Monday, January 6, 2014

New for 2014 - the Empoprises Rule of Anecdotal Evidence Propagation

I have realized my one great failure of 2013.

I went an entire year without copyrighting any Empoprises Rules.

You see, I copyrighted three of them in 2012, and these three rules have changed civilization as we know it.

If you missed these momentous events, let me repeat these rules for you. Please note that all rules are Copyright 2012 John E. Bredehoft.

The first one, revealed on May 4, 2012, is the Empoprises FECES Rule of Corporate Me-Tooism.

Trust me, if FECES suddenly became a trendy acronym that all the cool kids were talking about, then you would have Microsoft, Google, Apple, Oracle, IBM, and everyone else climbing over each other and loudly declaring, "We are FECES."

And they would be correct. :)

By November 17, 2012, I had moved into the culinary business world with the Empoprises RCDCR Rule of Insider Food Talk.

Anyone who explicitly uses the words "restaurant concept" when addressing a potential diner should be exposed to continuous ridicule.

I concluded the year with a bang with a new credential. On December 12, 2012, I revealed the method of computation of the Phineas-Hirshfield Score.

The Phineas-Hirshfield score measures, on a scale of 0 to 100, the probability that someone will ask exactly what the Phineas-Hirshfield score is.

Please remember that all three of these rules are copyright 2012 John E. Bredehoft. And you don't want to mess with me; I have a Phineas-Hirshfield score of 91. (Yes, it's declined a bit due to massive publicity.)

Well, that was 2012. I pretty much took 2013 off, rule-wise - other than some behind-the-scenes work on the Empoprises Rule of Fair Food (not ready yet; more testing is needed).

But I did spend 2013 observing the power of anecdotal evidence. These are cases in which one person's experience is extrapolated and assumed to apply to the entire population. For example, if I go to the Naval Academy in Annapolis and a bird poops on my head (yes, this really happened), then I could conclude that anyone who goes to Annapolis will have to wash their hair very thoroughly later. After all, it happened to me; it's not the creation of a statistician.

Of course, people would probably listen to me more if I were a beautiful woman who had become famous by taking my clothes off. In that case, a certain segment of the population would believe anything that I said.

However, this power of persuasion is not limited to hot blondes. There are well over a billion people on social media services these days, and within that population, you're sure to find some group of people who will believe anything you say.


Hence, it's time for me to share the Empoprises Rule of Anecdotal Evidence Propagation. Remember, this is copyright 2014 John E. Bredehoft. Here goes:

If a person asserts, from experience, that a certain type of cancer can be cured by applying a certain food and a certain animal's body secretions on a certain part of the body, a minimum of 1,000 people will swear that the cure works, and a minimum of 100,000 people will share the miraculous news.

The propagation is key. If something sounds wonderful enough, it will be shared. Guilt is often used to encourage sharing, and you'll see phrases such as "Most people don't care about sick kittens and won't share this news."

But are my numbers too high? Too low?

I'm not sure.
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