December 27, 2012

The Laws of The Universe

In my indefatigable search for Truth and Beauty, and mostly as they relate to business, I study the Laws of The Universe, with particular emphasis on some of the least understood laws, to wit: 
The Laws of The Universe
This Law: States this principle:
Clarke's First Law  When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
Clarke's Second Law

The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
Clarke's Third Law

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Diffusion of Innovation, The Law of 
2.5% innovators, 13% early adopters, 34% early majority, 34% late majority, 16% laggards.
Dilbert principle

Companies tend to systematically promote their least-competent employees to management (generally middle management), in order to limit the amount of damage they are capable of doing.
Dolson Principle
The higher the management level, the easier the job.
Dunbar's Number
150 is the number of people we can maintain in our relationships.
Dunning–Kruger effect
A cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes. Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding.


Finagle's Corollary to Murphy's Law 
Anything that can go wrong, will—at the worst possible moment. 
Foster's Law
The only people who find what they are looking for in life are the fault finders.
Hanlon’s Razor
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Hofstadter's Law
It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.
Jevon's paradox

The proposition that technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource.


McCafferty's First Law


Do Good Now.  Make it better later. 

McCafferty's Second Law

Success increases as random events are minimized.
McCafferty's Shiny Object Corollary Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Metcalf's Law

The value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system.
Moore's law The number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years.
Murphy's Law Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Occam's Razor Simpler explanations are, other things being equal, generally better than more complex ones.  Among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected.
One Percent Rule


In an online community one percent of people will create content, another 10 percent will engage with it, and the remainder will simply lurk.



O'Toole's Corollary to Finagle's Corollary The perversity of the Universe tends towards a maximum



Pareto Principle (aka: the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few)

80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Parkinson's Law
Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
Parkinson's Law of Triviality
The time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved.
Peter Principle
Employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence.
Putt's Law


Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand.
Putt's Corollary
Every technical hierarchy, in time, develops a competence inversion.
Pygmalion effect, or Rosenthal effect
The phenomenon in which the greater the expectation placed upon people, often children or students and employees, the better they perform.

Snackwell effect

Dieters will eat more low-calorie cookies, such as
SnackWells, than they otherwise would for normal cookies.
Software, The Many Laws


Software development obeys only its own rules, and then only maybe.

Stock-Sanford Corollary to Parkinson's Law

Stuart's Law of Retroaction

If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.


It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

Student syndrome The phenomenon that many people will start to fully apply themselves to a task just at the last possible moment before a deadline.


Sturgeon's Law, aka Sturgeon's Revelation


Ninety percent of everything is crap.


Truly Large Numbers, The Law of 
Given a sample size large enough, any outrageous thing is likely to happen.