Useful Tigress Blog

A better world is possible, and we can make it real.

Your Idea Will Not Work (the Following Philosophical Objections May Also Apply) 

Recently I was reminded of the classic template criticizing attempts to curb spam, a quiet little text file on Cory Doctorow’s site, by my attempts to find the version about social networks. It turns out there are quite a few snowclones of this, and since I’m a kitty who adores remix culture, I decided to try to find a few more.

There are a few, and I’d love to be made aware of more. Things that so far will not work:

I love how, at best, the form is a way to make critical thinking cheaper. Of course it may also fail to do that—but on a good day, it’s a way to repudiate bad ideas by contextualizing them, by adding relevant information instead of by shouting. Snowcloning it into different contexts is also at a sweet-spot difficulty level: easy enough to be tempting, but hard enough to be a bit of serious work worth respecting. It’s a great way to summarize “here is the bar to entry for new techniques, this problem is in fact hard.”

Another amusing thing is how often the “Asshats” and “No-one will be able to find the guy or collect the money” objections appear verbatim. Some things cross many, many fields of human endeavour.

For bonus points, here’s someone making an interesting argument that the original form was wrong, “Users Of Email Will Not Stand For It”, and a MetaFilter user who claims to have come up with the original.