Murphy's Laws and Other Observations
- If anything can go wrong, it will.
- If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will
cause the most damage will be the first one to go wrong.
- If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway.
- Everything takes longer than you think.
- If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can
go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will
- Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
- If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked
- Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
- Mother nature is a bitch.
- Nothing is as easy as it looks.
- Every solution breeds new problems.
- Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
O'Toole's Commentary on Murphy's Laws
Murphy was an optimist.
Murphy's Love Laws
- All the good ones are taken.
- If the person isn't taken, there's a reason. (corr. to 1)
- The nicer someone is, the farther away (s)he is from you.
- Brains x Beauty x Availability = Constant.
- The amount of love someone feels for you is inversely proportional to how
much you love them.
- Money can't buy love, but it sure gets you a great bargaining position.
- The best things in the world are free --- and worth every penny of it.
- Every kind action has a not-so-kind reaction.
- Nice guys/girls finish last.
- If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Availability is a function of time. The minute you get interested is the
minute they find someone else.
Murphy's Laws of sex
- The more beautiful the woman is who loves you, the easier it is to leave
her with no hard feelings.
- Nothing improves with age.
- No matter how many times you've had it, if it's offered take it, because
it'll never be quite the same again.
- Sex has no calories.
- Sex takes up the least amount of time and causes the most amount of
- There is no remedy for sex but more sex.
- Sex appeal is 50% what you've got and 50% what people think you've got.
- No sex with anyone in the same office.
- Sex is like snow; you never know how many inches you are going to get or
how long it is going to last.
- A man in the house is worth two in the street.
- If you get them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.
- Virginity can be cured.
- When a man's wife learns to understand him, she usually stops listening to
- Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.
- The qualities that most attract a woman to a man are usually the same ones
she can't stand years later.
- Sex is dirty only if it's done right.
- It is always the wrong time of month.
- The best way to hold a man is in your arms.
- When the lights are out, all women are beautiful.
- Sex is hereditary. If your parents never had it, chances are you won't
- Sow your wild oats on Saturday night -- Then on Sunday pray for crop
- The younger the better.
- The game of love is never called off on account of darkness.
- It was not the apple on the tree but the pair on the ground that caused
the trouble in the garden.
- Sex discriminates against the shy and the ugly.
- Before you find your handsome prince, you've got to kiss a lot of frogs.
- There may be some things better than sex, and some things worse than sex.
But there is nothing exactly like it.
- Love your neighbor, but don't get caught.
- Love is a hole in the heart.
- If the effort that went in research on the female bosom had gone into our
space program, we would now be running hot-dog stands on the moon.
- Love is a matter of chemistry, sex is a matter of physics.
- Do it only with the best.
- Sex is a three-letter word which needs some old-fashioned four-letter
words to convey its full meaning.
- One good turn gets most of the blankets.
- You cannot produce a baby in one month by impregnating nine women.
- Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
- It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.....unless in the mood.
- Never lie down with a woman who's got more troubles than you.
- Abstain from wine, women, and song; mostly song.
- Never argue with a women when she's tired -- or rested.
- A woman never forgets the men she could have had; a man, the women he
- What matters is not the length of the wand, but the magic in the stick.
- It is better to be looked over than overlooked.
- Never say no.
- A man can be happy with any woman as long as he doesn't love her.
- Folks playing leapfrog must complete all jumps.
- Beauty is skin deep; ugly goes right to the bone.
- Never stand between a fire hydrant and a dog.
- A man is only a man, but a good bicycle is a ride.
- Love comes in spurts.
- The world does not revolve on an axis.
- Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation; the other eight are
- Smile, it makes people wonder what you are thinking.
- Don't do it if you can't keep it up.
- There is no difference between a wise man and a fool when they fall in
- Never go to bed mad, stay up and fight.
- Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
- "This won't hurt, I promise."
- You can't win.
- You can't break even.
- You can't even quit the game.
Forsyth's Second Corollary to Murphy's Laws
Just when you see the light at the end of the tunnel, the roof caves in.
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself.
The Laws of Computer Programming
- Any given program, when running, is obsolete.
- Any given program costs more and takes longer each time it is run.
- If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.
- If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.
- Any given program will expand to fill all the available memory.
- The value of a program is inversely proportional to the weight of its
- Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the programmer
who must maintain it.
In any computer system, the machine will always misinterpret, misconstrue,
misprint, or not evaluate any math or subroutines or fail to print any output on
at least the first run through.
Corollary to Pierce's Law
When a compiler accepts a program without error on the first run, the program
will not yield the desired output.
Addition to Murphy's Laws
In nature, nothing is ever right. Therefore, if everything is going right ...
something is wrong.
If at first you don't succeed, transform your data set!
Computing power increases as the square of the cost.
Golub's Laws of Computerdom
- Fuzzy project objectives are used to avoid embarrassment of estimating the
- A carelessly planned project takes three times longer to complete than
expected; a carefully planned project takes only twice as long.
- The effort required to correct course increases geometrically with time.
- Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so vividly
manifests their lack of progress.
Variables won't; constants aren't.
Gilb's Laws of Unreliability
- Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable.
- Any system that depends upon human reliability is unreliable.
- Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in contrast to detectable
errors, which by definition are limited.
- Investment in reliability will increase until it exceeds the probable cost
of errors, or until someone insists on getting some useful work done.
Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology
There's always one more bug.
- Profanity is the one language understood by all programmers.
- Not until a program has been in production for six months will the most
harmful error be discovered.
- Job control cards that positively cannot be arranged in improper order
- Interchangeable tapes won't.
- If the input editor has been designed to reject all bad input, an
ingenious idiot will discover a method to get bad data past it.
- If a test installation functions perfectly, all subsequent systems will
Weinberg's Second Law
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the
first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
The probability of anything happening is in inverse ratio to its
The amount of expertise varies in inverse ratio to the number of statements
understood by the general public.
Zymurgy's First Law of Evolving System Dynamics
Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recan them is to use a larger
can (old worms never die, they just worm their way into larger cans).
Harvard's Law, as Applied to Computers
Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature,
volume, humidity and other variables, the computer will do as it damn well
It works better if you plug it in.
It won't work.
Wapnitsky's Corrolary to Sattinger and Jenkinson
It won't work even after you plug it in.
Horner's Five Thumb Postulate
Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.
Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.
Rule of Accuracy
When working toward the solution of a problem, it always helps if you know
Zymurg's Seventh Exception to Murphy's Law
When it rains, it pours.
- Anything that begins well ends badly.
- Anything that begins badly ends worse.
To estimate the time it takes to do a task: estimate the time you think it
should take, multiply by two and change the unit of measure to the next highest
unit. Thus, we allocate two days for a one hour task.
If it looks easy, it's tough. If it looks tough, it's damn near impossible.
No books are lost by lending except those you particularly wanted to keep.
Johnson's Third Law
If you miss one issue of any magazine, it will be the issue that contains the
article, story or installment you were most anxious to read.
Corollary to Johnson's Third Law
All of your friends either missed it, lost it or threw it out.
Harper's Magazine Law
You never find the article until you replace it.
Adding manpower to a late software makes it later.
Finagle's Fourth Law
Once a job is fooled up, anything done to improve it will only make it worse.
Whatever you did, that's what you planned.
Any inanimate object, regardless of its position, configuration or purpose,
may be expected to perform at any time in a totally unexpected manner for
reasons that are either entirely obscure or else completely mysterious.