punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Godwin's Law

There's an old saying in fandom about a discussion killer, and that's "a discussion is officially over when someone brings up the Nazi party into their argument." It's a sign of a desperate ploy to use their argument to the extreme. Today, I found there's actually a name for that law, and it's Godwin's Law. For those who don't participate in such discussions, here's an example.

Dude1: I like MacIntosh.
Dude2: I like Linux.
Dude3: I like Windows.
Dude1: That's because you are a loser.
Dude3: Hey!
Dude2: Windows is for kids, man.
Dude3: I am an MCSE!
Dude2: Good for you. Did the certificate come with a pacifier?
Dude3: Without Windows, none of your current computers would have been made. We'd still be stuck on 8086 machines running 640kb of RAM.
Dude1: We invented the GUI you emulate.
Dude2: Ah, hello? Xerox Parc labs? 1972?
Dude3: None of you can compete with Windows as far as usablilty.
Dude1: Bill Gates is a Nazi!

Godwin's Law is enacted, and the discussion must end. This law doesn't work very well when discussing socialist parties in 1939 Germany, however. In that case, when someone compares anything to Microsoft, the discussion must end.

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000406.html

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