A Copywriter’s Blog
Wizard’s First Rule Ben Levy 1, November

I love adages with official sounding names. A quick jaunt through my favorites:

Murphy’s Law- perhaps the most well-known: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
Godwin’s Law- If you invoke Hitler or Nazis as part of your forum argument, you automatically lose.
Occam’s Razor- The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.
Hofstadter’s Law- It always takes longer than you expect, even if you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

Occam’s Razor might be considered more than a simple adage, given that it’s been in circulation since the 14th century. But most of these are just entertaining observations about life with “Law” added to the name of the observer.

Early in life, I was hoping to gain immortality through becoming a child-prodigy. But the older I get, the less likely it seems that will occur. So my new plan is to call attention to something blindingly obvious. To craft an adage for the ages. An enduring observation that helps people end arguments and ease their daily suffering. I’ve got the name, I just need the revelation. A few years ago I was all ready to reveal ‘Levy’s Law’ to the world, but then I found out it was already named. It’s called the Wizard’s First Rule.

The Wizard’s First Rule is this: People are stupid.

It is brilliant. Genius. Absolutely sublime in its simplicity and utility. It was pretty much word for word what I wanted Levy’s Law to be. It was coined by one Terry Goodkind, an author of incredible success whom I dislike intensely.

It’s not because he beat me to the revelation that people are stupid. It’s because of his books. You probably don’t care, but I can’t stand his writing. I thought his early work was great because I assumed it was written semi-ironically. Then I discovered it was written genuinely. Furthermore, since his runaway success his latter books have devolved into piss-poor 400 page diatribes on his feelings about the meaning of life. These he wrapped around some romance-novel-like mush that a Harlequin book would feel embarrassed to share shelf space with. Worst of all, he’s attempted to retcon the only thing of any worth he’s ever written- the Wizard’s First Rule. Mind you, this is all my opinion. Feel free to read them yourself. Then leave a comment about how doing so was a colossal waste of your time, so that I can reply to it saying “I told you so”.

But I can’t deny the perfection of the Wizard’s First Rule. Hell, it even explains why people keep reading his books. So I’ll have to find another observation for Levy’s Law. Maybe something about how every good idea you have has already occurred to someone else. (Which of course is best proved by the already existing adage “nothing is truly new”)

Anybody got a favorite adage they’d like to call out?