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Michael Todd

Who Is Familiar with Godwin's Law?

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Variation 3.8: Comic Law, As a discussion of comic books lengthens, it will have a propensity to decline into a discussion of Batman v Superman.

This guy Godwin is pretty good.!


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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Yeah, as a person who participated for three years in a local philosophy discussion group, this one is so true if sophistry is replaced with word semantics: "In any given philosophical argument, the probability of a dismissal of an argument as sophistry approaches 1."


"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

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Then there is the opening bit from this article on climate change:

Among users of Internet chat rooms, Godwin's Law states that as any discussion grows longer, the probability of someone making a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis approaches 100%.

Meteorologists seem to have a similar law: that in discussions about mankind's effect on the weather, it is only a matter of time before someone makes a crack about believing the Earth is flat.

Ptolemy's Law, as a scientist might call it, was at work on the grounds of the London Zoo recently, where some of the world's most eminent climate experts gathered for lectures of the Royal Meteorological Society.

The victim of the inevitable quip, a television weatherman, had said that public debate on the Kyoto accord is polarized between alarmism and industry-funded skepticism, neither of which satisfy him as a professional communicator. He asked whether there might be a "middle way."

Everyone turned to get a look at this heretic. They knew what was coming.

"Sorry to be provocative," Henry Derwent, Britain's climate-change representative to the G8, replied to the weatherman. "But round Earth, flat Earth. Where's the middle way in that?"

The room came alive with chortles of agreement.

Mr. Derwent -- a politician and former investment banker, not a scientist -- meant that there is no middle way, that the "anthropogenic" or man-made nature of climate change is now established beyond all but the most frivolous skepticism, wilful blindness or complete ignorance. "The last few years have seen the elimination of hiding spaces for skeptics," he said later in an interview.

Few of the experts in his audience would have contradicted him. To them, doubting whether humans are responsible for the warming air and rising oceans, or whether we can now do anything to reverse these trends, or whether we should, or even whether Kyoto is the best of various possible approaches, is as stupid as worrying about falling off the edge of the Earth. The situation is much the same in Canada. On climate change, skepticism has become Nazism. . . .

FWIW.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Um, the focus was supposed to be on the Godwin's Law / Flat Earth thing; I quoted as much of the article as I did to show an example of the parallel. Perhaps I should have also posted a link to our global warming thread.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Alan Thomas wrote:

: It's just that I think that line of critique is bogus.

Criticizing non-scientists for relying on tactical, demonizing rhetoric rather than science is hardly bogus. And this is not the only time that those who espouse a minority scientific view have been lumped in with Flat-Earthers (hence my remarks in the global warming thread proper about the Intelligent Design debate -- and I say that as one who has been more of a critic than a supporter of ID).


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Listen up Flat Earth Nazi and Global Warming Nazi, you're ruining the thread. Yeah, that's right, I'm the Thread Nazi.


"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

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I'm in agreement with Mr. Derwent. It is that fundamental and clear an issue. Surely more kindness and patience could be shown, but it's time to drive a stake in the ground and move on to what's going to be done about the issue rather than continuing to play into the hands of GW deniers by doing nothing.

You are, pardon me, flat out wrong. Much of the evidence is based on faith. Faith that needs to be adjusted every time a deadline passes and the numbers are off. Reminds me of those predicting the Rapture. I'm expecting Global Cooling to come around again in five years or so, if the Schumpeter waves are symetrical.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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It so happens that a member of the Flat Earth Society is best friends with an astronaut. The Astronaut has been trying for years to convince the FES guy that the earth is round, and finally he says "look, I'll prove it to you. I'm going into orbit next week and there's room for one more. I'll take you with me." The FES guy agrees and it's all arranged, because a joke doesn't require any kind of appreciation of the reality of logistics during the setup.

Next week the FES guy and the astronaut go up into space, and once they're in orbit the astronaut points to the earth and says "see?"

The FES guy looks down and shrugs.

"I said it was flat," he said. "I never said it wasn't a circle."


It had a face like Robert Tilton's -- without the horns.

- Steve Taylor, "Cash Cow"

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