Aw come on, don't make everything linear!
In the curse on Coburn,
I linked to a Wiki page
on Parkinson's Law of Triviality, sometimes called the bicycle-shed law. It's the basis of the pork-buster trick.
The wiki describes the Law of Triviality as a straight-line inverse relationship between cost and attention. Councils or legislatures will pass huge expenditures (like a nuclear reactor) instantly because they don't know anything about the subject, and aren't embarrassed to admit their ignorance. They will take plenty of time debating in detail on a small item like a new bicycle shed for the park, because they know something about such structures and feel the need to show their knowledge.
This isn't how Parkinson described the law in his first edition, which formed the foundation for most of my thinking about politics. He gave it as a curve.
Low attention for small items like pencils because nobody wants to look like he's wasting time on tiny matters. High attention for middle-size projects like the bicycle shed where everyone wants to sound informed; instant approval for the nuclear reactor where ignorance is okay.
Don't know if Parkinson linearized the law himself in a later edition; more likely it's been simplified by moderns.
is one of Polistra's pet peeves. In every field of endeavor, modern scientists and Experts seem incapable of understanding cycles or curves. Everything must be turned into a pure straight line, which can be extrapolated down to zero and up to infinity.
Nature doesn't work that way. Nature runs on negative feedback, which forms cycles or sigmoid curves.
Upward extrapolation obviously serves the interests of the Men of Infinite Greed, who must believe that their capacity to acquire power or money has no limits.
Downward extrapolation wipes out a whole area of biological activity relating to immunity and hormesis. In nature, small doses of harmful things train organisms to counteract large insults. If you ignore hormesis and treat all effects as linear, you're in a position to sue or imprison anyone who emits even one atom of the supposedly bad thing. Downward extrapolation thus serves the interests of predatory lawyers and the marauding enemy army EPA.