Murphy’s Laws for the 21st Century

Reprinted from EE Times


by Max Maxfield, Designline Editor, EE Times

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.

My chum David Ashton from Australia tells me that his local Microchip Technology representative includes a “Joke of the Month” in his communications. David was kind enough to share this month’s chuckle with me as follows:

Murphy’s Law: Part 1

  1. Nothing is as easy as it looks.
  2. Everything takes longer than you think.
  3. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
  4. If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.
  5. If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.
  6. 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.
  7. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
  8. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
  9. It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
  10. The light at the end of the tunnel is only the light of an oncoming train.

Now, I always thought that the namesake of Murphy’s law was Capt. Ed Murphy, a development engineer from Wright Field Aircraft Lab. But I was just reading this Wikipedia entry, which notes that: “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.”

With regard to Capt. Ed Murphy’s claim to fame, the Wikipedia goes on to say: “According to the book A History of Murphy’s Law by author Nick T. Spark, differing recollections years later by various participants make it impossible to pinpoint who first coined the saying Murphy’s law.

Now, do you recall my blog The 10 Commandments of Electronics? If so, you will remember that we had a lot of fun augmenting this with our own offerings. So let’s do the same for Murphy’s law — can you think of any additional items that should be added to the list above?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: