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  • Aug 15th, 2017 @ 6:21am

    Re: Sin is unbelief…

    Actually, if you look at the history of it, "sin" is "missing the mark" - essentially, focusing your attention and energy on the wrong thing(s), whether from lack of willpower or from lack of self-discipline or simply from misunderstanding what the "target" is supposed to be. The word comes from an archery term, used to refer to not hitting the target you're aiming for.

  • Aug 11th, 2017 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not quite...

    Here's the fun part: "conservative =/= "right wing," no matter how much they insist it does. "Conservative" means "maintaining the status quo." Basically, we value tradition, don't like change, and tend towards pragmatism.

    I describe myself, when the occasion arises for it, as "a conservative liberal".

    I am temperamentally conservative: as a baseline default, I am disinclined to take chances, and I favor shoring up the place where I stand before reaching out to take a step into less established territory.

    But I am not a conservative, or indeed at all politically conservative, at least in the way that term is currently used; in the modern conservative-vs.-liberal parlance, I am more liberal than any US politician I know of, even including Bernie Sanders.

    basically the liberals are all about personal freedom and they swing from left to right depending on whose job you think it is to provide social services.

    While this may be an accurate representation of the political range which is called "liberal", I suspect that it is not what the term originally meant.

    I came to a realization a while back, in considering a rarely-asked question: how did the terms "conservative" and "liberal" come to be applied to the major political factions?

    If you start with "conservative", you could easily be led to the idea that it started with "we don't want to risk change" / "we want to preserve the status quo", and then later developed into "we want to go back to the old status quo, since we've been for that set of policies for so long". But I don't think that's the correct explanation.

    If you look at the historical usages of the word "liberal" outside of a political context, you find that it crops up in phrases like "he spread butter liberally over his toast" and "he poured out the drinks with a liberal hand". The sense of the word here seems to be something like "unstinting".

    I suspect that what happened is that one group of people wanted to spend the community's available resources liberally, in an unstinting (or, to use a word with more negative connotations, spendthrift) fashion, for the benefit of society - and that the policies which would do that came to be called "liberal".

    And then another group of people said "If we spend our resources now, we won't have them in the future when we might really need them. Instead of spending them, we should conserve them - husband them against future need." - and the policies corresponding to that restraint came to be called "conservative".

    And then, of course, both factions developed in directions that don't necessarily match up with the descriptions of those original policies - but the labels stuck.

    Even today, a lot of the stated policies of the two factions seem to match up relatively well with this origin; for example, the idea of the (presumed liberal) Democrats as the ones who want lots of government spending and taxes to match, and of the (presumed conservative) Republicans as the party of fiscal responsibility even at the cost of individual hardship.

    (Neither of which is a really good representation of the truth, of course, but that's another discussion.)

  • Aug 11th, 2017 @ 8:58am

    Re: Subscription services should be ad-free

    I dropped the XM subscription which came with my car because I got tired of the incessant ad segments - not commercials, advertising some product available in the for-pay market, but brief snippets advertising *the same radio station I was already listening to*.

    Admittedly, these ads were clever and topical enough to be amusing the first time or three I heard each one - but there were only so many different ones per station (and I only cared for a handful of stations), and they played about one such ad for every two or three songs, so the repertoire quickly became stale.

  • Aug 9th, 2017 @ 8:42am

    Re: Amusingly? You didn't get the memo?

    To be fair, it's possible to see what they mean by this.

    The claim is that by splitting out this part of the cost into a separate line item, rather than lumping it together with other costs into a single big number, they are being transparent about where the money the customer is being charged goes.

    Where it becomes disingenuous is placing this separate line item "below the line", so that it ends up being on top of the advertised price, rather than having all such universally-applicable items be enumerated "above the line" and then summed up into the advertised price.

  • Aug 8th, 2017 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re:

    It boils down to "you need to be prepared to defend yourself, with lethal force if necessary, against anyone who may attempt to deny you your First Amendment rights", with the implication that the people doing the attempting would be government forces.

    How exactly that would work in practice is less clear; even if you were successful in beating back the government forces in the immediate instance, you'd probably need to promptly go on the run and underground in order to avoid further government-force consequences, and that would kind of impede your ability to continue to speak publicly anyway.

  • Aug 7th, 2017 @ 5:35am

    Re: Re: Fulsome support

    I know it's a typo, but "mass shooing incident" is just such a funny image.

  • Aug 7th, 2017 @ 4:59am

    Re: FCC's goin slow?

    Nobody (or at least nobody here) ever wanted the FCC to control the Internet.

    We just wanted someone (with the FCC being in the best position to do so) to limit the ability of ISPs to control the Internet.

  • Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 8:44am

    Re: Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

    If I'm parsing his comment correctly, he's saying that he tried to post the comment in one browser (with which he had previously posted successfully), and had it blocked - but that he later tried again using a different browser (along with some other related configuration, I can't parse exactly what), and it worked.

    So he's commenting about the conditions under which he can and cannot get a post through, after having done enough experimentation to be able to figure out a way to get one through.

  • Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Is there a Techdirt Manual of Style?

    Or to zero in on the difference even more precisely: it's the difference between "speech" and "a speech".

    Both can chill, but only the former can be chilled.

  • Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 5:58am

    Re: Soundbite Legislation

    The answer to your various "explain why" questions is simple:

    Because in each of those cases, at the time of sale, there was nothing to indicate what the purchaser intended to do with the thing being purchased, and specifically nothing to indicate that the purchaser intended to engage in crime connected with the purchase.

    When buying a gun, or a car, or a hoodie, you do not need to submit any information indicating what you are going to do with that gun, or car, or hoodie - and even if you did, there's nothing to induce you to actually tell the truth.

    But when buying an ad, you do need to submit information indicating what purpose that ad will serve for you: the contents of the ad itself.

    (I'm playing somewhat of devil's advocate, here. I agree with the thrust of the article, and its various arguments, including the long-established ones about "mandating review of user-submitted content before it is posted will lead only to prohibiting all user-submitted content"; it's just that I believe it's useful to confront the arguments the other side will actually make, and that includes not overlooking those arguments when constructing your own.)

  • Aug 2nd, 2017 @ 5:40am


    While I agree that the end result is obviously backwards and undesirable... how can you argue that a third party has a Fourth Amendment privacy interest in information which does not belong to that third party?

    The logic from which the Third Party Doctrine arises does seem largely impeccable, as far as I can see.

  • Aug 2nd, 2017 @ 4:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Censored, I mean "hidden" by "the [Techdirt] community" is yet another lie! -- Tell my wife I love her very much -- she knows -- Ground Control to Major Tom, Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong -- Can you hear me, Major To

    The problem is that from the way he uses the term "common law", he appears to think it means something like "what the common understanding is about what the law should be", and (at least to a degree) to extrapolate from himself to determine what the common understanding is.

  • Aug 1st, 2017 @ 6:39am

    Re: Profiling gone mad

    If you're going to grow marijuana, you're going to need supplies to do it with, and many of those supplies are most readily available at a garden-supply store.

    None of the other types of retailer which you list (with the possible exception of grocers, if you stretch the point far enough to be obviously ridiculous before any but the most biased judge) sell materials which are essential to setting up a successful marijuana grow operation.

    It's a tenuous connection, but that's the basis.

  • Jul 30th, 2017 @ 5:39am

    Re: Telephone billing records

    Well, dammit. Apparently multi-line consecutive '>*' doesn't actually work the way I'd expected it to. That'll teach me to post without previewing...

  • Jul 30th, 2017 @ 5:38am

    Telephone billing records

    Subscriber name and related subscriber information Account number(s)

    • Date the account opened or closed Physical and or postal addresses associated with the account Subscriber day/evening telephone numbers All billing and method of payment related to the account including alternative billed numbers or calling cards Plain old telephone(s) (POTS), ISDN circuit(s), Voice over internet protocol (VOIP)

    All of this would seem appropriate under "telephone billing records".

    Screen names or other on-line names associated with the account All e-mail addresses associated with the account to include any and all of the above information for any secondary or additional e-mail addresses and/or user names identified by you as belonging to the targeted account in this letter Internet Protocol (IP) addresses assigned to this account and related e-mail accounts Uniform Resource Locator (URL) assigned to the account *Cable modem service, Internet cable service, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) asymmetrical/symmetrical relating to this account

    None of this seems to fall under that heading, however.

    *The names of any and all upstream and providers facilitating this account's communications

    And this one is questionable / borderline.

  • Jul 28th, 2017 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Nonsense. COLECTV is clearly referring to pay-per-view television - COLLECT TV, by comparison against the well-known idea of a collect (telephone) call.

  • Jul 27th, 2017 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't share *any* of those things on social media, in no small part because I don't *use* social media. (I've been considering getting a Twitter account for several years now, but it's probably a good thing I haven't, because I'd probably have tweeted @realDonaldTrump shortly after his election and gotten in trouble.)

    And yet the fact that I don't share these things does not prevent the government from collecting that information under such authorities as the executive order in question, if it chooses to do so.

  • Jul 27th, 2017 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Given that executive orders don't create new laws

    How does proportional representation help with single-office elections, such as the Presidency itself?

    It would almost certainly be an improvement over what we have now, but I remain convinced that it would not be enough to address all problems, at least to anywhere near the extent that a Condorcet-satisfying ranked-preference system (plus a suitable criterion for breaking the rare-but-possible Condorcet-method ties, such as "choose at random") would do.

    If a means can be found to *combine* Condorcet-satisfying ranked-preference voting with proportional representation, that might be even better, but I haven't seen one that seems adequate so far.

  • Jul 26th, 2017 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Reasonability

    The constitution clearly states that the ONLY reasonable way to search or seize people or their belongings is via Warrant.

    Someone (I think probably you) has said that here before, and as before, I have to ask: where does it say this?

    The Fourth Amendment doesn't say this, at least not clearly.

    The Fourth Amendment says clearly and explicitly that unreasonable searches and seizures are forbidden.

    The Fourth Amendment also clearly and explicitly defines the conditions under which warrants may be issued.

    However, it does not make any clear or explicit connection between these two. In particular, it does not say that only a search which is authorized by a warrant is reasonable; in fact, it does not appear to clearly or explicitly define "reasonable" at all.

    If you see a clear or explicit statement connecting these two together, or a definition of "reasonable" elsewhere in the Constitution that I've missed, please point it out in exact words - and explain exactly how those words mean what you're saying they mean. Because so far, I'm not seeing it.

  • Jul 26th, 2017 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Is Techdirt ever going to grasp what inTRAnet verus inTERnet means in practical terms?

    Just as a note, the original word is actually "rigmarole" - the "rigamarole" spelling appears to be a later spelling-drift modification.

    It is a very good word to have in one's vocabulary, however.

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