Mike Godwin

Has Chris Trotter ever heard of Godwin’s Law?

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From Wikipedia:

Godwin’s law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies) is an assertion made by Mike Godwin in 1990 that has become an Internet adage. It states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitlerapproaches1.” In other words, Godwin said that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.

Although in one of its early forms Godwin’s law referred specifically to Usenetnewsgroup discussions, the law is now often applied to any threaded online discussion, such as forums, chat rooms and blog comment threads, and has been invoked for the inappropriate use of Nazi analogies in articles or speeches. The law is sometimes invoked prescriptively to mark the end of a discussion when a Nazi analogy is made, with the writer who made the analogy being considered to have lost the argument.

Chris Trotter has well and truly lost the argument before it even began with this tosh this morning.

The National Party-led Government’s dramatic reform of New Zealand’s social welfare system marks an ominous turning-point in the country’s history. Never before has the state been willing to satisfy so completely the most punitive, the cruellest and the most nakedly sociopathic impulses of its wealthiest citizens.   Read more »

A new Godwin’s Law?

We all know what Godwin’s law is…leftists usually are the first to break it, but now it is thought there is a new Godwin’s law.

Samuel Johnson once said that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Patriotism, and bad analogies.

For the uninitiated, Godwin’s Law is one of the cardinal rules of the Internet. Coined in 1990 by Internet law expert Mike Godwin, the principle — confirmed by countless contentious comment threads across the web — is that the longer an online discussion persists, the greater the odds become that someone will make a comparison to Nazis or Adolf Hitler, to the point of near-inevitability. Nothing ends a debate faster than the hyperbolic unsupported counterfactual: “You know who else did [INSERT SUBJECT OF ARGUMENT HERE]? Hitler!”

We get this all the time…usually from teachers unions…they used it against Anne Tolley and are yet to deploy it against Hekia Parata…only a matter of time though.

But Hitler and the Nazis aren’t the only recurring straw men used to end debates. Over the past 12 years, it’s become clear that the longer a national security debate persists, the more likely it becomes that someone will try to end it by suggesting something — some policy, some person, some technology — “could have prevented 9/11.”  Read more »

Comparing Tolley to Hitler

Farrar releases details of another protesting prinicpal, this one though clearly hasn’t heard of Godwin’s Law.

Godwin’s law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies) is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1989 which has become an Internet adage. It states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” In other words, Godwin put forth the sarcastic observation that, given enough time, all discussions—regardless of topic or scope—inevitably end up being about Hitler and the Nazis.

Of course she went right to losing side by starting the comment by mentioning Hitler.

There are many corollaries to Godwin’s law, some considered more canonical (by being adopted by Godwin himself) than others. For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically “lost” whatever debate was in progress.

I have taken the liberty of taking a screen shot of the comment, because it is now likely to disappear.

Marlene Campbell is the principal of Salford School in Invercargill

The childish petulance of these principals makes one wonder whether the problem with discipline in schools doesn’t in fact rest with the tweetchers.