Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Science You Can Use: The Internet Infinite Density Principle

The Internet Infinite Density Principle, as put forward by the Swiss Institute for Groundbreaking Studies, is still a work in progress. Like many other popular but questionable notions such as the “theories” of “evolution” and “gravitation,” it is currently based solely on anecdotal evidence, preschool-level research, and suspected witchcraft—but its proponents hope that, given time and exposure, it will earn the widespread popular and scientific approval currently awarded to, say, the belief that the U.S. government is using airline contrails to poison its own citizens with barium.1 

Simple and succinct (as are many good theories that get made up on the spot), Internet Infinite Density Principle states that
No matter how baldly obvious a joke is, there exists someone in the online community dense enough to not only fail to get the joke, but also fail to recognize that a joke has been made in the first place.

Evidence supporting this principle is so plentiful that listing examples borders on redundancy; it’s virtually impossible to swing a virtual dead cat over one’s virtual head without hitting somebody saying something stupid on the internet. 

However, for the benefit of our readers,2 and in order to add an extra paragraph to this thus-far somewhat lackluster blog entry, a real live example of this principle is that recently unfolded in real time, in Belgian-inflected English, in the comments sections of two related posts at Promethean Times3 (To read the posts, click here or here. If you can’t spot the joke, we wish you the best of luck in your quests to figure out how to work a zipper or cross the street unsupervised).

For clarity’s sake, the Swiss Institute for Groundbreaking Studies is considering adding a corollary to the Principle, stating that the densest of Internet denizens are not necessarily Belgian. Research efforts are underway to find out, definitively, if this is actually true.

Infinite Internet Density: just one of the ways that the online community is working nonstop to bring about the fall of human civilization.4

1. We can’t help but notice that the source for this “information”—a blog called Planet X Nibiru and Other Conspiracies—has more than six times the followers of our own humble blog. This makes us sad for the state of the world today, but mostly just sad for ourselves. When we chose sanity over popularity, we didn’t realize we’d regret it so soon.
2. Cheers to both of you! Please tell that friend of yours about us.
3. If you’re thinking that we’ve either run out of things to write about or are shamelessly shilling for a more-popular blog in the hopes of becoming one of the cool kids, you’re absolutely right on both counts. In our defense, though, it’d take weeks or months to track down a less popular blog, and even if we did manage to find one, what good would it do to suck up to them?
4. The Swiss Institute for Groundbreaking Studies welcomes reader-submitted examples of this principle; please feel free to add them to the comments section below. Readers who submit links to Bowling in the Dark articles will be silently cursed, and will make us cry.

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