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282 comments

Do, Do let me be first.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24315657)

with a Godwin Law violation...

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24315771)

I believe this story has Godwined itself.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (2, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315897)

How do you propose to violate Godwin's Law? Do you even know what Godwin's Law is?

(For those interested in the subject, Godwin's Law states that as the length of any discussion approaches infinity, the probability of a reference to Naziism within that thread in any context approaches 1. It says nothing about who wins, who loses, or even when the event occurs, only that the probability goes up with time. You could substitute any word or phrase you like into that equation and it would still hold true. In an infinitely long thread, you are absolutely certain to have at least one mention of every single concept, object, philosophy and idea ever known to humanity, because of the way probability works. In other words, the law is senselessly specific and statistically meaningless.)

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24315955)

Whoosh...

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24316191)

I just ran out of mod-points and I wished I had saved one long enough to mod you redundant. Instead I'll comment:

This isn't a "whoosh" moment you mime chiming little moron. The whoosh sound is the gas escaping form your air-filled head.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#24316357)

I can't stand that mime. 99 % of the time it's used improperly. Plus it's condescending and doesn't demonstrate any kind of imagination. Reminds me a lot of high school bullies type of humour.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (5, Funny)

hostyle (773991) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316385)

"When I see professional clowns, mimes, or people who makes balloon animals, I think of their relatives and how disappointed they must be." - Jimmy Fallon

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#24316597)

That's a shame, as is the fact that you mistook me for somebody who gives a flying fuck what you think.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (5, Insightful)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315961)

In an infinitely long thread, you are absolutely certain to have at least one mention of every single concept, object, philosophy and idea ever known to humanity, because of the way probability works.

Only if the thread is irrational (just like you can find any combination of numbers in pi or e). In a nice, rational thread, you'll eventually get repetitions and the thread will loop back to itself.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (3, Interesting)

locofungus (179280) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316061)

In an infinitely long thread, you are absolutely certain to have at least one mention of every single concept, object, philosophy and idea ever known to humanity, because of the way probability works.

Only if the thread is irrational (just like you can find any combination of numbers in pi or e). In a nice, rational thread, you'll eventually get repetitions and the thread will loop back to itself.

This doesn't follow at all.

Liouville's constant is not only irrational, it's transcendental. But it only contains the digits 0 and 1.

Tim.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (3, Interesting)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316309)

What the GP was thinking of was, I believe, normal numbers [wikipedia.org] , which are defined as those whose digits have a uniform distribution. Obviously all normal numbers are irrational, but not all irrational numbers are normal, as you point out.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (3, Funny)

c (8461) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316327)

> Only if the thread is irrational

What discussion thread isn't? The empty thread?

c.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (0, Redundant)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316417)

In an infinitely long thread, you are absolutely certain to have at least one mention of every single concept, object, philosophy and idea ever known to humanity, because of the way probability works.

Only if the thread is irrational (just like you can find any combination of numbers in pi or e). In a nice, rational thread, you'll eventually get repetitions and the thread will loop back to itself

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (4, Informative)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316075)

Did the miss the fact that the Police Director in this article is named... Godwin?

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (5, Funny)

jimthehorsegod (1210220) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316115)

and I do believe JD's law states that as the length of any discussion approaches infinity the probability of someone missing a joke approaches 1.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24316159)

The most commonly seen form of Godwin's law in the wild is closer to "As thread length approaches infinity, the probability of someone making an unjustified comparison with nazi germany goes towards 1. The first person to do this is usually considered to have lost the debate."

That might not be the original form, but I've found that it's often useful to use the same meaning for things as the majority of the audience.

Incidentally, quoting Godwin: "Although deliberately framed as if it were a law of nature or of mathematics, its purpose has always been rhetorical and pedagogical: I wanted folks who glibly compared someone else to Hitler or to Nazis to think a bit harder about the Holocaust."

Oh, and with the above in mind, I'm sure you can construct a number of possible inappropriate nazi germany comparisons for the original story.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (2, Funny)

Erie Ed (1254426) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316347)

so then whats the law for soviet russia, because that gets brought up on /. almost on a daily basis...

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#24316663)

The intelligence in the universe is constant. More people are being born than are dieing.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#24316585)

I'm sure you can construct a number of possible inappropriate nazi germany comparisons for the original story

. -OR-

You could also note the protagonist's name is

Godwin

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (1)

Grismar (840501) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316249)

An informative post can still be wrong. You say that the longer a thread runs, the probability of any topic coming up increases. You attribute this to every topic coming up eventually.

As others have remarked, any thread that is actually about something is likely to remain close to that topic and eventually endless repeat earlier statements. I think /. directly proves that threads can actually go on endlessly about the same topic, although not always the topic the OP intended. So I have to disagree with the premise that every topic will come up eventually, this is not 'the way probability works'.

But even in the more basic statement you're making, you're probabilistically wrong. Even if the topic is likely to come up eventually, this likelihood does not increase over time, except if you assume the need of the speakers to start talking about something they haven't mentioned sofar.

It does no more than the odds of throwing a six with a die increase as you throw it more often. Obviously the odds of you not throwing a six that often are tiny beforehand, but as you keep throwing the odds for every individual casting of the die remain the same (not accounting for wear of a physical die).

Godwin's Law makes sense in that it makes a statement about the specific probability of nazism being brought up and it proposes that this probability actually approaches 1 for -any- discussion. Whether that's true or not is besides the point; it definitely does make sense.

By the way, you actually avoided what the parent poster said they wanted to do: you brought up nazism and thereby adding evidence in favor of Godwin's Law. (or rather, failing to provide evidence disproving it) This thread won't violate the law now...

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (3, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316335)

Try reading the The Godwins Law FAQ [faqs.org]

The point of Godwins Law is that once a thread degenerates into comparisons with Hitler that thread is effectively over, and can be killfiled by the participants without risk of losing any useful information.

This leads to the tradition that mention of Nazis in a thread by a participant automatically makes them lose the argument (http://www.jargon.net/jargonfile/g/GodwinsLaw.html)

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#24316463)

(For those interested in the subject, Godwin's Law states that as the length of any discussion approaches infinity, the probability of a reference to Naziism

Only, nowadays its a certain George W ....

Why else would you see his name mentioned here
http://www.thevarguy.com/2008/07/22/oscon-2008-microsoft-attends-but-apple-steals-the-show/ ;)

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#24316637)

Senselessly specific and statistically meaningless...well, you must be proud of yourself, having took the time to study and explain a concept that you yourself acknowledge is fundamentally useless.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24315963)

I hereby present you Godwin's Law 2.0:

As the internet grows and Godwin's Law becomes more and more famous, internet discussions will increasingly refer to Godwin's Law instead of actually mentioning Nazism.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#24316655)

dude, ain't that the truth

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#24316683)

There was no robocaust!

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (1)

X3J11 (791922) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316493)

with a Godwin Law violation...

One does not violate Godwin's Law, one invokes it.

To violate it would mean that the subject of said Law is never mentioned in an infinitely long thread, which as jd mentioned earlier, would be impossible.

Re:Do, Do let me be first.. (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316635)

with a Godwin Law violation...

One does not violate Godwin's Law, one invokes it.

To violate it would mean that the subject of said Law is never mentioned in an infinitely long thread, which as jd mentioned earlier, would be impossible.

Except, as others have pointed out, JD got to that correct conclusion through an incorrect argument. I could write a script that would generate an infinitely long thread that never mentioned Nazis (because every post in the thread would just say "Hello, Cowboy Neal!") but because it could never run to termination the infinite thread with no reference to Nazism would never actually exist. Of course, somebody else could post to the thread with a reference to Nazism, so unless it did run to termination (or somebody made such a post) we would never know whether or not Godwin's law was going to be violated at some point in the future.

Send Larry the legal bill (5, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315665)

If Larry Godwin is using tax dollars to protect himself from embarassment then his force should investigate him for misuse of public funds, prosecute him and make him pay the bill.

If the bloggers are leaking information that harms investigations then Larry is doing the right thing; if they are merely critical of Larry then they should be encouraged at their efforts to improve the police service.

You've missed something important (5, Insightful)

Drenaran (1073150) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315769)

Yes, what you say is true, but you forget that this America! We are KINGS of misappropriating funds to defend politicians and law enforcement, and our legal system is all for supporting such practices (since it helps protect them as well). Screw what is right, what about the status quo!

Yes, this statement is perhaps pandering, but it's also painfully true (dammit).

Re:You've missed something important (4, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315875)

I don't know why people keep subjecting Status Quo to American culture. They're a great British rock group and should be left that way.

Re:You've missed something important (2, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316113)

We are KINGS of misappropriating funds to defend politicians and law enforcement,

No, we aren't. It happens here, yes; it happens everywhere. It's even a defendable proposition that it's been getting worse here. But there are countries out there that make us look like pikers. Burma, to pick a particularly egregious example.

Re:You've missed something important (5, Insightful)

Elldallan (901501) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316353)

Yes dictatorships and their like tends to be much better at misappropriating funds for personal interest but US is a democracy and thus subject to higher standards on matters like these.

Modern dictatorships usually exists to enrich the dictator but democracies claims that they exist to protect the general population and hence your comparison is not very fitting.

Re:You've missed something important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24316241)

this America! We are ***KINGS*** of misappropriating funds to defend politicians and law enforcement, and our legal system is all for supporting such practices

Clearly you haven't been to Sri Lanka.

Re:You've missed something important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#24316511)

We?

You're not one of those people who lumps an entire population, consisting of unique thinking individuals, into one giant borg-like unit that mindlessly thinks in unison?

No. (5, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315935)

The correct action is to give Larry Godwin as much rope as he wants. Record everything. Document everything. Ensure this pooled information is made accessible to the blogger somehow - someone'll know who it is. People who are upset make mistakes. Pushing them deeper into their paranoia and neurotic state of mind will cause them to make bigger and bigger mistakes. It's not entrapment, as nobody is making Mr Godwin do anything illegal, they're not even suggesting it. It would be his choice, with the alternative being to back off. He has total free will. Once he has done something openly illegal, provided immunity doesn't cover him, arrest him for it.Even if immunity did cover him, this is election year and politicians aren't going to want to leave a loose cannon in a public position. He'll be removed from office.

The result will not be a court decision (which never helps anyone) but will give whistleblowers additional measures they can take.

Re:No. (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316059)

The correct action is to give Larry Godwin as much rope as he wants

Not with tax money. The city council has a fiduciary duty to the people of Memphis to keep this asshole from wasting their money litigating over his hurt feelings.

-jcr

Re:Send Larry the legal bill (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24316173)

if they are merely critical of Larry then they should be encouraged at their efforts to improve the police service.

But that's not the American way, sue sue sue is how its done these days

Re:Send Larry the legal bill (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316329)

Typical Memphis mindset. Remember the Amateur Action BBS stuff Larry Parrish
dragged the Thomas's through in a venue shopping attack? Memphis morons.

what? (5, Funny)

edittard (805475) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315671)

is interestingly

I don't know whether to be amusingly or annoyingly about the quality of the editing round here.

Re:what? (1, Informative)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315709)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interestingly [merriam-webster.com] Interestingly - in an interesting manner.

Re:what? (4, Informative)

Bozzio (183974) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315749)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interestingly [merriam-webster.com]

Interestingly.
ADVERB

Either there's a word missing in the sentence, or it should be rewritten:
And, interestingly, Godwin is actually using taxpayer dollars for this. The complaint is sealed."
  - or -
Godwin is actually using taxpayer dollars for this, and, interestingly, the complaint is sealed."

Re:what? (2, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315807)

Either there's a word missing in the sentence...

You must be under some mistaken impression that Slashdot has "editors" that vet the stories.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24316005)

I enjoy being interestingly, thank you very much.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24316081)

You can also remove the 'actually' as it adds nothing to the sentence.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#24316421)

"Godwin is actually using taxpayer dollars for this and is interestingly, the complaint is sealed".

I think GP was pointing out the shockingly bad editing when taken in context.

Yes, the "amusingly or annoyingly" bit was probably supposed to be irony.

Links (5, Informative)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316017)

I notice that they haven't even linked the blog [blogspot.com] directly.

Does anyone care about the stories, or it it just "another libertarian story that they'll love"?

Granted, it wasn't hard to click through from the article, but it's not as if blogspot as going to get slashdotted, and free speech needs examples, not just meta-waffling.

Re:what? (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316197)

Here, I've fixed it :

"Godwin is actually using taxpayer dollars for this and is interestingly illiterate ; the complaint is sealed."

Oh, no. That would be whoever posted the article. ...and, no, I don't know in what way his illiteracy might be interesting, though I can probably think of one or two ways, if I put my mind to it.

A link (5, Informative)

miraboo (1164359) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315705)

to the actual blog: http://mpdenforcer20.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:A link (5, Informative)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315811)

They make some pretty serious allegations in this blog. Including possible murder cover-ups and tolerance of rampant sexual harassment directed at females in the police force.

I'm not sure I really believe everything I'm reading here, but if much of it is true, then I can see why the MPD would want to shut them up.

Re:A link (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316363)

I haven't read the blog.. So I don't know how specific it gets, or if it names names.. but you can't assume that this is just to "shut someone up".. it could very well be that they might want to do something with these allegations.. There is also the fact that this blogger has knowledge of alleged crimes.. and this can go either way.. he could find himself a criminal, or a witness... I would think at this point, he needs to take what he knows to whatever authority (justice department ?) for investigation.. because otherwise, I think he will find himself on the criminal side, with obstruction of justice.

Of course my opinions are based on too many TV cop shows...

Anyone else over the internet? (4, Insightful)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315717)

I don't actually think there's anything intrinsically "technological" about this story, be it the fact that there's an anonymous whistle-blower or that the boss is trying to hunt him down, except maybe the amount of people the blogger it could reach. But, and yes I know this clearly is not the case, the Internet was supposed to free us and allow us to share knowledge and information freely and that includes opinions. Since that obviously is no longer here (If it ever was), I think it's time to find or create something else.

Re:Anyone else over the internet? (2, Insightful)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315753)

Some of you may wonder about the long-windedness of a such a simple point. The thing is, I was trying to pre-empt essentially useless replies from other Slashdotters that get modded Insightful. Say I had written it much simpler without the commas and brackets, like this:

"I don't actually think there's anything intrinsically "technological" about this story, be it the fact that there's an anonymous whistle-blower or that the boss is trying to hunt him down. But the Internet was supposed to free us and allow us to share knowledge and information freely and that includes opinions. Since that obviously is no longer here I think it's time to find or create something else."

The first reply to this would have been "There is something fundamentally different about whistle-blowers on the internet. They can attract far more attention and spread their views to more people than in the past. It would have been modded Insightful.

The second would have said "The internet is not free, lulz, read Slashdot and The Register more. You must be new here" etc. It would also have modded Insightful.

And finally, "The internet was never free! Was built and designed by corrupt organisations and is much a scam for our money and freedom as is anything else." You guessed it. Insightful.

Then, obviously, you get the expected three replies to each of those posts and the thread exponentially drifts more and more off-topic until the initial point is lost amongst a haze of Natalie Portman's and gritz.

Re:Anyone else over the internet? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24315951)

It's not technological no.

It is a legal matter and it relates to "The Slashdot Crowd" because it will define what can legally be done on the internet. This is still quite a shady area because the internet is still young and doesn't have the same protections as newspaper does.

The interesting part is that unlike a news paper the company hosting the site doesn't have a great financial interest in free speech.

Re:Anyone else over the internet? (4, Interesting)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316089)

The interesting part is that unlike a news paper the company hosting the site doesn't have a great financial interest in free speech.

Actually, they do.

Bloggers don't want their opinions and views to be silenced by "the man". If AOL gets a reputation as a company all too willing to help hush-hush bloggers (The people who bring traffic and revenue to their site), they'll experience a backlash.

Re:Anyone else over the internet? (4, Funny)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316091)

Then, obviously, you get the expected three replies to each of those posts and the thread exponentially drifts more and more off-topic until the initial point is lost amongst a haze of Natalie Portman's and gritz.

But "Natalie Portman's [sic] and gritz [sicker]" is the whole reason why I visit Slashdot.

Re:Anyone else over the internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24315991)

I realize it's low tech but meeting face to face and discussing these things is legal and covered but under free speech ad free assembly. Sadly technology wasn't a consideration when the Constitution was written and the government doesn't like the rights people have now so they aren't likely to expand those to include something as easily accessible as the internet.

Re:Anyone else over the internet? (3, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316125)

It's time to create something else that provides free speech? They already did, it's called Europe.

Re:Anyone else over the internet? (5, Insightful)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316443)

Free speech in Europe? Try promoting Nazism in Germany. Try denying that the Holocaust happened in Austria. Try insulting Ataturk in Turkey (okay, let's not argue whether or not Turkey is in Europe).

Free speech is more free in the U.S.

Re:Anyone else over the internet? (4, Funny)

rah1420 (234198) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316531)

Now, Grasshopper, THAT's a true demonstration of how Godwin's law works. :)

Re:Anyone else over the internet? (2, Funny)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316581)

Free speech in Europe? Try promoting Nazism in Germany. Try denying that the Holocaust happened in Austria. Try insulting Ataturk in Turkey (okay, let's not argue whether or not Turkey is in Europe).

Free speech is more free in the U.S.

what about free speech in Mexico (okay, let's not argue whether or not Mexico is in USA)

Great idea. (5, Insightful)

AhabTheArab (798575) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315719)

Because all you have really ensured is that the blog will get a decent amount of free publicity.

Re:Great idea. (5, Funny)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315813)

Godwin's Law meets the Streisand Effect? Meme Meltdown!

Re:Great idea. (1)

iMac Were (911261) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316027)

If Babs was trying to get it renamed, she should have used a name that wasn't already taken. She fails it, but isn't her voice just divine!

1st... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24315737)

Oh I forgot about the First Amendment being repealed and the new laws forbidding freedom of speech... oh wait

Re:1st... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24315809)

Watches the AC being snatched by a gang of thugs in jackboots and black jump suits....

Re:1st... (3, Funny)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315863)

The point of being an Anonymous Coward is so the gangs of thugs don't know who you are...

Oh, and to troll.

Re:1st... (1)

AhabTheArab (798575) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315907)

Oh I forgot about the First Amendment being repealed and the new laws forbidding freedom of speech... oh wait

While the 1st Amendment should (operative word) protect Anonymous Blogger from lawsuit, it may not protect him from company/department policy. For example my employer has a policy stating something to the effect of:

You can't say anything that could damage or discredit [insert company name here]. Failure to comply is grounds for reprimand, termination, etc..

I'm sure many other organizations have a similar policy which allows for the termination of whistle blowers, especially if their claim doesn't hold it's weight.

Re:1st... (3, Insightful)

daniorerio (1070048) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316155)

Your company can say that, and with good reason, but it still raises the question if they are entitled to anonymous blogger's name in a lawsuit. IANAL, but I think they don't.

leaks that might affect investigations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24315741)

If the real concern is that officers are improperly leaking information on the interwebs, then is suing AOL really the best course of action? Surely, in the history of law enforcement, they've had leaks before and have some strategies to deal with them?

just flame a little more carefully (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315801)

Godwin has illegally used his position and the City of Memphis as a ram to ruin the Constitution of the United States.

Accusing someone of an illegal act without having that proven in a court of law puts you at risk of getting sued for libel, and that is as it should be.

Something like this is probably less risky:

I believe Godwin has illegally used his position and the City of Memphis as a ram to ruin the Constitution of the United States.

No problem with that; it's the author's opinion, not a statement of fact.

Godwin has used his position and the City of Memphis as a ram to ruin the Constitution of the United States; this may be illegal.

Again, "ruining the Constitution" is fairly vague (and poorly worded to boot), so it's probably doesn't count as libel.

Re:just flame a little more carefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24315913)

Considering the fact, that there is "no unchallengeable truth" in this universe and considering the fact, that all human beings are always subjective in every single judgment they do, as no human being can claim to be 100% objective, everything you ever say is always just your opinion. Whether you explicitly state it ("In my opinion ...", "I believe ...") or not. These "diminishing" phrases are just stopgaps.

1) Earth is not the center of the universe

2) I believe/In my (humble) opinion earth is not the center of the universe

(1) == (2)

As nobody can prove to 100% that earth is not the center. It is highly unlikely, that it is the center, the chances are more than 99.99% that it is not; but there is nobody who can guarantee it isn't.
Everything I ever say is either my opinion (what else should it be?) or it is the opinion of someone else, in that case it is a quote and I should tag it as quote, to show people that this is *not* my opinion (though I might share it).

Re:just flame a little more carefully (4, Interesting)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316087)

Everything I ever say is either my opinion (what else should it be?) or it is the opinion of someone else,

And it is your responsibility to make the distinction when you speak:

"He committed this illegal act." (Implies "in the opinion of the people making up the legal system", which is the opinion that counts.)

"I believe he committed this illegal act." (In your opinion, which probably doesn't count.)

"The NYT reports that he commited this illegal act." (The NYT opinion, let them worry about it.)

That's what it's all about: tell your audience whose opinion it is. That's your responsibility.

Most statements imply whose opinion it actually is if you don't qualify them, and it's often not the speaker's.

Re:just flame a little more carefully (1)

olliM (1239308) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315945)

Something like this is probably less risky:

I believe Godwin has illegally used his position and the City of Memphis as a ram to ruin the Constitution of the United States.

No problem with that; it's the author's opinion, not a statement of fact.

Actually, it's a statement of fact disguised as an opinion. Doesn't help. Something like "Godwin is an asshole" would work, as it clearly expresses a personal opinion.

Re:just flame a little more carefully (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316053)

Actually, it's a statement of fact disguised as an opinion.

There is nothing "disguised" about it.

"I believe he did something illegal." is an opinion. "He did something illegal." is a statement of fact.

If you can't tell the difference, you have a problem.

Re:just flame a little more carefully (2, Informative)

olliM (1239308) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316109)

"I believe he did something illegal." is an opinion. "He did something illegal." is a statement of fact.

If you can't tell the difference, you have a problem.

The two statements say exactly the same thing - you are saying he did something illegal. Whether he did or did not do something illegal is not a question of opinion, but a question of fact.

http://w2.eff.org/bloggers/lg/faq-defamation.php [eff.org]

Can my opinion be defamatory?

No - but merely labeling a statement as your "opinion" does not make it so. Courts look at whether a reasonable reader or listener could understand the statement as asserting a statement of verifiable fact. (A verifiable fact is one capable of being proven true or false.) This is determined in light of the context of the statement. A few courts have said that statements made in the context of an Internet bulletin board or chat room are highly likely to be opinions or hyperbole, but they do look at the remark in context to see if it's likely to be seen as a true, even if controversial, opinion ("I really hate George Lucas' new movie") rather than an assertion of fact dressed up as an opinion ("It's my opinion that Trinity is the hacker who broke into the IRS database").

Forbidden... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24315805)

...where I live.
The police aren't allowed to try to find the source of information in cases like this. IF the blogger is seen as a journalist, which may or may not be the case. Not sure what the latest rulings say.

Streisand Effect (1)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315855)

I guess this genius never figured out that when you decide to squander taxpayer money on things on the internet, which is about as public a place as you can get, you end up attracting a lot more attention than you want to. Just like the woman whose foolishness coined the phrase 'Streisand Effect'.

This should be interesting to watch in the coming months, don't you think?

Anon blogs may be best way to curtail abuse (4, Interesting)

SloWave (52801) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315921)

Though most policemen are good people, I've heard stories of various 'Rambos' and other scummy types in police departments that would give the Zimbabwe PD a good run for the money. Most of these abuses are not reported by other cops because of guaranteed retribution. We need the anonymous blogs to get this crap in the open and dealt with. This case needs to be unsealed (public office after-all) and dealt with fairly.

Re:Anon blogs may be best way to curtail abuse (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#24315993)

Why bother with innumerable blogs, when there's Wikileaks?

Re:Anon blogs may be best way to curtail abuse (3, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316217)

Why bother with Wikileaks, when there's innumerable blogs?

Personally, I'm glad that its not all funneled through the same site, that's when censorship is easy, Wikileaks is great, but its not perfect, and maybe the submitter didn't trust it, or more likely, doesn't even know it exists, or possibly didn't want to make a big stink about it, and was hoping a lesser known site/blog would only get the appropriate amount of attention, without making it into some big scandal, but he/they could still refer to it.

Disclaimer: I Haven't RTFA.

Re:Anon blogs may be best way to curtail abuse (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316311)

Why bother with innumerable blogs, when there's Wikileaks?

The problem is that most of the time there simply isn't a papertrail.

What sort of papertrail would be generated by a corrupt cop that shakes down a drug dealer or makes a "deal" with a prostitute to get a little freebie in exchange for not hauling her in? None.

Re:Anon blogs may be best way to curtail abuse (5, Insightful)

Downside (662268) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316343)

Though most policemen are good people... Most of these abuses are not reported by other cops because of guaranteed retribution

In my book, that makes those "other cops" bad policemen.

We need the anonymous blogs...

Or more Policemen that respect their badges and what they stand for?

Police need protection from the police (4, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#24316069)

So now the police need protection from the police. The privacy issues which they seek to deny civilians in the pursuit of justice they will adamantly defend for themselves. Of course there is a difference between Managers and Employees, but the symbolism is striking.

Memphis Cops Use Injections instead of Tasers (1)

posys (1120031) | more than 4 years ago | (#24316577)

Memphis Police to Use "Amnesia-like" Injection in Lieu of Taser

MSNBC | "The drug has an amnesia effect... one of the nice ways to take care of the discomfort is to make people forget that they've had it," said biomedical ethics and law enforcement expert Dr. Steven Miles.
Read article...

http://www.infowars.com/?p=3351 [infowars.com]
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25631432/from/ET/ [msn.com]

http://roboeco.com/resat [roboeco.com]

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