We Need You To Fill In Step Two

To whom it may concern:

The phrase “Emergent Properties” is, like the “Law Of Unintended Consequences”, a way of saying “we don’t know why that happened but, golly, would you look at that”. Except that get to sound very smart and clever while you’re saying it.

Please note that if you use “emergent properties” as an engineering principle rather than a demarcation of ignorance, you will be asked to demonstrate your work. Furthermore, you’re not fooling anybody.

Thank you.


  1. Zeynep
    Posted August 4, 2006 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I would be more entertained, but there’s always the underlying current of horror.

  2. kev
    Posted August 8, 2006 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I always figured that unintended consequences was a great way of saying “We looked when we crossed the street, but we forgot to look both ways.”