Murphy’s Law – Pessimism or Optimism extreme?

For the uninitiated, Murphy was an engineer according to the popular adage, and one day, upon noticing that his apprentice had wired certain things wrong, he famously announced “If anything can go wrong, that fellow will find it”.

As he popularized it, the law came down the annals of history with his name, However, people were known to have noticed it much before Murphy even came along.
For example, in 1841 a newspaper in Norwalk, Ohio printed this verse (a parody of famous lines in Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh):

I never had a slice of bread,
Particularly large and wide,
That did not fall upon the floor,
And always on the buttered side.

So what exactly is Murphy’s Law??
In its simplest form,

“If anything can go wrong, it will.”
Its simple enough, though the normal human tendancy to customize every bit of information and personalize it to make it their own, pretty much sums up why there are so many variations of the law around. Every one, from people in love, to computer technicians have their own version of Murphy’s law.
The more notable ones are as follows:
Love Law: All the good ones are taken.
Salary Law: After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.
Life Law: The more crap you put up with, the more crap you are going to get.
Photography Law: If a photo shoot goes too smoothly, then the lab will lose the film.
Bus Law: If its raining, or cold or both the bus will be late
Work Law: When you don’t have much work… all your colleagues will be busy.
Software law: Bugs will appear in one part of a working program when another ‘unrelated’ part is modified.
Political Law: No matter who gets elected, Government always wins.
So is this cynicism at its very best or do people actually put it to good use?
Some people tend to consider that even though Murphy’s Law is a profound observation on the futility of hope but, in fact, Murphy was an optimist.
In the book, breaking Murphy’s Law, Author and psychologist Suzanne Segerstrom, declares that “Many people equate Optimism with happiness, but optimism is actually not a feeling, it’s a belief about the future.”
If that is the case, believing or not believing in Murphy’s Law, will not make you any less happy or sad. However, it can indeed make you more prepared.
Again too much of a good thing is bad, and so picturing doom at every turn would certainly be a bad way to go about with life.
What do I think??
My dad comes to mind,
“If you think you can do it, you can”.

I say, I can do it, but I’m sure as hell doing it with Plan B in mind, because as Murphy said “If anything can go wrong, it will.”



This entry was posted in fun, humour, Murphy's Law, optimism, pessimism. Bookmark the permalink.

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