Posts Tagged ‘Pollard’s Laws’

Pollard’s Laws

October 17, 2012

Pollard’s Law of Human Behaviour: We do what we must (our personal, unavoidable imperatives of the moment), then we do what’s easy, and then we do what’s fun.  There is never time left for things that are merely important.

Pollard’s Law of Complexity: Things are the way they are for a reason. If you want to change something, it helps to know that reason. If that reason is complex, success at changing it is unlikely, and adapting to it is probably a better strategy.

Pollard’s Laws are from an essay entitled Why We Cannot Save The World by Dave Pollard.  If you read the essay, you’ll see he is extremely pessimistic about the near-term future.   I hope he’s wrong, but he may be right.   By his account of his life story, he has earned the right to his pessimism.

He is right to say that trying to understand the world, and to share your understanding, is a worthwhile effort.  As Bertrand Russell once said, half the useful work that is done in the world consists of trying to  undo the harmful work.  And he is right to say that pessimism about the world is no excuse for failing to enjoy and feel grateful for life’s blessings.