When the plane you are on is late,
the plane you want to transfer to is on time.
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.
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.
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
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
4) The number of stones in your boot is directly
proportional to the number of hours you have been on
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.
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
It is much harder to find a job than to keep one.
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.
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.
Established technology tends to persist in spite of new
An ounce of application is worth a ton of abstraction.
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
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
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
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
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.
When all else fails, read the instructions.
A coup that is known in advance is a coup that does not
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.
Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.
Chisholm's Law of Human Interaction
Anytime things appear to be going better you have
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
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."
What really matters is the name you succeed in imposing
on the facts -- not the facts themselves.
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.
Much work -- much food, little work -- little food,
no work -- burial at sea.
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
In a hierarchical organization, the higher the level,
the greater the confusion.
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?
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.
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
Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks
involved with the broth.
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.
Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall not be
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
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
9) Investment in reliability will increase until it
exceeds the probable cost of errors, or until
someone insists on getting some useful work done.
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.
Trivial matters are handled promptly; important matters
are never solved.
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.
The amount of expertise varies in inverse proportion to
the number of statements understood by the general
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.
If you lose your temper at a newspaper columnist, he'll
get rich or famous or both.
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.
Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of
pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other
variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.
The first myth of management is that it exists.
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
Every man has a scheme that will not work.
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.
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.
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
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.
When your opponent is down, kick him.
John's Collateral Corollary
In order to get a loan you must first prove you don't
Johnson's Corollary to Heller's Law
Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within
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.
Toothache tends to start on Saturday night.
The man who can smile when things go wrong has thought
of someone he can blame it on.
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
Men and nations will act rationally when all other
possibilities have been exhausted.
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.
The usefulness of any meeting is in inverse proportion
to the attendance.
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
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.
1) Always store beer in a dark place.
2) Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
If it jams -- force it. If it breaks, it needed
Any simple idea will be worded in the most complicated
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
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.
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.
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.
The probability of winning is inversely proportional to
the amount of the wager.
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.
There's never time to do it right, but always time to
do it over.
Less is more.
Pastore's Comment on Michehl's Theorem
Nothing is ultimate.
You can't tell how deep a puddle is until you step into
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
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.
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.
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.
Those supplies necessary for yesterday's experiment must
be ordered no later than tomorrow noon.
Variables won't, constants aren't.
O'Toole's Commentary on Murphy's Laws
Murphy was an optimist.
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
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.
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.
Beauty times brains equals a constant.
The solution to a problem changes the problem.
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.
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.
Internal consistency is valued more highly than
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.
An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.
Incompetence plus incompetence equals incompetence.
The amount of flak received on any subject is inversely
proportional to the subject's true value.
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.
Anything that begins well ends badly.
Anything that begins badly ends worse.
Evil is live spelled backwards.
Puritan's Second Law
If it feels good, don't do it.
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
If you want to get along, go along.
There are coexisting elements in frustration phenomena
which separate expected results from achieved results.
Never characterize the importance of a statement in
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.
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.
It works better if you plug it in.
A man with one watch knows what time it is;
a man with two watches is never sure.
The chief cause of problems is solutions.
The intensity of movie publicity is in inverse ratio to
the quality of the movie.
The length of a meeting rises with the square of the
number of people present.
Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool
will want to use it.
The desire for racial integration increases with the
square of the distance from the actual event.
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.
1) Given any problem containing n equations, there will
be n + 1 unknowns.
2) An object or bit of information most needed, will be
3) Any device requiring service or adjustment will be
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.
90 per cent of everything is crud.
Swipple Rule of Order
He who shouts loudest has the floor.
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.
If you see a man approaching with the obvious intent
of doing you good, run for your life.
The number of errors made is equal to the number of
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.
In any human enterprise, work seeks the lowest
A man without religion is like a fish without a bicycle.
Beauty may be only skin deep, but ugliness goes right to
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
The least change in stimulus necessary to produce a
perceptible change in response is proportional to the
stimulus already existing.
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to
do it himself.
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote
programs, then the first woodpecker that came along
would destroy civilization.
An expert is a person who avoids the small errors
while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.
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.
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.
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.
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.