Personal Laws à la Star Trek

Remember the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode with Ashley Judd (rrrowr!) as Ensign Robin Lefler? That character has a set of 102 "personal laws" to live by.

"When I learn something essential," she explained, "I make up a law about it. That way, I never forget."

Neatoramanaut John Farrier of The Zeray Gazette was inspired to write his own personal laws, which he blogged about here:

In the past year, I've been intentional about formulating such life lessons. I keep a MS Word document on my hard drive listing these thoughts, and each one goes through a probationary period before being accepted as both true and important. Here are some of the results, including some probationary laws, with explanations:

Just because you’ve done stupid stuff doesn’t mean that you have to keep on doing stupid stuff in order to be consistent. This is a reflection of Harry Browne's Previous Investment Trap. Consistency is a vastly overrated virtue, and it is better to admit that you were wrong and stop going in the wrong direction.

There is nothing inherently ennobling about hardship. My concept of masculinity long held that a man undertook great and challenging tasks and overcame obstacles. Suffering for a cause is noble. I now think otherwise.

Go where the cheese is. Taken from the book Who Moved My Cheese?, anticipate that shit will fall out of the sky, and be prepared to move as conditions change. Be on the lookout for change, have a backup plan for everything, and implement it immediately when the change occurs. That you do not like the change will not prevent it from taking place.

Link (with a very lively discussion in the comments)

If you were to write yourself personal laws, what would they be?

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Newest 5 Comments

I work as both a stage tech and as a photographer, and most of my rules are work related.

1) Do not date at work. When you break up, you have to see that person every single day.

2) Be comfortable above all. If your company doesn't have a dress code, and you don't have to deal with the public, you can wear whatever you like to work, as long as you have your torso covered and aren't showing any naughty bits. I even got a paper from my doctor, stating it was impossible for me to wear trousers. Just in case. Never needed to use it, though. (I've worn a kilt to work for 7 years).

3) If possible, be friendly with cops. If you're at a scene where there's a lot of cops, go to the top honcho, or ask the henchmen to get him for you. Firm handshake is important. Being slightly bored is important. Small talk. Ask if it's a quiet night or a busy night, choose one, doesn't matter witch, but both seems indecisive. Seem more interested in the honcho than what is actually going on. You're both on the job, and pounce and ask to get closer to the action. And you better believe being a cop is a shitty job sometimes. Show respect. Follow instructions. Get as close as you can to the action.

4) Get the picture. This should maybe have been #1. You have to decide if it's worth the risk, but it usually is.

5) Sometimes acting stupid will let you get away with things. Changing the subject too.

6) Film is better than digital. Even if you can't use it for work. It's cooler too. Digital is for the pictures you don't have to care about or for when you have to work fast. For the real stuff, the only option is film. (I break this on a daily basis!)

7) 1:36 ratio. 1 photo for every 36 frames should be good enough that you feel you've done a good job. If there are more, you don't take enough chances, if there are less, you're not thinking about what you're shooting and how. Same for film and digital!

8) 1:100 ratio. 1 photo for every 100 frames should be good enough to put in your portpholio. (This is a hard one!)

9) 1:1000 ratio. This is the one photo that makes you think you've got any talent to speak of.

10) If a screw is broken off and you know it's gonna take more than a minute to get out of the stage floor, grap a hammer and knock it flat. If you have time, take out a sharpie and color it black.

11) Learn knots. If you can't tie a bowline, you shouldn't work here.

12) Woven rope should be tight and hard.

13) Nothing too solid ever broke.

14) Get the big hammer.

15) Brute force and ignorance. When you've been trying to fit two pieces of steel frame together, and the holes don't match up, use brute force to flex the frame, or (14) get out the big hammer.

16) Nylock nuts are to be used only once. Same goes for Torx screws.

17) Co-workers need some bromance every once in a while.

18) Be nice to the people who decide what assignments to put you on.

19) Don't be overly polite with assholes that can't influence your life.

20) Don't drink with co-workers if you have a Jekyll and Hyde personality.

21) If someone (loons or missionaries) is trying to tell you that whatever you do or do not believe is the road to eternal damnation, it's O.K. to tell them tu fuck off and leave you alone. You don't want their faith or their crappy fliers. Shout if necessary. Use profanity.

22) All people are perverts.

23) Be nice to the people who prepare your food.

24) Be nice to all people who have a job that you wouldn't want.

25) Be polite with junkies, homeless people and derelicts. You don't have to add to their burden!

26) If you see a junkie who looks passed out, go over there and ask if he/she is all right. If they don't respond, shake them. Tell them to remember to breathe if they come too. If they don't, lift up their chin and check for breath. Call an ambulance. If you just keep walking you're a fucking asshole.

27) You can spot an asshole by what he's wearing in a bar. Really.

28) Even if you don't work at a bar, it's O.K. to kick someone out if they're bothering people. The bouncer will be surprised, but at least he didn't have to do it. Explain quickly and coherently why that person should not be let back in. Exxagerate if neccessary.

29) Girls equals drama.

30) Gay people are really nice.

31) Your friend could be a cock blocker.

32) All pretty girls have an ugly friend. Stay single long enough and your seriously hot female friend will try to set up a date with one. Do not accept.

33) Haggle. Seriosly. Ask questions like "is this the best price you can give me?" and "do you have rebates for employees at (insert firm name)?". Even if you get just 10% off, it's a lot of money for, say, a guitar or a camera. Also, do a bit of research first and know what you're buying. Check out the competition too. Be nice!

34) Don't tell anyone everything.

35) Keep secrets!

36) Most people will not get really advanced jokes and dry whit. And that's O.K..

37) Crushes come out of left field.

38) That really awesome girl you met in that bar once, who had seen you many times and thought you looked so cool and was so soft when she hugged you, but you had to leave because you were meeting your best friend at another bar, and you were so drunk you forgot to get her number? You're never gonna see her again. Sorry. (I kept going back to that bar every weekend for months, even tried to look for her in the area where she said she's seen me. No luck. It's been 18 months, and I still regret this!)

39) Weird people are fun to talk to and hang out with.

40) Normal people are boring.

41) If tapped beer tastes watered down or fowl somehow, get the bottled beer, strong brew.

42) If you're partying at a really cool bar, and the line to the bar is so long you're not getting served within reasonable time, you can always pop out for a cigarette and a shot at the bar next door.

43) Some actions by other people cannot be excused. Be proud, walk away. You don't have to deal with these people. Even if it means breaking up and moving out.

44) Your heart will be broken, and it will always seem like a surprise.

45) Don't get sexually involved with people who do not share most of your kinks or lack thereof, but expand your horizons.

46) RTFM. srsly.

47) Learn the phonetic alphabet. Use it when you're spelling stuff over the phone. If the person on the other end is not familiar, explain they should write down the first letter in every word you say. Clear communication is important.

48) Spelling, punctuation and grammer is important. Write to the best of your abilities, no matter what.

That's enough for now.
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1) Trust no one.
2) Information is ammunition.
3) If you can be found, you can be controlled.
4) The only thing you have to do is die.
5) Everyone is a whore.
6) Too many morons, not enough ammunition.
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