Evidence On Our Smartphones

This line in the New York Times this morning is interesting:

investigators scrutinized scores of videos and photographs from surveillance cameras from nearby businesses, as well as from marathon spectators’ smartphones and television crews that were filming the Boston Marathon

It made me think of this image from the inaugural ball:

Inaugural ball smartphone

At any major event, people are going to have their smartphones out capturing the moment. They might be taking photos and posting them to social media, they might be taking videos and doing the same thing. Or the images and videos might just stay on their phones.

Who knows whether all this crowdsourced footage will prove to be useful to law enforcement professionals in the marathon bombing case. But the mere fact that footage from spectators smartphones has been collected points to its potential value.

It is also true that communities like Reddit and 4chan are attempting to do this work themselves. Maybe they will source some interesting images that the investigators can use. Maybe not. I don't get too upset about the potential for vigilantism here as I am not sure how they would all rise up and take justice into their own hands.

The rise of computers that we all carry with us everywhere, and their ability to capture what is going on around them, time stamp it, and geotag it, creates a ton of interesting opportunities. Including law enforcement opportunities. And I think that is a good thing.


Comments (Archived):

  1. kirklove

    I won’t quibble with you on the use case here for helping an investigation. Though I will say I deplore public events now because of the ubiquity of cell phones. Not saying people shouldn’t do it, though for me (and thanks to some elbowing from Paraguay) the phone stays in the pocket. I can’t even tell you how much MORE enjoyable events are now that it does.

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      I agree. Last year I had some people over for a a cookout and bon fire in my back yard and one person just kept taking photos with her iPhone and posting it to Facebook. It like she wasn’t even here to socialize. I felt like kicking her out.

  2. Julien

    I wish I was optimistic as you are…. but sometimes, even for skilled and trained judges or attorneys, the clues are considered as proofs and there has been people judged, imprisoned or killed wrongfuly. I’m not sure a non educated, upset and angry crowd will be less prone to errors.

  3. kidmercury

    hooray for the 2nd amendment being defended yesterday! i generally think nationalism is obsolete and easily exploited for nefarious gains, but yesterday i was proud to be american. let freedom reign!between the drones, project echelon, and illegal wiretapping, law enforcement already has their full surveillance grid in place. they don’t need some random person with a smartphone. but in case they do, they will be able to grab it all easily via CISPA and won’t even need permission of the smartphone owner or photo application.

    1. fredwilson

      there are too many anarchists here at AVC for my taste these days. it really upsets me to read nonsense like this.

      1. kidmercury

        well you can always ban whoever you’d like, as you know it is your blog and disqus provides you with the tools to do so. what i would ask you to clarify though is your ideology, because to me it still seems like you are an anarchist when it comes to your portfolio and compensate in the other direction with everything else. the whole peer progressive and regulation 2.0 stuff still sounds like a polite call for anarchy. i’m not trying to ignore what you say or be difficult, i honestly perceive it that way, and i bet others do too.also, if you find my comments distasteful, imagine what i think of people who ignore 9/11 to the point where they won’t even consider what countless government officials say regarding who is responsible. then these people want to act like they are responsible citizens, which, because i prefer to see the humor in things, i find laughable.

        1. fredwilson

          i would never ban anyone. i am just telling you all how i feel about this. it is upsetting to me.

          1. kidmercury

            well, the feeling is mutual, in that i find it upsetting that so much history is ignored because it is psychologically inconvenient. although i still don’t think our ideologies are that different, as i don’t consider myself an anarchist — humorously that is what bitcoin advocates almost invariably are, and precisely why i don’t like bitcoin and don’t consider it viable.

          2. andyswan

            Agree. I’m shorting bitcoin. Also agree that Kid is no anarchist. More of a Jeffersonian with a kooky streak 🙂

          3. LE

            Kid is a nut for sure but he says many interesting things and adds to the entertainment value of the blog. Many of the non nutty things he says are valid and thoughtful as you yourself have acknowledged. The last thing I want to be is bored and I know when I read what he says I will not be bored. Like listening to my aunt (says only things that are trite and nice) vs. my uncle (a total loose canon) I like people like that.That said Kid doesn’t do a particularly good job of providing backup for many of his claims other than what I would consider “weirdo” website links.

          4. Kirsten Lambertsen

            What we all should start noticing is that there a LOT of people who believe one or more of the things Kid believes. No matter how we feel about those ideas, we can’t ignore what our fellow citizens believe.I did a year stint at one of those “weirdo” sites (as a favor for a friend). It was eye-opening, to put it mildly. I have my screenplay from that experience all mapped out in my head 😉

          5. kidmercury

            i’ve long maintained that kookology ain’t a fad — it’s a trend. when 9/11 happened, it took years for the conspiracy to enter mainstream consciousness. with sandy hook and boston, the idea seeped into mainstream consciousness within days. as media becomes decentralized thanks to the internet the truth will become unstoppable. this is the true gift of the internet, as will be understood in time if not already.

          6. fredwilson

            i did not say i wanted to ignore them. i said they upset me.

          7. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Yes, sorry. I see how what I wrote seems like I’m accusing you of ignoring. I was generalizing in that statement.What I really meant was that I, personally, was astonished to learn the things that a lot of people in the U.S. believe. It’s fascinating and worrying. But maybe it’s always been that way.

          8. kidmercury

            lol do YOU ever support your claims? but without question the link i’ve dropped the most times here in fredland, so many times i’ve almost grown tired of doing it, is this one: http://www.patriotsquestion…of course you can dismiss hundreds of government officials on record as weirdos if you’d like — i’m never one to underestimate the power of ignorance. but my views are typically far more researched and supported than those who present opposing views.

          9. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          10. fredwilson

            but when the conversation makes me want to avoid this place, as it did yesterday, that is a bad thing

          11. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          12. fredwilson

            Some people will never change.

          13. FAKE GRIMLOCK


      2. @kevinGEEdavis

        Wow Fred, I’m a bit surprised at the reaction to your post as well. It’s a thoughtful piece acknowledging the value of crowd sourced photos and videos. Most only think to post to their social networks for the ego stroke but I agree that they have more value. We’ve been trying to figure out how to help in crisis situations at Rawporter but are just happy to see that thought leaders like you have this on their radar as well!

      3. Cam MacRae

        Do you think it’s just symptomatic of conservative drift?

        1. ShanaC

          I do. And I feel a bit lonely fighting the tide to bring people back. I’ve written at least one personal email trying to get someone to come back…

          1. andyswan

            You can write me anytime Shana

          2. ShanaC


      4. ShanaC

        I think it might be a hyper libertarian move…..

      5. raycote

        ANARCHISTS ?Seriously!They come in so many flavorous that your sentiment seems somewhat mis-targeted or at the very least vaguely targeted ?Would you be disappointed if people like Noam Chomsky started hanging around on AVC?We have to be careful when we start throwing(villainizing) those kinds of political abstract nouns around or someone is likely to have their political third-eye poke out. At least that is what my mom always told me when I started throwing things around a little too carelessly ;-)http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…

        1. kidmercury

          anarchy is generally a form of name-calling. typically does not have a clear meaning, but is often used in a pejorative, dismissive sense.

          1. LE

            “pejorative”You don’t have to speculate it was called “nonsense”.

          2. kidmercury

            Read more carefully and you’ll see I was referring to typical usages of the word anarchy, not fred’s specific comment.

        2. fredwilson

          just saying what i feel. you are free to ignore my feelings. i should not.

      6. andyswan

        A lot of upvotes but I’m curious who you think the anarchists are? Is opposition to a 17 ounce Dr. Pepper ban considered “anarchy”? Would Jefferson have been an “anarchist”? Is your call for an open spectrum anarchy?Seems to me we often have a valid debate on the role of the Federal Government. I see no reason to assign labels.

        1. fredwilson

          i am not going to name names. that would be horrible. i just explained how i felt and why i opted out of AVC all day yesterday. when i feel like puking, i need to say it.

          1. andyswan

            Fair enough

      7. laurie kalmanson

        there’s a theory that the militias referenced in the second amendment are the slave patrols that were prevalent in the south, and the language was meant to reassure the slave owners that they could keep having little state sponsored private armies to track down human beings who attempted to escape from bondagei believe that theory, and the corollary, which is that the second amendment was written to enforce the opposite of freedomhttp://truth-out.org/news/i…In Georgia, for example, a generation before the American Revolution, laws were passed in 1755 and 1757 that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the Georgia Militia, and for those armed militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state. The law defined which counties had which armed militias and even required armed militia members to keep a keen eye out for slaves who may be planning uprisings.http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…Slave owners feared slave gatherings would allow them to trade or steal goods and the potential for a rebellion. South Carolina and Virginia selected patrols from state militias. Slave patrols were often equipped with guns and whips and would exert brutal and racially motivated control. At times Blacks developed many methods of challenging slave patrolling, occasionally fighting back violently. The American Civil War developed more opportunities for resistance against slave patrols and made it easier for enslaved people to escape.

        1. kidmercury

          federalist paper 26 explains the rationale that mililtas, powered by an armed population, were seen as an alternative to standing armies — and standing armies were seen as a threat to liberty. http://www.foundingfathers.info/fe...

        2. Jim Ritchie

          As you state Laurie, this is one theory, but not a theory with nearly as much historical weight as others. The likely reason our founders thought the right to bear arms was the 2nd most important natural right is multi-faceted. However, as Kid outlines, the most clearly enumerated reasons are in the Federalist Papers.

      8. LE

        The whole idea that things can’t change if the facts change has always been a bit ridiculous to me. I’m reminded of Rabbis who are quite willing to bend the rules in order to make exceptions for congregants and give them a pass.My ex wife married a quasi orthodox man who wouldn’t travel on shabbat. They had an affair to go to (that was important to her) and he would have to start to travel when religious jews aren’t “allowed” (hah to that but anyway).So she said to him, most likely using logic that I had taught her [1] and take full credit for “why can’t you just shift the start time of the observance by a few hours and end it later?” He went for it and all was well. He rationalized it in his head and wasn’t rigid as probably most orthodox are.[1] Another example: Before she married him I also told her to cut her deal with his behaviors before agreeing otherwise she would loose all bargaining power.



    2. Jeffrey Hartmann

      I do not feel that the 2nd amendment was defended at all yesterday. I feel like the spirit and will of the people was completely ignored, and our founders are rolling in their graves. We as a society want to remove loopholes that allow mentally unstable and dangerous people to get guns easily by just moving the transaction online or to a gun show. We will never limit all violence, but this was just a common sense move that still protected our individual rights. We will never prevent all criminals and insane people from getting guns. But we can sure make it harder for them, and many times problem solving skills of this group is limited.I don’t care if the government wants me to wait for a few days for me to buy a rifle or a shotgun. I don’t care if they want to limit my access to guns if I’m taking certain medication, they totally limit my access to other things due to that (cars, etc.). These moves were just common sense to me, and a huge amount of the country agrees with me. It is sad that the minority here won a victory.

      1. andyswan

        Did you read the bill?

        1. jack

          It was not a bill, it was seven amendments, five of which received in excess of 50 votes. the votes are there to “take away your guns” it’s now just a matter of 50 senators deciding to tweak senate rules. it won’t happen this term, but it will happen.

          1. kidmercury

            though i find it deeply unfortunate, i do think you’re right. momentum is certainly on the gun grabbers’ side.

          2. jack

            “Manchin-Tommey” was not a bill, it was a single amendment to S.649 proposed by Sen. Reid. There were six other amendments yesterday, each having separate votes; two more today. Proposed S. 649 passed cloture by a vote of 68-31-1. This cleared the way for the amendments. As far as I can tell, the only reason the amendments needed more than 51 votes to pass was due to an agreement among Senators as opposed to, say, a Constitutional safeguard. This behavior is starting to receive a tremendous amount of public scrutiny and is, I believe, in its final days. http://www.senate.gov/legis

          3. jack

            Of course, the obvious reason the amendments didn’t pass is because the underlying bill never passed, it only defeated filibuster. But I still suspect these procedural games are on the path to an unsustainable public perception problem.

          4. Jim Ritchie

            i stand semantically corrected.

      2. fredwilson

        that’s how i feel too. and betrayed by people i have supported financially and with my relationships. the betrayal will be returned to them.

        1. LIAD

          You’re not the only one on the warpath“We will employ the most sophisticated social media campaign ever built to remove these people from office,” – Ron Conway, SF Chronicle(http://blog.sfgate.com/tech

          1. kidmercury

            i’m looking forward to it. bring it on!

        2. jstylman

          The financial support is precisely the problem. Money in politics breeds a system where laws go to the highest bidder, not the will of the people.

          1. Anne Libby

            The will of the people isn’t always the will to vote.And here in NYC, our Mayor serves a 3rd term partly through a backroom deal that went against the will of the voters.These sorts of shenanigans, and results like yesterday, only deepen my will to vote, and to do so based on having a long memory…

          2. ShanaC

            there sounds like an interesting story behind this comment

          3. fredwilson

            it was not against the will of the voters. he was elected to a third term by the voters

          4. Anne Libby

            He was enabled to run by a City Council pirouette around the will of the voters. We voted for term limits, for better or worse.It’s dangerous to think that one person is necessary for an elected office. If our government is so fragile that only one man can do the job, then let’s fight to change that. New York could have handled a weak one-term mayor. (And Quinn could have sailed into office in this upcoming election, now doubtful.)Bloomberg has been a good mayor, and I agree with much of what he has done — even in this term. How he got the job, this time, not so much.

          5. Anne Libby

            And he was enabled to run by a City Council pirouette around the will of the voters. We voted for term limits, for better or worse. It’s dangerous to think that one person is necessary for an elected office. If our government is so fragile that only one man can do the job, then let’s fight to change that. New York could have handled a weak one-term mayor. (And Quinn could have sailed into office, now doubtful.) Bloomberg has been a good mayor, and I agree with much of what he has done — even in this term. How he got the job, this time, not so much.

          6. fredwilson

            yup. i am giving heavily to those that want to change the system. but as long as this is the way the game is played, i am going to play it that way too.

        3. LE

          “betrayed by people”Let me give you another perspective on that. By “betrayed” I will guess you mean by politicians you have contributed to?I think you have to understand that they are serving many masters and they have made a decision or a deal with the devil that they had to do for many reasons. Just as we all do every day. Maybe another supporter is a better supporter? Maybe another issue with another politician or voters is more important? Who knows?I had a guy doing work for me for a couple of years (this happened maybe 10 years ago) and at one point he literally told me that the work he was doing for AOL was more important and that he couldn’t finish what I needed because of the AOL work. I could have blown him off at that point but I did not. I understood and fully understand (in most cases maybe I’m kidding myself) the “pecking” order.Anyway a bit after that AOL of course fired a bunch of people and he lost his job. And was down enough to his last dollar that I advanced him $3000 or so for work he hadn’t even done yet. Something of course AOL would have never done. Dig him out of a hole.He still does work for me to this day and he is very trusted and I’m obviously glad that I overlooked what he did.Just offering this given my particular situation, not knowing exactly what was done or said with the people you supported your decision might of course make sense for sure.This is my rational take without the emotion that you are feeling. If I was in your shoes I would probably feel the same way I’m sure.

          1. fredwilson

            i get that. they didn’t betray everyone. but they betrayed me. and i will do that back to them.

        4. Kirsten Lambertsen

          One way to look at it: you know who’s who in the zoo now.

        5. robertdesideri

          the problem for the direct support method is there’s too much capital. difficult to vote financially these days, that method. Indirectly is another story, a better story, the story that lifts everyone, the story the disenfranchised generation(s) wants to hear.http://blog.sfgate.com/tech

        6. Jim Ritchie

          Feelings should not be involved when crafting legislation or voting on said legislation. I have read this bill and frankly it was pretty meaningless, except maybe to make some folks feel good.It was not onerous from the perspective of someone like myself who strongly supports our Bill of Rights, but it really did very little to address the crime issues involving firearms. It did include troublesome wording with regards to strawman sales and trafficking, but this likely could have been cleaned up. You can read a summary of the bill here: http://www.washingtonpost.c…According to FBI stats few crimes are committed using weapons purchased from private parties at gun shows or over the internet intrastate (interstate already regulated). In any case, criminals will just continue to purchase their weapons illegally or through direct private parties sales. What was missing from this bill was any real focus on prosecuting criminals. This alternative bill proposed by Grassely-Cruz seems to be going after the real issues IMO: http://www.scribd.com/doc/1

      3. kidmercury

        that the minority won is why i’m so delighted and why i regard it as a source of american pride (and i regard almost nothing as a source of american pride, i generally am ashamed/apologetic for being a US citizen). this country was founded as a republic where rights are defended on their inherent basis, regardless of what the majority wants. all the people who want gun control never acknowledge what the 2nd amendment is really for, and until that conversation occurs, there will be no bridging of the gap.

    3. Tom Labus

      Get real

      1. kidmercury

        lol oh okay well since you phrased it that way i will

    4. andyswan

      I don’t think you realize the severity of what has transpired here Kid. Now there are going to be law-abiding citizens buying guns AND 17oz Dr. Peppers.

      1. kidmercury

        hahhahaha! it’s going to bedlam! fortunately homeland security has ordered a billion rounds of ammo to keep us safe!

        1. raycote

          As I’ve quoted here before!”fools are easier to convince than conquer”meaning that for the citizenry wrestling back democratic control by becoming more politically informed and assertive is far more productive than placing their bet on the last resort 2nd amendment solution.

          1. kidmercury

            i believe the two are related……i.e. i didn’t care about the 2nd amendment till i got more informed. i don’t care about the 2nd amendment for reasons pertaining to violence, it is because i understand its connection to liberty.

  4. John Revay

    Interesting…I was sitting in the stands of a hockey game for our 9 yr old son a month or so ago….It was a small crowd…but most people had a phone or tablet and were taking photos or video of the game….I said to my friend and his wife – just think if there was a service ( think iOS iCloud for the time being since it is the default app that many people in the area that day were using) that could time stamp all of these pictures and streams and piece together footage of the game from different angles etc.

    1. fredwilson


      1. John Revay

        Essentially Apple alread – has photos or video stored on iCloud / photo stream.Geo Tagged, time stampedWounder if FBI / US Gov could force Apple to provide these files

        1. kidmercury

          yes they can, via patriot act they can require this and require that apple not disclose

          1. Anne Libby

            Ugh. Another reason I don’t love to have my stuff in the cloud…

          2. LE

            I don’t have a problem with that happening at all.

          3. kidmercury

            i’m not surprised, those unaware of history never do.

          4. LE

            I’m aware of history. Why don’t you tell me specifically the issue that you feel the detriment to me as a user exceeds the benefit?

          5. kidmercury

            i don’t take your statement that you understand history simply based on your mere assertion of it. history is a massive subject, although from my perspective, those who don’t understand the basics of 9/11 are hopelessly misinformed in our current world.

    2. kenberger

      Google is arguably ahead of iOS in this realm. Instant Upload can already collect your shots automatically, and there’s plenty of face recognition already in place and other features ahead.G just needs to get their shit together and figure out the easy stuff, such as do they handle photos via Picasa or Google+. Lot of their work has been in limbo for far too long.

    3. andrew thomas

      Great Idea. I always thought this was the idea behind the color app and it’s a shame it didn’t take off.I have some friends working on an app for sports fans called FanCred and I think they should do something like this. They are in Boston.

  5. Jeffrey Hartmann

    I think this is a wonderful opportunity for people with technology that can help sort and use the sea of information that we are now collecting by default. As our analysis techniques and capabilities get better, we are going to realize the wealth of information that is available to us now that we are all recording tons of information by the nature of us having ubiquitous digital recording devices capturing aspects of our lives.I think it will get to the point that a group of investigators has no hope to sift through all the available data, however I think there is the potential for automatic and nearly magic 3D reconstructions of events from the sample space that is out there. A while back we built very convincing 3D models of landmarks (the one I’m thinking of was modern day Rome) from crowdsourced images of them. With multiple angles and time series I know we can reconstruct likely 3D scenes, where certain people were (face recognition tech can give a unique identifier to a person, even if we don’t know who it is when we analyse the data), how fast they ran/walked between frames, how serious/carefree their expression was, and the list goes on and on. It is only a question of processing power and training the right algorithms at this point. All of this is within the realm of possibility today. As they say, we have the technology…For situations like this, I feel this will make it very very hard for a person to hide when they committed a horrible crime. I am concerned though that this extraordinary perception will tempt a whole-scale and horrible abuse of our rights. Only time will tell if this makes us into something resembling 1984 or Minority Report, or something quite the opposite and beautiful.

    1. fredwilson

      yes, exactly

    2. JamesHRH

      Fear motivates people who conform – constant video recording will make life hell (more hellish?) for most people. People who act on principle will do better, but they will always be calculating the blowback of perception.In essence, we are all going to become public figures. Some of us will be cool with that; some of us will implode spectacularly.

      1. ShanaC

        There will be an adaptation curve. Also the fact of the matter is we won’t become public figures en mass. Most people won’t care.

  6. awaldstein

    We ain’t seen nothing yet.Read a review of Google glasses the other day. It’s basically a portable, mass market video cam.We are entering and era of the one massive stream of data, always on.Talk about noise and opportunity and privacy redefined.

    1. JimHirshfield

      For sure!! To be bespectacled in the locker room or bedroom will be a threat and a liability in the making.

      1. awaldstein

        Behavior not technology will police privacy.

        1. ShanaC

          To a point. There are always people out there who will challenge behavior. And either they are crazy or startup ceos

          1. awaldstein

            Adding ‘startup’ to your job title doesn’t come with a license to behave badly. The best actually understand that working with and being liked is key to success.

          2. andyswan

            Being liked by whom?

          3. awaldstein

            Customers, partners, employees…I’m a believer in inspired. A believer in interesting. A believer in those who don’t hear no.Unpleasant thiough is a bad poise and the smartest people I know act with intent.I’m partial to people who focus on winning the war not the battle and I don’t find that this is only a function of age or experience.My personal bias of course

          4. andyswan


          5. ShanaC

            never said behave badly – but I do think a lot of brillinat startup people do ignore convential behavior of today because they have visions of what behavior will be like (eg, mark zuckerberg)

          6. awaldstein

            Thanks for clarifying, I misunderstood.I’m all about dancing to your own drummer. Just have little tolerance for jerkiness, not craziness, bullying not persistence, arguments not conversations.

          7. Anne Libby

            Yes. Will we reach a point where there’s a standard etiquette about when it’s okay to take a photo/video and when it isn’t — as @JimHirshfield:disqus winks at in his comment elsewhere in the thread?I was on retreat last weekend with a group of friends. The first time a camera came out, a conversation arose about times we had been in private/semi-private settings and had found our photos or video on Facebook.And people taking photos of our young kids/nieces/nephews and posting them with names…whether kids should enter middle school with a digital footprint…it was a good discussion.While I don’t think that anyone in the group had the intention to post a photo anywhere, it was a relief and luxury to actually come out and agree that our photos would stay offline.

      2. laurie kalmanson

        contact lens camera or just go straight to the implant

      3. Kirsten Lambertsen

        the next wave is a device to block my face from showing up in pictures and videos – Google Glass blocker 😉

        1. Anne Libby

          I’ll buy that.

        2. awaldstein

          So the way ‘behaviorally’ to do this…For my little theLocalsip project i have hundreds of pics of people pouring. I don’t put them up of people I know without letting them take a look until I know what is acceptable.A pain. Necessity. Builds trust and friendship.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Yep. This speaks to so many things. Shaping a culture.

        3. JimHirshfield

          I like that…a Harry Potter invisible cloak.

        4. Michael Brill

          It’s called a ski mask and I’ve found it commands a certain type of respect.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            So that was YOU 😉

    2. Dave W Baldwin

      What comes from up,Will come from down….



  7. William Mougayar

    100% agreed that the crowdsourcing of user-generated video/pics could lead to the missing puzzle pieces that authorities need to solve the Boston tragedy, but how about when this is taken a step too far, like the case of Adria Richards who was quick to tweet out a picture of the 2 immature guys that were making derogatory sexual comments? http://www.gothamgal.com/go

    1. awaldstein

      Too far is not a relevant term if there are not controls.With ubiquity of recording. With ubiquity of storage and distribution. With no controls possible it is not a matter of too far or fair, honestly, this is as it will be.Whether I like it or not seems irrelevant.

      1. raycote

        Very true !Sill this makes me reflect on the fact that biological perceptual systems evolve to limit their sensory input to only the data structures that contribute to their survival odds, as the rest can simply overwhelm and obscure ?I guess it is still early in the evolution of appropriate self-imposed social-data junk filtering.

    2. andyswan

      “derogatory sexual comments”…. really? I thought they were dongle jokes.People need to lighten the F up.

      1. William Mougayar

        I was on the fence for issuing judgement on that one, because none of us know the real facts. We’re assuming we know based on reading it. Someone could snap a pic of a person and put it in the wrong context on social media, then it degenerates from there.

        1. Ana Milicevic

          I’ve also been on the fence on this one since I don’t know either of the parties involved and, like you William, am not sure I have the full context. I do think that both companies (the one who fired the inappropriate joker(s) as well as SendGrid, Ms. Richards’ former employer) have contributed to escalation and missed the boat on having a discussion on something that is clearly a problem.

          1. ShanaC

            Yes. Firing and closing the event seems easier….

          2. andyswan

            Dongle-joke Beer Summit? Coulda been cool, though something tells me the unfunny twosome wouldn’t have been up for the challenge.

          3. William Mougayar

            Good on you Andy to take half your foot out of your mouth.

          4. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I agree with you. It would have been so much better to take it and turn it into something everyone could learn from. I think everyone involved (specifically and generally) is working without a compass in a lot of ways, and we need to help each other be better to each other.And, ya, it’s a much longer and involved story than most people realize.

          5. William Mougayar

            I agree.

          6. William Mougayar

            Yes. Lots of she said, he said.

        2. laurie kalmanson

          agree w u about being on the fence about the initial incident but there is no fence for the vileness of the subsequent comments across social media by some really ugly characters; i can take care of myself but i have a daughter and she is interested in tech things, and, well … the world needs a lot of changing.

          1. William Mougayar

            True. How it degenerated was surprising.

          2. laurie kalmanson

            yeah, sadly not surprised: there is a lot of antagonism toward women in unlit corners.relatedhttp://www.gothamgal.com/go…There is one man, who will go unnamed, that flirted with one of the women that I have invested in when she was showing me her new deck on her iPad at an event we were attending. He was saying how cute she was and beautiful. I could see she was totally uncomfortable. I tapped him on the shoulder and asked if I could talk to him a moment. We walked over to the bar and I said to him “If I ever hear you talk to a woman entrepreneur like that again I will take you out on the floor”. He was aghast. He said “you know I am only playing, I am married and have older kids”. I said to him “what if it was your son pitching me and I kept pumping his shoulders and tell him how incredible cut and muscular he was, would that be appropriate?” He took a moment and said “you are right, I am so sorry, you learn something new every day. I had no idea.”.You know what, he left me a gift at my apartment the next day and ended up investing quite a nice sum in to that womans business.

          3. William Mougayar

            yes, I recall that post. thx.

    3. Cynthia Schames

      I think it’s important to note that Adria has said that she tweeted the photo because that was Pycon’s request to attendees who had anything to communicate to them. This apparent fact gets overlooked–or is unknown–in pretty much every conversation I’ve seen about this situation.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I also thought your point the other night was important: she didn’t know how else to let Pycon know who she wanted them to talk to, except to take their picture.But, nonetheless, it would have been so much better to just turn around and ask them respectfully to tone it down.

  8. andyswan

    I hate when people have their cellphones out at events.Nothing compares to the iPad people though. WTF.

    1. kirklove

      Ha. I get a kick out of people walking around Manhattan taking pictures with a giant iPad. Cracks me up.

      1. andyswan

        Ya it’s fine except at events and you’re sitting/standing behind them

        1. LE

          To me that’s a photo op. I like taking pictures of people taking pictures. It’s one of my themes.Speaking of annoying photographers I was at my daughters dance thingy a number of years ago and they said something about not taking pictures (before I got there) [1]. I went down right in front of the stage and layed down on the floor with my camera and just started taking pictures of her from that position. During the intermission some 12 or 14 year old comes up to me and starts to literally scold me about doing that very angrily. Like as if they had no problem and hadn’t been taught to respect or fear adults at all! Don’t remember clearly what I said but it was probably something that would have shocked any adult listening most likely. After all I’m paying money for these dance lessons and they run this big recital and I want pictures of her and not really interested in their rules. So I guess I’m a bad citizen. I don’t stand up in front of people though or violate personal space or anything like that. I just don’t like arbitrary rules. I think the reason the 12 year old gave me was that the camera would weird out the performers. Guess what? Get used to it if you are performing (these aren’t horses or anything).[1] Would have done the same thing probably even if I heard the announcement I must admit.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            I have a disdain for arbitrary rules too. I also realize that what may seem arbitrary to me may not seem so to someone else.My disdain comes from growing up in an era when there were rules, mostly informal and unspoken (but left over from rules at one time enforced), designed to keep me out, that I had to defy on a daily basis.It took a lot of thought to figure out which rules were meaningful and which were not.In the end a deeply inherent respect for others will monitor my behavior more than any set of rules.

    2. kidmercury

      in the kookosphere, the deportation of the saudi person of interest in the bombings is getting coverage: http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/

      1. andyswan

        Deportation of Saudi “person of interest”Unscheduled meeting with Saudi foreign ministerLaw enforcement needs more time prior to presser after 4chan images releasedAxelrod suggesting it’s related to “tax day” within hoursMSNBC, the mouthpiece of admin, already starting to blame “gunpowder availability”: http://www.weeklystandard.c…If they raid and perp walk a “natural political enemy” of the Left later this week and start to decry his “access to ammunition that allowed him to create the bomb”…. I’ll pack my bags to kookland.

        1. kidmercury

          yup, all worth considering in my opinion….to this day they still demonize mcveigh as a gun rights fanatic…..underplaying his role as a government employee…..but the perpetrators know that most people won’t sort through all the information out there. so long as a sufficient amount of disinformation is created and the people don’t study history too much, the truth will seem too outlandish and impossible to believe.

      2. LE

        Once again not a problem for me. I’m sure daddy has a good reason for doing that that we don’t know about or can’t handle or wouldn’t understand.

      3. Cynthia Schames

        kookosphere is my favorite new word.

    3. fredwilson

      we had one in front of us at the Knick game the other day. i looked at Josh and he looked at me. we didn’t need to utter any words. both of us had that same thought. WTF?

  9. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    crowdsourcing pics and videos has led to some interesting apps especially in warzone areas that allow citizens to report on live events. It still has ways to go in terms of separating noise from true news but it definitely here to stay. To be honest the standard of ‘real news sites’ such as CNN is dropping quickly with them rushing to report unverified reports – good article in NY time about this http://www.nytimes.com/2013

  10. andyswan

    Side note: CNN just called Ohio for Kerry

  11. LIAD

    we get so caught up doing things for posterity we miss the present.46% of all smartphone captured media is taken just to show off on social media.72% of all smartphone captured media is not even watched by the person who took it.94% of stats in AVC comments are made up by the commenter on the spot.

    1. RudyC

      The part 4 me that makes me sorry 4 people is when your at a rest. You look at the table next to you and you see the man and the woman eating together, not saying a word at each other, staring at their smartphones…makes you wonder how long they are going to be together….One man’s opportunity is another man’s misery…

    2. ShanaC

      And I’m sure that last one about AVC people is fake 🙂

      1. Josh Gorfain

        63% of all statistics are made up.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Incorrect, 110% are made up

        2. Richard

          Statistics is the worst way to test a theory, except all the others.

        3. Aaron Klein

          Now it’s 64%.

      2. Barry Nolan

        It is. The correct figure is 92.5%

    3. Richard

      Hypothethis: You are what you spend your time talking pictures of.

      1. andyidsinga

        oh shit, I’m a bigger jackass than I thought.

    4. Michael Brill

      A couple years from now our Google Glass will be streaming content through a Google data center that identifies “great photos/videos” by recognizing faces of people we know plus backgrounds for the lat/lon… and automatically generate our comments and post it on G+. You get to live in the moment AND record your life.Of course since you know everything is being saved and interpreted by algorithms, it’s not clear your behavior reflects your free will but maybe rather some mean behavior we all regress to.I still can’t get over the irony that we’re big brother. Somehow that never occurred to me until this post.



    5. andyidsinga

      22% of my right brain agrees with 53% of your comment.

    6. robertdesideri

      Liad, this reply is not responding to your comment rather a question, one that might prevent a kid in #boston from being further harmed.Any ideas how to “undo” a pic that’s been heavily posted by the media, help prevent someone on the street who might encounter this kid from taking matter into own hands.http://abcnews.go.com/Blott

      1. Freedom Downvote Caucus

        Here’s why Disqus might might a VC a buck or two, but can never be part of the Internet Freedom agenda: People can upvote like barnyard animals in heat, but can’t down vote without “signing in.” For shame.

  12. Josh Gorfain

    We have found big brother and he is us.

    1. raycote

      True . . . but on the glass-half-full side of the equation:We are the BORG and we an only we have the power to decide how we will assimilate ourselves !

      1. Josh Gorfain

        i am not so sure about that. The people in power will assimilate the ones who are not. Sure people will rebel but eventually, it will be pointless. Either people will fall in line for housing, food, etc., or live as mountain men to be eventually hunted down.

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. ShanaC

            meanwhile you should donate to his….

    2. Michael Brill

      Ha, i was just about to type exactly that! Google agoraphobia medication and go long whoever makes that stuff.

  13. Vidar Brekke

    I’m feeling ambivalent about this too, however there is no turning back here. Every person with a smartphone (and soon augmented reality gadgets like Google Glass) will be digitizing the world around them. Think back at the Zapruder film and its forensic value regarding the assassination of JFK. Today, there would probably have been 5000 videos that might have revealed what actually happened. If I have to pick a side, I’d say it’s a good thing. https://meddle.it/content/8

  14. Barry Nolan

    Mobile will collect and connect data from every nook of our lives. No question crowd sourced media will help unlock boston. The 4chan stream is riveting and unsettling…they nailed in particular, two guys, who it turns our, were shot after the event. http://imgur.com/a/sUrnA. It won’t be long before the fox news/cnn 24/7 talking heads take the broadcast beyond reddit.

  15. JamesHRH

    JC Watts used an old Southern bromide – in his response to the 1997 State of the Union – “where I come from, character is defined as what you do when the other fellow isn’t looking.”That one may be out of date pretty soon.

  16. Ana Milicevic

    NBC had a great photo in the Instragram feed of people waiting in St. Peter’s Square for the new pope that perfectly illustrated the pervasiveness of photo and video technology today for me — and what a stark contrast it makes from just 8 years ago.I could go on but as the saying goes a picture really is worth a 1,000 words:http://instagram.com/p/W2FC…I wonder what challenges does the availability of amateur (user-generated?) photo and video (but also location data from device GPS, etc) present to our legal system.

    1. Barry Nolan

      That’s a super photo. Illustrates the changed world.

      1. David Petersen

        Those pictures were taken at different stages of the event. Even way back in 2005 there were a lot of people holding up cameras to take pictures when the pope walked out.

        1. Barry Nolan

          Meh … maybe. 2005 – two-years to iPhone, three years to late 08 for Android. The photo ain’t accurate, but its correct.

          1. David Petersen

            People brought actual cameras with them to capture an event like that.

        2. Barry Nolan

          Meh … maybe. 2005 – two-years to iPhone, three years to late 08 for Android. The photo ain’t accurate, but its correct.

    2. laurie kalmanson

      also: any outdoor concert where the band approves of sharing

    3. fredwilson

      yeah, i was thinking of that one too when i posted the inaugural ball photo

  17. JamesHRH

    I saw a Stewart Butterfield presentation where he showed a picture of Obama speakingin Berlin.The shot was taken from about 30 rows back, slightly elevated. roughly 90% of the people in the first 10 rows are holding up an electronic device and recording the event.I doubt that any of them watched it – they shared it. Stewart believes it is a new form of communication – why tell people about an experience when you can show them, even if you lose 5-10% of the experience by recording it.

    1. ShanaC

      Because like OCD food picture people: you can’t eat it if your photoing it

      1. laurie kalmanson

        being present … i went on a family trip when i was a kid and forgot my instamatic; those memories are sharper than the trips where i was busy taking photos

    2. Alan Wells

      I think this is the promise of tech like Google Glass – you can share while still fully experiencing it yourself?



  18. ShanaC

    Is anyone beyond me shocked by that Atlantic monthly article – we use the police as an arm of morality as a society, so why is crowd sourcing on reddit such an odd idea?

    1. Anne Libby


      1. ShanaC

        The one Fred talks about in the post

  19. laurie kalmanson

    when phillip petit walked on a wire between the two world trade center towers, there weren’t any cell phones, no instagram, no twitpics, no vine.http://www.manonwire.com/mobile was barely happening in the way we know it now on 9/11

  20. jason wright

    all manner of opinions here today, many not very inspiring, and equally from both sides of the aisle.i think i’ll pass and go ride my bicycle.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s what i did too, absent the bicycle

      1. jason wright

        it’s been a week of extremes. i turned for home and shelter.

  21. Vinay Pai

    I don’t get too upset about the potential for vigilantism here as I am not sure how they would all rise up and take justice into their own hands.Unfortunately this can turn real in all too many ways. There have been numerous instances where people have dug up personal information information on people who have incurred the wrath of the reddit/4chan/anonymous community and posted them online. Sometimes they’ve helped solve a crime, sometimes they’ve made the life of some innocent person hell.

  22. Elia Freedman

    The Boston Marathon bombing strikes me as so similar to the Centenial Park bombing during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Similar number of wounded and killed, sporting event of international import. But it took the Feds a year to track down the Olympic bomber and just a few days for Boston, mainly because of surveillance video in the area. Doing something like this at a major event if you don’t want to be caught is probably a really bad idea. 🙂

  23. ErikSchwartz

    It’s mostly a matter of scale, there’s just more media now. The authorities have always collected citizen media after events like this. Abraham Zapruder shot one of the most important pieces of film in American history.

  24. Cynthia Schames

    I’m fascinated and heartened by the efforts of Redditors and 4channers in the wake of this senseless tragedy, and I sincerely hope that they can be of assistance to the Boston PD, FBI and other law enforcement agencies. From my reviews of the Reddit threads (I’m too old and female to even attempt 4Chan), it seems most are pretty much just grasping at straws, but there’s likely a relevant needle in those straw stacks somewhere.That said, from a societal perspective, I feel compelled to point out the always- insightful Louis CK’s assertion that many people are so busy recording their lives that they don’t actually live them. About the parents obsessively smartphone-filming his daughter’s dance recital, then sharing on Facebook, where the videos go unwatched: “These kids are dancing for NO ONE”.(If you haven’t seen his latest HBO special, “Oh My God”, watch it).

  25. Pete Griffiths

    It also raises the probability of a significant loss of privacy and I’m not at all sure that is a good thing.

  26. Campbell Macdonald

    I attempted a small vertical application of this years ago at Parking Mobility (parkingmobility.com): citizen reporting of disabled parking violations with a mobile app.Why this:- Essentially unenforceable by cities outside the downtown core- Easily assessed by the public (in a spot + no placard = ticket)- Sympathetic issue for the public (not gun control, speeding, etc)- Lots of money (~$250-500 per infraction)The reaction:- 85% of people support it- 10% aren’t sure: is it invasive? What are the risks? How does it work?- 5% are totally opposed to broad use of cameras, big brother, etc.- Cities did not know what to do with it. They did not know how to handle citizen reporting and get in their workflows.

  27. hypermark

    It sure seems like akin to Britain, where they have video cameras everywhere, that mobile crowdsourced photo/video capture could emerge as the “little brother” kin to Big Brother.I am not sure that that’s a bad thing, especially, if that same data is available to the public. Then, the price of sacrificing privacy is gaining transparency, something that David Brin wrote about in his excellent book, ‘The Transparent Society.’

  28. tsella

    In other news, CISPA passed in the house today.”Law enforcement opportunities” just became “law enforcement low hanging fruit” unless vetoed.This is not going to be a slippery slope. This is going to be an all-in yall-are-richard-ried-potentials-thus-all-your-shoes-are-belong-to-us data handling.

    1. kidmercury

      yup…..unfortunately you’re right

    2. fredwilson

      Obama signaled opposition to this bill. let’s hope he has the balls to veto it.

  29. Dave W Baldwin

    I’m typing this as the news brief is happening. It is amazing though the media doesn’t deserve to good a grade for assumption and misinformation in the first hours.I hope the media will get the message that being mature and understanding the instant info enabled via millions of cameras still need to be discerned by the authorities and they will tell the public what is valid as it checks out.

  30. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    I have been offline for a while and so have not commented on the Boston outrage until now.Though I’m often critical of the US in some respects,there are times when love and support, prayers and good intentions are warranted. This is one such time. The mood in Europe (three countries in the last few days) seems pretty unanimous. Whether it is technology, good police work, or public support that can bring the perpetrators to justice – it is to be welcomed.Fred posted excellently about courage through adversity (or at least long term plan startups) recently – but business pales into insignificance sometimes. For now – first comfort – then courage and then work towards a better safer world is the order of the day – wishing you well.



  32. pointsnfigures

    you just have to figure whenever you are in public, you are photographed. We are all paparazzi now!

  33. Jan Schultink

    There are indirect benefits too.Not every case is as high profile as the Boston incident, and less important ones might get buried in the police drawer. “Evidence” posted online (pic, footage, find-my-mac-beamer) might just be that little bit of incentive for law enforcers to go after people.Ultimately, I hope that this will become an effective deterrent.

  34. Steven Kane

    in his pretty great 1990 (!) novel, “Earth,” set in 2038, science fiction master David Brin paints a future where ubiquitous networked recording devices — whether in consumers pockets, or affixed everywhere by government agencies, or mounted on drones and satellites — make crime all but disappear, as everyone knows that every single person and every single activity is being recorded, so criminals are always always always identified, apprehended and convicted.mind you, that future is one horrific dystopian nightmare…http://en.wikipedia.org/wik

  35. John Lyons

    On a related topic: The NYPD now has an app that identifies all video cameras pointed at a given location. http://nyti.ms/13NDBuc

  36. andyswan

    ….and my right to buy a firearm from my neighbor or uncle without alerting federal authorities.

  37. kidmercury

    if you ever want the 2nd amendment fanboys/girls to believe that, there are two obstacles:1. acknowledging the purpose of the 2nd amendment (not for duck hunting, and not primarily for defending against armed robbery from your neighbor)2. acknowledging whether the true purpose is still relevant, and why it may or may not be todaythere is also the third point that gun crime is not related to gun legislation, and the fourth point that there are already plenty of gun control laws — but they don’t seem to be working well enough, right? why is that?

  38. ShanaC

    Which is why this is going to be a state by state slog

  39. andyswan

    Could you please link me to any evidence that Adam Lanza owned the guns he used? As you may or may not know, it is illegal in Connecticut for someone under 21 to own a gun.Thanks in advance,Your hero

  40. JLM

    .Adam Lanza was a crazy person who had been previously diagnosed and treated.When he went to buy a gun in Connecticut he was denied. The system worked OK.He then killed his mother and took her weapons.The big fact — Adam Lanza was a crazy person. He was criminally inclined.Let’s get the crazy persons identified, treated and excluded from being near guns.Well, only if we really want to change the outcomes. If we just want to pee on each others’ legs and pretend it’s raining — well, then, carry on.Outcomes. Crazy people. Change them both.JLM.

  41. kidmercury

    damn beat me to it 🙂

  42. andyswan

    So… how would this legislation have prevented the Adam Lanza shootings? Please be specific.I’m assuming you have some logical, fact-based basis for bringing up his name while attempting to refute my point and sarcastically call me a “hero”.

  43. ShanaC

    *Shrug* you deal?

  44. robertdesideri

    speaking of dongles (spoiler alert: trouble coming)… i recall discovering something really cool in 1966, 1966 vanessa redgrave, i was a kid at the time :-/. courtesy antonioni. something really clicked for me. film. the dog’s bollocks (bollocks + dongles in the same comment!) of story telling. imagined possibilities, read books, coveted gear. but i digress. sort of. nb: if the images from the park had gone directly to the cloud a thief could never have stolen the physical roll of film. the story would have had to have been crafted differently. crafting a story, telling it with images, is powerful stuff. but again, i’ve digressed. one bears a civil responsibility in presenting images. and captioning them. adria. fox. me. you. anyone. adria, a catalyst in this instance, hopefully inspired interest in better defining and respecting civil responsibility. as the case of war, we now better know the costs. think about the line separating catalyzing, disrupting, violating and anarchy. it matters and will matter more as tech, including low tech pipe bombs, empowers the many.http://upload.wikimedia.org

  45. andyswan

    Yawn. The only jokes that offend around here are the ones that aren’t funny. The jokes at that conference certainly seemed to fit that description as well….until the perpetual victim went vigilante.

  46. andyswan

    Chicago and DC are already leading the way. Virtual gun-violence-free utopias!

  47. kidmercury

    federalist papers 26 and 46 — http://www.foundingfathers…. — explain that standing armies during peacetime were seen as a threat to liberty by an abusive national government, and that a well-regulated militia supported by individuals with the right to bear arms was a way to avoid standing armies while retaining defense capabilities. that we have standing armies now, no militias, and that our civil liberties have been significantly deteriorated are points gun rights advocates cite as validating this line of thinking. the federalist papers also illustrate that the founders saw a connection between a right to bear arms and defense against a tyrannical state.

  48. andyswan

    Typical. More sarcasm and hyperbolic demonization of my very clearly stated and logical position on the issue. Anything it takes to deflect from the lack of logic that you’re using in defending this legislation and personally attack me. Fitting.Any word on the cocoa rations, comrade?

  49. Dave W Baldwin

    Sorry Charlie. To amend the 2nd based on it might have dissuaded his mom goes outside the margin. What really happened is careless insults traded by the pious on both sides wore out the public (the public doesn’t care anymore) leading to a resume builder for ’14.

  50. Jim Ritchie

    What people seem to continue to forget (or not understand) is that amending or even removing the 2nd amendment from the Constitution will not in any way change our right to continue to bear arms, just as our freedom of speech can not be abridged through legislation. These rights are enumerated in the Bill of Rights because they are “god-given” and not subject to the whims of people (or the majority).We need better civics education these days. It is disheartening that so many of our citizens don’t grasp this basic fact or that we live in a republic (the individual is sovereign and rights are natural or god-given) and not in a democracy (the majority is sovereign and our rights are granted by the government).Many political disagreements today seem to come from the fact that most don’t even understand the basic tenets of our political system.

  51. andyswan

    One question: Did you read the bill?

  52. kidmercury

    we should lobby to make all of the US a millionaire zone. that way, we’d all be millionaires! hooray!

  53. ShanaC

    those are cities – I was thinking more along the lines of what CT did

  54. andyswan

    The Federalist Papers survived the memory hole?

  55. JLM

    .The Federalist Papers, which were promulgated as an explanation during the lengthy period in which the Constitution was being ratified, are essential reading for anyone who really wants to be informed and to learn what the Founding Fathers really intended.There is not a single concept in the Constitution which is not explained in the Federalist Papers.http://thomas.loc.gov/home/…To not read the Federalist Papers and to engage in conversation or debate about, as an example, the Second Amendment is to be woefully uninformed.Kid’s comments about the virtue of a standing army v a well regulated militia is exactly the point. The Brits had a huge standing army. The Colonies had well regulated militias. The Colonies rebelled against the Brits and their way of doing things.No lover of personal freedom or national liberty was intending to pay homage to any other man just because he happened to be a King.The Founding Fathers were speaking very clearly on the subject.It really is about personal freedom and national liberty at the end of the day.JLM.

  56. andyswan

    I’m not taking offense. The last time I was offended was 1999 and I decided to stop doing that.My position is that law-abiding citizens should have access to the same weaponry that a common individual soldier or police officer has access to when protecting or investigating them. No weapons of destruction, but effective and modern killing tools…yes.No databases, no Federal veto power without the positive affirmation of that right.

  57. LE

    I would interpret this as a personal attack:”Sarcasm–nah, you pretty much come across as a hero Andy, fighting for every last person’s right to carry the greatest amount of destructive force for whatever purpose in the name of flag and country.”Rewritten without the personal attack:”Andy – my impression (and I apologize if I am wrong) is that you are fighting for every last person’s right to carry arms for whatever purpose they want based upon the rights given by our founding fathers”.

  58. andyswan

    A weapon which by design is intended to kill more than one person per user action.

  59. LE

    Legislation was based totally on knee jerk emotion. On that basis alone it couldn’t be the right thing to do as something that would take a longer carefully considered approach where emotion is stripped out. It really bothered me that the parents went to Washington to pull at the heart strings although I fully understand why they did that.That said obviously the way Washington works that’s probably the only way to get something like this done.

  60. Dave W Baldwin

    Thanks JLM. Also important is a group of people having the balls to write that out with the king’s huge standing army in the neighborhood.

  61. LE

    Would make great song lyrics though.

  62. Jim Ritchie

    Hopefully this is not a double post as Disqus ate my last comment…I used lowercase god-given, but one could just as well say natural rights. The point being that certain rights come from outside the sphere of men. We could not have a constitutional republic without these natural rights.Guns are currently one of the most heavily regulated personal items one can own.Legislators pass illegal laws all the time. Hence why we have a judicial branch to overturn them.

  63. LE

    No this:(Oh yeah) Sarcasm–NAH, you pretty much come across as a hero…ANDY!…FIGHTIN! for every last person’s RIGHT! to carry greatest amount of destructive force…for whatever purpose…in the name of flag and country

  64. Ritchie Valens

    I hope that this comment is satire. If not you, along with the “most” that you deride in your comment, do not understand even the basic tenets of our political system.The “Bill of Rights” are the first ten amendments to the U.S. federal constitution. Therefore, um, if you remove the 2nd amendment from the Constitution you by definition remove the 2nd amendment from the Bill of Rights.And what is this “god-given” thing? There is nothing “god-given” in the U.S. federal Constitution. I presume that you are thinking about the Declaration of Independence, which talks about “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Of course, anybody with a “civics education these days” understands that the U.S. federal constitution, and not the Declaration of Independence”, controls.

  65. Jim Ritchie

    The Bill of Rights further codifies and clarifies the natural (god-given) and unalieanable rights as enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and as espoused by Locke, Paine, Jefferson and Madison. More background info for your edification:”That document, which wove Lockean notions of natural rights with concrete protections against specific abuses, was the model for bills of rights in other states and, ultimately, for the federal Bill of Rights.”http://www.history.com/topi…”These amendments [the Bill of Rights] were added to protect basic God given rights from government interference.”http://www.revolutionary-wa…”The entire Bill of Rights was created to protect rights the original citizens believed were naturally theirs…”http://www.aclu.org/racial-…

  66. Jim Ritchie

    I wrote another response, but Disqus ate it.You need to do some research as you don’t understand why we have the Bill of Rights. Just Google “History of Bill of Rights” and read the articles in the first 5 or 6 links. The Bill of Rights was specifically created to protect our natural (god-given) and unalienable rights. Just one quote from the links referenced above “These amendments were added to protect basic God given rights from government interference.”You may also want to do some reading from Locke, Paine, Jefferson, Mason and Madison to give you further insight in to the history and motivations for its creation.The Bill of Rights does not actually create or grant these natural and unalienable rights, it simply enumerates them. Ipso facto, the government can not “legally” take these rights away.Another way to say this is I have these rights with or without the Constitution. This basic concept is what many fail to grasp.

  67. Dave W Baldwin

    I know.

  68. andyswan

    We’re on our way. pump pump pump

  69. andyswan


  70. Ritchie Valens

    Stop. Your rant started out about how people don’t understand the basic tenants of our political system. But your subsequent rants are all about political theory, nothing about how our system actually works. I’ll stop arguing with you because you don’t know how things actually work. But good luck.

  71. blackswan

    like a high capacity magazine clip?

  72. Jim Ritchie

    I don’t need to “stop” nor am I “ranting”. I’m simply stating historical fact. You obviously don’t understand how the constitution works nor much about the historical context of why the Bill of Rights was written. You also seem to be not willing to learn or to actually discuss the issues. The bottom line is that the constitution does not grant rights to the people (us), but instead lays out the restrictions placed on government with emphasis on the newly formed federal government. This lays it out pretty clearly:http://oregoncatalyst.com/9…You’ve just added another data point to my original thesis.

  73. Jim Ritchie

    As further clarification my original assertions were:1. The Bill of Rights, does not grant rights to the people (us), but instead simply lists our natural (god-given) rights.2. Most citizens don’t understand 1, but instead think our rights are being granted in this document.The constitution was written to clarify which rights the people and states would grant to the newly formed federal government. All such other rights being held by the states and the people. This is an undeniable fact based on 200 years of historical data.You’ve provided yet another data point to prove my second assertion.Finally, don’t ever tell me to “stop” or that I am “ranting” if you ever respond to me in the future. I don’t know who you are, but I have a public profile and I’m more than happy to engage in civil discourse.