by Leigh Beadon

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the we-comment-too! dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side was... me! But I prefer to highlight reader comments, so I'll just link off to that and move on to featuring the second and third place winners. First up, it's an anonymous response to Larry Lessig's new campaign for electoral reform, suggesting a different take on the problem:

The real problem isn't one of how we elect the president, or for that matter, any political figure. The real problem is getting competent figures into office. And that is a real bitch of a problem. Reason is quite simple. At this moment, the only thing that a political figure needs to be competent in is collecting votes. Period. End of discussion. The ability to actually understand the issues. The ability to actually act in the public good. Everything that would make a ruler a GOOD ruler doesn't even come in a close second behind the ability to actually attract votes. And unless some method is created to put competent capable people in charge, no method of electing them will work. Hell, look at the 2016 election. We had a choice of Hillary or Trump. Would anyone honestly claim that either of those two people would be capable and just ruler? I certainty hope not. We basically had to choose between two very bad choices that no rational person would desire.

Next, we've got a comment from Michael on a post about SESTA, responding to the assertion that "we don't allow physical sites to be KNOWN criminal bases":

Yes we do. Take, for instance, US highways. People are constantly breaking the law on those things by going faster than the speed limit. Are we holding the department of transportation responsible for the actions of those drivers?

Or let's try something much closer - what about a prison? If an inmate sexually assaults another inmate, is the prison administration found criminally liable?

Of course not. In the real world, we hold the criminals responsible. It baffles me why anyone making the argument for SESTA would not already be calling for laws that "prevent" criminals from using the phone system, highway system, and utilities by holding the phone company, DOT, and utility company responsible for not policing the use of their services. Or, well, I suppose it is possible that the SESTA supporters would want that as well.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with a parallel response to my first place winning comment, which was in response to someone questioning an apparent contradiction in Techdirt's commentary on piracy. Orbitalinsertion had a different and equally compelling way of framing it:

It's not about "exactly the way Techdirt wants", Techdirt notices what people actually do.

It's almost as if you think this is ideological...

The point is, if you want subscribers, you don't drive them to ignore you, or [back]to piracy, by doing a crap job at your offering. People who could never afford it, or who are the stereotypical "i want everything for free, just because" sorts who the cranky types like to hold up as the only kind of pirates, are going to pirate or not either way.

Making content costly or annoying to consume will lose customers regardless if it is in the format of cable tv or streaming. It isn't about some sort of ideological "format war" in that regard, either. Comcast could do exactly what Netflix does, only they won't. Near the entire benefit of a newer technology delivery system in this case is psychological/cultural: they got providers to treat them differently because reasons, even though they would probably like to treat streaming just like cable. It's new! Maaaaagic. That's how stupid these industries are. And this is them being stupid again.

Next, we head to our post about Elsevier's new Wikipedia rival, where we were accused of yet another hypocrisy — condemning Elsevier's monopolistic practices, but supposedly not Google's. Though any company with the reach of Google bears keeping an eye on in that regard, an anonymous commenter clearly spelled out how the "Google monopoly!" crowd is exaggerating things:

Can you point out what is monopolistic about Google? I use Google because they makes a good product but I think in just about everything Google offers, I have at least 2 other alternatives to choose from. The only thing I see that is monopolistic is that everyone uses it, willingly. Windows doesn't even come with Chrome or Google Search as the default. It is Edge and Bing. Mac and Linux default to Google search but usually they are Safari and Firefox. Elsevier on the other hand is a company that I think shouldn't even exist in this day and age. Any research that is paid by the government/public should be freely available to everyone and not put behind the paywall of a private company.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner comes in response to an infamous copyright troll demanding someone hand over their hard drive for examination. Roger Strong suggested a unique defense:

Sovereign Immunity

I signed the rights to my hard drive data over to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. He can't touch it.

Our second place winner needs a little context, and so we're going to go out of order and slip in an editor's choice first to make that possible. The first comment that arrived in response to the Elsevier post didn't even earn a funny badge (quite possibly because the winning reply siphoned off votes) but is still deserving of a nod. It was TechDescartes latching on to Elsevier's description of its new service:

Department of Redundancy Dept.

"completely automated, algorithmically generated and machine-learning based"

This is repetitive, redundant, and repeats itself.

But it was Stephen T. Stone who won second place for funny with an addendum:

Just like Elsevier.

That just leaves us with one more editor's choice on the funny side, and this time it's Dan with a response to the silly copyright dispute between two makers of banana costumes for Halloween:

I'm glad my plantain costume is safe to wear.

That's all for this week, folks!

Reader Comments

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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Oct 2017 @ 12:19pm

    Thank you for giving TechDescartes that much-deserved recognition. :)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2017 @ 2:14pm


    tiny bit off topic, but since this article is about comments this still seems fitting:
    I wanted to say thanks for having a site that makes it easy to post comments.
    There have been several sites that I've felt inclined to comment on (or file software bug reports to :( ) that I simply gave up on due to insane requirements like having to create an account or give my email address. If the barrier to entry for "basic community participation" on a site is not trivial, then odds are it's not worth the time or energy.
    I know it sounds kinda crazy but in person you don't have to present photo ID or give your street/mailing address just to talk to someone. Internet communities have no strong reason to be different (that can't be addressed in better ways).

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2017 @ 2:36pm

      Re: thanks

      Techdirt is unfortunately a rare gem on the internet.. the internet already used to be much richer in respect to privacy.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2017 @ 7:19pm

      Re: thanks

      The day Techdirt requires registration to comment, I will stop commenting (i.e. Disqus ruined a lot of websites) and, if one day Techdirt disables comments entirely, I'll stop visiting it.

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

    • identicon
      Daydream, 2 Oct 2017 @ 1:39am

      Re: thanks

      You know, I disabled Javascript on my mobile browser a couple of days ago; I was getting sick of a string of creepy ads, and disabling it has stopped so many crashes.
      I'm pretty sure Disqus or however it's spelt don't work without Javascript, so it's good that this site does.

      If you're reading this, insightful anon, this comment posted correctly without needing Javascript. Yet another reason to approve of this site.

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

    • identicon
      ryuugami, 2 Oct 2017 @ 9:50am

      Re: thanks

      There are two sites that I occasionally comment on: here and SoylentNews. Neither requires account (or email), both work without JavaScript.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2017 @ 3:53pm

      Re: thanks

      Completely agree. I feel comments are an important part of news sites. A lot of times, I will check a site first if it has comments and if it doesn't jump to another if it is an article I am interested in. Maybe one day I will register but I am happy being an AC. Only thought about creating an account because my comment has been on the "Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt" a few times.

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

  • icon
    techflaws (profile), 1 Oct 2017 @ 9:53pm

    I keep saying this but you guys keep paying too much attention to obvious asshats and clownish trolls.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2017 @ 5:54am

    Re: great

    Using plagiarism to spam a link, what a great advert for whatever it is you are promoting.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 2 Oct 2017 @ 6:38am

      Re: Re: great

      With 'advertising' consisting of bot-spamming random comment sections for crap sites plagiarism is really the least of their faults.

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

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