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An Abridged Collection of Interdisciplinary Laws

Airplane Law
   When the plane you are on is late,
   the plane you want to transfer to is on time.

Allison's Precept
   The best simple-minded test of expertise in a particular
   area is the ability to win money in a series of bets on
   future occurrences in that area.

Anthony's Law of Force
   Don't force it, get a larger hammer.

Anthony's Law of the Workshop
   Any tool, when dropped, will roll into the least
   accessible corner of the workshop.
Corollary to Anthony's Law
   On the way to the corner, any dropped tool will first
   always strike your toes.

Army Axiom
   Any order that can be misunderstood has been

Axiom of the Pipe   (Trischmann's Paradox)
   A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool
   something to stick in his mouth.

Baker's Law
   Misery no longer loves company.  Nowadays it insists on

Barber's Laws of Backpacking
   1) The integral of the gravitational potential taken
      around any loop trail you choose to hike always comes
      out positive.
   2) Any stone in your boot always migrates against the
      pressure gradient to exactly the point of most  
   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.
   4) The number of stones in your boot is directly
      proportional to the number of hours you have been on
      the trail.
   5) The difficulty of finding any given trail marker is
      directly proportional to the importance of the
      consequences of failing
      to find it.
    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.
   7) The remaining distance to your chosen campsite
      remains constant as twilight approaches.
   8) The net weight of your boots is proportional to the
      cube of the number of hours you have been on the
   9) When you arrive at your chosen campsite, it is full.
  10) If you take your boots off, you'll never get them
      back on again.
  11) The local density of mosquitos is inversely
      proportional to your remaining repellent.

Barth's Distinction
   There are two types of people: those who divide people
   into two types, and those who don't.

Barzun's Laws of Learning
   1) The simple but difficult arts of paying attention,
      copying accurately, following an argument, detecting
      an ambiguity or a false inference, testing guesses by
      summoning up contrary instances, organizing one's
      time and one's thought for study -- all these arts --
      cannot be taught in the air but only through the
      difficulties of a defined subject.  They cannot be
      taught in one course or one year, but must be
      acquired gradually in dozens of connections.
   2) The analogy to athletics must be pressed until all
      recognize that in the exercise of Intellect those who
      lack the muscles, coordination, and will power can
      claim no place at the training table, let alone on
      the playing field.

Forthoffer's Cynical Summary of Barzun's Laws
   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

Baxter's First Law
   Government intervention in the free market always leads
   to a lower national standard of living.

Baxter's Second Law
   The adoption of fractional gold reserves in a currency
   system always leads to depreciation, devaluation,
   demonetization and, ultimately, to complete destruction
   of that currency.

Baxter's Third Law
   In a free market good money always drives bad money out
   of circulation.

Becker's Law
   It is much harder to find a job than to keep one.

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, and
   (3) a better looking and richer male friend.

Bicycle Law
   All bicycles weigh 50 pounds:
     A 30-pound bicycle needs a 20-pound lock and chain.
     A 40-pound bicycle needs a 10-pound lock and chain.
     A 50-pound bicycle needs no lock or chain.

Blaauw's Law
   Established technology tends to persist in spite of new

Booker's Law
   An ounce of application is worth a ton of abstraction.

Boren's Laws
   1) When in doubt, mumble.
   2) When in trouble, delegate.
   3) When in charge, ponder.

Brien's First Law
   At some time in the life cycle of virtually every
   organization, its ability to succeed in spite of itself
   runs out.

Brook's Law
   Adding manpower to a late software project makes it

Brown's Law of Business Success
   Our customer's paperwork is profit. Our own paperwork is

Bucy's Law
   Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.

Bustlin' Billy's Bogus Beliefs
   1) The organization of any program reflects the
      organization of the people who develop it.
   2) There is no such thing as a "dirty capitalist," only
      a capitalist.
   3) Anything is possible, but nothing is easy.
   4) Capitalism can exist in one of only two states --
      welfare or warfare.
   5) I'd rather go whoring than warring.
   6) History proves nothing.
   7) There is nothing so unbecoming on the beach as a wet
   8) A little humility is arrogance.
   9) A lot of what appears to be progress is just so much
      technological rococo.

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
   When all else fails, read the instructions.

Camp's Law
   A coup that is known in advance is a coup that does not
   take place.

Canada Bill Jones' Motto
   It's morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money.

Canada Bill Jones' Supplement
   A smith and wesson beats four aces.

Cheop's Law
   Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.

Chisholm's Law of Human Interaction
   Anytime things appear to be going better you have
   overlooked something.

Chisholm's Third Law
   Proposals, as understood by the proposer,
   will be judged otherwise by others.
   Corollary 1: If you explain so clearly that nobody can
   misunderstand, somebody will.
   Corollary 2: If you do something which you are sure
   will meet with everyone's approval, somebody won't like
   Corollary 3: Procedures devised to implement the
   purpose won't quite work.
   Corollary 4: No matter how long or how many times you
   explain, no one is listening.

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.

 Clarke's First Law
   When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that
   something is possible, he is almost certainly right.
   When he states that something is impossible, he is very
   probably wrong.

Clarke's Second Law
   The only way to discover the limits of the possible is
   to go beyond them into the impossible.

Clarke's Third Law
   Any sufficiently advanced technology is
   indistinguishable from magic.

Clarke's Law of Revolutionary Ideas
   Every revolutionary idea - in Science, Politics, Art or
   Whatever - evokes three stages of reaction.  They may be
   summed up by the three phrases:
     1)  "It is completely impossible -- don't waste my
     2)  "It is possible, but it is not worth doing."
     3)  "I said it was a good idea all along."

Cohen's Law
   What really matters is the name you succeed in imposing
   on the facts -- not the facts themselves.

Cole's Law
   Thinly sliced cabbage.

Commoner's Three Laws of Ecology
   1) No action is without side-effects.
   2) Nothing ever goes away.
   3) There is no free lunch.

Cook's Law
   Much work -- much food, little work -- little food,
   no work -- burial at sea.

Cornuelle's Law
   Authority tends to assign jobs to those least able to do

Crane's Law   (Friedman's Reiteration)
   There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Diogenes' First Dictum
   The more heavily a man is supposed to be taxed, the more
   power he has to escape being taxed.

Diogenes' Second Dictum
   If a taxpayer thinks he can cheat safely, he probably

Dow's Law
   In a hierarchical organization, the higher the level,
   the greater the confusion.

Dunne's Law
   The territory behind rhetoric is too often mined with

Ehrman's Corollary to Ginsberg's Theorem
   1) Things will get worse before they get better.
   2) Who said things would get better?

Ettorre's Observation
   The other line moves faster.

Evan's Law of Politics
   When team members are finally in a position to help the
   team, it turns out they have quit the team.

Everitt's Form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
   Confusion (entropy) is always increasing in society.
   Only if someone or something works extremely hard can
   this confusion be reduced to order in a limited region.
   Nevertheless, this effort will still result in an
   increase in the total confusion of society at large.

Extended Epstein-Heisenberg Principle
   In an R & D orbit, only 2 of the existing 3 parameters
   can be defined simultaneously.  The parameters are:
   task, time and resources ($).
   1) If one knows what the task is, and there is a time
      limit allowed for the completion of the task, then
         one cannot guess how much it will cost.
   2) If the time and resources ($) are clearly defined,
      then it is impossible to know what part of the R &
      D task will be performed.
   3) If you are given a clearly defined R & D goal and
      a definite amount of money which has been
      calculated to be necessary for the completion of
      the task, one cannot predict if and when the goal
      will be reached.
   4) If one is lucky enough and can accuratly define
      all 3 parameters, then what one deals with is not
      in the realm of R & D.

Farber's First Law
   Give him an inch and he'll screw you.

Farber's Second Law
   A hand in the bush is worth two anywhere else.

Farber's Third Law
   We're all going down the same road in different

Farber's Fourth Law
   Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.

The Fifth Rule
   You have taken yourself too seriously.

Finagle's First Law
   If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

Finagle's Second Law
   No matter what result is anticipated, there will always
   be someone eager to (a) misinterpret it, (b) fake it, or
   (c) believe it happened to 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.
   Corollary 1: No one whom you ask for help will see it.
   Corollary 2: Everyone who stops by with unsought advice
   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 Rules
   Ever since the first scientific experiment, man has been
   plagued by the increasing antagonism of nature.  It
   seems only right that nature should be logical and neat,
   but experience has shown that this is not the case.  A
   further series of rules has been formulated, designed to
   help man accept the pigheadedness of nature.
   Rule 1: To study a subject best, understand it
   thoroughly before you start.
   Rule 2: Always keep a record of data.  It indicates
   you've been working.
   Rule 3: Always draw your curves, then plot the reading.
   Rule 4: In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
   Rule 5: Experiments should be reproducible.  They
   should all fail in the same way.
   Rule 6: Do not believe in miracles.  Rely on them.

First Law of Bicycling
   No matter which way you ride it's uphill and against the

First Law of Bridge
   It's always the partner's fault.

First Law of Canoeing (Alfred Andrews' Canoeing Postulate)
   No matter which direction you start it's always against
   the wind coming back.

First Law of Debate
   Never argue with a fool.  People might not know the

First Law of Office Holders
   Get re-elected.

Fitz-Gibbon's Law
   Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks
   involved with the broth.

Flap's Law
   Any inanimate object, regardless of its position or
   configuration, may be expected to perform at any time in
   a totally unexpected manner for reasons that are either
   entirely obscure or else completely mysterious.

Fortis' Two Great Lies of Life
   1) Money isn't everything.
   2) I'm only going to put it in a little way.

Fourteenth Corollary of Atwood's General Law of Dynamic
   No books are lost by loaning except those you
   particularly wanted to keep.

Franklin's Rule
   Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall not be

Gell-Mann Dictum
   That which isn't prohibited is required.

Gilb's Laws of Unreliability
   1) Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more
      Corollary: At the source of every error which is
      blamed on the computer you will find at least two
      human errors, including the error of blaming it on
      the computer.
   2) Any system which depends on human reliability is
   3) The only difference between the fool and the
      criminal who attacks a system is that the fool
      attacks unpredictably and on a broader front.
   7) Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in
      contrast to detectable errors, which by definition
      are limited.
    9) Investment in reliability will increase until it
      exceeds the probable cost of errors, or until
      someone insists on getting some useful work done.

Ginsberg's Theorem
   1)  You can't win.
   2)  You can't break even.
   3)  You can't even quit the game.

Golden Rules of Indulgence
   Everything in excess!  To enjoy the full flavor of life,
   take big bites.  Moderation is for monks.  Yield to
   temptation; it may never pass your way again.

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 of Programming
   n+1 trivial tasks take twice as long as n trivial tasks.

Gresham's Law
   Trivial matters are handled promptly; important matters
   are never solved.

Grosch's Law
   Computing power increases as the square of the cost.  If
   you want to do it twice as cheaply, you have to do it
   four times as fast.

Gummidge'e Law
   The amount of expertise varies in inverse proportion to
   the number of statements understood by the general

Gumperson's Law
   The probability of anything happening is in inverse
   ratio to its desirability.

Hacker's Law of Personnel
   Anyone having supervisory responsibility for the
   completion of a task will invariably protest that more
   resources are needed.

Hagerty's Law
   If you lose your temper at a newspaper columnist, he'll
   get rich or famous or both.

Haldane's Law
   The Universe is not only queerer than we imagine;
   it is queerer than we CAN imagine.

Harper's Magazine's Law
   You never find an article until you replace it.

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.

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.

Heller's Law
   The first myth of management is that it exists.

Hendrickson's Law
   If a problem causes many meetings, the meetings
   eventually become more important than the problem.

Hoare's Law of Large Programs
   Inside every large program is a small program struggling
   to get out.

Horner's Five Thumb Postulate
   Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.

Howard's First Law of Theater
   Use it.

Howe's Law
   Every man has a scheme that will not work.

Hull's Theorem
   The combined pull of several patrons is the sum of their
   separate pulls multiplied by the number of patrons.

IBM Pollyanna Principle
   Machines should work.  People should think.

Imhoff's Law
   The organization of any bureaucracy is very much like a
   septic tank -- the REALLY big chunks always rise to the

Iron Law of Distribution
   Them what has - gets.

Italian Proverb
   She who is silent consents.

Jacquin's Postulate on Democratic Governments
   No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the
   legislature is in session.

Jay's Laws of Leadership
   1) Changing things is central to leadership,
      and changing them before anyone else is
   2) To build something that endures, it is of the
      greatest importance to have a long tenure in
      office -- to rule for many years.  You can achieve
      a quick success in a year or two, but nearly all
      of the great tycoons have continued their building
      much longer.

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 Axiom
   When your opponent is down, kick him.

John's Collateral Corollary
   In order to get a loan you must first prove you don't
   need it.

Johnson's Corollary to Heller's Law
   Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within
   your organization.

Johnson's First Law of Auto Repair
   Any tool dropped while repairing an automobile will roll
   under the car to the vehicle's exact geographic center.

Johnson-Laird's Law
   Toothache tends to start on Saturday night.

Jones' Law
   The man who can smile when things go wrong has thought
   of someone he can blame it on.

Jones' Motto
   Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.

Kamin's First Law
   All currencies will decrease in value and purchasing
   power over the long term, unless they are freely and
   fully convertable into gold and that gold is traded
   freely without restrictions of any kind.

Kamin's Second Law
   Threat of capital controls accelerates marginal capital

Kamin's Third Law
   Combined total taxation from all levels of government
   will always increase (until the government is replaced
   by war or revolution).

Kamin's Fourth Law
   Government inflation is always worse than statistics
   indicate; central bankers are biased toward inflation
   when the money unit is non-convertible, and without gold
   or silver backing.

Kamin's Fifth Law
   Purchasing power of currency is always lost far more
   rapidly than ever regained.  (Those who expect even
   fluctuations in both directions play a losing game.)

Kamin's Sixth Law
   When attempting to predict and forcast macro-economic
   moves or economic legislation by a politician, never be
   misled by what he says; instead watch what he does.

Kamin's Seventh Law
   Politicians will always inflate when given the

Katz's Law
   Men and nations will act rationally when all other
   possibilities have been exhausted.

Kerr-Martin Law
   1) In dealing with their OWN problems, faculty
      members are the most extreme conservatives.
   2) In dealing with OTHER people's problems, they are
      the world's most extreme liberals.

Kirkland's Law
   The usefulness of any meeting is in inverse proportion
   to the attendance.

Kitman's Law
   Pure drivel tends to drive off the TV screen ordinary

Lani's Principles of Economics
   1) Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.
   2) $100 placed at 7% interest compounded quarterly
      for 200 years will increase to more than
      $100,000,000 by which time it will be worth
   3) In God we trust, all others pay cash.

La Rochefoucauld's Law
   It is more shameful to distrust one's friends than to be
   deceived by them.

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 Computability Applied to Social Science
   If at first you don't succeed, transform your data set.

Law of Selective Gravity   (The Buttered Side Down Law)
   An object will fall so as to do the most damage.

Law of the Perversity of Nature   (Mrs. Murphy's Corollary)
   You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side
   of the bread to butter.

Law of Superiority
   The first example of superior principle is always
   inferior to the developed example of inferior principle.

Laws of Computerdom According to Golub
   1) Fuzzy project objectives are used to avoid the
      embarrassment of estimating the corresponding
   2) A carelessly planned project takes three times
      longer to complete than expected; a carefully
      planned project will take only twice as long.
   3) The effort required to correct course increases
      geometrically with time.
   4) Project teams detest weekly progress reporting
      because it so vividly manifests their lack of

Laws of Computer Programming
   1) Any given program, when running, is obsolete.
   2) Any given program costs more and takes longer.
   3) If a program is useful, it will have to be
   4) If a program is useless, it will have to be
   5) Any given program will expand to fill all
      available memory.
   6) The value of a program is inversely proportional
      to the weight of its output.
   7) Program complexity grows until it exceeds the
      capability of the programmer who must maintain it.
   8) Make it possible for programmers to write programs
      in English, and you will find that programmers
      cannot write in English.

 Laws of Gardening
   1) Other people's tools work only in other people's
   2) Fanzy gizmos don't work.
   3) If nobody uses it, there's a reason.
   4) You get the most of what you need the least.

Le Chatelier's Law
   If some stress is brought to bear on a system in
   equilibrium, the equilibrium is displaced in the
   direction which tends to undo the effect of the stress.

Les Miserables Metalaw
   All laws, whether good, bad, or indifferent, must be
   obeyed to the letter.

Long's Notes
   1) Always store beer in a dark place.
   2) Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until
      proved innocent.
   3) Always listen to experts.  They'll tell you what
      can't be done, and why. Then do it.
   4) It has long been known that one horse can run
      faster than another -- but which one?  Differences
      are crucial.
   5) A poet who reads his verse in public may have
      other nasty habits.
   6) Small change can often be found under seat
   7) It's amazing how much "mature wisdom" resembles
      being too tired.
   8) Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.
   9) It's better to copulate than never.
  10) Never appeal to man's "better nature."  He may not
      have one.  (Invoking his self-interest gives you
      more leverage.)
  11) An elephant: a mouse built to government
  12) A Zygote is a Gamete's way of producing more
  13) God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.
      It says so right here on the label.  If you have a
      mind capable of believing all three of these
      divine attributes simultaneously, I have a
      wonderful bargain for you.  No checks, please.
      Cash and in small bills.
  14) Waking a person unnecessarily should not be
      considered a capital crime. For a first offense,
      that is.
  15) Beware of altruism.  It is based on self-
      deception, the root of all evil.
  16) Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
  17) Rub her feet.
   18) To stay young requires unceasing cultivation of
      the ability to unlearn old falsehoods.
  19) Does history record any case in which the majority
      was right?
  20) Be wary of strong drink.  It can make you shoot at
      tax collectors and miss.
  21) Never try to outstubborn a cat.
  22) Natural laws have no pity.
  23) You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily
      as by being too trusting.
  24) Anything free is worth what you pay for it.
  25) Pessimist by policy, optimist by temperament -- it
      is possible to be both.  How?  By never taking
      unnecessary chances and by minimizing risks you
      can't avoid.  This permits you to play the game
      happily, untroubled by the certainty of the
  26) "I came, I saw, SHE conquered."  (The original
      Latin seems to have been garbled.)
  27) The greatest productive force is human
  28) A skunk is better company than a person who prides
      himself on being "frank".
  29) The correct way to punctuate a sentence that
      starts: "of course it's none of my business,
      but...." is to place a period after the word
      "but".  Don't use excessive force in supplying
      such morons with a period.  Cutting his throat is
      only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you
      talked about.
  30) Don't try to have the last word.  You might get

Lord Falkland's Rule
   When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is
   necessary not to make a decision.

Lowery's Law
   If it jams -- force it.  If it breaks, it needed
   replacing anyway.

Malek's Law
   Any simple idea will be worded in the most complicated

Malinowski's Law
   Looking from far above, from our high places of safety
   in the developed civilization, it is easy to see all the
   crudity and irrelevance of magic.

Dean Martin's Definition of Drunkenness
   You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without
   holding on.

Martin-Berthelot Principle
   Of all possible committee reactions to any given agenda
   item, the reaction that will occur is the one which will
   liberate the greatest amount of hot air.

Match's Maxim
   A fool in a high station is like a man on the top of a
   high mountain: everything appears small to him and he
   appears small to everybody.

Matsch's Law
   It is better to have a horrible ending than to have
   horrors without end.

McClaughry's Codicil on Jone's Motto
   To make an enemy, do someone a favor.

McClaughry's Law of Zoning
   Where zoning is not needed, it will work perfectly;
   where it is desperately needed, it always breaks down.

McGoon's Law
   The probability of winning is inversely proportional to
   the amount of the wager.

McNaughton's Rule
   Any argument worth making within the bureaucracy must be
   capable of being expressed in a simple declarative
   sentence that is obviously true once stated.

H. L. Mencken's Law
   Those who can -- do.
   Those who cannot -- teach.
   Those who cannot teach -- administrate.  (Martin's

Merrill's First Corollary
   There are no winners in life; only survivors.

Merrill's Second Corollary
   In the highway of life, the average happening is of
   about as much true significance as a dead skunk in the
   middle of the road.

Meskimen's Law
   There's never time to do it right, but always time to
   do it over.

Michehl's Theorem
   Less is more.

Pastore's Comment on Michehl's Theorem
   Nothing is ultimate.

Miller's Law
   You can't tell how deep a puddle is until you step into

Mobil's Maxim
   Bad regulation begets worse regulation.

Murphy's First Law
   Nothing is as easy as it looks.

Murphy's Second Law
   Everything takes longer than you think.

Murphy's Third Law
   In any field of scientific endeavor, anything that can
   go wrong will go wrong.

Murphy's Fourth Law
   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.

Murphy's Fifth Law
   If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway.

Murphy's Sixth Law
   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 Seventh Law
   Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.

Murphy's Eighth Law
   If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously
   overlooked something.

Murphy's Ninth Law
   Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

Murphy's Tenth Law
   Mother nature is a bitch.

Murphy's Eleventh Law
   It is impossible to make anything foolproof because
   fools are so ingenious.

Murphy's Law of Thermodynamics
   Things get worse under pressure.

Newton's Little-known Seventh Law
   A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.

 Nienberg's Law
   Progress is made on alternate Fridays.

Ninety-ninety Rule of Project Schedules
   The first ninety percent of the task takes ninety
   percent of the time, and the last ten percent takes the
   other ninety percent.

O'Brien's Principle   (The $357.73 Theory)
   Auditors always reject any expense account with a bottom
   line divisible by 5 or 10.

Oeser's Law
   There is a tendency for the person in the most powerful
   position in an organization to spend all his time
   serving on committees and signing letters.

Ordering Principle
   Those supplies necessary for yesterday's experiment must
   be ordered no later than tomorrow noon.

Osborn's Law
   Variables won't, constants aren't.

O'Toole's Commentary on Murphy's Laws
   Murphy was an optimist.

Pardo's Postulates
   1) Anything good is either illegal, immoral, or
   2) The three faithful things in life are money, a dog,
      and an old woman.
   3) Don't care if you're rich or not, as long as you can
      live comfortably and have everything you want.

Pareto's Law   (The 20/80 Law)
   20% of the customers account for 80% of the turnover,
   20% of components account for 80% of the cost, and
   so forth.

Parker's Rule of Parlimentary Procedure
   A motion to adjourn is always in order.

Parker's Law of Political Statements
   The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its
   credibility and vice versa.

Parkinson's First Law
   Work expands to fill the time available for its
   completion; the thing to be done swells in perceived
   importance and complexity in a direct ratio with the
   time to be spent in its completion.

 Parkinson's Second Law
   Expenditures rise to meet income.

Parkinson's Third Law
   If there is a way to delay an important decision the
   good bureaucracy, public or private, will find it.

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 Law of Delay
   Delay is the deadliest form of denial.

Pastore's Truths
   1) Even paranoids have enemies.
   2) This job is marginally better than daytime TV.
   3) On alcohol: four is one more than more than enough.

Peckham's Law
   Beauty times brains equals a constant.

Peer's Law
   The solution to a problem changes the problem.

Peter Principle
   In every hierarchy, whether it be government or
   business, each employee tends to rise to his level of
   incompetence; every post tends to be filled by an
   employee incompetent to execute its duties.

Peter's Corollaries
   1) Incompetence knows no barriers of time or place.
   2) Work is accomplished by those employees who have not
      yet reached their level of incompetence.
   3) If at first you don't succeed, try something else.

Peter's Inversion
   Internal consistency is valued more highly than

Peter's Paradox
   Employees in a hierarchy do not really object to
   incompetence in their colleagues.

Peter's Perfect People Palliative
   Each of us is a mixture of good qualities and some
   (perhaps) not-so-good qualities.  In considering our
   fellow people we should remember their good qualities
   and realize that their faults only prove that they are,
   after all, human.  We should refrain from making harsh
   judgements of people just because they happen to be
   dirty, rotten, no-good sons-of-bitches.

Peter's Placebo
   An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.

Peter's Theorem
   Incompetence plus incompetence equals incompetence.

Potter's Law
   The amount of flak received on any subject is inversely
   proportional to the subject's true value.

Productivity Equation
   The productivity, P, of a group of people is:
   P = N x T x (.55 - .00005 x N x (N - 1) )
   where N is the number of people in the group
   and T is the number of hours in a work period.

Professor Gordon's Rule of Evolving Bryographic Systems
   While bryographic plants are typically encountered in
   substrata of earthy or mineral matter in concreted
   state, discrete substrata elements occasionally display
   a roughly spherical configuration which, in presence of
   suitable gravitational and other effects, lends itself
   to combined translatory and rotational motion.  One
   notices in such cases an absence of the otherwise
   typical accretion of bryophyta.  We therefore conclude
   that a rolling stone gathers no moss.

Pudder's Law
   Anything that begins well ends badly.
   Anything that begins badly ends worse.

Puritan's Law
   Evil is live spelled backwards.

Puritan's Second Law
   If it feels good, don't do it.

Q's Law
   No matter what stage of completion one reaches in a
   North Sea (oil) field, the cost of the remainder of the
   project remains the same.

Rangnekar's Modified Rules Concerning Decisions
   1) If you must make a decision, delay it.
   2) If you can authorize someone else to avoid a
      decision, do so.
   3) If you can form a committee, have them avoid the
   4) If you can otherwise avoid a decision, avoid it

Rayburn's Rule
   If you want to get along, go along.

Riddle's Constant
   There are coexisting elements in frustration phenomena
   which separate expected results from achieved results.

Ross' Law
   Never characterize the importance of a statement in

Rudin's Law
   In a crisis that forces a choice to be made among
   alternative courses of action, most people will choose
   the worst one possible.

Rule of Accuracy
   When working toward the solution of a problem it always
   helps if you know the answer.

Sam's Axiom
   1) Any line, however short, is still too long.
   2) Work is the crabgrass of life, but money is the water
      that keeps it green.

Sattinger's Law
   It works better if you plug it in.

Segal's Law
   A man with one watch knows what time it is;
   a man with two watches is never sure.

Sevareid's Law
   The chief cause of problems is solutions.

Shalit's Law
   The intensity of movie publicity is in inverse ratio to
   the quality of the movie.

Shanahan's Law
   The length of a meeting rises with the square of the
   number of people present.

Shaw's Principle
   Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool
   will want to use it.

Simmon's Law
   The desire for racial integration increases with the
   square of the distance from the actual event.

Simon's Law
   Everything put together sooner or later falls apart.

 Skinner's Constant   (Flannegan'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.

Snafu Equations
   1) Given any problem containing n equations, there will
      be n + 1 unknowns.
   2) An object or bit of information most needed, will be
      least available.
   3) Any device requiring service or adjustment will be
      least accessible.
   4) Interchangable devices won't.
   5) In any human endeavor, once you have exhausted all
      possibilities and fail, there will be one solution,
      simple and obvious, highly visible to everyone else.
   6) Badness comes in waves.

Sociology's Iron Law of Oligarchy
   In every organized activity, no matter the sphere,
   a small number will become the oligarchial leaders
   and the others will follow.

Spare Parts Principle
   The accessibility, during recovery of small parts which
   fall from the work bench, varies directly with the size
   of the part and inversely with its importance to the
   completion of work underway.

Steele's Plagiarism of Somebody's Philosophy
   Everyone should believe in something -- I believe I'll
   have another drink.

Sturgeon's Law
   90 per cent of everything is crud.

Swipple Rule of Order
   He who shouts loudest has the floor.

Terman's Law
   There is no direct relationship between the quality of
   an educational program and its cost.

Terman's Law of Innovation
   If you want a track team to win the high jump
   you find one person who can jump seven feet,
   not seven people who can jump one foot.

Theory of the International Society of Philosophic
   In any calculation, any error which can creep in will.

 Thoreau's Law
   If you see a man approaching with the obvious intent
   of doing you good, run for your life.

Transcription Law
   The number of errors made is equal to the number of
   'squares' employed.

Truman's Law
   If you cannot convince them, confuse them.

Truths of Management
   1)  Think before you act; it's not your money.
   2)  All good management is the expression of one great
   3)  No executive devotes effort to proving himself
   4)  Cash in must exceed cash out.
   5)  Management capability is always less than the
       organization actually needs.
   6)  Either an executive can do his job or he can't.
   7)  If sophisticated calculations are needed to justify
       an action, don't do it.
   8)  If you are doing something wrong, you will do it
   9)  If you are attempting the impossible, you will fail.
   10) The easiest way of making money is to stop losing

Truth 5.1 of Management
   Organizations always have too many managers.

Tuccille's First Law of Reality
   Industry always moves in to fill an economic vacuum.

Vail's Axiom
   In any human enterprise, work seeks the lowest
   hierarchial level.

Vique's Law
   A man without religion is like a fish without a bicycle.

Vonnegut's Corollary
   Beauty may be only skin deep, but ugliness goes right to
   the core.

Weaver's Law
   When several reporters share a cab on an assignment, the
   reporter in the front seat pays for all.

Weaver's Corollary   (Doyle's Corollary)
   No matter how many reporters share a cab, and no matter
   who pays, each puts the full fare on his own expense

Weber-Fechner Law
   The least change in stimulus necessary to produce a
   perceptible change in response is proportional to the
   stimulus already existing.

Weiler's Law
   Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to
   do it himself.

Weinberg's Law
   If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote
   programs, then the first woodpecker that came along
   would destroy civilization.

Weinberg's Corollary
   An expert is a person who avoids the small errors
   while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.

Westheimer's Rule
   To estimate the time it takes to do a task:  estimate
   the time you think it should take, multiply by 2, and
   change the unit of measure to the next highest unit.
   Thus we allocate 2 days for a one hour task.

White's Chappaquidick Theorem
   The sooner and in more detail you announce bad news, the

White's Observations of Committee Operation
   1)  People very rarely think in groups;
       they talk together, they exchange information, they
       adjudicate, they make compromises.  But they do not
       think; they do not create.
   2)  A really new idea affronts current agreement.
   3)  A meeting cannot be productive unless certain
       premises are so shared that they do not need to be
       discussed, and the argument can be confined to areas
       of disagreement.  But while this kind of consensus
       makes a group more effective in its legitimate
       functions, it does not make the group a creative
       vehicle -- it would not be a new idea if it didn't
       -- and the group, impelled as it is to agree, is
       instinctively hostile to that which is divisive.

White's Statement
   Don't lose heart...
Owen's Comment on White's Statement
   ...they might want to cut it out...
Byrd's Addition to Owen's Comment on White's Statement
   ...and they want to avoid a lengthy search.

Wiker's Law
   Government expands to absorb revenue and then some.

Wolf's Law    (An Optimistic View of a Pessimistic World)
   It isn't that things will necessarily go wrong (Murphy's
   Law), but rather that they will take so much more time
   and effort than you think if they are not to go wrong.

Worker's Dilemma Law (or Management's Put-Down Law)
   1)  No matter how much you do, you'll never do enough.
   2)  What you don't do is always more important than what
       you do do.

Wynne's Law
   Negative slack tends to increase.

Zymurgy's First Law of Evolving System Dynamics
   Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recan them
   is to use a larger can.  (Old worms never die, they just
   worm their way into larger cans).

Zymurgy's Law on the Availability of Volunteer Labor
   People are always available for work in the past tense.

Zymurgy's Seventh Exception to Murphy's Laws
   When it rains, it pours.

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