Poe’s Law

//Poe’s Law

Poe’s Law

  Man I spent way too long today trying to reorganize my elf deck. I’m just not sure how I want it to work, I’ve been looking at various combinations. It’s one of those projects that’ll continue to change each week as I look for a more fun path that I’ve previously used.

  I wanted to talk briefly about something I think is crucially important when looking at major events that unravel in the world. It’s known as Poe’s law and it goes as such:

Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.

  The idea is that it is hard to tell the difference between someone faking being psychotic, and someone who legitimately is. You’ll find a lot of people who likely fall under this guise in television. Glenn Beck was and is a good example of someone who fakes being insane in order to profit deeply from people who are legitimately insane. It’s a smart move if you are looking to make a lot of money because by definition the people you are marketing to do not think their decisions through. Easy pickings.

  The confusion that arises from flip flopping politicians can also be remedied by understanding this law. The entire nature of pandering is keeping up a façade of fundamentalist belief while not actually following it. Also the nature of confirmation bias means that once you have convinced the fundamentalist voters of your own fundamentalism you can then go on to say more natural and level headed things closer to election to get the votes of the swing voters. Your core group of fundamentalists will fight viciously for you in person, online, and elsewhere (albeit I’ve pretty much hit the only two popular options).

  How about world leaders? People like Ahmadinejad are likely not as deeply rooted in what they say they are as far as they say they are (that was a bit wordy), they use extremist commentary to get results. If you present yourself as an insane person while commanding a military you will get a lot done. Now, I could be wrong, he could be legitimately foolish. That’s the nature of Poe’s law, it is effectively impossible to tell.

  However as I’ve stated before I will be surprised if we ever have someone crazy enough to use weapons of mass destruction actually in a position of power to use them. Legitimately crazy people don’t make it far in politics (perhaps Santorum being an exception, but his rise to fame is mostly because of extreme corruption in politics at the moment, so he’s more an exception to the rule). Because legitimately crazy people do not make up the majority of the world, they are numerous enough to be noticed but not numerous enough to take majority stake in just about anything.

  So my suggestion to anyone would be to think about Poe’s law when you see someone pandering. While we all occasionally say things we don’t necessarily believe by accident (in the heat of the moment) if a person is continually doing it and they are doing it in just the right pattern to get the greatest results from their audience, they are abusing Poe’s law and in a sense are victimizing people who are not well equipped for complex thought (tried to find a way to not just say idiots).

  I suppose that’s it, my brain is still too wired in to potential strategies for the elves. Please excuse any typos above, I didn’t magnify in tonight while typing so that I’d get this done in time.

By | 2012-02-27T00:05:03+00:00 February 26th, 2012|Journal|Comments Off on Poe’s Law