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Friday, February 18, 2022

More Laws of Computing

 Not so much laws, but rather general indications of past trends that may usefully hold in the future. or not.  Here some proposals for mew laws.Good for tracking against new data.  

Moore’s Not Enough: ​4 New laws of Computing Moore’s and Metcalfe’s conjectures are taught in classrooms every day—these four deserve consideration, too  by ADENEKAN DEDEKE in IEEE Spectrum.  Below an intro, much more at the link.


I teach technology and information-systems courses at Northeastern University, in Boston. The two most popular laws that we teach there—and, one presumes, in most other academic departments that offer these subjects—are Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law. Moore’s Law, as everyone by now knows, predicts that the number of transistors on a chip will double every two years. One of the practical values of Intel cofounder Gordon Moore’s legendary law is that it enables managers and professionals to determine how long they should keep their computers. It also helps software developers to anticipate, broadly speaking, how much bigger their software releases should be.

Metcalfe’s Law is similar to Moore’s Law in that it also enables one to predict the direction of growth for a phenomenon. Based on the observations and analysis of Robert Metcalfe, co-inventor of the Ethernet and pioneering innovator in the early days of the Internet, he postulated that the value of a network would grow proportionately to the number of its users squared. A limitation of this law is that a network’s value is difficult to quantify. Furthermore, it is unclear that the growth rate of every network value changes quadratically at the power of two. Nevertheless, this law as well as Moore’s Law remain a centerpiece in both the IT industry and academic computer-science research. Both provide tremendous power to explain and predict behaviors of some seemingly incomprehensible systems and phenomena in the sometimes inscrutable information-technology world.

King Camp Gillette reduced the price of the razors, and the demand for razor blades increased. The history of IT contains numerous examples of this phenomenon, too.

I contend, moreover, that there are still other regularities in the field of computing that could also be formulated in a fashion similar to that of Moore’s and Metcalfe’s relationships. I would like to propose four such laws.

Law 1. Yule’s Law of Complementarity

I named this law after George Udny Yule (1912), who was the statistician who proposed the seminal equation for explaining the relationship between two attributes. I formulate this law as follows:   .... ' 

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