These come from a variety of sources; just Google the law to find out more about it.
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
Source: Cyril Northcote Parkinson in The Economist (1955)
The Peter Principle
“In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”
Source: Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in The Peter Principle (1968)
The Dilbert Principle
“Leadership is nature’s way of removing morons from the productive flow.”
Source: Scott Adams’ Dilbert (February 5, 1995)
“It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.”
Source: Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (1979)
“We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”
Source: Roy Amara.
Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.
Source: Fred Brooks’ The Mythical Man-Month (1975)
Clarke’s 3 Laws
- 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.
- Second law: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
- Third law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Source: Arthur C. Clarke’s “Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination” in Profiles of the Future (1962)
“Any piece of software reflects the organizational structure that produced it.”
Source: Melvin Conway (1968)
“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work.”
Source: John Gall’s Systemantics: How Systems Really Work and How They Fail (1978)
“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”
Source: Mike Godwin (1990)
“Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”
“If it’s good, they’ll stop making it.”
Source: Herbert Lawrence Block
Kranzberg’s 6 Laws of Technology
- Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.
- Invention is the mother of necessity.
- Technology comes in packages, big and small.
- Although technology might be a prime element in many public issues, nontechnical factors take precedence in technology-policy decisions.
- All history is relevant, but the history of technology is the most relevant.
- Technology is a very human activity – and so is the history of technology.
Source: Melvin Kranzberg’s “Kranzberg’s Laws” Technology and Culture, Vol. 27, No. 3 (1986): 544-560
“Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.”
Source: Linus Torvalds
“Any person can invent a security system so clever that she or he can’t think of how to break it.”
Source: Cory Doctorow’s “Microsoft Research DRM talk” (17 June 2004)
“90 percent of everything is crap.”
Source: Theodore Sturgeon (1951)
“Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster.”
Source: Niklaus Wirth (1995)
“Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.”
Source: Jamie Zawinski
Granneman’s Law of Operating System Usage
“To mess up a Linux box, you need to work at it; to mess up your Windows box, you just need to work on it. “
Source: Scott Granneman’s “Linux vs. Windows Viruses” in SecurityFocus (10 February 2003)