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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mezmer's Maxims

Unoriginal Psychological Laws, with apologies to Murphy

Goleman's Placebo: An ounce of hope is worth a pound of cure.

Pinker's Corollary: An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping into the grand fallacy.

Panksepp's Principle: Is builders built buildings the same way psychologists build models of the human mind, the the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.

Seligman's Solution: The person who can smile when things go wrong has someone he can blame it on.

Hull's Corolllary: Inside every complex and unworkable philosophy is a useful idea struggling to get out.

Tooby's Rules of Research:

1. Always keep a record of your data. It indicates you've been working.
2. Always draw your curves, then plot your references.
3. In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
4. Research results should always be reproducible. They should all fail in the same way.

Dr. Phil's Law of B.S.: The more ridiculous a belief system, the greater likelihood that people will accept it.

Galileo's Law
: You can observe a lot by just watching.

Berridge's Law of Research
: The theory is supported as long as the funds are.

Tolman's Rule
: Any system or program, however complicated, if looked at the
he wrong way, will become more complicated.

Gould's Law
: If you want your work misquoted, die.

1st Law of Peer Review
: Anytime you wish to argue something, the number of faults is proportion to the number of reviewers.

Cosmides' Corollary
: If the assumptions are wrong, the conclusions will be just as wrong.

Mezmer's Laws of Fate
a: If you explain so clearly that nobody can misunderstand, somebody will.
b. If you do something that you think everyone will approve, someone won't.
c. No matter how many times you explain, no one is listening.

Bush's Law
: For every credibility gap, there is a gullibility fill.

Cole's Law
: Thinly sliced cabbage.

Mezmer's Law of Reference
: People will accept your idea much more readily if you tell them that Benjamin Franklin said it first.

Ben said it first.

Herrnstein's Heuristic
: If at first you don't succeed, change your data set.

Pinker's Principle
: There are two sides to every argument, unless a psychologist is involved, in which case there is only one.

Wright's Law
: Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.

Mezmer's Law of Science
: The specialist learns more and more about less and less until, finally, he knows everything about nothing; whereas the generalist learns more and more until, finally, he knows nothing about everything.

Dennett's Principle
: The territory behind rhetoric is too often mined with equivocation.

Staddon's Law of Research

1. The information you have is not what you want.
2. The information you want is not what you need.
3. The information you need is not what you can obtain.
4. The information you can obtain costs more than you want to pay.

Mezmer's Rule of Intelligence: The society which scorns intelligence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

Cosmides Fault: Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.