GeekNights Monday - Upload Filters and the EU

Tonight on GeekNights, back from our talk at PAX West 2018, we're talking about the coming EU copyright directive that may impact you. In the news, Apple Day was typical (though the new watch is pretty nice), the EU is killing Daylight Saving Time, "fake plays" are messing up the music charts (though this is nothing new in Korea), and Linus apologized.

Things of the Day

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I’m glad I watched the Mustang video before hearing you talk about it. That way I felt genuine satisfaction about guessing the twist before it appeared. If I had heard you talk about it first, that satisfaction would have been deprived from me. It’s the definition of spoiling the experience.

How does Scott not understand this? I’ve no idea.

How does he keep insisting that this satisfaction is meaningless as a factor to my enjoyment of entertainment? No idea.

It’s really mind boggling. Truly remarkable how bloodiminded he is on this point when he is so obviously wrong.

I don’t know if it was because it was spoiled or if it is because it’s actually not funny or fun, but the Mustang video isn’t funny, or fun. It’s a guy who gets hit by some horses. There was no joy in me watching it and I don’t understand how that was a thing of the day, maybe, I guess, if it was a surprise because I was expecting a car rather than horses? But I was told it was a horse, I was expecting a horse, and I got a horse, it was okay, I guess.

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Neither do I.

I don’t even try to argue that unspoiled experiences are inherently better! I take the much simpler position that they are different and I can’t even get him to admit to that.

I guess I could spoil the entire end of Adventure Time for him…

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Go right ahead.


I can’t help but laugh a bit when you comment “Go right ahead” right when I’m literally moving my hand to the mouse to click the post button on a reply saying “He’s just going to tell you to do it.”


He read an article about that pro-spoilers study and decided he was going to apply it to all forms of entertainment forever.

I never believed in spoilers to begin with. Studies just came along and supported my existing position. Got any studies coming out supporting your position?

No, but I’ve explained all my issues with your one study about mystery stories read by a small number of teenage college students in previous threads, and explained how that same study about mystery stories as read by teenage college students doesn’t apply to my enjoyment of stories and jokes.

A joke only works by setting up expectations then subverting that expectation. We’ve seen already that when watching that video knowing someone is going to be hit by a horse, the video is nothing more than someone being hit by a horse. It’s no longer a joke, just an accident.

Anyway, my point wasn’t to explain again how wrong you are, but to convey how astounded I am that you still insist you are right.

Why is it equally hilarious every time I watch it? It’s no less funny when I watched it just now than the first time I saw it and already suspected it would be a horse.Seems like it’s still a joke to me.

For what it’s worth, Scott is right on spoilers, says I. I enjoy things MORE* not less when I’ve read a summary of them. My enjoyment shifts from “what’s gonna happen” to “how’s the thing that I know is gonna happen, gonna actually happen”

I enjoy watching things that are ‘spoiled’ the way everyone enjoys watching One Punch Man. You know he’s gonna punch the bad guy, in a sense, that show has a spoiler in the title. How and when though?

That right there was me reading A Player of Games the first time knowing full well how it ended.

*unless they’re trash.

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I personally don’t enjoy things more or less, mostly because I tend to forget any spoilers unless I’m told literally right when I’m watching it. My memory is not always so good.

Spoilers for these Malazan books are actually quite nice, because I can’t quite keep up with who everyone is.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I actually enjoy moments when I watch or read something where I get to go, “Wait, they’re not going to… holy crap they did!”

Some of my favorite moments in media come from experiencing a shocking moment, reveal, or twist. Of course, you can’t have that experience more than once, but those moments often stick with me for a LONG time. I’m specifically thinking of some from close to 15 years ago.

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You are all using the word wrong. A spoiler isn’t just “knowing what is going to happen”, it’s about removing the possibility of an emotional or intellectual response to something, or reducing the impact of that response from someone who wants to maximize it.

If the response isn’t based on knowing what is going to happen, then it isn’t a spoiler. If the person hasn’t remembered what is going to happen, it isn’t a spoiler. If the person is incapable of having an emotional or intellectual response to something, it isn’t a spoiler.


I do not understand what you just said. What is an emotional or intellectual response?

Not generally, I don’t tend to understand things in general terms I need a specific example.

So like, by reading the sparknotes of Jane Eyre before reading the novel Jane Eyre have I deprived myself of the “emotional or intellectual response”?

Also I feel I should elaborate slightly. I only have this pro spoiler policy in reference to myself. For others I respect their wishes to the best of my ability. However, for me I’ve learned the best way to really enjoy seeing/watching something for the first time is to learn as much about it as I can beforehand. Such as the plot, characters and, ending.

In certain Buddhist and Hindu theology lectures I’ve listened to god could have any life. God has lead lives filled with luxury and bliss but it gets boring and predictable doing that. So god hides from himself. Your life, that’s what he has picked this time, because it’s more interesting for him to be be you and not to know what’s happens next. And when you die, you’ll remember who you really are and you will choose again.

God, in this particular mythology, has set up the entire cosmos to avoid spoilers.

If a work of art is of high quality then it is impossible to remove or reduce the emotional or intellectual response it confers to its audience. It will make its full impact every single time. i.e: If a work of art can be spoiled, it’s crap and not worth your attention in the first place. If it is good, then it can’t be spoiled, so go ahead and try as hard as you want to spoil it.

So would you say watching Evangelion now is an identical experience to watching it the first time?

Yes, it is fantastic every time. In fact, it only gets better. Never worse.