There's already a well-established set of unofficial laws -- more like truths, really -- about the Internet. There's the classic Rule 34, which states, "If it exists, there's porn of it." There's Godwin's law, which states, "As a discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." And there's Poe's law, which states, "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."
Just as the world of science evolves as new truths are discovered, adding to the tapestry of our understanding of the world, so too should our laws of the Internet. As the technology evolves and more people, experiences, and ideas are added into the mix, we need new truths to cover all the bases. Here are four we can add to the list.
james steidl/iStock/Getty Images
Start a conversation on the Internet in which random people can join in and voice their opinion on a non-political topic and sooner or later someone will derail it all by attempting to place all the blame for everything on a political faction they don't agree with. This isn't exclusive to one party. People of every political affiliation do it, and they do it regardless of topic.
Maris Zemgalietis/iStock/Getty Images
"Pfft! Fuckig rePUGlicans ruin everything!"
In a Huffington Post article about some recently discovered 19th century erotic drawings, one of the first 10 commenters blames conservatives for making us all believe such images are dirty and shameful. Everyone else came to the comment section ready to laugh at doughy 19th century folks going to town on each other's junk. Don't bring politics into the fondled junk of 19th century fornicators. That should be a law in and of itself.
"Stupid libTARDS and their JEEEEW media!"
These commenters think they can see the Matrix code of life -- the plan of it all, the unquestionable truth of everything. The large pin board in their brain is loaded with newspaper clippings and strings linking them together to form an intricate web of blame. At its center, where all the strings meet, is the word "Republicans" or "Democrats" or "that motherfucker Ralph Nader." No one in real life wants to deal with their hyper-political rants, so they surf the Internet and spread their whiny bullshit far and wide, for all visitors of the comment sections to smell and step in.
Lies are all over the Internet. Add in the deception of marketing and you've got clear evidence that the Internet is run by a fur trapper who has gone digital and graduated to humans. Multiple download buttons on a download page are the digital manifestation of this Internet evil.
Four buttons, and not even one riddle to help figure it all out.
All you're looking for is a plug-in or, soon to be ironically, a free antivirus. You Google around and end up on a site that, if it were a neighborhood street, it would be the kind that makes you want to roll up your windows and death grip your pepper spray. There you will find a download button, usually big and green. And then another, bigger, greener; it looks way more fun to click. It's a party in a button. And maybe even another, but this one is blue and small and off to the side. You pretty much have the same choice to make as the guy at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Wisely choose the correct button and your computer will continue living. Choose poorly and your computer will look like this:
You need years of experience traversing nefarious sites to properly navigate the minefield of download bars, or an Internet Sherpa to tell you not to step in yak shit as you climb the mountain of download bars. An incalculable number of your grandmother's PCs have been lost to duplicitous download bars that are basically a box with a spring-loaded boxing glove inside waiting to be opened so it can punch your computer with computer cancer. And it's hard to blame grandma; those things are tricky. They prey on the fact that we respond to symbols. Seeing that big green download button makes us want to click it. In doing so, we ignore the button's fine print, because no other button in the universe has fine print.
That guy out there who loves offering high-fives and then callously takes back his hand and gives you a "Too slow!" has grown. He's matured. He's since gotten into Internet marketing and specializes in fucking with us through download buttons.