Sayre’s Law states: “In any dispute, the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake.” By way of corollary, it adds: “That is why academic politics are so bitter.”
Sayre’s law is named after Wallace Stanley Sayre (1905–1972), U.S. political scientist and professor at Columbia University.
The quote is often attributed to Henry Kissinger. He was questioned once about where he acquired his facility for political intrigue. He replied that he had learned it all as a college professor. Academic politics, he said, is so bitter precisely because the stakes are so small.
It neatly sums up my obsession with checking my WordPress stats constantly throughout the day.
The intensity of feeling I have for those stats is inversely proportional to both how small the numbers are, and any inherent value they have.
So it seems as if the solution to checking my stats way too often is to simply get more views, likes, and comments and I’ll be able to wean myself away from them.
But since that’s not likely to happen, it looks like I’m in for a lifetime of checking my stats again, and again, and again.
P.S. Sayre’s Law may also explain what drew me towards academia…
*image from Wired