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{ Category Archives } Maxims

Laws for the Future of Computing

Moore’s Law (general form) The amount of a computing resource (memory, processor power, network bandwidth, etc) you can buy with an inflation-adjusted dollar doubles every two years. Wirth’s Law Software gets slower, faster than hardware gets faster. Clarke’s Three Laws of Prediction When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is […]

Law of Computing Predictions

If something is possible now, it will remain possible ten years from now. If something is barely possible now, it will become possible ten years from now. If something isn’t really possible now, it won’t become possible in ten years. Corollary: If something isn’t really possible now, but “should be possible” ten years from now, […]

Law of Ignorance

If you think you have a complete grasp of a subject, you are probably wrong. — “Prometheus“

Calling the Tune

If you want to understand the behavior of a person or group, look for what rewards that behavior. You will invariably find something, but i may be something unexpected. If you want to encourage a behavior in a person or group, find a way to reward it. If you want to discourage a behavior, decide […]

Making Choices (II)

If you can’t decide between two choices, flip a coin. Then, before you look at the coin, observe which choice you are hoping for. Take that one. Put the coin away.

You Are the Author

If you made it up, you can break it down, or remake it new.

McArdle’s Law

If someone finds ways to exclude any source of possibly disconfirming evidence from the realm of credible authorities, they are probably a crank. — Megan McArdle Okay, I started out calling it Megan’s Law. I thought it sounded familiar.

Tierney’s Maxim

Just because an idea appeals to a lot of people doesn’t mean it’s wrong. But that’s a good working theory. (See also….)

Martin’s Heisenbergian Observation on Intelligence

In all cases, under all circumstances, anything said by an anonymous intelligence official will be exactly what is most politically convenient.


You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity. — Robert A Heinlein Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. — Nancy Lebovitz button, looking for a good source.