No laws, no rules, just life

To everyone saying “rule of threes” with regard to Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett: there is no rule. It’s all selection bias, and nobody, no matter how well trained, is immune, because our brains are not computers.

Thank you Stephanie. I’m going to point a few people around the office to this post-haste. Sick to death of hearing this.

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No laws, no rules, just life

6 thoughts on “No laws, no rules, just life

  1. 2

    Well… I’m actually copping out on this personally. I’ve tried to explain it to two people now, and came away frustrated. I’m hoping YOU’LL be the one that makes ’em think. 🙂

  2. 4

    While I’ll admit Schoolhouse Rock is awesome, I have to take issue with their examples of “magical threes” — specifically “heart, mind and body” — the first two are subsets of the third! And “man and woman and baby” — what about extra kids? Or if the baby has a problem or is stillborn? Where’s the magic in that? And the mention of the “trinity” while only in passing obviously refers to the “Holy Trinity”, or is at least a throwback.

    The triangle thing is a good point, being it’s the geometric 2-D shape you can create with the least number of lines that has an actual volume.

    Also, the only rule of three that works, to my mind, is in repeating a joke. Jokes are only funny if you say them once, or repeat them three times during the course of a given speech/stand-up routine/episode. If you do it just twice, the second one falls flat. Unless it’s a variation on the theme, of course. So that’s not even a proper “rule”.

    Bah! A pox on magical thinking altogether.

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