1. Power laws in Kafka

    Posted July 21, 2010 in ephemera  |  No Comments so far

    InĀ The Trial and The Castle, novels by Franz Kafka, the protagonists confront institutions that are inscrutable, complex and seemingly omnipotent. And within these institutions, a “power law of terror” is at work – at each layer of the institution the terror levels increase exponentially, as expressed by this allegoric doorman in The Trial:

    I am powerful. And I am only the lowest door-keeper. But from room to room stand door-keepers each more powerful than the last. The mere aspect of the third is more than even I can bear.

    Of course, this “power law of terror” shouldn’t be confused with Bruce Schneier’s Power Law of Terrorism.