I didn't realize that there were even that many people. It's almost literally a ghost town on weekends.
Honestly, living in the US, I'd be content with just the occasional break from the partisan lunacy, even if only the moment of silence.
Wow, are you still on about this?
Reading the comments I eventually got enough context to track down the Wikipedia entry, which says: "drag racing tires perform better at higher temperatures, and a burnout is the quickest way to raise tire temperature immediately prior to a race. They also clean the tire of any debris and lay down a layer of rubber by the starting line for better traction."
So... is this just for drag racing? Or is there some other point to this?
Change minds? Nah. But it's fun. Because the paranoid delusion is there whether you feed it or not, and no amount of pandering to them is ever going to make it go away.
This is decidedly not what Gandhi would do, nor MLK. But neither of their opponents were as ravingly delusional as the Oppressed American Christian, who can be neither reasoned with nor shamed. That which cannot be defeated must be borne, which we'll do with laughter, until the declining numbers that power the ferocity of their paranoia make them politically irrelevant. That, and the intermittent sanity of the courts to protect us from the far more real oppression that they want to impose, are the only ways we can cope.
True. Though he could also have just substituted "people", which would have fit the grammar without the additional connotation of smug condescension, and the irony of repeating a mantra while pretending to be an independent thinker.
As you say, it's well used, and I do know exactly what it means: that somebody is about to tell me how much better he is than everybody else, with very little justification. In that sense, he was being helpful. And in exactly that sense I was trying to be helpful by pointing out that he might get his intended message (the one about whatever it is we're talking about, rather than the one about his self-superiority) across better if he didn't start out with name-calling that doesn't even have the benefit of originality.
I enjoy imagining you spluttering as you're writing this, gradually realizing that you've got nothing to contribute and finally remembering the caps lock button. Thanks for making my day.
Calling it a "law" is an exaggeration for comic effect. But it gets that name because it's common enough to be a recognized trope, indeed overused: you can make a headline more exciting by hinting that a development is more important or that a trend is more pervasive than it actually is. Stories that are important in and of themselves generally have statements rather than questions in the headline.
Invoking Betteridge's Law may well itself be an over-used trope, but if it is it's only because there's so very, very much call for it. News aggregators like Slashdot serve as concentrators, seeking out the most exciting stories. Ideally, the editors would serve as filters as well, recognizing exaggerated headlines and either ignoring them or putting them back into proper context. Instead, it's usually left to a poster to do that, generally after a lot of excited and/or outraged posting based on the headline. (Because the posters who just read the headline will always get there before people who bothered to RTFA.)
And you're going to demonstrate your independence by reiterating a weak pun that's well worn enough to have both a Wikipedia entry (which notes its "shrill and excessive use") and an XKCD already in place?
But it's worth noting that the converse is not true: not all unreasonable people make progress. Unreasonable people would ideally consider whether they're actually achieving something, or just being assholes.
Unfortunately, by definition that's something an unreasonable person cannot do. So the world ends up sorting through self-congratulatory dipsticks, hoping to find the smallish fraction who actually merit congratulations.
Seems to me that there ought to be a corollary to Betteridge's law of headlines (A headline with a question mark can be answered by "no") for headlines with the word "may".
"Scientific advance X may achieve Y" can be read as "Will scientific advance X achieve Y?". To which the answer is "no", followed by "That's how researchers attempt to get more funding for X, a small advance of interest to those in the field but not exactly flying cars, by pretending it might lead to Y, which it almost certainly won't."
It's all Americans at Oktoberfest anyway.
And then they vote according to whichever way their ideological predisposition leads them. After that, they direct the clerks to figure out how to justify it, which sometimes requires some stretching but always seems to be possible, especially when you can bury it in a few dozen pages of dense legal text.
I respect their learning, I really do, but they're called on to answer the cases for which there isn't a straightforward answer. (If there were, the lower courts would have it, and they wouldn't take the case.) They seem to serve, effectively, as tiebreakers, and they generally seem to do so according to their preconceptions rather than by finding novel insights. They don't have to have the most intelligent word, merely the final one.
That's an interesting and astute way of looking at it. The historical context has shifted, since democracy blurs the line between individual and state behavior. (Rome had been kinda-sorta nominally a republic, but nobody outside of the City itself would have really seen it that way, and by the time the Gospels were written the Empire was well underway.)
It's no longer morally feasible to simply submit to the state, since you can (and therefore must) work to change it. Unfortunately, there are those who believe with equal fervor, and equal moral basis, working to keep the status quo or change it in the opposite direction.
Christians have no difficulty finding text in the Bible to support just about any position they want. Paul talks about acts "worthy of death" in Acts 25:11. Jesus reinforced the Old Testament punishments in Matthew 5:17-18, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished."
The resolution to the conflict tends to fall on the side of whatever one is ideologically predisposed to believe. It seems to me that "Turn the other cheek" is a lot clearer and more direct, but then, I'm not Christian, so what do I know?