Talk:Poe's Law/Archive1

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Time Cube[edit]

Time cube is pretty weird, but is it fundamentalism?--Bobbing up 15:59, 22 April 2008 (EDT)

Within his own belief in ONENESS EVIL, he is. Much more than Liberal Reform Time Cubists. --מְתֻרְגְּמָן שְׁלֹום
Obviously I have not studied it sufficiently. I rather think that I might need a bit of consciousness adjustment before tackling it though.--Bobbing up 17:17, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
Never fear. Open your mind to the 4 corner simultaneous 24 hour Days that occur within a single 4 quadrant rotation of Earth. --מְתֻרְגְּמָן שְׁלֹום
I was thinking more of some chemical adjustment.--Bobbing up 17:28, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
Stupid stupid time!

Seems to me the reverse is also true - it's easy sometimes to mistake genuine fundamentalism for parody 15:02, 17 May 2008 (EDT)

I agree, and thought it said that, but I was remembering a Clarke quote on a different topic ("...indistinguishable from magic"). I'll try to figure out a way to add that in after the quote of the Law as Written, "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", which could read "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, a parody of Fundamentalism is often indistinguishable from the real thing". Hmmm. humanUser talk:Human 15:14, 17 May 2008 (EDT)


I think the same is true of Andy. (Poe's Law, I mean). Seriously. I tried, and someone did mistake it for the real thing. Lyra (semper) 15:20, 17 May 2008 (EDT)

Yes, it's usually an early comment when CP gets blogged about. humanUser talk:Human 15:44, 17 May 2008 (EDT)

Is it really all that notable...[edit]

...that self-proclaimed "rational free-thinkers" are too stupid to tell parody from the real thing? I'm an "irrational" fundamentalist and I had no problem discerning which of the listed websites were parodies. They are so poorly done that they are obvious to anyone with a functional brain. People who try to parody fundamentalism try too hard and end up failing miserably at their task. They don't even succeed at being funny. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

I doubt your true faith if you say that the Word is irrational. Lyra § talk 23:59, 4 June 2008 (EDT)
Actually, the success of the proof of the Law is that parodists are easily capable of getting their work accepted by the fundies as "real" - how many editors on CP, for example, right now, are sneak-vandals, accepted as true believers, who are adding random small errors to articles the CP sysops don't understand? Probably more than there are sysops. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:05, 5 June 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, that's the biggest load of b.s. I've ever heard. Prove it. Or don't. I'm sure you expect me to believe it without proof. 14:57, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
That's what I thought. 16:44, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
...what, that we don't care what an anonymous fundamentalist troll has to say about an article illustrating the inherent humour of their position? I guess you thought correctly. UchihaKATON! 16:57, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
That you can't back up your b.s. claims of "sneak-vandalizing" "fundies'" websites. This is supposedly "RationalWiki." Rational people don't believe anything without evidence. Your claims are without evidence, yet you expect people to believe them. How unsurprisingly irrational and typically hypocritical. 15:03, 1 July 2008 (EDT)
Ah great. You're back. Could you have a go at my couple of questions below? Thanks a lot.--Bobbing up 15:07, 1 July 2008 (EDT)
Are you sure it is an anonymous fundamentalist troll? Or is it just a parody of one? Is this an instance of Poe's Law? (Editor at) CP:no intelligence allowed 16:59, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
Invoking Poe's Law in a discussion about Poe's Law? Meta! --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 17:27, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
Bunchanumbers: see our articles on MexMax and Samwell. There clearly are parodists (or agents provocateur, rather) amongst the CP camp, and, what's more, they are mostly undetectable. Sorry. <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 17:47, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
Anyone more recent? No? Didn't think so. Claim without evidence = false claim = rational thinking. 00:36, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
So your theory is that a magical barrier now prevents those things from happening in the future despite the fact that CP hasn't changed a bit since then? I'm impressed. <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 00:53, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
What the hell are you babbling about? You haven't backed up the claims made here with any evidence. All you are going is talking out of your ass in a lame attempt to appear intellectually superior. The fact that all your claimed past parodies and parodists are gone proves that CP has, in fact, changed. 01:13, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
No, at most it suggests that, and I'm inclined to disagree with you, even so. I suggest we continue our conversation below, as it is pointless to split one conversation in this way. <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 01:27, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Actually I've got a question for our unsigned editor. Could you tell me what is the the difference between the parody and the non-parody sites? It may be easier for you because you are "In the loop" so-to-speak. I know you say they "try too hard", but could you expand on this? Perhaps give a few concrete examples of both "legitimate fundamentalist" and and "parody fundamentalist". I don't mean the sites but actual statements. I mean this question in all seriousness and I'm interested in the answer.--Bobbing up 18:09, 28 June 2008 (EDT)

Ps. Could you also tell us if this one is a parody, 'cause we don't know. Thanks.--Bobbing up 08:07, 29 June 2008 (EDT)
Why don't you know? Shouldn't it be obvious for supposedly rational, intelligent people to tell what it is? Aren't only we drooling "fundie" morons supposed to not be able to tell? 00:17, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Ahem. NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 15:17, 1 July 2008 (EDT)
Yes, and? Past examples are not proof of the claim of current "sneak-vandals" currently inserting false information on CP which will never be discovered by us ignorant "fundies." Hrm... One of those says it was there for three months. A phony quote by one of you rational evolutionists was added to at least three articles on Wikipedia and remained there for over three years until I got it fixed recently. 00:15, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Way to redefine the claim, Jinxy. Strangely enough, I don't feel inclined to reveal what parody-inspired material might currently be present on CP. If we did that, soon enough human beings might think your little wiki was a reliable source of information! No, that won't do at all. <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 00:19, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
I didn't redefine anything. Put it in my own words, yes, but it's exactly the same as what is claimed above. See especially the third post. And of course you won't provide any evidence to back up your claims because there is none and you know it. All you can provide is long ago corrected material, which proves nothing except that you're a bunch of a-holes. It's no different from the oh-so-trusted Wikipedia, which other a-holes add false material to all the time which often doesn't get caught for months or even years. 00:29, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
You redefined the inspecific claim that parodists find easy acceptance at CP to "parodists are currently accepted at CP". Evidence for this new claim will never be given to you, Jinx, because your approval just isn't important enough to sacrifice valuable misinformation for -- you would only purge CP of the parody we love and mysteriously disappear from RW. As ever, the truth is whatever you want it to be -- even if I were to furnish you with the examples you so crave, I very much doubt it would sway your opinion, as it just isn't in you to admit you're mistaken. <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 00:53, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Of course. I never expected anything more. If any of the claims made here by you clowns were true, you'd proudly sacrifice even just one of them to prove your claims are true. But you do not do so because we all know you cannot do so since your claims are false. And Sidhartha H. Buddha, how pathetic it is that you place so much value on alleged misinformation on a website! Get a frickin' life already, for Muhammed's sake! 01:13, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
(Edit conflict) "If any of the claims made here by you clowns were true, you'd proudly sacrifice even just one of them to prove your claims are true." No, of course we wouldn't. You don't matter, Jinx.
"Sidhartha H. Buddha, how pathetic it is that you place so much value on alleged misinformation on a website! Get a frickin' life already, for Muhammed's sake!" We are both arguing about the same thing. If it is not important, why have you already lost your temper over it? <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 01:27, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
67, etc, I note you haven't answered Bob's direct question to you. It seems legitimate enough, considering your initial accusations in starting this thread. Please answer, since we are too small-brained to figure it out for ourselves.
(or else, just fuck off, moron, your arguments make no sense about anything!) <<<<---- Ooh, I didn't really say that!!!!
ħumanUser talk:Human 01:24, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Note that purposefully altered Chaos' entry. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:26, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Nah, I'm reasonably certain he did that by accident. We all make mistakes. <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 01:29, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Assholes like Jinxmchue don't deserve the benefit of a doubt. Would you do the same with TK?
...Wait, nevermind. You were never here for the Trials of TK. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:31, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
I know all about TK. And yes, I would assume error over subterfuge in his case. <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 01:33, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Will you people quit pretending you know who some jerk with an IP address is? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:40, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

He has admitted to being Jinx now, Human. <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 01:43, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
As it did here. CЯacke® 01:48, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
(Edit conflict) I don't need to look at his IP. I can tell just by analyzing (i.e. reading it) that it and Jinxmchue are the same. May I question how you all knew NightTrain was TK, or was that a "special" case? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:49, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
He was painfully transparent, and behaved as though he had nursed a grudge against various people for a long time, even though he was such a new user. <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 01:54, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Funny. is also "painfully transparent". Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 02:03, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
I knew that NightTrain was TK with this discussion and NighTK's response to me that I don't understand IP ranges. On a tangent, I saw a program that did forensic authorship based on word frequency (not Shakespeare authorship - this was on History Detectives as to the author of an 1800s anti-mormon book). It would be intresting to run against some trolls, though I suspect that you'd have to do quite a bit of editing with Ken's works because so little is original. --Shagie 02:11, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Another fun thing to do with IPs, go see the Wikipedia contributions. --Shagie 02:15, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Ah, I see that whoever this troll is, she doesn't get WP:POINT... (thanks for the schooling) ħumanUser talk:Human 03:03, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
I'd just like to point out that the reason it is difficult for us "rational free-thinkers" to spot the parody on some of those sites is because they are all ridiculous. Why should a rationalist be required to discriminate between different strains of bullshit? It is only necessary for them to discriminate between the rational and the irrational. Of course if you specialise in a particular variety of bullshit then it is probably quite easy to spot another variety. That's been the foundation for schisms in Christian doctrine for centuries. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 03:41, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Well, Jinx is pretty much a nobody (I only know that he's a whining, wikistalking attention whore) so it is still pretty hard to realize whether their attittudes match or not. NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 08:55, 2 July 2008 (EDT) And just for feeding the troll a bit more, less than a month ago you could find this in the trusworthy encyclopedia, also check the date it was added in. NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 09:06, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Thank you all for providing me with many laughs, confirmation of my arguments and bragging rights over on CP. None are so irrational as those who arrogantly proclaim themselves to be the most rational. Not one shred of evidence of your claims of current undetectable parodists on CP, yet people are supposed to just accept the claims to be 100% true. Typical and hypocritical. 17:43, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

No, thank you, Jinx, for unequivocally demonstrating that you just can't grasp the fact that your opinion doesn't matter to anyone here. Also, I feel compelled to point out that the noise made by hyenas like you is not really laughter. <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 18:58, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
I never claimed to be "rational".  :' ( Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:46, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Indeed. I, too, am commonly regarded as thoroughly irrational. Just consider this for further evidence. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:32, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
...That was pretty low, AK. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:41, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
What? You can't deny that was evidence for my utter irrationality, on a certain level. ^_^ --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:56, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
If you want irrational, there are much better examples. The cognitive dissonance that sets up is painful. --Shagie 20:00, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
BoN, just because you go fishing doesn't mean you're going to catch anything. CЯacke® 17:48, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
I dunno, guys, he makes some pretty persuasive points! And every time we mentionned previous examples, he totally dismissed them for being in the past. Hmm... I guess the only solution is to fess up with the master list of current CP parodists and socks run by RW! This is vital to proving ourselves to BoN, good thing we can trust him. UchihaKATON! 18:56, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
I agree. So that would be, what...? Their entire user list, less four or five people? I think we should let him figure our for himself who they are, just so he can show us again how smart he is. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:58, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

At this point I think our BoN can be considered a troll...feed at your own risk. tmtoulouse annoy 18:59, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Ahhh, for a while I feared CP's latest sysop candidate wasn't an utter idiot, but now my fears are gone. NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 19:15, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Jizzonmeshoe, I suggest you read the Ronald Reagan article and see if you can spot the parody. It's obvious to me. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 19:30, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Article Prominence[edit]

Not to pull a Ken here, but - #2 on Google for "Poe's Law" I believe. That is not bad at all, especially considering that there are people unfamiliar with the term, and they are likely to either come to Urban Dictionary or to here. Is there anything we can do to this article to make it more "newcomer friendly"? (Or should we, for that matter?) I don't think it's bad, I just think it's surprisingly prominant and we could take advantage of that, plus I know RW is capable of some very professional articles so this could likely be improved. Anyway, just a thought; either way, I'm happy for our success. UchihaKATON! 02:03, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

Oh - I just saw the recent "entry point" category added, that was a good idea as well. UchihaKATON! 02:05, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

Bias in the article[edit]

The entry "Meanwhile, Answers in Genesis [5] is, as far as is presently known, serious business." is rife with the writer's bias.

The entry should be changed to read "Meanwhile, Answers in Genesis [5] is serious." — Unsigned, by: Cybrsage / talk / contribs

No!!! I don't believe it! SusanG  ContribsTalk 08:47, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

Funny how no-one spotted that before. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 08:49, 23 June 2008 (EDT)
Ain't it just! SusanG  ContribsTalk 08:51, 23 June 2008 (EDT)
Actually, it's an interesting question. Could somebody be adding parody in AIG? Poe's law says we could never tell.--Bobbing up 17:53, 28 June 2008 (EDT)


I am pretty sure this is a parody but I'm not sure. What do you guys think? Damo2353 20:47, 28 June 2008 (EDT)

Don't think so, actually. He's too over the top to be trying to spoof anyone. SusanG  ContribsTalk 20:53, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
Maybe out IP who was so active above could tell us? He says it's easy to tell.--Bobbing up 02:17, 29 June 2008 (EDT)

Should Evolutionists Be Allowed to Vote?[edit]

Should we add this one? It dares to ask the question "Should Evolutionists Be Allowed to Vote?" I think its straight, but it could be a parody.--Bobbing up 07:07, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

I'm pretty sure its straight, amazingly and scaringly. Hard to describe why. It lacks the vitriole and ranting of parody websites. Plus if you look at the books for sale, they all seem reasonable (and reasonable is a very relative word here) and genine. Nope, I'm pretty sure its real.Damo2353 07:22, 30 June 2008 (EDT)
I guess so, but the conclusion:
  • The facts warrent [sic] the violent expulsion of all evolutionists from civilized society. I am quite serious that their danger to society is so great that, in a sane society, they would be, at a minimum, denied a vote in the administration of the society, as well as any job where they might influence immature humans, e.g., scout, or youth, leader, teacher and, obviously,professor.
Well, words fail me.--Bobbing up 07:29, 30 June 2008 (EDT)
Well, a while ago I did put forward the idea that godbotherers shouldn't be allowed to vote and was promptly stamped on. (not surprisingly!) So I suppose I'm only getting my own back, LOL. SusanG  ContribsTalk 07:48, 30 June 2008 (EDT)
Hard to believe that you said something quite that radical Susan.--Bobbing up 16:21, 30 June 2008 (EDT)
Disbelieve no more, Bob! She said it, and, as reported, got stamped on. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 03:31, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
That's... a bit too much. NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 09:20, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Common ground[edit]

I love this part near the end: "Oh, by the way... What is the chance evolutionists will vote or teach in the Kingdom of God?" The implied answer is that there is no chance. On this I agree 100%. However, I doubt that the reason I believe that there is no chance is far different from why the author believes that there is not chance. We have found common ground. --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 08:09, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

Common ground between you and the fundamentalists Edge. Impressive indeed.--Bobbing up 16:08, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

I kinda like the ad further down the newsletter questioning why the minerals we obtain by mining are "so conveniently located." Uhm, yeah. I'm sure mineworkers would agree that their jobs are convenient and effort-free. --Phentari 16:15, 30 June 2008 (EDT)
Apart from those oil-fields in Texas, Oklohoma etc. most oil is not conveninetly located. Either it is trapped in rocks covered either by several kilometres of water, particularly rough seas, or it is located in political unstable regions often with unpleasant climates burning heat or freezing cold. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 03:19, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Vote ... Kingdom of God. Methinks he doesn't know what "kingdom" means ... Nik 02:30, 17 April 2009 (EDT)

The Questions[edit]

In an honest effort to find out if it actually is possible to tell which are honest fundie sites and non-fundie parody sites, I have been chasing out IP for some responses. It is all in the talk page above but I'm afraid that it is being lost in the static, so I've copied the relevant parts below. --Bobbing up 04:16, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Is it really all that notable that self-proclaimed "rational free-thinkers" are too stupid to tell parody from the real thing? I'm an "irrational" fundamentalist and I had no problem discerning which of the listed websites were parodies. They are so poorly done that they are obvious to anyone with a functional brain. People who try to parody fundamentalism try too hard and end up failing miserably at their task. They don't even succeed at being funny. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Actually I've got a question for our unsigned editor. Could you tell me what is the the difference between the parody and the non-parody sites? It may be easier for you because you are "In the loop" so-to-speak. I know you say they "try too hard", but could you expand on this? Perhaps give a few concrete examples of both "legitimate fundamentalist" and and "parody fundamentalist". I don't mean the sites but actual statements. I mean this question in all seriousness and I'm interested in the answer.--Bobbing up 18:09, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
Ps. Could you also tell us if this one is a parody, 'cause we don't know. Thanks.--Bobbing up 08:07, 29 June 2008 (EDT)
Why don't you know? Shouldn't it be obvious for supposedly rational, intelligent people to tell what it is? Aren't only we drooling "fundie" morons supposed to not be able to tell? 00:17, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
Well, that's the whole point of Poe's Law isn't it? We can't tell the difference - you told us you could - and I asked for a few pointers and examples. I really would like to see them. (By the way when I say "fundamentalist" viewpoints I mean viewpoints which would be shared by fundamentalists and not shared by mainstream churches.) Thanks. :-) --Bobbing up 04:16, 2 July 2008 (EDT)


Do we haz access to "mouse-over" technology so's that the ROT-13 becomes plaintext upon mousing over said text? I think I seed something like the thing at CЯacke® 08:58, 13 September 2008 (EDT)

On trolling[edit]

Long ago, back in college, I trolled on usenet some. Not much, and I was not as proficient as some of the other trolls that I was familiar with. But I understood the basic mechanics of trolling without resorting to cross posting to conflicting newsgroups. The goal of a troll is to leave flaming wreckage behind them. As one person has difficulty flaming themselves the goal is then to bring two groups that are going to smash heads into contact with each other and then let them flame out while you quietly slip away to the next thread. One example of this could be to hit one of the forum holy wars in sideways -- find a newsgroup on processor design and make a naive (but educated!) post making a case that the 6502 processor was RISC, but misstate the argumet so that the '6502 is risc' crowd comes in and corrects you while the '6502 is cisc' group points out how the 6502 isn't a cisc design... and you've got the two groups in contact and flaming each other. If you don't believe me - this is a real holy war.

A parody website has a bit more difficulty in this (realize I stopped trolling in the days of NCSA Mosaic). You can't bring the two sides together easily - the best you can do is to get the other side to start foaming at the mouth and then you publish the responses. PETA is a good example of this - that is People Eating Tasty Animals. Another classic is Bonsai Kitten (browse the guestbook).

Another ranting religious crank on the web is nothing new[1] (I'm surprised I can't find Conservapedia there).

Without looking - - is it parody or real?

The goal of a troll is to get someone to go "no you're wrong wrong wrong wrong" while a true believer is trying to get their message out. --Shagie 04:53, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

While I agree with your premise, and don't argue with your credentials, your first link is "dead". So fuck off. Opps; !!! (five points.) But anyway, reality check: you're first link does not exist. You're nickname as a lot like "Shagggy" which is a lot like "Shag", which means "fuck" in Britlish I rest my (fragile, let it rest delicately!) case. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:21, 2 July 2008 (EDT)'s a fun site, but last I checked, the webmaster had quit updating it. A shame...CP would fit right in there. --Gulik 14:17, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

Regarding the 4 step proof[edit]

Has anyone tested whether or not they'll make good on the promised cash for refuting their proof? Because, you know, it's a ridiculous proof and pretty easily falsifiable.WilhelmJunker 10:51, 25 July 2008 (EDT)

From what I can remember, whenever somebody attempts to refute a part of the proof he simply repeats the proof, states how nobody has ever refuted it and if the discussion in question happens at his forum (bibliocality or something) he deletes and bans the person in question. He also has a tendency to spam crap wherever he's in, come to think of it, the guy is a lot like Conservative. NightFlarei haz a talk page. 14:09, 22 August 2008 (EDT)

Definition creep[edit]

I think we need to expand on the different ways Poe's Law is starting to be used. It started with the idea that someone will always mistake parody for the real thing, even 99 percent of the people realize it is parody. But I have seen it used a little differently now:

  • That any parody becomes indistinguishable from the real thing
  • That the real thing seems like parody to less crazy people

All three of these view have subtle and not so subtle differences in meaning. Anyone else have any thoughts on this? tmtoulouse annoy 14:04, 22 August 2008 (EDT)

Who the heck is "Poe?" The law should be: Parody is indistinguishable from sincerity. No need to fussy it up! 14:42, 22 August 2008 (EDT)
Poe est "Nathon Poe", a long time contributor as a defender of science on the internet. was his home turf, not sure if he is still there, I don't go there anymore. He made the law at that forum, where the evolution v. creation topic saw much random parody that was always getting flamed as if it was real. It has leaked out since that time. Name gives credit where credit is due, just like Godwin's Law. Still I think the three "versions" of the law above are different and need discussion in this article. tmtoulouse annoy 01:55, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

RationalWiki's Corollary Law[edit]

Anyone want to help formulate a corollary law that encompasses all three possible perturbations? tmtoulouse annoy 13:09, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

"Poeversion": Poe's Law and its corollaries
What's an example of something that's part fundamentalism and part parody? The two seem antithetical in spirit. Previous unsigned comment by 21 February 2010, 18:17 UTC
I admit that it wasn't easy to come up with a way of unifying the three statements, but I think this image sums it up. Or at least it helps to explain the full WTF. --Sid 16:01, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
Hehe, "RW, we do graphical representations even a Jinx hi Jinx! could understand!" ħumanUser talk:Human 17:16, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
I think there's still something wrong here. According to this graph, anything posted by a normal poster who is neither a parodist or a fundie (neutral position on the X axis) would always be perceived as parody. I have no idea how to fix it, though. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:22, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
It needs a third color: "neutral", which I think would form a diamond in the center? ħumanUser talk:Human 17:31, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
I have no idea what this image represents. <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>Chaos! 17:38, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
It's actually a recipe for cooking exo-skeleton-lacking invertebrates. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:49, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
I just considered that myself before checking back here, but then I reminded myself that Poe's Law (at least from what I understand) doesn't cover "normal" people - it is about people who claim to argue from a fundamentalist POV.
The sense of the X axis is to chart relative levels of parody and fundamentalism. So the middle of the X axis isn't "John Doe Uncontroversial Poster". In fact, you could argue that the perfect middle is practically undefined - it would be someone who doesn't go far enough in either direction and creates a weak parody.
However, I'm of course not saying that this graph is perfect or based on years of research. It was just my effort (after much head scratching) to map out the three conditions against the observer attitude, combined with my own observation: The more rational you are, the faster you assume/hope that someone is a parodist, even when it's not true.
You could make a similar graph about liberal/neutral/conservative views, though. --Sid 17:56, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
Ok, yes. I understand it now. That makes sense. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:22, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
I'm a gonna ponder on the layout a bit. This chart implies that any extreme fundyism will be seen by all as such, when the meat of Poe's Law is that those are the ones the Rationals are most likely to mistake for parody (doesn't it? kinda?). Anyway, the "green" should intersect the vertical axis on both edges, or at least the right, right? ħumanUser talk:Human 18:32, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
Ohhhhhh am I getting ideas or am I getting ideas. Be right back. tmtoulouse annoy 18:42, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
There is a problem with the current graph (and I was just fixing it when I saw your post): The two red areas should touch at the top - "it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing".
About the lower corners... hrm. I guess (without using gradients or other weird stuff) that the red/green border should go through the lower corners then? That would be the border case where not even the most rational guy isn't sure anymore. I don't really agree with that, but then again, this is Poe's Law, not Sid's Wishful Thinking :P
I'll throw up a new version in a minute. --Sid 19:00, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
New version uploaded as per comments above. Old version still available (for now?) in the image history. If you don't see the changes mentioned above, do a refresh of the image - it's possible that the cache needs a while to realize the update. --Sid 19:13, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
See my comment below re:gradients, great minds think alike, or some such. The "gradient" is the "perceived likelihood" of something being parody or real. Also grok the awesome chart I linked to. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:22, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

Image not displaying[edit]

This image (labelled "Visual representation of one possible arrangement of state space for Poe's Law") isn't displaying for me in this article. I have IE6, Windows XP.-- 04:40, 28 January 2009 (EST)

Strange, it's a perfectly normal GIF. Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 11:31, 28 January 2009 (EST)

The Poe Value[edit]

Thinking in terms of graphical representation it seems that we are basically dealing with a venn diagram of parody, versus real where the degree of overlap is a function of the extremism of the position being advocated like so:

Poe's law quick.PNG

So any representation has to take into account this fluctuating value. A position needs a "Poe value" which signifies the degree to which sincerity and parody overlap in perception. So say something like Wikipedia might have a low "Poe value" where parody is easily detectable where as Conservapedia is a larger one, with time cube being through the roof.

This also gets into classic signal detection theory where one could "measure" the Poe value based on the the hits and misses of detecting parody. High false positives or high false negatives would signal a high Poe value. tmtoulouse annoy 18:54, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

Addendum as Sid pointed out we also have to take into account the background of the observer. In signal detection theory, once more, we have a term called the "threshold" value in which something seems detectable to the person. The threshold value in which someone was able to correctly separate parody from reality compared to the threshold for other people would give an observer effect. So if you are threshold value is several standard deviations from the mean threshold value that means your own application of Poe's Law will differ from the norm. tmtoulouse annoy 19:00, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
Also to take into account is the "environment"? Like, a lot of CP would be instant parody elsewhere, but there, we expect it (that also relates to observer background, I guess). ħumanUser talk:Human 19:24, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
That's where the "poe value" comes in, a sight with a high low Poe value will trigger the assumption of parody much sooner. tmtoulouse annoy 21:10, 24 August 2008 (EDT)
That's why I suggested the "3 axis" format - poster mindset, observer mindset, and environment (perhaps on scale of Nature to Answers in Genesis or some such? (time cube is "off-scale")) ħumanUser talk:Human 21:14, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

Perhaps also, the colors above should be a gradient rather than discrete sections. As far as really makin' it kewl, go look up soil types at wikipedia and check out the three axis "chart" that is used to define them: (just trying to help ;)) ħumanUser talk:Human 19:18, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

P(real) = Q(e^{-x/k})+(1-Q)(1-e^{-x/k})

P(parody) = 1-(Q(e^{-x/k})+(1-Q)(1-e^{-x/k}))

Where P(real) is the intrinsic probability that a post is real, P(parody) the intrinsic probability it is parody, Q is the "Poe Value" for the site (the chance that any given statement of average extremism is parody), x is a value for how extreme an idea is within the paradigm it is operating in (0 is average up to infinity), and k is normalizing constant that controls how fast the probability changes in relation to the rate that X increases.

A non-biased person will assign a label of "parody" at 50/50 at the point of intersection between these curves, if the point where the person assigns at a 50/50 rate is greater than or less than the intersection of the curves the observer has an inherent bias.

I can graph some examples. And no cracks about too much time damn it. tmtoulouse annoy 00:45, 25 August 2008 (EDT)

Where's our customizable sidebar then, if you have too much free time? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:55, 25 August 2008 (EDT)
I told you no cracks about free time. This is more important anyway...or something. Besides it has been like a week since I have derived an equation. I wanted to play. tmtoulouse annoy 00:57, 25 August 2008 (EDT)
That wasn't a "crack", it was a gaping chasm! Equations, schmequations. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:09, 25 August 2008 (EDT)

Graphs of the equation above:

For all of these graphs, y is axis is the probability, x axis is the "extremism" with 0 being "average" up to whatever. Blue represents probability that something is not parody while red is the probability it is parody.

Poe graph 1.PNG

This is an idealized state where Poe's Value is 1, meaning that at the normal end and extreme end of the spectrum parody and non-parody are perfectly distinguishable. The black line represents the mark where a non-biased observer would split 50/50 on parody/non-parody, the green and purple lines represents observes whose 50/50 mark shows an inherent bias.

Poe graph 2.PNG

This graph is similar but with a more realistic Poe Value of 0.75.

Poe graph 3.PNG

This is an extreme version where Poe's Value is 0.5 meaning parody and non-parody are completely indistinguishable. Bias lines make no difference here.

Poe graph 4.PNG

Finally an example of a Poe's Value less than 0.5 which can be conceptualized as a paradigm where normal statements are more likely parody than not. Probably pretty rare or non-existent. But it is possible to map it.

tmtoulouse annoy 01:20, 25 August 2008 (EDT)

"too much time damn it"
PS I can hear crickets tonight, anyone want a quick .mpg for similar usage? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:26, 25 August 2008 (EDT)
Yea, yea yea, but this site is pulling in several 1000 views from google alone, plus another 1,000 or more from blog/forum links. This is are most active "entry point" that is non-cp related. No where else on the internet is this discussed in depth, and there is a "demand" for information about it since it is becoming more and more popular. Something inherent in the idea resonates with people. And it is just this sort of ultra-overboard analysis of an internet meme that rationalwiki is a perfect niche for :). Where else are you going to see a discussion like this? This is a microcosm of our Raison D'etre, so godspeed to your tumble weeds. tmtoulouse annoy 14:22, 25 August 2008 (EDT)

I have reformulated the above equations, the equations now return the likelihood that a given observer will "call Poe's Law" by enfolding a Bias term:

Case of Bias towards not perceiving parody: 
P(real) = B*(Q(e^{-(xB)/k})+(1-Q)(1-e^{-x/k}))+(1-B)

Case of Bias towards perceiving parody: 
P(real) = B*(Q(e^{-(xB)/k})+(1-Q)(1-e^{-x/k}))

P(parody) = 1-P(real)

Bias goes from 1 to 0 with 1 being "totally unbiased" to 0 being "completely biased." tmtoulouse annoy 15:09, 25 August 2008 (EDT)

At this point I think I am talking to myself, but anyway, before I forget, this equation creates an interesting point of analysis for trolling. There is essentially a "troll zone" around the intersection point of the P(real) P(parody). The zone around that intersection is ideal trolling zone and possible to create the most havoc. But the intersection point moves in response to the bias of the observer. So the "troll zone" for an observer inclined to see fundamentalism as parody is much closer to the y axis than with someone inclined not to see parody. For example, RW is probably more inclined to see parody than Andrew Schlafly, the difference in the intersection point likely explains why someone seems obvious parody to us, but not to Schlafly or why someone that seems sincere to us seems parody to Schlafly. tmtoulouse annoy 16:07, 25 August 2008 (EDT)

Why fundamentalism?[edit]

I like the recent expansions to the article, but I was recently thinking why this only applies to fundamentalism, specifically creationist and very right wing groups. Take the expression "As a Liberal, I think everyone should be forced to have an abortion", it's obviously parody and doesn't fall under Poe's law because no one appart from maniacs thinks that everyone should be forced to have an abortion. And anything that could be mistaken for a genuine liberal/libertarian (which I use mostly in opposition to ultra-neo-conservative) view isn't much of a parody. Even Liberapedia has trouble getting Poe'd. But the phrase "I think all atheists should be shot and their family's deported" does fall under Poe's law (Chuck Norris has essentially said something close to it and he's for real that people can tell). I suppose the answer is to do with how people judge rationality, i.e., by their own standards. To the real hardcore religious right, the view that "homosexuals are people too" or "the earth is billions of years old" is just simply far too outlandish to be considered serious, so in effect, to them it could be a parody (although this relativism isn't that convincing to me...). Any thoughts on this? Armondikov 07:10, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

Hmmm. Your example of "As a Liberal, I think everyone should be forced to have an abortion" might get Poed - by someone so far "right" that they imagine people on the far left really think that? In fact, many of the political phrases put into use by the right do the same strawmannish kind of thing - create Poe-like parodies of the opposition's position and promote them as what they actually stand for. Another example is a copy of the NH Free Press I picked up the other day - the opening paragraph on page one reads like a parody of what RumbleBee wanted our libertarian article to say. As do quite a few other parts of it. Of course, I can tell it's not parody (can I?) because of the context. However, could they tell if something was parody - say, if I tried to Sokal them with a letter? ħumanUser talk:Human 18:31, 31 August 2008 (EDT)
Having read some of the entries at the CAM wiki I'd say that complementary medicine could be included as well.--Bobbing up 07:46, 13 September 2008 (EDT)
I was recently sent a link to this with the comment "Can Poe's Law be applied to Hip Hop?". I'm starting to think it can really be applied to anything on the fringe of the mainstream. I recall a list of 100 fetishes that asked people to figure out the three "joke" ones, it was actually quite difficult to do. But of course, the concept of a joke fetish would violate Rule 36. Armondikov 09:41, 16 September 2008 (EDT)
Since when is hip hop "on the fringe of the mainstream"? ħumanUser talk:Human 18:55, 16 September 2008 (EDT)

Wet von Poe[edit]

International coverage!. I just got a kick out of that one. tmtoulouse annoy 11:09, 12 September 2008 (EDT)

Poe paradox[edit]

Should we merge Poe paradox into this? it's only a couple of paragraphs, and is basically just a twist on poe's law. Totnesmartin 05:30, 13 September 2008 (EDT)

I agree.--Bobbing up 07:22, 13 September 2008 (EDT)

Visual representation[edit]

I'm looking at the graphic - would it be better to put "perceived fundamentalism" and "perceived parody"?--Bobbing up 07:32, 13 September 2008 (EDT)

Stephen Colbert[edit]

Isn't Stephen Colbert the greatest example of Poe's Law?

In what way? Totnesmartin 08:38, 13 September 2008 (EDT)

An ultra-conservative woman who goes to the North Carolina School for the Arts once admitted that she likes Stephen Colbert more than John Stewart because Colbert is "Less biased." Colbert often uses fundamentalism in his arguments with his guests, and in his reports in general, like referring to the army's "Don't ask, go to hell" policy, saying "God used the holocaust to send the Jews a message," among others. Colbert was interveiwed Bill O'Reilly here [2], and that could be an extension of Poe's Law. I can't quickly find the source of the quotes, but the character of Stephen Colbert is a highly fundamentalist conservative (the actor, conversely, is very calm and rational), and he makes his money by taking everything to an extreme to parody it. I agree that Colbert, if he is not given his own section in this article, should at least be mentioned in the "Real Life Examples" section. 01:55, 16 September 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, except Colbert is totally "out of the closet" - anyone who thinks his schtick is real simply has no clue, isn't paying attention, etc. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:16, 16 September 2008 (EDT)
You're forgetting: People DON'T pay attention. 8 out of the first 10 replies to the post that outed antispore thought that the author was serious. Even if you put instructions in big red letters in a place where it's really obvious, people will still not follow them. The woman in my story was not that bright, but the fact that she mistook Colbert for being honest proves Poe's Law. 08:34, 16 September 2008 (EDT)
Good point. Also, it depends on how much exposure one has. Colbert isn't "the greatest example", but he certainly can and does Poe people. If someone just saw some bits of some shows, they could easily think he is "real". However, a tiny bit of research would dispel the idea. The better examples are the ones that can't easily be "outed", ones with no readily available explanations that they are parody. ħumanUser talk:Human 18:52, 16 September 2008 (EDT)
Then, should we add him to the list of "Known Parodies?" 11:40, 6 October, 2008 (EDT)
Um, sure, I guess? Like the CR needs us to "out" them? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:56, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

Exact wording[edit]

The "original" post linked to says "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is uttrerly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won't mistake for the genuine article." Which, when corrected, would read:

"Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won't mistake [it] for the genuine article."

Should we use this version in our main quote of it? Or is the version we use the "ultimate" improoved formulation? ħumanUser talk:Human 18:19, 13 September 2008 (EDT)

Hey! I was about to post exactly the same question. I think we should go with the original (creationist) and mention that it rapidly morphed into fundamentalism in general.--Bobbing up 03:03, 14 September 2008 (EDT)

Cover Story[edit]

Please do not archive this section

Well, it's a long and fairly well written article at the moment, not too serious but not too stuffed with goat to scare off young children. It's one of the big entry points for the site in general and well, the cover stories haven't changed for a while. Armondikov 09:18, 17 September 2008 (EDT)

Anyone else think yes or no on this? Since it's just had the Westboro link cleared off it (I can't believe we've missed it for that long), it's slightly more suitable now.ArmondikoVbomination 10:53, 24 November 2008 (EST)
Support - it's good, and it's currently our claim to fame. Make it so Allons-y! Totnesmartin 10:57, 24 November 2008 (EST)
BTW, I noticed a little bit of a "whoo-har" over at Wikipedia regarding this. Is that still on-going? Personally, I'd just go judgement of solomon and remove it from the list entirely :S The literary one isn't nearly in as much use as the fundie version but the fundie version doesn't have "real" references so sod both of them. ArmondikoVbomination 11:18, 24 November 2008 (EST)

Secular fundamentalism? WTH is that?[edit]

"rather any parody of fundamentalism, whether religious, secular, or totally bonkers." 23:15, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

Fundamentalism can emerge in any philosophical concept, particularly those that focus around social-cultural belief systems. I would say that certain constructs are more likely to produce fundamentalisms, but it can come from anywhere including secular corners. tmtoulouse annoy 23:26, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
There are a few people who think you can essentially apply the concept of Poe's Law to anything, even if the original law was specifically formulated for creationism and far-right fundamentalism (Special Poetivity vs General Poetivity perhaps?). Basically, whenever someone expresses a rediculous view and you can't tell if it's real or ripping the piss, it's a Poe. I've seen some idiots in heavy metal discussion boards that could certainly qualify, though it's certainly easier to describe the idea to fundamentalism because some of the beliefs there are so irrational that people with functioning brains really can't comprehend the idea that such a belief is real! ArmondikoVbomination 06:57, 24 November 2008 (EST)
I heard of this law before and was trying to figure out what it was. Upon finding it I was surprised to find that it mainly applied to religion. I could have sworn it could be applied to any subject. Here what sent me on my search for Poe's Law: [3] — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Oh, and if anyone has seen the "Free Singing Lesson" on YouTube by the girl with the really creepy eybrows, you'll notice that there's disagreement over whether she's taking the piss or has serious delusions of gradeur. If she's a parody, she's very committed to character (giving teary rants against "haters") and if she's for real, she's mentally ill. But it has nothing to do with religion, or even fundamentalism really. It's just "you can't be this fucking stupid, surely", which is the same reaction to, say, the FSTDT Top 100. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 15:41, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

The Web v Web 2.0[edit]

Not that I think this is worth a huge discussion, but I just reverted back to Web 2.0 (it's mostly a blogging thing) and didn't want this to turn into a random pointless revert war... Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 05:43, 24 November 2008 (EST)

I agree, it started with blogs but hasn't really left the blogosphere and gone into wider usage. Although a few people I know are aware of the term, they found it through blogs and only really use it in that context. If it ever breaks free of that constraint (a litmus test could be when it gets it's own wikipedia article) it could be considered to be a web-wide term. ArmondikoVbomination 07:01, 24 November 2008 (EST)


While searching for something else I came across conservatipedia which is either written by the world's weirdest conservative or is a pretty over the top parody. I'm about 110% convinced it's the latter, but it does have some "good" articles. Including Saying "Grace Prevents Heart Disease", "Should Atheism Be Illegal?" and "Should We Ban The Butt Plug?" The man really should write for CP.--Bobbing up 05:01, 16 December 2008 (EST)

"Fat disgusting whores are not part of God's plan, they're part of Satan's plan to destroy the moral fabric of society." Good to know. WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 05:18, 16 December 2008 (EST)
We have an article on Conservatipedia. Proxima Centauri 06:36, 16 December 2008 (EST)
As yes, so we do.--Bobbing up 11:02, 16 December 2008 (EST)


This article seems to spend more of its time protected than not these days, which is the sort of thing I thought we were against. All that happens any way is that as soon as the protection ends, our vandal returns.

While it's a minor inconvenience to us to revert the vandalism, isn't it better that than we embolden a petty vandal by protecting the article? Bondurant 10:45, 4 February 2009 (EST)

The vandalism looks like it might well be a bot, & either way it's using proxy IPs. I think temporary protection (even just an hour or two) is a sensible way to stem those kind of vandal attacks when they happen. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:40, 4 February 2009 (EST)
I agree. Plus, part of the fun of this site is rolling back petty vandalism! ħumanUser talk:Human 15:42, 4 February 2009 (EST)
I've just thought that a downside to protection is that you lose the chance to get fairly funny vandalism or the kind that's worth a read. ArmondikoVbomination 15:44, 4 February 2009 (EST)
(EC) Maybe, but I don't think that's very likely. I only protected for 2 hours and the vandal didn't come back (I'm pretty sure they'll be back tomorrow though), so next time whoever protects should try 1 or 2 hours too -- Nx talk 16:00, 4 February 2009 (EST)
I say this point wins. Neveruse513 15:54, 4 February 2009 (EST)
The current vandalism to this page isn't funny, though, just tedious and repetitive. Funny vandals can always target other pages if they feel the need to do so. KlapauciusEsteemed Constructor 15:56, 4 February 2009 (EST)
Agreed, but how would we know when the current vandalism would stop so that we could unprotect it? What would you think of a timed protection? And what is this guy's freakish obsession with Poe's Law? Neveruse513 15:59, 4 February 2009 (EST)
I think that a short (hour or two) protection is better than reverting the changes until the person/bot gets bored and leaves. The vandal bin won't work in this case, as the IP address changes with each edit. KlapauciusEsteemed Constructor 16:03, 4 February 2009 (EST)
Oh yeah, forgot to say that, I don't mind reverting a vandal once or twice (or four times) if he stops after that, but in this case they just wouldn't stop -- Nx talk 16:05, 4 February 2009 (EST)

Here we go again -- Nx talk 03:47, 5 February 2009 (EST)

This article was vandalised only occasionally until 31st January, when it was first protected. Since then, the more we protect it, the more it gets vandalised. Red flag. Bull. It's sending a message that we're getting irritated by it, and hence it happens more. In my opinion, any way. Bondurant 04:18, 5 February 2009 (EST)
What came first: the chicken or the egg? But if you insist, I won't protect it anymore. Our vandal's back now again -- Nx talk 04:26, 5 February 2009 (EST)
Ok, do you still want that vandal (possibly a bot) and me spamming recent changes? -- Nx talk 04:46, 5 February 2009 (EST)
It seems we have 3 options, I think:
  1. Semi protect the article permanently, with a message at the top explaining the reason and to discuss it on the talk page.
  2. Keep reverting all the wandalism as it happens.
  3. Let the bot / wandal have its fun for maybe 10 minutes until it has nothing left to wandalise and then just roll back to the last clean version.
Bondurant 04:51, 5 February 2009 (EST)
  1. No, that would be contrary to this site's ideals
  2. As you can see, that doesn't work. I'm pretty sure we are dealing with a bot here.
  3. The rollback button won't work if they use multiple IPs, and I'm against deliberately leaving vandalism unreverted just to make the vandal go away. Wouldn't that embolden the vandal even more, seeing that we let his vandalism remain?
IMHO it's best to just protect the page for a few hours when they strike -- Nx talk 04:57, 5 February 2009 (EST)
I should explain option 3. You can simply go to the history of the article, click on the last unsoiled version to open it. Click edit and then save that version again. Bondurant 05:01, 5 February 2009 (EST)
I know that, but that's 5 clicks instead of 1 -- Nx talk 05:03, 5 February 2009 (EST)
What we have now is effectively option 1 in any case. And it's not helping things. If anything, the attacks are getting worse as a result. Bondurant 05:05, 5 February 2009 (EST)
No. Only protect if there's a vandal attack, and only protect for an hour. -- Nx talk 05:08, 5 February 2009 (EST)

I'm in favour of the low-level protection (but that might be because I'm Ken in another incarnation). It doesn't prevent editing by logged in editors and saves the schlep of reverting the mindless BON stuff (of course, the downside is BON will move to another article.) Unless people are happy to keep on doing the same thing over and over. If we have the tools, use them. --PsyGremlinWhut? 05:13, 5 February 2009 (EST)

I shortened your lock because last time the vandal went away after a 2 hour lock, and didn't move to another article (which makes me believe it's a bot) -- Nx talk 05:16, 5 February 2009 (EST)

I really admire this guy's determination. Neveruse513 13:09, 5 February 2009 (EST)


This is why we need night mode, people. Wake up! Neveruse513 11:56, 6 February 2009 (EST)

Err ... STFU? ToastToastand marmite 11:58, 6 February 2009 (EST)'s getting kinda old. Neveruse513 11:59, 6 February 2009 (EST)
and it's daytime, anyways. TheoryOfPractice 12:29, 6 February 2009 (EST)
I really don't have time for semantics. Neveruse513 12:31, 6 February 2009 (EST)
Actually, you seem to have a lot of fucking time on your hands. TheoryOfPractice 12:33, 6 February 2009 (EST)
Touche. Neveruse513 12:34, 6 February 2009 (EST)

Protection, round 2[edit]

Can we just do an infinite autoconfirmed-only protect on this; the vandal hasn't stopped, and protecting it would do little damage. Word educated Hoover! 12:29, 6 February 2009 (EST)

Well, if enough people are online, reverting vandalism isn't much of a chore. Although it is annoying. However, I can't help but feel that -due the fact this targets Poe's Law and the call by one particular user to instigate a "night mode" or whatever- this may be an intentional attack that is trying to instigate a "slippery slope" here at RW. We constantly deride Conservapedia for locking articles and its entire database so RW opted for a fully open alternative. If we start on the slippery slope and slide down it, locking articles and restricting editing, then this aspect of freedom is gone and will probably be far more hassel to get back. ArmondikoVbomination 12:38, 6 February 2009 (EST)
(EC) And now it does how much damage? ToastToastand marmite 12:40, 6 February 2009 (EST)
We got d-bags who refuse to lock anything (even during night hours). We got d-bags who refuse to stop trolling. Add that to the d-bags who can't decide on a voting procedure and welcome to RW. But I agree, the status quo is fine IMO. Neveruse513 12:43, 6 February 2009 (EST)
(EC) It gets damn annoying reverting wandalism from several IPs, as you can't use rollback. Word educated Hoover! 12:43, 6 February 2009 (EST)
Locking it - not gonna kill you. Leaving it unlocked - not going to kill you. Not being able to decide what to do - that might kill you. Neveruse513 12:46, 6 February 2009 (EST)
Decisions. We have made them -- Nx talk 12:48, 6 February 2009 (EST)
Then it's settled. Neveruse513 12:50, 6 February 2009 (EST)

<bitching> By the way, we've got bureaucrats in Europe, US, & Oceania I don't think there is a night time for us. ToastToastand marmite 12:56, 6 February 2009 (EST)

By the way, I didn't name it "night mode". If the nomenclature is all that's holding it up, I'm sure we can work something out. Neveruse513 12:58, 6 February 2009 (EST)
like you STFU? Can we work that out? TheoryOfPractice 13:02, 6 February 2009 (EST)
God damn, you are hooked, son. Neveruse513 13:03, 6 February 2009 (EST)

A quick look at the edit history of the article tells me that you're problematic IPs are spambots. Protecting the article will neither deter nor embolden them, since they're presumably automated. Hell, you could call them raging faggots while reverting them and it wouldn't make a difference. 13:12, 6 February 2009 (EST)

Yet another reason to permanently restrict editing to autoconfirmed users. Word educated Hoover! 13:15, 6 February 2009 (EST)
My view on this was that when we were simply reverting the wandalism, there'd be maybe 5 attempts and then it'd stop and they'd try again later as (I assume) they knew it was being watched. They'd come back again later, maybe, but it seemed to be infrequent. Now, with the protection, it seems that the wandalism goes into overdrive the moment the protection ends, and anyone can see when it ends in the logs.
So then what? We could perma-semi-protect this article and it'd stop. But the wandle could then simply target another article and it'd start again. We'd be on a slippery slope to semi-protecting the whole site. Is that a bad thing? Maybe not, but it would mean a change in our principles, which I think were founded on good reasons. Bondurant 13:23, 6 February 2009 (EST)

I am shocked! What sort of twisted individual would use spambots to vandalize such a fine, upstanding site as this? 13:48, 7 February 2009 (EST)

Almost certainly parodies[edit]

An IP gave us sex in Christ as an unknown. Given the content I created a new section. Any thoughts?--Bobbing up 16:03, 7 March 2009 (EST)

It's obviously a joke. ħumanUser talk:Human 18:26, 7 March 2009 (EST) Thoughts? Mattev (talk) 19:57, 5 August 2009 (UTC)


This look familiar to anyone? - User \scriptstyle(6\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}n^{-2})^{1/2} 09:47, 24 April 2009 (EDT)

That's pretty funny :p Scarlet A.pngpathetic 15:44, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Pow paradox 2[edit]

As soon as a parody is taken seriously by a fundamentalist, the fundamentalist himself becomes the genuine installment of what up until that point was only a parody. Thus, the parody starts to reflect an actual sentiment and makes the response by the next fundamentalist' inapplicable to Poes Law because it is no longer a mere parody. -- 04:57, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, I think that is the art of what parodists at conservapedia try to do - get their parody accepted and enshrined as if it belongs there. Of course, there is a fine line between simply writing what they'd write and managing to encode a sly joke in the work that will survive. Is that the sort of mechanism you are referring to? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:15, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

"real world examples"[edit]

Isn't that section getting a little long and unwieldy? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:29, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

I took a look at Christwire and the Paliban site. Christwire is juvenile humor, Paliban seems half-serious. I'd not call it "in the same vein", for sure. Made a minor edit.Mattev 16:35, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

I come here again to say the same thing. Total cruft-bloat, surely we can pare this down to really good examples and leave a comment to discuss here before adding any more? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:22, 2 August 2009 (UTC)


The current article says "it is hard to tell fake fundamentalism from the real thing, since they may both espouse equally extreme beliefs. Poe's law also works in reverse: real fundamentalism can also be indistinguishable from parody fundamentalism". If x is indistinguishable from y then y is, ipso facto, indistinguishable from x. Someone who thinks this page is worthwhile at all (ie someone who has seen some proper data supporting the indistinguishability claim) ought really to fix it. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Just chiming in with a side note: The way I read the sentence, it's not illogical, though you can argue that it's somewhat redundant. --Sid 23:43, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
"Indistinguishable" is a bad choice of word - the point of Poe's Law is that parody can sometimes be mistaken for genuine extremism, & vice-versa, not that the two are identical. I've swapped out the word "indistishable" but don't see any problem with the rest of the statement. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:50, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree the definition needs work. It appears to be an illogical attack on conservatism. It's so illogical, I can't tell if the law is serious or not, so by it's own definition, it's an example of itself (probably not allowed in normal rational discussions). SOMEONE (the definition's rhetorical emphasis) in the world looking at ANYTHING will not be able to tell the difference between a parody and the real thing.

Attacking people for being stupid is no more admirable than being stupid. Working together for mutual profit through economic means (which i call the definition of "love") is the basis of all advances in human society. No professional attacks stupid people out of hatred when there is mutual profit to be obtained, or at least profit on the more intelligent side. Colbert-type attacks via sarcasm is evidence of injury from stupid people in the past and inability to stop current harm being done. But it's hard to argue that such sarcastic attacks improve society. This wiki needs to keep this in mind. Zawy 14:45, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

What is wrong with the definition specifically? It's not an attack on conservatism at all, yet alone an illogical one. I don't think there's much "conservative" about PETA, yet their Sea Kitten's campaign is one of the best examples of where an extremist view is so over-the-top, so off-the-wall that people think it must be someone having a laugh rather than being serious. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 15:30, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Calvinists for Conservatism[edit]

You can't tell from the site content itself, however having some knowledge of the political blogosphere leads me to believe that the person who created that site is also the same person who created an earlier blog known as Blogs for Brownback, posing (at least I think) as an ultra-conservative person who supported the Presidential candidacy of Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback. That blog's proprietor commented at left-wing snark/humor site Sadly, No! ( frequently, and was thought by the regulars there to almost certainly be a parody, if a little too involved at times.

Best yet, Blogs for Brownback could be taken as a parody of (the unfortunately very real) Blogs for Bush (now called Blogs for Victory), which was a frequent target of the aforementioned Sadly, No! blog. 01:29, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

After looking at a few of the early comment threads, I've noticed that Calvinists 4 Conservatism was created by a commenter at Blogs 4 Brownback, possibly with the encouragement of Psycheout. The writing style seems different from Blogs 4 Brownback, though. C4C's comment section is almost entirely conservative (many of which appear to be sincere), while B4B's comment section was almost entirely trollish and liberal.
Blogs for Bush is definitely the website B4B was intended to parody, though. I loved it when they got one of the regulars, Jeremiah, to write for them. C4C also has a couple of Jeremiah posts. BassoonsAreSexy 22:37, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Poe Nightmare[edit]

I would like to see Poe Nightmare added to the article, but I thought it best to get some feedback first. I've been using the expression "Poe Nightmare" to describe a mental state to others, during my parody experiment at a Creationist discussion forum. When participating as a parody creationist, it became very difficult to distinguish between my parody and the statements of the self-professed creationists. Everything began to look like parody. An uncomfortable cognitive dissonance resulted from knowing I was a parodist and others were supposedly fundamentalists. I began to wonder whether the fundamentalists were parodists too. The only way to escape the nightmare was to look for signals in the fundamentalists dialogue to reassure myself they were in fact fundamentalists.

To me a Poe Nightmare is:

"A state of mind experienced by the paradist who engages in prolonged discussion with fundamentalists. The parodist experiences a cognitive dissonance, in which parody and authenticity becomes difficult to distinguish, and throws the parodists into self-doubt. In the proces the parodist is compelled to search for signals in the fundamentalists dialogue to reassure themselves - they are in fact talking to a fundamentalist."

However, the nightmare doesn't stop there. When talking in parody to other known parodists, cognitive dissonance also occurs and the parodists feels a sense of confusion. The parodist is amused by the other parodist, but at the same time knows their dialogue could be something that is genuinely stated by a fundamentalist.

Here are instances in which the phrase "Poe nightmare" has been used.

Here is were I describe my experience with fundamentalists:

Loungehead: The dangerous thing about EFT is when I started to parody them, it really did my head in. The difference between my posts and those of YEC became indistinguishable. It became a Poe nightmare.

Here I refer to Poe Nightmare while talking to a fellow parodists:

Loungehead: Stephen, you make me laugh and cry at the same time. It's a Poe Nightmare. I don't know if its piss or plagiarism.

In a forum search I've notice someone else has used the term at least a year before I have:

ravenscape (June 1, 2008, 10:20 AM): I can't distinguish irony or sarcasm any more. I live in a Poe's Law nightmare. The above is just a vagrant thought left floating in my empty head after reading a few threads this afternoon.

Feedback please.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Interesting observation, and certainly true. There's the case where Bugler on Conservapedia turned out to be a parodist but almost definitely went along with other parodists and odd things happened. And indeed, post-Colbert Conservapedia probably has more parodists than real fundamentalists doing the average edit. But we'll have to see if the term catches on - I think it's worth a separate entry as it says a lot more about the willingness for people to jump on a bandwagon or wandalism or mockery. "I don't know if its piss or plagiarism" is a phrase I could get very used to. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 20:30, 16 November 2009 (UTC)


According to a particular WP editor (who is usually right, I find) we've got it wrong: The original has “a Creationist" rather than “fundamentalism”. Comments? I am eating Toast& honeychat 02:15, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Look at the OP, it is link to on the page. - π 02:16, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually read the history section we have it there. - π 02:17, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

The picture[edit]

Is the "visual representation" correct? If it is, then I clearly do not understand it. Would someone please explain it to me? It would make sense to me that a rational person would always see parody rather than the real thing, but unless I am reading the graph wrong that belief is incorrect. Tetronian you're clueless 01:35, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

According to the graph the "rational" reader always sees "parody". I don't think that's correct, as I recall the graphic was just slapped together and never really finished. We should probably pull it... ħumanUser talk:Human 20:01, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Or at the very least figure out what the hell it means and put a caption under it. Tetronian you're clueless 20:49, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually it always puzzled me, but I thought I was just dumb.--BobNot Jim 20:50, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Hang on, I think I get it now. According to the picture, a rational person will always see parody, a fundamentalist will never see parody, and most importantly, a person in the middle will not recognize extreme fundamentalism but will recognize "milder" fundamentalism. Tetronian you're clueless 20:53, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
(EC) If we're going to have a dumb made-up graph, we could make a more funnier one. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:54, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

North Korean news[edit]

The KCNA site is legit; it's hosted in Japan and maintained by one of the many pro-North expat Korean groups.

OBJECTIVE: Ministries[edit]

OBJECTIVE: Ministries is described as a parody in the 'Test yourself' section and as a 'Known parody' in that section. I actually think it all seems legit, except for the kids' page, although it can be so hard to tell... Can someone clear this up? CK

Obvious parody. PACODOGwoof, bitches 05:12, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
A site that says — to children — that Cain had INCEST in order to populate the earth(even though God could have used another way) must a parody or made by very stupid people. — Unsigned, by: ColbertFan / talk / contribs
Fairly sure it was outed as a parody a while ago. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:30, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Silver and stuff[edit]

Sorry guys, I have temporarily dropped this from Gold to Silver because, frankly, the second half of the article is a mess and that "poe's law limit" thing is completely citation free. I've tried briefly to look for where that story came from, but can't find it. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 22:12, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Don't forget to edit Template:Coverstory to reinsert it once it's gold again (follow the instructions in the edit notice) -- Nx / talk 22:16, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, it's right around there that the article starts to fall apart - it's quite up through the Paradox section. And the Limit bit would be ok with a cite or two. After that, well, I think everybody and his brother wanted to add their favorite examples and it turned into a mess. If we could somehow prune all that chaff (sorry bout the mixed metaphor) by about 80% it would be a good thing. Oh, and the silly ROT-13 answer to the quiz should just be a link to section far enough below it to be off-screen, I think. Or is there a way to replace the "number" in a footnote link to a word (like "solution below")? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:38, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
A "solution" ref group would be best. -- Nx / talk 22:40, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Alternatively: Mouse over to see solution solution -- Nx / talk 22:41, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Either mouse-over or a collapse box - as its far down the page, the issue with it appearing uncollapsed as the page loads is less than collapse boxes at the top. Or even further, take the entire list of things that we know are real and we know are fake and generate a random quiz, could be fun! Scarlet A.pngpathetic 22:49, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Collapsebox is too much clicking and needs javascript. -- Nx / talk 22:55, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Okay. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 22:56, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
(EC) I like collapsebox. And it's only one click, isn't it? Have many people failed to install js? Or browse with it disabled? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:58, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Definitely needs fixing up, considering we're #1 in results for "poe's law" in Google. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 23:00, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
If it's the list of examples you're talking about, that could be a subpage. It seems a shame to drop it altogether. Examples might be what people want to see when visiting this page from Google searches. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 09:11, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
I would recommend ignoring the troll/bitch Nx who never edits articles, and deleting most of the cruft in this article. I would also advise looking at old diffs to see how good it was. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:21, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that it "used to" be good, as much that our standards have raised slightly since this was put on the cover. Anyway, I have implemented a few changes to the "test yourself" section and totally re-organised the examples section. If a few people check it over and okay it, this can probably go back on the cover. The issue of citing that "limit" thing is still there, however, I'll probably just strip it to talk until we can find what its referring to, or find another example - the idea seems "okay" but not essential. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 14:39, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Poe's Law limit[edit]

The "Poe's Law limit" is a further expansion to Poe's Law, which applies when the concept is taken to extremes. It is defined as:

The point in an e-mail exchange when it becomes apparent that the fundamentalist involved is utterly oblivious to the fact that he is a walking incarnation of Poe's Law, incapable of behaving otherwise, and that any further interaction with him would serve only as sport (affording him more opportunities to produce humorous self-caricatures), since the conversation no longer has any prospect of increasing net global knowledge or changing anyone's mind.

The phrase dates back to no later than March 2010, during an interchange with abortion opponent Karl Jenkins, who introduced the term "women in the womb" in an apparent effort to persuade feminists in the discussion that abortion involved mass murder of women.[citation needed] Several other participants pointed out that, while every womb has a woman on the outside, none of them has a woman (by definition, an adult human female) on the inside. It gradually became apparent that Jenkins thought he was making a serious point, which deserved to be taken seriously. He evidently believed that "women in the womb" would be the decisive argument which turned other participants in the discussion against abortion, and he failed to even acknowledge the prospect that it was bombastic hyperbole. Among the other participants were:[citation needed]

  • Margaret Downey of the Freethought Society
  • Marie Alena Castle of Atheists for Human Rights
  • Edd Doerr of Americans for Religious Liberty
  • Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation

Different participants in the discussion reached their own personal Poe's Law limits at different times, giving rise to speculation that it might be a quantum (i.e., observer-dependent) phenomenon.

The above was cut from the article pending us figuring out what the hell it means. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 14:40, 9 June 2010 (UTC)


Visual representation of one possible arrangement of state space for Poe's Law
I think this article has been made worse by the addition of so much weird cruft. Did we remove that awful diagram yet? ħumanUser talk:Human 14:47, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I think the diagram works. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 14:51, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Except in light of the paradox, now I'm thinking about it. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 14:55, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I have never been able to follow that diagram, and I have tried dozens of times. A graphic should make something easier to understand, not harder. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:38, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
That's the problem with most of the "formalisations" - if you get it, then fine, if not, the blame should be put on the article as its job is to explain things clearly. The red/green thing kind of does make sense and is an interesting interpretation. But I don't think it's an accurate representation of the issue and it's clearly also confusing things for some. Possibly drop the entire section or revisit how it came about in the first place? Scarlet A.pngpathetic 19:03, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Cut awful graphic to here. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:00, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

"One approach to formalization has been to use a Cartesian graph to visually represent the state space of when something which is perceived as either parody or real fundamentalism. The y-axis represents the bias of the observer, while the x-axis represents the intentions of the poster. One such example is illustrated to the right. In this case it is assumed that a more rational observer is more likely to see parody in fundamentalist positions than a fundamentalist observer is. The actual area taken up by perceived parody or fundamentalism will change depending on the background to the issue and the location of its publication."

Parody of explanation that goes with it. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:02, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

I just deleted two sections[edit]

Sorry, meant to make it easy to revert me if I was wrong, and by doing two in a row it's not so easy. For a "gold"/cover story article, this thing has become piss-poor. Misspellings? Bad grammar? And a section encouraging every bored innertuber to add their favorite weird site? I dunno. This article should not be sprawling, it should be tight. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:01, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

I think an article like "List of Poe's Law examples" would be a better place for them. - π 05:11, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
Excellent idea!!!! I will do to atone for my sins. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:13, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
We should start a Poe's Law project. I will write an essay "Does Nathan Poe have Macheesemo?" - π 05:16, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
Hahahaha! But anyway, I came back here to say thank you thank you thank you, I wish I thought of simply moving that stuff to its own article. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:20, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
Forks are good, but not quite as good a sporks. - π 05:21, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
Skorts are evil, you can never see the goodies no matter how hard you look. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:28, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

I think with Armondikov's two further deletions the article is a lot better. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:01, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

A way around Poe's Law?[edit]

Can a non parody be identified by the amount of work that went into it? An example wuld be the web site devoted (still) to proving that George W Bush is the antichrist. [4]. Surely no parodist is going to spend the hundreds of hours this site took on a mere parody.

Potentially, but some people take delight in highly elaborate hoaxes and pranks. Consider "modern" crop circles. There is also some classic literature which is essentially parody, which required great effort to produce. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:00, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Mmmmmm... Babies.... Quaru (talk) 02:10, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Weinglass's Corollary[edit]

Hi, I'm Weinglass and I don't feel like making an account. I'd like to suggest the following corollary to Poe's law: It's also impossible to take fundamentalism seriously, at least until they start chucking grenades at you.

Thanks for your attention.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 0:04, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Are grenades a metaphor for ignorance, hatred and general wingnuttery? If so, yes. Chthonios (talk) 20:22, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that's the general idea. Cheers — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 20:51, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

ColbertFan's Law[edit]

ColbertFan's Law states that a creationist will mistake a parodist as one of there own, and then use some of the parodist's arguments. Colbert|Fan ... of libertarians? 22:02, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

ColbertFan Blue Talk 22:14, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Aces Law states that if the glass is half empty a new bottle will be purchased. Ace of Spades 22:10, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Human's law states that if the bottle is in danger of being half empty, Ace's account will be charged for a full reserve supply. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:39, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
I have that says something about if you don't fail to not un-deconvolute the double negatives... Scarlet A.pngpathetic 11:49, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

More fame[edit] - a book done by Rob Manuel of , a site for bored graphic designers and meme addicts - David Gerard (talk) 20:07, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I want that graphic for somewhere on this site. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 21:32, 25 March 2011 (UTC)


I typed in "RationalWiki" into Twitter's search bar, and there were several hits of people tweeting various RW pages. Poe's Law was easily over half of them. I don't know if some of these tweets are from our users, but that is kinda nice. Aboriginal Noise Oh, what a lovely tea party! 22:36, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

This is pretty much the go-to article for that subject. It's still very commonly spread around. At any one time there's at least 2-3 links to it if you type "RationalWiki" into Facebook, and that's considerably less open than Twitter. ADK...I'll vote your oddball! 22:45, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I lie there, it's th Scientific evidence of evolution being a hoax article that's still doing the rounds from the last slash-dot attack. ADK...I'll exemplify your icicle! 22:46, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Poe's Law is not the original form of this idea[edit]

In 2001, Poe's law was originally formulated as Alan's Second Law of Usenet (by Alan Morgan posting on Usenet's forum). Following the familiar schema of Arthur Clarke's Third Law ("Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"), Alan's 2nd law (as found on this blog) is:

* Any sufficiently advanced parody is indistinguishable from a genuine kook.

Morgan's originally phrasing of the law was "Any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a kook." — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 03:14, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

...and? It's sort of basic logic that you can find somebody for a certain view, except for one you literally made up on the spot to try and disprove it--Mikalosa (talk) 03:19, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

If that is true, then why bother attributing a law to anyone at all? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 03:25, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Mikalosa, you can't argue the fact that Alan's 2nd law is essentially the same idea as Poe's law. So long as Alan's 2nd law predated Poe's law, it must be seen as having precedence. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 03:27, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Age =/= Precedent or importance. Who is this guy? Never heard of him. Looked it up on tvtropes, didnt see much on there from my skim. Never 'eard of the rules. He isn't important and NOBODY is going to give a damn if we dont mention him. also make a fucking account or learn to sign your posts--Mikalosa (talk) 03:33, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Alan Morgan is just this guy from Usenet. Maybe that's why it is "Alan's Laws" and not "Morgan's Laws."

Anyway, if you agree with me that Poe's Law is important, then you will also agree with me that the history of the idea is important. I am merely pointing out that the observation which we now call Poe's Law was formulated prior to 2005. At least once, in 2001, on the the Usenet forum

Though I don't feel like looking it up in an archive of decade old postings, its existence is also testified to by the link I provided above (the "soquoted" blog). So if it really happened, and if it really happened prior to 2005, and at least some people noticed it, I feel as though we can make mention of it here. Isn't that fair? Not trying to steal Poe's thunder, just pointing out that this idea was batted about before Mr. Poe thought of it. And it was nicely and succinctly put, making allusion to a well-known maxim by the esteemed Arthur Clarke. (talk) 03:49, 13 October 2011 (UTC)Zane

Yah, and it wasnt first made by alan i can fucking tell you that. Beyond that, no, it ISNT important about the terms history. thats irrelevant to anybody NOT writing a fucking paper on the term an anybody doing that is insane. --Mikalosa (talk) 03:52, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

No reason to get sore. And you are right that I can't prove Alan Morgan captured the idea first. But I can demonstrate that Nathan Poe was not the first. So at least I thought it would be ok to include two lines in the History section of the awesome article that mentioned his contribution. It seems reasonable. I am not replacing anything about Poe. Just adding a line about Alan. As to your question regarding Alan's importance -- well I never said he was all that notable. Maybe that is why he called them "Alan's Laws" and not "Morgan's Laws".

Who the hell is Nathan Poe, anyway? (talk) 03:59, 13 October 2011 (UTC) Zane

Actually, if we can reliably source an earlier use it would be interesting.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:05, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article lists two previous sightings - both referenced. One is the Alan Morgan, the other is older still, Jerry Schwarz in 1983. Maybe we should steal them. Bad Faith (talk) 07:27, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Here's the great thing about earlier formulations of something; people will only dig them out of the woodwork (or even recognise them) until the "later" idea spreads and becomes common. I'm sure if you looked hard enough you could find formulations going back decades - and I seriously doubt Nathan Poe himself was ever aware of any of them. This is, incidentally, why most literary theory is bullshitting. The "true originator" is usually completely irrelevant except for reasons of jacking yourself off, what matters is what idea survived and spread. ADK...I'll defenestrate your bluejay! 07:55, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
So... Poe's Law is another victim of Saunt Lora's Proposition that every idea has already been thought of? Not surprising, as every idea has already been thought of... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 12:03, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Interesting that Wikipedia now has a Poe's Law article. That battle's been raging for years. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:31, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Daniel Butler's Corollary[edit]

I have successfully proved that all posts are trolling. See my Google + post for full writeup.

Basically using the quantum superpositions theory a post is both trolling and not trolling until it is observed to be one or the other. By poes law you can not tell if a post is trolling unless they tell you so like ";)" Therefore its both trolling and not or it is trolling therefore it is always trolling. Rekh127 (talk) 22:22, 19 October 2011 (UTC)