Mar

5

 Here is a list of Murphy's Laws and variations of it that have been compiled on this website. In light of the events of this week I thought it appropriate to send a list of some of the more popular ones and a link for these and other interesting quotations. I think there are many lessons here for the speculator.

Murphy's Laws.

1. If anything can go wrong it will.
2. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
3. Everything takes longer than you expect.
4. If there is a possibility of several things going
wrong, the one that will do the most damage will go wrong first.
5. Left to themselves, all things go from bad to worse.
6. If you play with something long enough, you will surely break it.
7. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
8. If you see 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.
9. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
10. Mother Nature is cruel.
11. It is impossible to make anything foolproof, because fools are so ingenious.
12. If a great deal of time has been expended seeking the answer to a problem with the only result being failure, the answer will be immediately obvious to the first unqualified person.
13. If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway.

Marlowe Cassetti writes:

When I was at NASA I had the privilege of working with Bill Tindall. He had a sign on his wall that proclaimed, "Better is the Enemy of Good." It was uncanny; whenever bright ideas were supposed to make a spacecraft or software better they usually made things worse.

I recall a scientist/primary investigator was pleading to change the mechanical readout on his flight instrument, to make it easier for the astronauts to record the observed data. The astronaut representative didn't think the change was necessary since the flight crew had trained with it and it wasn't a problem. With great reluctance the Skylab Change Control Board approved this minor modification. When in space, the new readout came loose and fell inside the instrument and rendered it useless. This was a 45-pound package and was carried into space at great expense. Better was the enemy of good, as Murphy would probably agree.
 


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