gerald_holton's picture
Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Professor of the History of Science, Emeritus, Harvard University; Author, Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture
Holton's Law

Holton's First Law

The turning points in individual and national life are most probably guided by probabilism. (Examples: You are one of about a billion possible yous, since only one spermatozoon [or sometimes two] make it to the ovum, out of about a billion different competitors, none the same. Or on the national/ international scale, the availability of a Churchill in 1940.)

The Second Law

The probability of a right answer or a beneficent outcome is usually much smaller than that of the wrong or malignant ones. ( This is not pessimism, but realism—an amplified analogue of the Law of Entropy.)

The Third Law

In the limit of small numbers, the previous two Laws may not rigorously apply. Therefore if you need only one parking place when driving your car, look for one first right where you want to go.