The Wanderer’s Techdirt Profile


About The WandererTechdirt Insider

The Wanderer’s Comments comment rss

  • Sep 22nd, 2017 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Cheezus

    It is my understanding that the term was first used of the movement by its members, and that the pejorative use of it arose only when the media began pointing out (or people began pointing out to the media) that that word had an existing meaning. has a brief commentary on the subject, but not much detail. I haven't found a better source in shallow searching thus far.

    I do remember TV coverage of someone wearing a wide-brimmed hat with tea bags hanging from the rim, espousing something like the positions of what would later come to be called the Tea Party; it is my understanding that this was done on purpose by the people involved in the original gatherings, to invoke the historical memory of the Boston Tea Party, and that it is this practice that gave is the movement its name.

  • Sep 22nd, 2017 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re: Re: open and shut case

    Just to devil's-advocate a bit: what aspect of a system of religion (which is, generally speaking, a matter of choice) raises it to the same level as the ethnicity of a person (which, at least in all examples I can think of, cannot be changed)?

    And what is it about a system of religion (again, a matter of choice and belief) that distinguishes it from any other belief system in this regard? In philosophical and principle terms, I mean, not anything based in "because the people who wrote the rules said it should be that way".

  • Sep 21st, 2017 @ 9:12am


    Nit/peeve (applicable both to the above comment, and more importantly, to the main article): the word is "genericide", not "generecide". It's spelled correctly in the quotes from the court rulings, but all but one other usage in the article gets it wrong.

  • Sep 21st, 2017 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Re your "one", there are at least two ways to be in the country illegally without having committed a crime: to come in legally and then overstay the visa, and to be brought in illegally against your will.

    Re your "three", would you rather the economies of the various relevant areas collapse, and the prices for the essential staples produced there go through the roof elsewhere? It may not be ideal, but it certainly seems like by *far* the least of the available evils.

    Also re your "three", what distinguishes this from slavery (let alone "racial slavery") is that no one is forcing these people to come here and work these jobs for this pay; in fact, these people are choosing to come here in the face of systems set up to make it hard for them to do that, specifically because they think this is *better* than the alternatives.

  • Sep 17th, 2017 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Manning is not Snowden

    Not necessarily.

    Say you're helping someone do something that the local authorities don't like. The local authorities know you want to do that thing, but don't know the person you're helping also wants to do it.

    If the local authorities find out that you're working with that person, they will become suspicious that the person is also wanting to do that thing, and that person will have a harder time of doing that thing.

    No matter *why* you are trying to help that person, this is still equally true.

  • Sep 17th, 2017 @ 10:33am

    Re: Any time something is classified...

    That's not necessarily true.

    Details of how to make a nuclear bomb, for instance, could rightly have been classified for years after the conclusion of the Manhattan Project, until such time as the information entered the public sphere by other means.

    Your point is good in general, but there is room for legitimate classification that is not about current or recently-current operations.

  • Sep 17th, 2017 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Bye, partisan!

    Nit: Although "Republican" is both a noun and an adjective, "Democrat" is only a noun. The corresponding adjective is "Democratic".

    It's my experience that those who use "Democrat" as an adjective usually carry a distinct right-wing bias, but it looks like the usage may be spreading to the point that that may be becoming a less reliable indicator...

  • Sep 16th, 2017 @ 4:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    While pointing out hypocrisy may be worthwhile, the existence of other things which the speaker is not (or at least not currently) condemning does not automatically constitute hypocrisy.

    In the instant case, the poster was not saying "The viewpoint presented here is wrong", but "X other, similar thing is also wrong". To consider that "an opposing viewpoint" seems like a stretch, to me.

    >> Also, if Mike coined the word, that's news to me.
    >I never said he coined it.

    He responded to one person by saying "Doing X should be a crime." (albeit clearly in sarcasm mode), with the implication that the person being responded to had just done that.

    You responded to him by saying "So should doing Y", which - if only because of that juxtaposition - naturally carries the same implication.

    The "doing Y" in question was "making up silly nonsense words like "whataboutism"".

    Therefore, in the context, what you wrote you clearly implied that he had made up - or, in other words, coined - the word.

  • Sep 16th, 2017 @ 4:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Flag-Dripping

    I'm aware of "dripping with sarcasm", but I agree that that is a different usage; it is not the long-established convention I was thinking of. I was thinking specifically of "dripping with jewels" and its closely related expressions.

    I'm a little surprised you've never encountered those expressions, but just as with the many expressions I've managed to go my whole life without encountering (the idea that "whack-a-mole" might properly be spelled without the K, for instance), that doesn't make it any less real. (Though it certainly may make it significantly more irritating! I cringe every time I see a Techdirt article use "whac" as a verb.)

    Google finds plenty of results for "dripping with jewels" sans quotes, although most of them appear to be from "dripping in jewels" instead. There are also plenty of hits for things like "dripping with rubies", "dripping with pearls" (including a song lyric which I think I've run across before), "dripping with diamonds", et cetera, with the same minor caveat. It may not be as universally widespread as I'd thought, but it certainly does appear to be out there in the culture. refers to "dripping with jewels" in the question and some of the discussion, and one of the answers gives a quote from 1860 which includes "It hangs unclasped and heavy with jewelry, dripping with chain, filigrane, and aiglet" (reportedly taken from the OED), one of two non-liquid-based uses quoted there. So unless you're Keanu Reeves, the usage is probably older than either of us.

  • Sep 15th, 2017 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: you even understand what "whataboutism" means? Because my understanding of it is that it specifically is about pointing out that what the other person has said does not actually oppose the argument which was brought up; instead, it attempts to distract from that argument, by pointing out something else.

    (Also, if Mike coined the word, that's news to me. I imagine the Wikipedia article on the word, which I've seen linked several times but never actually visited, might clear up that question.)

  • Sep 15th, 2017 @ 6:33am

    Re: Flag-Dripping

    It's a long-established convention to refer to something with lots of X hanging all over it as "dripping with X"; for example, consider a person described as "dripping with jewels". It probably comes from jewelry, in fact, from the idea of someone having so much jewelry on that some of it is likely to fall off when they get up to move around.

    In this case, it evokes the image of the request document being adorned with so many flags that it's difficult to see the actual contents of the document.

  • Sep 14th, 2017 @ 8:07pm

    Re: What's Wrong With Scan Ballots?

    Back when the 2000 elections happened, and "hanging chads" became a household word, I looked at the paper ballots in use where I live (Maryland) and thought that they were clearly superior, having none of the lack-of-clarity problems of the ballots described as being in use in Florida. (Arrowhead at one side of the page, arrow fletching at the other side, IIRC one such for each candidate; you use a Sharpie to draw the black line connecting the halves of the arrow corresponding to the candidate you want, then feed the paper into a machine that scans for that long, thick, dark line.)

    And then of course in the next election - or the next one I remember noticing for, at least - they had replaced those with electronic voting machines. (From Diebold, IIRC.)

  • Sep 11th, 2017 @ 6:33am

    Re: What Law?

    I am given to understand that the phrase "freedom of the press" in that context would, at the time, have been understood to mean "freedom of access to the printing press", i.e., to the means of publication.

    A sense of "the press" meaning "the people who are in the profession of reporting on news" apparently did not come along until considerably later.

  • Sep 2nd, 2017 @ 10:26am

    Re: Stupid Patent of the Month

    Wait a moment. Are you saying that the law requires patent examiners to consider only prior patents (and patent applications) when looking for prior art - that it prohibits them from considering a broader scope, such as products in real-world use? Or even that the law requires them to follow procedures which themselves are not technically law, but which do include such a prohibition?

    If either of those things is true, that would certainly seem to excuse the patent examiners, but I'd want to see a citation for such a law or procedure.

  • Sep 2nd, 2017 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So where was the moderation with Geigner:

    His logic appears to be something like "If they blocked my posts entirely, they would have to admit to themselves that they're censoring me - but by letting the posts through later, when discussion has moved on and the posts are no longer relevant, they can pretend that they're adhering to the principles they claim to support".

    I don't think that conclusion is correct, but the logic at least appers internally self-consistent.

  • Sep 2nd, 2017 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well, when has Techdirt ever moderated, oh, say, Geigner?

    If this is the same person who, in another article recently, indicated that he doesn't see the Insider Chat box because that requires allowing scripts from the site, it wouldn't be surprising that he didn't click to report the comment; IIRC, last time I checked, the per-comment clickable buttons don't even show up if you don't have scripts enabled.

  • Sep 2nd, 2017 @ 6:45am

    Re: This actually sounds like Twitter was fairly sensible.

    If you're going to invest the time and manpower to investigate anyway, why suspend first?

    "Investigate, then if you find something wrong, suspend" doesn't take any more effort or any more manpower than "suspend, then investigate, then if you find nothing wrong, revoke the suspension" - but the latter unfairly penalizes people who did nothing wrong, while the former only postpones penalizing people who did do something wrong.

  • Aug 31st, 2017 @ 6:53am

    Re: Only one part in bold is imprecise and needs added to:

    "Intellectual property enforcement assures innovators and investors that when they devote time and money to develop new concepts and products, they will reap the financial rewards." -- And all other persons are prohibited from just taking the work without paying even a token, nor can anyone else gain money off it.

    Or rather, the original quoted statement (from DAG Rosenstein) is wrong, because it has one detail backwards. A more correct version of the same statement would be:

    "Intellectual property enforcement assures innovators and investors that when they devote time and money to develop new concepts and products, no one else will reap the financial rewards."

    Why exactly this is to be considered desirable, given that "no one else makes money" does not mean "I make (more) money", is less obvious than many of those who advocate for absolute intellectual-property rights and enforcement seem to think it is.

    And that's why I conclude that Techdirt is simply piratey kids having no concern for producers.

    And this is the statement that makes this post flag-worthy. (The two paragraphs preceding it pull it in that direction as well, but are arguably borderline; this one would be enough all on its own.)

  • Aug 31st, 2017 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Intellectual property

    Presumably, that item is derived from the idea that (paraphrasing a much longer and more detailed discussion) "digital objects can be infinitely copied at zero cost, therefore the natural market price for such objects is zero, therefore it is either impossible or impermissible to charge money for such objects, therefore such objects cannot be exchanged for money".

  • Aug 31st, 2017 @ 4:35am

    Re: Re: Re: What a big pie of moo-taphor.

    Because it's not "cow" vs. "cash cow", it's "milch cow" vs. "cash cow".

    An ordinary cow provides a steady supply of milk, whereas these metaphorical cows provide a steady supply of cash.

    Your idea of the origin of the phrase is odd, and does not seem to fit the facts as I understand them. If you want to convince people that yours is the correct etymology, you'll need to cite etymological research to that end. (And, probably, also stop insulting people for being wrong about it.)

More comments from The Wanderer >>