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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is Bruce C. with some thoughts on whether inaccurate polls are a kind of misinformation:

Some meta-discussion…

Interesting that the polling error(s) may be worse on this election than in 2016, but Biden’s popular vote was big enough that the pollsters still picked the right winner…

If we define misinformation as simply false information regardless of motivation or cause, this means we need a deeper classification of types of misinformation.

Some possible examples:
1) 20/20 hindsight: Best knowledge available that later turns out to be false. Erroneous polls partly fall into this category, but may fall into others. Another example is changes in scientific theory over a longer time period like Newtonian gravity vs. Relativity.
2) Errors in modeling. This is where one of your underlying assumptions is incorrect in your theoretical model and your information is based on the model. This is the charitable explanation for the initial CDC recommendation that masks were not a good method to prevent spread of COVID19.
3) errors in data collection – Garbage in, garbage out. But there can be different reasons for bad data: for example collecting survey data from the wrong distribution of respondents can be caused by poor understanding of the voting population, or by not being able to poll certain sections of the population due to lack of response.
4) Glass half-full/half-empty – letting your preconceptions color your interpretation of the results.
5) Sensationalism: A constant problem in the media where they emphasize the most extreme/unexpected information even if that’s only a small portion of the whole story.
6) Out of context – often related to sensationalism. Technically true, but only under limited circumstances.
7) You should have known better. Publishing something as fact with insufficient research. Negligent disregard for the facts.
8) Lies, damn lies and statistics. – straight disinformation. Willful disregard for the facts.

In second place, it’s an anonymous comment about a classic PC game that can’t be sold today due to IP uncertainty:

I think the important takeaway is this: These companies MIGHT own the rights but won’t look because it’s too much effort BUT will find out who does so they can sue them.

Is it any wonder people don’t respect copyright?

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with another nod to Stephen T. Stone for sharing another third-party joke:

2020: look guys this is a time for unity not finger-pointing


Next, it’s That One Guy summing up the nonsense around the photo of a certain gun-toting couple:

‘That thing we’re super proud of is damaging our reputation!’

They felt so proud of pointing guns at a bunch of protesters that they printed the picture on christmas cards, and now they want to complain that the knowledge that they were threatening to kill a bunch of people has been harmful to their reputation?

Just a tip you self-centered psychopaths, if you’re going to claim harm from something it helps if you aren’t boasting about it, as that kinda undercuts the whole claim.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is Stephen T. Stone passing along a new twist on a famous phrase, based on Donald Trump’s event location snafu, and the neighbors they ended up with:

Or as I saw it said elsewhere: “Between a cock and a charred place.”

In second place, it’s Stan responding to a supposition we made about Devin Nunes voting against anti-SLAPP:

What about his cow?

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we’ve got a pair of comments about why the Trump team seems to have forgotten all about TikTok. First, it’s an anonymous suggestion:

They did not forget, they have much more important things to deal with. Right now they are working 24/7 on stopping the caravan.

Next, it’s Bloof with a reply to that comment:

They’re working 25/8 on building the wall too!

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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