Eponymous Laws

7-38-55 Rule

"7 percent of a message is based on the words while 38 percent comes from the tone of voice and 55 percent from the speaker’s body language and face."

Atwood's Law

"Any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript."

Betteridge's Law of Headlines

"If a headline ending with a question mark is answered by the word no.

Bikeshedder's Blind Spot

If you want to quickly ship a 10 line code change, hide it in a 1500 line pull request.

Black Swan Rule

"Don’t treat others the way you want to be treated; treat them the way they need to be treated."

Brandolini's Law

"The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than to produce it

Tags: bullshit

Brook's Law

"Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later."

Source: The Mythical Man-Month

Campbell's Law

The more important a metric is in social decision making, the more likely it is to be manipulated.

Cheerleader Effect

put a bunch of things in a group, and we don't analyze them individually, we analyze the group "OMG THEY ARE ALL SO PRETTY". separate them, and the story is different "Uhh.. I see nothing special here"

Source: Ryan Maynard

Cobra Effect

The cobra effect occurs when incentives designed to solve a problem end up rewarding people for making it worse. The term is used to illustrate how incorrect stimulation in economics and politics can cause unintended consequences. It is also known as the perverse incentive.

Wikipedia Link

Conway's Law

"Any organization that designs a system will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure."

Costanza's Law

"It's not a lie if you believe it."

Crabs in a Bucket

(Also known as Tall Poppy Syndrome)

"if I can't have it, neither can you". The metaphor is derived from a pattern of behavior noted in crabs when they are trapped in a bucket. While any one crab could easily escape, its efforts will be undermined by others, ensuring the group's collective demise.

Cunningham's Law

"The best way to get an answer to a question on the internet is to say something wrong"

Eagleson's Law

"Any code of your own that you haven't looked at for six or more months might as well have been written by someone else."

Gall's Law

"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system."

Goodhart's Law

"When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure."

Harvard Law of Animal Behavior

"Under precisely controlled experimental conditions, a test animal will behave as it damn well pleases.

Hawthorne Effect

"People's behavior changes when they are being observed."

Hofstadter's Law

It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

"I Am Normal" Paradox

"our hypothesis that the world should look to others as it looks to us. After all, who wouldn’t make that assumption?"

  • Never Split The Difference

Iceberg Fallacy

The cost of development of a new software product is the only ~25% of the total cost of ownership management sees and budgets for.

LeBlanc's Law

Later = never

Le Chatelier’s Principle

Any natural process, whether physical or chemical, tends to set up conditions opposing the further operation of the process.

Lebowski Theorem

No super intelligent AI is going to bother with a task that is harder than hacking its reward function - source tweet

Lindy Effect

"The longer ideas, books, technologies, procedures, institutions, political systems has survived, the more anti-fragile they are. The only effective judge of these is time." lindy

McNamara's Fallacy

Making a decision based solely on quantitative observations (or metrics) and ignoring all others. The reason given is often that these other observations cannot be proven.

During the Vietnam war, McNarama set the metric of victory as enemy body count. This ignored second-order effects. McNamara ignored other factors such as the feelings of the Vietnamese people because they could be measured.

Mathew's Law

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. — Mark 4:25, RSV.

For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. — Matthew 25:29, RSV.

Miller's Law

"The number of objects an average human can hold in short-term memory is 7 ± 2"

Newton's Flaming Laser Sword Rule

"If something cannot be settled by experiment or observation, it is not worth debating."

Parkinson's Law

"work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". Same Parkinson as "Parkinson's Law of Triviality" parkinsons law

Parkinson' Law of Triviality

"people within an organization commonly or typically give disproportionate weight to trivial issues."

Parkinson provides the example of a fictional committee whose job was to approve the plans for a nuclear power plant spending the majority of its time on discussions about relatively minor but easy-to-grasp issues, such as what materials to use for the staff bike shed, while neglecting the proposed design of the plant itself, which is far more important and a far more difficult and complex task. AKA bicycle-shed effect, bike-shed effect, and bike-shedding

Wikipeida Link

Peter Principle

"In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence. Thus, in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties."

Pinocchio Effect

"On average, liars use more words than truth tellers and use far more third-person pronouns. They start talking about him, her, it, one, they, and their rather than I, in order to put some distance between themselves and the lie."

Pygmalion Effect

High expectations lead to high performance (and vice versa). If you consistently see people as their potential, they will achieve more. When you're occasionally let down, consider it a tax you pay for all the benefit from those you believed in.

Similarity Principle

"We trust people more when we view them as being similar or familiar."

Sturgeon's Law

"90% of everything is crap."

Tesler's Law

"every application has an inherent amount of complexity that cannot be removed or hidden. It must be dealt with in either product development or user interaction."

The more user friendly your application, the more complicated the code base.

Twyman's Law

"The more unusual or interesting the data, the more likely they are to have been the result of an error of one kind or another."

Zawinski's Law

"Every program attempts to expand until it includes a web server. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can."

Zeigarnik Effect

"People remember unfinished or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks." Zeigarnik effect

Zone of Indifference Problem

"Decisions between options with a high variance in quality is easy. Decisions get harder as the options get closer, but if they are close enough then the decision doesn't matter."