from the kicking-off-the-new-year dept
Time for our first batch of comments from 2014! Let's get started. In first place on the insightful side we've got Zem with a nuanced take on the repercussions of the Snowden leaks:
Snowden has shown that it is possible to harm the US Security Machine, without actually harming the US people. This is a more dangerous idea than the information he leaked.
In second place, we've got a response to our sad annual post about the works that should be entering the public domain this year but aren't. One anonymous commenter summed it up in three words:
Take that, culture.
For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start with another anonymous comment, this time underlining the ridiculousness of overfunding the mostly-useless TSA:
It's even worse than you think. We lost 30,000+ in the usa to suicide in 2001. . .ten times the 9/11 casualties.
We lost 30,000+ more to suicide the year after that.
And the year after that.
And the year after that.
And somewhere along the line to today, that became 33,000+, eleven times the 9/11 casualties, and then 36,000+, twelve times the 9/11 casualties. . .per year. . . .
And the Fed funding for the TSA in 2012 was what again, exactly? $7.4 Billion with a 'Carl Sagan B'?
Versus, what, some $68 million for suicide research and outreach?
Something like that?
Mike, when can we move from "cost-benefit analysis failure" all the way down to "basic grade-schooler allowance math failure"?
I remember this quote from the PC game "Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri"
"As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he deems himself your master."
— Comissioner Pravin Lal, "U.N. Declaration of Rights" (Accompanies completion of the Secret Project "The Planetary Datalinks")
Over on the funny side, first place comes about thanks to a numbers error on our part that seemed to make 10 years disappear from the history of a Canadian copyright collective. After this was pointed out, justok offered a possible explanation for the discrepancy:
Those missing years were lost to piracy
In second place, we've got John Fenderson with some sarcastic input into the Sherlock Holmes copyright debate:
If Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain, then where is the incentive for Arthur Conan Doyle to write new ones?
For editor's choice on the funny side, we head back to the post about the UK porn filter — which was accidentally blocking the website of its own political advocate. Josh in CharlotteNC responded with a spin on an old classic:
First they came for the politicians, and no one cared.
Next they came... oh, wait.
And finally we've got Jeremy Lyman skillfully leveraging the logic that failing security agencies often use to get more funding:
I haven't stopped any terrorist attacks. I must need more federal funding.
That's all for this week, folks. We're off to a great start for the new year, so keep 'em coming!