7 laws you may not know you’re obeying and/or violating

My fellow inebriates,

Occasionally I fall into the trap of thinking I’m original. But really, I’m following a bunch of laws that everyone else is also following.

  1. Godwin’s Law

Godwin’s Law states that as any internet-based discussion or piece of rhetoric grows longer, the odds that it will mention Hitler increase, and it may descend into reductio ad Hitlerum).

I have been guilty of this.


2. Chekhov’s Gun

Anton Chekhov famously said, “One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off.” In other words, all information must be relevant.

That’s Pavel, not Anton. But he is holding a gun.

I am constantly guilty of violating this law. So guilty that I can’t think of the very best example, but here’s one anyway.


3. Dilbert Principle

Dilbert comic creator Scott Adams created the Dilbert Principle to describe how companies systematically put incompetent employees on the management track to get them out of the workflow and limit their potential damage.

If I had a job, I’d be in the C-suite. In the past I’ve accused my dad of this too.


4. Gibson’s Law

According to Gibson’s Law, “for every PhD there is an equal and opposite PhD.” Originally this referred to the use of opposing expert witnesses in a trial (e.g., for and against tobacco industry activity).

At LBHQ it describes all sorts of disagreements about how hoppy a beer should be and what a safe number of drinks is.


5. Hofstadter’s Law

Hofstadter’s Law states that things will always take longer than you expect them to, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law. It would be hypocritical, especially in this post, to fault Douglas Hofstadter for being self-referential. But he was being pessimistic when he observed that the longer AI researchers tried to make a computer that could beat a world-class chess player, the further off that goal was. In fact, Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov 20 years after this statement, and chess-playing AIs haven’t looked back.

I don’t have much use for chess unless the board looks like this.


6. Leibniz’s Law

Also called the indiscernibility principle, Leibniz’s Law states that if two objects have all properties in common, they are in fact the same object.

I have to admit I’ve struggled with this one, living as I do with the twins Scary and Fluffy.


7. Miller’s Law

Miller’s Law is all about suspending judgment. It goes: “In order to understand what someone is telling you, it is necessary for you to assume the person is being truthful, then imagine what could be true about it.” Well, take that, postmodernists! Miller is probably rolling over in his grave watching tweetstorms in which people deliberately misconstrue each other’s tweets.

I have to admit I’m bad at figuring out what people on Twitter actually mean.


What about you, my fellow inebriates? Do you have a favourite law you like to abide by or ignore?

Picard doesn’t work all night?

My Fellow Inebriates,

A month without blogging is a disgrace, wouldn’t you say? My parents say they’re busy, but what are they really doing? I said to them: “If Captain Picard can work all night, then why can’t you find some time to DO MY TYPING?!” But then they said Picard didn’t actually work all night.


Not all Canadians are clowns

Last week the WordPress community went berserk and a well-known Canadian blogger’s site imploded, taken down by another blogger under accusations of e-harassment. As usual I was late to the party and didn’t have a clue about what had happened until sometime after. I was a follower of Le Clown, albeit a half-hearted one, having hit the “follow” button as a gesture of reciprocity, only to decide later that his posts lacked a certain…kindness that I look for in a blog, whether it’s about beer, parenting, or whatever. And while I checked in with his blog occasionally, I had no sense of the WordPress politics brewing—and honestly, still don’t. I’m just a bear, and while I feel ardently that cyberbullying is not okay, I wasn’t following this blow-up and I don’t feel justified commenting on it.

What I must do, however, is redeem Canada for you, my fellow inebriates. Not all Canadian are clowns, and Canada has a lot going for it.

Case in point: Look at all the bears we have.

Bear collageLike, OMG, right?

And never mind bears. Look at all the beers up here.

Picture: Edmonton Journal

And then look at how nice Canadians are. No, really, my fellow inebriates. We actually don’t mind lining up. And our national pastime? Apologizing. Okay, sometimes we show off a little bit about health care, but then we apologize and tell you how long we had to line up for it. Right?

Is it freaking cold? Yes, it’s minus 4 at LBHQ, but that’s Celsius, so no biggie. If you haven’t tried Celsius, you might like it. Everything counts by tens, which is really great when you’re drunk, but not much good when you have two paws instead of ten fingers.

I will admit, we have Rob Ford, douchebag extraordinaire (but gift to comedians).


And PM Stephen Harper, who poses with cats just to get you to like him. He poses with beer just to get me to like him!

My parents say that if I can corral one of our cat-sized silverfish in the bathroom, they will pay the shipping to send it to Stephen Harper as a pet.

My parents say that if I can corral one of our cat-sized silverfish in the bathroom, they will pay the shipping to send it to Stephen Harper as a pet.

But still. There are some cool things here. Did you know that Alberta has a UFO landing pad? The Ministry of National Defense inaugurated it in 1967.

UFO landing pad


And the Shat? He came from here!

So did the Bloody Caesar… 😉

Okay, fine, Canada did give the world Justin Bieber, but we also pour a lot of SLEEMAN HONEY BROWN LAGER

What do you guys think about Canada?