What is an axiom? ChatGPT’s definition:

An “axiom” is a statement or proposition that is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true. Axioms serve as foundational principles or starting points for further reasoning and arguments, without needing to be proven because of their inherent self-evidence. In mathematics and logic, axioms are basic assumptions about the system being discussed, from which theorems and other truths are derived. In a more general context, an axiom can refer to any universally accepted truth or principle.

For example, from philosophy: “each thing is identical with itself.” No one can deny that a thing = self.

Somewhat relevant: my page on software laws

Examples relating to software + organizations:

  • Institutions Try to Preserve the Problem to Which They Are the Solution - e.g., turbotax wants to keep the shitty broken tax system because they profit off it being shitty. Meanwhile they market their product as “the solution to the broken tax system”. See also: health insurance.
  • Complex Systems Tend To Oppose Their Own Proper Function - for example, city has trash problem, creates a department for waste management, ultimately resulting in waste management company striking + more trash piling problem.
  • People In Systems Do Not Do What The System Says They Are Doing - The stated purpose of a king is to rule a country, but in reality they spend a lot of time fighting off usurpers.
Last modified: February 24, 2024
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