Tag Archives: slashdot

As Seen on Slashdot: III

In an interesting article on slashdot today, I found a couple of equally interesting responses:

Although I didn’t expect much from a military man.

That’s ok – he’ll still put his life on the line to protect your right to continue to whine.

thrillseeker (518224)

Cool.  Good answer to a bit of cynicism, I respect our military, and the people who serve in it. However, that doesn’t mean I must by neccessity respect all the decisions the military makes as a whole, or the decisions of all military personell.  To that point, the following answer was seen on the same slashdot comments page.
That’s ok – he’ll still put his life on the line to protect your right to continue to whine.

Yawn. This is the stock answer to any criticism of the military, and it’s crap. Yes, the military is important. Yes, military personnel take risks that most civilians don’t, and should be honored for their service. But this does not mean that civilians — you know, the people the military exists for — shouldn’t be able to criticize the military in general, and certainly doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t criticize individual military personnel when they retreat into bureaucratic doublespeak instead of giving a straight answer to a question. There’s a lot that’s right with the military. There’s also a lot that’s wrong. It is the right and duty of the people to call bullshit when they see it, WRT the military or any other part of the government.

There are countries where this isn’t the case, of course. I doubt you’d want to live in any of them.


As Seen on Slashdot, 2.

Slashdot (News for Nerds) has an article pointing towards another article (don’t you love the day and age of the news blog?) about “Fair Use of commercial video and music as raw material for new creations.

I havn’t read “TFA”(The F*cking Article, for those who don’t read slashdot in their spare time) I have gone and read TFA, and it’s … ok.  The best part of the article  may (like slashdot) be in the comments, some of which are very well written and communicated, bringing up interesting issues.

Reading through the comments at slashdot I did find one particular gem – an explanation by the user Curunir that is a great example of what “copyright” actually is, and who/what it is meant to protect. Comment below, because I felt like sharing.

“One thing I found interesting about the article is that the entertainment lawyer makes one good point while trying to make a point that is almost the opposite.

From the article:

But, as a technical legal matter, fair use is not a “right,” a misconception and misstatement frequently made these days.

While his point is that fair use is more of a privilege than a right, I think there’s a much different interpretation of what he’s saying that is important to consider.

He’s absolutely correct that fair use isn’t a right, it’s an exception. But it’s an exception to the rights of the copyright holder. And this distinction is important because it underscores how entertainment companies misrepresent copyright. Rather than copyright defining the few excepted uses allowed to people/entities who don’t hold the copyright, it actually defines the few rights granted exclusively to the copyright holder.

And this is an important observation about the intent of copyright. Namely, that anything not explicitly granted to the copyright holder is permissible rather than forbidden. The big content producers would like copyright to be a limited set of things that we (those not producing the content) are allowed to do with their content, which they believe they own. But when defending our rights, it’s important to remember that copyright is actually a limited set of things that we’re not allowed to do and that content cannot be owned, only protected. And this is the principle that should be applied whenever something falls outside of what is explicitly stated in the Copyright Act…that everything not covered is allowed rather than forbidden.”

As seen on slashdot…

A comment about parents gaming with their children I saw on slashdot and liked.

Well, I am not primarily my kids’ FRIEND…

I am their parent.

We don’t have to share interests, although it is nice. However my main priority when it comes to my kids is gaming in the real world.

One time I caught my son chasing his sister with a whiffle ball bat — it’s not heavy enough to really hurt somebody, but it certainly can sting like the dickens.

“Here, give me that,” I said. “We’re going to play a game. You are going to take this bat and tap me on the shin. But the rules of the game say I can tap you back on the shin just as hard.”

So, my son takes the bat and gives me a tiny little tap. I take the bat and give him a tiny tap. Then he gives me a slightly harder tap which I return. Then he gives me a look that plainly says he doesn’t believe I’m serious, then gives me a painful whack in the shin. I take the bat and promptly give him an equally painful whack in the shin. He then gives me light tap which I return.

This goes on for a while, and my son is literally whooping with laughter, when my wife walks in to see what’s going on. She snatches the bat out of my son’s hands. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” she yells.

“I’m teaching our son about the Golden Rule,” I reply. “Also, that it hurts to be whacked with a bat.”

One other time, I walked into the room and caught my daughter calling my son a “shithead”, for which I remonstrated with her.

“Do you want me to apologize?” she asked.

“Of course I want you to apologize,” I replied,” although I realize I can’t keep you from insulting each other.”

“You mean its OK to insult each other?” she asked.

“Of course it’s not OK,” I replied. “I simply recognize I can’t stop you from doing it. I insist, however, that we don’t use potty language in this house.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well,” I replied, “let’s play a little game. Try insulting me without using potty language.”

“Er,’You are a stinky idiot.'”

“No, playground language isn’t acceptable either,” I said. “How about, ‘You are a fetid addle-pate.'”

We went back and forth a few times, and were just getting into the swing of things when my wife came into the room. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” she cried.

“I am teaching our daughter not to use vulgar language,” I replied. “I am also working on her vocabulary.”

Sometimes I wonder if women understand child-rearing at all.”