Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the on-the-record dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is sumgai with a comment about the disastrous new bill regulating online commerce:

On second thought…

It seems to me that most of the players will simply move offshore, if they haven’t already done so, and thus the IRS will come up short in thet

Not very long after that point, you can expect the VPN sector to become the single largest slice of the pie vis-a-vis what internet service is most often used by Americans. And overseas payment processors will become the second largest service providers.

This is not going to work out the way Nadler thinks it will. But then again, why should a Congresscritter ever think about the ramifications of any legislation – it won’t apply to him/her, and they still get the same paycheck at the end of the month.

If you were to ask me, I’d say that accountability should start at home, where the laws are made in the first place. Most plumbers will tell you that shit does not run uphill.

In second place, it’s That One Guy with a response to the investigation that revealed how Minneapolis cops, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, started refusing to do their jobs:

A VERY telling response

If their response to the conviction of a murderer is to bunker down in case they are next they are basically admitting that they would and do engage in similar behavior and they don’t like the fact that there might actually be consequences for that sort of stuff now.

Between the cowardice, admission of corruption and refusal to do the job it sounds like the city has a prime opportunity to really trim the budget by getting rid of some useless(at best) employees and letting them find jobs more suited to them.

You might have noticed the title “on second thought” for our first place comment above, so for editor’s choice on the insightful side, we’ll start out with sumgai‘s first thought about the SHOP SAFE Act:

Remember…..

… when the major platorms held an “Internet Blackout Day”, back when Congress (the opposite of progress) was debating SOPA/PIPA?

If seller’s platforms, and not just the biggies like Amazon, Alibaba, etc., were to simply shutter their portals for 24 hours, you can bet that Nadler et al will get more than an email-inbox full of angry messages to the effect that he’d better have another think about this.

Next, it’s arp2 with another response to the Minneapolis police story:

I’ve never understood…

How many of the standards for my high school retail job were higher than a cop. If I half-assed it, I would get a warning then fired. If I didn’t help someone I didn’t personally like with just as much gusto as someone I did like, same.

If someone was yelling in my face, my 17 year old self had to have more composure and restraint than a cop.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is an anonymous comment about the Spider Man copyright termination fight:

Copyright, copyright
Friendly neighborhood Copyright
Wealth and fame
Its adored
Settling its reward.

Lookout!
Here comes the copyright.

In second place, it’s Upstream with a comment about Texas’s social media censorship bill, and the ongoing fight over speech versus “conduct:

Redefining everything

Moving your mouth while slowly exhaling thereby making sounds to communicate audible information is now conduct, not speech!

1984 was not subtitled A Beginner’s Guide to Dystopia.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with a response from Glenn to our post about Section 230 and “the rule of fences”:

Euphemistically-speaking… political drunks keep running into the fence, so they figure the best thing to do [to keep from hurting themselves on the fence] is to get rid of the fence.

Politics as usual.

Finally, it’s an anonymous response to a comment asserting that Ken White’s excellent response to a bogus threat letter induced hunger by mentioning poutine:

That was the intent.

Ken is clearly in the pocket of Big Cheese Curd.

That’s all for this week, folks!


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Comments on “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt”

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25 Comments
Anonymoussays:

Between the cowardice, admission of corruption and refusal to do the job it sounds like the city has a prime opportunity to really trim the budget by getting rid of some useless(at best) employees and letting them find jobs more suited to them.

I believe Techdirt recently had an article in PD’s and officer "membership" in gangs. So I would imagine (If this was the quoted statement was generalized across the US) for some officer, it would be more of a "on paper" change, and their job would be more of the same.

Anonymoussays:

Here is your most insightful comment for next week:


Hmmm… so this coronavirus with a 99% percent survival rate can only be defeated by:

The consolidation of state and corporate power

The strip-mining of personal liberties

The mandating of masks, social distancing, and stay at home orders

The outlawing of criticism of public health officials, big pharma, and uncensored speech

The deification of science, and the banning of debating or questioning it

The proliferation of contact tracing digging into the communications, associations, and actions of all Americans

The destruction of the world’s economy, supply chains, and work ethic – and the coming famine that will surely cause

And the forced injections of untested gene altering concoctions into the veins of every person on the planet?

The hell with it, I’ll put up with the virus, thanks.

ECAsays:

WE could solve allot of this.

" Euphemistically-speaking… political drunks keep running into the fence, so they figure the best thing to do [to keep from hurting themselves on the fence] is to get rid of the fence.

Politics as usual."

WE’
Could make the rules, ourselves. NOT let them create their own. And I think thats most of the problem. Anyone got the list of things ADAPTED from each side to change the rules??

That One Guysays:

Enjoy the own-goal

The funny thing is a lot of that wouldn’t be necessary or have nearly as much of an impact were it not for selfish assholes who refuse to take even the slightest bit of responsibility or show even a sliver of care about the health and lives of those around them and who have in turn given various governments all the justification they need to stop asking people to act responsibly and start telling them.

Toom1275says:

Re:

The strip-mining of personal liberties
The outlawing of criticism of public health officials, big pharma, and uncensored speech
The deification of science, and the banning of debating or questioning it
The destruction of the world’s economy, supply chains, and work ethic – and the coming famine that will surely cause
And the forced injections of untested gene altering concoctions into the veins of every person on the planet?

[Hallucinates events not in reality]

PaulTsays:

Re:

"99% percent survival rate"

Even if you weren’t lying about the figures, one day you morons might understand that death is not the only problem caused by this virus. Even if you’re happy to cause around 70 million people to die unnecessarily because you’re too weak to wear a mask for a few minutes while you shop, that’s not the only thing that would happen.

"The destruction of the world’s economy, supply chains, and work ethic – and the coming famine that will surely cause"

Meanwhile, in the real world, many things are back to normal. Apart from travel restrictions and the inevitable reduction in tourism money coming into my local area, life’s been pretty much back to normal for months. A combination of vaccines and people actually following mask mandates (going overboard actually, I saw tourists being more careful than locals, a reverse of what you’re normally expect) has meant that infection rates actually went down during August and September (when you’d normally expect a spike – my town’s occupation was around 60% higher with tourists during that period), meaning that we have virtually no restrictions locally apart from mask wearing indoors.

Signs are good that once international travel restrictions are lifted, next year could actually be a record time for the local economy and businesses are already preparing – one local supermarket has just reopened after a major refurbishment. Barring the plague rats causing a new strain that overcomes our best efforts, signs are good in many places that next year will be a bumper year for the economy, and that by the end of the decade this whole thing will be as distant and meaningless a problem in our daily lives as polio was when we were kids. That is, some of us are old enough to know people who were crippled by polio, but most people don’t have to deal with it on a daily basis because we did the right thing and got rid of that crap.

What’s the excuse where you live for you failing? Could it be selfish morons refusing to follow basic public health guidelines due to fictional "news"?

"untested gene altering"

If you have to lie, try picking lies that people aren’t already tired of debunking. They were laughably obvious falsehoods to begin with, but now you’re getting boring. All your statement says is "I don’t understand the science or the process", and it’s getting boring now. At least we have the daily "right wing agitator who spread disinformation about COVID, dies from COVID" stories to entertain us while you voluntarily sacrifice yourselves.

"The hell with it, I’ll put up with the virus, thanks"

That’s your choice. The rest of us just reserve the right to tell you to get the fuck away from the rest of us in the meantime. You don’t have the right to risk others just because you think that everyone else should die for your convenience.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re:

"…so this coronavirus with a 99% percent survival rate…"

By your own argument that means three million american dead.

After declaring your casual disregard for that whatever else you saw fit to write ceased to be relevant, really.

And yes, a pandemic which will take out one in a hundred is very much good grounds for shutting down large aspects of society in an attempt to curb that spread. As history has shown quite clearly where such attempts weren’t made.

Did you have anything else to bring to the table besides a blatant declaration that you’re an inhumane sociopath unable to grok scale or was that more or less it?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Enjoy the own-goal

Not to mention that several things mentioned by the OP, namely "consolidation of state and corporate power", "strip-mining of personal liberties", "outlawing of criticism of uncensored speech", "destruction of the world’s economy, supply chains, and work ethic" were all happening even without the epidemic. Global systems already run according to highly unsustainable systems that the above points would have been achieved even if COVID-19 wasn’t a thing. The idea that bravely living with the virus and taking every precaution as a part of some big government conspiracy is just willful blindness masquerading as romanticism.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

Global systems already run according to highly unsustainable systems that the above points would have been achieved even if COVID-19 wasn’t a thing.

The whole “labor shortage” thing is a prime example. We wouldn’t have those kinds of shortages right now if bosses and corporations didn’t see people quitting jobs over low pay for dehumanizing work conditions as a reason to make whoever’s left take on all the extra work with fewer-to-no breaks⁠—which, ironically, only makes people want to quit faster.

PaulTsays:

Re:

If I understand the whole "labour shortage" issue, there’s a bunch of people who were being actively exploited who got a taste of what life is like without that, and opted to retrain or change career paths. The management then found that there was no instant pool of people to exploit coming in, and they’re chosen to blame the availability of unemployment or other safety nets for their lack of incoming employees, rather than their own pay and conditions.

A lot of the evidence I’ve seen seems to be anecdotal, but I don’t believe I’ve seen any examples of a well regarded local employer struggling to hire and retain staff, they always seem to be well known shitbags or the type of places that say things like "we oppose any adherence to public health measures that would protect our staff". So strange how people won’t risk their lives in the middle of a pandemic for an employer who’s known to barely pay minimum wage and robs your tips, while serving customers who will abuse you for doing your job.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

there’s a bunch of people who were being actively exploited who got a taste of what life is like without that, and opted to retrain or change career paths

The nature of most business has consistently been exploitative. The willingness to do more while being paid less is a trait that is greatly upheld across industries, because the people in power and figures of authority holding onto most of the resources insist on their right to get the most bang for their buck. And thus employees have to be constantly pushed to deliver on an ever shrinking shoestring budget, because that’s what it means to be "competitive" and employees would slack off and cheat the system otherwise.

Calling for retraining and career progression is good for companies so long as it means government grants to help them to "adapt to market realities" – but not so much when it comes to employees actually doing so. An employer doesn’t see an employee improving himself to stay on in the company or a worthwhile investment in developing a person. He sees an upstart looking for greener pastures once he’s milked his workplace for all it’s worth to pad his resume. And when that happens, who’s going to do all the menial minutiae and trivial trash that nobody else wants? Outside of the tasks that he’s hired to do, a trained worker is a liability – because it means more negotiating power for the worker.

A lot of the evidence I’ve seen seems to be anecdotal, but I don’t believe I’ve seen any examples of a well regarded local employer struggling to hire and retain staff, they always seem to be well known shitbags or the type of places that say things like "we oppose any adherence to public health measures that would protect our staff".

This is going to vary based on who you hang out with. If you’re in an environment that actively calls out exploitative practices and frames them as the abusive industry "standards" that they actually are, great. If you’re in an environment where exploitation and abuse is brushed off as "the cost of doing business" and people generally regard employee complaints as millennials being lazy, then you’re going to run into trouble. The same goes for social circles where employer "sympathy" is defined as "Look, I know it sucks for everybody, but I can’t help overworking you lot because that’s just market reality!"

So strange how people won’t risk their lives in the middle of a pandemic for an employer who’s known to barely pay minimum wage and robs your tips, while serving customers who will abuse you for doing your job.

The funny thing is that the pandemic has shown us that we’re absolutely surgically tied to the hip to minimum wage jobs. The same employers ranting about labor shortages are, I’ve noticed, the same people who will mock youngsters for taking low-wage jobs on the basis, calling them stupid for getting into food delivery where there’s no career progression or opportunity… and then in the same breath, get angry because their Foodpanda was two minutes late. Business is exploitation, all the way down. We didn’t really need a pandemic to tell us that – well, the grassroots level workers with boots on the ground didn’t need a pandemic to tell them that, anyway.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:

"Calling for retraining and career progression is good for companies "

You misunderstand me. I’m not calling for anything. I’m saying that during lockdowns and other recent events, some people stuck in dead end slave wage jobs have retrained themselves and/or got into a position where they can leverage their existing education. They have then got out from underneath the exploitation. I don’t give 2 shits whether this is good for the company or not – if they lost their exploited workforce as a result of this and they can’t find desperate suckers to replace them, then they deserve their failure.

A person has more of a right to exist than a company does, and if the company cannot survive without exploitation, then they deserve to die. The rights of the person are more important than some CEO’s ability to collect more money than his employees with ever see.

"And when that happens, who’s going to do all the menial minutiae and trivial trash that nobody else wants?"

If the job is actually essential, it’s time to stop paying lip service to the fact while abusing and exploiting the people have no other choice, and make it so that people are willing to do the job. If you only get employees because you’ve designed society to give them no other choice, you shouldn’t act surprised when they exercise that choice when it finally appears.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Oh, no, I’m not suggesting you’re for or against it. I’m simply pointing out the hypocrisy most companies have when it comes to "upskilling".

If the job is actually essential, it’s time to stop paying lip service to the fact while abusing and exploiting the people have no other choice, and make it so that people are willing to do the job. If you only get employees because you’ve designed society to give them no other choice, you shouldn’t act surprised when they exercise that choice when it finally appears.

Most people in food delivery where I am are under no delusion that it’s going to be anything more than a temporary thing. From what I’ve seen, though, the "market reality" and the fact that employers are still very much the same gatekeepers means that they don’t have much hope of going back to a job that actually fits their skill set.

Tanner Andrewssays:

Re: Re:

Meanwhile, in the real world, many things are back to normal.

Yeah, but here in the “make believe” world, many things are going sideways. Car makers cannot get the parts they need. Paint makers cannot get the resins they need. Stores cannot get the paper goods they need. Computer makers cannot get the parts they need, but fortunately my needs are modest enough that older-model computers are adequate to the task.

Glenn Fleishmansays:

Re: Re:

I so appreciate this—all along, people who want to engage in alternate reality consumption and LARPing focus on the death statistic. As if that isn’t horrifying enough. No sensible person would say "a 1% death rate for something we have no natural immunity for is fine."

But from the very beginning, it was obvious that there’s a blast radius: death at the center, lifelong disabilities (both physical and cognitive) one measure out, long-term health effects one further measure out, significant short-term (weeks to months) one more, and then significant very short-term (several days to a few weeks of recovery, as from the worst flu). Yes, the good news is that many people don’t even get figurative radiation burns—asymptomatic cases don’t seem to result in long-haul COVID, and many people didn’t even get a runny nose. Awesome! Amazing!

But writing off about 1% death and ~5%-15% of people contracting it having significant short term to lifelong effects? People wear their empathy when they talk about disease.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Most people in food delivery where I am are under no delusion that it’s going to be anything more than a temporary thing."

Yes, and a bunch of them recently found a way to have some time and refocus their efforts and opted to go into another industry rather than go back to waiting tables for a boss who steals all their tips while they’re getting abused by customers. Others took the time to apply elsewhere and go to a place with decent working conditions and pay. Which seems to be why some lower tier employers suddenly have problems attracting staff.

Not everyone has that choice, and I’m sorry for anyone who didn’t find their way out, but from what I’ve seen a lot of the "damn moochers only want unemployment so I can’t get staff" places are simply reaping what they sowed.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:

I said many things are back to normal, not everything. But, where there’s a shortage of niche skills and expertise, I dare say they’re probably more affected by older experienced workers getting sick and/or dying than they are by temporary lockdowns months ago (depending on factory locations maybe even a year ago) and people being asked to follow basic public health guidelines, as the OP was suggesting.

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