osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Feld's Laws

I'm not sure if all of these are "laws" or something else. They are a collection of aphorisms I have found useful over time. So, in the essence of vanity blogging, why not share it with the world?

Feld's First Law:
Where brute force is sufficient, brute force is sufficient.

Feld's Second Law:
When a well meaning and intelligent person needs a lawyer to ensure they do not break the law, an injustice is being committed.

Feld's Third Law:
Any sufficiently expensive card game is indistinguishable from Magic (tm).

Feld's Law of Expectations:
Always be prepared for the best possible result.

Feld's First Rule of Public Policy:
Being right is not enough.

But it helps.

Feld's Second Rule of Public Policy:
Public policy is made by human beings (adapted from Clauswitz).

Feld's Hand Grenade Theory of Public Policy:
1) Do not threaten to use a hand grenade unless you are prepared to pull the pin.

2) Know in advance what will make you pull the pin, and communicate that _clearly_. Deterents do not work if people do not know about them. No one learns a lesson for the future if people cannot establish a pattern.

3) If you pull the pin, the hand grenade better go off, even if you are still holding it. It is much better to be known as someone who is willing to blow his own hand off to prove a point than to be known as someone whose hand grenades are duds.

Feld's Ratio of Political Power:
Your politcal power is proportionate to your _perceived_ ability to inflict pain.

Yaakov's First Rule of Court Schtick (from back when I was head of the Fool's Guild):
You are not as funny as you think you are.

Yaakov's Second Rule of Court Schtick:
Rule 1 really does apply to you.

Feld's Rule of Social Constructs:
"And I saw the tears of the oppressed, and there were none to comfort them; and I saw the oppressors, and in their hands was power, and there were none to comfort them." Eccl 4:1.
-An understanding of this principle is critical to any succesful social movement that is not an armed revolution. The social movements of the last 40 years (feminism, environmentalism, civil rights) can trace their waning influence to the failure to understand this single sentence of Kohelet.

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