Godwin's Law

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Godwin's Law

Postby Colin White » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:58 pm

I loved the reference to Godwin's Law in LXF162 (pg56). I wikipeded it and found the issue fascinating as well as amusing. I'm sure we've all witnessed something similar if only arguments degenerating to those Nazi comparisons.

My son writes political articles and many appear on the web pages as blogs of publications. Here readers can offer comments. Few are sensible or even considered. Many are scurrilous, mischievous and often downright offensive. The publications say they don't have time to moderate unless someone comments in a way that is clearly illegal.
The truth is that sponsors and advertisers pay by the 'hit' so it doesn't pay to take down the comments. It provides a platform for these saddoes and the publishers get their cheques.

Perhaps more surprisingly though, I read a New Scientist article on the web by the renown mathematician Ian Stewart. The article was about the 7 most important equations that, in his opinion, have shaped humankind. It was an abridgement of his book "17 Equations that Changed the World". Here the comments from readers were, at best nip-picky and at worst, rude and abrasive. He's a mathematician for heavens sake!

There's no accounting for folk!
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Re: Godwin's Law

Postby el chapulín » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:04 pm

Colin White wrote:readers can offer comments. Few are sensible or even considered. Many are scurrilous, mischievous and often downright offensive. The publications say they don't have time to moderate unless someone comments in a way that is clearly illegal.
The truth is that sponsors and advertisers pay by the 'hit' so it doesn't pay to take down the comments. It provides a platform for these saddoes and the publishers get their cheques.

It's been the winning formula for the tech press for years - sensationalist and misleading headline, half a dozen muppets who don't take the time to read the article properly or research it, blog away for all they're worth, several pages later no one is any the wiser == ker'ching - ad revenue flows in...
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Postby Colin White » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:46 pm

Indeed. My son seems to run through cycles of
1) Not reading any of the comments to his articles (lasts about 2 weeks)
2) Gradually starts to read them over about a week
3) Starts to respond to some of the more sensible comments
4) Gets totally incensed
5) Goto 1
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:16 pm

Well, although the paper press may be dwindling, it still keeps me in pocket money. :)
Must start chasing web sites.
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Postby Colin White » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:21 pm

So you're the one! What's the secret?

This is me

[url]http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415473316/

but I'm not sure i cold call the royalties pocket money exactly, more the old threepenny piece found down the side of the sofa! :) [/url]
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:16 pm

I just write articles for Computer mags.
The Zoneminder tutorial earlier in the year in LXF was one of mine.
I also write for a couple of other mags mainly technical, but some opinion pieces.
As I have a full time job as IT director for a small company, I can't do more than a dozen or so articles a year.
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Godwin's Law Recursive?

Postby Nuke » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:04 pm

Let Godwin run its course for now and lets discuss Hitler and the Nazis then :lol: (Actually Godwin does not apply if the discussion STARTS with that as a topic).

I wonder if Godwin's Law is recursive - ie any discussion eventually degenates into a discussion of Godwin's Law ..... ? Because once a discussion gets onto the Nazis then it tends to move on immediately to a discussion of whether Godwin's Law in invokable or not.

In fact I have a corollary to Godwin's Law, especially where Americans are involved (try Slashdot.org). If a discussion does not end up in flames about the Nazi's it ends up in flames about gun control law and/or some (usually 5th) Amendment of the US Constitution. It is incredible the range of actions and opinions some Americans consider to infringe their Constitution - more or less anything against their own opinion as far as I can make out.

I see more discussions breaking down into Gun Law and US Constitution issues than into the Nazis these days and I think it is because the latter are fading into vanilla flavoured history now, joining previous historical bogiemen such as the Kaiser, Napoleon (who many contemporary English seriously believed was the Devil), Ivan the Terrible, Genghis Khan, Richard III, and (in Henry VIII time) the Pope.

But now we have Napoleon Brandy, Richard III verging on Sainthood and visits from the Pope - perhaps we will even see Hitler Hock sold in Tescos one day? :roll:
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