[Fwd: Re: >H Information exchange in food chains]

Hagbard Celine (hagbard@ix.netcom.com)
Wed, 10 Sep 1997 20:46:16 -0400

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I wrote:

> Holly, you must have missed my earlier post (actually, this morning),
> on Godwin's Law of Nazi Apologies.

I was talking about a post to the transhuman list. Sorry for the mix-up.
Here's the original post.



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Message-ID: <3416EECB.1161@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 15:02:35 -0400
From: Hagbard Celine <hagbard@ix.netcom.com>
Reply-To: hagbard@ix.netcom.com
Organization: Undead Minions of Tsathoggua
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To: transhuman@logrus.org
Subject: Re: >H Information exchange in food chains
References: <199709101845.LAA15343@kim.teleport.com>
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Room 101 wrote:

> Does anybody remember a memetic experiment a few years back, wherein it was
> predicted (and proven) that one could expect within certain time parameters
> that once an Elvis sighting was introduced in an online thread of
> conversation, that eventually the topic of Nazis would come up? Seriously,
> I remember this - but was it a real experiment or something described in
> sci-fi?

I remeber a Wired magazine article by Mike Godwin from the Electronic
Frontier Foundation who describes his efforts in memetics, watching
ideologies replicate from Internet-based communities into society
at-large. He formulated "Godwin's Law of Nazi Apologies" which states
"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison
involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." He cites also Cliff Stoll,
author of "The Cuckoo's Egg" as "..the law that states that once a
discussion treaches a comparison to Nazis or Hitler, it's usefulness is
over." This may or may not be what you're thinking of.