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Murphy's Law or Sod's Law-It Doesn't Matter!!!!

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"If anything can go wrong, it will".

Anyway, I read a pretty funny thing. Well it's not really something I should be laughing at but....how Mr. Murphy died.

While driving somewhere in the US, in the dark of the night, Mr. Murphy ran out of gas. So he to a gas station, while facing traffic AND wearing white. He got struck down by a British tourist who was driving on the wrong side of the road. (yes we know you Brits think Murphy's Law is Irish but that's not my concern but I meant no disrespect to anyone).

Anyway, few days ago I tripped over my phone charger and somehow in the process had sprained maybe even broke my third toe. Okay, no big deal. Yeah it hurt but I wasn't going to go to ER just so a doc can tell me they can't do nothing about it AFTER an a average wait of 2 hours! I lay on the couch, take my lapdock (not laptop) connect my phone to it and nothing is happening. Okay so I figured I needed new connectors on the lapdock or it was fried inside. Next day I decided to go out in service, changed my mind and called the brother and his wife that were giving me a lift to the KH that I decided not to go. Why you may ask, because it was so windy and since I only have a long wool coat and I don't do wool in AprilI I canceled. Yeah I know, stupid excuse. Guilt set in and so I called back and asked then to pick me up. I just lost a half hour. You may think it nothing but I don't get up earlier then I have to. So I jumped out of bed, did my face (that's putting on makeup to the brothers who may not be familiar with that kind of lingo), got dressed, fed my cats and knocked my phone off the counter. You probably guessed what happened but I'll tell you anyway. The screen pretty much shattered but still worked. I tried to text and finding it easier to Swype on the phone I found it to be to rough with fine glass and resigned that I won't be able to use it for much longer. In addition, it took me just about one hour to text this all. So I don't expect to be on this site or any other site for that matter unless my sis lets me use her ipad.

So the point of all this is: "So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have it's own anxieties. Sufficient for each day is it's own badness." Matthew 6:33, 34 kinda like Murphy's Law..Lol

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I guess it just refers to any guy who was very much down on his luck. The term sod is used a lot in Britain, Ireland, UK to mean a young man. So Sod's law has been around a lot longer then Mr. Murphy. Plus I guess using the name Murphy sounded better then Sod.

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Sod's Law and its Corollaries


The Twelve Laws of Inaccurate Perception

SOD'S LAW, ALSO KNOWN AS MURPHY'S LAW. If anything can go wrong, it will.

O'TOOLE'S COMMENTARY ON MURPHY'S LAW. Murphy was an optimist.

THE FIRST COROLLARY TO SOD'S LAW. Anything that is to go wrong will do so at the worst possible moment.

THE UNSPEAKABLE LAW. As soon as you mention something, if it's good, it goes away; if it's bad, it happens.

NON-RECIPROCAL LAWS OF EXPECTATIONS. Negative expectations yield negative results. Positive expectations yield negative results.

HOWE'S LAW. Every man has a scheme which will not work.

ZYMURGY'S FIRST LAW OF EVOLVING SYSTEM DYNAMICS. Once you open a can of worms, the only way to re-can them is to use a larger can.

SKINNER'S CONSTANT. The quantity which must be multiplied by, divided by, added to or subtracted from the answer you get to give the answer you should have got.

LAW OF SELECTIVE GRAVITY. An object will fall so as to do the most damage.

JENNING'S COROLLARY. The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

BARTH'S DISTINCTION. There are two types of people: those who divide people into two types and those who do not.

NINETY-NINETY RULE OF PROJECT SCHEDULES. The first 90% of the job takes 90% of the time, the last 10% takes the other 90%.

FARBER'S RULE. Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.

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I guess it just refers to any guy who was very much down on his luck. The term sod is used a lot in Britain, Ireland, UK to mean a young man. So Sod's law has been around a lot longer then Mr. Murphy. Plus I guess using the name Murphy sounded better then Sod.

I see, thanks!

I also thought you meant "God's" law. LOL

What kind of phone do you have? You can replace the glass if it still works. It's pretty easy and does not cost that much depending on the phone.

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It's an Atrix 2 mb865 and I have a lapdock 100. So either I wait for my upgrade which is probably now but now my lap dock doesn't work. Have to open it up to see if I can fix it. Why not, I've butchered my own cow, deer (although I didn't shoot the deer, someday) made my own beet wine, cheese, change my own tires, replaced my own universals in the car, did my rear brakes and past Mon changed my oil. So why not try electronics!

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There is a bright side to the story. It could be worse. My Aunt dropped a pair of scissors on her toe and cut it off. In the days before they could re-attach. Twas a heavy pair of scissors.

Ouch ::o

Liz: I have a strange noise in my Wheels....can you diagnose car problems long distance? (I'm asking because among other things you mentioned making your own cheese).

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---- An Abridged Collection of Interdisciplinary Laws ----

Airplane Law

When the plane you are on is late,

the plane you want to transfer to is on time.

Allison's Precept

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.

Anthony's Law of Force

Don't force it, get a larger hammer.

Anthony's Law of the Workshop

Any tool, when dropped, will roll into the least accessible

corner of the workshop.

Corollary to Anthony's Law

On the way to the corner, any dropped tool will first always

strike your toes.

Army Axiom

Any order that can be misunderstood has been misunderstood.

Axiom of the Pipe (Trischmann's Paradox)

A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something

to stick in his mouth.

Baker's Law

Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.

Barber's Laws of Backpacking

1) The integral of the gravitational potential taken around

any loop trail you choose to hike always comes out positive.

2) Any stone in your boot always migrates against the

pressure gradient to exactly the point of most pressure.

3) 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.

4) The number of stones in your boot is directly

proportional to the number of hours you have been on the trail.

5) The difficulty of finding any given trail marker is directly

proportional to the importance of the consequences of failing

to find it.

6) The size of each of the stones in your boot is directly

proportional to the number of hours you have been on the trail.

7) The remaining distance to your chosen campsite remains constant

as twilight approaches.

8) The net weight of your boots is proportional to the cube of the

number of hours you have been on the trail.

9) When you arrive at your chosen campsite, it is full.

10) If you take your boots off, you'll never get them back on again.

11) The local density of mosquitos is inversely proportional to

your remaining repellent.

Barth's Distinction

There are two types of people: those who divide people into

two types, and those who don't.

Barzun's Laws of Learning

1) 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.

2) 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.

Forthoffer's Cynical Summary of Barzun's Laws

1) That which has not yet been taught directly can never

be taught directly.

2) If at first you don't succeed, you will never succeed.

Baxter's First Law

Government intervention in the free market always leads to a

lower national standard of living.

Baxter's Second Law

The adoption of fractional gold reserves in a currency system

always leads to depreciation, devaluation, demonetization and,

ultimately, to complete destruction of that currency.

Baxter's Third Law

In a free market good money always drives bad money out of


Becker's Law

It is much harder to find a job than to keep one.

Beifeld's Principle

The probability of a young man meeting a desirable and receptive

young female increases by pyramidal progression when he is already

in the company of (1) a date, (2) his wife, and

(3) a better looking and richer male friend.

Bicycle Law

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.

Blaauw's Law

Established technology tends to persist in spite of new


Booker's Law

An ounce of application is worth a ton of abstraction.

Boren's Laws

1) When in doubt, mumble.

2) When in trouble, delegate.

3) When in charge, ponder.

Brien's First Law

At some time in the life cycle of virtually every organization,

its ability to succeed in spite of itself runs out.

Brook's Law

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.

Brown's Law of Business Success

Our customer's paperwork is profit. Our own paperwork is loss.

Bucy's Law

Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.

Bustlin' Billy's Bogus Beliefs

1) The organization of any program reflects the organization

of the people who develop it.

2) There is no such thing as a "dirty capitalist," only a


3) Anything is possible, but nothing is easy.

4) Capitalism can exist in one of only two states --

welfare or warfare.

5) I'd rather go whoring than warring.

6) History proves nothing.

7) There is nothing so unbecoming on the beach as a wet kilt.

8) A little humility is arrogance.

9) A lot of what appears to be progress is just so much

technological rococo.

Bye's First Law of Model Railroading

Anytime you wish to demonstrate something, the number of faults

is proportional to the number of viewers.

Bye's Second Law of Model Railroading

The desire for modeling a prototype is inversely proportional

to the decline of the prototype.

Cahn's Axiom

When all else fails, read the instructions.

Camp's Law

A coup that is known in advance is a coup that does not take place.

Canada Bill Jones' Motto

It's morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money.

Canada Bill Jones' Supplement

A Smith and Wesson beats four aces.

Cheop's Law

Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.

Chisholm's Law of Human Interaction

Anytime things appear to be going better you have overlooked


Chisholm's Third Law

Proposals, as understood by the proposer,

will be judged otherwise by others.

Corollary 1: If you explain so clearly that nobody can

misunderstand, somebody will.

Corollary 2: If you do something which you are sure will meet

with everyone's approval, somebody won't like it.

Corollary 3: Procedures devised to implement the purpose

won't quite work.

Corollary 4: No matter how long or how many times you explain,

no one is listening.

Churchill's Commentary on Man

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth but most of the

time he will pick himself up and continue on.

Clarke's First Law

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something

is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that

something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Clarke's Second Law

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go

beyond them into the impossible.

Clarke's Third Law

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from


Clarke's Law of Revolutionary Ideas

Every revolutionary idea - in Science, Politics, Art or Whatever -

evokes three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the

three phrases:

1) "It is completely impossible -- don't waste my time."

2) "It is possible, but it is not worth doing."

3) "I said it was a good idea all along."

Cohen's Law

What really matters is the name you succeed in imposing on the

facts -- not the facts themselves.

Cole's Law

Thinly sliced cabbage.

Commoner's Three Laws of Ecology

1) No action is without side-effects.

2) Nothing ever goes away.

3) There is no free lunch.

Cook's Law

Much work -- much food, little work -- little food,

no work -- burial at sea.

Cornuelle's Law

Authority tends to assign jobs to those least able to do them.

Crane's Law (Friedman's Reiteration)

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Diogenes' First Dictum

The more heavily a man is supposed to be taxed, the more power

he has to escape being taxed.

Diogenes' Second Dictum

If a taxpayer thinks he can cheat safely, he probably will.

Dow's Law

In a hierarchical organization, the higher the level, the

greater the confusion.

Dunne's Law

The territory behind rhetoric is too often mined with equivocation.

Ehrman's Corollary to Ginsberg's Theorem

1) Things will get worse before they get better.

2) Who said things would get better.

Ettorre's Observation

The other line moves faster.

Evan's Law of Politics

When team members are finally in a position to help the team,

it turns out they have quit the team.

Everitt's Form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Confusion (entropy) is always increasing in society. Only if

someone or something works extremely hard can this confusion be

reduced to order in a limited region. Nevertheless, this effort

will still result in an increase in the total confusion of

society at large.

Extended Epstein-Heisenberg Principle

In an R & D orbit, only 2 of the existing 3 parameters can be

defined simultaneously. The parameters are: task, time and

resources ($).

1) If one knows what the task is, and there is a time limit

allowed for the completion of the task, then one cannot guess

how much it will cost.

2) If the time and resources ($) are clearly defined, then it

is impossible to know what part of the R & D task will be


3) If you are given a clearly defined R & D goal and a definite

amount of money which has been calculated to be necessary

for the completion of the task, one cannot predict if and when

the goal will be reached.

4) If one is lucky enough and can accuratly define all 3

parameters, then what one deals with is not in the realm of

R & D.

Farber's First Law

Give him an inch and he'll screw you.

Farber's Second Law

A hand in the bush is worth two anywhere else.

Farber's Third Law

We're all going down the same road in different directions.

Farber's Fourth Law

Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.

The Fifth Rule

You have taken yourself too seriously.

Finagle's First Law

If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

Finagle's Second Law

No matter what result is anticipated, there will always be

someone eager to (a) misinterpret it, (B) fake it, or © believe

it happened to his own pet theory.

Finagle's Third Law

In any collection of data, the figure most obviously correct,

beyond all need of checking, is the mistake.

Corollary 1: No one whom you ask for help will see it.

Corollary 2: Everyone who stops by with unsought advice

will see it immediately.

Finagle's Fourth Law

Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it only

makes it worse.

Finagle's Rules

Ever since the first scientific experiment, man has been

plagued by the increasing antagonism of nature. It seems only

right that nature should be logical and neat, but experience

has shown that this is not the case. A further series of rules has

been formulated, designed to help man accept the pigheadedness

of nature.

Rule 1: To study a subject best, understand it thoroughly

before you start.

Rule 2: Always keep a record of data. It indicates you've

been working.

Rule 3: Always draw your curves, then plot the reading.

Rule 4: In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.

Rule 5: Experiments should be reproducible. They should all

fail in the same way.

Rule 6: Do not believe in miracles. Rely on them.

First Law of Bicycling

No matter which way you ride it's uphill and against the wind.

First Law of Bridge

It's always the partner's fault.

First Law of Canoeing (Alfred Andrews' Canoeing Postulate)

No matter which direction you start it's always against the

wind coming back.

First Law of Debate

Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.

First Law of Office Holders

Get re-elected.

Fitz-Gibbon's Law

Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved

with the broth.

Flap's Law

Any inanimate object, regardless of its position or

configuration, may be expected to perform at any time in a

totally unexpected manner for reasons that are either entirely

obscure or else completely mysterious.

Fortis' Three Great Lies of Life

1) Money isn't everything.

2) It's great to be a Negro.

3) I'm only going to put it in a little way.

Fourteenth Corollary of Atwood's General Law of Dynamic Negatives

No books are lost by loaning except those you particularly

wanted to keep.

Franklin's Rule

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall not be


Gell-Mann Dictum

That which isn't prohibited is required.

Gilb's Laws of Unreliability

1) Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable.

Corollary: At the source of every error which is blamed on the

computer you will find at least two human errors,

including the error of blaming it on the computer.

2) Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.

3) The only difference between the fool and the criminal who attacks

a system is that the fool attacks unpredictably and

on a broader front.

7) Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in contrast to

detectable errors, which by definition are limited.

9) Investment in reliability will increase until it exceeds

the probable cost of errors, or until someone

insists on getting some useful work done.

Ginsberg's Theorem

1) You can't win.

2) You can't break even.

3) You can't even quit the game.

Golden Rules of Indulgence

Everything in excess! To enjoy the full flavor of life, take

big bites. Moderation is for monks. Yield to temptation; it may

never pass your way again.

Gray's Law of Programming

n+1 trivial tasks are expected to be accomplished in the same

time as n trivial tasks.

Logg's Rebuttal to Gray's Law of Programming

n+1 trivial tasks take twice as long as n trivial tasks.

Gresham's Law

Trivial matters are handled promptly; important matters are never


Grosch's Law

Computing power increases as the square of the cost. If you

want to do it twice as cheaply, you have to do it four times

as fast.

Gummidge'e Law

The amount of expertise varies in inverse proportion to the

number of statements understood by the general public.

Gumperson's Law

The probability of anything happening is in inverse ratio to

its desirability.

Hacker's Law of Personnel

Anyone having supervisory responsibility for the completion of a

task will invariably protest that more resources are needed.

Hagerty's Law

If you lose your temper at a newspaper columnist, he'll get

rich or famous or both.

Haldane's Law

The Universe is not only queerer than we imagine;

it is queerer than we CAN imagine.

Harper's Magazine's Law

You never find an article until you replace it.

Hartley's First Law

You can lead a horse to water, but if you can get him to

float on his back you've got something.

Hartley's Second Law

Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.

Harvard Law

Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure,

temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables, the

organism will do as it damn well pleases.

Heller's Law

The first myth of management is that it exists.

Hendrickson's Law

If a problem causes many meetings, the meetings eventually become

more important than the problem.

Hoare's Law of Large Programs

Inside every large program is a small program struggling

to get out.

Horner's Five Thumb Postulate

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.

Howard's First Law of Theater

Use it.

Howe's Law

Every man has a scheme that will not work.

Hull's Theorem

The combined pull of several patrons is the sum of their

separate pulls multiplied by the number of patrons.

IBM Pollyanna Principle

Machines should work. People should think.

Imhoff's Law

The organization of any bureaucracy is very much like a septic tank

-- the REALLY big chunks always rise to the top.

Iron Law of Distribution

Them what has - gets.

Italian Proverb

She who is silent consents.

Jacquin's Postulate on Democratic Governments

No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the

legislature is in session.

Jay's Laws of Leadership

1) Changing things is central to leadership,

and changing them before anyone else is creativeness.

2) To build something that endures, it is of the greatest

importance to have a long tenure in office -- to rule for

many years. You can achieve a quick success in a year or

two, but nearly all of the great tycoons have continued

their building much longer.

Jenkinson's Law

It won't work.

John Cameron's Law

No matter how many times you've had it, if it's offered,

take it, because it'll never be quite the same again.

John's Axiom

When your opponent is down, kick him.

John's Collateral Corollary

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

Johnson's Corollary to Heller's Law

Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within your


Johnson's First Law of Auto Repair

Any tool dropped while repairing an automobile will roll

under the car to the vehicle's exact geographic center.

Johnson-Laird's Law

Toothache tends to start on Saturday night.

Jones' Law

The man who can smile when things go wrong has thought

of someone he can blame it on.

Jones' Motto

Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.

Kamin's First Law

All currencies will decrease in value and purchasing power

over the long term, unless they are freely and fully convertable

into gold and that gold is traded freely without restrictions of

any kind.

Kamin's Second Law

Threat of capital controls accelerates marginal capital


Kamin's Third Law

Combined total taxation from all levels of government will

always increase (until the government is replaced by war or


Kamin's Fourth Law

Government inflation is always worse than statistics indicate;

central bankers are biased toward inflation when the money unit is

non-convertible, and without gold or silver backing.

Kamin's Fifth Law

Purchasing power of currency is always lost far more rapidly

than ever regained. (Those who expect even fluctuations in both

directions play a losing game.)

Kamin's Sixth Law

When attempting to predict and forcast macro-economic moves or

economic legislation by a politician, never be misled by what he

says; instead watch what he does.

Kamin's Seventh Law

Politicians will always inflate when given the opportunity.

Katz's Law

Men and nations will act rationally when all other

possibilities have been exhausted.

Kerr-Martin Law

1) In dealing with their OWN problems, faculty members are the

most extreme conservatives.

2) In dealing with OTHER people's problems, they are the

world's most extreme liberals.

Kirkland's Law

The usefulness of any meeting is in inverse proportion to

the attendance.

Kitman's Law

Pure drivel tends to drive off the TV screen ordinary


Lani's Principles of Economics

1) Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.

2) $100 placed at 7% interest compounded quarterly for 200

years will increase to more than $100,000,000 by which time it

will be worth nothing.

3) In God we trust, all others pay cash.

La Rochefoucauld's Law

It is more shameful to distrust one's friends than to be

deceived by them.

Law of Communications

The inevitable result of improved and enlarged communications

between different levels in a hierarchy is a vastly increased area

of misunderstanding.

Law of Computability Applied to Social Science

If at first you don't succeed, transform your data set.

Law of Selective Gravity (The Buttered Side Down Law)

An object will fall so as to do the most damage.

Law of the Perversity of Nature (Mrs. Murphy's Corollary)

You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of

the bread to butter.

Law of Superiority

The first example of superior principle is always inferior

to the developed example of inferior principle.

Laws of Computerdom According to Golub

1) Fuzzy project objectives are used to avoid the embarrassment

of estimating the corresponding costs.

2) A carelessly planned project takes three times longer to

complete than expected; a carefully planned project will take

only twice as long.

3) The effort required to correct course increases geometrically

with time.

4) Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so

vividly manifests their lack of progress.

Laws of Computer Programming

1) Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

2) Any given program costs more and takes longer.

3) If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.

4) If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.

5) Any given program will expand to fill all available


6) The value of a program is inversely proportional to the weight

of its output.

7) Program complexity grows until it exceeds the

capability of the programmer who must maintain it.

8) Make it possible for programmers to write programs in

English, and you will find that programmers cannot write in


Laws of Gardening

1) Other people's tools work only in other people's yards.

2) Fanzy gizmos don't work.

3) If nobody uses it, there's a reason.

4) You get the most of what you need the least.

Le Chatelier's Law

If some stress is brought to bear on a system in equilibrium,

the equilibrium is displaced in the direction which tends to

undo the effect of the stress.

Les Miserables' Metalaw

All laws, whether good, bad, or indifferent, must be

obeyed to the letter.

Long's Notes

1) Always store beer in a dark place.

2) Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until

proved innocent.

3) Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be

done, and why. Then do it.

4) It has long been known that one horse can run faster than

another -- but which one? Differences are crucial.

5) A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty


6) Small change can often be found under seat cushions.

7) It's amazing how much "mature wisdom" resembles being too


8) Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.

9) It's better to copulate than never.

10) Never appeal to man's "better nature." He may not have one.

(Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage.)

11) An elephant: a mouse built to government specifications.

12) A Zygote is a Gamete's way of producing more Gametes.

13) 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.

14) Waking a person unnecessarily should not be considered a

capital crime. For a first offense, that is.

15) Beware of altruism. It is based on self-deception, the root

of all evil.

16) Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

17) Rub her feet.

18) To stay young requires unceasing cultivation of the ability

to unlearn old falsehoods.

19) Does history record any case in which the majority was


20) Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax

collectors and miss.

21) Never try to outstubborn a cat.

22) Natural laws have no pity.

23) You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by

being too trusting.

24) Anything free is worth what you pay for it.

25) Pessimist by policy, optimist by temperament -- it is

possible to be both. How? By never taking unnecessary chances

and by minimizing risks you can't avoid. This permits you to

play the game happily, untroubled by the certainty of the


26) "I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems

to have been garbled.)

27) The greatest productive force is human selfishness.

28) A skunk is better company than a person who prides himself

on being "frank".

29) 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 morons with a period. Cutting his throat is

only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.

30) Don't try to have the last word. You might get it.

Lord Falkland's Rule

When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not

to make a decision.

Lowery's Law

If it jams -- force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

Malek's Law

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

Malinowski's Law

Looking from far above, from our high places of safety in

the developed civilization, it is easy to see all the crudity and

irrelevance of magic.

Dean Martin's Definition of Drunkenness

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.

Martin-Berthelot Principle

Of all possible committee reactions to any given agenda item,

the reaction that will occur is the one which will liberate

the greatest amount of hot air.

Match's Maxim

A fool in a high station is like a man on the top of a high


everything appears small to him and he appears small to everybody.

Matsch's Law

It is better to have a horrible ending than to have horrors

without end.

McClaughry's Codicil on Jone's Motto

To make an enemy, do someone a favor.

McClaughry's Law of Zoning

Where zoning is not needed, it will work perfectly;

where it is desperately needed, it always breaks down.

McGoon's Law

The probability of winning is inversely proportional to

the amount of the wager.

McNaughton's Rule

Any argument worth making within the bureaucracy must be

capable of being expressed in a simple declarative sentence that

is obviously true once stated.

H. L. Mencken's Law

Those who can -- do.

Those who cannot -- teach.

Those who cannot teach -- administrate. (Martin's extension)

Merrill's First Corollary

There are no winners in life; only survivors.

Merrill's Second Corollary

In the highway of life, the average happening is of about as

much true significance as a dead skunk in the middle of the road.

Meskimen's Law

There's never time to do it right, but always time to

do it over.

Michehl's Theorem

Less is more.

Pastore's Comment on Michehl's Theorem

Nothing is ultimate.

Miller's Law

You can't tell how deep a puddle is until you step into it.

Mobil's Maxim

Bad regulation begets worse regulation.

Murphy's First Law

Nothing is as easy as it looks.

Murphy's Second Law

Everything takes longer than you think.

Murphy's Third Law

In any field of scientific endeavor, anything that can go

wrong will go wrong.

Murphy's Fourth Law

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.

Murphy's Fifth Law

If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway.

Murphy's Sixth Law

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.

Murphy's Seventh Law

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

Murphy's Eighth Law

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously

overlooked something.

Murphy's Ninth Law

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

Murphy's Tenth Law

Mother nature is a bitch.

Murphy's Eleventh Law

It is impossible to make anything foolproof because

fools are so ingenious.

Murphy's Law of Thermodynamics

Things get worse under pressure.

Newton's Little-known Seventh Law

A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.

Nienberg's Law

Progress is made on alternate Fridays.

Ninety-ninety Rule of Project Schedules

The first ninety percent of the task takes ninety percent

of the time, and the last ten percent takes the other ninety


O'Brien's Principle (The $357.73 Theory)

Auditors always reject any expense account with a bottom line

divisible by 5 or 10.

Oeser's Law

There is a tendency for the person in the most powerful

position in an organization to spend all his time serving

on committees and signing letters.

Ordering Principle

Those supplies necessary for yesterday's experiment must

be ordered no later than tomorrow noon.

Osborn's Law

Variables won't, constants aren't.

O'Toole's Commentary on Murphy's Laws

Murphy was an optimist.

Pardo's Postulates

1) Anything good is either illegal, immoral, or fattening.

2) The three faithful things in life are money, a dog, and

an old woman.

3) Don't care if you're rich or not, as long as you can live

comfortably and have everything you want.

Pareto's Law (The 20/80 Law)

20% of the customers account for 80% of the turnover,

20% of components account for 80% of the cost, and

so forth.

Parker's Rule of Parlimentary Procedure

A motion to adjourn is always in order.

Parker's Law of Political Statements

The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its

credibility and vice versa.

Parkinson's First Law

Work expands to fill the time available for its completion;

the thing to be done swells in perceived importance and

complexity in a direct ratio with the time to be spent in

its completion.

Parkinson's Second Law

Expenditures rise to meet income.

Parkinson's Third Law

If there is a way to delay an important decision the good

bureaucracy, public or private, will find it.

Parkinson's Fourth Law

The number of people in any working group tends to increase

regardless of the amount of work to be done.

Parkinson's Law of Delay

Delay is the deadliest form of denial.

Pastore's Truths

1) Even paranoids have enemies.

2) This job is marginally better than daytime TV.

3) On alcohol: four is one more than more than enough.

Peckham's Law

Beauty times brains equals a constant.

Peer's Law

The solution to a problem changes the problem.

Peter Principle

In every hierarchy, whether it be government or business, each

employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence; every post

tends to be filled by an employee incompetent to execute its


Peter's Corollaries

1) Incompetence knows no barriers of time or place.

2) Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet

reached their level of incompetence.

3) If at first you don't succeed, try something else.

Peter's Inversion

Internal consistency is valued more highly than efficiency.

Peter's Paradox

Employees in a hierarchy do not really object to incompetence

in their colleagues.

Peter's Perfect People Palliative

Each of us is a mixture of good qualities and some (perhaps)

not-so-good qualities. In considering our fellow people we

should remember their good qualities and realize that their

faults only prove that they are, after all, human. We should

refrain from making harsh judgements of people just because

they happen to be dirty, rotten, no-good sons-of-bitches.

Peter's Placebo

An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.

Peter's Theorem

Incompetence plus incompetence equals incompetence.

Potter's Law

The amount of flak received on any subject is inversely

proportional to the subject's true value.

Productivity Equation

The productivity, P, of a group of people is:

P = N x T x (.55 - .00005 x N x (N - 1) )

where N is the number of people in the group

and T is the number of hours in a work period.

Professor Gordon's Rule of Evolving Bryographic Systems

While bryographic plants are typically encountered in

substrata of earthy or mineral matter in concreted state,

discrete substrata elements occasionally display a roughly

spherical configuration which, in presence of suitable

gravitational and other effects, lends itself to combined

translatory and rotational motion. One notices in such cases

an absence of the otherwise typical accretion of bryophyta.

We therefore conclude that a rolling stone gathers no moss.

Pudder's Law

Anything that begins well ends badly.

Anything that begins badly ends worse.

Puritan's Law

Evil is live spelled backwards.

Puritan's Second Law

If it feels good, don't do it.

Q's Law

No matter what stage of completion one reaches in a North Sea

(oil) field, the cost of the remainder of the project remains

the same.

Rangnekar's Modified Rules Concerning Decisions

1) If you must make a decision, delay it.

2) If you can authorize someone else to avoid a decision, do so.

3) If you can form a committee, have them avoid the decision.

4) If you can otherwise avoid a decision, avoid it immediately.

Rayburn's Rule

If you want to get along, go along.

Riddle's Constant

There are coexisting elements in frustration phenomena which

separate expected results from achieved results.

Ross' Law

Never characterize the importance of a statement in advance.

Rudin's Law

In a crisis that forces a choice to be made among alternative

courses of action, most people will choose the worst one possible.

Rule of Accuracy

When working toward the solution of a problem it always

helps if you know the answer.

Sam's Axiom

1) Any line, however short, is still too long.

2) Work is the crabgrass of life, but money is the water

that keeps it green.

Sattinger's Law

It works better if you plug it in.

Segal's Law

A man with one watch knows what time it is;

a man with two watches is never sure.

Sevareid's Law

The chief cause of problems is solutions.

Shalit's Law

The intensity of movie publicity is in inverse ratio to the

quality of the movie.

Shanahan's Law

The length of a meeting rises with the square of the number of

people present.

Shaw's Principle

Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will

want to use it.

Simmon's Law

The desire for racial integration increases with the square

of the distance from the actual event.

Simon's Law

Everything put together sooner or later falls apart.

Skinner's Constant (Flannegan's Finagling Factor)

That quantity which, when multiplied by, divided by, added to,

or subtracted from the answer you get, gives you the answer

you should have gotten.

Snafu Equations

1) Given any problem containing n equations, there will be

n + 1 unknowns.

2) An object or bit of information most needed, will be

least available.

3) Any device requiring service or adjustment will be least


4) Interchangable devices won't.

5) In any human endeavor, once you have exhausted all

possibilities and fail, there will be one solution, simple and

obvious, highly visible to everyone else.

6) Badness comes in waves.

Sociology's Iron Law of Oligarchy

In every organized activity, no matter the sphere,

a small number will become the oligarchial leaders

and the others will follow.

Spare Parts Principle

The accessibility, during recovery of small parts which fall

from the work bench, varies directly with the size of the

part and inversely with its importance to the completion of

work underway.

Steele's Plagiarism of Somebody's Philosophy

Everyone should believe in something -- I believe I'll have

another drink.

Sturgeon's Law

90 per cent of everything is crud.

Swipple Rule of Order

He who shouts loudest has the floor.

Terman's Law

There is no direct relationship between the quality of

an educational program and its cost.

Terman's Law of Innovation

If you want a track team to win the high jump

you find one person who can jump seven feet,

not seven people who can jump one foot.

Theory of the International Society of Philosophic Engineering

In any calculation, any error which can creep in will.

Thoreau's Law

If you see a man approaching with the obvious intent

of doing you good, run for your life.

Transcription Law

The number of errors made is equal to the number of 'squares'


Truman's Law

If you cannot convince them, confuse them.

Truths of Management

1) Think before you act; it's not your money.

2) All good management is the expression of one great idea.

3) No executive devotes effort to proving himself wrong.

4) Cash in must exceed cash out.

5) Management capability is always less than the

organization actually needs.

6) Either an executive can do his job or he can't.

7) If sophisticated calculations are needed to justify an

action, don't do it.

8) If you are doing something wrong, you will do it badly.

9) If you are attempting the impossible, you will fail.

10) The easiest way of making money is to stop losing it.

Truth 5.1 of Management

Organizations always have too many managers.

Tuccille's First Law of Reality

Industry always moves in to fill an economic vacuum.

Vail's Axiom

In any human enterprise, work seeks the lowest hierarchial level.

Vique's Law

A man without religion is like a fish without a bicycle.

Vonnegut's Corollary

Beauty may be only skin deep, but ugliness goes right to the core.

Weaver's Law

When several reporters share a cab on an assignment, the

reporter in the front seat pays for all.

Weaver's Corollary (Doyle's Corollary)

No matter how many reporters share a cab, and no matter who

pays, each puts the full fare on his own expense account.

Weber-Fechner Law

The least change in stimulus necessary to produce a perceptible

change in response is proportional to the stimulus already existing.

Weiler's Law

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to

do it himself.

Weinberg's Law

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs,

then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy


Weinberg's Corollary

An expert is a person who avoids the small errors

while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.

Westheimer's Rule

To estimate the time it takes to do a task: estimate

the time you think it should take, multiply by 2, and change

the unit of measure to the next highest unit. Thus we allocate

2 days for a one hour task.

White's Chappaquidick Theorem

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

White's Observations of Committee Operation

1) People very rarely think in groups;

they talk together, they exchange information, they adjudicate,

they make compromises.

But they do not think; they do not create.

2) A really new idea affronts current agreement.

3) A meeting cannot be productive unless certain premises are

so shared that they do not need to be discussed, and the

argument can be confined to areas of disagreement. But while

this kind of consensus makes a group more effective in its

legitimate functions, it does not make the group a creative

vehicle -- it would not be a new idea if it didn't -- and the

group, impelled as it is to agree, is instinctively hostile to

that which is divisive.

White's Statement

Don't lose heart...

Owen's Comment on White's Statement

...they might want to cut it out...

Byrd's Addition to Owen's Comment on White's Statement

...and they want to avoid a lengthy search.

Wiker's Law

Government expands to absorb revenue and then some.

Wolf's Law (An Optimistic View of a Pessimistic World)

It isn't that things will necessarily go wrong (Murphy's Law),

but rather that they will take so much more time and effort than you

think if they are not to go wrong.

Worker's Dilemma Law (or Management's Put-Down Law)

1) No matter how much you do, you'll never do enough.

2) What you don't do is always more important than what

you do do.

Wynne's Law

Negative slack tends to increase.

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).

Zymurgy's Law on the Availability of Volunteer Labor

People are always available for work in the past tense.

Zymurgy's Seventh Exception to Murphy's Laws

When it rains, it pours.

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