Self-guiding principles & the science of the World Wide Web

Self-guiding principles & the science of the World Wide Web

By SANSHEY BISWAS | | 31 October, 2015
Cartoon illustration of Godwin’s Law by Greg Williams.
The physical world has laws of physics that govern the behaviour of objects from particle to planetary scale. The laws of physics and chemistry help predict outcomes as they are based on observations and experiments. The internet has been around long enough for people to make observations that hold true in most of the case. Like most of the internet, these laws may be absurd but are real and prevelant in the world wide web. We take a look at some of our favourites that make you wonder how strange the online world is turning into. 
Godwin’s Law
The law states that, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” Even though this law was stated with respect to Usenet (a discussion network before world wide web became popular) newsgroup discussions it was later modified to be valid for interactions all over the web. Because of the law, anyone making a Nazi reference in an online discussion loses credability for succumbing to the law. But that hasn’t stopped the use of “feminazi” comments on femenist posts or camparison of  leaders to Hitler.  
Muphry’s Law 
For Grammar Nazis, Murphy’s Law (also known as Skitt’s Law) states, “If you write anything criticising editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written.” So, when you see someone making correction or disagreeing to a poster, their correction is likely to have a mistake of their own. A popular instance of the law was of the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown writing a letter of condolence with the name of the recipient splet incorrectly followed by The Sun publishing an article misspelling the same name. 
As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.
Cohen’s Law
This is a particularly useful one that states, “Whoever resorts to the argument “whoever resorts to the argument that... has automatically lost the debate” has automatically lost the debate.” The users who argue that their opponent has lost the argument because the opponent’s previous statement was silly, means they couldn’t find anything better to say. Cohen’s Law takes no mercy to such behaviour and can be called upon immediately to claim victory.  
Rule 34
Unlike other laws that might have exceptions and it’s only a while before we find them, Rule 34 is assertive in stating, “If it exists, there is porn of it — no exceptions.” Whether it’s a movie, a cartoon, a person, a thing or mathematics, you are likely to find pornographic content related to it or if you don’t you will in the future. So, it is advised to keep the Google safe search option turned on at all times, especially at work. The recent episode of South Park, “Tween x Craig” referred to the rule which draws attention to the popularity of fan art that is just one of the ways in which pornographic content related to anything makes its way online.  

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