left biblioblography: GROUND RULES: GODWIN'S LAW IS IN EFFECT HERE!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

GROUND RULES: GODWIN'S LAW IS IN EFFECT HERE!

Due to a thread on the NGB that's spiralled out of control (so badly, in fact, I shall not link to it) and into the dark recesses of acrimony, I am hereby officially implementing Godwin's Law.

Here are the basics:

"Godwin's Law

[Usenet] "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups. However there is also a widely- recognized codicil that any intentional triggering of Godwin's Law in order to invoke its thread-ending effects will be unsuccessful. Godwin himself has discussed the subject. See also Formosa's Law. "

Come to think of it, I'm implementing Formosa's Law as well:

"“The truly insane have enough on their plates without us adding to it.” That is, flaming someone with an obvious mental problem can't make it any better. Most often cited on alt.usenet.kooks as a reason not to issue a Kook-of the-Month Award; often cited as a companion to Godwin's Law"

I've been guilty of the latter (albeit not on this blog, but others), but I'm going to make a distinct effort not to wail on the less fortunate from hereon in.

Back to Godwin's Law:

"Debate and controversy


One common objection to the invocation of Godwin's Law is that sometimes using Hitler or the Nazis is an apt way of making a point. For instance, if one is debating the relative merits of a particular leader, and someone says something like, "He's a good leader, look at the way he's improved the economy," one could reply, "Just because he improved the economy doesn't make him a good leader. Even Hitler improved the economy." Some would view this as a perfectly acceptable comparison. One uses Hitler as a well-known example of an extreme case that requires no explanation to prove that a generalization is not universally true.

Some would argue, however, that Godwin's Law applies especially to the situation mentioned above, as it portrays an inevitable appeal to emotion as well as holding an implied ad hominem attack on the subject being compared, both of which are fallacious in irrelevant contexts. Hitler, on a semiotic level, has far too many negative connotations associated with him to be used as a valid comparison to anything but other despotic dictators. Thus, Godwin's Law holds even in making comparisons to normal leaders that, on the surface, would seem to be reasonable comparisons."


So, as your host and moderator, I will be using my own best judgement in re: to this.

As I am a proponent, but not an absolutist, when it comes to Free Speech, I feel this is fair to implement these rules, in order to further promote reasonable discussion and/or debate

Questions are most welcome.

The complaint department, however, is down the street.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

11 comments:

udonman said...

yeah that was nasty thread and i shouldve stayed out of it but like a car wreck I couldnt help but watch I have no excuse for getting Involed though

but at least when taj told me to attack him I didnt take the bait I wanted to delete all of his posts it was just to tempting

Ive always liked Goodwins law and usaually as soon as the nzis are brought up in that manner I usaually just walk away but I didnt I shouldve but didnt


RA do you mind if i link to this post from my blog

Krystalline Apostate said...

udonman:
yeah that was nasty thread and i shouldve stayed out of it but like a car wreck I couldnt help but watch I have no excuse for getting Involed though
Hey, I just jumped in & shot my mouth off.
I'm getting a headache just looking at the recent comments.
RA do you mind if i link to this post from my blog
Oh, so you noticed the Creative Commons motif, ey? ;) By all means, please do.
I put it there mostly because I'm trying to protect some of the stories I've put here.

udonman said...

yaeh i seen the creative commons license i was thinking about it for my blog but since mine is more of aplce for me to blow off steam and not reallly a bastien of profound thought I said screw it you know and are you going to email me the article on the 37 moves you mentiond on your taichi blog or did you not see my last comment

Mesoforte said...

What happened on NGB? I haven't been on in a while. One minute, I'll go look.

Krystalline Apostate said...

MF:
Oh, you ain't gonna like it too much.
Too late.

udonman said...

thanks for emailing me that i just got done with my taichi class about 2 hours ago went up to repulse monkey

meso its sad we had to witness that

ra i was thinking since we both have admin privliges over at ngb should we get daves permission to delete post like that from bacon breath or leave it up to his discreation i know i felt like deleting every one of his post

PastaLaVista said...

I don't necessarily think that the mere mention of Hitler/Nazis should automatically slam the door on a discussion. A moderator will have to be the one to make the call on the nature of the Hitler/Nazis comparisons. Is one using it as an ad hominem attack? Did they do it only once or repeatedly? Was it done appropriately to make a point? Things like this should be noted. Problem is there may not be someone around at the time a nasty discussion is taking place that has moderator priviledges to monitor the discussions. If the moderator examines the posts after all the fireworks have ended what do you do? Delete the offensive posts and ban the offenders? Do you give them a email stating that any such future behavior will result in their ban from the blog? Do you flat out ban them immediately with or without email notification? I really don't know if you can even prevent an episode like what happened on the NGB if there is no one present to moderate it. People could request the offenders to knock it off and give it a rest all day but that doesn't necessarily mean that the offenders are going to quit waging their war against one another.

Krystalline Apostate said...

udonman:
ra i was thinking since we both have admin privliges over at ngb should we get daves permission to delete post like that from bacon breath or leave it up to his discreation i know i felt like deleting every one of his post
No, I'd leave it to Dave to delete posts on an issue like that.
& yeah, I was sorely tempted too, truth be told.
But TAJ wrecked his own cause doing it. His street cred is totally shot to hell.
I say let it stand.
I noticed how he got hot & bothered when questions that were the least bit challenging were asked. Not a good sign.

Krystalline Apostate said...

PLV:
I don't necessarily think that the mere mention of Hitler/Nazis should automatically slam the door on a discussion. A moderator will have to be the one to make the call on the nature of the Hitler/Nazis comparisons.
No, it shouldn't. It is feasible, for instance, to point to Nazi Germany as proof that argumentum ad populam is far from infallible. Or as the example given, that simply being good for the economy isn't indicative of isn't necessarily the sign of good leadership.
But after that fiasco?
I'm going to be a tad...stringent.
But I won't be a dictator. ;)

udonman said...

well I didnt delete his post because it isnt my blog its dave I just felt like deleting his post is all

udonman said...

I meant its Dave's doh