Fun:Irony meter

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The irony meter is a device used to detect irony, hypocrisy, and bovine scatology in a discussion. They are quite often used online, and are notorious for poor build quality, as they are constantly breaking — or even exploding.


The RationalWiki Irony Meter v. 3.0 is now available to the intrepid DIYer. (And soon, at your local Best Buy! We'll give you a run for your money, Mssr. Jobs!)

It features a double-log scale to allow measurement of even the most egregious levels of conventional meter-busting irony; special protection circuits; and pre-processing protection against overloads; yet, it can still clearly register over an amazing level of the simpler 1-10 irony points encountered on silly blogs, to the 10-1000 level encountered at intelligent design screeds, and yet still accurately report and not break at the 10,000-1,000,000 level, at which some people claim to be against censorship.

It is specially designed not to overload, and for its own protection will shut down at 1,500,000. After removing the self-calibrating scatological nullifier, this detector has obtained scores of 3,544,504 by one of our users before being shut down due to fear of imminent explosion.


Also available are ready modifications to most commercially available, but rather compromised, irony meters.

Rebuilding a second-hand E-Meter for the purpose[edit]

Preliminary setup for calibrating an RW IM 3.14[note 1]
  1. Obtain a medium-size sledgehammer. Strike every component of the E-Meter except the dial thingie.[note 2] (Scientology advocates call this the "Big Win".)
  2. Using the specifications on the back of the dial thingie, and the schematics provided, build the appropriately buffered and voltage-controlled circuitry.
  3. Attach circuitry to dial thingie using duct tape and blue zip ties.
  4. Dilute to taste.
  5. Test the combined equipment, using a small 0.4 Amp fuse, on lightweight fare, such as a typical Colbert Report.
  6. Remove the 5 Amp fuse provided and install. Congratulations! You may now enjoy the Internets with a fully-functional, yet cheaply-obtained, irony meter!

Measurable quantities[edit]

A sample schematic for a typical irony meter

The irony meter can measure all of these quantities:

  • Poes, the base unit of fundamentalism and parody thereof. Usually expressed as the kPoe, equal to a thousand Poes.
  • Godwins, the base unit of ludicrous comparisons to Adolf Hitler. Measured on a logarithmic scale from zero approaching 1.
  • Gene Rays (abbr. GRay), the base unit of FuckedUpInTheHeadedNess. Usually expressed in the micro- to milliGRay range, with, of course, the Time Cube site being the standard at one GRay. As a reference to the man this unit is named after, higher measurements are expressed as GRay3 (pronounced "cubic G-Rays") — although, measurements this high have not yet been encountered and for the health of all many wish it never will. (Not to be confused with the Gray, which is measured by a separate device in units called Shades. Also not to be confused with the gray, which is a measure of external radiation dose, which can be approximately as dangerous to an unshielded body as FuckedUpInTheHeadedNess is to an unshielded mind.)


A "2+2=4" on the irony meter

Though all three units cannot readily be converted to each other (since each measurement is rather "stand-alone"), they can be converted to the ancient standard of the ferrad, which itself is composed of caloric irony. Back when philosophers were trying to decipher the nature and properties of irony it was assumed (incorrectly) that irony had more to do with the source rather than the receiver of the ironic wave function.

  • 1 Poe equals 100,000 ferrads.
  • 1 Godwin equals 9678 ferrads (originally this number was an even 10,000 but has been decaying since the advent of Fox News.)
  • 1 GRay equals 0.00 ferrads since this is an ersatz irony much like iron pyrite isn't gold.

Vote on this article[edit]

1213Did it help you rebuild your meter to withstand Andrew Schlafly-esque levels of ironiment?

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Warning! Do not wear this device, it will make you look like you have Morgellons disease.
  2. Do not use an Enoch's Hammer; it will break the dial too.