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Status: Submitted

%t Conservation of Responsability, the Law of
%n ?R?
%s And why you never get the credit
%a Alex Gough (
%d 19991207

Physicists, being practical sorts of people, like to make their lives easier by constructing laws and theories to help them understand reality and receive lucrative research grants and thus jobs. One of the most important types of laws are the conservation laws which state that a certain quantity remains constant throughout time. Most people are familiar with the law of conservation of energy, some clever people might even be aware of the law of conservation of colour in particle physics. As yet though, no researcher has become fully aware of the Law of Conservation of Responsibility which is by far the most important such law in the universe.

Basically put this law states that within any project, there is always a certain total amount of things which have to be done. These tasks are shared between the people working on the project. In theory (ie. never) these duties are equally partitioned within the group, more usually though one person in the group will do nothing, causing some other person to do more work.

This can end up in a vicious cycle with people doing less and less until eventually one person remains to do the work of everyone else. In cases like this, another law comes into play, that of the distribution of credit. This law is not a conservation law but instead means that the less work a person actually does, the more credit they will claim [1] based on the work done by the unfortunate person they conserved their own responsibility to.

Like many physical theories, it has been discovered that responsibility is transferred in discrete packets. These quanta of responsibility are called bucks and give rise to the expressions "passing the buck", "the buck stops here" and "why the buck do I end up doing all the work?".

Of course, the cany reader will be able to use this law to their advantage. By incurring illness or funerals at the right moment, it will be easy to hive a small portion of responsibility onto someone else. The more serious the illness or the closer the relative the better, especially if you pick a sympathetic (read gullible) enough coworker.

There is another section of the law of responsibility which states that the more things you end up doing for other people, the harder it will be for you to rid yourself of them in the future, in cases like this it may become necessary for you to take radical action, for instance adopting temporary death syndrome.

[1] - Unless of course, the project fails, in which case they will lose more and more blame onto the person they previously conserved responsibility onto.

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