Murphy Law: everything you need to know
Murphy Law is one of the mysterious rules that often occur at work. The principle of Murphy’s Law is simple and implacable: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. It was Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr., an American aerospace engineer, who gave his name to this law after uttering that definitively pessimistic adage.
Basically, it means that if there is a tiny possibility that something goes wrong, that is what will happen. For a systems security specialist like Murphy, this view is obviously not without humor.
Murphy Law: everything must happen for the worse?
This law can be seen in two ways: one, humorous, is to take this law literally. Seen in this light, Murphy’s Law is the statement, elevated to the rank of essential principle of the universe, that everything must happen for the worse.
The other vision is to see Murphy’s law as a design rule. Viewed in this way, Murphy Law is not considered true, but any device is conceived as if the law were true. Above all, equipment must be tested, not only for the most unlikely accidents, but also completely stupid maneuvers on the part of the user.
It therefore justifies the principles of safety design, which advocate planning and eliminating from the design stage the possibilities of misuse, for example with keystrokes.
Principle of Murphy Law
Murphy Law owes its celebrity to the understanding it brings of the behavior of inanimate objects. By its principle of use, it presents three faces:
- One of them is a hoax: the fact of failing any experiment undertaken because of Murphy’s Law.
- Another is statistical: as the saying of the “Law” says, if there is a way to do something wrong, then statistically there is someone to do it. Confirmed by the experiences, this led to anchor the concept of safety in society.
- A third is psychological: if someone fails in what he undertakes, he will question Murphy’s Law. Whereas if he succeeds, he will not think about it. It is true that a negative episode is more striking than a positive; it has always been a difficulty in psychology and communication.
It will obviously be used differently depending on the environment. For teaching, it will be evoked as the unthinkable and uncontrollable parameters in an experiment. While in research (scientific), it will be a spare wheel, the “just in case” because scientists leave nothing to chance.
Moreover, a student motto is born from this reasoning: To transform a false result into just, we must add to it a variable constant that we will call Murphy’s Constant. Note that for some derived laws, we can find rational explanations. At the same time, we can find a rational explanation for everything.
Time management using Murphy’s Law
Murphy’s Law is used as a time management method in the following form:
- Whatever task you have to manage or execute, an unexpected event will occur.
- Taking into account Murphy’s law, it is therefore necessary when planning the time allotted to a job to take into account the unforeseen, i.e. to add a multiplying factor to the execution time of the task (say 25% to 50% of the time originally planned).
- Example of Murphy’s Law enforcement: normally I can do this in 4 days, so I’ll need 6 on my calendar.
- On the other hand, last point, it is important to set oneself the time initially planned (the 4 days) and not to be subject to temporal distortion.
You may also like:
- 7 universal laws of life: discover each of them
- The Law of Three: get in triple what you give
- The Law of Attraction: did you know your thoughts have power?
- What is the law of duality all about?