Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the potluck-comments dept

Some weeks, the most votes for funny and insightful don't overlap at all... and some weeks, there's a ton of overlap. This was one of those weeks. The comment that was voted most insightful, by Brent Ashley, also received a bunch of funny votes. It was in response to Senators complaining that Google was too big. Brent felt that perhaps there were some other things that were "too big" that needed attention:
Congress should expand their search for systems that need dismantling or breaking up due to bigness. Take their own two political parties for instance. Not enough competition. If one goes out of business all you'll have is the other one.
Coming in second, talking about the same topic, was Craig's comment recalling some other organizations that were declared "too big" by the government but seemed to get very different treatment from the government:
We get hearings on why Google is too dominate but not about the banks that are "too big to fail" and how they dominate the financial system. Where are the trust busters when we need them?
It is a good point. Why was it okay for the banks to get too big to fail?

I've got just one editor's choice comment this week, which just missed making it as a top vote-getter. It's from an Anonymous Coward, on the post about the US Chamber of Commerce lobbying to break and censor the internet. Someone in the comments was mocking the worries of people about PROTECT IP, saying they didn't know what they were talking about, to which someone else pointed out that some of the folks who are complaining basically built core internet infrastructure, and this AC took it from there:
Yep, that's us. We built the greatest distribution platform EVER for the music, movie, publishing, etc. industries. We did it at zero cost to them. We labored in obscurity for decades figuring out how to make it work, often funding our experiments out of our own pockets. We created something beyond their wildest dreams. (Surely, nobody thinks that the myopic dimwits in these legacy industries could have POSSIBLY imagined the Internet, let alone created it. Such work is far beyond their pitifully feeble intellects.)

Anyway, so we made it possible for them to do incredible things...and make a lot of money doing so, by the way. All they had to was adapt, to change, to embrace.

And as it turns out, this is ALSO beyond their pitifully feeble intellects.

So I look forward to their extinction. They're already obsolete, it just remains to wait for them to die off.
And, as we move over to funny, the top vote getter also got a ton of "insightful" comments, and came very close to entering the winner's circle on that side as well. It came from "John Doe," in response to the story about whether or not arresting someone for flashing their lights to warn oncoming drivers of a speed trap represented a free speech violation:
The crime is "Felony Interference with Police Revenue Generation."
Coming in second was an Anonymous Coward's comment on someone expressing surprise that nightclubs would have to pay higher licensing fees if the club was deemed an "adult entertainment" club (i.e., one with strippers). The AC explained one theory for the pricing differential:
I speak from experience when I say that bare boobies cost more than covered boobies.
Believe it or not, that one got a ton of "insightful" votes too, though I'm not sure why. Anyway, we'll close with just one more editor's choice. This one concerning the guy in the UK who trademarked the government slogan "Keep Calm and Carry On" and then whined about how he should get to keep it because he quit his day job to focus on the trademark. An Anonymous Coward wished he'd gotten some advice:
He quit his day job to become a trademark troll? Someone should've told him to "Keep Calm and Carry On" before he did that.
Anyway, keep calm and carry on all of you. We'll be back tomorrow with more posts.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    "We get hearings on why Google is too dominate but not about the banks that are "too big to fail" and how they dominate the financial system. Where are the trust busters when we need them? "

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110921/14190816043/how-quickly-we-forget-googles-competitors -falsely-claim-google-dominates-because-it-was-first.shtml#c172

    I'm going to be a copyright troll and sue for infringement.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110920/17171916034/if-googles-upstart-competitor s-arent-afraid-google-why-is-washington-upset.shtml#c230

    You copied from my comment!!!! You will be hearing from my lawyers soon ;)

     

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    John Doe, Sep 25th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    I am honored

    This is the 2nd time in the last two or three weeks I have made this list. I dedicate this to all John Does everywhere.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2011 @ 7:54pm

    Your "Editor's Choice" commenter commends a feeble comment that takes an article and parses it to support a position that does not accurately reflect the article itself.

    Yes, 5 persons associated with internet technology expressed concerns about the DNS filtering aspects of the proposed legislation. Theirs is not, however, a universally accepted view, as others it the field have expressed much more measured views, and some have criticized it as not being anywhere near as significant a problem as these persons positied.

    Who is right? Probably a little of both. There are likely some problems, and it is likely that some of the problems are stated in somewhat embellished terms. That is the nature of give and take within the technical community.

    What troubles me the most, however, about those who cite the letter prepared by these 5 individuals choose to ignore other aspects of the letter that likewise reflect the views of its authors. For example, they do support the legislation, but it is the portion associated with DNS Filtering that gives them pause. Likewise, the call for international cooperation to address the issues underlying the illegal distribution of rights holder content. Such efforts at international cooperation have been underway for many, many years, and yet each time the subject comes up at sites like this the efforts are derided, and with a vengance. One need only look at comments concerning ACTA, which seem to be little rants directed at "big, bad media, pharma, software, etc." that are making money hand over fist and that this should be more than enough. Otherwise, they are money grubbers who deserve out collective disdain.

    If you want to select a comment for an "Editor's Choice" award, at least direct it to a comment or series of comments that are intellectually honest, and not the selective reading of passages in an article that presents a distorted picture of the actual article.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2011 @ 8:53pm

      Re:

      "Theirs is not, however, a universally accepted view"

      Evidence needed.

      Where are the blogs full of IT technocrats that agree with you. LOTS and LOTS of people/TECHS follow blogs like techdirt and Slashdot, and their comments overwhelmingly criticize such filtering measures.

      Where are the blogs full of thousands upon thousands of followers in the tech industry (and by technocrats, I do not mean lawyers), blogs with authors and posts and discussions that hold your position? Blogs with people who are educated either in tech or engineering or physics and hold relevant degrees from various universities. They do not exist.

      Where are the IP maximist blogs with thousands upon thousands of followers and commenters in the tech industry (millions of followers with millions of hits), blogs with open discussions.

      Oh wait, all of the IP maximists must come to techdirt, slashdot, and others, blogs that largely criticize their position, for an audience. Because they can't start their own pro-IP blog and expect to get such an audience.

      Give me a break. No one believes a word you say.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 25th, 2011 @ 8:59pm

      Re:

      Theirs is not, however, a universally accepted view, as others it the field have expressed much more measured views, and some have criticized it as not being anywhere near as significant a problem as these persons positied.

      I have yet to see anyone knowledgeable on the subject present anything beyond what that whitepaper showed.

      The only criticism I have seen is from George Ou, who is paid by the entertainment industry to support their views. I have yet to see an actual internet technology expert disagree with the whitepaper, and have seen plenty agree with it.

      If you want to select a comment for an "Editor's Choice" award, at least direct it to a comment or series of comments that are intellectually honest

      I will choose the comments that I choose, because I'm the editor. When you're the editor, you will be free to choose whatever comments you choose.

      And, seriously, you mocking something as being intellectually dishonest is a laugh, given your commenting history on the site. You are the very definition of intellectually dishonest.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2011 @ 9:04pm

        Re: Re:

        "When you're the editor, you will be free to choose whatever comments you choose."

        He clams that his viewpoint is the consensus, yet he can't even get enough of a consensus to start a site with an audience. Your site has a HUGE audience, which is why he's here. Tell me what's the consensus?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2011 @ 9:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I do not recall saying or even intimating that my view is the consensus. I merely pointed out that the comment so favorably presented in this article cherry picked the actual letter, omitting mention of the authors' general support of the legislation and that international engagement to address issues such as copyright infringement is to be encouraged. Their concern was limited solely to a technical matter.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2011 @ 9:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Theirs is not, however, a universally accepted view"

            Suggesting that your view, or some view more similar to yours, is a more universally accepted one.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2011 @ 9:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              After all, why else do you seem to be mocking the idea that [only] "5 persons associated with internet technology expressed concerns about the DNS filtering aspects of the proposed legislation."

              The whole purpose of your post is to criticize the viewpoint, because you hold the viewpoint that their viewpoint is wrong.

              Also, when proposing legislative opinions, it is sometimes wise to consider your audience. If your audience is a bunch of bought politicians, sometimes toning down your viewpoint and emphasizing certain aspects of their viewpoint is advantageous to better getting their attention, even if you don't completely agree with their viewpoint.

              So something along the lines of "while the law needs to address infringement, this is not the right approach" could be more effective than "ABOLISH IP" when you know that the politicians you are trying to discuss the issue with don't want to lose any campaign contributions from big corporate monopolists.

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 4:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            WTF?

            Spindoctoring?

            You didn't say your view is the consensus but when pointed out to something that is a consensus you complain it is from just 5 people that represent that consensus?

             

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            Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 8:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I do not recall saying or even intimating that my view is the consensus

            But you did say: "Theirs is not, however, a universally accepted view, as others it the field have expressed much more measured views, and some have criticized it as not being anywhere near as significant a problem as these persons positied."

            And when I asked you to back that up, you suddenly changed your story to this being about the boilerplate crap they put in their letter about supporting the general goals of the law, which is clearly meaningless fluff.

            Let me make this clear to you: the point of the paper was to show the technical problems of it. It was not to say how much they liked PROTECT IP. I realize that this may be difficult for some people to comprehend but if you mention three things in a white paper, not all of them are designed to have equal weight.

            It would be -- ahem -- intellectually dishonest to suggest otherwise.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 6:10pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Intellectual dishonesty is neglecting to mention anything about the other points, and especially the point relating to "international cooperation", a subject that is consistently dismissed here.

              Now that I think about it, perhaps that is why it was not mentioned.

               

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        Richard (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 3:12am

        Re: Re:

        I will choose the comments that I choose, because I'm the editor. When you're the editor, you will be free to choose whatever comments you choose.


        and of course you only get to be the editor of a blog that matters if you are providing something that people value and want to read. That requires exactly the kind of intellectual honesty that this blog has - and pro-IP blogs (mostly) don't.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2011 @ 9:02pm

      Re:

      "that are making money hand over fist "

      and how are they making so much money if these viewpoints aren't widely possessed? You contradict yourself so badly.

      "Likewise, the call for international cooperation to address the issues underlying the illegal distribution of rights holder content."

      These views are as widely agreed upon as 95+ year copy protection lengths. No one, besides industry interests and their puppet politicians, want them.

      "Otherwise, they are money grubbers who deserve out collective disdain."

      Yes, because anyone who simply disagrees with you deserves disdain. Is that your position?

      "That is the nature of give and take within the technical community."

      95+ year copy protection lengths and retroactive copy protection extensions isn't a give and take compromise, it's the big corporations outright stealing from the public. It's nothing short of public domain theft.

      Our laws are nothing close to a compromise. They're a one sided decision. The government has wrongfully granted monopoly power over broadcasting spectra, cableco infrastructure, and it has wrongfully passed laws that enable collection societies to easily scare restaurants and other venues into not hosting independent performers (at least without paying some irrelevant third party licensing fees under the pretext that someone 'might' infringe). The patent office grants patent trolls ridiculous patents and it's largely hindering innovation. The U.S. does much of the pharmaceutical R&D and then big pharma gets the patents.

      The government grants monopolies on so many other things just as well (taxi cab monopolies among many others).

      These aren't a give and take compromise, they're a one sided, anti-consumer and anti-innovation, decision.

       

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      The eejit (profile), Sep 26th, 2011 @ 12:31am

      Re:

      Please, fuck off with your "both sides" argument. There is only one side that is actually paralegally purchasing laws to suit them. There is only one side who keeps on trying to make a civil matter criminal. There is only one side consistently behaving in a hypocritical manner. There is only one side attempting to racketeer a market that can no longer be so. There is only one side who consistently refuses to adapt to a really fucking simple money-making machine.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 7:05am

    The gravamen of my comment was that the letter prepared by these 5 individuals was directed solely to a single technical issue.

    What troubles me, however, it the total absence of any mention that these same individuals expressing technical concerns also expressed support for that which undelies the proposed legislation and call for increased international cooperation to help stem the tide of infringment via the expediency of the internet.

    While their technical argument cuts in a direction that apparently is well received here, a discussion of a letter that ignores two other very important points does not represent an accurate depiction of the letter taken as a whole.

    Those who select only one of three points are being intellectually dishonest since the selection is but one of three points, the latter two of which are diametrically opposed to comments that appear here with great frequency.

    Are they correct in their belief that the legislastion is otherwise acceptable? Are they correct in their belief that international cooperation (e.g., matters like ACTA or something closely allied with them) is likewise a proper view as they express?

     

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