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Catch Up ☼

Take the following quips into account and see if any of them could have a place in the fair art of living, as "The other side must be heard too."

1. No things and occurrences are basically simple and clear, they just appear to be so (try it out by quantum physics)

If you make something very clear, some people get steadily confused by it.

Whatever you set out to do, something else has to be done first. And maybe you yourself should not do that "something else" either.

Every activity takes more time than you first reckoned with, and perhaps even more time than have.

If you work at something long enough, it it may get damaged and perhaps break.

Things are seldom as simple as it first seems. "Don't underestimate your enemy" can be derived from similar grasps of things.

Those who are similar, may be expected to get confused over similar things.

2. To fool some people, just decide that you are to be reckoned with

What you decide to do may cost far more than first reckoned with.

To fool some people well enough you may have to get confused and fool yourself and freak out. And it should not be worth it.

3. Getting involved in something has its central dangers

It's often easier to make a commitment or get involved in something than to get out of it.

Trust a few and thereby escape the remorse and contrition and perhaps other harsh feelings too, for having trusted in many that were unworthy of trust. . . .

Those who pad themselves by conform, unsound enjoyments of life might make fools of those who stubbornly strive not for conformism but for realising themselves better.


Appear all right to get wisely involved in things.


Boss Rules ☼

Boss at least yourself as kindly as can be, so that you may keep yourself out of harm's way and your future family up and going. Good home skills and home management is what the OK boss learn parts of. (Phillips 2007; 2018).One is taking care of valuable time. (Bird 2010)

Some of the boons of good bossing:

  • Increasing the basic OKness
  • Coping with crisis
  • Communicating expertly or politely, often as on the job
  • Reducing conflict
  • Understanding the importance of recognition
  • Increasing your awareness (3)
  • Increasing productivity (5)
  • Discovering OK and not-OK attitudes
  • Adhering to ground rules of efficient bossing. 

The points are distilled from Dr Muriel James' The OK Boss, 1975, p 2-3.


Half-norms ☼

Be prepared and bulwark so that many bad things don't come your way at all. Look before you leap. Climbing carefully is easier than falling from the cliff. Old age may be OK to think in. One or more of these may fit you.

Half-norms to explore further

1. Ask no permit in what is really a bargaining position

Any given program, when running, is in the process of becoming obsolete. [The Frisk Technology Principle]

Before you find your handsome prince, you could have to kiss a lot of frogs.

Four-wheel-drive implies getting stuck in more inaccessible places. [Close to Phillips's Law]

1. The more general the title of a course, the less you will learn from it. 2. The more specific a title is, the less you will be able to apply it. [Rominger's Rules for Students]

Virginity can't be halfway cured.

When all else fails - read the instructions?

2. Few things motivate man more than unreliable reasons

Sex is hereditary. If your parents never had it, chances are you won't either.

A system which depends on human reliability is thus unreliable.

3. Enjoy a good partner any way it's possible

The more grandiose the plan, the greater the chance for failure. [Knagg]


Decide for what reasons a savoury partner could enjoy you.


To Rise ☼

Captain Ed Murphy, Lawrence J. Peter and more

Captain Edward C. Murphy (1918 -) was a US soldier and the originator of the maxim: "If anything can go wrong, it will." It has variants.

The Peter Principle from the book with the same title, "In any hierarchy, every individual tends to rise to his level of incompetence", was formed by a Canadian writer and editor of quotations, Lawrence J. Peter (1919 -). Peter co-authored the book with Raymond Hull.

1. The other side can go wrong

In order to get a loan you must first prove you don't need it. [John]

In any hierarchy, every individual tends to rise to his level of incompetence. [The Peter Principle, Ch. 1, in Dq 308, and Tq 461]

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on. [Winston Churchill]

Any paint, regardless of quality or composition, will adhere permanently to any surface, prepared or otherwise, if applied accidentally. [The Frisk Look on Painting]

If anything can go wrong, someone will see to it that it will. [Variant of Murphy's Law]

Tomorrow may be worse . . . might not even happen! [The Philosophy]

The time it takes to rectify a situation could be inversely proportional to the time it took to do the damage. Example: It takes longer to glue a vase together than to break one. [Possible of Restitution]

Work is done by those individuals who have not yet risen to their level of incompetence. [Peter Principle Corollary]

An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist fears this is true. [The Cardinal Conundrum]

2. If the hard way works, try to get to it before it's too late

A crisis is when you can't say "let's forget the whole thing." [Ferguson's Precept]

3. The easy sides to may eventually wear out

Many kinds of shoes make walking easy until they are worn out.

Management by objectives works if you first think through your objectives. Ninety percent of the time you haven't. - Peter Drucker

Much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work. - Peter Drucker


Most work today is by equipment, such as computer programs, and the process is one where computerised devises take over a lot, but not totally. It is a trend.


Cyril Northcote Parkinson ☼

The British historian, professor, and author Cyril Northcote Parkinson, PhD was born on July 30, 1909 in Durham, England, and died on March 9, 1993 in Canterbury. He won renown as the formulator of "Parkinson's Law," the satiric dictum that "Work expands to fill the time available for its completion."

He was a quite obscure academic before his dictums (called "laws" for the fun of it). The first of them appeared in 1955. Parkinson later devised a second law, "Expenditure rises to meet income". It was meant as a jibe at government functionaries inclined to expand their own ranks indefinitely, so long as taxes could be raised.

He based his comments on the nature of bureaucracy on his experiences as a British army staff officer during World War II. Written in a deadpan but mercilessly funny style, Parkinson's Economist essays were issued in book form in Parkinson's Law, or The Pursuit of Progress (1958).

Apart from the books that made him famous, Parkinson wrote many historical works and won the acclaim of critics as well. We may say he was quite broad-minded. A sample:

1. Complexities can persuade bureaucrats

The effectiveness of a telephone conversation is in inverse proportion to the time spent on it. [Parkinson's Law of the Telephone]

Officials make work for each other. [Parkinson's Axiom]

The matters most debated in a deliberative body tend to be the minor ones where everybody understands the issues.

2. Available people produce expenditures

Work expands to fill the time available for its completion; the thing to be done swells in perceived importance and complexity in a direct ratio with the time to be spent in its completion. [Parkinson's First Law] (3)

The number of people in any working group tends to increase regardless of the amount of work to be done. [Parkinson's Fourth Law]

Expenditures rise to meet income. [Parkinson's Second Law]

3. Parkinson's work goes deep into substrata of society

An enterprise employing more than 1000 people becomes a self-perpetuating empire, creating so much internal work that it no longer needs any contact with the outside world. [Parkinson's Law of 1000]

The chief product of an automated society is a widespread and deepening sense of boredom.

Why hobby-rules? Parkinson's Law holds "Work expands to fill (and often exceed) the time allowed." Hobby rules could go against it. Besides, Murphy's adage that if something can go wrong, it will, may be counteracted by "Safety first" and various other measures.


Complexities can produce work. Simplicity counteracts overdoing work.


Management quotations, words on how to manage, Literature  

Bird, Polly. 2010. Improve Your Time Management. London: Hodder Education.

Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. 2005. Management Extra: Managing Yourself. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Endo, Yoichiro. 2008. Countering Murphy's Law: The Use of Anticipation and Improvisation via an Episodic Memory in Support of Intelligent Robot Behavior. Doctoral Dissertation. Atlanta, GA: Georgia Institute of Technology.

James, Muriel. 1975. The OK Boss. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Parkinson, Cyril Northcote. 1957. Parkinson's Law and Other Studies in Administration. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Peter, Laurence J., and Raymond Hull. 1969. The Peter Principle. Cutchogue, NY: Buccaneer Books.

Phillips, Barty. 2007. Thrifty Living. London: Hodder Education.

Phillips, Barty. 2018. Outwitting Housework: 101 Cunning Stratagems to Reduce Your Housework to a Mimimum. London: Hodder Education.

Segerstrom, Suzanne C. 2006. Breaking Murphy's Law: How Optimists Get What They Want from Life - and Pessimists Can Too. New York: The Guilford Press.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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