John Fenderson's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the all-hail-eris dept

I've been hanging around Techdirt for a few years now, so hello to my old friends as well as new. One of the things I like the best about this place is that Techdirt is only a technology blog when looked at with one eye. It really covers the intersection of technology and culture. You may or may not know this about me, but I am a Discordian. We are in particularly chaotic times right now. Old systems and businesses are fighting to their death while new ones are discovering the world to be more complex than they supposed. All anyone can say with real confidence is that tomorrow will not look much like yesterday.

With chaos comes opportunity, however. It is during these times, when change is guaranteed but the nature of it is not, that we have a rare chance of shaping the nature of it. Big money corporate forces and a systemically corrupt government are consciously aware of this and are actively working at a fever pitch to shape it in their best interest. What they don't want you to know is that chaos is a great equalizer. Great power requires order to maintain it, but individuals do not. In times like this the playing field is closer to being level. It becomes possible for you, or I, to individually change things for the better. Collectively, we can change everything.

Let's look back at the last week and see what chaos had brought us.

Computers That Accurately Guess What Gangs Did What Crimes

I can tell you one of the most frequent things people misunderstand about chaos. Chaos is not randomness, or a kind of randomness. Chaos is actually order -- apparently disorganized order, but order nonetheless. Chaotic systems are those which are extremely sensitive to initial events. But chaotic systems are not necessarily unpredictable systems.

We, The People, Are Sarcastic And Not Easily Mollified By Bland Political Non-Answers

Not unpredictable at all.

Why PROTECT IP/SOPA Is The Exact Wrong Approach To Dealing With Infringement Online

That is, unless you are one of the greyfaces whose fear of change has caused blindness preventing the ability to see solutions that may be different than the old comfortable ones, but actually have a chance of working.

Lessons Learned From 'Pay What You Want'

Even when the solution might be counter to everything that you think is true.

A History Of Hyperbolic Overreaction To Copyright Issues: The Entertainment Industry And Technology

Even when an industry's entire history is riddled with examples of the same blindness.

Free As In Freedom: But Whose Freedom?

Richard Stallman, love him or hate him, has the admirable quality of being unafraid to give his unvarnished opinion on matters that interest him. Some might suspect him of insanity, communism, hippiness, or dementia, but they're all wrong. What he is is a firebrand, and like all firebrands he will invariably say something irritating or offensive to some people. Firebrands are an essential part of society. We need them to shake us out of our mental ruts and shock us into actively thinking out our positions, whether those positions agree with them or not. It's OK that he confuses fraud with copyright violation. Lots of people do.

Canadian Actor Claims Mashups Are Morally Wrong And Should Be Illegal

Leah Pinset gives us an interesting example of the process of forming chaos to shape reality. The reality she experiences and wants to make us all live in is one where she can declare certain types of music immoral because she doesn't like it much.

She's got lots of company. Here, we have RIAA doing the very same thing, but opposite:

RIAA Explains Its Interpretation Of SOPA; Which Doesn't Seem To Be Found In The Bill Itself

In this case, RIAA wants legislation that would do great harm to every aspect of society. No, I'm not talking about SOPA -- SOPA isn't what they want, it's what they're currently willing to compromise to. They know that what they actually want is a political nonstarter. It would be rejected handily by almost everybody. So they give us SOPA, which is exactly as egregious as they thought was politically possible. That looks less possible now, so they are taking the tack that the Justice Department wanted the ability to do: they are lying.

Justice Department Drops Its Request To Be Allowed To Lie In Response To FOIA Requests

Oh, here's the lying! The Justice department wanted to be able to legally lie to us about the mere existence of records that we citizens collectively own. They've changed their minds and are ok with having to lie about lying like they used to.

DOJ: Secret Interpretation Of PATRIOT Act Just Like Grand Jury Subpoena If You Ignore 'Factual Context'

It's not all untruthfulness, though. It's easier to avoid lying if you can just avoid talking about it. That "it" is the laws that you and I are supposed to be subject to, and therefore presumably should know about, is irrelevant.

Understanding Anonymous: The Culture Of Lulz

There's a law of nature recognized within Discordianism. It is simply this: nature seeks a balance between order and discord. When one grows too strong, the pendulum will always shift. For example, increased social disorder gives rise to grand displays of order through more oppressive laws and policing. And the other way around.

Building Company Realizes That Threatening A Blogger With Bogus Libel Suit Was A Bad Idea; Sincerely Apologizes

In small ways as well as big.

Despite Publisher Apprehension, Good Old Games Proves A Market For Old DRM-Free Games Exists

You can't compete with free? The hundreds I've spent at Good Old Games argue otherwise.

Barnes & Noble Claims That Microsoft Patent Shakedown Over Android Is An Antitrust Violation

I've done my share of software engineering contract work for large companies in the past, and one of the things I've learned is that being the outsider is a powerful position. The outsider can often speak truths that cannot be spoken by people who are invested in the company. The outsider can take radical action with less fear due to simple ignorance of the minefield they're walking through. Barnes & Noble is an outsider in this space and, as such, can take action that is simply impossible for the established players. I never thought I'd see Barnes & Noble as a force for positive change in my industry, but I'm not too surprised, really. It had to be someone I wouldn't have expected.

Really, unless you are in the 1% or are a large corporation, you are an outsider in the political world right now. Which means you have a chance to shape the future. You have more power now than you have likely had in your lifetime. Seize it, and make the future a good one.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    Excellent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Ted, Nov 12th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

    Re:

    air guitar

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Dementia (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 5:59pm

    Ok, so I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to appropriate your last paragraph, but I will attribute it, unless you would prefer I just attribute it to A Discordian.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2011 @ 6:52pm

    You may or may not know this about me, but I am a Discordian.

    Silly me. I had you pegged as a douchebag.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2011 @ 7:15pm

    Re:

    +1 for ad hom attack without ever actually touching the material.

    -2 for being a huge douche, yourself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 7:19pm

    Re:

    And now, without even an introductory sentence, we know you're an asshole.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2011 @ 7:40pm

    +1 for ad hom attack without ever actually touching the material.

    -2 for being a huge douche, yourself.

    And now, without even an introductory sentence, we know you're an asshole.


    Oh look, the Douchecordian has turned out his Girl Scout troop to defend him. How cute. I'll buy a box of Thin Mints from each of you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    lastword, Nov 12th, 2011 @ 9:14pm

    Re:

    AC, thanks for buying the thin mints. oh, wait, stop. Noooo. Where you just put those thin mints ... its just so wrong on so many levels. That explains the skid marks in your tidy whiteys.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 10:35pm

    Re:

    Hahaha, right, like you're allowed within 500 feet of Girl Scouts.

    And didn't anyone ever tell you that portmanteaus are the lowest form of wordplay? Especially when they are as vague as "Douchecordian". I mean, it kind of works, but it could be so many other things... Like maybe it's the accordian-pump douche you use for maximum pressurization. Or what you frantically yell at your boyfriend just before climax, like "QuickPullTheDoucheCordIan!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Medina, Nov 12th, 2011 @ 11:18pm

    He is one of the great and successful technical person nowadays.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2011 @ 5:04am

    Re: Re:

    And +1000 for him being right on the money ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2011 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re:

    Marcus: Just like you, I demand my entertainment in the way that works for me *right now*.

    I demand laughter at this very moment; get your ass out of bed and recite some of that poetry stuff you do so well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 13th, 2011 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hehe holy shit I think you might actually have psychic powers... I just got out of bed, and I actually am performing a show tonight. Knowing that it's going to piss you off is icing on the cake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 13th, 2011 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ...minus several million for having you as a supporter, TAM. You're like NAMBLA or the KKK: the last thing anyone wants on their side, for any reason.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2011 @ 8:46am

    mime-fail. watch out discordian, the ponies are surely gathering the elements of harmony to use against you. :/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 13th, 2011 @ 9:21am

    Re:

    I don't mind at all. You can attribute it, or not, however you wish.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 13th, 2011 @ 9:24am

    Re:

    I fear no Little Ponies. Except the sparkly ones.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Or George Bush being told by John McCain to stay away from his campaign because his support is only harmful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Dr. Oizio, Nov 13th, 2011 @ 10:15am

    +1 for this article

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Jesus Marcus, NAMBLA? I had to look it up. How is it you're so familiar with them anyway? Wait, never mind. I don't want to know.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re:

    Quite a bunch you're with Fenderson. Piss queen, Annie Sprinkle canonized? What a classy bunch of losers. I'd hate to know what you guys do at your meetings, though it appears Marcus is a likely recruit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re:

    *tighty*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Ron Rezendes (profile), Nov 13th, 2011 @ 7:44pm

    Re:

    This! Loved the article - thanks!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Nov 13th, 2011 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You must be new to teh interwebz.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 13th, 2011 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Quite a bunch you're with Fenderson. Piss queen, Annie Sprinkle canonized? What a classy bunch of losers. I'd hate to know what you guys do at your meetings, though it appears Marcus is a likely recruit.

    I was scratching my head over this until I did some Googling, and realized our friendly neighborhood idiot troll things Discordianism is something from discordian.com. Of course, that just makes the joke that much funnier. And, yes, we're laughing at you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I am afraid they became something of a cultural phenomenon ever since being skewered on South Park, but nice try at a reversal nonetheless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:52am

    Re:

    Douchecordian would be a great name for a punk-polka band.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can't fool me, AC, you're dying to know what we do at our meetings. (Bobbing for golden apples, mostly.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This