Upstream’s Techdirt Profile


About Upstream

Upstream’s Comments comment rss

  • Apr 10th, 2021 @ 5:23am

    Key word: "ask"

    "When someone takes a photo of you that isn’t flattering in bad lighting or doesn’t capture your body the way it is after working so hard to get it to this point, you should have every right to ask for it to not be shared - regardless of who you are," she wrote.

    It's OK to want things.

  • Apr 9th, 2021 @ 4:02pm

    Correlation versus Causation

    I am very much in favor of not prosecuting non-serious non-crimes, but this part struck me as a bit odd:

    The data showed that 911 calls about drug use, public intoxication and sex work (a proxy for public concern) did not increase following the policy; rather, from March – December 2020, there was a 33% reduction in calls mentioning drugs and a 50% reduction in calls mentioning sex work compared to the prior 2 years.

    This could be the result of one or more of several different causes. One might be people thinking "Why report something if the prosecutor / cops aren't going to do anything about it?" Another might be people realizing "These things aren't really causing anyone any harm anyway, so why report them?" A third might be a reduction in the incidence of these activities, which could itself be the result of one or more of several different causes.

    Of course, rather than simply not prosecuting these non-serious non-crimes, it would be much preferable to repeal the immoral laws making such activities illegal to begin with.

  • Apr 9th, 2021 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: So, they got nothing - because cryptocurrency is com

    What about pizza_and_beer (which is actually one word)?

    Seriously, I think some things like food can be said to have some intrinsic value, at least to critters that eat said food. Unless there is an infinite and effortless source of said food, which really isn't a possibility.

  • Apr 8th, 2021 @ 7:28pm

    Future of cryptocurrencies

    I am all in favor of the concept of decentralized means of exchange that cut out governments and bean-counters altogether. However, I am not yet convinced that our current crop of cryptocurrencies are the solution. I am also a late-adopter in general, and I try to avoid getting cut on the bleeding edge of any new technology.

    Bruce Schneier and Barath Raghavan have an interesting article on some of the positive features and possible pitfalls of blockchain cryptocurrencies as they stand right now.

    The last line of the article:
    "We are watching a public socio-technical experiment in the making, and we will witness its success or failure in the not-too-distant future."

  • Apr 8th, 2021 @ 2:18pm

    Re: 'You're just giving me words, they're giving me money, so...

    This is another case where the "Hanlon's Razor" benefit of the doubt should not apply.

    Given the evidence:

    A) . . . even after hearing testimony about how repair restrictions are harming health care providers during COVID by hamstringing access to essential repair technology and documentation or replacement parts

    B) Even after folks clearly testified about the scope of the harm repair monopolies cause to agriculture, health care, and other sectors, and after folks clearly illustrated the environmental impact of a wasteful culture routinely incentivized to avoid repair and buy new, the lawmakers made oodles of comments suggesting they'd bought into corporate narratives on the subject:


    C) In their own comments, the legislators repeated lines Apple and other companies often use to defend their repair monopolies.

    It is perfectly reasonable to conclude that the legislators were bought out beforehand. It would be completely unreasonable to come to any other conclusion.

  • Apr 8th, 2021 @ 11:24am


    Shannon Bird (D), for example, said that manufacturers have the right to dictate how a customer uses its product.

    This is clearly hypocritical because Shannon Bird seems to have ignored the manufacturer's dictates not to drink the joy juice and smoke the prime kush prior to legislative committee meetings.

  • Apr 8th, 2021 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re:

    I believe the anwser is "Yes."

    Lack of training is often a feature, not a bug, from the cop's point of view, as it increases the plausibility of ignorance of "clearly established rights," etc. Often what training cops do get primarily involves techniques for avoiding accountability, such as yelling "Stop resisting!" over and over again as they repeatedly punch a person (who is clearly not resisting) in the face.

  • Apr 7th, 2021 @ 5:20pm

    "Expert" witnesses?

    In my view, judges can begin to curb these ill effects by dialing down the deference—even slightly—and treating police officers like other expert witnesses.

    Many non-cop "expert" witnesses are granted a great deal of undeserved deference, and often grossly exaggerate their qualifications and the evidentiary value of their opinions. Our criminal legal systems in general, and judges in particular, are notoriously bad at keeping charlatan "experts" and their snake oil "evidence" out of courtrooms. Juries are then left to determine the validity of an "expert's" testimony, often without having any objective or reliable way of determining the validity of the "expert's" qualifications to give said testimony to begin with.

    It is a hole in our legal systems big enough to drive a convoy of honeywagons through.

  • Apr 6th, 2021 @ 6:05am

    Better still

    even better if that can serve as the first step in the process of shutting down such an abhorrent practice.

    Better still if that can serve as the first step in the process of charging, trying, convicting, and imprisoning the TSA and DEA theives / armed robbers that participated in such an abhorrent practice.

    No "Nuremberg defense" should be allowed here.

  • Apr 6th, 2021 @ 5:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Once upon a time in the US one of the functions of journalism was to be a government watchdog, not so much "challenging" government wrongdoing as pointing it out, so that people could be well-informed and act on the basis of that information however they saw fit.

    Today most of the larger journalism outlets are merely government lapdogs, leaving the watchdog function to much smaller outlets like Techdirt, Reason, ProPublica, The Intercept, and a host of others.

    As long as the readership (viewership?) of these smaller watchdog outlets was fairly small, the government could simply ignore them. However, of late the number of these smaller outlets has grown rapidly, and their combined presence has been significantly amplified by the megaphone of social media, to the point where they can no longer be ignored.

    Rather than try to crack down on the sources, (the many small investigative journalism outlets themselves, which would be a really bad look, and would be difficult, due to their growing numbers), the government has set it's sights on censorship by way of the amplifiers, with both factions presenting the issue in ways that appeal to their respective bases. Hence we are seeing the horror of bipartisan support for things like eliminating Section 230, which could very effectively accomplish the same censorious goal in ways that we read about repeatedly right here on Techdirt.

  • Apr 5th, 2021 @ 11:20pm

    Forest view, anyone?

    Usually lost in "tree view" discussions of issues of bipartisan evil-do, or just plain failure, is the admission that both "parts" have being doing the same shit for many decades (swapping sides occasionally, but the same shit nonetheless), and the admission that what we really need to do is kick both parts of our multi-generational bipartisan failure of a government to the curb and go with another option.

    The bipartisan Punch & Judy / professional wrestling shit-show of corruption has been going on for far too long, and most of the issues covered by Techdirt provide rather clear evidence of that.

  • Apr 5th, 2021 @ 10:48am

    Re: Watch it escalate

    I think we are more likely to watch it fizzle into the dustbin of "old news that doesn't matter anymore (and never really did)" as we move on to the the next headline-making "(not really a) crisis" in the next few days.

  • Apr 5th, 2021 @ 10:06am


    There is some overlap, which would explain some of the media silence on this particular subject.

    However, I think a better explanation that addresses most of the media's silence on a broad range of government failures is that most of the the media are very statist. This is always the case in authoritarian societies. The media dare not poke the bear too much, lest the bear bite back.

    The only hint of criticism of "government" that you see in any of the major media outlets is really just parroting the performative partisan jabs of the red and blue teams. The reds and blues must keep this up in order to maintain the facade of a two-party system, and the media are their PR partners in this charade.

  • Apr 2nd, 2021 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Oh look, actual attempted censorship...

    the fact that they're open about admitting that this was an attempt to punish someone for publicly disagreeing with them is all sorts of concerning and shows an open contempt for the first amendment, which is not something you want a politician to display.

    It may, however, be one of the most honest things to come out of a politicians mouth in recent memory.

  • Apr 2nd, 2021 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Correction?

    Amen! You got my vote. But it will be a hard sell because it removes power from prosecutors, and because many of the legislators and governors, etc, that would need to be on board are former prosecutors themselves.

    We need to get rid of the prosecutor -> politician -> legislator -> governor pipeline, too. It does much to warp the entire governmental mindset.

  • Apr 2nd, 2021 @ 8:24am

    Re: Bail in general is a racket

    Bail is not the only component of the law enforcement / prison (jail) / industrial complex that is a racket. Most all components of this system have devolved into rackets: bail bond services, communication services, food services, medical services, transportation services, clothing services, maintenance, equipment, supplies . . . . Basically everything involved is paid for by either the taxpayers, the prisoners themselves, or their family / friends. That is why the system has evolved to arrest so many people and keep them locked up as much as possible and for as long as possible.

    The current trend toward some minor bail reform is a good, but small, step in the right direction. However, it, and all other reforms to the law enforcement / prison (jail) / industrial complex are being fought by all the beneficiaries of the status quo: the police, prosecutors, bail bondsmen, and scores of various contractors and suppliers.

    In some places where bail reform has been enacted, judges are increasingly rendering the reform moot by denying bail entirely for most defendants. They are afraid of the Willie Horton effect.

    There is a lot to be said for the concept that prison (jail) is for people we are afraid of, not people we are mad at. But it takes a lot of political courage to support that kind of concept, and, as others have mentioned, political courage is in critically short supply these days.

  • Apr 1st, 2021 @ 10:24am

    Is this even possible?

    And when citizens do it, they're operating with fewer restraints and less accountability [than law enforcement].

  • Apr 1st, 2021 @ 7:47am

    I filled out the form, but . . .

    It will take an absolute flood of complaints (as in "break the Internet" kind of flood) to stand even a snowball's chance of making a difference. It will be nigh impossible to generate enough public outrage to cause that flood. I also don't see this issue as being high on the Harris / Biden list of grandstanding / pandering topics.

  • Mar 30th, 2021 @ 6:47pm

    Missing the underlying point

    The township claimed the defendant was keeping too much "junk" on their property, a tipping point that apparently could only be determined by circling overland.

    If the excess "junk" can't be seen and photographed from the street, sidewalk, or any neighboring public or private property, but only from a drone hovering overhead, it cannot be considered an "eyesore" to anyone, nor can it even be considered a violation of some snowflake's imagined "rights," therefore it shouldn't be any of the government's damn business!

  • Mar 26th, 2021 @ 11:07am


    Government may not qualify as RICO but it sure as hell qualifies as organized crime.

More comments from Upstream >>

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