Tuesday, 16 May 2017

O'Brien's Law

The term 'observer effect' in Physics refers to the idea that the act of observation changes the phenomenon being observed. Physics being what it is, this effect is usually seen in the microscopic and smaller scale. However, I have discovered a real-world example of this on the macro scale.

Many times in my career I have stepped up to a computer for the purpose of assessment and eventual repair only to discover that it is now working. The user claims it was broken right up until the point I arrived. Usually this is then followed with claims that they are "not crazy" and other things I am not qualified to determine.

I have often referred to this as the "car mechanic" principle, since it follows a similar situation where that annoying thing your car was doing went away once the mechanic got a hold of it. However, in this case the car is usually sitting idle for some time before a mechanic gets to it, so it does not fit the sudden and dare I say miraculous curing of ailing computers simply by arriving on the scene.

Now that I've put it out there, could it be that we IT professionals are somehow possessed of the ability to cure computers simply by a laying of hands? Discuss.

Contrary to the name of this blog, I do not subscribe to any specific religion, so I'll leave the miracles to others. Instead I postulate this:
The act of observation of an IT-related issue, by a qualified IT professional, can sometimes resolve this issue.
I think this should be called O'Brien's Law of  Quantum Observation as it Relates to IT Issues. Discuss.