mike's web log/quotes

advice computers editing education funny general language laws music politics reading religion science sports technology working writing (all)

Cringley's Second Law: Ease of use with equivalent performance varies with the square root of the cost of development. That means that to design a computer that's ten times easier to use would cost 100 times as much.
-- Robert Cringley   computers | laws

In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty.
-- Imbesi's Law of Conservation of Filth   general | funny | laws

Looking at code you wrote more than two weeks ago is like looking at code you are seeing for the first time.
-- Alzheimer's Law of Programming (via Dan Hurvitz)   computers | laws

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
-- Hanlon's Razor   general | advice | laws

Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you think, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.
-- Douglas Hofstadter   general | advice | laws

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.
-- Poul Anderson   general | funny | laws

Paper's Law: It's not that simple.
-- Herb Paper, via John Lawler   general | laws

Furrygoat's Law: Every program expands until it can read RSS feeds.
-- Steve Mafosky, based on Lett's Law: All programs evolve until they can send email.   computers | laws

Tuchman's Law: The fact of being reported mulitplies the apparent extent of any deplorable development by five- to ten-fold (or any figure the reader would care to supply).
-- Barbara Tuchman, historian   general | politics | laws

McKean's Law: Any correction of the speech or writing of others will contain at least one grammatical, spelling, or typographical error.
-- Erin McKean (also cited as Hartman's Law of Prescriptive Retaliation)   language | editing | writing | laws

The simpler the problem at hand, the more people think they're experts in it.
-- Asa Dotzler   general | laws

Muphrey's Law: a) if you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written; (b) if an author thanks you in a book for your editing or proofreading, there will be mistakes in the book; (c) the stronger the sentiment expressed in (a) and (b), the greater the fault. (d) any book devoted to editing or style will be internally inconsistent.
-- John Bangsund, a variant (one of several) of Hartman's Law of Prescriptive Retaliation   laws | editing | writing

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