Random Murhy's law:


Price's Law of Science: Scientists who dislike the restraints of highly organized research like to remark that a truly great research worker needs only three pieces of equipment -- a pencil, a piece of paper, and a brain. But they quote this maxim more often at academic banquets than at budget hearings.

Murhy's laws collection.



Selected Murhy's laws:


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


Dow's Law: In a hierarchical organization, the higher the level, the greater the confusion.


Issawi's Law of Estimation of Error: Experts in advanced countries underestimate by a factor of 2 to 4 the ability of people in underdeveloped countries to do anything technical.


Alan's Law of Research: The theory is supported as long as the funds are.



More Murhy's laws...


Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.


Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.


Nothing is as easy as it looks.


Everything takes longer than you think.


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.


If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.


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.


If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.


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


Every solution breeds new problems.


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


After adding two weeks to the schedule for unexpected delays, add two more for the unexpected, unexpected delays.


In any structure, pick out the one piece that should not be mismarked and expect the plant to cross you up.


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.


Quantization Revision of Murphy's Laws: Everything goes wrong all at once.


Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value
You can never tell which way the train went by looking at the track.


Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.


An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.
All great discoveries are made by mistake.


Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.


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


The first myth of management is that it exists.


A failure will not appear till a unit has passed final inspection.


New systems generate new problems.


To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.


Any given program, when running, is obsolete.


Nothing motivates a man more than to see his boss putting in an honest day's work.


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


To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and cost the most.


If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.


If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.


If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.


When all else fails, read the instructions.


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.


Everything that goes up must come down.


Any instrument when dropped will roll into the least accessible corner.


Any simple theory will be worded in the most complicated way.


The degree of technical competence is inversely proportional to the level of management.


Abbott's Admonitions:
If you have to ask, you're not entitled to know.
If you don't like the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question.


Abrams's Advice: When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time.


Rule of Accuracy: When working toward the solution of a problem, it always helps if you know the answer.
Corollary: Provided, of course, that you know there is a problem.


Acheson's Rule of the Bureaucracy: A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.


Acton's Law: Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.


Ade's Law: Anybody can win -- unless there happens to be a second entry.


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


Alan's Law of Research: The theory is supported as long as the funds are.


Agnes Allen's Law: Almost anything is easier to get into than out of.


Allen's Axiom: When all else fails, follow instructions.


Alley's Axiom: Justice always prevails . . . three times out of seven.


Anderson's Law: Any system or program, however complicated, if looked at in exactly the right way, will become even more complicated.


Law of Annoyance: When working on a project, if you put away a tool that you're certain you're finished with, you will need it instantly.


Anthony's Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll into the least accessible corner of the workshop.


Corollary: On the way to the corner, any dropped tool will first always strike your toes.


Laws of Applied Confusion: The one piece that the plant forgot to ship is the one that supports 75% of the balance of the shipment.
Corollary: Not only did the plant forget to ship it, 50% of the time they haven't even made it.
Approval Seeker's Law: Those whose approval you seek the most give you the least.


Army Axiom: Any order that can be misunderstood has been misunderstood.
Army Law: If it moves, salute it; if it doesn't move, pick it up; if you can't pick it up, paint it.


Ashley-Perry Statistical Axioms:

Numbers are tools, not rules.
Numbers are symbols for things; the number and the thing are not the same.
Skill in manipulating numbers is a talent, not evidence of divine guidance.
Like other occult techniques of divination, the statistical method has a private jargon deliberately contrived to obscure its methods from nonpractitioners.
The product of an arithmetical computation is the answer to an equation; it is not the solution to a problem.


Babcock's Law: If it can be borrowed and it can be broken, you will borrow it and you will break it.


Bagdikian's Law of Editor's Speeches: The splendor of an editor's speech and the splendor of his newspaper are inversely related to the distance between the city in which he makes his speech and the city in which he publishes his paper.


Baker's Byroad: When you are over the hill, you pick up speed.


Baldy's Law: Some of it plus the rest of it is all of it.




More Murhy's laws on the following pages...