Ashish Saharia's Virtual Realm

Murphy's Law

[Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.]

Extensions Of Murphy's Law (And Associated Corollaries)

  • If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will go wrong first.
  • If anything just cannot go wrong, it will, anyway.
  • If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, for which you are completely unprepared, will promptly develop.
  • If left to themselves, things will go from bad to worse.
  • If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
  • Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
  • In nature, nothing is ever right. Therefore, if everything seems to be right, something is wrong.
  • Nothing is as easy as it looks.
  • Whenever you try to do something, something else must be done first.
  • Everything takes longer than expected.
  • Every solution breeds more problems.
  • No matter how carefully a system is built, Murphy's Law will somehow take control and screw it up.
  • A carelessly planned project takes four times longer than expected, to reach completion. A carefully planned project takes only thrice as long.

The Selective Gravitation Extension To Murphy's Law - A falling object will always land where it can do the most damage.

Ginsberg's Corollary - You can't win. You can't break even. You can't even quit the game.

Gumperson's Corollary - The probability of anything happening is in inverse proportion to its desirability.

Jenkinson's Corollary - It won't work.

Pudder's Corollary - If it begins well, it will end badly. If it begins badly, it will end worse.

Stockmayer's Corollary - If it looks easy, it's difficult. If it looks difficult, it's damn near impossible.

The Rule Of Belongings - Nothing you own is ever lost by lending, except the things that you particularly wanted to keep.

The Probability Variation Of Murphy's Law - If a bad thing can happen in 'a' ways, and cannot happen in 'b' ways, the probability of the bad thing happening is 1.

Heisenberg Variation Of Murphy's Law - If you think you know what is about to go wrong, you can never accurately determine both - where it will go wrong, and when it will go wrong. The more accurately you know one, the less accurately you will know the other.

Saharia's Extension To The Heisenberg Variation Of Murphy's Law - If you accurately determine where it will go wrong, and try to be prepared for it all the time, what goes wrong will be something completely unexpected, instead of what you are prepared for.

The First Corollary Of Queues - The queue that you're in will move the slowest.

The Second Corollary Of Queues - If you change queues, the one you have left will start moving faster than the one that you've just joined.

The Corollary Of Telephone Calls - Whenever you dial a wrong number, you never get an engaged tone.

The Theater Corollary - People with seats farthest from the aisles, arrive last.

The Workshop Corollary - Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

The Bath Theorem - When the body is immersed in water, the telephone rings.

The Law Of Encounters - You will meet someone you know, when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

The First Law Of Machines - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

The Second Law Of Machines - When you try to prove to someone that a machine will work, it won't.

Murphy's Law Applied To Technology And Computers

  • Any given program, when running, is obsolete.
  • If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.
  • Any given program will expand to fit all available memeory.
  • Bugs will mysteriously appear in one part of a working program, when an unrelated part is modified.
  • Any expensive electronic device protected by a fuse, will protect the fuse, by blowing up first.
  • The troubleshooting guide of any system, will have an answer for every problem, except yours.
  • Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure, a computer will do what it damn well pleases.
  • The chances of a virus infecting your network, are directly proportional to the amount of damage that the virus is capable of doing.
  • While demonstrating any program that you've written, in the presence of people you're trying to impress, bugs will mysteriously appear when you say "Watch this !".
  • If the warranty of any electrical product is applicable only if the device is earthed correctly, the power cable(s) supplied with the product will have only two wires.

Lubarsky's Law Of Cybernetic Entomology - There's always one more bug.

And here is O'Toole's Commentary On Murphy's Law.... "Murphy was an optimist."