Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The top ten net rules

Internet map from Bar Ilan University, via the Guardian

The Top 10 Net Rules (restated)

1) Godwin’s Law - Eventually every argument degenerates into someone claiming his/her opponent is likened to/as bad as/would have been supported by Hitler. Examples:
  • The term "Feminazi"
  • Comparing any US President to Hitler
  • Calling any form of national US health care/legalized abortion the next holocoust
  • Saying that Hitler was an atheist, that means atheists are BAD
Crossing Godwin's law means the argument is over and you automatically lose, unless you are invoking Quirk's Exception and trying to win by shutting down the debate.

2) Poe's Law - “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.” Examples:
I have no clue which, if any, of those are serious.

3) Rules 34 & 35 - “If it exists, there is porn of it.” and“If no such porn exists, it will be made.”

Does this one really need explanation? Moving on...

4) Skitt’s Law - "Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself"

This ususaly applies to grammar, math and politics

5) Scopie’s Law - "In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing Whale.to as a credible source loses the argument immediately, and gets you laughed out of the room.”

It helps to know that Whale.to is a conspiracy listing. I vote we expand that to include not checking Snopes before opening your mouth as well.

6) Danth’s Law / Parker’s Law - "If you have to insist that you've won an internet argument, you've probably lost badly.”

Danth’s Law was most famously declared in “The Lenski Affair”, between microbiologist Richard Lenski and the editor of Conservapedia.com, Andrew Schlafly, who cast doubt upon Prof Lenski’s elegant experimental demonstration of evolution.

After what is widely held to be one of the greatest and most comprehensive put-downs in scientific argument from Prof Lenski, Mr Schlafly declared himself the winner.

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.”

Look for examples of this during all Presidential election years

8) DeMyer's Third 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.”

This is the law of Do Your Own Thinking

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.”

Please note some of the above laws for examples. ;)

10) Robertson's Law of Exclamation - "The more exclamation points used in an email (or other posting), the more likely it is a complete lie. This is also true for excessive capital letters."

For an example, check your email


Taken from, quoted from, and h/t to the UK Telegraph