For the second time in a month, a British politician is in hot water over a ham-fisted comparison to Adolf Hitler.
Yesterday in London, ex-mayor and ‘Leave’ campaigner Boris Johnson likened the aims of the ‘Remain’ campaign, which says that Britain enjoys a net benefit from EU membership and should keep its membership, to the efforts of Hitler to build a united Europe.
Last month, Ken Livingstone was suspended from the Labour party after suggesting on BBC Radio 4 that Hitler was a zionist.
My initial reaction was that politicians probably should just not talk about Adolf Hitler. If you’re a politician and you find yourself thinking “That’s a bit like Hitler”, you should just step back and take a breather.
But I’ve had a bit of a think and now I reckon we should double down. Let’s compare everything to Hitler.
If we conduct an n-dimensional feature space of all possible policy issues, with Hitler at the origin and every single thing as a point in the space, it’s trivial to make a quantitative comparison from everything to Hitler. The feature extraction will be tricky, but once everything is figured out, the comparison itself is just an exercise in generalised trigonometry.
You’ll be able to ask questions like “which is more Hitler, Europe or Tuesdays?”, “which of the Eurovision entrants was the most Hitler?”, or even “is Boris Johnson literally hitler?”
If we model a time dimension we can decide if something is becoming more or less Hitler as the years progress: surely a boon for history teachers and the managers of old peoples homes.
Voting becomes trivial. You simply order campaign issues in terms of how Hitler they are, and choose where you’re willing to draw the line.
International Relations would clear up instantly. Trade issues are resolved by simply bisecting the line between two points describing the positions of the opposing parties, and agreeing to meet in the middle of the Hitler-space. In fact, any argument could be solved this way because “the middle” is just a coordinate.
Since any possible course of action can be described as a point in the Hitler-space, we can finally move away from slow, inefficient words and start communicating purely in Hitler-coordinates. And because maths is universal, this transcends language barriers and cultural nuances.
Famously, Godwin’s law states that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1”. My proposal is simply a formalised logical extension of the idea.
There’s literally no down side.