Murphy’s Law

Murphy’s law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

The perceived perversity of the universe has long been a subject of comment, and precursors to the modern version of Murphy’s law are not hard to find. Recent significant research in this area has been conducted by members of the American Dialect Society.

It is found that anything that can go wrong generally does go wrong sooner or later, so it is not to be wondered that people prefer the safe to the scientific. Sufficient stress can hardly be laid on the advantages of simplicity. The human factor cannot be safely neglected in planning machinery. If attention is to be obtained, the engine must be such that the engineer will be disposed to attend to it.

Mathematician Augustus De Morgan wrote on June 23, 1866:

The first experiment already illustrates a truth of the theory, well confirmed by practice, what-ever can happen will happen if we make trials enough.

 

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