Imagine my surprise when I learned this morning that an IBM researcher believes that Moore's Law-- that the number of transistors on a micro processor would double nearly every two years-- could be nearing the end of its run. Amazingly Moore made this prediction in 1965 and his law has stuck pretty much dead true for almost 45 years. So it's Friday and it got me wondering, if Moore's Law is going down, what could this mean to other famous laws:
Murphy's Law: Anything that Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong.
Over the next several years, some researchers believe this law will begin to reverse and anything that can go right will go right. Pessimists everywhere are up in arms about this one, saying nothing ever goes right, so how could this be true?
Parkinson's Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
It is now believed that time will actually expand to allow for people who can't complete work in the allotted time. Procrastinators are looking forward to technology that will allow them to simply change the time when their projects aren't done. Murphy's Law advocates believe something will go terribly wrong with this.
The Peter Principle: Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence
Many people believe that George W. Bush's presidency marked the high water mark of this law and the trend has actually begun to reverse with the election of a smart, articulate president, Barack Obama. The private sector has yet to see this happen and researchers are watching anxiously to see if employees with actual brains will rise to the executive suite instead of the incompetent buffoons, who collect large bonuses for running their companies into the ground. The jury is still out on this one.
The Dilbert Principle: Companies tend to systematically promote their least-competent employees to management (generally middle management), in order to limit the amount of damage they're capable of doing.
This law has already been disproven by the United States banking industry. In fact, incompetent management can and has done real damage to the very core of our economy. Would that Scott Adams were right and these people had been locked away in positions where they couldn't do any harm. We wouldn't find ourselves in the mess we are now.
Brooks' Software Law: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.
For those of you who fear change, fear not, this law still holds true, even in light of the expected changes to Parkinson's Law. Throwing more people at a project doesn't make it any more likely it will be completed on time and it never will. Good to know that at least one law won't be reversing itself.