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Subject:  An Open Letter Date:  1/24/2013  9:05 PM
Author:  discurro Number:  40659 of 45071

To Arthur C Clarke,

I really like your three laws, but they mostly refer to science.

Clarke's Three Laws are three "laws" of prediction formulated by the British writer Arthur C. Clarke. They are:

1) When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

2) The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

3) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


I would propose a modification of these rules for the business community....or at least for my manager.


1) When a director without detailed knowledge of the the systems states that something is possible, he is almost certainly wrong. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. when he opens his mouth, he is very probably wrong. At all other times, he is merely annoying.

2) The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible, but starting out on the far side of impossible and wishing really hard is not likely to make you hit your target.

3) Any planning sufficiently detailed to make success probable is too complex to make understandable to management.
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