USPTO's job or something?).
The FBI - Supposed to be protecting us against real criminals, wasting resources protecting corporations against infringement.
The DOJ, supposed to be about ensuring justice, but instead they're about protecting corporations and continuing to help enforce their government imposed monopolies (GIMs).
Attorney General, supposed to be about protecting citizens, but now they're about protecting big industry instead.
FDA, supposed to be about protecting consumers, but they're more about protecting big corporations from competition.
FCC, supposed to be about wrongfully granting corporations monopoly use of public airwaves at public expense, and that's what they do.
When does the U.S. start to resemble Russia enough for us to be named the United States of Russia?
Our government spends so much effort passing and enforcing so many wrongful GIMs on just about everything that it's no wonder why our economy is struggling and income inequality is only getting worse. Monopolies on their own reduce aggregate output, they cost jobs, and they cause income inequality. Add to that the taxpayers cost of enforcing all these wrongful monopolies and you can see why our economy is in such a mess, because all that money that could be better spent on increasing aggregate output is being spent on pointless law enforcement and going after victimless criminals instead.
and why do we need a Department of Homeland Security, a Department of Defense, an FBI, a CIA, etc... with all pretty much having about the same purpose, go after terrorists/criminals (Oh, but the DOD and the DOHS goes after 'terrorists' while the FBI goes after 'criminals', and the CIA .... , we need to make such a distinction because one expensive department costing tons of tax dollars is too incompetent to go after both at once). We waste all this money on these people and, by and large, their collective effort doesn't catch very many real terrorists or real criminals at all. Easier for them to go after victimless criminals, like copy protection infringers, I guess.
You want this problem fixed, vote for Ron Paul. He advocates abolishing the department of homeland security and I, for one, agree. We already have the department of Defense and all these departments with about the same purpose (the distinctions are pretty minor, it's perfectly possible and more efficient for one agency to go after a wider variety of criminals) and this creates conflict and confusion and unnecessarily expensive redundancy.
And as the final editor's choice for insightful, we've got (making yet another appearance) Capitalist Lion Tamer
, responding to the post on the music industry wanting techies and the "us vs. them" mentality
so many in the (legacy) recording industry seem to have:
What the hell is it with them (or the "us" in the "us vs. them" equation — this includes the RIAA, MPAA, various performance rights groups, etc.)?
They bully ordinary citizens, small businesses, charities, internet service providers, and their own artists. They push around Congress and encourage Congress to push around other countries who fail to fall in line. They wave around "poor artists" as if they were so many starving children being hustled by Sally Struthers.
They do all of this lawyer-aided and Congress-abetted bullying and yet they still have the temerity to constantly play the victim.
"Our rights aren't being protected."
"Our works are being infringed on."
"The internet owes us a living."
"Our industry, much like copyrights themselves, should be allowed to continue indefinitely, despite better models and attitudes on display elsewhere."
"Why won't somebody do something about stuff?"
They're like professional victims. You know, the kind of people who always know how to find the iciest bit of pavement in the parking lot. The ones who claim that a 5-mph collision resulted in a multitude of injuries and permanent unemployment. The ones who ignore every return policy and berate and shame customer service employees into obliging every ridiculous request.
It's exactly the same goddamn thing. These groups are the part of the world that only takes and never, ever gives anything back. They can always find they way they're being screwed, however minutely, in every situation. The entire world revolves around them and if they're not getting their way, there's litigious hell to pay.
They don't want things to get better or easier for the artists themselves, much less the end users. Every work of art, whether it's a song, a movie or a book, should be mutilated by regulations and stipulations and fine print until all joy has been sucked out the experience and all that remains is a soulless product devoid of beauty or life.
This is the world they want: a perpetual motion device that spins "useless" artistic endeavors into the only thing that really matters: money. Money that can be double-dipped, triple-dipped, quadruple-dipped and fed into the vindictive, gaping maw of self-entitlement and greed.
They don't need a techie. They need Rumplestiltskin.
Okay, enough serious. Bring the funny. While the top two in Insightful were very close in votes, there was no contest on the funny site of things. The winning comment, from Marcus Carab
had more than twice the number of votes as second place and, I'm pretty sure, the most total votes ever of any comment on the site. And for what? For a silly pun on our story about a copyright lawsuit over origami patterns
, to which Marcus responded simply:
The question is, who will fold first?
Second place went to an Anonymous Poster (not a Coward, apparently) who came up with a new slogan for Mozilla
, after that organization resisted a request from Homeland Security's ICE division to take down the MAFIAAfire extension:
Mozilla: "Chrome's got speed, IE's got name recognition, and Opera's got indie cred, but we've got bigger balls."
Kinda catchy. For editor's choice, I had trouble narrowing it down, so we'll go with some extras. First up, we've got Spaceboy
mocking the fact that the EC in the PROTECT IP Act stand for "Economic Creativity" (the full phrase is "Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act"). Spaceboy pointed out that whoever came up with that silly acronym might not have meant
what they're trying to express:
What does 'Economic Creativity' mean? To me that phrase sounds like something a bank would get in trouble for doing.
Next, (once again), we've got Capitalist Lion Tamer responding to the bizarre editorial in The Economist about how the US should approve more patents faster, because patents create jobs. CLT makes the point on the difference between correlation and causation
job applications create more jobs. If we'd just print up several million job application forms and they all get "approved," we'd instantly create several million more jobs. I'm guessing the ratio would be 1:1.
And, finally, we have yet another Anonymous Coward, picking up on the story of the kid who was arrested for "disorderly conduct," for putting together pictures of his female classmates and ranking them on attractiveness. The commenter noticed an oddity
with the charge:
If he was ranking the pictures it seems like he would be charged with "orderly conduct" rather than "disorderly conduct".
And, on that note, we leave you to start doing something more productive... like trying to score high for next week's rankings...