aethercowboy’s Techdirt Profile


About aethercowboy

I am a strong supporter of free speech and reasonable copyright law. I also operate the website

aethercowboy’s Comments comment rss

  • Apr 15th, 2021 @ 11:30am

    God, that Scunthorpe Problem...

    The list seems very arbitrary, and is either using the jankiest of janky word filters, or is going to be a moderation nightmare.

    Not only is there the Scunthorpe problem, but how does one distinguish between legitimate invocations of God versus those in vain? Just like how copyright filters would require an army of judges, this would require a Sanhedrin!

    Also, this probably is, on record, the first "free speech" platform that bans the use of the n-word.

  • Jul 22nd, 2020 @ 11:03am

    Take Care

    I'm just waiting for Trump to use the Take Care clause to selectively not enforce Copyright.

    "We can't effectively enforce all copyright laws, so we'll have to just tackle the ones that aren't violated by me."

  • Jul 20th, 2020 @ 5:36am


    Or take a page from the food industry:

    "artificial serialized audio product."

  • Jul 17th, 2020 @ 12:45pm

    (untitled comment)

    Let's call them "Spodcasts".

  • May 22nd, 2020 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Do you read your own sources? The Wikipedia article for Shapiro includes the quote I posted above regarding Shapiro's view's on the alt-right. It seems odd that either he's a member of a group that he detests to that degree, or that we can simply put him in that box because it's convenient for our narrative.

    Of course, I think that it might be the fact that there's no "good" definition of what the "alt-right" is. For the sake of argument, I'm going to pull from Wikipedia again and say that "Groups which have been identified as alt-right also espouse white supremacism, white separatism, severe immigration restrictions, xenophobia, antisemitism, and islamophobia." Those people are the ones I consider alt-right, especially those with an emphasis on group identity.

    While I'm not 100% on Shapiro, because his views don't interest me that much (though I'd find it strange that he'd be antisemitic), I can attest to the fact that none of these categories fit Peterson. I've listened to hundreds of hours of his lectures and read both his books and have never come across anything even remotely alt-right, or even alt-light.

    Don't get me wrong. I don't think that Peterson has it all together. For example, his understanding of the Hobbit is way off, as are his understandings of libel law. I'd never consider going carnivore like him (considering the health benefits are more an aspect of cutting crap out of your diet, and you'd probably feel the same way doing an all-potato diet), and I think it's unfortunate that he acquired an (albeit physical) dependency on antidepressants that eventually gave him neurological damage in the process of getting off of them. But all that being said, he's as far from alt-right as he is from antifa.

  • May 22nd, 2020 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re:

    Was your calling Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro alt-right meant to be taken seriously, or just careless parroting of popular, poorly-researched reactionary hit pieces?

    Jordan Peterson: "You don’t play racial, ethnic and gender identity games. The left plays them on behalf of the oppressed, let’s say, and the right tends to play them on behalf of nationalism and ethnic pride. I think they’re equally dangerous."

    Ben Shaprio: "It is a garbage movement composed of garbage ideas. It has nothing to do with Constitutional Conservatism."

    Peterson regularly criticizes group identity in favor of individualism, while Shapiro is a devout Jew. Neither of these viewpoints are compatible with alt-right ideology, and would instead fall closer to conservatism (though Peterson claims to be a classic British liberal).

    You don't have to agree with them, or even like them, but at least get your facts straight.

  • May 22nd, 2020 @ 5:39am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm a regular Rogan listener, but not a Spotify user. I have no plans to follow.

    At least then I'll have a nice three hour block every few days for other podcasts then.

  • Apr 21st, 2020 @ 11:32am

    (untitled comment)

    Aren't most anti-mask laws basically anti-KKK laws? My state's law strictly forbids conspiring to commit a crime while wearing a mask or a white cap.

  • Dec 12th, 2019 @ 5:20am

    (untitled comment)

    Everybody else should just call them "Chose Your Adventure," and abbreviate it as CYA.

  • Sep 18th, 2019 @ 11:38am

    (untitled comment)

    Maybe he should be writing legislation governing the behavior of parents instead of tech companies. I'm sure that would go over better.

  • Aug 9th, 2019 @ 10:10am

    (untitled comment)

    Part of me wants to make an application that analyzes the metadata of every popular song and can generate a flowchart of whom to sue for what. Maybe I'll call it "ouroboros."

  • Jun 21st, 2019 @ 7:23am

    Re: Re: Re: I Can Fix YouTube Kids Content Problem

    Actually, the true underlying solution is for parents to take responsibility for what their kids are watching.

    Still a monumental task to ask of some parents, but, speaking as a parent, it comes with the territory.

  • Jun 21st, 2019 @ 5:09am

    I Can Fix YouTube Kids Content Problem

    Here's how to get perfect, scaled content moderation on YouTube (at least, for the kids)

    Step One: Link the YTK account to the parent's YouTube account
    Step Two: Before a video can show up in the YTK account, the parent account must watch it all the way through and approve it for that YTK account.
    Step Three: If their kid sees anything inappropriate, it's the parent's own fault.

    It scales perfectly, because, as far as I can tell, people generally have parents.

  • May 24th, 2019 @ 10:10am


    If he gets a copyright on it, he invented it, right?

  • May 22nd, 2019 @ 11:28am

    This should be a book

    You and Haigh should put this into long form. It could be called:

    "The Man Who Invented A LIE"

    (was trying to find a good anagram for EMAIL, but couldn't find a place to put the M)

  • May 15th, 2019 @ 2:00pm

    (untitled comment)

    I think you meant to call it "dissociative identity disorder" (aka "multiple personality disorder") and not "schizophrenia."

    When you have schizophrenia, you have a decreased ability to understand reality, which better describes the owners of Hulu, and not Hulu's management.

  • May 2nd, 2019 @ 5:13am

    You Just Have to Use a Language They Understand

    An API is a formalized agreement that says "if you give me x in a certain format, I will give you y in a certain format."

    For government officials, you could explain it like this: "If Lobbyist gives you Campaign Contribution, you give Lobbyist Favorable Legislation."

    Nobody wants that copyrighted, then they couldn't do it as freely anymore.

  • Feb 6th, 2019 @ 9:18am

    I'm Torn

    I support freedom of speech.

    But, at the same time, I think that the way that some people are "weaponizing" allegations (and the demand for action based on said allegations) is a troubling trend.

    If somebody decided to call me a racist, bigot, sexist, whatever, my first reaction would be to wonder why they would make such a claim about me, and try to get to the bottom of it (especially considering that I am none of these things). If it was causing me difficulty getting a job (thanks, Google), then I think I would be perturbed for the impact such baseless accusations have made against my financial well-being. At what point does somebody's right to freedom of speech trump my ability to go through my life without having to deal with baseless accusations? I suppose that point is at the established defamation laws. And I suppose it would be easier for me, a non-public individual, to make a defamation case against an SPLC-like entity versus a public individual like McInnes under those laws (especially since there's "no such thing as bad publicity). Still, it's a little concerning that an allegation can be leveraged, and the court of public opinions can cast a ruling before the real judges can even hear the case. But my example's a little bit different than what's actually happened.

    I saw an article on HuffPost from 2014 ( about whether calling someone homophobic could be considered defamatory. It made an interesting point that accusing someone of being gay when they were not is growing to be increasingly less defamatory, as being gay is no longer quite so stigmatized. It makes me wonder if the increasing stigma attached to certain words, such as "racist" may eventually get it to the point where a false claim of racism is defamation per se. However...

    The SPLC has documented evidence ( supporting their claims of the Proud Boys as a "hate group/" So, I suppose, in a way, their labeling it as such was made in good faith, and not with blatant disregard for the truth. Whether you agree with their evidence or not, the real issue is: do they legitimately believe what they're saying is the truth. I'm inclined to say yes, they do.

    Ultimately, I think it's just an intersection of two very polarized groups: one that has association with people who discount everybody who disagrees with them as "nazis" and one that has association with people who discount everybody who disagrees with them as "commies."

    I think the best course of action is to not take up sides in an ideological argument, but instead look deeper into the underlying situation: should an entity be allowed to aggregate information about another entity and present that aggregated information with some level of interpretation to come to some unfavorable conclusion about said entity? I'm inclined to say yes. And that same entity is allowed to bring a rebuttal. But I don't think it would be defamatory if it was all done in "good faith."

    For everybody on either side of the issue, let's try this intellectual exercise: say, instead of this situation, it was the Proud Boys who labeled the SPLC as an "irresponsible public charity" with several documentations of such (here's a link that indicates as much written by the Illinois Family Institute: -- pretend the Proud Boys wrote it). Should the SPLC then be able to sue the Proud Boys (or, heck, in the real-life example, the IFI) for defamation? If your answer is different than your answer for the current situation, then you should definitely ask yourself why.

  • Sep 27th, 2018 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

    Guess that rules out intelligent design...
  • Sep 27th, 2018 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Also, Cory Doctorow, are you not Amazed?

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