"Falk's Laws"
The results of a lifetime of observations of humans...
Go Directly to
Law by Number...

"All truth passes through three stages:
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
---Arthur Schopenhauer"

Someone once complained to me that these really aren't "Laws" because they're 'not recognized as such' by general authorities...
Well, Tough. I call 'em my "Laws" and that's my right and privilege.
Don't agree? Well, that's your privilege, too.
... Like Murphy's Laws, but these are mine...
Falk's First Law:

"The whole world is a tradeoff."

  • Example: No matter what you choose to do, you're choosing to not do something else... You're also choosing to not do everything else!
  • Reis' Corollary: "Strategy is not just about what you're going to do. It's also about what you're NOT going to do."
  • Lehew's Corollary: "You can never really solve a problem. The best you can do is to exchange the problem you have for a different one -- presumably one you'd rather live with than the original."
Falk's Second Law:

"Never trust generalizations."

Beware of people who don't see the irony behind that one......
Falk's Third Law:

"The Truth" is whatever you believe to be "the truth."

Toss this one into a discussion some time and watch it drastically change direction.

As the late Senator Moynihan was fond of saying:
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts."

Falk's Fourth Law:

"Every Theory [opinion, belief, etc...] Has an Equal and Opposite Theory [opinion, belief, etc...]."

---Except for one Very Liberal Guy (aka Art Jackson) who once said that
my free-market ideas were "opposite," but not "equal" to his.

Elitist? Nah, not him..... :-)
Falk's Fifth Law:

"Enough Pay" is Always Equal to 20% More Than I'm Making Now.

  • Corollary I: "Rich" is 3-5 Times As Much as I Make.
  • Corollary II: "Wealthy" is 10+ Times As Much as I Make.
C'mon, tell me I'm way off on that one? Not!
Falk's Sixth Law:

"Don't Steal From the Rich or the Poor.... You May Become One of Them Some Day."

This is a key element of my personal philosophy.........
Falk's Seventh Law:

"Beware of Proofs: What were they trying to prove, and what facts were conveniently left out?"

  • Skelton's Addendum: "73% of all statistics are made up on the spot to support a point of view... The other 27% are made up later."
Note: this especially applies to Politics, Economics, Religion, etc....
Falk's Eighth Law:

"Foreseeable Future is an Oxymoron!"

Think about that....
Then think about how often people say it !
Falk's Ninth Law:

"Don't Attack or Criticize Minorities: Someday, Someone May Attack or Criticize the Minority that You're a Member of."

....And they may outnumber you in a big way.
Falk's Tenth Law:

"Nobody is really an Altruist."

They always get a reward out of what they do, even if it's just a "good feeling".
Don't let them mislead you about this !

Nobody does anything for NO reason and NO reward.

Here's an example of what I mean by 'there is a reward'...
Falk's Eleventh Law:

"Nothing is Free."

Lose the word from your vocabulary. Somebody pays.

The cost may be included, but it's never zero! Not even the air you breathe.
If you want it cleaner, it's going to cost someone to make it cleaner.
There is always a cost. Think about this every time you see the word "free"!

----And don't forget: "The Government" never really "pays" for anything.
You do. Or your neighbor does. Or both of you. But not the "Government"

Falk's Twelfth Law:

"Most Laws have 'accomplished' the opposite of their original intent."

Look around. Prohibition, the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, HOV Lanes...
Testimonies to failure.
We'd do better to buy the drugs from the exporting countries and give them to addicts.
Crime would drop like a rock, and the overall cost to society would plummet!
Also, don't look for this to happen soon....
  • Ken's Corollary: My problem with unions is the same one that I have with almost every institution in this world:
    Unions eventually turn into bigger problems than the problems they originally were created to cope with.
Falk's Thirteenth Law:

"Stereotypes don't come out of Nowhere."

Name a stereotype. It had some roots in the ways people behaved. They might not have even had a choice about how to behave, or that behavior might have been the safest way for them to get through life at the time .... and their behavior became stereotyped. That doesn't mean stereotypes are good, or they should be kept around. It just means that it's stupid to deny that they exist, or have any reason to exist.
Falk's Fourteenth Law:

"Microsoft's latest Operating System will always occupy about 30% of the biggest hard drive in your PC"

When your PC had a 40 MB hard drive, the OS took up about 12 MB, right?
So, now you have 250 GB, right? 300GB? 1,500GB?
At least it will help you plan for the future..... [Sorry, Bill G. and Steve B.]
  • Ken's Corollary: Software makes computers slower faster than hardware makes computers faster.
Falk's Fifteenth Law:

"The Problem is not Poor Management; the problem is allowing poor management to persist."

I have never heard of a company which does not suffer from this problem to at least some degree. I believe that one cure is to institute "360-degree evaluations," where peers and supervisors, as well as subordinates all have an opportunity to provide anonymous (or signed) feedback to anyone they care to provide feedback on. This feedback must be summarized and shown to the individual as well as their supervisory "food chain." Only then can we have hope. 'Til then, business as usual. Good Luck!
Falk's Sixteenth Law:

"If you keep lowering the passing grade, eventually everyone will fail."

See this example...
Falk's Seventeenth Law:

"Problems resulting from misuse of a tool do not necessarily mean that the tool is defective."

Falk's Eighteenth Law:

"Employee Loyalty is proportional to [ 1 / (1 + the local unemployment rate in percent) to a large power) ]"

  • Corollary I: Upper management can be counted on to take advantage of this when times are bad.
  • Corollary II: Upper management will always be surprised at the drop in Employee Loyalty when times turn good.
Falk's Nineteenth Law:

"Freedom Of Religion Must Include Freedom From Religion."

Much as some would like, you can't have it the one way without the other.

Have you noticed that the folks who object most strenuously to this one are the very religious...?
See Also, for example....

And please watch this video from Pat Condell where he elaborates on "freedom from religion."

Falk's Twentieth Law:

"Creation is easy....... Maintenance sucks....."

ask God or any programmer, web master, etc.........
Falk's Twenty-First Law:

"Marx said, "Religion is the opiate of the masses." .... I say, for too many people, it's more like crack cocaine."

Got that, Sadr, bin Laden, Billy Graham, Jr., and your buddies ?
Falk's Twenty-Second Law:

"There are no Agnostics. Atheists, sure; Agnostics, no."

Agnostic: " One who believes that there can be no proof of the existence of God but does not deny the possibility that God exists.
Excerpted from American Heritage Talking Dictionary
Copyright © 1997 The Learning Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved."

Sort of like, "seeing is believing?

" Beware! In this day and age, anything can be faked. Watch the movie Forrest Gump, for example. If God, or Jesus, or Whoever, came down and tapped you on the shoulder, how would you be really sure it is was him [or her] ? Nasty risk to take. Now, if you believe there is no Supreme Being, or whatever, and one tries to tap you on the shoulder, you might just change your mind [after asking some pointed questions and being satisfied by the answers,] but the "seeing is believing" part of being an Agnostic? It's too risky. Choose one or the other. Believe or don't.

Falk's Twenty-Third Law:

"Be careful if you think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence....

It may be greener because it's growing over a septic tank."

or cesspool, or whatever. You get it.
Falk's Twenty-Fourth Law:

"Never go to bed with someone you're not on speaking terms with."

  • Corollary I: If you have to lose sleep, don't do it alone.
Pity anyone who disputes the wisdom of that one .....
Falk's Twenty-Fifth Law:

"Everyone loves to edit; everyone hates to be edited."

....especially those that need editing most....
Falk's Twenty-Sixth Law:

"They Say "The Squeaky Wheel is the One That Gets the Grease" ?

....Nope: The Squeaky Wheel Is Usually The One That Gets Replaced"

Been there, had that done to me...
Falk's Twenty-Seventh Law:

"Faith = Any strongly held belief, especially in the absence of proof."

Not restricted to religion, either...
Falk's Twenty-Eighth Law:

No matter what happens...

  • 28a ... there is always someone ready to tell you that it happened according to his or her pet theory.
  • 28b ... there is always someone ready to misinterpret what it means.
  • 28c ... there is always someone who says they predicted it all along...
  • 28d ... there is always someone who won't believe it until they
    have "the proof" in their own hands or unless they "saw it with their own eyes..."
  • 28e ... there is always someone who will blame it on some kind of conspiracy...
  • 28f ... there is always someone who won't believe it at all, no matter what kind of proof is presented...
  • 28g ... there is always someone who will feel offended by it...
  • 28h ... there is always someone who will start an organization to support or oppose it...

Falk's Twenty-Ninth Law:

"Don't try to Avoid Problems; They'll Arrive on Their Own Anyway."

...and with Free Delivery
Falk's Thirtieth Law:

"Anything remotely believable or remotely amusing will propagate without limit on the internet, independent of its accuracy or truth....."

Falk's Thirty-First Law:

"Wait for Rev. 3.0"

Remember Windows, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc., etc., etc.... ?
Falk's Thirty-Second Law:

"Science is as much about Questioning Answers as it is about Answering Questions."

That's one way you can differentiate it from things like Religion and, especially, Creationism.
Be careful when this line is crossed.

Falk's Thirty-Third Law:

"The Only Criterion for putting a Tax on something is that the "something" must be Measurable. No other reason is necessary."

You will never find any other explanation which explains so rationally and succinctly why anything is taxed.
If it can be measured, it's a target for someone in Government to find a justification to tax it.
Remember the Boston Tea Party? "Taxation Without Representation"?
Now consider the Inheritance Tax. [a.k.a., "Estate Taxes"]
If that's not the ultimate "Taxation Without Representation,"
what is?
Falk's Thirty-Fourth Law:

"The purpose of psychotherapy is not necessarily to help you get over your problems and learn to live in the world; often, it's actually to help you live in a world filled with other people and their problems."

For a long time [most of my 13 years in various kinds of psychotherapy,] I believed that the first one was the purpose. Towards the end of my therapy, I realized that the second item was a more accurate description. Progress went much faster after that.
Falk's Thirty-Fifth Law:

"There are at least two sides to most coins."
Or, "If a coin has one side, then it has at least one other side."

This is best for folks who often say, "On the other hand..." , too.
Falk's Thirty-Sixth Law:

"When you can't [ fill in the blank ] with the one you [ fill in the blank ], [ fill in the blank ] the one you're with..."

... the generic version seemed more appropriate.
Falk's Thirty-Seventh Law:

"Don't read things into things that shouldn't have things read into them..."

Yeah, juggle that one around your mind for a while...
Falk's Thirty-Eighth Law:

"When the premise is false, the conclusion is usually false."

...but they usually make for amusing emails and blogs on the Internet...
  • Corollary I: "Beliefs which were not created by facts are not dispelled by facts."
Falk's Thirty-Ninth Law:

"It is IMPOSSIBLE to refute any argument from a fundamentalist, zealot, True Believer or conspiracy theorist, because they can never accept ANY argument to the contrary."

Corollary I: The only data that may be considered "true. accurate, real, (etc...)" are the data that support their beliefs.
Corollary II (or "Claire's Corollary): Evidence that refutes your position is "merely anecdotal."
Corollary III: Popular beliefs never let facts get in their way.

Thank you, Vierotchka and JanforGore at the late Current.com, Claire at Linked In's White House Group and many others, too!

Falk's Fortieth Law:

"Extreme solutions usually result in just more extreme problems."

Ban DDT => Increased deaths, world-wide, from malaria.
Convert cropland to corn for biofuel => Increased world-wide food prices and humger.
Falk's Forty-First Law:

"The only public servant worth electing is the one who has to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into office."

All who actively desire public office should be shot immediately without further consideration.
I could picture the late Robert A. Heinlein either making or agreeing with that statement...
Falk's Forty-Second Law:

"No "Windfall Profits Tax" shall be levied unless "windfall profits" is clearly, specifically and accurately defined before the tax is enacted."

Anyone care to take bets on that one getting a warm reception in Washington, D.C.?
Falk's Forty-Third Law:
[a.k.a., "The Lame Duck Amendment":

"No lame-duck president may introduce or sign any bills into Law after election day of their last year in office. Any Laws attempted to be put into effect between election day and inauguration day will be subject to immediate rescission at the will of the incoming president."

Anyone care to take bets on that one getting a warm reception in Washington, D.C.?
Falk's Forty-Fourth Law:

"No one can ever see any possibility that they have ever been manipulated by any group ... that they agree with.

Or should I add, "... that they're a member of?"
Now, do you agree or disagree with that one? LOL!
Falk's Forty-Fifth Law:

"Nobody believes anyone who disagrees with them."

Or is it, "Everyone believes everyone who agrees with them." ?
Now, do you agree or disagree with that one? LOL!
Falk's Forty-Sixth Law:

"Face it: If anyone needs a "Dummies" book for something, it was too complicated to start with."

Falk's Forty-Seventh Laws:

  • "When one of the participants in an argument or discussion plays the "moral" card, it's because they don't have any facts, reason or logic to bring to their side of the argument."

    The neat thing is to be aware of how the "discussion" changes when one side suddenly and unexpectedly labels the topic "really a moral question." It means they know they just lost the argument, but in reality, if the other side rises to the bait, they just lost. Morality trumps logic, facts and reason all the time in a "discussion" or "debate."

  • "You can always tell when the folks on one side of a 'Discussion' have run out of rational arguments for their side...
    They play the "For The Children" card or change the issue to one of 'Fairness' or 'Morality' or 'Justice.'

    After that happens, further participation in the 'Discussion' is worthless."
  • 48
    Falk's Forty-Eighth Law:

    "Critical Thinking requires identification of the root causes of a problem before a solution is proposed."

    • Corollary 1: Governments never operate in that order.
    • Corollary 2: Governments inevitably propose more restrictive Laws and/or organizations with larger degrees of control, rather than less of anything.

    Any Questions???

    Falk's Forty-Ninth Law:

    "Sometimes "getting up on your high horse" lets you better see the big picture."

    [Someone recently accused me of getting on my "high horse" and lecturing at them...
    Sorry, Daryl... but thanks!]


    Falk's Fiftieth Law:

    "There are two words that can describe nearly everyone who criticizes the rich, the powerful, the intelligent or the "they run the world" ethnic or religious groups:

    Envious or Incompetent ... or both. "

    Y'know, I just realized that's a good explanation of why most bullies bully others!


    Falk's Fifty-First Law:

    "Economics is a religion, not a "science" and should be treated like one."

    ... and their high priests and shamans should also be treated accordingly:
    i.e., ignored or ridiculed... preferably: shunned.

    Falk's Fifty-Second Laws:


    "Hire the next to the lowest bidder"

    In too many cases, the Low Bidder cuts something to the bone and creates lots of downstream problems. Examples are legion.
    Now, picture what would happen if a bunch of people started hiring the Second-Lowest Bidder...
    The Lowest Bidder would have to start quoting more reasonable bids, without cutting quality, delivery or profits to the bone.
    In addition, the scam of Getting the Business With The Low Bid, followed by reaming out the customer with follow-on upgrades, no-bid future business hopes or other lock-in deals would be greatly curbed. Think about it!


    Vote for the candidate who's received the Lowest (or second-lowest) campaign funding.

    Sort of the same as 52a, but in reverse...


    Falk's Fifty-Third Law:

    "People tend to choose one of two basic "Life Perspectives" at some time in their lives...

    Either the Individual is responsible for the good AND bad things that happen to a person OR "the outside world" is. "

    Pretty much everything else they do or believe after that can be explained by that fundamental choice.


    Falk's Fifty-Fourth Law:

    "Governments, despite popular belief, do not create or produce anything ... "

    "Anything any Government "provides" has previously been taken from someone else
    through taxes, confiscation or other similar and/or devious means."

    Anyone who thinks that any government provides anything "for free" needs their head examined.


    Falk's Fifty-Fifth Law:

    "Virtually every Problem you ever hear about today can be traced to one root cause ...

    Too many people."

    Go on, make a list for yourself and see if that isn't true...

    ...And, whatever you think The Solution is, you're wrong...


    Falk's Fifty-Sixth Law:

    "Your assertions about a topic are not proofs that you are right."

    You may sincerely believe that your assertion is "the Truth,"
    but without data or tangible proof, it's still just an assertion and nothing more.

    Corollary 1: "The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'evidence.'


    Falk's Fifty-Seventh Law:

    "You can find anything on the internet... You can also find the opposite on the internet, too."


    Falk's Fifty-Eighth Law:

    The assertion that "certainty of punishment (and in particular, Capital Punishment, i.e., "The Death Penalty") deters criminals from committing capital offenses..." is irrational.

    Certainty of punishment tends to limit the actions of NON-criminals, if at all.
    Criminals do not operate under rational assumptions.

    To assume they do is irrational.


    Falk's Fifty-Ninth Law:

    Competitors Do Not Like Competition... But intelligent Consumers welcome it.

    Note that "Politicians," "Businessmen," Unions and Professional Sports Leagues and Teams... are "Competitors," too.


    Falk's Sixty-ith Law:

    Every Law brings Unintended Consequences, many or most of which are unpredictable.

    ... Something that Lawmakers and the people who ask them to make laws rarely consider.


    Falk's Sixty-first Law:

    Life is too short to be taken All That Seriously.

    ... That realization sometimes comes with 'age.'


    Falk's Sixty-second Law:

    Regarding "Freedom of Speech" ...

    "Freedom of Speech" includes the Right to tell anyone what you think and even why it might be 'good' for them to consider it for themselves.

    It does not include the 'right' to Force them to do what you think is right for them.

    It's also does not include the 'right' to tell anyone else what they can or can't or should or should not say in reply!


    Falk's Sixty-third Law: The Law of Cults ... Combining several previous Laws and one Corollary

    If you see "Your Side" as The Righteous Ones and The Other Guys as "The Devil Incarnate...
    " You have demonstrated that you are a member of a Cult."


    Falk's Sixty-fourth Law:

    People who are paid to Find Problems... Will Find Problems...

    Even if they have to invent the evidence that The Problems really exist.


    Falk's Sixty-fifth Law:

    Proposed "Litmus Test" for anyone running for public office:

    "Do you swear that any law that you introduce, vote 'yes' on or try to influence to pass...
         ...will apply equally to you and all other lawmakers without exception?"

    Falk's Sixty-sixth Law:

    It's not "Follow the Money"...

    It's really "Follow the Money, the Power and The Control Over Other People."

    Falk's Sixty-seventh Law:

    "Luck" does not exist ...

    "Luck" is the statistical intersection of what you want to happen and what actually happens.

    Falk's Sixty-eighth Law:

    "Money is not "the root of all evil."       "Money" is NOT 'inherently evil."

    Money is a tool that enables choices.

    If you have more money, your range of choices is greater.
    What you DO with that money is a reflection NOT on the money, but on YOU.
    Whether 'you're' an individual, group, corporation or whatever.


    Falk's Sixty-nineth Law:

    Inverse Hanlon Card:

    "Never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by Strategy."

    First Rev:
    Falk's Laws may be copied, distributed or reprinted
    as long as they are not changed in content or title and credit or linkback is provided.
    Please let me know where you see
    Falk's Laws in print!
    Thank you!

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