Notes on specific Laws - the Zeroth Law

This is where the whole Law thing started:There is a fairly regular kind of thread that appears here.It starts should I make an Instructable about insert topic here?You know what? The answer is yes. Even if nobody else on the site is even vaguely interested in insert topic here, it is probable that somebody with access to the internet, somewhere in the world, will eventually develop an interest in insert topic here and resort to Google. Since this site is googlable (is that a word?), they can end up here, grateful to you and potentially a new and useful member of the site.So, unless it breaks the guidelines for what is suitable here (basically, Please remember that this is a family site), and you're not just re-inventing the wheel, then the answer to should I? is always yes.This has become the Zeroth Law:If an Instructable exactly like yours has not already been posted, then you shall post your Instructable.Instructables are, after all, the whole point of this site. If nobody posted new Instructables, the site would shrivel and die.It doesn't matter what you make, as long as it falls within the bounds of "good taste" (define them how you will). What does matter is that you make. If you look at other sites limited to making only one kind of thing (jet engines, chests of drawers, whatever), they tend to have a slow input of new projects, with many variations on a few basic themes posted early in the site's history. Instructables has a daily project count that rarely drops below ten, and sometimes hits thirty.Addendum to the Zeroth LawIf your Instructable has an identical goal to a pre-existing Instructable, but achieves that goal by a different or improved route, or in a different style, then you shall also post your Instructable.Why the addendum? Sometimes potential posters worry - there's already a project quite like mine, so should I waste bandwidth with mine? Of course you should! Some people will prefer the first version, but other people will prefer your version - maybe it's easier to read, the photos are better, or they prefer your sense of humour. Maybe you use different raw materials, or use different tools. Either way, unless your Instructable is indistinguishable from an earlier project, you should post your own.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Should I make an Instructable for this?

Haha, I was already going to make it. I'm just super excited about it so I wanted to share a sneak peek with y'all. I made it out of PVC and metallic paint, mostly, then the usual Steampunk bits and pieces. Then I decided it needed to be lit up with LEDs for special effect! Then I decided it needed a laser sight! Win.

Topic by V-Man737   |  last reply


The Laws - a rebranding for newer members.

Some of the regulars will remember that, nearly two years ago, I accidentally formulated a set of rules (which some people called "Laws") about posting on Instructables. I have seen a few threads and posts recently that suggest some people need to be reminded about those Laws. I also think they need rebranding, so I present for members who have been around for only a year or so... The Instructable Laws: Zeroth Law If an Instructable exactly like yours has not already been posted, then you shall post your Instructable. Addendum to the Zeroth Law If your Instructable has an identical goal to a pre-existing Instructable, but achieves that goal by a different or improved route, or in a different style, then you shall also post your Instructable. Kelsey's Corollary; It doesn't have to be hard to be worth making an Instructable. First Law On the Instructables website, the use of correct grammar and spelling (no matter what the language) shall be a constant criterion. Second Law An unsuitable thread, when isolated from replies, will descend the list into obscurity. Addendum to the second law Spam advertisers may be chastised through the Private Message system to prevent their thread's longevity. Third Law As the level of civility approaches absolute zero, the uselessness of an exchange of posts approaches infinity. The original "Law" The original formulation of the full set Zeroth Law and notes. First Law and notes. Second Law and notes. Third Law and notes.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Question about thermodynamics??? Answered

The zeroth law states that any 2 or more objects that come in contact must exchange energy to create a thermo equilibrium.  Would 2 magnets of the same polarity in a vacuum still abide by this law?  Can someone give me a formula to explain it?  Can magnetic fields even make heat by themselves or rather is there any friction between the two??  Thanks much!

Question by shawneegeek   |  last reply


You asked for it!

Don't blame me, blame whatsisface, Nacho and zach. Really. Blame them. Hunt them down if you have to, and blame them with hot pointy things! Zeroth Law If an Instructable exactly like yours has not already been posted, then you shall post your Instructable. Addendum to the Zeroth Law If your Instructable has an identical goal to a pre-existing Instructable, but achieves that goal by a different or improved route, or in a different style, then you shall also post your Instructable. First Law On the Instructables website, the use of correct English shall be a constant criterion. Second Law An unsuitable thread isolated from replies will descend the list into obscurity. Addendum to the second law Spam advertisers may be chastised through the Private Message system to prevent their thread's longevity. Third Law As the level of civility approaches absolute zero, the uselessness of an exchange of posts approaches infinity. Knock yourselves out, chaps. Please. Addenda, following public request: Notes on the Zeroth Law. Notes on the First Law. Notes on the Second Law. Notes on the Third Law.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Kiteman's NEW Shop!

I am currently putting together a new Spreadshirt shop.I'm not going to offer specific products this time, so that you, dear customer, can have as wide a choice as possible.This is the link to the shop, but all you need to know is that all the designs will be tagged with at least instructables and kiteman.It will, naturally, be offering the infamous Zeroth Law design.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Instructables links for a better tomorrow

I am hoping this will soon become a forum where everyone can come to see lists of instructables that they can easily do around the house. This is not however an extra way to promote your unrelated ible. If you truly believe that your project helped the environment with then Zeroth law applies: Thou Shalt Post. Also please dont refrain from commenting on peoples instructables from here so that people know what is good/easy/difficult/effective ect. I will start by posting my own. Its not very good but it is very easy and effective and i still use mine without damage. My second instructable.

Topic by Doddity   |  last reply


Instructables Trivia Patch Give Away!!

I have some patches to give away so I put together an Instructables trivia contest.  First ten people to have all the correct answers (or the ten people with the most correct answers) wins a patch from me.  Contest ends May 31. 1. Which Instructable was the first posted on this site? 2. Which Instructable has the most steps? How many? 3. Which Instructables member has posted the most Instructables? 4. Which Instructable has the most total views? 5. Which Instructable has  the most comments? 6. Which Instructables member has the most best answers ( as of Apri 30, 2010)? 7. Which Instructables member has asked the most questions in 2009? 8. Which Instructables member has the most comments in 2009? 9. Which Instructable is the highest rated? 10. What is the zeroth law? 11. What is the Instructables-Robot's age?

Topic by ChrysN   |  last reply


Condensed News

HeyIf anyone is interested, here's my shared items page from my RSS reader:LinkTheres an RSS feed on that page too.Before you go all "What's the point of this!?" on me -- let me explain.I go through about 400 items a day. This is the condensed version. I share 2 things mostly: Things that are funny/ironic -- and things that are interesting. Its a pretty even mix. My feeds include:Blogs:Make, Lifehacker, Gizmondo, Engadget, Consumerist, Slashdot, WorseThanFailureAnd:Instructables & diggTheres a few others, but they aren't good often. I'll gladly add any other feed that you want.I've only been doing this for a few days -- I need to get used to hitting "share". Anything I view, I share. Theres some things that I really don't care about --but others might -- that I'll also share.Hopefully, this can help some people shave time off their news-reading. Let me know if theres some other source I should read!(This post sponsored by Kiteman's Zeroth Law)

Topic by zachninme   |  last reply


The Community Over the Years

In the seven years I've been on Instructables, one thing I know to be true is that the community has changed. A lot. It is amusing to look over the "How to Steal An Instructable" post made years ago, which satirized the theft of projects. Looking back on things as old as this proves funny but also depressing though; the community has changed so dramatically in the years that have transpired that copied projects are now no longer the objects of satire or chiding but the recipients of praise and prizes. A few months ago, when I again broached the topic of copies on Instructables and the problems they cause, I was met with responses indicating that to overcome copycats all one needed to do was work a little harder. That is, those who have already put forward the effort of actually developing something new and of their own design should now work even harder to succeed. Curiously absent was any suggestion that copycats exert themselves and actually do something say--original. By chance, I ran into a thread I had not seen in years while writing this: the thread on the "Instructables laws," guiding principles users ought to observe. There are four, with some accompanying notes to all. The first entry, the Zeroth Law, is the one relevant to projects and their content. It states that: "if an Instructable exactly like yours has not already been posted, then you shall post your Instructable." An addendum is made to it, stating: "If your Instructable has an identical goal to a pre-existing Instructable, but achieves that goal by a different or improved route, or in a different style, then you shall also post your Instructable." The legitimacy of simplicity is also noted in an accompanying corollary. None of the above ideas are wrong. On the contrary, it is people ignoring this thinking which has caused serious issues. Nowadays, people know other projects have been published with identical instructions (and even superior quality), yet they proceed on and repost it themselves anyway. Furthermore, their copying usually violates the copyright restrictions laid out by the original creator. When the Instructables laws were written down, it is clear that original content was valued highly and respected. Nowadays, the dedication of the community toward these ideals is questionable to say the least. Today the community displays a disconcerting apathy toward makers and what they do. Just a few weeks ago, I was told the community is not interested in anything but the results--that the makers and their efforts are completely irrelevant. I'd rather not believe that is how the community at large believes things ought to be (especially given that it's a particularly unimpressive pitch to attract new makers and new ideas), but it seems like it may in fact be just that. With that in mind, things have obviously changed--for better or for worse is in the eyes of the beholder; I have already reached my own personal conclusion.

Topic by OrigamiAirEnforcer   |  last reply