Murphy's Law...

Murphy's Generic Laws

If anything can go wrong, it will
Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse
It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious
Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value
Everything goes wrong all at once
When an error has been detected and corrected, it will be found to have been
   correct in the first place
Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse
The probability of anything happening is in inverse ratio to its desirability
In crises that force people to choose among alternative courses of action,
   most people will choose the worst one possible
Things will get worse before they will get better. Who said things would get
Almost anything is easier to get into than out of
Everything costs more and takes longer
Any product cut to length will be too short
If you need n items of anything, you will have n-1 in stock
The most delicate component will be dropped
After the last of 16 mounting screws has been removed from an access cover,
   it will be discovered that the wrong access cover has been removed.
After an access cover has been secured by 16 hold-down screws, it will be
   discovered that the gasket has been omitted
Design flaws travel in groups
An object will fall so as to do the most damage
The chance of the bread falling with the butter side down is directly
   proportional to the value of the carpet
After things have gone from bad to worse, the cycle will repeat itself
When the going gets tough, everybody leaves
Nothing ever goes away
If you wait, it will go away.... having done its damage.... if it was bad,
   it will be back
If it jams - force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway
If you mess with a thing long enough, it'll break
Don't force it - get a bigger hammer
When all else fails, read the instructions
Opportunity always knocks at the least opportune moment
Whenever you cut your fingernails, you will find a need for them an hour later
You never find a lost article until you replace it
Interchangeable parts won't
The perceived usefulness of an article is inversely proportional to its actual
   usefulness once bought and paid for
No matter how long or hard you shop for an item, after you've bought it, it
   will be on sale somewhere cheaper
In a queue, the other line moves faster
Negative expectations yield negative results. Positive expectations yield
   negative results
Tolerances will accumulate unidirectionally toward maximum difficulty of
Everyone has a scheme that will not work
Nature sides with the hidden flaw
The hidden flaw never remains hidden
A little ignorance can go a long way.... in the direction of maximum harm
You can't win. You can't break even. You can't quit.
Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool will discover
   something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition

Murphy's Household Laws

A child's eagerness to assist in any project varies in inverse proportion to
   his ability to actually do the work involved
Leftovers always expand to fill all available containers plus one
A newly washed window gathers dirt at twice the speed of an unwashed one
The availability of a ball-point pen is inversely proportional to how badly
   it is needed
The same clutter that will fill a one-car garage will fill a two-car garage
Three children plus two cookies equals a fight
The potential for disaster is in direct proportion to the number of TV
   remote-controls divided by the number of viewers
The number of doors left open varies inversely with the outside temperature
The capacity of any water-heater is equal to one and a half sibling showers
What goes up must come down, except bubble gum and slightly used cereal

Murphy's Laws of Computer Programming

Any given program, when running, is obsolete
Any given program costs more and takes longer
If a program is useful, it will have to be changed
If a program is useless, it will have to be documented
Any program will expand to fill available memory
The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output
Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capabilities of the programmer
   who must maintain it
Any non-trivial program contains at least one bug
Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in contrast to detectable errors,
   which by definition are limited
Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later
There's always one more bug
When working towards the solution of a problem, it always helps if you know
   the answer
Inside every small problem is a large problem struggling to get out
Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers
The chief cause of problems is solutions
The solution to a problem changes the problem

Murphy's Military Laws

Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you are
No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy
Friendly fire ain't
The most dangerous thing in the combat zone is an officer with a map
The problem with taking the easy way out is that the enemy has already mined it
The buddy system is essential to your survival; it gives the enemy somebody
   else to shoot at
The further you are in advance of your own positions, the more likely your
   artillery will shoot short
Incoming fire has the right of way
If your advance is going well, you are walking into an ambush
The quartermaster has only two sizes, too large and too small
If you really need an officer in a hurry, take a nap
The only time suppressive fire works is when it is used on abandoned positions
The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire
There is nothing more satisfying that having someone take a shot at you, and
Don't be conspicuous. In the combat zone, it draws fire. Out of the combat
   zone, it draws sergeants
If your sergeant can see you, so can the enemy

Comment: Murphy was an optimist

Thanks to Sifaan Zavahir (!) for this contribution

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This message was sent on 10 Sep 1996