Monday, December 12, 2005

The Origin of Murphy's Law

I talked with Pakjo Simduk, the leader of Yayasan Sumber Mulya, that publish "Renungan Harian" & "Renungan Mingguan", and also an employee at Jogja City Government. He talked to me about his thesis when he studied at FISIPOL UGM. He said that Murphy Law is good law that can applied in entire of daily life, political, sports, and also including his bicycling hobby.

Then I tried to find out some articles and look at Murphy's Law. It's very fun, and i feel that the quotes in this law is so fun to read.

The Origin of 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."

So who was Murphy anyway?

Born in 1917, Edward A. Murphy, Jr. was one of the engineers on the rocket-sled experiments that were done by the United States Air Force in 1949 to test human acceleration tolerances (USAF project MX981).

One experiment involved a set of 16 accelerometers mounted to different parts of the subject's body. There were two ways each sensor could be glued to its mount. Of course, somebody managed to install all 16 the wrong way around.

Murphy then made the original form of his pronouncement, which the test subject (Major John Paul Stapp) quoted at a news conference a few days later.

Within months, "Murphy's Law" had spread to various technical cultures connected to aerospace engineering, and finally reached the Webster's dictionary in 1958.

Tragically (and perhaps typically), the popular cliche we call "Murphy's Law" was never uttered by Edward Murphy.

Murphy's Law applies to Murphy's Law, too

The traditional version of Murphy's Law ("anything that can go wrong, will") is actually "Finagle's Law of Dynamic Negatives." Finagle's Law was popularized by science fiction author Larry Niven in several stories depicting a frontier culture of asteroid miners; this "Belter" culture professed a religion and/or running joke involving the worship of the dread god Finagle and his mad prophet Murphy.

Since then, the relentless truth inherent in Murphy's Law has become a persistent thorn in the side of humanity.

I quoted some:

Murphy's Computers Laws

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

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

  • The value of a program is inversely proportional to the weight of its output.

  • Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the programmer who must maintain it.

  • Bugs will appear in one part of a working program when another 'unrelated' part is modified.

  • A hardware failure will cause system software to crash, and the customer engineer will blame the programmer.

  • A system software crash will cause hardware to act strangely and the programmers will blame the customer engineer.

  • 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.

  • Make it possible for programmers to write programs in English, and you will find that programmers can not write in English.

  • The documented interfaces between standard software modules will have undocumented quirks.

  • The probability of a hardware failure disappearing is inversely proportional to the distance between the computer and the customer engineer.

  • A working program is one that has only unobserved bugs.

  • No matter how many resources you have, it is never enough.

  • Any cool program always requires more memory than you have.

  • When you finally buy enough memory, you will not have enough disk space.

  • Disks are always full. It is futile to try to get more disk space. Data expands to fill any void.

  • If a program actually fits in memory and has enough disk space, it is guaranteed to crash.

  • If such a program has not crashed yet, it is waiting for a critical moment before it crashes.

  • No matter how good of a deal you get on computer components, the price will always drop immediately after the purchase.

  • Software bugs are impossible to detect by anybody except the end user.

  • The maintenance engineer will never have seen a model quite like yours before.

  • A failure in a device will never appear until it has passed final inspection.

  • A program generator creates programs that are more buggy than the program generator.

  • A part dropped from the workbench will roll to a degree of un-reachability proportional to its importance.

  • No matter how hard you work, the boss will only appear when you access the internet.

  • The hard drive on your computer will only crash when it contains vital information that has not been backed up.

  • Computers don't make errors-What they do they do on purpose.

Murphy's Love & Sex Laws

  • 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.

  • Love your neighbor, but don't get caught.

  • Love is a matter of chemistry, sex is a matter of physics.

  • Never argue with a women when she's tired -- or rested.

  • Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation; the other eight are unimportant.

  • Smile, it makes people wonder what you are thinking.

  • There is no difference between a wise man and a fool when they fall in love.

  • Love and high-school must NEVER go together.

Source & more readings:


-tika- said...

Murphy’s Love & Sex Laws

* The nicer someone is, the farther away (s)he is from you.
* Brains x Beauty x Availability = Constant.


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