Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why the Internet is Funny (And Drives Me Up a Wall at the Same Time)

Depending on how in to the Internet you are, you may have heard of Godwin's Law. Chances are you have most certainly come into contact with it. Godwin's Law was theorized in the early days of the Internet by Mike Godwin, who stated "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." Usenet was one of the early bulletin board systems.

Now we are much more fortunate because we have Facebook, YouTube, and millions of websites all with the ability to let people post on message boards. What we would be doing now if we couldn't watch a baby laughing and have the ability to instantly comment about it? I don't know about you but I'd probably be wasting my time enjoying nature or expanding my mind or something equally stupid.

So anyways, we have this huge collection of websites, where people gather to discuss a video, article, story, picture, or who knows what else, and for some reason unbeknownst to people with all their screws tightened, a comment gets that is insulting. And I'm not talking about a simple disagreement of opinion; that's a very common occurrence, and we don't need the Internet to facilitate people arguing. No I mean a comment with seemingly no purpose, like, "THAT WAS SO GAY!" No reason is given, no evidence to back up the opinion. And this is only the start of a negative spiral that leads to out-of-nowhere references to racism, sexism, or any other discriminatory -ism, which then conjure up the (inaccurate and overused) labels of fascist, communist, and eventually Nazi.

All this happens because people gathered, and everyone knows that when people get involved, things get stupid.

I mean correct me if I'm wrong... my history of the earth is a bit rusty, but I'm pretty sure that on the 5th day, before humans were invented, the animals weren't all congregating and discussing the state of the garden when all of a sudden the tiger stood up and shouted "This is gay!" and was suddenly branded a hate-monger because he wasn't happy with utopia. No, it took dumbass humans to bring that into the equation.

My problem is I don't know whether to laugh at the absurdity that I see on the Internet or cry because it's so telling of how dumb, naive, ignorant so many people are. I guess the one thing I can be grateful for is that the Internet gives people a place to vent some of their stupid so that office meetings like this don't happen in real life.

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