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Murphy's Law (and the variations)
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Murphy's Law
Murphy's Law
(and the variations)

Have any to add?



This may be the best list I have seen compiled.

MURPHY'S LAW: If anything can go wrong, it will.

Murphy's First Corollary: Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.

Murphy's Second Corollary: It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious

Murphy's Constant: Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value

Quantized Revision of Murphy's Law: Everything goes wrong all at once.

Cole's Law: Thinly sliced cabbage Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.

Firestone's Law of Forecasting: Chicken Little only has to be right once.

Manly's Maxim: Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.

Grizzard's truism: The trouble with most jobs is the job holder's resemblance to being one of a sled dog team. No one gets a change of scenery except the lead dog.

Cannon's Comment: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.

O'Toole's Commentary: Murphy was an optimist.

Scott's Second Law: When an error has been detected and corrected, it will be found to have been correct in the first place.

Finagle's First Law: If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

Finagle's Second Law: No matter what the experiment's result, there will always be someone eager to: (a) misinterpret it. (b) fake it. or (c) believe it supports his own pet theory.

Finagle's Third Law: In any collection of data, the figure most obviously correct, beyond all need of checking, is the mistake.

Finagle's Fourth Law: Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse.

Gumperson's Law: The probability of anything happening is in inverse ratio to its desirability.

Rudin's Law: In crises that force people to choose among alternative courses of action, most people will choose the worst one possible.

Ginsberg's Restatement of the Three Laws of Thermodynamics: You can't win. You can't break even. You can't quit.

The Fourth Law of Thermodynamics: Everything takes longer and costs more.

Ehrman's Commentary Things will get worse before they will get better. Who said things would get better?

Commoner's Second Law of Ecology: Nothing ever goes away.

Howe's Law: Everyone has a scheme that will not work.

Zymurgy's First Law of Evolving Systems Dynamics: Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recan them is to use a bigger can.

Non-Reciprocal Law of Expectations: Negative expectations yield negative results. Positive expectations yield negative results.

Klipstein's Law: Tolerances will accumulate unidirectionally toward maximum difficulty of assembly. Interchangeable parts won't. You never find a lost article until you replace it.

Glatum's Law of Materialistic Acquisitiveness: The perceived usefulness of an article is inversely proportional to its actual usefulness once bought and paid for.

Lewis' Law: No matter how long or hard you shop for an item, after you've bought it, it will be on sale somewhere cheaper. If nobody uses it, there's a reason. You get the most of what you need the least.

The Airplane Law: When the plane you are on is late, the plane you want to transfer to is on time.

Etorre's Observation: The other line moves faster.

O'Brien's Variation: If you change lines, the one you just left will start to move faster than the one you are now in.

The Queue Principal: The longer you wait in line, the greater the likelihood that you are in the wrong line.

First Law of Revision: Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after - and only after - the plans are complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law)

Corollary I: In simple cases, presenting one obvious right way versus one obvious wrong way, it is often wiser to choose the wrong way so as to expedite subsequent revision.

H.B. Fyfe Second Law of Revision: The more innocuous the modification appears to be, the further its influence will extend and the more plans will have to be redrawn.

H.B. Fyfe Third Law of Revision: If, when completion of a design is imminent, field dimensions are finally supplied as they actually are -- instead of as they were meant to be -- it is always simpler to start all over.

Corollary I: It is usually impractical to to worry beforehand about interferences -- if you have none, someone will make one for you.

H.B. Fyfe Murphy's Laws Of Computer Programming

LAWS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: I. Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

LAWS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: II. Any given program costs more and takes longer.

LAWS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: III. If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.

LAWS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: IV. If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.

LAWS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: V. Any program will expand to fill available memory.

LAWS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: VI. The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output.

LAWS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: VII. Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capabilities of the programmer who must maintain it.

LAWS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: VIII. Any non-trivial program contains at least one bug.

LAWS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: IX. Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in contrast to detectable errors, which by definition are limited.

LAWS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: X. Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.

Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology: There's always one more bug.

Shaw's Principle: Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will want to use it. Law of the Perversity of Nature: You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.

Law of Selective Gravity: An object will fall so as to do the most damage.

Jennings' Corollary to the Law of Selective Gravity: The chance of the bread falling with the butter side down is directly proportional to the value of the carpet.

Wyszkowski's Second Law: Anything can be made to work if you fiddle with it long enough. Sattinger's Law It works better if you plug it in.

Lowery's Law: If it jams - force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

Schmidt's Law: If you mess with a thing long enough, it'll break.

Anthony's Law of Force Don't force it - get a bigger hammer.

Cahn's Axiom: When all else fails, read the instructions.

Gordon's First Law: If a project is not worth doing at all, it's not worth doing well.

Law of Research: Enough research will tend to support your theory.

Maier's Law: If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.

Peer's Law: The solution to the problem changes the problem. Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way. - Bokonon Help a man when he is in trouble and he will remember you when he is in trouble again. You can lead a man to slaughter, but you can't make him think. Don't get mad, get even.

Carson's Law: It's better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick.

The Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules.

Mark's mark: Love is a matter of chemistry; sex is a matter of physics.

Korman's conclusion: The trouble with resisting temptation is it may never come your way again.

Lennon's Law: Life is what happens while you are making other plans.

Thomas la Mance Maugham's Thought: Only a mediocre person is always at his best.

Krueger's Observation: A taxpayer is someone who does not have to take a civil service exam in order to work for the government.

Benchley's Law of Distinction: There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don't.

Harver's Law: A drunken man's words are a sober man's thoughts.

Schmidt's Observation: All things being equal, a fat person uses more soap than a thin person.

Gibb's Law: Infinity is one lawyer waiting for another. Fools rush in where fools have been before.

Rule of Accuracy: When working toward 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.

Wyszowski's Law: No experiment is reproducible.

Fett's Law: Never replicate a successful experiment.

Brooke's Law: Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

The first Myth of Management: It exists. Spend sufficient time confirming the need and the need will disappear.

Peter's Placebo: An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.

Zymurgy's Law of Volunteer Labour: People are always available for work in the past tense.

Wiker's Law: Government expands to absorb revenue and then some.

Tom Wicker Clarke's First Law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Clarke's Second Law: The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.

Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. The important thing is never to stop questioning.

Albert Einstein Segal's Law: A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.

Weiler's Law: Nothing is impossible for the man who does not have to do it himself.

Weinberg's Second Law: If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.

Hartley's Second Law: Never go to bed with anybody crazier than you are.

Beckhap's Law: Beauty times brains equals a constant.

Katz's Law: Men and women will act rationally when all other possibilities have been exhausted.

Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

Vique's Law: A man without a religion is like a fish without a bicycle.

Jones' Motto: Friends come and go but enemies accumulate.

McClaughry's Codicil: To make an enemy, do someone a favour.

Churchill's commentary on man: Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.

The ultimate Law: All general statements are false.

The Unspeakable Law: As soon as you mention something; if it is good, it goes away. if it is bad, it happens.

The Whispered Rule: People will believe anything if you whisper it.

The First Law of Wing Walking: Never let hold of what you've got until you've got hold of something else. Eat a live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.

Farnsdick's corollary: After things have gone from bad to worse, the cycle will repeat itself.

Lynch's Law: When the going gets tough, everybody leaves.

Law of Revelation: The hidden flaw never remains hidden.

Langsam's Law: Everything depends.

Hellrung's Law: If you wait, it will go away.

Shevelson's Extension: ... having done its damage.

Grelb's Addition: ... if it was bad, it will be back.

Grossman's Misquote: Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.

Ducharme's Precept: Opportunity always knocks at the least opportune moment.

First Postulate of Isomurphism: Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.

The Unapplicable Law: Washing your car to make it rain doesn't work.

Witten's Law: Whenever you cut your fingernails, you will find a need for them an hour later.

Perkin's postulate: The bigger they are, the harder they hit.

Harrison's Postulate: For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

Conway's Law: In every organization there will always be one person who knows what is going on. This person must be fired.

Stewart's Law of Retroaction: It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

MacDonald's Second Law: Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and give it back to them.

First Law of Laboratory Work: Hot glass looks exactly the same as cold glass.

Handy Guide to Modern Science: 1. If it's green or it wiggles, it's biology. 2. If it stinks, it's chemistry. 3. If it doesn't work, it's physics. 4. If it's incomprehensible, it's mathematics. 5. If it doesn't make sense, it's either economics or psychology. To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer. The Sausage Principle: People who love sausage and respect the law should never watch either one being made.

Horngren's Observation: (generalized) The real world is a special case.

Merkin's Maxim: When in doubt, predict that the present trend will continue.

Hawkin's Theory of Progress: Progress does not consist of replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is right. It consists of replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is more subtly wrong. Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Matz's warning: Beware of the physician who is great at getting out of trouble.

Gold's Law: If the shoe fits, it's ugly.

Buchwald's Second Sans Souci Rule: When a cabinet minister comes to dine, everybody's lunch is tax deductible. Astor's Economic Insight: A man who has a million dollars is as well off as if he were rich.


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