﻿ Peter's Law - Chromatography Forum

## Peter's Law

Off-topic conversations and chit-chat.

### Peter's Law

Peter has often made the pertinent comment "the more you don't tell us, the more we can't help"

I wonder of this follows a mathematical function (obviously just idle fun)

For example -
if Information supplied = I
Help that can be given = H

Then possibly H=I³

We could call it Peter's Law

Regards

Ralph

There may be a more appropriate inverse square law
Regards

Ralph

### Re: Peter's Law

I think this model should be refined however to somehow differentiate relevant information and irrelevant. Naturally, people that are stumped and asking on the forums can't tell which is which. I'm not sure which discipline is best suited to help incorporate this complexity into the model.

This model also implies there is no limit to the helpfulness that can be provided. Perhaps it would predict that if a question asker rambled long enough that they might expect to receive help in being happier at work, or being a better person, or even having their romantic issues resolved...

### Re: Peter's Law

yes, it was too simplistic. I should have given it more thought - or just not bothered
Regards

Ralph

### Re: Peter's Law

Flattered though I am, I must acknowledge that "The more you don't tell us, the more we can't help you" was coined by Chromatographer1 (Rod), who has not been around much lately.

So it should be Rod's Law, which is satisfyingly close to Sod's Law.

A special case of Rod's Law is that when a long list of conditions and methods is provided, the critical bit of information is omitted with a probability proportional to how critical that information is.

Peter
Peter Apps

Regards

Ralph

### Re: Peter's Law

Peter Apps wrote:
I must acknowledge that "The more you don't tell us, the more we can't help you" was coined by Chromatographer1 (Rod), who has not been around much lately.

...or Yogi Berra ?

### Re: Peter's Law

"Berra had countless expressions and turns of phrase that were memorable because most of them didn’t make any sense. (At the same time, every one had some truth to it.)"

"Berra-isms (colloquial expressions that lack logic) are now countless, and many of them are just attributed to Berra, even if he never actually said them. As he so perfectly put it: “I never said most of the things I said.

"It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much."

The UK equivalent for quotes was David Coleman - a BBC commentator

"That's the fastest time ever run - but it's not as fast as the world record."
"He is accelerating all the time. The last lap was run in 64 seconds and the one before that in 62."
"There is Brendan Foster, by himself with 20,000 people."
"Forest have now lost six matches without winning."
"The front wheel crosses the finish line, closely followed by the back wheel."
"And the line-up for the final of the women's 400 metres hurdles includes three Russians, two East Germans, a Pole, a Swede, and a Frenchman."
"It's gold or nothing...and it's nothing. He comes away with the silver medal."
"The Republic of China - back in the Olympic Games for the first time."
"It's a great advantage to be able to hurdle with both legs."
"If that had gone in, it would have been a goal."

Regards

Ralph
Regards

Ralph

### Re: Peter's Law

Sounds like Mr. Coleman was a lot like Yogi. Yogi wrote a great book a few years back called "When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take it!". It's a fantastic and easy read. Yogi was quite a character.

### Re: Peter's Law

Peter's Law reminds me that there is the "Peter principle" in business management.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle
I imagine that many of us have experienced this firsthand

### Re: Peter's Law

I am trying to remember which commentator, in the closing stages of an Oxford & Cambridge boat race, frantically announced that it was Definitely either Oxford or Cambridge to win now.

There is a related law to Peter's/Rod's law, which is that if you know enough to ask the question with sufficient detail and accuracy that it can be answered, you probably already know the answer (and therefore don't need to ask the question). The reasoning behind this is that the skills you need in order to diagnose the problem and describe it are very often the same skills as you need in order to solve it. Therefore the majority of questions asked here will be ill-formulated (and that's just life).

### Re: Peter's Law

"If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine."

I read this one on the Jeep forum I frequent and thought it was quite appropriate
The past is there to guide us into the future, not to dwell in.

### Re: Peter's Law

James_Ball wrote:
"If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine."

I read this one on the Jeep forum I frequent and thought it was quite appropriate

That one I like !

Peter
Peter Apps

### Re: Peter's Law

skunked_once wrote:
Peter's Law reminds me that there is the "Peter principle" in business management.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle
I imagine that many of us have experienced this firsthand

I saw this so many times in my career. I also saw people who didn't finish college or had degrees like biology degrees who didn't know a "p" from an "H" promoted to Principal Scientists or higher, so on paper it looked like our R&D had super-qualified staff, but the truth was exactly the opposite. Just from the questions they'd asked me, they should've been embarrassed, but didn't know enough to be embarrassed. I saw formulas where the pharmaceutical active reacted with an excipient within a few months, expensive ingredients added which would be degraded by the time the product reached a store shelf, "scientists" who didn't know that "zero" was not an easy thing to define ("we want zero xyz in the product").

Only in Microbiology and Analytical Chemistry were staff required to have the direct degree for their field. Sad.

### Re: Peter's Law

Consumer Products Guy wrote:
skunked_once wrote:
Peter's Law reminds me that there is the "Peter principle" in business management.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle
I imagine that many of us have experienced this firsthand

I also saw people who didn't finish college or had degrees like biology degrees who didn't know a "p" from an "H" .[/i]

I suppose that this is a bad time to admit that I don't have a degree in chemistry ?

Peter
Peter Apps

### Re: Peter's Law

Consumer Products Guy wrote:
skunked_once wrote:
Peter's Law reminds me that there is the "Peter principle" in business management.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle
I imagine that many of us have experienced this firsthand

I saw this so many times in my career. I also saw people who didn't finish college or had degrees like biology degrees who didn't know a "p" from an "H" promoted to Principal Scientists or higher, so on paper it looked like our R&D had super-qualified staff, but the truth was exactly the opposite. Just from the questions they'd asked me, they should've been embarrassed, but didn't know enough to be embarrassed. I saw formulas where the pharmaceutical active reacted with an excipient within a few months, expensive ingredients added which would be degraded by the time the product reached a store shelf, "scientists" who didn't know that "zero" was not an easy thing to define ("we want zero xyz in the product").

Only in Microbiology and Analytical Chemistry were staff required to have the direct degree for their field. Sad.

A client told us that recently he had a permit writer from the state tell him after seeing that his waste water effluent pH was in the 6-8 range that "He would get his pH down to zero or he would close down is operation!"
The past is there to guide us into the future, not to dwell in.

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