That’s Mooers, like cows. (Oh come on, don’t say you don’t get it: cows moo, they’re moo-ers, as opposed to humans who hear the moos, making us moo-ees.) Not to be confused with Moore’s Law.

Anyhoo… I don’t even remember how, but I came across a reference to Mooers’ Law recently, so I found the paper that proposes it:

Mooers, C. N. (1960). Mooers’ Law; or why some retrieval systems are used and others are not. American Documentation, 11(3), p. ii.

The law is stated as follows:

An information retrieval system will tend not to be used whenever it is more painful and troublesome for a customer to have information than for him not to have it.

Obviously this is a law about use of IR systems, but it struck me that Mooers’ Law really speaks to the modern American political climate:

Having information is painful and troublesome. We have all experienced this. If you have information, you must first read it, which is not always easy. You must then try to understand it. To do this, you may have to think about it. … It is a nuisance to have it come to you. It is uncomfortable to have to do anything about it. …

Thus not having and not using information can often lead to less trouble and pain than having and using it.