THE PRIME AXIOM: In any field of scientific endeavor, anything that can go wrong, will.

  1. If the possibility exists of several things going wrong, the one that will go wrong is the one that will do the most damage.
  2. Everything will go wrong at one time. That time is always when you least expect it.
  3. If nothing can go wrong, something will.
  4. Nothing is as easy as it looks.
  5. Everything takes longer than you think.
  6. Left to themselves, things always go from bad to worse.
  7. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
  8. Given the most inappropriate time for something to go wrong, that's when it will occur.
  9. Mother Nature is a bitch. The universe is not indifferent to intelligence, it is actively hostile to it.
  10. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
  11. If in any problem you find yourself doing an immense amount of work, the answer can be obtained by simple inspection.
  12. Never make anything simple and efficient when a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful.
  13. If it doesn't fit, use a bigger hammer.
  14. In an instrument or device characterized by a number of plus-or-minus errors, the total error will be the sum of all the errors adding in the same direction.
  15. In any given calculation, the fault will never be placed if more than one person is involved. In any given discovery, the credit will never be properly placed if more than one person is involved.
  16. All warranty and guarantee clauses become invalid upon payment of the final invoice.

GLASSER'S COROLLARY - If, of the seven hours you spend at work, six hours and fifty-five minutes are spent working at your desk, and the rest of the time you throw the bull with your cubicle-mate, the time at which your supervisor will walk in and ask what you're doing can be determined to within five minutes.


JENKINSON'S LAW - It won't work.

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