The share and don’t share rule

My par­ents, my sis­ters, my wife and I took a cross-coun­try trip in a Lin­coln Nav­i­ga­tor some time ago to par­tic­i­pate in spread­ing my grand­fa­thers ash­es at sea.  With six adults, four lap­tops and more than 50 DVD’s (plus all the lug­gage), the truck was pret­ty full.  While the trip isn’t the sub­ject of this post (and the trip deserves a series of posts on it’s own), one of the chief Gilber­tisms that the trip estab­lished was “The share and don’t share rule.”

While many things can be attrib­uted to the “don’t share” side of the rule, the only real­ly con­sis­tent class of items was “any­thing to do with your butt.”  Men­tion of the rule still elic­its gig­gles among the Gilbert faith­ful.

The inter­net has no such rule.  Every­thing is shared on the inter­net.  This is gen­er­al­ly good in a only some­what creepy Orwellian way.  Don’t post any­thing on the inter­net you wouldn’t want every­one in the world to see both indi­vid­u­al­ly and col­lec­tive­ly.  Indi­vid­u­al­ly, you might not want your mom or your wife to see you at last years office par­ty.  Col­lec­tive­ly, you’d prob­a­bly rather peo­ple not know what you do with sheep.

It’s impor­tant that you under­stand both of these alter­na­tives.  Invari­ably, the one per­son you’d rather not see some­thing you put on the inter­net will dis­cov­er it.  It doesn’t mat­ter if they don’t know how to use the com­put­er or they don’t gen­er­al­ly look for that kind of thing.  They will find it.  It’s just as true that the col­lec­tive eye­ball will be turned on some­thing about you post­ed on the inter­net when it’s most incon­ve­nient.  This is not a good way to make the news.

Now the sharp­er pen­cils may have noticed this post is tagged with GLI (Gilbert’s Laws of the Inter­net).  But this is not a law (some­thing intrin­sic to the inter­net), this is a rule… for you.  Or not.  Feel free to amuse us.

Gilbert’s 2nd Law of the Inter­net states:

For each and every “it” there exists porn of “it” some­where on the Inter­net.

Note that I draw on many sources for laws — this one in par­tic­u­lar can be sourced in many places.

This is a sim­ple law.  If you’ve been on the Inter­net for some time, even­tu­al­ly you get jad­ed enough so as to be shocked by what some­one will put on the inter­net only occa­sion­al­ly. At first, typ­ing in the wrong search term can lead you don’t a dis­turb­ing rab­bit hole.  Lat­er on, as you rec­og­nize these diver­sions for what they are, it can take a tru­ly cir­cuitous route or a bla­tant­ly teas­ing link to cause the shock and awe.

It’s also a sim­ple law since it both can’t and shouldn’t be dis­proved.

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