On The Limit of Poe’s Law (of which there isn’t any)

October 21, 2009

Often times, I like to think of Poe’s Law of absurdity, which according to rationalwiki: “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”

Another way to describe it is:

As limit of fundamentalism approaches infinity,

A_{fundamentalism}=A_{satire}

A being the absurdity values.

I know I know, putting it in math notation is useless, but I like math expressions. ^_^

Although I don’t think it has to be necessarily a fundamentalist idea, but any idea so absurd as to render satire meaningless. But then again such ideas seem to be fundamentalist in nature, so I come back full circle. Such ideas are inherently fundamentalist, I guess. That is the thing about extremist views, though. It does exactly what satire does, it takes a horrible premise,  and takes its logic to the furthest extreme possible, which is why satire and fundamentalist views are so similar. This is something slacktivist writes much better than I do, so I recommend you go there.

The reason I am doing this post is that I have been thinking hard about this. It seems like there truly is no limit to the absurdity that people will go through in order to maintain their belief. For some reason, this disturbs me greatly. Especially because I can’t understand their mindset, I can’t empathize, there is no way for me to see their point of view. It feels completely unphysical, as if something so absurd as that shouldn’t exist, and yet, they do. Take the following video, for example, of Colbert “supporting” Glenn Beck:

In that video, Colbert, which is a satire, compares Beck’s own performance to his. See how eerie it is to see Colbert compares himself to Beck? Beck feels and looks like a satire. The thing is, if Beck is dishonest and he is lying about his sincerity, that just makes him another Poe, albeit a dangerous one. You see, there are millions who watch Beck, and believe it is actual news. Can you see how astonishing that is? It implies that people are watching actual satires, and thinking that is news. Even if Beck is sincere, the implication of such is disturbing. The masses are unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy, finding comfort in maintaining their beliefs, acting selfishly at the expense of others. Also, the thing is, there are tons of other people who support crazy right wing policies like him, not only from the general public, but people at the position of authority. Plus, when you find that there are people who think that a measly 2 ton spacecraft can alter the orbit of a giant ball of rock, I can’t help it, but find myself depressed.  And that is the kind of situation we find ourselves in 21st century America.

Look at the following video, it is something you can’t possibly make up:

Once again, if you take Republican logic of voting against the bill that would prevent rape in defense contractor workplaces to its full extent, yes, they are supporting rape, or they just don’t care. Such position is so indefensible, it is a wonder that they are not being fired at this very moment. At this time, I come wondering, what if not only is the absurdity of fundamentalism=satire, what if there is no singularity, what if fundamentalist absurdity is so ridiculous it can’t possibly be a satire? Because if it were a satire, it would be such a ridiculously unclever satire. Or it could be a point in which the fundamentalist idea reaches to the absurdity before a satirist even has a chance, or even beats the full extent of the ridiculous outcome of the satire.  in which case, we are almost there. I call that hypothetical point the Poe’s equillibrium. It is like a black hole’s event horizon, or the chandrasekhar’s limit, it is extremely hard to reach, but once there, the results are quiet explosive (spaghettification AKA rack extremo and supernova, respectively).

Of course, there is a cure for all of that, and that is a good education and skepticism. Unfortunately, those doesn’t seem to be a high priority for these people, and they delightfully relish in their ignorance. Ignorance is good, knowledge is bad. After all, experts are just corporate shills. Who needs experts when you have got the “University of Google.” Irony escapes them because while accusing others of being shills, they themselves are shills, gaining money using bogus facts and evidence.

Seriously, humanity can’t get any more disappointing.

 

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