Original Murphy's law
If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it.
Murphy's laws (modern version)
Addition to Murphy's law
In Nature, nothing is ever right, therefore if everything is going right something has to be wrong.
Forsyth's second corollary to Murphy's laws.
Just when you see the light at the end of the tunnel, the roof caves in.
Zymurg's seventh exception to Murphy's law
When it rains, it pours.
O'Toole's commentary on Murphy's laws.
Murphy was an optimist.
Comment on Murphy's Law
Murphy's Law is recursive. Washing your car to make it rain doesn't work.
Chisolm's First Corollary to Murphy's Second Law
When things just can't possibly get any worse, they will.
Finagle's Laws of Dynamic Negatives
Finagle's fourth law
Once a job is fouled up, anything made to improve it will make it worse.
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Nothing is impossible to the man who doesn't have to do it himself.
The probability of anything happening is in inverse ratio to it's desirability.
Law of the Perversity of Nature
You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.
The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.
Lazlo's Chinese Relativity Axiom
No matter how great your triumphs or how tragic your defeats -- approximately one billion Chinese couldn't care less.
Parkinson's Law of Data
Data expands to fill the space available for storage.
The laws of computer programming.
Golub's laws of computerdom.
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.
If at first you don't succeed, transform your data set !
Computing power increases as the square of the cost.
Variables won't be, constants never are.
Gilb's laws of unreliability
Lubarsky's law of cybernetic entomology
There's always one more bug.
Weinberger's second law
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilisation.
The amount of expertise varies in inverse ratio to the number of statements understood by the general public.
Harvard's law, as applied to computers
Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, humidity and other variables, the computer does as it damn well pleases.
It works better if you plug it in.
It won't work.
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 towards the solution of a problem it always helps if you know the answer
To estimate the time it takes to do a task, estimate the time you thing it should take, multiply by two and change 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.
Adding manpower to a late software only makes it later.
Whatever you did, say that's what you planned.
Any inanimate object, regardless of it's position, configuration or purpose, may be expected to perform at any time in a totally unexpected manner for reasons that are either totally obscure or else completely mysterious.
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 of the Workshop
On the way to the corner, any dropped tool will first strike your toes.
Arnold's Laws of Documentation
You always find something in the last place you look.
Brady's First Law of Problem Solving
When confronted by a difficult problem, you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, "How would the Lone Ranger have handled this?"
Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.
Chism's Law of Completion
The amount of time required to complete a government project is precisely equal to the length of time already spent on it.
In any organization there will always be one person who knows what is going on. This person must be fired.
Science is true. Don't be misled by facts.
Finagle's First Law
If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.
Finagle's fourth Law
Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse.
Finagle's Second Law
No matter what the anticipated result, there will always be someone eager to (a) misinterpret it, (b) fake it, or (c) believe it happened according 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
Corollaries to Finagle's Third Law
Nobody whom you ask for help will see it. The first person who stops by, whose advice you really don't want to hear, will see it immediately.
There is not now, and never will be, a language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad programs.
Fudd's First Law of Opposition
Push something hard enough and it will fall over.
Gerrold's Laws of Infernal Dynamics
To determine how long it will take to write and debug a program, take your best estimate, multiply that by two, add one, and convert to the next higher time unit.
Gray's Law of Programming
`n+1' trivial tasks are expected to be accomplished in the same time as `n' tasks.
Logg's Rebuttal to Gray's Law
`n+1' trivial tasks take twice as long as `n' trivial tasks.
H. L. Mencken's Law
Those who can -- do. Those who can't -- teach.
Martin's Extension to H. L. Mencken's Law
Those who cannot teach -- administrate.
The belief that enhanced understanding will necessarily stir a nation to action is one of mankind's oldest illusions.
If you have a difficult task, give it to a lazy person -- they will find an easier way to do it.
Hoare's Law of Large Problems
Inside every large problem is a small problem struggling to get out.
It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take Hofstadter's Law into account.
Johnson's First Law
When any mechanical contrivance fails, it will do so at the most inconvenient possible time.
The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on.
Jones's First Law
Anyone who makes a significant contribution to any field of endeavor, and stays in that field long enough, becomes an obstruction to its progress -- in direct proportion to the importance of their original contribution.
Man and nations will act rationally when all other possibilities have been exhausted.
Kinkler's Second Law
All the easy problems have been solved.
All laws are basically false.
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 Probable Dispersal
Whatever it is that hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.
Law of Selective Gravity
An object will fall so as to do the most damage.
Laws of Serendipity
The attention span of a computer is only as long as its electrical cord.
Velilind's Laws of Experimentation
When hammering a nail, you will never hit your finger if you hold the hammer with both hands.
Lewis's Law of Travel
The first piece of luggage out of the chute doesn't belong to anyone, ever.
Everybody lies, but it doesn't matter since nobody listens.
If it jams -- force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.
If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.
Corollaries to Maier's Law
If we can't fix it, it ain't broke.
Any simple idea will be worded in the most complicated way.
Whatever happens to you, it will previously have happened to everyone you know, only more so.
There's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over.
If a string has one end, then it has another end.
Mitchell's Law of Committees
Any simple problem can be made insoluble if enough meetings are held to discuss it.
Mosher's Law of Software Engineering
Don't worry if it doesn't work right. If everything did, you'd be out of a job.
Murphy's Law of Research
Enough research will tend to support your theory.
You can make it foolproof, but you can't make it damnfoolproof.
Newton's Fourth Law
Every action has an equal and opposite satisfaction.
Newton's Little-Known Seventh Law
A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.
Non-Reciprocal Laws of Expectations
Negative expectations yield negative results. Positive expectations yield negative results.
The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.
Parkinson's Fifth Law
If there is a way to delay in 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.
You can't fall off the floor.
Peter's Law of Substitution
Look after the molehills, and the mountains will look after themselves.
Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.
When any principle, law, tenet, probability, happening, circumstance, or result can in no way be directly, indirectly, empirically, or circuitously proven, derived, implied, inferred, induced, deducted, estimated, or scientifically guessed, it will always for the purpose of convenience, expediency, political advantage, material gain, or personal comfort, or any combination of the above, or none of the above, be unilaterally and unequivocally assumed, proclaimed, and adhered to as absolute truth to be undeniably, universally, immutably, and infinitely so, until such time as it becomes advantageous to assume otherwise, maybe.
Rocky's Lemma of Innovation Prevention
Unless the results are known in advance, funding agencies will reject the proposal.
If there is a wrong way to do something, most people will do it every time.
It works better if you plug it in.
Scott's first Law
No matter what goes wrong, it will probably look right.
Scott's second Law
When an error has been detected and corrected, it will be found to have been wrong in the first place.
After the correction has been found in error, it will be impossible to fit the original quantity back into the equation.
Second Law of Business Meetings
If there are two possible ways to spell a person's name, you will pick the wrong one.
If there is only one way to spell a name, you will spell it wrong, anyway.
If Murphy's Law can go wrong, it will.
Everything put together falls apart sooner or later.
Sodd's Second Law
Sooner or later, the worst possible set of circumstances is bound to occur.
The three laws of thermodynamics
Nothing is as inevitable as a mistake whose time has come.
If it happens, it must be possible.
The reliability of machinery is inversely proportional to the number and significance of any persons watching it.
Weinberg's First Law
Progress is made on alternate Fridays.
An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.
Weiner's Law of Libraries
There are no answers, only cross references.
A couple of months in the laboratory can frequently save a couple of hours in the library.
Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups.
You never know who is right, but you always know who is in charge.
Williams and Holland's Law
If enough data is collected, anything may be proven by statistical methods.
Zymurgy's Law of Volunteer Labor
People are always available for work in the past tense.
The two constant Laws of Frisbee
When you need to knock on wood is when you realize that the world is composed of vinyl, naugahyde and aluminum.
Slick's Three Laws of the Universe
Mencken and Nathan's Second Law of The Average American
All the postmasters in small towns read all the postcards.
Government expands to absorb revenue and then some.
Mencken and Nathan's Ninth Law of The Average American
The quality of a champagne is judged by the amount of noise the cork makes when it is popped.
Mencken and Nathan's Fifteenth Law of The Average American
The worst actress in the company is always the manager's wife.
Mencken and Nathan's Sixteenth Law of The Average American
Milking a cow is an operation demanding a special talent that is possessed only by yokels, and no person born in a large city can ever hope to acquire it.
90% of everything is crud.
Preudhomme's Law of Window Cleaning
It's on the other side.
The Third Law of Photography
If you did manage to get any good shots, they will be ruined when someone inadvertently opens the darkroom door and all of the dark leaks out.
Van Roy's Law
An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.
No books are lost by lending except the ones you particularly wanted to keep.
Johnson's third law
If you miss one issue of a magazine, it will be the one that contains the article or story you were most anxious to read.
Corollary to Johnson's third law
All of your friends either missed it, lost it or threw it away.
Harper's magazine law
You never find the article until you replace it.
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 (older worms never die, they just worm their way into larger cans).