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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    11 Dec '12 07:41
    "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

    This observation is frequently used to bring discussion to a halt:
    http://xkcd.com/261/

    One way to get around this problem is to use an alternative regime for purposes of comparison, eg. to liken the excesses of a small-town mayor to the enormities of Pol Pot. However, it since all fascist regimes are functionally analogous to Nazi Germany, shouldn't all such comparisons be subject to Godwin's Law?
  2. 11 Dec '12 09:48
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

    This observation is frequently used to bring discussion to a halt:
    http://xkcd.com/261/

    One way to get around this problem is to use an alternative regime for purposes of comparison, eg. to liken the excesses of a small-town mayor to t ...[text shortened]... onally analogous to Nazi Germany, shouldn't all such comparisons be subject to Godwin's Law?
    I think most people treat Godwin's Law as referring implicitly to all indefensible political regimes.
  3. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    11 Dec '12 09:50
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    I think most people treat Godwin's Law as referring implicitly to all indefensible political regimes.
    Therefore all comparisons to indefensible political regimes must be illicit!
  4. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    11 Dec '12 11:45
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

    This observation is frequently used to bring discussion to a halt:
    http://xkcd.com/261/

    One way to get around this problem is to use an alternative regime for purposes of comparison, eg. to liken the excesses of a small-town mayor to t ...[text shortened]... onally analogous to Nazi Germany, shouldn't all such comparisons be subject to Godwin's Law?
    The assumption in Godwin's law is that all comparisons to the Nazis, or Hitler, are either unjustified or overkill. It seems to me that it is most frequently invoked by people who are too lazy to deflect the comparison by other means.

    Perhaps a new law is called for (Penfold's law?) which states that: As online discussions involving comparisons to Hitler grow longer, the probability of Godwin's law being invoked approaches 1.
  5. 11 Dec '12 13:13
    Only nazis bring up Godwin's Law.
  6. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    11 Dec '12 13:24
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Only nazis bring up Godwin's Law.
    This is the sort of thing a nazi would say about nazis. No doubt you would say Arbeit macht frei as well
  7. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    11 Dec '12 14:09 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The assumption in Godwin's law is that all comparisons to the Nazis, or Hitler, are either unjustified or overkill. It seems to me that it is most frequently invoked by people who are too lazy to deflect the comparison by other means.

    Perhaps a new law is called for (Penfold's law?) which states that: As online discussions involving comparisons to Hitler grow longer, the probability of Godwin's law being invoked approaches 1.
    Who is Penfold?

    Incidentally, as anything grows longer, the possibility of all possible outcomes approaches one.
  8. 11 Dec '12 14:32
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

    This observation is frequently used to bring discussion to a halt:
    http://xkcd.com/261/

    One way to get around this problem is to use an alternative regime for purposes of comparison, eg. to liken the excesses of a small-town mayor to t ...[text shortened]... onally analogous to Nazi Germany, shouldn't all such comparisons be subject to Godwin's Law?
    From my perspecitve, Godwin's Law is a lazy man's way of deflecting any comparison to despotic regimes like the Nazis.

    History should be used to learn about where we are headed, since there is nothing new under the sun. Without it, we are doomed to repeat it, as often is the case.
  9. 11 Dec '12 14:38
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Only nazis bring up Godwin's Law.
    No, only people who bring up that only nazis bring up Godwin's law are actually nazis.
  10. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    11 Dec '12 14:39
    Originally posted by whodey
    From my perspecitve, Godwin's Law is a lazy man's way of deflecting any comparison to despotic regimes like the Nazis.

    History should be used to learn about where we are headed, since there is nothing new under the sun. Without it, we are doomed to repeat it, as often is the case.
    It's not like we actually learn anything from history anyway.
  11. Standard member spruce112358
    Democracy Advocate
    11 Dec '12 15:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

    This observation is frequently used to bring discussion to a halt:
    http://xkcd.com/261/

    One way to get around this problem is to use an alternative regime for purposes of comparison, eg. to liken the excesses of a small-town mayor to t ...[text shortened]... onally analogous to Nazi Germany, shouldn't all such comparisons be subject to Godwin's Law?
    I would think that as online discussion grows longer, the probability that any topic X will be brought up approaches 1. This is a version of the infinite number of monkeys hypothesis.

    It would be more interesting if the probability approached 0.587 for instance - THAT would be truly fascinating.

    EDIT: sorry, sh76 already pointed this out.
  12. 11 Dec '12 15:11
    Originally posted by sh76
    Who is Penfold?

    Incidentally, as anything grows longer, the possibility of all possible outcomes approaches one.
    Umm, no.
  13. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    11 Dec '12 15:20
    Originally posted by whodey
    History should be used to learn about where we are headed, since there is nothing new under the sun. Without it, we are doomed to repeat it, as often is the case.
    Is that why you compared John McCain to a Nazi for us a while back?
  14. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    11 Dec '12 15:36
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Umm, no.
    Well, I certainly can't argue with that.
  15. 11 Dec '12 16:12
    Originally posted by sh76
    Well, I certainly can't argue with that.
    Well, for example, the probability that you are both a kitten and not a kitten will never approach one, no matter how long you wait.