Murphy's Laws
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Murphy's Laws     Corollaries    Commentaries     Addendum     Technology Laws

MURPHY'S LAWS

  1. Nothing is as easy as it looks.
  2. Everything takes longer than you think.
  3. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
  4. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong. Corollary: If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.
  5. If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.
  6. If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.
  7. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
  8. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
  9. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
  10. Mother nature is a bitch.
  11. It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
  12. Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
  13. Every solution breeds new problems.
Murphy's Law of Research
Enough research will tend to support your theory.
Murphy's Law of Copiers
The legibility of a copy is inversely proportional to its importance.
Murphy's Law of the Open Road
When there is a very long road upon which there is a one-way bridge placed at random, and there are only two cars on that road, it follows that: (1) the two cars are going in opposite directions, and (2) they will always meet at the bridge.
Murphy's Law of Thermodynamics
Things get worse under pressure.
The Murphy Philosophy
Smile . . . tomorrow will be worse.
Quantization Revision of Murphy's Laws
Everything goes wrong all at once.
Murphy's Constant
Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value

Murphy's Corollaries

Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious
Law of the Perversity of Nature (Mrs. Murphy's Corollary):
You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.
Corollary (Jenning):
The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

Commentaries

Hill's Commentaries on Murphy's Laws
  1. If we lose much by having things go wrong, take all possible care.
  2. If we have nothing to lose by change, relax.
  3. If we have everything to gain by change, relax.
  4. If it doesn't matter, it does not matter.
O'Toole's Commentary
Murphy was an optimist.

Addendum to Murphy's Law

You never run out of things that can go wrong.

Murphy's Technology Laws

  1. You can never tell which way the train went by looking at the track.
  2. Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.
  3. Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.
  4. Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.
  5. If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
  6. The opulence of the front office decor varies inversely with the fundamental solvency of the firm.
  7. The attention span of a computer is only as long as it electrical cord.
  8. An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.
  9. Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he'll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he'll have to touch to be sure.
  10. All great discoveries are made by mistake.
  11. Always draw your curves, then plot your reading.
  12. Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.
  13. All's well that ends.
  14. A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.
  15. The first myth of management is that it exists.
  16. A failure will not appear till a unit has passed final inspection.
  17. New systems generate new problems.
  18. To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.
  19. We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.
  20. Any given program, when running, is obsolete.
  21. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
  22. A computer makes as many mistakes in two seconds as 20 men working 20 years make.
  23. The faster a computer is, the faster it will reach a crashed state.
  24. Nothing motivates a man more than to see his boss putting in an honest day's work.
  25. Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what book.
  26. The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.
  27. To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and cost the most.
  28. After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.
  29. Any circuit design must contain at least one part which is obsolete, two parts which are unobtainable and three parts which are still under development.
  30. A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.
  31. If mathematically you end up with the incorrect answer, try multiplying by the page number.
  32. Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.
  33. Give all orders verbally. Never write anything down that might go into a "Pearl Harbor File."
  34. Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables the organism will do as it damn well pleases.
  35. If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.
  36. The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.
  37. In designing any type of construction, no overall dimension can be totaled correctly after 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The correct total will become self-evident at 8:15 a.m. on Monday.
  38. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. And scratch where it itches.
  39. All things are possible except skiing through a revolving door.
  40. The only perfect science is hind-sight.
  41. Work smarder and not harder and be careful of yor speling.
  42. If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.
  43. If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.
  44. When all else fails, read the instructions.
  45. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.
  46. Everything that goes up must come down.
  47. Any instrument when dropped will roll into the least accessible corner.
  48. Any simple theory will be worded in the most complicated way.
  49. Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool will want to use it.
  50. The degree of technical competence is inversely proportional to the level of management
 

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Copyright 1998-2007 Louise Wright Robertson

Site last modified & updated September 01, 2008