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10 Laws of teh Interwebenets

October 24, 2009

This article in the Telegraph does a great job of distilling the 10 laws concerning speech on the Internet that are observed as though they were laws of physics, quite unlike the effect many, many legislated ones on the Internet.  Even so, since you’re reading my blog, you probably have less patience than your average Telegraph reader, so I’ll condense even further.  After all, brevity is the soul of wit, right?  By now you’re thinking tl;dr, so without further ado, here they are, after the jump:

1. Godwin’s Law: As an Internet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1. (see also reductio ad Hitlerum)

2. Poe’s Law: Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor/sarcasm, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.  Mostly because the intonation required for sarcasm is tough to get across in text form.

3. Rule 34: If it exists, there is porn of it.  See also Rule 35: If no such porn exists, it will be made.

4. Skitt’s Law: Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself.  Not applicable to readers of this blog since they never comment.

5. Scopie’s Law: In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing as a credible source loses the argument immediately, and gets you laughed out of the room.  I don’t have much experience with this one, but I’ll take their word for it.

6. Danth’s Law: If you have to insist that you’ve won an internet argument, you’ve probably lost badly. I have no experience with this one, since I’ve never lost an argument.

7. Pommer’s Law: A person’s mind can be changed by reading information on the internet. The nature of this change will be from having no opinion to having a wrong opinion.  See also: my thesis.

8. DeMyer’s Law: Anyone who posts an argument on the internet which is largely quotations can be very safely ignored, and is deemed to have lost the argument before it has begun.

9. Cohen’s Law: Whoever resorts to the argument that “whoever resorts to the argument that… …has automatically lost the debate” has automatically lost the debate.  So wonderfully meta, especially in light of the rest of these laws.

10. The Law of Exclamation:  The more exclamation points used in an email or other post, the more likely it is a complete lie.  Same goes for excessive/inappropriate capitalization.

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