John Cole’s Law

Cole writes:

As always, every attempt to justify torture inevitably returns to the mythical ticking time-bomb scenario, and we are now to the point that we need a sort of Godwin’s Law for this, as it is inevitable that any discussion of torture will lead to ticking time bomb scenarios. In the most recent version, Reuel Marc Gerecht takes us back to September 7th, 2001, and says, basically- “What about then? Then would you torture?”

To hell with another Godwin’s Law, the answer is right there on the page.  Cole brought it up, Cole gets it. I hereby argue for (and christen?) Cole’s Law which could be stated as either:

A:”The longer any internet discussion on US torture grows the probability of reference to a hypothetical ticking-time bomb scenario approaches one.”

Or

B:”Any internets discussion of US torture–including references to ‘enhanced interrogation’, ‘torture-lite’, and so forth–inevitably ends up in debate over an imaginary ticking time-bomb scenario as well a very high percentage chance of direct reference to Jack Bauer/24/Kiefer Sutherland and/or any combination of the above.”


Update I: I am aware of all internet traditions as well as the fact that Cole’s Law said quickly sounds like, well this:

I realize others may find this a bug, but I think it a boon to the prospect of Cole’s Law.

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Published in: on December 17, 2008 at 4:20 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] over at Indistinct Union has discovered and coined a new law of the internets based on the words of one John […]


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