“…the first thing a principle does – if it really is a principle – is kill somebody.”
Peter Death Breedon Wimsey, to the Warden, in D. Sayers, Gaudy Night (1936)
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
- Practice must flow from principles.
- Nothing important is objective.
- If you can't explain it to Josh, you don't understand it.
- We got here from there for reasons.
- The other side has good reasons for its position.
- Some battles aren't worth winning (P Ylvisaker).
- Beware inferences based on residuals.
- Earn more points than you spend.
- Always go there.
- Silence has value.
- Give bad news in person.
- Never surprise up.
- You have to plug it in.
- Dysfunctional technology is worse than no technology.
- Every so often you have to clean your desk.
- Don't work on the way home.
- Principles need not apply under $1,000.
- Everything costs twice as much as you think.
- If throwing money can solve a vexing problem, do that.
- Red wine goes with everything.
- When there isn't any red wine, white wine, if dry enough, is better than nothing (R Schmitt).
- Good food is worth paying for.
- There are only forty people in the world.
- Sports metaphors always mislead.
- Unaffordable success is nothing of the sort.
- Apology doesn't require guilt.
- Link, don't copy.
- Computers are never free.
- Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence
(via A Smith, from J Martin, writing as H Bauer, To Rise Above Principle: The Memoirs of an Unreconstructed Dean, University of Illinois Press, 1988).
- Never quarrel with the parking god.
- Answer the question.
- Higher education is fractal (K Klingenstein).
- Free choice is antithetical to efficient support.
- ∫Clue is a constant (J Schiller).
- Added value only earns points if it doesn't add cost.
- Complexity is infectious (K Klingenstein).
- People think differently about Chevys and Jags.
- Never eat green Key-lime pie.
- Bribery has its limits.
- If it doesn't scale, then success is failure.
- "Confusion" may be just a myth, indistinguishable from advanced technology (D Champion).
- Avoid restaurants whose name includes the word "Margarita".
- If a thing is not worth doing, then it's not worth doing well (H Bauer, op. cit.).
- Be careful. The toe you stepped on yesterday may be connected to the ass you have to kiss today (B Cianci).
- The first thing any rich new technology will do is point out how poor existing policies are (K Klingenstein).
- Professors are expected to speak in triads: two seems superficial, and four is superfluous (D Hutchinson).
- The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese (W Nelson).
What's that graphic on the right? It's a copy of a poster my colleagues at the University of Chicago presented me, as a very welcome surprise, at one of our big annual holiday parties. Apparently some of them had found this web page, and were even taking it to heart. But not always quite as I'd intended. When I recorded principle #9, "Always go there", for example, I had in mind that the accent was on "there" -- that is, it's always a good idea to engage others on their turf, rather than on yours. Then I heard one of my senior directors quote the principle, which was kinda cool, but he put the accent on "always go" -- that is, he meant, we should never shy away from initiatives, new thinking, and change. His reading was in some ways even better than what I intended. Point is, people read things as they wish, not necessarily as they were meant.
- G Jackson, ed.