Kinghorn’s First Law

Years ago I enunciated, but never published, what I call Kinghorn’s First Law Concerning the Interface Between Human and Computer. It states very simply that:

You, the human, must be perfect.

Now this may seem silly and nonsensical; and I do say it somewhat as a joke; but when you think about it, any computer system, regardless of its particular function, must be logically perfect within the confines of that function. Any imperfection will show up eventually as a bug. This applies to the internal processing logic of the system and to its inputs. Given correct internal logic and inputs, correct outputs will follow.

Since we, as humans, are not perfect, this leads us to my first corollary:

Never make any assumptions.

Too often assumptions will come back to bite you. “I just assumed that . . .

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