Week 7, 2020 - Footsteps in Wet Cement
Parkinson’s law of triviality from Wikipedia:
members of an organization give disproportionate weight to trivial issues.
There are serveral other principles express a similar sentiment.
- Wadler’s law: This principle asserts that the bulk of discussion on programming language design centers on syntax (which, for purposes of the argument, is considered a solved problem), as opposed to semantics.
- Sayre’s law: In any dispute, the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake.
- Atwood’s duck: A programmer expects his or her corporate office to insist on at least one change on every presentation to show that they’re participating, regardless of the benefits of that change. Consequently, the programmer intentionally adds an element they expect corporate to remove.
Here is an answer from Poul-Henning Kamp in his article Why Should I Care What Color the Bikeshed Is?:
In Denmark we call it “setting your fingerprint”. It is about personal pride and prestige, it is about being able to point somewhere and say “There! I did that.” It is a strong trait in politicians, but present in most people given the chance. Just think about footsteps in wet cement.
From this point of view, weird news of social movements on media start to make sense. In any social movement, it is easy to be activists, hard to be problem solvers. Some of the activists even can’t clearly express their appeal. They are crazy about putting their selfies during the parade on Instagram, like annoying footprints in wet cement.