Emery’s Law: Any social phenomenon is more complex than you imagine, even when you take into account Emery’s Law.
By any, I mean phenomena like:
- The riots in Baltimore in the Spring of 2015.
- Police treatment of individuals.
- Distribution of privilege.
- Compensation schemes.
- A stream of comments on Youtube, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, …
- Steve Earle’s concert at the Crest Theater in Sacramento on April 29, 2015.
- A kiss.
- A shared glance.
- This blog post.
- The woefully limited range of categories I was able to think of as I constructed this list.
One implication of Emery’s Law: Your understanding of any social phenomenon is incomplete.
My advice: Whatever conclusions you draw about any social phenomenon, no matter how simple it seems, hold them tentatively.