Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the call-and-response dept

Last week, when we launched our Techdirt Survival Fund, we received a lot of support and encouragement — but of course we also recognize that there are plenty of good reasons some readers might not want or be able to donate. So it was largely unnecessary for one commenter to come by and explain that we “aren’t important enough”, but at least it yielded a response from Vaultnode that won most insightful comment of the week:

Aren’t you an egotistical one? Mike has had lawmakers and Congressional staffers on his podcasts saying that TechDirt’s writings was substantively responsible for changing some legislation on tech issues.

That’s pretty damn important in my eyes.

Moving on… In second place on the insightful side we head to our post about Trump’s ongoing Chicago crime proclamations, where one commenter busted out the “Chiraq” label, only for Roger Strong to counter with some blunt fact-checking:

ABC7 I-Team Investigation: Despite ‘Chiraq’ label, data show Chicago not even close to Iraq

In that same nine year period when 4,265 citizens were killed in Chicago, there were almost 30 times as many citizens killed in Iraq. Last year, there were 459 murders in Chicago. In Iraq, there were more than 17,000. Last weekend in Chicago, there were seven murders. In Iraq, there were 103. And Iraq’s murders have been doubling year to year, unlike Chicago’s murder rate that has been cut in half since 1991.

Speaking of Roger Strong and fact checking, for editor’s choice on the insightful side he gets one more nod for his characterization of the Trump administration’s media strategy:

It’s like a distributed denial-of-service attack on fact checkers.

Next, we’ve got an excellent anonymous response to the frankly idiotic refrain of “Techdirt loves regulation and hates capitalism”:

It is important to not conflate “Capitalism” with the corrupt, globalist-rigged, anti-competitive, anti-free-market, labor-crushing, democracy-hating, politically-coopted, crony manipulations of whatever in the hell name you’d come up with to describe what the US/Western markets have metastasize into. Where big money is in play, Capitalism does not typically exist (only mega corporations doing whatever they consider necessary to ensure the continued existence of their established interests).

There are few better examples of what Capitalism is NOT, than the US broadband industry. It’s an industry that better serves as a cautionary tale as to what devastation befalls a country that allows industry to “self-regulate” too much and then fails to enforces meaningful consequences to those organizations whose belligerent pursuit of profit delivers ever increasing degrees of harm to the public good.

“Government Regulation” per se, should never be the crux of the discussion. The meaningful discussion concerns itself with ‘good/effective-in-promoting-healthy-markets’ versus ‘bad/effective-in-promoting-rigged-markets’ regulation.

Our contemporary problem with “regulation” in the US/Western markets is that big business and their wealthy benefactors have corrupted/gamed the regulatory process and the end result is that a boat load of very bad (i.e., nonsensical – unless it happened to be your lobbyist who wrote it up and bribed the politicians to pass it) regulation exists.

Over on the funny side, for first place we head to our post about how the Trump administration is going to handle leaks, in which we dedicated the first portion to once again harshly criticizing Obama’s handling of the same. Thad sarcastically underlined that fact for some of our detractors:

But what I want to know is why Techdirt never talks about all the secrecy in the Obama Administration.

Next, we head to our latest post about the Oracle/Google debacle, where we accidentally failed to close a parenthesis in the post to the understandable ire of one punctuation-sensitive commenter. But an anonymous commenter won second place for funny by making up an excuse for us:

TechDirt cannot use closed parentheses because “matching parentheses” notation appears in the Java API, which has been copyrighted by Oracle.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with a response from Gwiz to one of the perennial “what does this have to do with tech” comments we receive:

I really wish people would quit asking this, like it’s some sort of “gotcha” moment. Techdirt writes about a lot of things, most of them related to tech, but not always. If it’s a problem for you, find something else to read.

Seriously, do you people post comments at and ask them what their articles have to do with the Catholic leader’s headgear too?

Finally, because it is also one of my own pet peeves and conversational red flags, we’ve got one more nod to Thad for a response to someone who used a particular term in his comment:

Clearly you are a serious person with serious ideas.

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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ThaumaTechnician (profile) says:

Re. Chiraq debunking...

But then again:
Iraq has 10-12 times the population of Chicago (and is trying to recover from civil war and insurgency), so me, I’m thinking, “Wow! Iraq only has three times the murder rate of Chicago? That’s pretty good!”

While we’re at it, compare that Chicago murder rate with that of Toronto (roughly the same size) which experienced a ‘sharp rise’ to 69, for 2016.

Really, Chicago shouldn’t be so smug, eh.

timmaguire42 (profile) says:

Re: Re. Chiraq debunking...

Par for the course at Techdirt recently that a post need not be at all insightful to win an insightful call-out.

First, worth noting that “Chiraq” was not coined by Trump, it was coined by the people of Chicago and was used as the title of a Spike Lee film about that dilapidated city.

Second, Chicago has cut it’s murder rate in half since 1991? Not so very long ago, you didn’t have to reach all the way back to the height of the crack epidemic to make that claim. But this is a political post on Techdirt, so let’s not let inconvenient facts get in the way of a nifty sound bite.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re. Chiraq debunking...

The Chicago metro area is reported by Google to be 234 square miles. Iraq is reported to be 168,754 square miles. That makes Iraq over 721 times larger in area that Chicago. That only about 30 times as many murders happened in Iraq as did in Chicago make Chicago sound like a fucking slaughterhouse by a multiplicative factor of 24.

When we add the observation that Iraq is in the midst of post-war, internal warfare against ISIS, Chicago looks worse still. “Chiraq” slanders Iraq – not Chicago.

All of this comparative discussion is bullshit both original argument AND counter. Comparing cities to countries is meaningless. Comparing social forces in an American home of organized crime, civil unrest, and police abuses to a that of schismatic, Muslim state is off-the-charts ignorant. Comparing the population densities of first world, major urban areas to second/third world nations is a tactic that only the mentally deficient or dishonestly self-serving would attempt. Citing statistics in support of any such arguments on either side is nutty…oh, right – never mind.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re. Chiraq debunking...

As I wrote in my follow-up post a couple hours later…

Iraq has 14x the population of Chicago. Multiply Chicago’s stats by that number and you get:

Last year, there were 6,426 murders in Chicago. In Iraq, there were more than 17,000. Last weekend in Chicago, there were 98 murders. In Iraq, there were 103.

That’s getting into the same ballpark.

On the other hand it’s really only that last figure that gets into the same ballpark. That’s long after the Iraq war and before ISIS got rolling. Some careful cherry-picking is required to reach that ballpark.

Your use of square mileage to boost the numbers is just deluded.

When we add the observation that Iraq is in the midst of post-war, internal warfare against ISIS, Chicago looks worse still.

So to sum up:

"Chicago compares to war zone!"

"The statistics show otherwise."

"Yeah, but they don’t count because they’re a war zone."

But as for your next point…

Comparing cities to countries is meaningless.

Well, yes. There will ALWAYS be an outlier. A city in America that does far worse than average, that will let someone use a "Chirac" claim to justify an extremist federal policy.

Given that Chicago’s murder rate has been cut in half since 1991, somebody’s doing something right there. Turning the country into a police/surveillance state is unjustified.

OGquaker says:

Smells like war

The Chicago police have a major building complex housing their secret torture facility, holding people picked up off the streets by the hundreds; an old Sears building.
Chicago policemen are prosecuted for abuse and torture 30 years after the fact, but never for random killing and pedifile rape (first hand experience).
Returning Iraq Veterans have a guaranteed job with the Chicago military, I mean ‘police’. God help the large & beautiful Illinois Moslem population.

shanen (profile) says:

Thanks and bye-bye

On the intellectual side, I hope TechDirt survives.

On the emotional side, I am offended by the angry-mob treatment and now might even feel gladdened by the demise of TechDirt.

On the intellectual side, I barely noticed TechDirt in the first place, and think I’m unlikely to ever notice again.

On the emotional side, I remain saddened by the general malaise of journalism.,

On the intellectual side, I didn’t even know that TechDirt was related to EFF.

On the emotional side, EFF brings back old memories of the original EFF attorney and occasional drinking associate… But also a skilled editor who enjoyed “vigorous” discussions…

On the intellectual side, the name “TechDirt” sounds like digging up the dirt, which sounds like yellow journalism anyway.

In conclusion, TechDirt bookmark deleted. I hope you survive and even have such tremendous success that I can’t avoid hearing of TechDirt in the future–but I’m not going to invest in the possibility or hold my breath on it.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Thanks and bye-bye

On the emotional side, I am offended by the angry-mob treatment and now might even feel gladdened by the demise of TechDirt.

Umm… Counter-arguments and reactions to your smug statements are not "angry-mob treatment" unless you are some special snowflake who believes that whatever you say is above reproach.


On the intellectual side, I barely noticed TechDirt in the first place, and think I’m unlikely to ever notice again.

Interesting. You have "barely noticed TechDirt" but have been commenting here for almost 5 years now.

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