Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt
from the the-poorly-tuned-orchestra-of-the-mind dept
Cognitive dissonance is a scary thing. Orwell called it doublethink; Star Trek called it engrammatic dissociation; both, along with many others, painted it as terrifying. On the Insightful side of this week's top comments, we've got several instances of our readers ferreting out the inherent contradictions in the statements and positions of others, and demonstrating how their ability to believe in two mutually exclusive truths at the same time has led them to false, often laughable conclusions. Let's take a look...
Up first we've got Ima Fish on our post about the failure of Japan's draconian anti-downloading laws. Ima underlined the contradiction of an industry that knows it is fuelled by an ever-expanding audience, and yet fights against the technologies that fuel that expansion:
If you look through the history of recorded music, sales have always increased when new technology allows more people to listen.
When radio first was released, the masses were able to hear and buy music for the first time.
When white kids started listening to black music on powerful AM stations in the 50, the birth of rock and roll led to decades of sales.
When college kids started listening to experimental rock on FM radio in the late 60s and 70s, sales increased until the end of the 70s. (And of course the higher quality of FM led to a broad range of music being exposed.)
MTV started playing new music in the 80s and sales increased until they stopped playing videos in the mid 90s. MTV exposed kids to metal, new wave, and rap. And made Micheal Jackson a mega star.
CD actually increased with Napster giving exposure to new music, but it was fleeting.
Since then any new technology which is released to give exposure to new artists is immediately killed. And yet they wonder why sales aren't what they used to be.
Up next we've got a reply on our post about a UK man who was arrested for "malicious communications" for posting a photo of a burning poppy—because apparently "malicious" means "tasteless" now. One commenter made the bizarre argument that, since the poppy is a symbol of hard-won freedom, one should not be free to deface it. Nospacesorspecialcharacters correctly identified this as another self-contradiction:
The real irony is in your rant. Let me help you with that confusion..."The poppy symbolises the sacrifices our friends and families made and make for liberty, freedom, and yes, Free Speech. Its sale raises charity money for war veterans of all ages."Presumably he bought the poppy - ie. he donated some money the charity in order to have himself a plastic flower which he could then choose to wear or burn. So no charity has been deprived. I mean, I assume he didn't steal it because he's been arrested for exercising his right to do what he wants with his property, not for theft.Thank GOD the police have removed another low-IQ freak from the voting pool.Yes, thank God that the poppy has granted people freedom to be arrested for doing freedomy things... no wait... no that doesn't make sense... derp...
My grandfather was a conscript in WW2. He's passed on now, I bought a poppy recently just to remember him - my gran served also and she still marches every remembrance day - well actually she rolls because she can't walk, she has a motorized scooter.
I have respect for my grandparents, they're true veterans - a poppy or not doesn't change that, it doesn't take my memory away of them. When my gran passes on, I won't care about remembrance, I will remember them always, but I could care less about war and about our current soldiers.
Because it's no longer a fight for freedom, it's a fight for empire - the freedom has been won by my grandparents and their compatriots. The current bunch of "heroes" too me are imposters. They have no idea what WW2 vets faced, they're soldiers of fortune - it's a job, not survival.
Just look at the advertising on TV for soldier jobs, they advertise it like a holiday - make new friends/teammates, travel the world etc... not get blown apart and lose vital limbs before you turn 30 - which is what they should be advertising.
So all the pricks that get upset over a poppy burning actually cause me offence... because they're making the symbol itself into a sacred object - into a perpetual remembrance for perpetual warfare, rather than using it as a reminder of those who did give their all 70 years ago.
If freedom means giving up the rights to burn a poppy, then I don't want anyone to fight for my 'freedom'.
For Editor's Choice, we've got a couple other comments from lower down in the top ten that continue this dissonance-busting trend. In our post about Apple losing a copyright case in China over a product in their app store, we focused on the careful-what-you-wish-for-from-China aspect of the story, but also noted that Apple was correct in asserting that they weren't the right target since their app store is just the platform, and they didn't make the infringing app. While that principle holds true in general, Roman pointed out that it's a little more complicated with Apple, since the company is engaged in a little cognitive dissonance of its own:
Apple can't have it both ways
Apple always touts the things in its store as if it's responsible, and warns jailbreakers that something not-approved by them isn't safe or could get you in trouble, that's why you should trust them to be the gatekeeper responsible for how you do your computing. Then when something is wrong suddenly they're no-longer responsible. Apple cannot have it both ways.
That's a good point, and one Apple would be smart to consider. Up next, we've got Dan Barratt on our post about the flawed reasoning that led Tim Worstall to claim the US doesn't need more high speed internet, just because people currently don't use it that much. Dan spotted doublethink yet again, pointing out that this argument cannot co-exist with usage-based billing:
How can he completely overlook the effect usage based billing has on usage? The vast majority of consumers and business simply can't afford to make full use of their connections because they've been capped far below what their connections could actually transfer. Providers can't continue to declare their's no need for improving their networks and then turn around and charge a premium to heavy data users under the guise of network congestion. Which is it? Are the networks congested or are they under-utilized? It can't be both.
Okay, now that we've been sufficiently depressed by a world full of people who walk around with compartmentalized ideas in their head, let's cheer up with some funny stuff. In the top slot this week, we've got a comment on our post about Samsung jacking up the prices on Apple components. CrushU predicted the next break in the story:
This Just In
Samsung asked to justify price increase; cites recent rise in litigation costs. Apple unable to dispute.
Up next, we've got a comment on one of our posts about the General Petreaus scandal, in which we highlighted some of the many people asking why the FBI was reading certain emails. An anonymous commenter went full-on conspiracy theory to a degree that would make Dark Helmet proud:
We all know Obama ordered the FBI to get some dirt on Petreaus so his plan to have the Ambassador to Libya murdered wouldn't be revealed by Petreaus. The ambassador had the evidence that proved Obama was born in Kenya and was about to reveal it. So Obama had Mark Basseley Youssef create the anti-islam film knowing it would cause a protest, then sent his muslim friends attack the compound. The problem was that Petreaus found out. So he sent Patricia Broadwell back in time to have an affair with Petreaus, and then used Kelley to reveal the affair and Eric Cantor to notify the press. It's just that simple.
For Editor's Choice, we'll start with a comment from our post about the recording industry's idiotic war against lyrics websites. Our own Tim Cushing aka Capitalist Lion Tamer tried to flesh out the damage done:
I once went to a concert featuring one of these artists who has been victimized by rogue lyric sites. He tried to sing, but unfortunately, all his lyrics had been stolen.
Many in the audience tried to help by singing the lyrics they had stolen, but it only seemed to make matters worse. He stormed off the stage, followed by his management who wordlessly mouthed something angry in the direction of the audience.
We were duly chastened and hastily returned home to blot out the purloined lyrics with vast quantities of alcohol and self-administered lobotomies.
And finally, we've got a response from our post on Doug Stanhope and his assertion that piracy is only a problem if you think of it as one. One of our prolific critics brought out the extremely common (and extremely stupid) argument that new business models could never fund a $100-million movie. An anonymous commenter provided one of the better responses we've seen:
Better yet, why aren't they making $1,000,000,000 movies? If they can spend half-a-billion on one movie and it takes in over $4 billion than why not spend half-a-trillion on one movie and watch it rake in $4 trillion dollars?
Are Hollywood accountants that stupid not to see such a goldmine?
Better still, with the magic of Hollywood accounting (which operates in a state of both cognitive and financial dissonance), it could rake in $4-trillion and still not be technically profitable! See you tomorrow folks—until then, have fun, stay safe, and always demand gross points in your movie contracts.