Murphy’s Law – Why Everything Goes Wrong

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Murphy’s Laws – All the Reasons Why Everything Goes Wrong

By ‘Arthur Bloch’

  1. If anything can go wrong, it will.

  2. Everything takes longer than you think.

  3. 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.

  4. Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.

  5. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

  6. Smile….tomorrow will be worse.

  7. If you are feeling good, don’t worry. You’ll get over it.

  8. There is always an easier way to do it.

  9. Anytime things appear to be going better, you have overlooked something.

  10. No matter what goes wrong, it will probably look right.

  11. If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

  12. Always keep a record of data-it indicates you’ve been working.

  13. Do not believe in miracles-rely on them.

  14. The shortcut is longest distance between two points.

  15. Direct action produces direct reaction.

  16. Any system must be designed to withstand the worst possible set of circumstances.

  17. Everything put together falls apart sooner or later.

  18. Capitalism is based on the assumption that you can win. Socialism is based on the assumption that you can break even. Mysticism is based on the assumption that you can quit the game.

  19. Things will get worse before they get better.

  20. Things get worse under pressure.

  21. Anything that begins well, ends badly. Anything that begins badly, ends worse.

  22. If it looks easy, it’s tough. If it looks tough, it’s damn well impossible.

  23. Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recan them is to use a larger can.

  24. 90% of everything is crud.

  25. Negative expectations yield negative results. Positive expectations yield negative results.

  26. Firmness of delivery date is inversely proportional to the tightness of the schedule.

  27. Any wire cut to length will be too short.

  28. After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.

  29. Any error in any calculation will be in the direction of most harm.

  30. If only one bid can be secured on any project, the price will be unreasonable.

  31. Major changes in construction will always be requested after fabrication is nearly completed.

  32. If more than one person is responsible for a miscalculation, no one will be at fault.

  33. No books are lost by lending except those you particularly wanted to keep.

  34. All of your friends either missed it, lost it or threw it out.

  35. If you keep anything long enough you can throw it away.

  36. If you throw anything away, you will need it as soon as it is no longer accessible.

  37. No matter how long or how hard you shop for an item, after you have bought it will be on sale somewhere cheaper.

  38. People who can least afford to pay rent, pay rent. People who can most afford to pay rent, build up equity.

  39. You get the most of what you need the least.

  40. You always find something the last place you look.

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

  42. Truck deliveries that normally take one day will take five when you are waiting for the truck.

  43. An object or information most needed will be least available.

  44. Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

  45. Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the programmer who must maintain it.

  46. Not until program has been in production for at least six months will the most harmful error be discovered.

  47. Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable.

  48. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.

  49. Fuzzy project objectives are used to avoid the embarrassment of estimating the corresponding costs.

  50. A carelessly planned project takes three times longer to complete than expected; a carefully planned project takes only twice as long.

  51. The effort required to correct course increases geometrically with time.

  52. Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so vividly manifests their lack of progress.

  53. When all fails, read the instructions.

  54. If a research project is not worth doing at all, it is not worth doing well.

  55. Enough research will tend to support your theory.

  56. The bigger the theory, the better.

  57. If enough data is collected, anything may be proven by statistical methods.

  58. The solution to a problem changes the nature of the problem.

  59. All great discoveries are made by mistake.

  60. If you don’t understand a particular word in the piece of technical writing, ignore it. The piece will make perfect sense without it.

  61. An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.

  62. Overdoing things is harmful in all cases, even when it comes to efficiency.

  63. Always keep the office door closed. This puts visitors on the defensive and also makes it look as if you are always in an important conference.

  64. No matter how much you do, you will never do enough.

  65. Them that has, gets.

  66. Those who can-do. Those who cannot-teach. Those who cannot teach-administrate.

  67. Technology is dominated by two types of people. Those who understand what they do not manage. Those who manage what they do not understand.

  68. The efficiency of a committee meeting is inversely proportional to the number of participants and the time spent on deliberations.

  69. If a problem causes many meetings, the meetings eventually become more important than the problem.

  70. If you cannot convince them, confuse them.

  71. Never argue with a fool-people might not know the difference.

  72. Procrastination avoids boredom; one never has the feeling that there is nothing important to do.

  73. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

  74. Expenditures rises to meet the income.

  75. Delay is the deadliest form of denial.

  76. The first ninety percent of the task takes ninety percent of the time, and the last ten percent takes the other ninety percent.

  77. 20% of the customer’s account for 80% of the turnover.

  78. Our customer’s paperwork is profit. Our paperwork is loss.

  79. In order to get a loan you must first prove you don’t need it.

  80. Any simple idea will be worded in the most complicated way.

  81. An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.

  82. When somebody you greatly admire and respect appears to be thinking deep thoughts, they probably are thinking about lunch.

  83. There are four kinds of people; those who sit quietly and do nothing, those who talk about sitting quietly and doing nothing, those who do things, and those who talk about doing things.

  84. A man with one watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.

  85. You cannot tell how deep a puddle is until you step in it.

  86. Nothing is impossible for a man who doesn’t have to do it himself.

  87. Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.

  88. Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral or fattening.

  89. The three faithful things in life are money, a dog and an old woman.

  90. Don’t care if you’re rich or not, as long as you can live comfortably and have everything you want.

  91. Beauty is only skin deep.

  92. The truth of any proposition has nothing to do with its credibility and vice versa.

  93. The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

  94. Nobody really cares or understands what anyone else is doing.

  95. Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.

  96. The number of rational hypothesis that can explain any given phenomenon is infinite.

  97. It’s better to have horrible ending than to have horrors without end.

  98. Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.

  99. The sooner and in more detail you announce the bad news, the better.

  1. When the going gets tough, everyone leaves.

  2. Everything depends. Nothing is always. Everything is sometimes.

  3. If you change lines, the one you just left will start to move faster than the one you are now in.

  4. Never draw what you can copy. Never copy what you can trace. Never trace what you can cut out and paste down.

  5. When travelling overseas, the exchange rate improves markedly the day after one has purchased foreign currency.

  6. Far-away talent always seems better than home-developed talent.

  7. Don’t let your superiors know you are better than they are.

  8. The client who pays the least complains the most.

  9. If you are early, it will be cancelled. If you knock yourself out to be on time, you will have to wait. If you are late, you will be too late.

  10. A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and hours are lost.

  11. Any task worth doing was worth doing yesterday.

  12. You can fix it if it isn’t broke.

  13. The primary function of a design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.

  14. That component of any circuit which has the shortest service life will be placed in the least accessible location.

  15. The changes will not be mentioned in the service manual.

  16. Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.

  17. The last person who quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong-until the next person quits or is fired.

  18. Teamwork is essential. It allows you to blame someone else

  19. Science is true. Don’t be misled by facts.

  20. If it’s green, it’s biology. If it stinky, it’s chemistry. If it doesn’t work, it’s physics.

  21. If a straight line fit is required, obtain only two data points.

  22. Anyone who makes a significant contribution to any field of endeavor, and stays in that field long enough, becomes an obstruction to its progress-in direct proportion to the importance of his original contribution.

  23. No matter what they’re telling you, they’re not telling you the whole truth.

  24. No matter what they’re talking about, they’re talking about money.

  25. Where you stand depends on where you sit.

  26. You may know where the market is going, but you can’t possibly know where it’s going after that.

  27. They secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.

  28. An expert is anyone from out of town.

  29. An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.

  30. If you have a difficult task give it to a lazy man-he will find an easiest way to do it.

  31. Class schedules are designed so that ever student will waste the maximum time between classes.

  32. The more studying you did for the exam, the less sure you are as to which answer they want.

  33. 80% of the final exam will be based on the one lecture you missed about the one book you didn’t read.

  34. Every instructor assumes that you have nothing else to do except study for that instructor’s course.

  35. Even water tastes bad when taken on doctor’s orders.

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