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  • Sep 24th, 2017 @ 5:41pm



    Computer. End program.

  • Sep 22nd, 2017 @ 10:39am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm late to the SESTA party and haven't, yet, waded through the earlier articles.

    That said, I think SESTA is a continuing thread towards a sort of Law and Order zealotry. We're creating laws and precedents that are circumventing the need for evidence. Untempered passion and naked power will take the place of evidence and due process if we allow this.

    Our popular ideas and understanding of extremism are too narrow and are causing us to miss serious problems that are out in the open.

  • Sep 18th, 2017 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: Re: just about any job fuels something else that allows someone else to make money.

    Blockbuster Video <...> had poisoned the well. It had spent the 1990s burning its customers with unreasonable late fees (until a class action suit forced it to dump its late-fee system in exchange for a much more reasonable "return it in a month or you have to pay the full purchase price" system) and everybody jumped ship the first chance they got.

    Not since Packard Bell have I seen a company be destroyed so effectively by bad word of mouth. Me and mine gleefully abandoned Blockbuster as soon as there was a whiff of a viable alternative.

    I suspect that customer backlash is also part of why <...> Windows Mobile never caught on...


  • Sep 18th, 2017 @ 7:48am


    The whole industry may wind up overestimating the addictive power of their product. People may just choose to watch less and less. Its already been happening.

  • Sep 18th, 2017 @ 7:35am

    (untitled comment)

    You're worse than anybody thought!....

    But seriously. Not everybody gets the opportunity to be forced to do whats in their best interest. They should take it.

  • Sep 17th, 2017 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: this thing i see often

    I agree with the first paragraph.

    You really encounter discussions being shut down when there are valid comparisons, via overuse of Godwin's Law claims?

    Yes(ish). But, I don't remember or care about those. Simply shutting down discussions is blunt and easy to detect, easy to condemn, easy to avoid. The problem is the more subtle ways discussion is guided away from the reasonable and even deteriorates into argument. Unfortunately, nazis were not inhuman "monsters", whose actions were so far from typical that it is has no modern relevance.

    I hardly argue that Godwin should be misused, but there are plenty of other comparisons if any are, in fact, needed. This is a thing in itself - people distance or remain ignorant of the actions and history of their own cultures, states, etc., because comparing something to a fairly remote and "dead" episode of world history is easier.

    Good comments... The nazi regime is relatively recent, their sins grotesque, the events "baffling" ("how could this happen?", etc), its attributes relevant. This collective memory is powerful. If this power isn't used to impress upon us warnings and wisdom then it will have some other effect (and it has). To borrow a phrase, "nature abhors a vacuum". I agree with (and have used myself) the point about this be 'fairly remote', but this is unavoidable. It can be mitigated a bit. For example, we could recognize that the nazis literally used aspects learned from America's racial caste system. Yikes! When related subject matter is discussed, this is the kind of thing adults should collectively come to grips with. Instead we develop collective delusions and myth-making. The conditions of today are NOT THAT SURPRISING!...

    Anyway, I'm not blaming Godwin or his law. I don't want Mr. Masnick to ban me for insulting his BFF. :)

  • Sep 16th, 2017 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: this thing i see often

    People who invoke it without knowing what it actually means other than “stop comparing people to Nazis” do so out of ignorance.

    I never liked Godwin's law, but the reason was, as you wrote, because of the people who use it poorly. Also, the "law" part is too often interpreted as an absolute, encouraging some to overestimate their understanding of the world. However, my dislike for Godwin's law, itself, may have been unfair.

    ...keep arguments from devolving into petty namecalling and rhetorical low-blows...

    When words gain social power, they'll be used to attack others, even when inapplicable. IMO, 'arguments' are already a devolvement, but that may just be semantics.

    You can compare groups and people to Nazis;... If you want to make the comparison, be sure you can back it up.

    It is not enough to dislike nazis or think they are bad. Even the most righteous of dislikes mean little if you don't understand the hows and whys of an evil. The triggers and causes don't go away just because a significant manifestation of an evil collapses. - Just look at current events: we are apparently still fighting The Civil War; we have a President that defended actual nazis, with a disturbing number of people plainly agreeing; Police who have little problem beating up mostly peaceful protestors, did virtually nothing to white supremacists and nazis that clearly engaged in premeditated violence.

    Many (perhaps all) of the constituent components that made up 'nazism' is still present in society and day-to-day life. Since nazism was supposed to be a near universally recognized evil, it was useful to compare today's components to the components that helped create the reviled events of nazi Germany. Instead, I feel, the use or misuse of Godwin's Law helped suppress this vital discussion. Progress was presumed not demonstrated.

  • Sep 14th, 2017 @ 1:38pm

    (untitled comment)

    I suppose the DOJ felt the 100 or so arrests resulting from the operation outweighed the illegal activity that went on for years under its nose.

    There is a metric ton of circumstantial evidence that law enforcement doesn't actually care about the law. So what, precisely, do they care about?

  • Sep 12th, 2017 @ 5:26pm

    Some perspective and background

    There are some pre-existing elements that this applies to.

    1. Rich black male athletes have traditionally been subject to "enthused scrutiny and punishment", powered by disguised racist sentiment.

    2. Recently, black male athletes have been making effective political statements related to the killing of unarmed black males. Police reacted as if the speech condemning the killing was worse than the actual killing.

    3. These political statements are only effective because of sports fame. That fame comes from a single source, the NFL. Unfortunately, the NFL's hierarchy doesn't resemble the players much at all. And besides punishment, often appear insensitive to their athletes' concerns.

    4. That quarterback, that Google says is Colin Kaepernick, was recently "punished" for protesting the national anthem. He felt that the nation as a whole accepted and excused the unjust killing of people who look like him. I hear he does not have a contract specifically because of his conscientious protest.

    The police are aware of their racistly derived political power in this case. Despite being outsiders to the NFL, communal and institutional aspects of racism allow them to have influence over the livelihood of athletes like Kaepernick.

  • Sep 11th, 2017 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: fiduciary

    Words serve three relevant purposes: 1- They allow communication; 2- They are imbued with socially derived connotation and communally empowered concepts; 3- Encapsulate shared "rolled-up" history. These things all occur organically. Words can originate from individuals but cannot be enforced by individuals, though powerful (or wannabe powerful) entities continuously try. Time and events can cause words to change significance.

    If two complete strangers meet who speak two completely different languages, words mean almost nothing between them. But, the concepts are still present and each grasps those concepts using their own words.

    My earlier comment discussed the CONCEPT that is communicated by the word 'ethical'. I extracted all the nuance of the word's meaning from society at large in a manner that I imagine is similar for people who compile dictionaries. The concept could be named 'flippitipop', for all I care, so as long as it helps surgically communicate my meaning. Anyway, for now, the word 'ethical' and the concept are popularly and inextricably linked. So, manipulating the word's meaning corrupts the concept. There are people "out there" who understand this.

  • Sep 11th, 2017 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: fiduciary

    I am not misusing the word ethical, and if using word appropriately annoys you then you need to get your head around it.

    Perhaps I was unclear. I object to the idea that this is about ethics at all. This is not about you and I did not refer to the WORD ethical. Often, asking for clarification is better than jumping to a conclusion.

    Just because you don't agree with their ethics, does not mean they are ethical.

    The idea that this has anything to do with ethics is corrupted and destructive marketing.

    Your problem is that you assume that "ethical" is supposed to be always a good thing, when being ethical just means following a code of ethics....

    Its not about me and your conclusion is not well informed. An assumption is not needed. "Ethical" is not a neutral concept, it leans heavily positive. I expressed annoyance because of how destructive the idea of "ethics by power" has been.

    If your ethics states that you cheat and gouge your customers... then you are BEING ETHICAL about it!

    Excellent demonstration of mis-use. This mis-use exists specifically because ethics is a positive. An efficient way of corrupting a large number of people is by undermining their moral and ethical reasoning and distorting the language used to describe and conceptualize it. You have a negative payload (greed or whatever) hiding inside a positive shell (ethics).

    So yea... it was a "truly valid justification" for them... just no you, because your ethics... are different!

    When someone wants to do some act and they want to hide the true motivation they sometimes create fake Codes and justifications. Claiming that an action is right simply because you already want do it is self-righteous, at minimum. Common true motivations include: greed, malice, selfishness, sociopathy, etc.

    Many individuals with the power to try to define what is ethical and moral appear to object to the restraint those concepts introduce. Sort of like government agencies run by people who hate their purpose.

  • Sep 11th, 2017 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re: fiduciary

    ...they do have a Legal and Ethical requirement ["in maxing returns to the shareholders"]

    If this was a truly valid justification then it wouldn't matter HOW they maxed shareholder return. But, of course, it does matter. This idea is at least half myth, I'm thinking. Also, the mis-use of "Ethical" annoys me.

  • Sep 7th, 2017 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I experience no joy in the suffering of others, no matter their race, economic background, child abuse history, etc.

    I will take you at your word.

    brook no excuse when one of these criminals is set upon as a result of their actions.

    It is not about an excuse. The sheriff's apparent attitude is not the default, self-evident position.

    Using your very argument about fear mongering...title, "Florida Sheriff Plans To Use Hurricane Irma To Bump Up Arrest Numbers, Fill His Jail."

    That title is implying an opinion on the the Sheriff's motive. Neither the title nor the article uses fear to encourage any conclusion. "I don't like that" != "fear mongering".

    Joe Cool and, "It gets worse the smaller the town is. When Uncle Bob, Sheriff Bob, Mayor Bob, and Judge Bob are all the same person, you can pretty much discount any rights you are entitled to."

    I take Joe Cool at his word about his personal experience. His statement risks being a bit stereotypical, at worst. I don't recall that any of his comment was irrational or suspiciously hostile. "He used his innate human power of personal testimony to support an idea I don't want to be considered true" != "fear mongering".

    or this little pearl, "Stuff like this are why I've been saying for a while Sex offenders have basically become the new Communists of the 1950's."

    I don't know who said this but I'm guessing you missed the point. The kind of stuff that can get you labelled a sex offender does not match the extremely negative connotation that the phrase "sex offender" carries.

    I merely point out that there's a little more to this argument than "Police are bad, mkay."

    Irrelevant. You seem to be importing a different fight into this one.

    What is evident is that many cannot see the truth because they are so blinded by their emotions that reason fails them.

    Nonsense. This cliché doesn't do you any favors. Your comments are dripping with subtle and overt appeals to emotion.

    Bad people doing bad things don't deserve my sympathy.

    Ignoring your godly "Bad people" judgment, your sympathy is not a relevant or even rational decision criteria. Abuse also harms the abuser and risks importing cancerous attitudes into the wider social fabric.

    They had the opportunity, just we all do, to refrain from these heinous acts.

    You seem to be highly invested in this logic, for reasons you clearly have not stated. Regardless of what others do, adults are not released from their responsibility to make sound decisions.

    ...is their own fault and any treatment they experience as a result is their own fault, not anyone else's.

    Some people love chaos. Find it useful. Like looting or riots or... disasters.

    Disaster scenarios can be opportunities to settle scores by the vengeful; or get richer by disaster capitalists; or redefine the social order by zealots. Power on a large scale ready to harnessed. Who will be available to judge these people "for these heinous acts".


    Judge not lest ye be judged.

  • Sep 7th, 2017 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Activist Judge

    I don't normally like the 'Activist Judge' term

    Same here. Same reason.

    I asked the question because I expect we will hear nothing now that it is true.

  • Sep 7th, 2017 @ 12:02pm


    This is manipulation by fear (stoking anger) masquerading as reasoning. Here I just read about criminals, rapists, sex offenders, Russian Roulette, murder, your loved ones that are in danger!, "assholes" and destroying life. THESE ARE ALL THE WORST THINGS! Invoking these bad things means that ANY response is righteous! Its easy! Its like playing Rock-Paper-Scissors and putting out Dynamite! OVERPOWERING WIN! BOOM!

    Ultimately this is about doing what is EASY and PLEASURABLE not right or moral. I wonder about the use of this technique. Specifically, the zeal and, at times, the joy in which it is used. Can people like this truly hate people whose actions (or supposed actions) allow such stimulating, unrestrained and justifiably moral-less responses?! If there are no 'deplorables' then where can aggression, seething anger and hatred get an outlet? <Answer: make new 'deplorables'>

    I have a personal rule: Lets say I engage in certain actions (ex: an expression of anger) that can be effectively and reasonably justified. If the action was not actually triggered or caused by the justification then the action is not proper. Among other things it helps suppress self-righteous reactions but requires honest self-awareness.

  • Sep 7th, 2017 @ 10:54am

    Activist Judge

    Have I heard any spin doctors call Gilstrap an activist judge? This judge is reasoning and RULING to support a preferred conclusion that he must know is improper, Mr. Masnick has said or described evidence to such.

    More broadly, both our justice and political systems have long been on a trajectory where they are openly moved mostly by naked power as opposed to law or even moral or ethical considerations.

  • Sep 6th, 2017 @ 7:51am

    Re: It's much easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.

    It's much easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.

    This was approximately my first thought.

    My second, was that if a character in our stories, movies or tv say (or act out) something like this that person is probably the hero.

  • Sep 6th, 2017 @ 7:39am



    Extremism / radicalization is spreading so efficiently because we don't recognize their root causes. We recognize causes that are immediately adjacent to manifestations that we consider important; like terrorism. By the time is gets that bad allowable responses have deteriorated and narrowed into "war responses". This is true in many, MANY domains not just international relations.

    The big names, like Terrorism, "suck all the oxygen out of the room". The fabric of our collective lives is the real monster that gives birth to these relatively baby monsters.

  • Sep 5th, 2017 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Paradox

    How is saying all white people are racist any different from saying all blacks are criminals?

    Note: I don't understand how this connects to my comment, but I will tackle it.

    In practice, the word 'racist' is a problem of confusion because it is used in so many ways. Because the word is socially powerful some distortions of the word are at least willful if not intentional. Virtually everyone who uses, hears or reads the word (and it's derivatives) agrees that it is both powerful and negative, however.

    I will start with a TRUNCATED and IMPROMPTU attempt at outlining [you can prefix 'modern' if you like] racism, derived socially and historically:

    Racism is systemic. Which, in this context is not the same as institutional. Racism has three components:

    Institutional - Schools, housing, health care, justice system, job market, wealth, law enforcement, banking...(seemingly forever)...

    Social - Media portrayal, conformity mechanisms, subjective assessments, default handicap, fake meritocracy, "otherism", routine power imbalances...

    Hearts and Minds (prejudicial) - eye of the beholder, fear, event interpretation, skill assessment, ethics by power, imagination, self-loathing, monopolize "goodwill"...

    I'm going to add one non-outline item: The Siphoning Effect™:

    When a subgroup has superior power that is systemically rooted (as described above) it will actively abuse the subgroup that makes up the remainder. Commonly the abuser (subgroup) will siphon from the abused, like a vampire. Except is not blood, it can be anything, eventually everything if not restrained. Including the abused's humanity! Very few people have the stomach for all of what it takes to do this. That is why the systemic nature of it is so important. It allows mental compartmentalization and self-delusion. It allows people to sustain it in the way they can handle, essentially "help where they can". Allows some to be "blissfully unaware" (but still sustaining). It allows some to easily defend it as "normal" or even "good", because those listening have been relentlessly exposed to compatible ideas. It allows some to modulate the severity of their acceptance to the level their conscious's can bear. It allows some to object to parts of this system, yet accept other related parts; sometimes based on who benefits...


    In our current racial environment neutrality is an illusion. The word racism and its derivatives can be used in many contexts, big or small, direct or nuanced. Now to the original question:

    How is saying all white people are racist any different from saying all blacks are criminals?

    Note: I don't understand how this connects to my comment, but I will tackle it.

    Saying all blacks are criminals is wholly absurd, and pure uncut racist. This use of the word 'racist' is simple and easy and acts like a hammer. Saying all white people are racist is saying something that is impossible and I have NEVER heard someone say that. If one talks of racism in general and does not mention "white people" or some contextual equivalent then you are talking in dishonest gibberish. A common tactic is to hear "all white people" and then object. If this dishonesty is left unchecked it evolves into things like "reverse racism". Reverse racism is a racist Siphoning Effect. It siphons natural communally derived victim status. When "white people" is used, the word 'racist' is NOT a hammer, but the hammer still lingers in the memory. A white anti-racist would understand.

    I've run out of time, hopefully this is good enough. (The markdown formatting is off)

  • Sep 5th, 2017 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Paradox

    I don't know of any connection between Trump and Hitler, though Trump's father had connections to Nazis, apparently.

    However, comparing Trump and Hitler is valid and reasonable. I never believed in the Godwin rule: a silly shortcut to actual reasoning.

    Note: I did not mention Hitler and did not imply a connection.

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