by Mike Masnick

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the once-again dept

Well this is bizarre. Despite doing these "funniest/most insightful" posts for a while, just a month ago we had the first time ever in which the top two vote getters in both "funny" and "insightful" were the same two posts. Then, two weeks ago... it happened again. And here we are and it's happened again. With one slight twist. Those last two times the first place comment was first in both categories, and the second place comment was second in both categories. This week... the two comments flip flopped. So first up, we've got Mesonoxian Eve, whose comment about the DMCA, took first place in most insightful and second place in funniest:
DMCA: Don't Mess with Corporate America.
Then, coming in first place for funniest, but second place for most insightful, was an Anonymous Coward who noticed a typo in my comment that "other countries don't always view freedom of speech as being as central or as important as the US does":
Typo alert:

"other countries don't always view freedom of speech as being as central or as important as the US does"

That should be "Ecuador" and not "the US"
Moving on to editor's choice. We had John Fenderson respond concerning the US betraying its values in the pursuit of Assange. I had noted that some might claim that the US was never really a beacon of human rights, and there were plenty of examples where the US had failed to live up to its stated standards. John, however, pointed out that there was a difference:
This is true. There is a difference in kind, however.

In the past, when the US has failed to live up to its own standards, it was a mistake, a failure. Now, the US has altered the standards we hold ourselves to. We are not living up to the standards of the past, true, but we are living up to our current standards.

This is what is making us lose legitimacy around the world, not mistakes. People understand that mistakes happen, and that when nations fail to uphold their own standards, that doesn't make them bad nations. Having unacceptable standards, however, does.
Good point. Next up, we've got Duke who provided some interesting details concerning the sentencing of Anton Vickerman of SurfTheChannel to four years in jail:
Interestingly, if they had managed to convict him for online copyright infringement (under s107(2A) CDPA), the most he could have got would have been 2 years in prison. So 'facilitating' online copyright infringement = 4 years in prison, whereas online copyright infringement itself = < 2 years.

Conspiracy to defraud is a ridiculous law. The Law Commission attempt to repeal it a few years ago, when English Fraud laws were updated for the 21st (or 20th) century. The Government accepted that the law was bad, but refused to repeal it just in case they wanted to use it later...

And now it is being used by the Hollywood types to ruin people's lives through private prosecutions, where, I guess, they feel that locking someone away for 2 years just isn't enough.
Ok, enough of the serious stuff. What else is funny? How about an Anonymous Coward responding to my explanation for why Google's move to downrank sites that get a lot of DMCA notices won't help and will likely have significant negative costs for Google. The AC did such a good troll satire that someone even "reported" that comment.
Please Masnick, you make it sound like trying to do nothing is better than trying to do something expensive and ineffectual!
I think that may be the RIAA/MPAA motto.

And, finally, we've got another Anonymous Coward responding to Nathan Myhrvold's ridiculous claim that because he's trying to zap mosquitoes to stop Malaria, no other tech company can criticize his patent trolling. Specifically, he called out other companies by saying, "Is Zynga doing God's work? Is Facebook doing God's work?" To which this AC responded:
Some might say the mosquitoes are God's work.
I think the AC won that round... Anyway, we'll be back tomorrow with lots of new posts, but in the meantime, don't forget to check out the new Techdirt Insider Shop!

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  1. identicon
    The Old Man in The Sea, 19 Aug 2012 @ 6:34pm

    Mike Not Responding to Comments by Ac????? Let's discuss this.

    Dear AC,

    If you think Mike is not engaging you in reasonable discussion, you obviously have never tried to engage "Climate Scientists" in discussing their predictions.

    The number of times that I have got no response to questions I have in relation to their predictions of global sea-level rises of > 1 metre over a period of a century makes Mike most of those people who discusses intelligently with everyone his ideas and any questions raised.

    Try asking "Climate Scientists" simple questions like how much land based iced is required to melt to fit prediction, and how much energy is required to cause phase change from solid to liquid and how do we get this amount of energy to be stored inside the atmosphere and what are the energy transfer rates from atmosphere to ground, ocean and ice required. The best response I've ever had was "Good questions, I'll get back to you" and that was the only response back from one of the most senior climate scientists in Australia over five years ago. The usual response is either silence or giving the sense that you are an idiot.

    Even politicians will at least try to waffle on and give you verbal diarrhoea to distract you from your original questions.

    Mike be only a young fellow but he does try and discuss things in a civil manner.

    If you want to raise questions you must also be prepared to do it in such a manner to give why and what you see is wrong and a solution that is well thought out. If you cant do this in a civil manner, the usual reaction will be that people will just get offside and ignore you.

    There are many controversial subjects in the world, but to discuss these properly one must ensure that one is not attacking the other person personally.

    regards to all this fine Monday morn.
The Last Word
Ah lovely. I spent the day hiking in the mountains with my family and far far away from any kind of internet (or even cell) service, and I come back to you puking all over the comments again.

Let's correct a few of your lies.

1. I engaged with you regularly in discussions a year or so ago, whenever it was you showed up on this blog. It was then that I quickly learned that you have no desire to debate, but to pull "stunts" where by you pretend to "ask a simple question" and then when I answer it, insist I never answered it, and then throw a tantrum demanding I answer another dozen questions. It's like you're completely unfamiliar with Socrates. Or, worse, you think people thought he was smart. They didn't. They thought he was a jackass. Acting like Socrates doesn't make things any better.

2. After that you threw one of your temper tantrums, posting ad hominem and off-topic attacks on every single Techdirt blog post. We asked you, nicely, to stop it, and you responded by promising that you'd shape up. You did for a short while. I had even been on the verge of asking you to do a weekly favorites post... and then you fell off the wagon and went on a bizarre tirade again.

3. At that point I realized it was best not to respond to you in most cases. The only exceptions I made was when you were not acting like a jackass to try to encourage good behavior.

4. About a month ago, you went back into one of your tirade moods, flat out lying, saying that I was scared of you and unwilling to engage or answer your "serious questions." This is and was bullshit. So I explained in great detail that I am happy to debate those who disagree with me, but I was choosing not to debate you because you had shown no willingness to actually debate, but only to act like a complete jerk. Anyone who can actually see that I regularly debate much more knowledgeable and accomplished critics than you knows that it's true that I regularly debate those who disagree with me. I do it all the time.

5. A couple weeks ago, you flat out lied about me (again) and I challenged you to back up your words. You can see that here.

6. You promised that if I answered "one question" that you would answer my questions and back up the false comments you were making about me.

7. In a moment of weakness, and against my better judgment, I thought that I would try to actually give you a chance and engage with you by answering your question. So I did that here.

8. As if trying to prove to the world that my original assessment (for those who forgot, it's here) was right, you proceeded to go on yet another tirade: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and probably another two dozen places as well. It's really not worth it for me to point them all out at this point. But I did want to point out just how widely you seem to be spamming every thread claiming I won't answer the question that I very clearly did answer, in hopes that it would actually lead you to show that you could actually debate like an adult. Instead, you went in the other direction and confirmed what I expected: that you are incapable of having an adult conversation.

9. Nearly every single one of those comments was off-topic for the thread it was on, many having absolutely nothing to do with copyright infringement. In other words, you have been polluting the blog, as many other commenters have told you.

10. Despite your promise to back up the false statements you made about me if I answered your question, you've not done so. I'm assuming that's why you threw the tantrum. I called your bluff, and the best you can do is lash out like a two year old throwing a tantrum.

11. So, I will explain again -- and if you continue to act like a child, I hope people will simply save and point to this comment:

* I have no problem debating those who disagree with me and do so all the time.

* I had no problem engaging with you and used to do so.

* You threw a temper tantrum and started spewing ad homs and off-topic personal attacks on me, and I explained to you that was why it was pointless to engage with you if that was how you were going to respond.

* Last week, I gave you a chance to redeem yourself, to see if you really could debate like an adult, in that you promised to reveal the mystery sources for your false statements about me if I responded to a question.

* I did so. And you proceeded to throw another temper tantrum, pretend I did not answer the question I clearly did, and then polluted a bunch of blog posts that had nothing to do with our discussion with your off-topic tantrum, pretending I didn't answer the question I did.

I think that about covers it. I've learned that this won't satisfy you. You've shown that much is clear. This comment is for everyone else. In the future, when this guy comments, feel free to ignore him or just point to this comment. He has shown that he cannot and will not act like an adult, and he does not deserve to be treated as one.
—Mike Masnick

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