Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

16 Nov 2001, 0:11 a.m.

I actually own and have sort of started Shirer's classic,…

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2001 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I actually own and have sort of started Shirer's classic, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which I bought for a buck at a thrift store next to the S-Mart Foods in Stockton. A Political Psychology discussion weeks ago reminded me of this, and of the question: Does Godwin's Law apply if one is actually discussing Nazi Germany?

The answer is, of course it does, since Godwin's Law is not actually some normative tool about winning or losing but simply an observation that, "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." Usenet tradition might say, "Someone made a Nazi comparison, game over," but (unfortunately?) I can't use that excuse to walk out of my Political Psych lecture.