Just found this interesting set of laws, called Wiio’s laws:
- Communication usually fails, except by accident.
- If communication can fail, it will.
- If communication cannot fail, it still most usually fails.
- If communication seems to succeed in the intended way, there’s a misunderstanding.
- If you are content with your message, communication certainly fails.
- If a message can be interpreted in several ways, it will be interpreted in a manner that maximizes the damage.
- There is always someone who knows better than you what you meant with your message.
- The more we communicate, the worse communication succeeds.
- The more we communicate, the faster misunderstandings propagate.
- In mass communication, the important thing is not how things are but how they seem to be.
- The importance of a news item is inversely proportional to the square of the distance.
- The more important the situation is, the more probably you forget an essential thing that you remembered a moment ago.
And there are three corollaries by Korpela:
- If nobody barks at you, your message did not get through
- Search for information fails, except by accident
- Give the student a chance to realize he misunderstood it all
These are all taken from this blog post.
At this time, I don’t have any thing else to add to these laws. But I’m sure that in the years to come, I am going to quote Wiio’s laws #1 and #2, and Korpela’s corollary #1 repeatedly to people. (Just like I love to quote the Three Chinese Curses:
- Third Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times
- Second Chinese curse: May you come to the attention of important people
- First (and most dangerous) Chinese curse: May you get what you wish for
And this concludes my first ever parenthetical remark which has a bullet list embedded in it (And also concludes this blog post))