Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hedtke's Laws

It occurs to me that I've quoted these frequently but never codified them. So here are my rules, or at least the ones I can remember on the fly. There are more, but I'm not recalling them right off the bat... which is probably as good a reason as any to codify them as anything.  :)

Hedtke's Law: Something that doesn't offend somebody couldn't possibly interest anybody.

Comments: "Something" in this case can be almost anything: a person, an endeavor, an idea, a change to the way things are being done. I also must give credit where credit is due: I didn't come up with this, I merely expropriated it. My old friend Allyn Wolfe was actually responsible for this in an issue of Red Garters, the house organ of the NWC, in 1977. However, I have carried this forward and it's now been adopted (as Hedtke's Law) as an operating principle for the STC's Board of Directors. (I have more on the proper attribution of Hedtke's Law here.)

Hedtke's Law #2: If a job is not worth doing at all, it is certainly not worth doing well.

Hedtke's Law #3: Everything's funnier after midnight.

Hedtke's Law #4: All other things being equal, it will always cost more.

I don't have a lot more to say about this one except that things will always be more expensive than you thought. 

Hedtke's Laws #5, #6, #7, and #8 will be posted eventually when I recall them.  Probably next time I find myself spouting them, actually. (Addendum: I've now got Hedtke's Laws 5-7 up here.) Hedtke's Law #8, Hedtke's Law #9, and Hedtke's Law #10 are also posted, as is Hedtke's Law in Latin.

Since I am mentioning rules, I should also say that I am very fond of Magid's Law, which I named but did not create. It's named after one of founders of the Flying Karamazov Brothers, Paul Magid (who I had the pleasure of hanging out with at a party along with the other Karamazovs in 1977 after a Ren Faire thingie in Chico, CA). Paul said this during their Broadway Show in the early 80s and it's been a Deep and Profound Truth for project planning for me ever since:
It doesn't matter how you get there if you don't know where you're going.
I've quoted this in several of my books and, though I haven't had occasion to talk to Paul myself, a mutual friend did let him know before the first instance and said that he was fine with me naming it after him.

Addendum, July 5, 2010: I had occasion to chat with Paul Magid about this after a presentation he gave about the history of the Karamazovs at the Oregon Country Fair. That was nice!

For more on Hedtke's Laws, click here.

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