Neely’s Laws

I first wrote down these observations ten or fifteen years ago, as a result of several tongue-in-cheek conversations. I recently had occasion to apply one of them, so I thought I might as well post them here. Please don’t take them (or me!) any more seriously than I do.

However, I might observe that the first post of “The burden of FP” series can be read as an extended statement of Neely’s Third Law.

Neely’s First Law

(Monotonicity of Complexity)

Complexity is like entropy;
you can’t decrease it and doing almost anything increases it.
You can hide it, cover it up, pretend it’s not there (until later),
or make it somebody else’s problem,
but it won’t go away.

Neely’s Second Law

(The Means/Ends Dictum)

Solve the problem;
don’t solve the solution.

Neely’s Third Law

(The Blind-Spot Mandate)

In any systems design effort,
begin by carefully documenting all your unconscious assumptions.

Neely’s Fourth Law

(The Focus Figment)

A tool is an instrument for limiting the types of work you are able to perform.

Neely’s Fifth Law

(The Skills Lifecycle)

Necessities become options become obsolete become artforms.

Neely’s Sixth Law

(The Intuition Impasse)

“Common sense”
is an oxymoron.

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  • Mia Tyler  On 2008-04-22 at 12:44

    Hi there…Man i love reading your blog, interesting posts ! it was a great Tuesday .

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