There are certain tech laws or computing and social media laws that define the internet. While some are just general assumptions that remained valid, others are actually surprising laws. Knowing them isn’t just essential for the modern-day netizen in you, but it’ll actually help you understand the recent developments better.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong in giving a Christian Bale smug to others after absorbing these tech laws. However, I advise you to be more Batman-ish with them and enjoy the show.
When we talk about tech laws here, I’m actually including some rules of the internet and some computing-related laws. Take it as a mixtape of how the internet works. All laws are important and not in any particular order. That said, let me list out the 20 essential tech laws for your next ‘big brain’ moment.
20 Tech Laws You Must Know
- 1. Moore’s Law
- 2. Kryder’s Law
- 3. Pommer’s Law
- 4. Godwin’s Law
- 5. Rule 34
- 6. Amara’s Law
- 7. Metcalfe’s Law
- 8. The 1% Rule
- 9. Badger’s Law
- 10. Sturgeon’s Law
- 11. Occam’s Razor
- 12. Wirth’s Law
- 13. Murphy’s Law
- 14. Cunningham’s Law
- 15. The Wadsworth Constant
- 16. Fitts’ Law
- 17. Danth’s Law
- 18. Armstrong’s Law
- 19. Poe’s Law
- 20. Wheaton’s Law
1. Moore’s Law
The simplest and the most popular one first, Moore’s law talks about the advancements made in processors or chips. Intel co-founder Gordon Moore noted in 1965 that the number of transistors per silicon chip would double every year. The original law was changed by Moore, but the increase still remains astonishingly accurate.
2. Kryder’s Law
Given by Mark Kryder, former senior VP and CTO of Seagate, this is also called Moore’s law of storage. Kryder gave this tech law in 2005 and it says that the disk drive density will double every thirteen months. A simpler way of understanding Kryder’s law is that storage drives will become cheaper as their capacity increases over years.
3. Pommer’s Law
Pommer’s law says that your mind can be changed by reading things on the internet. The nature of this change will be from having no opinion to having the wrong one.
So if you don’t have an opinion about something and go to the internet to read up on it, you’ll end up with the wrong opinion. I’m pretty positive we can rename it as the WhatsApp law or the Facebook news-feed law.
4. Godwin’s Law
One of the most popular laws of social media and discussion forums is Godwin’s law. You’ll be surprised to see how many people want to see similar laws to Godwin’s law.
According to Oxford reference, Goodwin’s law states that as the length of a thread proceeds on a newsgroup the probability of comparison with Hitler or the Nazis approaches one. So your discussion either dies on point, or it lives long enough to see itself become Hitler.
5. Rule 34
Not sure if I’ll ever be able to make my peace with this rule or tech law. Rule 34 is an internet rule that suggests that if something exists, there’s porn on it. Think of a random word, and you’ll find porn about it.
I would rather not check the accuracy of this rule but I’m having a hard time deciding if this should exist or not.
6. Amara’s Law
Coined by Roy Amara, former president of The Institute of Future, Amara’s law says that “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run”.
So the next time you go to buy a new gadget, consider buying old ones instead. If you’re confused, check out our coverage on things you need to know to buy old Android phones, iPhones, used Macs, and Windows laptops.
7. Metcalfe’s Law
Metcalfe’s law defines the working and success of social media platforms today. It says that the utility of a social network is directly proportional to the number of users on it. So with an increasing number of users, a social media platform becomes essential.
An example of Metcalfe’s law is the success of Facebook. With over a billion users, it is not just social media anymore, it is an ecosystem on its own. It has advertisers, publishers, job seekers, givers, you name it and Facebook has it.
8. The 1% Rule
The 1% rule of social media says that only 1% of people are creating content and the other 99% are just consuming it. The Instagram-scrolling-liking-vibing people will understand this one.
It popped up around the year 2006 and still remains somewhat relevant, but with platforms like TikTok and other short videos, I don’t think this law will hold water for long.
9. Badger’s Law
You can call Badger’s law the grumpy-cat of online discussion laws. It is just one simple statement that any “Websites with the word “Truth” in the URL have none in the posted content.” Let that sink in.
10. Sturgeon’s Law
Stepping up the grumpy cat game, we have the Sturgeon’s law by Theodore Sturgeon. This law isn’t only applicable to the internet but to everything.
Here’s how Sturgeon defined this law in his own words:
“All things—cars, books, cheeses, hairstyles, people and pins are, to the expert and discerning eye, crud, except for the acceptable tithe which we each happen to like.”Theodore Sturgeon, On Hand: A Book
In easy words, Sturgeon’s law says that 90% of everything is crap (crud). If that isn’t a whole new level of judging everything around you, I don’t know what is.
11. Occam’s Razor
Here’s an internet law or tech law that you must know. Occam’s Razor says that plurality should not be posited without necessity. In simpler terms, when making a hypothesis about something, make as few assumptions as possible.
Going by Occam’s razor, the simplest solution to a problem is the best one. So if an online argument is based on a lot of ‘assuming’ this and ‘assuming’ that, be swift and dismiss it.
12. Wirth’s Law
Niklaus Wirth, a Swiss computer scientist, gave this law in 1995. It was more of a statement that has now become a law of the internet. Wirth’s law says that “Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware is getting faster.”
Wonder why your phone gets slower after a year or two? It’s probably Wirth’s law making its way to you.
13. Murphy’s Law
One of my personal favorite tech laws, Murphy’s law, says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Especially in today’s time, it is a good rule to keep in mind if you’re forwarding a piece of news without fact-checking. Speaking of which, here are some steps you can use to stop fake news.
14. Cunningham’s Law
Cunningham’s law preaches that “the best way to get the right answer on the internet is not to ask a question; it’s to post the wrong answer.” I think I smell Quora all over this one. You can always try a discussion forum to check the accuracy of this tech law.
If you really want to see what damage wrong answers can cause, watch the video above.
15. The Wadsworth Constant
The Wadsworth constant started as a meme in 2011. However, it quickly escalated into an internet law or a tech law that you can follow for a better YouTube experience. It says that the first 30% of every video should be skipped because it has nothing of value.
Now, before you question it, I’d urge you to satisfy the curious kitten. Try out this law for yourself. Do watch the first 30% of any video after you’ve watched the rest. See if you miss anything.
16. Fitts’ Law
Fitts’ law governs the use of touch-screen devices and allows developers to work for a better user experience. Given by psychologist Paul Fitts, Fitts’ law says that a pointer (cursor) takes longer to reach a smaller target. Based on Fitts’ study, designers keep this law in mind while developing a touch-screen interface.
You can read more about the applications and usage of this law in design here.
17. Danth’s Law
This cool internet rule emerged out of an RPG forum and the creator is now banned from it. Danth’s law states that “If you have to insist that you’ve won an Internet argument, you’ve probably lost badly.” See the meme above for reference.
18. Armstrong’s Law
Named after Neil Armstrong, who’d rather not endorse it, this is one of the most popular internet axioms. According to Armstrong’s law, if an American and non-American are having a conversation that is going in the direction where America is no longer the greatest country, the American will use the moon landing to prove supremacy.
Call it a coincidence but two of my friends went to the U.S. to study, and they talk about the moon landing all the time. This internet axiom has provided some closure to me about why they do it.
19. Poe’s Law
No, Poe’s law isn’t named after Edgar Allan Poe. One of the most popular internet discussion laws, Poe’s law states that you cannot make fun of a fundamentalist without the outright use of symbols (like emojis).
Moreover, such people are likely to take sarcasm as sincerity, unless you blatantly put it out there as sarcasm, which defeats the entire purpose.
20. Wheaton’s Law
Given by none other than Wil Wheaton, hence named after him, Wheaton’s law preaches “don’t be a d*ck” online. Lurking trolls, racists, and other fake news spreaders, pay special attention to this one.
Also, do listen to Wil Wheaton’s speech in the video above. It is really inspiring.
About Internet And Tech Laws And Rules
So these are the 20 essential tech laws that you must know to rise up to your next big-brain moment. What you do with them and how you absorb them is completely up to you. However, one thing is abundantly clear, that the internet has certain stereotypes, axioms, and rules that it works on.
If you’re playing by these, they’re just for your peace of mind. Some laws here tell you about not locking horns with trolls, some are the essentials to tell real news from fakes. All in all, they’re internet approved, so have fun finding out their applications around you.