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Normally I enjoy getting a new book. A chance to leaf through for a general impression and then get stuck into reading.

But I have one that I must read, and I keep putting off. For some reason it doesn’t appeal. Now, after reading the Telegraph article, Internet rules and laws: the top 10, from Godwin to Poe, I know why.

The article refers to DeMyer’s Second Law: ’Anyone who posts an argument on the internet which is largely quotations can be very safely ignored, and is deemed to have lost the argument before it has begun.’

quote-mining-fundie-quote-mining-fallacy-demotivational-poster-1211866892Obviously very relevant for creationists who love to go in for quote mining.

But that is what is wrong with the book. Leafing through one just gets an impression of huge numbers of quotes.

For fun (and to postpone the actual reading) I scanned one chapter and did word counts. This chapter had only 20% of material actually written by the author. The rest were quotes. Talk about letting others do the heavy lifting!

So I am not impressed. But I might do more of this in the future. When I need to judge a book – scan a chapter and determine the proportion of quoted material.

It’s worth reading this article on internet rules. So much of it rings true. Something I must watch, though, is my tendency to use exclamations. The Law of Exclamation says: “The more exclamation points used in an email (or other posting), the more likely it is a complete lie. This is also true for excessive capital letters.”

Thanks to Pharyngula (I didn’t know we had a rule book!) for the link.

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