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I think we need to create a new maxim like Moore’s Law for the foreign policy arena. Let’s call it Villager’s Law:

(1) the Very Serious talking heads in the opinion columns and Sunday morning talk shows say you’re doing the right thing; and
(2) there is a bipartisan consensus in Congress that you’re doing the right thing; and, finally,
(3) the thing you’re doing involves bombing shit and killing lots of brown people in a foreign country…

then, most likely:
(A) you’re not doing the right thing; and
(B) you’re going to unleash negative externalities equal to or worse than the problem you’re trying to solve; and
(C) history is going to call you an asshole.

Talk about an underpants gnome theory of driving mobile device sales:
“It seems like Microsoft is looking at Mojang and Minecraft as a way to tap into this enormous cultural phenomenon,” said Dave Bisceglia, Chief Executive of independent game studio Tap Lab. “If you look at iOS, Minecraft has been a top-grossing game for quite some time, if Microsoft could on Windows phones give players a unique and compelling experience that you can’t get on the other platforms, that could be a driver to sell devices to existing Minecraft fans.”
A business school could devote an entire semester to stupid Microsoft executive decisions.
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You’re welcome.

It should surprise no one that the reason behind a few rioting incidents in Ferguson, Missouri was a military-grade police response fronted by a bunch of abusive white cops in camo gear. So big shocker that when they took away the armored tank vehicles and manned sniper nests, the mood changed dramatically. How stupid are we as a nation? The question bears constant repetition.

streisand_effectWhat’s a surefire way to get a 1-star rating on Yelp?

(1) Post a policy on your hotel’s website threatening negative reviewers:

If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at USGH, there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH placed on any Internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event. If you stay here to attend a wedding anywhere in the area and leave us a negative review on any Internet site, you agree to a $500 fine for each negative review.

(2) Intrepid webtubers find out and the scandal goes viral. (Barbara Streisand reference)

(3) Your Yelp page is summarily barraged with gems like this: (Update: or this)

I found my sleeping quarters to be clean and welcoming but my cheeks became red with rage when I discovered a dildo in the nightstand. A DILDO!


RIAATrue copyright infringement via multimedia piracy is definitely a bad thing.  But it’s hard to find a stodgy media trade group as stupid as the RIAA and the fights it picks over music copyrights, which drive equally stupid decisions like this:

Game streaming site Twitch has started muting the audio of any video that is detected to include unauthorized audio—which is to say, any video that includes any reasonably mainstream background music.

What’s the issue?  As an Ars commenter put it:

No one goes to Twitch to hear music. What the music companies do not understand is that they are eliminating the number one way to expose their music to younger crowds. A lot of younger people don’t listen to radio and they don’t watch TV. They may, however, ask the chat what song is playing and discover an artist that they will then become interested in. Again, using decades old logic to regulate the modern social networks never works well and can actually hamper business. [emphasis mine]

That really is the rub.  The RIAA’s indiscriminate intimidation of popular video sites is actively killing off potential sales!  As a case in point, I’ve sought out and purchased songs a number of times after hearing them playing somewhere, often from user-generated online sources.

The counterproductive stupidity of today’s copyright enforcement regime is just staggering.

We really need to expand the slate of crimes eligible for the death penalty. Case in point: hickey-datalab-starwars-2 Yep, a whopping 10% of respondents thought The Phantom Menace was the best Star Wars movie.  The mind reels.