The Exhaustive List

(F)LAW OF LONG-RANGE PLANNING: The longer ahead you plan a special event, and the more special it is, the more likely it is to go wrong.

    1) If you have to ask, you're not entitled to know
    2) If you don't like the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question.

ACHESON'S RULE OF THE BUREAUCRACY: A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.

ACTON'S LAW: Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

ADVANCED SYSTEM NEWS LETTER: The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.

AGNES ALLEN'S LAW: Almost anything is easier to get into then out of.

AIRPLANE LAW: When the plane you are on is late, the plane you want to transfer to is on time.

ALLEY'S AXIOM: Justice always prevails . . . three times out of seven.

ANDERSON'S LAW: I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.

ANDREW'S CANOEING POSTULATE: No matter which direction you start, it's always against wind coming back.

ANTHONY'S LAW OF FORCE: Don't force it -- get a bigger hammer.

ANTONY'S LAW OF THE WORKSHOP: Any tool, when dropped, will roll into the least accessible corner of the workshop.

    COROLLARY: On the way to the corner, any dropped tool will first strike your toes.

APPROVAL SEEKER'S LAW: Those whose approval you seek the most give you the least.

ARMY AXIOM: Any order that can be misunderstood has been misunderstood.

ARMY LAW: If it moves, salute it; if it doesn't move, pick it up; if you can't pick it up, paint it.  If it's already painted, polish it.  If it's already polished, cover it with a tarpaulin.

ARNOLD'S ADDENDUM: Anything not fitting into these categories causes cancer in rats.

ASTROLOGY LAW: It's always the wrong time of the month.

AVERY'S RULE OF THREE: Trouble strikes in series of threes, but when working around the house the next job after a series of three is not the fourth job it is the start of a brand new series of three.

BABCOCK'S LAW: If it can be borrowed and it can be broken, you will borrow it and you will break it.

BAER'S QUARTET: What's good politics is bad economics; what's bad politics is good economics; what's good economics is bad politics; what's bad economics is good politics.

BAKER'S BYROAD: When you are over the hill, you pick up speed.

BAKER'S LAW: Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.

BALDY'S LAW: Some of it plus rest of it is all of it.

BARBER'S LAW OF BACKPACKING #1: The integral of the gravitational potential taken around any loop trail you chose to hike always comes out positive.

BARBER'S LAW OF BACKPACKING #2: Any stone in your boot always migrates against the pressure gradient to exactly the point of most pressure.

BARBER'S LAW OF BACKPACKING #3: The weight of your pack increases in direct proportion to the amount of food you consume from it. If you run out of food, the pack weight goes on increasing anyway.

BARBER'S LAW OF BACKPACKING #4: The number of stones in your boot is directly proportional to the number of hours you have been on the trail.

BARBER'S LAW OF BACKPACKING #5: The difficulty of finding any given trail marker is directly proportional to the importance of the consequences of failing to find it.

BARBER'S LAW OF BACKPACKING #6: The size of each of the stones in your boot is directly proportional to the number of hours you have been on the trail.

BARBER'S LAW OF BACKPACKING #7: The remaining distance to your chosen campsite remains constant as twilight approaches.

BARBER'S LAW OF BACKPACKING #8: The net weight of your boots is proportional to the cube of the number of hours you have been on the trail.

BARBER'S LAW OF BACKPACKING #9: When you arrive at your chosen campsite, it is full.

BARBER'S LAW OF BACKPACKING #10: If you take your boots off, you'll never get them back on again.

BARBER'S LAW OF BACKPACKING #11: The local density of mosquitoes is inversely proportional to your remaining repellent.

BARRETT'S LAW OF DRIVING #1: You can get ANYWHERE in ten minutes if you go fast enough.

BARRETT'S LAW OF DRIVING #2: Speed bumps are of negligible effect when the vehicle exceeds triple the desired restraining speed.

BARRETT'S LAW OF DRIVING #3: The vehicle in front of you is traveling slower than you are.

BARRETT'S LAW OF DRIVING #4: This lane ends in 500 feet.

BARR'S COMMENT ON DOMESTIC TRANQUILLITY: On a beautiful day like this it's hard to believe anyone can be unhappy - but we'll work on it.

BARTH'S DISTINCTION: There are two types of people: those who divide people into two types, and those who don't.

    NOURSE'S COROLLARY #1:  There are 10 types of people:  those who understand binary, and those who don't.

    NOURSE'S COROLLARY #2:  There are three types of people:  those who can count, and those who can't.

BARTZ'S LAW OF HOKEY HORSEPUCKERY: The more ridiculous a belief system, the higher the probability of its success.

BARUCH'S RULE FOR DETERMING OLD AGE: Old age is always fifteen years older than I am.

BAXTER'S FIRST LAW: Government intervention in the free market always leads to a lower national standard of living.

BEAUREGARD'S FIRST LAW: When you're up to your nose in it, keep your mouth shut.

BEAUREGARD'S SECOND LAW: All people are cremated equal.

BEIFELD'S PRINCIPLE: The probability of a young man meeting a desirable and receptive young female increases by pyramidal progression when he is already in the company of
    1) a date,
    2) his wife,
    3) a better looking and richer male friend.

BELLE'S CONSTANT: The ratio of time involved in work to time available for work is usually about 0.6.

BENCHELY'S LAW: Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.

BERSON'S COROLLARY OF INVERSE DISTANCES: The farther away from the entrance that you have to park, the closer the space vacated by the car that pulls away as you walk up to the door.

BESHERE'S FORMULA FOR FAILURE: There are two kinds of people who fail those who listen to nobody and those who listen to everybody.

BICYCLE LAW: All bicycles weigh 50 pounds
    A 30 pound bicycle needs a 20 pound lock.
    A 40 pound bicycle needs a 10 pound lock.
    A 50 pound bicycle doesn't need a lock.

BLAAUW'S LAW: Established technology tends to persist in spite of new technology.

BLANCHARD'S NEWSPAPER OBITUARY LAW: If you want your name spelled wrong, die.

BOLING'S POSTULATE: If you're feeling good, don't worry. You'll get over it.

BOLTON'S LAW OF ASCENDING BUDGETS: Under current practices, both expenditures and revenues rise to meet each other, no matter which one may be in excess.

BOOB'S LAW: You always find something the last place you look.

BOOZER'S REVISION: A bird in the hand is dead.

BORKLUND’S LAW: Nothing improves somebody's jokes like being the boss.

BORSTELMANN'S RULE: If everything seem to be coming your way, you're probably in the wrong lane.

BOSTON'S IRREVERSIBLE LAW OF CLUTTER: In any household, junk accumulates to fill the space available for its storage.

    NOURSE'S ADDITION:  And then some.

BOYLE'S OBSERVATION: A welfare state is one that assumes responsibility for the health, happiness, and general well-being of all its citizens except the taxpayers.

BRIEN'S FIRST LAW: At some time in the life cycle of virtually every organisation, its ability to achieve success in spite of itself runs out.

BRODER'S LAW: Anybody that wants the presidency so much that he'll spend two years organising and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office.

BRONTOSAURUS PRINCIPLE: Organisations can grow faster than their brains can manage them in relation to their environment and to their own physiology; when this occurs, they are an endangered species.

BROOKE'S SECOND LAW: Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

BROOK'S FIRST LAW: Any manpower added to a late project makes it later.

BRUCE-BRIGG'S LAW OF TRAFFIC: At any level of traffic, any delay is intolerable.

BUCY'S LAW: Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.

BUTLER'S LAW OF PROGRESS: All progress is based on a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.

BYE'S FIRST LAW OF MODEL RAILROADING: Anytime you wish to demonstrate something, the number of faults is proportional to the number of viewers.

BYE'S SECOND LAW OF MODEL RAILROADING: The desire for modeling a prototype is inversely proportional to the decline of the prototype.

CAHN'S AXIOM (AKA ALLEN'S AXIOM): When all else fails, read the instructions.

CALKIN'S LAW OF MENU LANGUAGE: The number of adjectives and verbs that are added to the description of a menu item is in inverse proportion to the quality of the resulting dish.

CANADA BILL JONES’ MOTTO: It's morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money.

    SUPPLEMENT: A .44 magnum beats four aces.

CANNON'S COGENT COMMENT: The leak in the roof is never in the same location as the drip.

CANNON'S COMMENT: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.

CAPTAIN PENNY'S LAW: You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you Can't Fool Mom.

CARSON'S LAW: It's better to be rich and healthy then poor and sick.

CHECKBOOK BALANCER'S LAW: In matters of dispute, the bank's balance is always smaller then yours.

CHEOPS' LAW: Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.

CHESTERTON'S OBSERVATION: I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.

CHILI COOK'S SECRET: If your next pot of chili tastes better, it probably is because of something left out, rather than added.

CHURCHILL'S COMMENTARY ON MAN: Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.

CLARK'S LAW: It's always darkest just before the lights go out.

CLYDE'S LAW: If you have something to do, and put it off long enough, chances are that someone else will do it for you.

COHEN'S LAW: What really matters is the name you succeed in imposing on the facts, not the facts themselves.

COLE'S AXIOM: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

COLE'S LAW: Thinly sliced cabbage.

COLLINS'S LAW: If you can't make a mistake, you can't make anything.

COMIN'S LAW: People will accept your idea much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.

COMMONER'S SECOND LAW OF ECOLOGY: Nothing ever goes away.

CONWAY'S LAW: In every organisation there will always be one person who knows what is going on. This person must be fired.

COOKE'S LAW: In any decisive situation, the amount of relevant information available is inversely proportional to the importance of the decision.

CORNUELLE'S LAW: Authority tends to assign jobs to those least able to do them.

    1. Everybody who matters is stupid now and then.
    2. If I'm being stupid, that's my problem.
    3. If my being stupid makes you stupid, that's your problem.
    4. If you think you're never stupid, boy are you stupid!

COROLLARY TO THE FIRST LAW OF REVISION: In simple cases, presenting one obvious right way versus one obvious wrong way, it is often wiser to choose wrong way, so as to expedite subsequent revision.

CORRY'S LAW: Paper is always strongest at the perforations.

DE LA LASTRA'S LAW: After the last of 16 mounting screws has been removed from an access cover, it will be discovered that the wrong access cover has been removed.

DE LA LASTRA'S COROLLARY: After an access cover has been secured by 16 hold-down screws, it will be discovered that the gasket has been omitted.

DEB’S AXIOM: The squeaky wheel sometimes gets replaced by a quieter wheel.

DHAWAN'S LAW FOR THE NON-SMOKER #1: The cigarette smoke always drifts in the direction of the non-smoker regardless of the direction of the breeze.

DHAWAN'S LAW FOR THE NON-SMOKER #2: The amount of pleasure derived from a cigarette is directly proportional to the number of non-smokers in the vicinity.

DHAWAN'S LAW FOR THE NON-SMOKER #3: A smoker is always attracted to the non-smoking section.

DHAWAN'S LAW FOR THE NON-SMOKER #4: The life of a cigarette is directly proportional to the intensity of the protests from the non-smokers.

DIETER'S LAW: Food that tastes the best has the highest number of calories.

DUCHARME'S PRECEPT:  Opportunity always knocks at the least opportune moment.

DUDE'S LAW OF DUALITY: Of two possible events, only the undesired one will occur.

DYER’S LAW #1: If it works right the first time, you have obviously done something wrong.

DYER'S LAW #2: A continuous flow of paper is sufficient to continue the flow of paper.

    1. Things will get worse before they get better.
    2. Who said things would get better?

ELIOUT'S OBSERVATION: Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.

ETORRE'S OBSERVATION: The other line always moves faster. Corollary Don't try to change lines. The other line -- the one you were in originally -- will then move faster.

FABER'S FOURTH LAW: Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.

FARNSDICK'S COROLLARY: After things have gone from bad to worse, the cycle will repeat itself.

FERTRIDGE'S LAW: Important things that are supposed to happen do not happen, especially when people are looking.

FETT'S LAW: Never replicate a successful experiment.

FIFTH LAW OF PROCRASTINATION: Procrastination avoids boredom; one never has the feeling that there is nothing important to do.

FINAGLE'S FIRST LAW: If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

FINAGLE'S SECOND LAW: No matter what the experiment's result, there will always be someone eager to
    a) misinterpret it.
    b) fake it, or
    c) believe it supports his own pet theory.

FINAGLE'S THIRD LAW: In any collection of data, the figure most obviously correct, beyond all need of checking, is the mistake.

       1.  Nobody whom you ask for help will see it.
        2.  The first person who stops by, whose advice you really don't want to hear, will see it immediately.
FINAGLE'S FOURTH LAW: Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse.

FINAGLE'S FIFTH LAW: The perversity of the universe tends toward a maximum.

    1. The information you have is not what you want.
    2. The information you want is not what you need.
    3. The information you need is not what you can obtain.
    4. The information you can obtain costs more than you want to pay.

FIRST LAW OF BICYCLING: No matter which way you ride, it's uphill and against the wind.

FIRST LAW OF BRIDGE: It's always the partner's fault.

FIRST LAW OF LABORATORY WORK: Hot glass looks exactly the same as cold glass.

FIRST LAW OF PROCRASTINATION: Procrastination shortens the job and places the responsibility for its termination on someone else (i.e., the authority who imposed the deadline).

FIRST LAW OF REVISION: Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after -- and only after -- the plans are complete.

FIRST LAW OF SOCIO-GENETICS: Celibacy is not hereditary.

FIRST POSTULATE OF ISOMURPHISM: Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.

FLAP'S LAW: Any inanimate object, regardless of its composition or configuration, may be expected to perform at any time in a totally unexpected manner for reasons that are either entirely obscure or completely mysterious.

    1) That which has not yet been taught directly can never be taught directly.
    2) If at first you don't succeed, you will never succeed.

FOURTEENTH COROLLARY OF ATWOOD'S GENERAL LAW OF DYNAMIC NEGATIVES: No books are lost by loaning except those you particularly wanted to keep.

FREEMAN'S RULE: Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.

FUDD'S FIRST LAW OF OPPOSITION: Push something hard enough and it will fall over.

GALATUM'S LAW OF MATERIALISTIC ACQUISITIVENESS: The perceived usefulness of an article is inversely proportional to its actual usefulness once bought and paid for.

GALBRAITH'S LAW OF POLITICAL WISDOM: Anyone who says he is not going to resign, four times, definitely will.

GERROLD'S LAW: A little ignorance can go a long way.

    1. An object in motion will be heading in the wrong direction.
    2. An object at rest will be in the wrong place.

GILB'S LAW OF UNRELIABILITY #1: Computers are unreliable. Humans are worse.

GILB'S LAW OF UNRELIABILITY #2: Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.

GILB'S LAW OF UNRELIABILITY #3: Undetectable errors are infinite in variety. Detectable errors do not exist, unless deadline is less than three hours away.

GILB'S LAW OF UNRELIABILITY #4: Investment in reliability will increase until it exceeds the probable cost of errors, or until someone insists on getting some real work done.

    1. You can't win.
    2. You can't break even.
    3. You can't even quit the game.

FREEMAN'S COMMENTARY ON GINSBERG'S THEOREM: Every major philosophy that attempts to make life seem meaningful is based on the negation of one part of Ginsberg's Theorem. To wit
    1. Capitalism is based on the assumption that you can win.
    2. Socialism is based on the assumption that you can break even.
    3. Mysticism is based on the assumption that you can quit the game.

GOLD'S LAW: If the shoe fits, it's ugly.

GODWIN'S RULE OF NAZI ANALOGIES: As a USENET discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

    SIRCAR'S COROLLARY:  If the USENET discussion touches on homosexuality or Heinlein,
    Nazis or Hitler are mentioned within three days. [Your propagation may vary.]

    RICH ROSEN'S RULES OF NET DEBATE:  as soon as someone brings up Hitler or Nazi Germany,
    the subject is dead (and the person who brings it up should be considered to have conceded defeat).

GOODIN'S LAW OF CONVERSIONS: The new hardware will break down as soon as the old is disconnected and thrown out.

GORDON'S FIRST LAW: If a project is not worth doing at all, it is not worth doing well.

GRAY'S LAW OF PROGRAMMING:  n+1 trivial tasks are expected to be accomplished in the same time as n trivial tasks.

    LOGG'S REBUTTAL TO GRAY'S LAW:  n+1 trivial tasks take twice as long as n trivial tasks.

GRIERSON'S LAW OF MINIMAL SELF-DELUSION: Every man nourishes within himself plan for getting rich that will not work.

GUMPERSON'S LAW #1: The most undesirable things are the most certain (death and taxes).

GUMPERSON'S LAW #2: The probability of anything happening is inversely proportional to its desirability.

H. L. MENCKEN'S LAW: Those who can -- do. Those who can't -- teach.

    MARTIN'S EXTENSION:  Those who cannot teach -- administrate.

    NOURSE’S COROLLARY: Those who cannot administrate – teach teachers.

    1. If it's green or it wiggles, it's biology.
    2. If it stinks, it's chemistry.
    3. If it doesn't work, it's physics.

HANSON'S LAW ON PROGRESS: Any new form is always longer and more complicated than the one it replaces.

HARDIN'S LAW: Every time you come up with a terrific idea you find that someone else thought of it first.

HARRIS'S LAMENT: All the good ones are taken.

HARRISBERGER'S FOURTH LAW OF THE LAB:  Experience is directly proportional to the amount of equipment ruined.

HARRISON'S POSTULATE: For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

HARTKE’S MAXIM: As far as we know, there has never been an undetected error in our computer.

HARTLEY'S FIRST LAW: You can lead a horse to water, but if you can get him to float on his back, you've got something.

HARTLEY'S SECOND LAW: Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.

HARTREE'S CONSTANT: The interval between the date of the enquiry and the date of completion of a program.

HARVARD LAW: Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.

HAWKIN'S THEORY OF PROGRESS: Progress does not consist of replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is right. It consists of replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is more subtly wrong.

HELLER'S LAW: The first myth of management is that it exists.

HELLRUNG'S LAW: If you wait, it will go away.

    SHEVELSON'S EXTENSION: . . . having done its damage.

    GRELB'S ADDITION: . . . if it was bad, it will be back.

HENDRICKSON’S LAW #1: Communication is equal to the square root of the mistakes times confusion times contradictions.

HENDRICKSON'S LAW #2: If a problem causes too many meetings, the meetings eventually become more important than the problem.

NOURSE’S OBSERVATION A meeting is something in which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost

HERBLOCK'S LAW: If it's good, they'll stop making it.

HERMAN’S RULE #1: If a problem causes too many meetings, the meetings eventually become more important that the problem.

HERMAN'S RULE #2: If it works right the first time, you have obviously done something wrong.

HOARE'S LAW OF LARGE PROBLEMS: Inside every large problem there is a small problem struggling to get out.

HOFSTADTER'S LAW: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law. (Douglas Hofstadter)

HORNGREN'S OBSERVATION (GENERALISED): The real world is a special case.

HOWE'S LAW: Everyone has a scheme that will not work.

HUNT’S LAW OF SUSPENSE: If any work has a suspense on it, that work will be completed as close to the suspense date as possible regardless of how far in advance it was programmed.

HUREWITZ'S MEMORY PRINCIPLE: The chance of forgetting something is directly proportional to . . . to . . . uh . . ...............

IBM POLLYANNA PRINCIPLE: Machines should work. People should think.

IRON LAW OF DISTRIBUTION: Them that has, gets.

    1. The Course of Progress: Most things get steadily worse.
    2. The Path of Progress: A shortcut is the longest distance between two points.

JACQUIN'S POSTULATE ON DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT: No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

JAKE'S LAW: Anything hit with a big enough hammer will fall apart.

JAROSLOVSKY'S LAW: The distance you have to park from your apartment increases in proportion to the weight of packages you are carrying.

JENKINSON'S LAW: It won't work.

JOHN CAMERON'S LAW: No matter how many times you've had it, if it's offered, take it, because it'll never be quite the same again.

JOHN'S COLLATERAL COROLLARY: In order to get a loan you must first prove you don't need it.

JOHNSON'S COROLLARY: Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within the organization.

JOHNSON'S FIRST LAW: When any mechanical contrivance fails, it will do so at the most inconvenient possible time.

JOHSON-LAIRD'S LAW: Toothache tends to start on Saturday night.

JONES’ LAW: The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on.

JONES' MOTTO: Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.

KATZ' LAW #1: Man and nations will act rationally when all other possibilities have been exhausted.

KATZ'S LAW #2: Men and women will act rationally when all other possibilities have been exhausted.

KLIPSTEIN'S LAMENT: All warranty and guarantee clauses are voided by payment of the invoice.

KLIPSTEIN'S LAW: Tolerance will accumulate unidirectional toward maximum difficulty of assembly.

KLIPSTEIN'S LAW OF SPECIFICATIONS: In specifications, Murphy's Law supersedes Ohm's.

KLIPSTEIN'S OBSERVATION: Any product cut to length will be too short.

KNIGHT'S LAW: Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans.

KOPPETT'S LAW: Whatever creates the greatest inconvenience for the largest number must happen.

KORMAN'S CONCLUSION: The trouble with resisting temptation is it may never come your way again.

LAFAYETTE'S REPRISAL: The squeaky wheel gets replaced.

LANGIN'S LAW: If things were left to chance, they'd be better.

LANGSAM'S LAW: Everything depends.

LAURA'S LAW: No child throws up in the bathroom.

LAW OF ANNOYANCE: When working on a project, if you put away a tool that you're certain you're finished with, you will need it instantly.

LAW OF CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE: People don't change; they only become more so.

LAW OF COMMUNICATIONS: The inevitable result of improved and enlarged communications between different levels in a hierarchy is a vastly increased area of misunderstanding.

LAW OF COMPUTERDUM ACCORDING TO GOLUB #1: Fuzzy project objectives are used to avoid the embarrassment of estimating the corresponding costs.

LAW OF COMPUTERDUM ACCORDING TO GOLUB #2: Carelessly planned projects take three times longer to complete than expected. Uncarefully planned projects take only three times longer to complete than expected.

LAW OF COMPUTERDUM ACCORDING TO GOLUB #3: Programmers detest weekly status reporting because it so vividly manifests their lack of progress.

LAW OF CYBERNETIC ENTOMOLOGY: There's always one more bug.

LAW OF RERUN: If you have watched a TV series only once, and you watch it again, it will be a rerun of the same episode.

LAW OF RESEARCH: Enough research will tend to support your theory.

LAW OF REVELATION: The hidden flaw never remains hidden.

LAW OF SELECTIVE GRAVITY: An object will fall so as to do the most damage.

LAW OF THE INDIVIDUAL: Nobody really cares or understands what anyone else is doing.

LAW OF THE PERVERSITY OF NATURE: You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.

    JENNING'S COROLLARY: The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

    1) The most powerful force in the world is that of a disc straining to land under a car, just out of reach (this force is technically termed “car suck”).
    2) Never precede any maneuver by a comment more predictive than “Watch this!”

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING: Definition A working program is one that has only unobserved bugs

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #1: Every non-trivial program has at least one bug.

    COROLLARY 1: A sufficient condition for program triviality is that it have no bugs.

    COROLLARY 2: At least one bug will be observed after the author leaves the organisation.

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #2: Bugs will appear in one part of a working program when another ‘unrelated' part is modified.

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #3: The subtlest bugs cause the greatest damage and problems Corollary A subtle bug will modify storage thereby masquerading as some other problem.

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #4: A 'debugged' program that crashes will wipe out source files on storage devices when there is the least available backup.

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #5: A hardware failure will cause system software to crash, and the customer engineer will blame the programmer.

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #6: A system software crash will cause hardware to act strangely and the programmers will blame the customer engineer

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #7: The documented interfaces between standard software modules will have undocumented quirks.

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #8: The probability of hardware failure disappearing is inversely proportional to the distance between the computer and the consumer engineer.

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #9: Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #10: Any program will expand to fill all available memory.

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #11: Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the programmer to maintain it.

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #12: Any given program costs more and takes longer.

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #13: If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.

LAWS OF PROGRAMMING #14: If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.

LE BORGNE'S LAW: The harder and the longer you hunt for a bug, the more trivial this bug is.

LEWIS' LAW #1: No matter how long or hard you shop for an item, after you've bought it, it will be on sale somewhere cheaper.

LEWIS' LAW #2: People will buy anything that's one to a customer.

LOWERY'S LAW: If it jams -- force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

LOWREY'S LAW OF EXPERTISE: Just when you get really good at something, you don't need to do it any more.

LUBARSKY'S LAW OF CYBERNETIC ENTOMOLOGY: There is always one more bug.

LUCY'S LAW: No good deed goes unpunished.

LYNCH'S LAW: When the going gets tough, everybody leaves. Thompson’s Corollary When the going gets tough, the weird turn pro

LYON'S LAW OF HESITATION: He who hesitates is last.


MAIER'S LAW: If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.

        1. The bigger the theory, the better.
        2. The experiment may be considered a success if no more than 50% of the observed measurements must be discarded
             to obtain a correspondence with the theory.
MAIN'S LAW: For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.

MALEK'S LAW: Any simple idea will be worded in the most complicated way.

MANLY'S MAXIM: Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.

MARSHALL'S GENERALIZED ICEBERG THEOREM: Seven-eighths of everything can't be seen.

MATZ'S WARNING: Beware of the physician who is great at getting out of trouble.

MCGOVERN'S LAW: The longer the title, the less important the job.

MERKIN'S MAXIM: When in doubt, predict that the present trend will continue.

MESKIMEN'S LAW: There's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over.

MIKSCH'S LAW: If a string has one end, then it has another end.

MILLER'S LAW: You can't tell how deep a puddle is until you step into it.

MIST LAW (MAN IN THE STREET): The number of people watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your action.

MOER'S TRUISM: The trouble with most jobs is the resemblance to being in a sled dog team No one gets a change of scenery, except the lead dog

MOSHER'S LAW OF SOFTWARE ENGINEERING: Don't worry if it doesn't work right. If everything did, you'd be out of a job.

MR. COLE'S AXIOM: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

MUNROE’S OBSERVATION: Common sense is not that common.

MURPHY'S CONSTANT: Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.

MURPHY'S LAW #1: Nothing is easy as it looks.

MURPHY'S LAW #2: Everything takes longer than you think.

MURPHY'S LAW #3: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

MURPHY'S LAW #4: If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong. Corollary If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then

MURPHY'S LAW #5: If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.

MURPHY'S LAW #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.

MURPHY'S LAW #7: Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.

MURPHY'S LAW #8: If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

MURPHY'S LAW #9: Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

MURPHY'S LAW #10: Mother nature is a bitch.

MURPHY'S LAW #11: It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

MURPHY'S LAW #12: Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.

MURPHY'S LAW #13: Every solution breeds new problems.

MURPHY'S LAW #14: Fixing a thing takes longer and costs more than you thought.

MURPHY'S LAW #15: Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.

MURPHY'S LAW #16: If several things that could have gone wrong have not gone wrong, it would have been ultimately beneficial for them to have gone wrong.

MURPHY'S LAW OF RESEARCH: Enough research will tend to support your theory.

MURPHY'S LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS: Things get worse under pressure.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #1: Never share a foxhole with anyone braver then you are.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #2: No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #3: Friendly fire ain't.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #4: The most dangerous thing in the combat zone is an officer with a map.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #5: The problem with taking the easy out is that the enemy has already mined it.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #6: The buddy system is essential to your survival; it gives the enemy somebody else to shoot at.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #7: The further you are in advance of your own positions, the more likely your artillery will shoot short.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #8: Incoming fire has the right of way.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #9: If your advance is going well, you are walking into an ambush.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #10: The quartermaster has only two sizes, too large and too small.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #11: If you really need an officer in a hurry, take a nap.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #12: The only time suppressive fire works is when it is used on abandoned positions.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #13: The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #14: There is nothing more satisfying that having someone take a shot at you, and miss.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #15: Don't be conspicuous. In the combat zone, it draws fire. Out of the combat zone, it draws sergeants.

MURPHY'S MILITARY LAW #16: If your sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.

MURPHY'S TECHNOLOGY LAW #1: After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said then done.

MURPHY'S TECHNOLOGY LAW #2: Any circuit design must contain at least one part which is obsolete, two parts which are unobtainable and three parts which are still under development.

MURPHY'S TECHNOLOGY LAW #3: If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.

MURPHY'S TECHNOLOGY LAW #4: If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

MURPHY'S TECHNOLOGY LAW #5: Any simple theory will be worded in the most complicated way.

MURPHY'S TECHNOLOGY LAW #6: The degree of technical competence is inversely proportional to the level of management.

NEWTON'S LITTLE-KNOWN SEVENTH LAW: A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.

NINETY-NINETY RULE OF PROJECT SCHEDULES: The first 90% of the task takes 90% of the time. The last 10% of the task takes the other 90%.

NON-RECIPROCAL LAWS OF EXPECTATIONS: Negative expectations yield negative results. Positive expectations yield negative results.

NOWLAN'S TRUISM: An 'acceptable level of unemployment' means that the government economist to whom it is acceptable still has a job.

O'BRIEN'S RULE: Nothing is ever done for the right reason.

OLD ENGINEER'S LAW: The larger the project or job, the less time there is to do it.

OLIVER'S LAW:  Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

ORION'S LAW: Everything breaks down.

OSBORN'S LAW: Variables won't; constants aren't.

O'TOOLE'S COMMENTARY ON MURPHY'S LAW: Murphy was an optimist.

PANIC INSTRUCTION: When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

PARDO'S FIRST POSTULATE: Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral, or fattening.

PARKER'S LAW: Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.

PARKINSON'S FOURTH LAW: The number of people in any working group tends to increase regardless of the amount of work to be done.

PARKINSON'S FIFTH LAW: If there is a way to delay in important decision, the good bureaucracy, public or private, will find it.

PASTORE'S TRUTH: Most jobs are marginally better than daytime TV.

PAUL'S LAW #1: In America, it's not how much an item costs, it's how much you save.

PAUL'S LAW #2: You can't fall off the floor.

PEER'S LAW: The solution to the problem changes the problem.

    1. Behind every large program is a programmer struggling to get the small program out.
    2. Behind every such programmer is a manager asking how much longer before the programmer gets the small program out.

PERKIN'S POSTULATE: The bigger they are, the harder they hit.

PETER'S LAW OF SUBSTITUTION: Look after the molehills, and the mountains will look after themselves.

PETER'S PLACEBO: An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.

POHL'S LAW: Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.

POURNELLE'S LAW OF COSTS AND SCHEDULES: Everything costs more and takes longer.


PRICE’S LAW: If everyone doesn't want it, nobody gets it.

PUTT'S LAW: Technology is dominated by two types of people Those who understand what they do not manage. Those who manage what they do not understand.

QUANTIZED REVISION OF MURPHY'S LAW: Everything goes wrong all at once.

RADAR'S FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH: The grass is brown on both sides of the fence.

RALPH'S OBSERVATION: It is a mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry.

RB'S FIVE-THUMB POSTULATE: Experience varies directly with the equipment ruined.

ROSENFIELD'S REGRET: The most delicate component will be dropped.

RUDIN'S LAW: In crises that force people to choose among alternative courses of action, most people will choose the worst one possible.

RULE OF FELINE FRUSTRATION: When your cat has fallen asleep on your lap and looks utterly content and adorable, you will suddenly have to go to the bathroom.

RULES OF PRATT #1: If a severe problem manifests itself, no solution is acceptable unless it is involved, expensive, and time consuming.

RULES OF PRATT #2: Sufficient monies to do the job correctly the first are not available, however, ample funds are much easier obtained for repeated revisions.

SATTINGER'S LAW: It works better if you plug it in.

SCHMIDT'S LAW: If you mess with a thing long enough, it'll break.

SCHMIDT'S OBSERVATION: All things being equal, a fat person uses more soap then a thin person.

SCOTT'S FIRST LAW: No matter what goes wrong, it will probably look right.

SCOTT'S SECOND LAW: When an error has been detected and corrected, it will be found to have been wrong in the first place.

    COROLLARY: After the correction has been found in error, it will be impossible to fit the original quantity back into the equation.

SECOND LAW OF REVISION: The more innocuous the modification appears to be, the further its influence will extend and the more plans will to be redrawn.

SEVAREID'S LAW: The chief cause of problems is solutions.

SHAW'S PRINCIPLE: Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will use it.

SHIRLEY'S LAW: Most people deserve each other.

SIMON'S LAW: Everything put together falls apart sooner or later.

SKINNER'S CONSTANT (OR FLANNAGAN'S FINAGLING FACTOR): That quantity which, when multiplied by, divided by, added to, or subtracted from the answer you get, gives you the answer you should have gotten.

    1) Nothing in the known universe travels faster than a bad check.
    2) A quarter-ounce of chocolate = four pounds of fat.
    3) There are two types of dirt the dark kind, which is attracted to light objects, and the light kind, which is attracted to dark objects

SNAFU EQUATION NO. 6: Badness comes in waves.

STANLEY'S LAW OF TAKING THING S APART: When putting things back together again, there will always be at least one piece left over that will not fit anywhere.

STEELE'S PLAGIARISM OF SOMEBODY'S PHILOSOPHY: Everybody should believe in something -- I believe I'll have another drink.

STEWART'S LAW OF RETRACTION: It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

STURGEON'S LAW: Ninety percent of everything is crud.

SUEKER'S NOTE: If you need n items of anything you will have n-1 in stock.

SWIPPLE'S RULE OF ORDER: He who shouts the loudest has the floor.

THE BILLINGS PHENOMENON: The conclusions of most good operation research studies are obvious.

THE FIFTH RULE: You have taken yourself too seriously.

THE FIRST DISCOVERY OF CHRISTMAS AFTERNOON: Give a kid a new toy - Dad will play with the toy, the kid will play with box it came in.



THE GOLDEN RULE: Whoever has the gold makes the rules.

THE KENNEDY CONSTANT: Don't get mad -- get even.

    NOURSE’S COROLLARY: Don't get even – get ahead.

THE LAW OF PROBABLE DISPERSAL: Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

THE LAW OF SELECTIVE GRAVITY: An object will fall so as to do the most damage.

THE LAW OF SOFTWARE ENVELOPMENT: Every program at MIT attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot expand are replaced by ones which can.

THE MURPHY PHILOSOPHY: Smile . . . tomorrow will be worse.

THE NEW MATH VERSION OF MURPHY'S LAW: If there is a 50/50 chance of something going wrong, nine times out of ten it will.

THE PETER PRINCIPLE: In an organization, each person rises to the level of his own incompetence.

THE POINT OF NO RETURN LAW: The light at the end of the tunnel could turn out to be the headlight of an oncoming train.

THE SAUSAGE PRINCIPLE: People who love sausage and respect the law should never watch either one being made.

THE TITANIC EFFECT: The severity with which a system fails is directly proportional to the intensity of the designer's belief that is cannot.

THE ULTIMATE LAW: All general statements are false.

THE UNAPPLICABLE LAW: Washing your car to make it rain doesn't work.

THE UNSPEAKABLE LAW: As soon you mention something . . . – if it's good, it goes away . . . – if it's bad, it happens.

THE WHISPERED RULE: People will believe anything if you whisper it.

THOREAU'S LAW: If you see a man approaching you with the obvious intention of doing you good, you should run for your life.

THOUGHTS ON MANAGEMENT: If everyone dislikes it, it must be looked into. If everyone likes it, it must be looked into.

THOUGHTS ON PROGRAMMING, NUMBER 52: The user does not know what he wants until he sees what he gets.

TROUTMAN'S PROGRAMMING POSTULATE #1: If a test installation functions perfectly, all subsequent systems will malfunction.

TROUTMAN’S PROGRAMMING POSTULATE #2: The most harmful error of any program will not be discovered until the program has been in production for at least six months.

TROUTMAN’S PROGRAMMING POSTULATE #3: A Batch Stream that cannot be arranged in improper order will be.



TROUTMAN’S PROGRAMMING POSTULATE #6: Profanity is the one language that all programmers know the syntax of.

UNATTRIBUTED:  A failure will not appear till a unit has passed final inspection.

UNATTRIBUTED:  All great discoveries are made by mistake.

UNATTRIBUTED:  Fools rush in where fools have been before.

UNATTRIBUTED:  Forgive and remember.

UNATTRIBUTED:  Help a man when he is in trouble and he will remember you when he is in trouble again.

UNATTRIBUTED:  If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, maybe you just don't understand the situation.

UNATTRIBUTED:  In America, it's not how much an item costs that matters, it's how much you save.

UNATTRIBUTED:  Interchangeable parts won't.

UNATTRIBUTED:  Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

UNATTRIBUTED:  Life sucks - then you die.

UNATTRIBUTED:  Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

UNATTRIBUTED:  Spend sufficient time confirming the need and the need will disappear.

UNATTRIBUTED:  The computer is the only thing that can make 1,000,000 errors per second.

UNATTRIBUTED:  You get the most of what you need the least.

UNATTRIBUTED:  You never find a lost article until you replaced it.

    1. If reproducibility may be a problem, conduct the test only once.
    2. If a straight line fit is required, obtain only two data points.

WATSON'S LAW: The reliability of machinery is inversely proportional to the number and significance of any persons watching it.

WEILER'S LAW: Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself.

WEINBERG'S FIRST LAW: Progress is made on alternate Fridays.

WEINBERG'S SECOND LAW: If builders built building the way that programmers program programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.

WEINBERG'S PRINCIPLE: An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.

WIKER'S LAW: Government expands to absorb revenue and then some.

WILLIAMS AND HOLLAND'S LAW: If enough data is collected, anything may be proven by statistical methods.

WITTEN'S LAW: Whenever you cut your fingernails, you will find a need for them an hour later.

WYSZOWSKI'S FIRST LAW: No experiment is reproducible.

WYSZKOWSKI'S SECOND LAW: Anything can be made to work if you fiddle with it long enough.

ZYMURGY'S FIRST LAW OF EVOLVING SYSTEMS DYNAMICS: Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recant them is to use a larger can.

ZYMURGY'S LAW OF VOLUNTEER LABOR: People are always available for work in the past tense.

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