During the mid-1930s, when the Institute of Advanced Study and the Princeton’s Fine Hall were still sharing the same area, they had a thing called the “Princeton Scale of Obviousness”. The scales were as follows:
- If Joseph Wedderburn says it’s obvious, everyone in the class had noticed it ten minutes ago.
- If Frederic Bohnenblust says it’s obvious, you can see it in half an hour.
- If John von Neumann says it’s obvious, you may prove it in three months provided that you’re a genius.
- If Solomon Lefschetz says it’s obvious, it’s wrong.
Note: Only mathematicians (or perhaps, people who know enough mathematics) would get the references.