Sod’s Law and its Corollaries


The Twelve Laws of Inaccurate Perception

  • SOD’S LAW, ALSO KNOWN AS MURPHY’S LAW. If anything can go wrong, it will.

  • O’TOOLE’S COMMENTARY ON MURPHY’S LAW. Murphy was an optimist.

  • THE FIRST COROLLARY TO SOD’S LAW. Anything that is to go wrong will do so at the worst possible moment.

  • THE UNSPEAKABLE LAW. As soon as you mention something, if it’s good, it goes away; if it’s bad, it happens.

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

  • HOWE’S LAW. Every man has a scheme which will not work.

  • ZYMURGY’S FIRST LAW OF EVOLVING SYSTEM DYNAMICS. Once you open a can of worms, the only way to re-can them is to use a larger can.

  • SKINNER’S CONSTANT. The quantity which must be multiplied by, divided by, added to or subtracted from the answer you get to give the answer you should have got.

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

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

  • BARTH’S DISTINCTION. There are two types of people: those who divide people into two types and those who do not.

  • NINETY-NINETY RULE OF PROJECT SCHEDULES. The first 90% of the job takes 90% of the time, the last 10% takes the other 90%.

  • FARBER’S RULE. Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.

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