2004 : WHAT'S YOUR LAW?

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Physicist, Computer Scientist, Chairman of Applied Minds, Inc.; author, The Pattern on the Stone
Hillis' Law

The representation becomes the reality.

Or more precisely: Successful representations of reality become more important than the reality they represent.

Examples: 

Dollars become more important than gold.
The brand becomes more important than the company.
The painting becomes more important than the landscape.
The new medium (which begins as a representation of the old medium) eclipses the old.
The prize becomes more important than the achievement.
The genes become more important than the organism.