Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the whatcha-gonna-do-when-they-come-for-you dept

This week, we covered the assertion by Google that a gag order they faced over Wikileaks warrants was motivated by feds’ embarrassment after the similar warrants served to Twitter caused a huge backlash. One commenter criticized us for not waiting for a response from the feds before publishing, and while that’s certainly a necessary part of the story going forward, the complaint ignores the value of analyzing these kinds of conversations as they happen. Of course, one anonymous commenter had another reason, and it won most insightful comment of the week:

The problem here is that no one would be able to trust the agency or court anymore. Even if this isn’t the reason, the fact is it’s no longer necessary to ask the court or agency behind this because we expect to get lied to anyway.

Meanwhile, after a raid-gone-wrong in which a flashbang burned a 19-month-old toddler, a police union claimed that citizens had to choose between safe neighborhoods and a right to privacy and freedom. That One Guy won second place for insightful by taking a closer look at this conundrum:

Well let’s see, the crime in question was the sale of $50 worth of drugs by someone that didn’t actually live on the property. The violation of the ‘right to privacy’ lead to an infant scorched by a flashbang.

Minor drug transaction and no burned infant
Possibly less drug transactions and a burned infant.

Choices choices…

If those are really the only two options, then I think I’ll go with accepting some crime in the area, as it seems to be much safer for everyone.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment on another post about cop misbehaviour, and addressing something important. There’s a tendency when talking about police misdeeds to add the caveat that “there are lots of good cops”, and while the motivation behind this is understandable, it ignores a critical point: even the good cops are, to varying degrees, passively or even actively complicit in a system that enables the not-so-good ones. Thus we get a simple rule to keep in mind:

Good cops who protect bad cops are bad cops.

Next, we pivot away from the police to look at the cable industry’s claim that nobody really wants 25Mbps broadband speeds. An anonymous commenter summed up the circular argument:

There’s no demand because nobody is using it.
Nobody is using it because it’s not available.
It’s not available because there’s no demand.

Over on the funny side, we’ve got a clear theme for our two winners: naming disputes. First, after the MPAA forced the makes of “Rated R” beer to abandon the name, Spaceman Spiff offered up some free rebranding services:

I think they should rename it as “Pirate Beer – The Only Arrr-Rated Brew”

Next, in response to the story about a trademark war between Chubby Noodle and Fat Noodle in San Francisco, sophisticatedjanedoe predicted the next showdown on the horizon:

In other news, FAT NOODLE sues NTFS NOODLE.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start on our post about the traveller who was detained by the TSA for carrying Arabic flash cards and given a patronizing interrogation about whether he knows it’s the same language Bin Laden spoke. One anonymous commenter brilliantly flipped it around:

Meanwhile in Cairo…

The supervisor asked me: “Do you know who bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building?” Taken totally aback, I answered: “Timothy McVeigh?” Then she asked me if I knew what language Timothy McVeigh spoke. “English,” I replied. “So do you see why these cards are suspicious?” she finished.

Finally, we return to the world of police, where one national organization attacked Google Waze for supposedly helping people stalk police officers (and certainly not for helping them avoid speed traps, no sir.) Another anonymous commenter noted that an unrelated rule of thumb holds true:

Never trust anything the NSA says.

What, this is an article about the National Sheriff’s Association this time? Well, the warning still applies.

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:

Good cops who protect bad cops are bad cops.

One of my favorite Insightful comments of the week was Roger Strong’s “Darmok” observation — that there exists a small core set of phrases/quotes from which can be drawn a topical response likely to appear in the discussion of any given TechDirt article. The above good/bad cop quote definitely belongs in that set of TD’s shared-culture statements.

Of course, this is really just an overly complicated way of saying that certain stock phrases show up frequently in discussions about particular subjects… but it’s kinda fun to imagine a TD of the future in which all Comment sections are lengthy conversations consisting of the same dozen statements, 5-10 words long, repeated over and over again.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Didn’t see that comment, otherwise would have been one of the editor’s choices most likely. I love that Star Trek episode. The idea of a species that conceptualizes the universe so differently from us that it is virtually impossible for us to communicate is, by its very nature, impossible to fully portray using our own creative faculties — and given that, I’d say they did a stellar job of getting the idea across.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If you browse through history you’ll see the same errors repeated only with slightly adaptations to times and sometimes concealed as something considered noble. Thus it’s safe to assume that in the end what you said is applicable to anything. Still, when there is a discussion, as much as it sounds similar to what happened before or seems repetitive is means to make the error less severe when it eventually happens again. Genocide such as what happened in WWII isn’t new or exclusive to the Nazis for instance. And it is repeating right now. The question is: how to stop it now and transfer knowledge to the next generations enough so they won’t make that mistake with that intensity. Maybe at some point we will stop making some errors (as we probably did throughout our evolution).

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