Murphy's Laws

Nothing is as easy as it looks.
To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.
Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.
Two wrongs are only the beginning.
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.
Nothing is as easy as it looks.
Every solution breeds new problems...
If there is a worst time for something to go wrong, it will happen then...
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
Exceptions prove the rule ... and wreck the budget.
Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
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.
Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Trust everybody ... then cut the cards.
Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
Everything takes longer than you think....
Two wrongs are only the beginning.

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 Military Laws.
Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you are.
No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.
Friendly fire ain't.
The most dangerous thing in the combat zone is an officer with a map.
The problem with taking the easy way out is that the enemy has already mined it.
The buddy system is essential to your survival; it gives the enemy somebody else to shoot at.
The further you are in advance of your own positions, the more likely your artillery will shoot short.
Incoming fire has the right of way.
If your advance is going well, you are walking into an ambush.
The quartermaster has only two sizes, too large and too small.
If you really need an officer in a hurry, take a nap.
The only time suppressive fire works is when it is used on abandoned positions.
The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
There is nothing more satisfying that having someone take a shot at you, and miss.
Don't be conspicuous. In the combat zone, it draws fire. Out of the combat zone, it draws sergeants.
If your sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.

Murphy's Technology Laws.
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.
Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.
Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
The opulence of the front office decor varies inversely with the fundamental solvency of the firm.
The attention span of a computer is only as long as it electrical cord.
An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.
Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he'll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he'll have to touch to be sure.
All great discoveries are made by mistake.
Always draw your curves, then plot your reading.
Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.
All's well that ends.
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.
We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.
Any given program, when running, is obsolete.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
A computer makes as many mistakes in two seconds as 20 men working 20 years make.
The faster a computer is, the faster it will reach a crashed state.
Nothing motivates a man more than to see his boss putting in an honest day's work.
Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what book.
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.
After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.
Any circuit design must contain at least one part which is obsolete, two parts which are unobtainable and three parts which are still under development.
A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.
If mathematically you end up with the incorrect answer, try multiplying by the page number.
Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.
Give all orders verbally. Never write anything down that might go into a "Pearl Harbor File."
Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables the organism will do as it damn well pleases.
If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.
The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.
In designing any type of construction, no overall dimension can be totalled correctly after 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The correct total will become self-evident at 8:15 a.m. on Monday.
Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. And scratch where it itches.
All things are possible except skiing through a revolving door.
The only perfect science is hind-sight.
Work smarder and not harder and be careful of yor speling.
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.
Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool will want to use it.
The degree of technical competence is inversely proportional to the level of management.
Any attempt to print Murphy's laws will jam the printer.

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.
When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time.
When working toward the solution of a problem, it always helps if you know the answer
A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.
Anybody can win -- unless there happens to be a second entry.
When the plane you are on is late, the plane you want to transfer to is on time.
The theory is supported as long as the funds are.
It is better for civilization to be going down the drain than to be coming up it.
The objective of all dedicated product support employees should be to thoroughly analyze all situations, anticipate all problems prior to their occurrence, have answers for these problems, and move swiftly to solve these problems when called upon. However, when you are up to your ass in alligators, it is difficult to remind yourself that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.
The best simple-minded test of expertise in a particular area is the ability to win money in a series of bets on future occurrences in that area.
No matter which direction you start it's always against the wind coming back.
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.
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.
Those whose approval you seek the most give you the least.
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.
Arithmetical proofs of theorems that do not have arithmetical bases prove nothing.
Trouble strikes in series of threes, but when working around the house the next job after a series of three is not the fourth job -- it's the start of a brand new series of three.
The integral of the gravitational potential taken around any loop trail you chose to hike always comes out positive.
Any stone in your boot always migrates against the pressure gradient to exactly the point of most pressure.
The weight of your pack increases in direct proportion to the amount of food you consume from it. If you run out of food, the pack weight goes on increasing anyway.
The number of stones in your boot is directly proportional to the number of hours you have been on the trail.
The difficulty of finding any given trail marker is directly proportional to the importance of the consequences of failing to find it.
The size of each of the stones in your boot is directly proportional to the number of hours you have been on the trail.
The remaining distance to your chosen campsite remains constant as twilight approaches.
The net weight of your boots is proportional to the cube of the number of hours you have been on the trail.
When you arrive at your chosen campsite, it is full.
If you take your boots off, you'll never get them back on again.
The local density of mosquitos is inversely proportional to your remaining repellent.

You can get ANYWHERE in ten minutes if you go fast enough.
Speed bumps are of negligible effect when the vehicle exceeds triple the desired restraining speed.
The vehicle in front of you is traveling slower than you are.
This lane ends in 500 feet. .
The simple but difficult arts of paying attention, copying accurately, following an argument, detecting an ambiguity or a false inference, testing guesses by summoning up contrary instances, organizing one's time and one's thought for study -- all these arts -- cannot be taught in the air but only through the difficulties of a defined subject. They cannot be taught in one course or one year, but must be acquired gradually in dozens of connections. The analogy to athletics must be pressed until all recognize that in the exercise of Intellect those who lack the muscles, coordination, and will power can claim no place at the training table, let alone on the playing field.
It is much harder to find a job than to keep one.
The world is more complicated than most of our theories make it out to be.
Ignorance is no excuse.
Never decide to buy something while listening to the salesman.
Information which is true meets a great many different tests very well.
Most problems have either many answers or no answer. Only a few problems have a single answer.
An answer may be wrong, right, both, or neither. Most answers are partly right and partly wrong.
A chain of reasoning is no stronger than its weakest link.
A statement may be true independently of illogical reasoning.
Most general statements are false, including this one.
An exception TESTS a rule; it NEVER PROVES it.
The moment you have worked out an answer, start checking it -- it probably isn't right.
If there is an opportunity to make a mistake, sooner or later the mistake will be made.
Being sure mistakes will occur is a good frame of mind for catching them.
Check the answer you have worked out once more -- before you tell it to anybody.
Estimating a figure may be enough to catch an error.
Figures calculated in a rush are very hot; they should be allowed to cool off a little before being used; thus we will have a reasonable time to think about the figures and catch mistakes.
A great many problems do not have accurate answers, but do have approximate answers, from which sensible decisions can be made.
All bicycles weigh 50 pounds:
A 30-pound bicycle needs a 20-pound lock and chain.
A 40-pound bicycle needs a 10-pound lock and chain.
A 50-pound bicycle needs no lock or chain.

When in doubt, mumble.
When in trouble, delegate.
When in charge, ponder.

The success of any venture will be helped by prayer, even in the wrong denomination.
When things are going well, someone will inevitably experiment detrimentally.
The deficiency will never show itself during the dry runs.
Information travels more surely to those with a lesser need to know.
An original idea can never emerge from committee in the original.
When the product is destined to fail, the delivery system will perform perfectly.
The crucial memorandum will be snared in the out-basket by the paper clip of the overlying correspondence and go to file.
Success can be insured only by devising a defense against failure of the contingency plan.
Performance is directly affected by the perversity of inanimate objects.
If not controlled, work will flow to the competent man until he submerges.
The lagging activity in a project will invariably be found in the area where the highest overtime rates lie waiting.
Talent in staff work or sales will recurringly be interpreted as managerial ability.
The "think positive" leader tends to listen to his subordinates' premonitions only during the postmortems.
Clearly stated instructions will consistently produce multiple interpretations.
On successive charts of the same organization the number of boxes will never decrease.
Too often I find that the volume of paper expands to fill the available briefcases.
The organization of any program reflects the organization of the people who develop it.
There is no such thing as a "dirty capitalist", only a capitalist.
Anything is possible, but nothing is easy.
Capitalism can exist in one of only two states -- welfare or warfare.
I'd rather go whoring than warring.
History proves nothing.
There is nothing so unbecoming on the beach as a wet kilt.
A little humility is arrogance.
A lot of what appears to be progress is just so much technological rococo

Cartoon Laws
Any body suspended in space will remain in space until made aware of its situation. Daffy Duck steps off a cliff, expecting further pastureland. He loiters in midair, soliloquizing flippantly, until he chances to look down. At this point, the familiar principle of 32 feet per second per second takes over.
Any body in motion will tend to remain in motion until solid matter intervenes suddenly. Whether shot from a cannon or in hot pursuit on foot, cartoon characters are so absolute in their momentum that only a telephone pole or an outsize boulder retards their forward motion absolutely. Sir Isaac Newton called this sudden termination of motion the stooge's surcease.
Any body passing through solid matter will leave a perforation conforming to its perimeter. Also called the silhouette of passage, this phenomenon is the speciality of victims of directed-pressure explosions and of reckless cowards who are so eager to escape that they exit directly through the wall of a house, leaving a cookie-cutout- perfect hole. The threat of skunks or matrimony often catalyzes this reaction.
The time required for an object to fall twenty stories is greater than or equal to the time it takes for whoever knocked it off the ledge to spiral down twenty flights to attempt to capture it unbroken. Such an object is inevitably priceless, the attempt to capture it inevitably unsuccessful.
All principles of gravity are negated by fear. Psychic forces are sufficient in most bodies for a shock to propel them directly away from the earth's surface. A spooky noise or an adversary's signature sound will induce motion upward, usually to the cradle of a chandelier, a treetop, or the crest of a flagpole. The feet of a character who is running or the wheels of a speeding auto need never touch the ground, especially when in flight.
As speed increases, objects can be in several places at once. This is particularly true of tooth-and-claw fights, in which a character's head may be glimpsed emerging from the cloud of altercation at several places simultaneously. This effect is common as well among bodies that are spinning or being throttled. A 'wacky' character has the option of self- replication only at manic high speeds and may ricochet off walls to achieve the velocity required.
Certain bodies can pass through solid walls painted to resemble tunnel entrances; others cannot. This trompe l'oeil inconsistency has baffled generation, but at least it is known that whoever paints an entrance on a wall's surface to trick an opponent will be unable to pursue him into this theoretical space. The painter is flattened against the wall when he attempts to follow into the painting. This is ultimately a problem of art, not of science.
Any violent rearrangement of feline matter is impermanent. Cartoon cats possess even more deaths than the traditional nine lives might comfortably afford. They can be decimated, spliced, splayed, accordion-pleated, spindled, or disassembled, but they cannot be destroyed. After a few moments of blinking self pity, they reinflate, elongate, snap back, or solidify. Corollary: A cat will assume the shape of its container.
For every vengeance there is an equal and opposite revengeance. This is the one law of animated cartoon motion that also applies to the physical world at large. For that reason, we need the relief of watching it happen to a duck instead.
Everything falls faster than an anvil. Examples too numerous to mention from the Roadrunner cartoons

Committee Rules:
Never arrive on time, or you will be stamped a beginner.
Don't say anything until the meeting is half over; this stamps you as being wise.
Be as vague as possible; this prevents irritating the others.
When in doubt, suggest that a subcommittee be appointed.
Be the first to move for adjournment; this will make you popular -- it's what everyone is waiting for

Laws of computer programming
Any given program, when running, is obsolete.
Any given program costs more and takes longer.
If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.
If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.
Any program will expand to fill available memory.
The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output.
Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capabilities of the programmer who must maintain it.
Any non-trivial program contains at least one bug.
Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in contrast to detectable errors, which by definition are limited.
Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.
Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology: There's always one more bug.

Corcoroni's Laws of Bus Transportation:
The bus that left the stop just before you got there is your bus.
The amount of time you have to wait for a bus is directly proportional to the inclemency of the weather.
All buses heading in the opposite direction drive off the face of the earth and never return.
The last rush-hour express bus to your neighborhood leaves five minutes before you get off work.
Bus schedules are arranged so your bus will arrive at the transfer point precisely one minute after the connecting bus has left.
Any bus that can be the wrong bus will be the wrong bus. All others are out of service or full.

Dennis's Principles of Management by Crisis:
To get action out of management, it is necessary to create the illusion of a crisis in the hope it will be acted upon.
Management will select actions or events and convert them to crises. It will then over-react.
Management is incapable of recognizing a true crisis.
The squeaky hinge gets the oil.

Laws of Dormitory Life:
The amount of trash accumulated within the space occupied is exponentially proportional to the number of living bodies that enter and leave within any given amount of time.
Since no matter can be created or destroyed (excluding nuclear and cafeteria substances), as one attempts to remove unwanted material (i.e., trash) from one's living space, the remaining material mutates so as to occupy 30 to 50 percent more than its original volume.
Corollary: Dust breeds.
The odds are 6:5 that if one has late classes, one's roommate will have the EARLIEST possible classes.
Corollary 1: One's roommate (who has early classes) has an alarm clock that is louder than God's own.
Corollary 2: When one has an early class, one's roommate will invariably enter the space late at night and suddenly become hyperactive, ill, violent, or all three.

Laws of the Frisbee:
The most powerful force in the world is that of a disc straining to land under a car, just beyond reach. (The technical term for this force is "car suck".)
The higher the quality of a catch or the comment it receives, the greater the probability of a crummy return throw. ("Good catch. . . Bad throw.")
One must never precede any maneuver by a comment more predictive than, "Watch this!" (Keep 'em guessing.)
The higher the costs of hitting any object, the greater the certainty it will be struck. (Remember: The disk is positive; cops and old ladies are clearly negative.)
The best catches are never seen. ("Did you see that?" "See what?")
The greatest single aid to distance is for the disc to be going in a direction you did not want. (Wrong way = long way.)
The most powerful hex words in the sport are: "I really have this down -- watch." (Know it? Blow it!)
In any crowd of spectators at least one will suggest that razor blades could be attached to the disc. ("You could maim and kill with that thing.")
The greater your need to make a good catch, the greater the probability your partner will deliver his worst throw. (If you can't touch it, you can't trick it.)
The single most difficult move with a disc is to put it down. ("Just one more!")

Laws of Gardening:
Other people's tools work only in other people's yards.
Fancy gizmos don't work.
If nobody uses it, there's a reason.
You get the most of what you need the least.

Laws of Computerdom:
Fuzzy project objectives are used to avoid the embarrassment of estimating the corresponding costs.
A carelessly planned project takes three times longer to complete than expected; a carefully planned project takes only twice as long.
The effort requires to correct course increases geometrically with time.
Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so vividly manifests their lack of progress.

The 19 Rules for good Riting:
Each pronoun agrees with their antecedent.
Just between you and I, case is important.
Verbs has to agree with their subject.
Watch out for irregular verbs which has cropped up into our language.
Don't use no double negatives.
A writer mustn't shift your point of view.
When dangling, don't use participles.
Join clauses good like a conjunction should.
And don't use conjunctions to start sentences.
Don't use a run-on sentence you got to punctuate it.
About sentence fragments.
In letters themes reports articles and stuff like that we use commas to keep strings apart.
Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.
Its important to use apostrophe's right.
Don't abbrev.
Check to see if you any words out.
In my opinion I think that the author when he is writing should not get into the habit of making use of too many unnecessary words which he does not really need.
Then, of course, there's that old one: Never use a preposition to end a sentence with.
Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

Hacker's Law:
The belief that enhanced understanding will necessarily stir a nation or an organization to action is one of mankind's oldest illusions.

Long's Notes:
Always store beer in a dark place.
Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win.
Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until proved innocent.
Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it.
If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion.
It has long been known that one horse can run faster than another -- but which one? Differences are crucial.
A fake fortuneteller can be tolerated. But an authentic soothsayer should be shot on sight. Cassandra did not get half the kicking around she deserved.
Delusions are often functional.
A mother's opinions about her children's beauty, intelligence, goodness, et cetera ad nauseam, keep her from drowning them at birth.
A generation which ignores history has no past -- and no future.
A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits.
Small change can often be found under seat cushions.
History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.
It's amazing how much "mature wisdom" resembles being too tired.
Of all the strange "crimes" that human beings have legislated out of nothing, "blasphemy" is the most amazing -- with "obscenity" and "indecent exposure" fighting it out for second and third place.
It's better to copulate than never.
Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.
It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion. And usually easier.
Never appeal to a man's "better nature". He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage.
Little girls, like butterflies, need no excuse.
Avoid making irrevocable decisions while tired or hungry.
An elephant: A mouse built to government specifications.
A zygote is a gamete's way of producing more gametes. This may be the purpose of the universe.
Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin; the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.
God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. It says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.
Beware of altruism. It is based on self-deception, the root of all evil.
The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universe, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.
The second most preposterous notion is that copulation is inherently sinful.
Everybody lies about sex.
Rub her feet.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
Always tell her she is beautiful, especially if she is not.
In a family argument, if it turns out you are right, apologize at once.
To stay young requires unceasing cultivation of the ability to unlearn old falsehoods.
Does history record any case in which the majority was right?
Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.
The greatest productive force is human selfishness.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss.
Expertise in one field does not carry over into other fields. But experts often think so. The narrower their field of knowledge the more likely they are to think so.
Never try to outstubborn a cat.
Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills.
Yield to temptation; it may not pass your way again.
Waking a person unnecessarily should not be considered a capital crime. For a first offense, that is.
The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: "Of course it's none of my business, but . . . " is to place a period after the word "but". Don't use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period.
Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.
A skunk is better company than a person who prides himself on being "frank".
Natural laws have no pity.
You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting.
Anything free is worth what you pay for it.
Climate is what we expect; weather is what we get.
Pessimist by policy, optimist by temperament -- it is possible to be both. How? By never taking an unnecessary chance and by minimizing risks you can't avoid. This permits you to play out the game happily, untroubled by the certainty of the outcome.
"I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain.
Don't try to have the last word. You might get it..

Truths of Management:
Think before you act; it's not your money.
All good management is the expression of one great idea.
No executive devotes effort to proving himself wrong.
Cash in must exceed cash out.
Management capability is always less than the organization actually needs.
Either an executive can do his job or he can't.
If sophisticated calculations are needed to justify an action, don't do it.
If you are doing something wrong, you will do it badly.
If you are attempting the impossible, you will fail.
The easiest way of making money is to stop losing it.