Gibson's Laws

In response to the deluge of requests, here are the current set of Gibson's Laws. By definition, they can change because I make the laws, but they're pretty static.

Interestingly, this is the first time I've actually written them down like this. It will be interesting to see the results. I was going to be all thermodynamic and have a zeroth law, but none of them seem that important - yet. Maybe I'll insert a zeroth law at some time in the future.

Gibson's First Law: "Fundamentally most people are good"
Maybe I'm too trusting, but I just don't want to believe that everyone is out to get me.

Gibson's Second Law: "The truth will set you free"
Controversial? I hope not. But I've believed this for years. The truth has always brought more good than bad. From this flows a corollary:
First Corollary to the Second Law: "Don't kid yourself"

Gibson's Third Law: "The more you think about security the more paranoid you become"
This law came out of the security projects I've done at work. The whole point of threat modelling and dealing to security is to try and be as paranoid as you can and then work out ways of dealing with your paranoia. Sort of like being your own psychiatrist, but creating your own psychoses in the first place.

Gibson's Fourth Law: "90% of people are stupid"
OK, here's a more controversial law. It became a law a few years ago at my previous company. I was surrounded by a number of very bright people, yet at every turn for weeks on end it seemed that nearly everyone else I was talking to just didn't have a clue. In frustration at the world I defined the Fourth Law to help me understand what I was dealing with - and it helped. By assuming that most people were stupid, it became easier to deal with them.
First Corollary to the Fourth Law: "I'm not one of the 10%"
Well duh.

Gibson's Fifth Law: "Why have 1 when you can have 2?"
A more recent edition. It might have come from the fact that I am doing architecture at the moment and spending a lot of time thinking up cunning ways of doing high availability and disaster recovery. But it works for wine too, and maybe even kids (I'll let you know if I ever have a second one ;-)

Gibson's Nth Law: "Regardless of the other laws, always listen to your wife"
If you're married, you'll know what I mean. I'm not trying to be smart or to placate my wife - there's method to the madness.

Sharon is the most important person in my life. At our wedding we got 1 piece of advice "Communicate, communicate, communicate". It's always worked for me. Sharon has a different perspective on life than I do, so a second opinion from someone I trust is invaluable.

It's called the Nth Law because it can override the others at times.

Anyone else got some good laws?


  • your 1st and 3rd law reminded me of "just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you."

    By Anonymous Saar Drimer, at 2:25 PM  

  • I guess my laws state that they aren't out to get you unless you're unlucky.

    By Blogger Rhys Gibson, at 5:17 PM  

  • http://www.salesstar.com/gibsonslaw.html

    I see a lawsuit on the horizon :)

    By Anonymous Saar Drimer, at 7:24 PM  

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