Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the reasonable-manors-and-rational-duchies dept

This week, Senator Ted Cruz courted backlash from Democrats and Republicans alike with his feeble and silly tweet about net neutrality. Given the across-the-board mockery that followed, it’s not surprising that both of our most insightful comments this week come in response to Cruz’s tweet. In first place, we’ve got an anonymous comment musing about his motives:

Either Cruz knows that he’s lying or he doesn’t.

If he knows, then he’s doing it deliberately in order to serve his masters, by repeating their talking points and hoping that doing so often enough, loudly enough, and vehemently enough will reach the low-information/low-intelligence population that is too ignorant and too stupid to realize he’s lying.

If he doesn’t know, then he’s part of the low-information/low-intelligence population and is too ignorant and too stupid to realize he’s lying.

Either way, he’s not going to change. Why should he? This is America, where ignorance and stupidity are quite often rewarded, sometimes highly rewarded.

In second place, we’ve got jupiterkansas with a simple response to the suggestion that Cruz is an “idiot”:

Idiot? He knows where his campaign money comes from.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we’ve got a couple comments that highlight one of the core issues sparked by net neutrality, and one that has been driving me nuts: the absolutist debate about regulation. It seems to me, as an outsider looking in, that this dichotomy has been poisoning political discourse in the US, because while fighting to minimize and streamline regulation in a free market economy makes perfect sense, claiming that the government should play no meaningful role in anything, and that “regulation” is automatically a dirty word, is just plain silly and immature, and tantamount to suggesting the country be disbanded altogether. First John Fenderson takes on the idea that inefficiency at the IRS and Veteran Affairs do not automatically mean the government is incapable of doing anything:

“The government” is not monolithic and not all parts of the government run equally well or poorly. As such, it is dangerous to take your experiences with the IRS and the VA and claim that they are representative of how all parts of the government operate. They aren’t. They are representative of how the IRS and the VA operate.

The second comment on this subject comes in response to a different story — the one in which a FISA judge told Yahoo, more or less, that ignorance is bliss, at least when it comes to government surveillance. One anonymous commenter looped this back into the absolutist regulation debate, which does seem to be fuelled a hearty dose of ignorance:

By this logic…

We should outlaw investigatory practices.

If nobody ever investigates alleged wrongdoing, then there can never be any proof that something wrong has been done.

If there’s no proof, then it never happened.

Why do we even have regulatory bodies in the first place? If we don’t know what’s bad for us, it’s not bad for us… we should be able to eat poisonous food, live in lead-painted houses with asbestos materials, and smoke tobacco carefree! GODDAMN those people who revealed that this stuff was bad for us! If they hadn’t ever revealed that information, we’d be happy people, living our long lives without worry.

Now, while the befuddled pop-libertarians are heading down to the comments to crucify me, John and this AC, let’s move on to the funny. Appropriately, our top comment comes in response to a study showing that satirical comedy shows do a better job of informing people than serious news shows. Jeremy Lyman found himself in a paradox of disbelief:

I’m not sure I trust any of these earnest mainstream studies. Do you have any hilarious satirical studies I could review?

In second place, we’ve got dfed with a punny response to the idea that encryption promotes crime and endangers children:

I am considering a fork of VeraCrypt where the file name is actually .pedo because apparently encryption creates pedo files.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we head to a recent post about patent reform and a link that was posted in response, wherein the chairman of Hewlett Packard made some ridiculous and self-serving arguments about inventions as “property” to be “stolen”. Bengie was appropriately incredulous:

Ideas can be stolen?! What next, someone will steal my feelings?! I’ll never feel again!

Finally, we’ve got a response to the dubious promise from automakers that they will not abuse location tracking data, so just trust them. This anonymous response is amusing by itself, but I’ll be honest, I mostly chose it because the typo makes it even funnier in an utterly absurd kind of way (or possibly turns it into an endorsement of enlightened serfdom):

Hey, like I totally agree to behave in a reasonable manor. You can go ahead and declare me exempt from law enforcement now.

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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Coyne Tibbets (profile) says:

Libertarian wards

Based on other sources I’ve read, you can pretty much defend yourself against any libertarian attack by judiciously using the words “free market”. My experience is that those two words turn their brains to mush and make it impossible for them to consider any argument or product critically.

Years ago, my father told me about the “Sure-fire cockroach killer,” (sold when he was a child) which you ordered by mail. What you got for your hard-earned money was two blocks of wood, labelled “A” and “B”, and instructions: “Place cockroach on block ‘A’, hit cockroach with block ‘B’.”

Now obviously this works, but it is also a colossal rip-off. But call it “created by the free market,” and my experience is that pretty much any libertarian would say it was the greatest product ever.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Libertarian wards

Labels, Labels, Labels. Think about nuance. One might be a little bit of this and a touch of that, and then a smidge or two of that way over there, and maybe some of them as well.

What would be a better way of determining an individuals actual perspective…oh, I know, conversation, without labeling, and a long enough conversation to actually get some nuance.

Tough, in this byte by byte, pressure oriented neighborhood of the Internetz where instant gratification comes in the form of quick analysis and sharper retort. To think that one Anonymous Coward might be the same as another, and then go through the time, effort and prejudice of labeling that anonymous individual without, you know, any effect…well talk about wasted bandwidth.

Make your points. Be clear. Stand your ground. Strive to waste not Internetz derived brownie points that are both ethereal and imaginary.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Libertarian wards

But in EVERY conversation I’ve ever had with a big “L” Libertarian, they always regard the Free Market as an omnipotent god Who Must Never Be Questioned. Every time I point out that the market isn’t actually free due to there being protectionism up the wazoo, they either bug out or change the subject and go round and round in circles trying to defend trickle-down economics in the most pretentious ways. At no point has one ever gone, “Oh, yeah, you’re right, Pragmatic.”

So then, AC, are you a true believer in the power of the Free Market, or are you aware that it’s a damn fraud cooked up by Adam Smith and the East India Company’s apologists?

99guspuppet says:

Used to say I was a libertarian

Now I claim I am a volutariast ….. ( satire : Labels are wonderful )

Question #1 Why is good to have countries ? Name a compelling reason. Bigger countries have bigger militaries , bigger concerns about borders , less love for the inhabitants of Earth , less love for the inhabitants of the country in question , more strife of the division of tax derived spoils, much more creative approaches to finance & accounting.

Question #2 Is it better to be offered a over-hyped snake oil product by the “free market” and be scammed …. or is it better to simply be told by the government that you must buy and use a product you don’t want ?

Question #3 Is it better to be witty , clever & hip …. or is it better to think about things for along time and absorb as much of the big picture as possible ? Is it better to lock onto to some core principles or to approach each new issue with a completely open mind ?


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