Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the imaginary-spygames dept

Not that anyone ever doubted it, but the fact that the NSA really hates Ed Snowden became crystal clear this week. Our most insightful comment comes from That Anonymous Coward in response to some of their fiery feelings about the whistleblower:

If you remove the names, do the comments seem that different from people describing people who have left the cult and spoken out against it?
The family is more important.
We all care for each other.
We are so betrayed.
This person wasn’t a true believer.

Perhaps one should question the activities of these zealots with the same critical eye they turn towards “religious” leaders who keep their followers away from the world in secret compounds.

Second place for insightful goes to The Resident Skeptic for a thorough reminder of the fact that you can kill all the technologies you want, and the network will live on:

Pre-internet saw the rise of the BBS – where people wanted to share files, and did so with NO central oversight. BBS phone numbers were freely copied and shared – many people connected to hundreds of “sites” with simple dial-up modems. A LOT more was done than the industries ever realized. The “internet” centralized it where it became visible and made it a target. Pre-“It’s mine and you can’t use it” we had every monthly magazine publishing SOURCE CODE which was freely shared (remember @copyleft?) because people wanted to share and wanted to learn and wanted to share what they enjoyed.

The internet allowed us to do so on a much grander scale – because people want to share what they love and technology allows them to do so easier than ever before. (Try typing in 1000 lines of code out of a magazine with folds in it … you really learn debugging!)

CULTURE comes from sharing what we love. “The Internet” is just the current mechanism for doing so. Go ahead and take it over. See what happens. Just as has been pointed out – DRM is broken in minutes; phones are jailbroken the day they come out; there is NO technology that can’t be circumvented (laws that no one believes in are useless).

People will develop “another way”. And, it will be harder to track, harder to find… and the companies will still be standing around wondering what happened and why no one is using their nearly useless service.

Adapt or Die.
The net doesn’t care.
People don’t care about the success or failure of YOUR business. They care about the things they enjoy. CULTURE is something which MUST BE shared and enjoyed. Locking it up will fail. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

This network may die. But the next one…

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we’ve got two more people expounding on the government’s hatred for Snowden. First up, there’s FM Hilton reminding the NSA about the privacy-violator’s favorite phrase:

What, the NSA doesn’t believe this statement:

“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”

Guess they were surprised they had something to hide.

Too bad it took someone with guts and ethics to show them otherwise.

It sucks to be them, doesn’t it?

Next, we’ve got BentFranklin with a response to the altogether disturbing revelation that the intelligence community is openly fantasizing about assassinating Snowden:

Clearly they feel betrayed. They feel Snowden betrayed America because they feel they are America. They don’t realize how far from the true spirit of America they have strayed.

Over on the funny side, first place goes to blaktron for his advice to the frequent losers in the world of copyright law:

God, this damn ‘public’ group you keep talking about really could do with some representation in congress. Why haven’t they hired lobbyists??? Geeze, what a poorly managed group…

For second place we return to the post about the fantasy Snowden assassination, which included a vivid hypothetical about poisoning him on the streets of Moscow. Michael suggested we use another federal agency’s favorite tactic against them:

The FBI needs to find this guy, buy him a ticket to Moscow, get him a passport, a syringe, and then arrest him for platting to kill someone.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we’ve got a one-two punch that bridges the Techdirt realms of copyright and privacy. First, pegr asked a simple question about a striking analogy:

If the NSA doesn’t “collect” my data until they look at it, then that song I downloaded doesn’t count as pirated until I listen to it, right?

In response, Beech, who wasn’t too sure if that argument would hold up alone, offered the other piece of the puzzle:

It depends. Are you “collecting” songs because terrorism? If so, then you are in the clear, Patriot.

That’s all for this week, folks! We’re off tomorrow for MLK Day, and back to business as usual on Tuesday.

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Comments on “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt”

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Anonymous Coward says:

be carefull

you start comparing NSA to a cult people might start comparing TD to a cult, fanatical dedication to ‘the leader’ and believing without question what he says, being highly critical of anyone who disagrees with ‘the leader’.
Having ‘the leader’ make all the decisions for the ‘cultists’.

Excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader, regards his belief system, idealogy, and practices as the Truth, as law.
Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or EVEN PUNISHED.
Mind-altering practices (such as chanting, denunciation sessions, are used in excess and serve to supress doubts about the group and its leaders.
(we get lots of chanting and repetition and suppression of ‘doubts’.)

The Leadership DICTATES, sometimes in great detail, HOW MEMBERS SHOULD THINK, act and feel.

The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leaders and members, for example the leader considers himself “a Messiah” and/or THE LEADER IS ON A SPECIAL MISSION TO SAVE HUMANITY.

The group has a POLARIZED US-VERSUS-THEM mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

The leader is not accountable to any authorities.

The Group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary.

The group induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members, Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

Masnick and TD meet most if not all these ‘requirements’ that show a group engaging in cult activities.

we can all easily give hundreds of examples of exactly these things, with masnick the cult leader and his loyal zealots his followers.

its funny that the NSA nor the US government do not display these ‘qualities’, but little extremist group Techdirt sure does.

out_of_the_blue says:

All-time Funniest Mike-ism:

The moribund “Step 2” site! Where Mike thought and thought and came up with this on his own:

STEP 1: Create

STEP 2: ?????

STEP 3: Profit!

The “?????” is such abject and frank admission of utter cluelessness that I feel low for pointing it out. But, feelings doesn’t blind me to the truth especially when it’s Muddled Mike and howling funny.

????? — This is an Ivy League grad (or so is alleged).

????? — Who’s been thinking (presumably) on these problems for 16 years.

????? — And had to admit has NO idea what Step 2 could be.

????? — His last hope was that someone would rescue him.

????? — But of course no one did.

Instead of fall back and promote conventional ways but a bit more tuned to teh internets, Mooncalf Mike just put up this stark admission and expected someone else to do all the work so he could claim all the credit for having thought of the Step 2 website. — And he would because regards all ideas as free for his taking. — One would think Mike had sense to at least hide his poverty of thought, but there it is simple as possible: 9 words, 36 characters.

A Dilbert cartoon points up how ideas are supposed to play out in Mike’s 1% Ivy League frat boy world:

“The vision was the hard part. You idiots can work on the details.”

You’re not on the leading edge of new production models, Mike, just advocating plain old-fashioned theft with new gadgets.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: All-time Funniest Mike-ism:

It’s pretty obvious that you once came up with something creative. It was your precious, your one clear thought. Then someone else either came up with the same thing on their own, or expanded it. Then you realized that you’ll never be able to do it again. I’ve been there. Then I found out that I am a creative person and let it go. I give away ideas for free, help colleagues solve problems. The ideas keep coming. So, instead of screaming about people expanding knowledge, maybe you can think of something new. Just food for thought.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: All-time Funniest Mike-ism:

…Mooncalf Mike? I’ll give you points for finally tiring of your old insults, then I’ll just as quickly take them away for using such a stupid and meaningless insult as Mooncalf, especially since it doesn’t apply to Mike. Congratulations though on reading Shakespeare and H. G. Wells. Never would have thought you would have read them.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: All-time Funniest Mike-ism:

A Dilbert cartoon points up how ideas are supposed to play out in Mike’s 1% Ivy League frat boy world:

“The vision was the hard part. You idiots can work on the details.”

Hahahaha. Hey, it’s link time!

Ideas Are Everywhere, Execution Is Difficult

It’s The Execution That Matters, Not The Idea

The NUMMI Cargo Cult: Ideas Are Easy, Execution Is Hard

When Ideas Are Easy And Execution Is Hard… It Makes Sense To Share Your Ideas

Groupon… And The Difference Between Idea & Execution

OLPC Learning That Ideas Are Easy, Execution Is Hard

Felix Dennis: Ideas Without Execution Are Nothing

Ideas vs. Execution Shows Why Competition Is A Good Thing

It Doesn’t Matter Who Founded Facebook. It Matters Who Made It A Success

The Difference Between Ideas And Execution — And What’s Missing From ‘The Social Network’

‘Almost Anybody Can Have An Idea’ — Linus Torvalds

Being First Isn’t The Most Important Thing, Getting It Right Is

Malcolm Gladwell Discovers That Innovation And Invention Are Not The Same

” Ideas, by themselves, are neither unique nor protectable. It’s the execution or (within the copyright realm) the expression that is unique. Yet, too many people overvalue the idea and assume that only they could possibly have had it. The idea behind the story of Avatar is pretty simplistic and common, really. It’s been done plenty of times before. The reason the movie is getting so much attention is because of the execution.”

“It seems that every time there’s a really successful book, movie or TV show that comes along, someone else comes along and claims that it was really their idea, and demands cash for it. Of course, in almost every one of these cases, they don’t seem to realize that lots of people had the same idea, and there’s a huge difference between idea and execution. Instead, they assume that only they could have had the idea, and anything similar — which involved actual successful execution — must owe them money.”

“…there’s a big difference between an idea and executing on the idea. Just having a general idea that many others might have as well shouldn’t give you the right to step in and collect some of the profits from those who actually took the risk and executed successfully on the idea.”

This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of true value. The idea, by itself, is somewhat meaningless. The real issue is the execution — and no matter what you know about the idea, the actual execution is always a lot more difficult.

“Also, like pretty much every similar claim we’ve seen in the past, it involves someone completely overvaluing the idea and ignoring that it’s the execution, not the idea, that matters in innovation.”

“That’s because what matters in business is rarely the idea, but almost always the execution.”

So what was that you were saying, blue?

ottermaton (profile) says:

Re: Re: All-time Funniest Mike-ism:

I’ve been in the habit lately of reporting anyone who replies to the village idiot (and I really wish more people would do the same), but I’m making an exception on this one because you just whooped the living shit out of him with on-the-record facts (something notably missing from all of his comments).

It’s pretty clear why he’s never registered that screen name: because it makes it more difficult (but definitely not impossible) to search his past comments and make him eat his own words, just as you have done by making him eat Mike’s words which he is completely and utterly mis-characterizing. Well done sir!

It would be highly amusing to see him try to refute your comments, but we know that’s not going to happen. For all his squawking about how Mike won’t engage in debate with him (what would be the point?), I’ve never seen him reply back to a comment with this kind of factual substance.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: All-time Funniest Mike-ism:

@ Leigh Beadon

So what was that you were saying, blue?

Yeah, you missed it!

I say that on the “Step 2” site Mike frankly reveals that he hasn’t got a clue how to get from Step 1, Create, to Step 3, Profit.

You’ve just spent a while “refuting” (with old assertions) what isn’t in question.

Show me where Mike fills in his “?????” with anything other than saying it’s difficult! Any baboon can do that.

Mike hoped to steal credit for any ideas that might have appeared: he’s shameless about ideas being public domain as your links of truisms prove. Sheesh.

You completely skip over that the Step 2 site is a FAILURE and that is SURELY due to Mike’s lack of vision AND execution.

Kerala honeymoon packages
initiated 11 hours ago in Other by tour tour (140 points)

Previous was MORE THAN 13 MONTHS AGO:
What is the best blog-aggregator site you ever used?
response added Dec 3, 2013

SO TELL ME LEIGH BEADON WHERE I’M WRONG THAT STEP IS A FAILURE? Yeah, you really showed me — some diversion.

Even if Mike is absolutely right about problems, he has no solutions to even suggest.


out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: Re: All-time Funniest Mike-ism:

@ My own: “Previous was MORE THAN 13 MONTHS AGO:” — That’s not accurate, was vague averaging of the most activity and there is by coinkydink a 2012 entry. I was hasty. But in fact there’s a 2013 thread and last activity was a mere six weeks ago. Actually points up the lack.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: All-time Funniest Mike-ism:

You completely skip over that the Step 2 site is a FAILURE and that is SURELY due to Mike’s lack of vision AND execution.

Step 2 cannot be a failure because it’s not a black & white, win or lose kind of thing. It’s a forum to kick around ideas. Nothing more, nothing less. If even one person used the information gleaned there to further their own success then it’s most definitely not a failure by anyone’s standard.

And if you are looking for someone to tell give you a one-size-fits-all plan to achieve success than you are a bona fide idiot. Every person, every business and every endeavor is unique and has it’s own unique challenges. Step 2 provides a platform to discuss these challenges with other like-minded individuals.

I’m 100% positive in my belief that you, Blue, are the least most qualified person in the world to determine whether Step 2 is a success or not.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: All-time Funniest Mike-ism:

Let me nail this down for the willfully mis-understanding:

I wrote that execution is the hard part. It’s a truism.

It’s even funnier and more revealing of Techdirt now that the minion tried to cover up one of the gaping holes in Mike’s weenie-ism by linking to some truisms that say no more than “execution is the hard part”. That was not and is not in dispute! The minion is simply blowing smoke trying to suggest that because Mike can state truisms, he’s some kind of visionary wizard.

That Mike is manifestly NOT a wizard is my point. Sixteen years on this, but you will look in vain for anything more than re-stating problems. — You’ll look in vain for any real positions! See the two links below.

On Mike’s Step 2 site the hard part of execution is written as: “?????”, five question marks. Any baboon could have made the Step 2 site: doesn’t have ANY actual advice from Mike, no outline of the conventional steps let alone analysis of tweaks needed for teh internets, just throws five questions marks out, and then Mike was done with his web-site “Create” phase. It’s the internet version of a “Hail Mary” play, but no miracle occurred.

Comparing Mike to the conehead CEO in Dilbert is obvious. It’s certain that Mike hoped for someone else to actually DO the hard part of even outlining the “?????” execution phase between “Create” and “Profit!” That’s the FUNNY, kids.

Every time I look for answers from Mike all I find is: “It’s broken! Big problem!” — Just vacuous truisms that any bright thirteen-year old can state.

So what is Mike’s position on piracy? — Here, try to guess!

So what is Mike’s position on copyright? … Try to guess from this!

Don’t miss Mike’s other site, Step2, where his secret formula for success is revealed as… wait for it… Step 2: ??????


Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: All-time Funniest Mike-ism:

Every time I look for answers from Mike all I find is: “It’s broken! Big problem!”

Like I said above – if you are looking for someone to give you an one-size-fits-all plan for success than you are a bona fide idiot.

The idea of Step 2 was never for Mike (or anyone) to fill in what YOUR Step 2 is, that’s YOUR job, not anyone else’s. It’s simply a platform for kicking around ideas with like-minded individuals.

Not sure what your problem is with Step 2 really, if you don’t like, don’t use it. It’s that simple. To use Step 2 as something to attack Mike with just demonstrates YOUR insecurities with new ideas and shows how weak your arguments against this site really are.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: All-time Funniest Mike-ism:

Yes, Step2 is a place for discussing ideas about how to monetize creation, in keeping with our often-stated point that there is no magic bullet solution. It is precisely because we recognize execution is the hard part that we wanted to create a space dedicated to discussing that very thing and brainstorming ideas for it.

And yes, you’ve cunningly noticed that it never really took off — that happens sometimes when you spend your life doing things that might succeed or fail, rather than commenting on a blog 24-hours a day and repeatedly declaring victory despite everyone else thinking you’re pathetic. We may, at some point, relaunch Step2 in a bigger way, or make some changes to make it more appealing — or we may not, if we decide there are other, better ways to do what we want to do. In the mean time, we don’t really mention it, because we’re well aware that it’s not an active forum at the moment. But, you know, thanks for the ongoing promotion nonetheless!

FM Hilton (profile) says:

Being too crazy

There’s a saying that I’ve seen before that applies to the government in its’ eternal quest for #1 cultism:

“Unanswered questions are far less dangerous than unquestioned answers.”

Seems appropriate to apply it to everything the NSA does and believes.

All totalitarian governments believe the same way, no matter which country they’re in. Ours included.

They all have the same qualities as a cult, and are as dangerous to the public good.

Not a great recommendation for a career, is it?

vurtualrealty (profile) says:

tickling my feather . . .

[Edward Snowden is Mae Holland, running away with Ty at the end, instead.]

“The morning of June 9, 2013, was surreal for the writers of ?Person of Interest,? the science-fictional CBS drama about government surveillance. Sixteen months earlier, they had written an episode about an N.S.A. whistle-blower?a fresh-faced, thirty-three-year-old analyst named Henry Peck. When Peck discovers that his agency is conducting ?illegal surveillance on a massive scale,? he sets up a meeting with a journalist, and soon finds himself evading a squad of government assassins. (?Our own government has been spying on us,? he says, ?and they?re trying to kill me to cover it up!?) The episode, called ?No Good Deed,? had aired in May, 2012.”

[Excerpt from an article by Joshua Rothman in The New Yorker.]

out_of_the_blue says:

Kim Dotcom has destroyed the RIAA!

On a real site which isn’t in slacker stupor today, is this story:

Kim Dotcom shrugs off US extradition attempt with Spotify competitor

“The only album currently available on Baboom is Dotcom’s own moderately dire debut, Good Times, which sounds like the sort of plastic pop Justin Bieber would make if he’d spent his teenage years being passed around the dark rooms of Berlin fetish clubs.”

Hello RIAA, this will be your grave:
? Kim Dotcom

Heh, heh. Now that’s snarky writing. But funnier is that not only does the fat greedy grifter think he added value to stolen content, NOW thinks he’s a musician!

This is the type of funny that Mike never re-writes. For obvious reason.

Mega-grifter Kim Dotcom got millions by hosting infringed content. That’s not even capitalism, that’s THEFT.


out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: Kim Dotcom has destroyed the RIAA!

@ Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2014 @ 11:07am

Re: Kim Dotcom has destroyed the RIAA!
Errr if this was true there would be no RIAA.

Last I can tell, the RIAA still exists.

Can you inform the rest of da ‘dirt where you go for the drugs you take so we can all enjoy the same reality you exist in?

Sigh. IF anyone reasonable in some distant future ever reads this, just look at the incredibly dense CRAP that the fanboys excrete. Stupid contradiction is their first, last, and only weapon. — Clearly from what I quote besides in the given link, it’s Kim Dotcom who claims he’s put the RIAA in its grave.I’m mocking Dotcom, you invicibly stupid AC.

You Techdirt fanboy-trolls are truly like ankle-biters who yap silly littleheads off as a cat strolls by, and when it’s out of sight march around proudlycertain you drove it off. It’s cute, but it ain’t reality. — And as saidbefore, wears on my conscience to tease even you who deserve it.

Where the fanboys troll the site with vulgar ad hom, and call anyone disagreeing “trolls”!


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Kim Dotcom has destroyed the RIAA!

Did you finish grade school? Did you learn what the word “hypocrisy” means?

You are the ankle-biter for the mega-corporations. I hope you enjoy your pay cheque.

If future generations ready this, the one that they are going to be laughing at is you, not with you, but at you. (Same as everyone has all of your life).

You whinge like a bitch that Kim Dotcom is not a content creator, and still whinge like a bitch when he creates content as it is not to your liking.

What have you ever done that has added value to society?

Absolutely nothing, that is what you have contributed.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Kim Dotcom has destroyed the RIAA!

Wow. What little respect I had for the Register just went down the drain. They can have their opinions about whether certain online services can succeed or fail, but the article’s author no less than three times insulted Dotcom’s weight in that short article.
This is the best you can find on someone criticizing him, blue? Someone who has to stoop to childish insults about someone’s weight, instead of trying to give an honest-to-god’s fair analysis on this piece of news?

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Kim Dotcom has destroyed the RIAA!

Well they have to find something that will stick.
The standard slams against Kim Dotcom are…
He did illegal stuff before. Lets ignore that he already paid his debt to society.
He stole using MegaUpload! Lets ignore there has been no day in court, and much of the alleged evidence is super thin.
He’s fat! So is a majority of the US population.

They are looking for anything they can to muddy the record and paint him in a horrible light.

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