Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the discourse-shmiscourse dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is Thad with some thoughts on Ajit Pai and Section 230:

I'm not sure how much Pai actually buys into this whole "FCC should regulate websites under section 230" business. He hasn't actually come out in support of it; he's just said he'd study the issue. My read is that he knows as well as O'Rielly did that this mumbo-jumbo isn't going to fly, but he's not going to come out and say so in public because he doesn't want to end up like O'Rielly.

Even if Trump gets a second term, I wouldn't be surprised if Pai hemmed and hawed and stalled as long as he could before trying to actually take a side. And what side he came down on would probably have a lot to do with whether he still wanted another term or figured he'd done enough and was ready to go back to Verizon.

None of this should be interpreted as praise or defense of Pai; at best, he's a coward who's just going along with this to appease Trump.

In second place, it's Bloof with a response to a tiresome rant:

Is there a quicker way to stop people taking you seriously than using the term 'SJW' to describe people you disagree with? It's certainly up there with 'As a libertarian, I think...', 'The free market will...' and 'the marketplace of ideas'.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with That One Guy responding to some pushback on the idea that the TikTok debacle gives China an excuse to mess with American companies, on the basis that China already does so:

There's a world of difference between messing with a company but having to keep at least some plausible deniability during the process should you get caught, and therefore being limited in what you can do, versus being given free reign to screw with companies because if someone tries to call you on it you can just point to what they did and demand that they explain why it's okay for them to do something but not you.

Next, we've got xyzzy responding to the opposite argument about China — the idea that because it bans stuff, the US should too:

Ah, the old, because "China has an authoritarian regime, that bans a whole bunch of stuff, so the USA should become an authoritarian regime..." argument?

How about, "the USA is a bastion of free speech that the rest of the world looks up to, which makes China look bad in comparison" approach? Oh, I forgot, Trump burnt that boat a while back.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is an anonymous commenter who found himself caught in the web of Evil Big Tech:

Google made me write this, I have no control over my own actions... ... hold on, they're telling me that I am just supposed to say that 'big tech good' and leave out that they're making me do it. Just ignore the part about me being controlled... they're telling me that I did this of my own free will and to let you all know that.

In second place, it's a response to the comment from Bloof that won second place for insightful, with That One Guy answering his question about red-flag terminology:

'Sheeple' might get that result quicker, but only just.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with an anonymous comment about the trademark dispute between Ubisoft and Monster Energy:

To one degree or another I associate both Monster Energy and Ubisoft with upset stomach, so there's some legitimate chance of confusion.

Finally, we've got kallethen with a response to the Walmart press release about TikTok which was so rushed it quoted the company as saying... "Ekejechb ecehggedkrrnikldebgtkjkddhfdenbhbkuk":

I have to admit, the person writing Walmart's press release sure did sum up my thoughts on this whole debacle.

That's all for this week, folks!

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Thad (profile), 27 Sep 2020 @ 1:36pm

    There are a lot of words and phrases that make a quick and convenient signal that the person using them is not worth having a discussion with.

    99 times out of 100, if you see someone in the comments calling somebody a "leftist", "Marxist", or "socialist", they do not actually have a working idea of what those words mean.

    If you see someone use "postmodern" in a baffling and nonsensical way that bears no resemblance to its traditional meaning, it means they're repeating some foolishness they heard from Jordan Peterson.

    And then there's the old favorite "I'm not a racist, but..." Nothing good ever comes after the "but". Nobody ever says "I'm not a racist, but it's a beautiful day today," or "I'm not a racist, but that sweater looks nice on you."

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2020 @ 1:43pm

      Re:

      "I'm not a racist, but..." can generally be taken in the same form as, "I'm not saying it was aliens... but, it was aliens".

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 27 Sep 2020 @ 3:11pm

      Re:

      Thought of some more:

      snowflake
      safe space (when used mockingly)
      triggered (when used mockingly)
      cuck
      illegal (when used as a noun)

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 27 Sep 2020 @ 4:49pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm annoyed that it only came to me after writing up my comment, but right alongside 'sheeple' as 'words/phrases that indicate that a person doesn't need to be taken seriously' has got to be TDS/Trump Derangement Syndrome, as those three little letters are all but guaranteed confirmation that the person you are talking to has already premptively dismissed any possible statements or criticism you might make that doesn't 100% align with what they already believe, and as such are most certainly not going into a conversation/discussion in good faith.

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

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 27 Sep 2020 @ 8:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah, good example. I didn't like it any better when it was BDS or ODS.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 28 Sep 2020 @ 12:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I honestly don't think that I have ever run across either of those before, and certainly not used in the same way that TDS is, though that could be due to simply not hanging out in the sort of places where they might come up.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 28 Sep 2020 @ 4:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "I honestly don't think that I have ever run across either of those before, and certainly not used in the same way that TDS is"

              I remember those for sure. Basically, the "derangement syndrome" term goes all the way back to Clinton, where it was used to describe the psychopathically obsessed nature of the attacks on him for things that had no evidence behind them. As is their typical way, right-wingers then tried co-opting the meme without understanding the reasons behind it (it's all about baseless attacks on someone, which doesn't count when people had very good reasons to criticise Bush's actions).

              Then, it was taken back in order to describe the people who had some... problem with Obama, despite him being fairly moderate on policy. Now, TDS is just the latest attempt to co-opt a phrase with a lack of understanding of its meaning, where the right wing want to pretend that disliking the outright corruption and high body count of the Trump administration is the same as braying for days because Obama once chose the wrong type of mustard.

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

              • icon
                Thad (profile), 28 Sep 2020 @ 8:19am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Basically, the "derangement syndrome" term goes all the way back to Clinton

                No, it was coined by Charles Krauthammer in 2003 as Bush Derangement Syndrome. There were certainly similar accusations made against Clinton critics, but people didn't call it "derangement syndrome" back then.

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

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 28 Sep 2020 @ 10:58pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Hmmm... I do seem to recall the term being used, but while a quick search gives me information like the following I'm not seeing any articles using the exact term until Bush was in office.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_crazies

                  Maybe faulty memory, maybe just weak Google skills when trying to find 25 year old articles first thing in the morning, but the basic point still stands - the right took a form of observation about unfounded attacks on Clinton, and tried using it to describe perfectly valid criticisms of Bush's actions.

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

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 3 Oct 2020 @ 9:54am

        Re: Re:

        The thing is though, that some of those words actually are pretty descriptive of the people they're applied to.

        Someone whose very presence inside a country's borders is a criminal act is very much illegal - even Canada, with one of the most liberal immigration laws in the world, will still prosecute people who enter the country illegally.

        For another example, how would you describe this person without using loaded terms, yet still accurately describe what she is doing?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXhl4QYQOuc

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 4 Oct 2020 @ 12:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Someone whose very presence inside a country's borders is a criminal act is very much illegal"

          It's usually a misdemeanour yet people want to punish it as if it's the worst kind of felony. Legally, most Americans commit worse crimes on a daily basis, and would consider it a violation of their basic rights if they were punished for them in anything like the same way.

          "For another example, how would you describe this person without using loaded terms, yet still accurately describe what she is doing?"

          Describe loaded term. I see someone using provocative racist language to get across a point that's idiotic at its centre in order to get attention, but I' not sure how you want it described.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2020 @ 3:48pm

      Re:

      That is quite impressive to manage to be nonsensical for postmodern given that it is already an incredibly broad term which contains ideas and practicioners of varied wisdom.

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

  • identicon
    David, 27 Sep 2020 @ 3:53pm

    I demand a recount!

    I am sure someone stole my funny votes. I am not conceding.

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

    • identicon
      ryuugami, 27 Sep 2020 @ 4:42pm

      Re: I demand a recount!

      I am sure someone stole my funny votes. I am not conceding.

      This proves that remote voting is insecure -- we should all demand that only the votes cast when physically visiting the Techdirt office and/or Mike's house are counted! Sure, it might inconvenience 95%+ of the readers, but that's a small price to pay to secure my victo-- I mean, for safe and fair elect-- I mean, to make sure no-one's stuffing the vote counts. Yes, that last one.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Sep 2020 @ 8:34pm

        Can we try not to joke about Trump and his Republican bootlickers trying to take over the country? They’re really doing it, and it’s a legitimate threat to American democracy, and it’s not fucking funny.

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

        • identicon
          ryuugami, 28 Sep 2020 @ 2:11am

          Re:

          Oh, it fucking is.

          But if the Americans stop making jokes about problems in Canada, France, the UK, Turkey, Thailand, etc, etc, I'll think about reciprocating.

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

        • identicon
          TFG, 28 Sep 2020 @ 5:33am

          Re:

          Humor is a coping mechanism, and for some, the last bastion against creeping despair.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.