Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the science! dept

It’s common enough for comment threads to digress around here, but it’s rare (perhaps unprecedented) for the top comment of the week to be largely unrelated to the topic, not only of the post it was submitted on but of all the posts that week and the general list of common Techdirt topics. So consider it a testament to how frustrated people are getting with climate change deniers that Mason Wheeler took first place for insightful with a simple and direct admonition:

If you think denying climate change isn’t putting entire societies (including our own) at risk, you’re not paying enough attention…

While first place is a topical outlier, second place for insightful brings us back to basics. Alien Rebel did not mince words in talking about our old friend the Copyright Alliance:


The Copyright Alliance is just another purely artificial astroturf organization, doing what it’s paid to do by a select group of special interests. It therefore shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the words uttered by Sandra Aistars are just nonsensical crap thrown at a wall in the hope that some of them will stick, and have some political effect. Look no further than who the Alliance founders and staffers have been; either MPAA execs, Nickles Group LLC lobbyists, or alumni from the Progress & Freedom Foundation, which played a role in Newt Gingrich’s ethics troubles back in the 90’s. Copyright Alliance Staff, 2008.

I had the displeasure of spending quality time on the phone with Ms. Aistars; “hack attorney” is exactly right, IMO. Former Time-Warner VP, attorney from Weil, Gotshal, & Manges. Defender of “creative individuals”? Yah, sure.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start with a comment from John Fenderson pointing out just how disturbing the LiveJournal of an NSA official was to read:

With the other documents, there was at least a pretense of professionalism. With this, there is none. This is just a pure expression of joy at being able to spy for the sake of spying. To see something like this written, with not one iota of the gravity of the actions, indicates a culture and mindset that the infamous “smiley face” only hinted at. A culture and mindset that is fundamentally at odds with the notions of freedom and liberty.

This document sends more chills up my spine than any of the others I’ve seen yet.

Next, we’ve got Ima Fish, who took the illustrative argument that the 4th Amendment should be secret according to NSA logic, and ran with it:

Heck, why stop with just the 4th amendment? By publishing our criminal statutes we’re telling terrorists and criminals exactly what facts and circumstances the police and prosecutors are investigating. By publishing court rules, we’re telling terrorists and criminals the inner machinations of our judicial system.

Clearly all laws should be hidden. And our judicial process should be kept entirely secret.

Over on the funny side, we start out on the post about Microsoft snooping in Hotmail accounts, where first place went to an anonymous commenter for expressing his decidedly unsurprised reaction:

I am shocked
Shocked, I say, that there is gambling going on in this casino!

Meanwhile, though we ridiculed prosecutors for suggesting that Andrew “weev” Auernheimer’s hacking activities were akin to “blowing up a nuclear power plant in New Jersey”, Michael won second place for funny by cutting them a bit more slack:

It could be a reasonable comparison.

Let’s be realistic here. How bad would it be to blow up a nuclear power plant in New Jersey? I mean you can’t even buy a Tesla there anymore.

For editor’s choice for funny, we start out with another comment on the post about weev, this time from Rose M. Welch. The comment actually received more insightful votes than funny ones, but ultimately it’s both:

…the definition of ‘hacking’ has been updated.

hack, verb
1. to cut and clear (a way, path, etc.), as through undergrowth
2. to cough in short dry spasmodic bursts
3. to manipulate a computer program skilfully, esp, to gain unauthorized access to another computer system
4. to use a computer in a way that observers do not fully understand or do not like

And finally, we’ve got a comment from Argonel, who has found the silver lining of much-maligned Ultraviolet movies:

I love Ultraviolet, at least when included with Blu-ray combo packs. This means I get a Blu-ray copy for myself, a DVD copy to give to someone I like, and an Ultraviolet code to give to someone I secretly loathe. It looks like I’m giving them a gift, but they have to deal with Ultraviolet digital copies. I will never use an Ultraviolet code myself.

A brilliant plan, if you ask me.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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

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Anonymous Coward says:


Climate Change Deniers…

Just what does that mean? People that think the temperature does not change or people that think humanity is not the cause? That’s right, talk trash to them because that always wins people over.

This no the first time shit like this has been rambled on about. There have been so many damn “Prophesied” world apocalypses that we have a damn clock “Doomsday Clock” dedicated to the “stupid” out there always just minutes before midnight.

Stop getting it wrong all the time… maybe people will believe you?

Tomorrow climate change will be a thing of the past and next on the “holy grail of stupid” will be something along the lines of removing anything with the color red because it engenders hate and bigotry towards people. Or maybe bacon… that’s right hate on the bacon!!!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Groan....

My problem is the religious aspect of it.

Nothing is proven yet. The same people that said it was global cooling, now said global warming, and now have changed to “climate change”.

Same people back then said “deep, foolish denial” too.

Meanwhile we still have pollution in china, which seems to be making its way around the planet, and your precious leaders do nothing in the way of sanctions. Sure, someone tries to come up with Carbon Taxes, but that is another bull-cock political scheme the sheeple of left blindly follow. I can’t tell what’s worse… the right that seems to believe in unfettered capitalism to the point of the rich enslaving the middle and poor classes or the left that has a new religion called pseudo-science which they use to brow beat people just like a “bible thumper”!

Jake says:

Re: Groan....

I’d say a good definition would be the sort of person who can live through three consecutive years of unbelievably harsh winters, followed by an honest-to-God drought and then topped off by a whole summer’s worth of rain falling in one long weekend, and still thinks nothing unusual is happening.

Maybe you live in a part of the world that hasn’t been directly affected, but my home country has and we’ve been lucky we’ve “only” suffered some lousy harvests and a few hundred million in property damage and the cost of SAR and clean-up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Groan....

I live in texas… if you dont like the weather just wait a minute. We had a 60 change in temp in just a day a couple of weeks ago.

Based on the current information in the scientific community they are pointing at our current issue as a lull in solar activity. Just how much do we really know?

Before we turn the idiot bible thumping scientist loose I want better proof.

Do I deny climate change? Nope… the weather changes… and sure we have some play in it too (questing is how much?), do I believe those idiots know any better? Hell NO!

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Groan....

I’d say a good definition would be the sort of person who
> can live through three consecutive years of unbelievably
> harsh winters, followed by an honest-to-God drought and
> then topped off by a whole summer’s worth of rain falling
> in one long weekend, and still thinks nothing unusual is
> happening.

Why is it that local weather anecdotes are only allowed as proof if they prove ‘climate change’ is happening? If your local weather anecdote refutes that agenda, you’re immediately met with “Climate and weather are not the same thing! Learn the science, idiot!” But the moment local weather seems to support the climate change mantra, those same “climate is not weather” people point to it and say, “See! I told you so!”

Also, the things you listed aren’t unusual. The earth has experienced droughts, ice ages, and periods of warming for billions of years that far exceed anything we’ve seen in the last 500 years or so. The earth’s climate is a chaotic system. Of course it will change. You’d have to be some special kind of stupid to expect a chaotic system to remain static merely because that’s how you prefer it to be.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Groan....

How many of those “”Prophesied” world apocalypses” are shit like “the Mayan calendar ends in 2012!”, “the year 2000!”, “The Rapture is coming!”, or other such bullshit?

And how many are the media turning a scientist saying something like “current data for the orbit of a newly discovered asteroid has a .000005% chance of it colliding with Earth 19 years from now” into head lines like “Newly discovered asteroid likely to hit Earth in the next decade scientists say!”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Groan....

Its news… the shock value is what they are after.

Look at the history of media. People are in fact stupid and will believe anything they hear.

The media has always been able to drum up hysteria. To the point where neither side can clear their heads and act like civilized human beings. When climate change can no longer keep the ‘savages drums a beating’ they will most onto another tune.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Groan....

Ah, sweet denial.

I do think the climate change hype is largely mistargeted and somewhat exaggerated in its mistargeting. You see, the only ones that will really be impacted by such changes will be us as a species. Mother nature will route around the damage and even if we end up extinct there will be plenty of life in a few hundred thousand years from now.

Overpopulation, ocean pollution, excessive consumption of meat, companies pushing for products that have a life cycle of mere months… Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is the smallest of our worries when it comes to climate changes.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Groan....

Even Al Gore, the Godfather of Global Warming Hype, has admitted he lies about the problem to get attention:

“Nobody is interested in solutions if they don?t think there?s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.”

Al Gore interview with ?Grist?

Anonymous Coward says:


Then can you explain why every single “prophecy” had no scientific evidence, and the scientific community rejected them, but global warming is the only one fully accepted? There’s mountains of evidence for it, and no, no one in their right mind calls it a doomsday apocalypse. It’s just a bad problem that we’re primarily responsible for (and before you say “but there were many other massive global temperature changes in the past that we never caused”, please remember that those were on a scale of eons to millions of years, not decades, and yet those *still* caused pretty bad extinctions). Now, I don’t believe global warming will destroy us all and set the world on fire and rape your children and kill your wife, but it certainly will cause some nasty damage (hint: it already has). Global warming isn’t a myth, it’s believed by the vast, vast majority of scientists who work in that field (and scientists who don’t, including me). It’s on the same boats as things like evolution and germ theory.

You say “Stop getting it wrong all the time… maybe people will believe you?”, but please realize “we” aren’t getting it wrong all the time. All the bullshit conspiracy theories don’t come from reputable scientists, they come from morons and people who want to sell you something.

About your last sentence which seemed to imply political correctness or censorship is a scientific goal “removing the color read because […]”, that has nothing to do with it. That kind of thing is ultra liberal (and even conservative, to a certain extent) politicians misunderstanding the results of scientific research and making decisions based on corporations wants and the wants of the uninformed and uneducated public.

So before you make claims that something is false just because there are morons out there who make ridiculous and unsubstantiated claims, please do some research yourself. I bet you don’t even know what a nucleophilic attack is, and yes, that *is* relevant to climate change. Are you going to deny it’s existence because some uninformed people in the distant past thought atoms were made of little literal numbers and people made conspiracies that relate to chemistry?

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