Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the ducks-and-raptors dept

Well, it didn't take very long at all for the Copyright Office to add another layer of absurdity to the Aereo situation, stating in no uncertain terms that it doesn't care what the Supreme Court says about Aereo being a cable company. Ultimately, the big question throughout this whole situation has been a simple one, summed up anonymously in this week's most insightful comment:

Hmm, I wonder how all of this smacking down of Aereo encourages the development of culture, science and innovation.

What happens when you don't let innovations like Aereo move forward? You end up with industries full of incumbents that rest on their ever-dwindling laurels. Like Comcast, whose disastrous customer service went viral this week, prompting Michael to take second place for insightful with the observation on everyone's mind:

When your business model relies on making the process of cancelling so annoying that people decide it isn't worth it, you have taken a wrong turn somewhere.

Of course, innovation means change, and sometimes change is difficult. Some people decry technological process with the age-old accusation that it costs us jobs — and this week's first editor's choice for insightful goes to jupiterkansas for a nice, clear response to this perennial complaint:

The whole technology destroys jobs argument has been made for over 150 years since the industrial revolution, and there are more different kinds of jobs available today despite an explosion in population.

While technology does lead to job loss in the short term, and it can be very hard on people in that short term, in the long term society has benefited it has enabled whole new fields of work and better working conditions.

Not to mention that a lot of the jobs people complain about losing were created by technology in the first place. This includes books!

All these thoughts about innovation and progress also serve as excellent reminders of just how important the net neutrality debate is. With the FCC accepting public comments, there has been plenty of interesting stuff to look at if you can sift through the overwhelming volume. Adrian Lopez did just that, and his findings are our second editor's choice for insightful:

Let's play a game of "spot the shills on the FCC's comment page". Here's my nomination:

http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521380183

Over on the funny side, we start out where you might expect: the saga of Kenneth Eng's quixotic legal crusades, which recently swept us up in their wake for daring to republish public documents that contain his address. But among his many indiscriminate targets was also an old friend of the meme-loving internet: the Philosoraptor. This week's first place winner for funny is Indy, and there's nothing to quote in the comment — rather, it's a link to an eminently appropriate use of the meme-in-question. Watch out imgur — Eng might be coming after you next.

In second place, it's back to Comcast, with an understandably anonymous comment about how to get better service:

When they asked me for a reason, I told them God told me "less tv, more gun-cleaning."

It was a short conversation after that.

This implied threat would be doubly ominous based on a theory from Michael, who takes our first editor's choice spot for funny:

I'm pretty sure that murdering a call center employee from Comcast is only a misdemeanor and small fine.

And, finally, we come full circle to Aereo again, much as Aereo continues to do laps of the runaround it's being put through. Silverscarcat tried to come up with a way to break free:

Aereo should just say...
"Well fine, we're a cable company that doesn't pay re-transmission fees because no one wants our money."

(It's better than my idea of carving a fake wooden Aereo to draw the industry's fire.)

That's all for this week, folks!


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    ECA (profile), Jul 20th, 2014 @ 1:15pm

    RESPONSE to technology

    "While technology does lead to job loss in the short term, and it can be very hard on people in that short term, in the long term society has benefited it has enabled whole new fields of work and better working conditions. "

    Tech that removes jobs is only good for certain reasons..
    1. SAFETY
    2. It make it EASIER
    3. it makes it CHEAPER, for the maker/creator
    4. It makes it cheaper, for the consumer

    But, there is a concern. With farming, how many Jobs were taken? a couple million. Insted of having 50 people to do the work on EACh small farm...You now have a CORP that comes into a STATE and harvests the WHOLE crop in a week.. with 100 people and machines. and the highest paid person is the 1 NOT in the machine.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2014 @ 2:30pm

      Re: RESPONSE to technology

      How many kids grow up saying that they wish they could just go work on a farm? The old farming culture involved having a bunch of kids so that they would work the family farm. Look at the labor laws - a bunch of the exceptions for child labor laws is for farming. The planting and harvesting cycles are the reason our school years are so oddly timed.

      It seems like technology liberated anyone who wouldn't have wanted to be tied down to a farm for the rest of their life. How many people could have been doctors or artists or engineers who instead just worked their family's farm? I know factory farming isn't great, but unless you're into it, farming seems as desirable a job as cooking the factory farmed beef patties at McDonalds.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2014 @ 8:41pm

        Re: Re: RESPONSE to technology

        I'm in the process of reading the Pemberley Chronicles - a modern follow on series based on Pride and Prejudice. Within the story is the politics and goings on about the times including the industrialisation of England.

        As always, much of the problems were about greedy powerful men wanting control and using whatever they could to keep it, including technology.

        Technology in and of itself is "generally" neutral. It is what people do with it that either brings benefits or disasters. Unfortunately, since people are involved, one has to expect that the worst is what will occur in the main.

        For example, Data Mining can be quite useful (I have spent years doing this), but it is very easy to twist to purposes that are not in the interests of society as a whole and can quite quickly be used to manipulate and destroy lives.

         

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        ECA (profile), Jul 21st, 2014 @ 4:36pm

        Re: Re: RESPONSE to technology

        cAN I GIVE YOU ANOTHER WAY OF THINKING ABOUT child LABOR..?

        How about the idea that TAKING kids out of it, would mean more jobs for adults.
        PAID JOBS..TAXED JOBS..
        As a child working for FREE, the farmer could write you off as a worker, WITH PAY..

        Also, the 65 retirement age...was to create MORE jobs..
        also look at the time frame for these laws..I will BET they were CLOSE to end of wars..

        And think about your LAWN..there should be a LAW about your Child, NOT mowing your lawn..there ISNT.
        That person mowing your Lawn is very smart..doing 5-20 lawns per day, even with a 2-3 man crew, MAKES GOOD MONEY..

         

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      MM_Dandy, Jul 21st, 2014 @ 11:01am

      Re: RESPONSE to technology

      For better or worse, many businesses have a wage gap between the labor and management forces. Corporate agriculture isn't any different.

      Your example is a bit of hyperbole, and not all that concerning. Fifty people per small farm is quite a bit of a stretch. I don't have exact numbers, but I'm fairly confident that there are many 100s, if not 1,000s of custom harvest companies operating just within the Midwestern states alone. Plus, custom harvest outfits wouldn't exist if the farmers that hire them weren't able to come out ahead somehow.

      As for what will these displaced people do? Mostly, they've re-trained themselves to do other jobs, and I suspect that's what they'll continue to do.

       

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    Jake, Jul 20th, 2014 @ 2:45pm

    The problem with the line of reasoning that technology only destroys jobs in the short term is that the last time we had a really drastic shift like this, there was an option for the displaced workers that doesn't currently exist: Move somewhere there's unclaimed -or at least really cheap- land to be had.

    Me, I'm holding out for warp drive.

     

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      Whatever (profile), Jul 21st, 2014 @ 12:50am

      Re:

      You almost hit it on the head.

      Actually, the solution generally at the end of a big technology shift is war. War has this nasty way of cutting down a generation of young men (and now women) while driving the economies of the countries with insane production requirements and personal suffering tossed in.

      We are at a point in computer / tech times now that we have quickly gotten rid of many jobs or automated them to the point of not needing the workers, but little has come up to replace them. In the US, much of the manufacturing and production in industry that was manpower intensive has been moved overseas, and the replacement jobs (what there are of them) are low wage service industry jobs.

      For all the good things in life, the current generation is likely to die poorer than the one before it for the first time since, well, world war 1?

       

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        Ninja (profile), Jul 21st, 2014 @ 5:13am

        Re: Re:

        U mad bro? I've grown used to you spewing bullshit but, really?

        Unemployment rates would be much, much higher if you were right but instead jobs were created in other areas. And sooner or later all the outsourcing of jobs will backfire. There's also the natural shift towards a service based workforce and the fact that our labor laws are still lagging behind times. It's not to say there will be some suffering before things are sorted out but the nay-sayers are predicting the apocalypse for over a century now and we are very, very far from it. As for your "War is the solution" part I do hope you are just referring to what the US has been doing for a while and not as a solution in itself. We are seeing where it's leading the US and given the firepower the bigger nations have I don't think they'd risk bbringing doomsday for nothing.

        For all the good things in life, the current generation is likely to die poorer than the one before it for the first time since, well, world war 1?

        It all depends on how you value wealth. And it's hardly the fault of automation but rather speculation that is being carried on for a while by the last rotten generation. What have they brought us? 2008? Wars? Sure, I'd die poorer without that shitty record.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2014 @ 5:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Let's remember that Whatever takes a very favorable view when it comes to the government and the corporations lining its pockets using whatever force necessary to keep its citizens in line.

          Are we really surprised that his primary solution is to effectively send all the serfs out to war and blow each other up?

           

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        Gwiz (profile), Jul 21st, 2014 @ 10:09am

        Re: Re:

        We are at a point in computer / tech times now that we have quickly gotten rid of many jobs or automated them to the point of not needing the workers, but little has come up to replace them.

        I don't believe that's true at all. People still have to engineer, design, program, produce, install and maintain that automation. It doesn't automagically come into existence. Technological advancements change job descriptions and possibly geographical locations of jobs, but not so much the overall number of jobs.

        If your supposition were true we would be seeing the population to jobs ratio falling like a 2 ton heavy thing. It's not. It's holding fairly steady between 55% and 65% since 1948 and there's been a shitload of technological advancement since then.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2014 @ 7:59am

    'the Copyright Office to add another layer of absurdity to the Aereo situation, stating in no uncertain terms that it doesn't care what the Supreme Court says about Aereo being a cable company.'

    then what, pray tell, is it, what can it do (paying due fees etc) and what csn it not do? it cannot be a non-entity because it exists, as has been shown by the numerous court cases it has won (done so i am sure so as to take a lot of it's capital, so reducing what was left for the Supreme Court trial and appeal! crafty bastards the cable companies, especially when they can manage to dictate the way the courts rule!) and the one it has lost!

     

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