Murphy's Laws H


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

Haberdasher's Instruction
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

Hacker's Law
The belief that enhanced understanding will necessarily stir a nation or an organization to action is
one of mankind's oldest illusions.

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.

Hale's Rule
The sumptuousnss of a company's annual report is in inverse proportion to its profitability that year.

Hall's Law
There is a statistical correlation between the number of initials in an Englishman's name and his
social class (the upper class having significantly more than three names, while members of the
lower class average 2.6).

Halpern's Observation
The tendancy to err that programmers have been noticed to share with other human beings has
often been treated as if it were an awkwardness attendant upon programming's adolescence, which
(like acne) would disappear with the craft's coming of age. It has proved otherwise.

Hanlon's Razor
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Hardin's Laws
Every time you come up with a terrific idea, you find that someone else thought of it first.
You can never do merely one thing.

Hare's Additional Lie
This will hurt me more than it hurts you.

Harper's Law
You never find anything until you replace it.

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

Harris's Lament
All the good ones are taken.

Harris's Law
Any philosophy that can be put "in a nutshell" belongs there.

Harris's Restaurant Paradox
One of the greatest unsolved riddles of restaurant eating is that the customer usually gets faster
service when the retaurant is crowded than when it is half empty; it seems that the less the staff has
to do, the slower they do it.

Harrison's Postulate
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

Hart's Law
In a country as big as the United States, you can find fifty examples of anything.

Hart's Law of The Conservation of Filth
In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty.
Freedman's Extension
You can get everything dirty without getting anything clean.

Hartig's "How Is Good Old Bill?" Didn't you know we're divorced Law
If there is a wrong thing to say, one will.

Hartig's Sleeve in the Cup, Thumb in the Butter Law
When one is trying to be elegant and sophisticated, one won't.

Hartley's First Law
The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action.
Hartley's Second Law
Never go to bed with anybody crazier than you are.

Hartley's Law
You can lead a horse to water, but if you can get him to float on his back you've got something.

Hartman's Automotive Laws
1.Nothing minor ever happens to a car on the weekend.
2.Nothing minor ever happens to a car on a trip.
3.Nothing minor ever happens to a car.

Harvard Law
Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and
other variables, any experimental organism will do as it damn well pleases.

Harvard's Law, as applied to Computers
Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity and
other variables, the computer will do as it damn well pleases.

Harver's Law
A drunken man's words are a sober man's thoughts.

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.

Hearst's Law
Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel.

Hein's Law
Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back.

Heisenberg's Addendum to Brownian Bureaucracy
If you observe a bureaucrat closely enough to make the distinction above, he will react to your
observation by covering his ass.

Heller's Myths of Management
The first myth of management is that it exists. The second myth of management is that success
equals skill.
Corollary (Johnson) - Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within your organization.

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
If a problem causes many meetings, the meetings eventually become more important than the

Herblock's Law
If it's good, they'll stop making it.

Herman's Observation
Vital papers will demonstrate their vitality by moving from where you left them to where you can't find

Herrnstein's Law
The total attention paid to an instructor is a constant regardless of the size of the class.

Hersh's Law
Biochemistry expands to fill the space and time available for its completion and publication.

Law of Hierachical Communications
The inevitable result of improved communications between different levels in a hierarchy is a vastly
increased area of misunderstanding.

Law of Highway Biology
The first bug to hit your clean windshield lands directly in front of your eyes.

Law of Highway Construction
The most heavily traveled streets spend the most time under construction.

Hildebrand's Law
The quality of a department is inversely proportional to the number of courses it lists in its catalogue.

Hill's Commentaries on Murphy's Laws
1.If we lose much by having things go wrong, take all possible care.
2.If we have nothing to lose by change, relax.
3.If we have everything to gain by change, relax.
4.If it doesn't matter, it does not matter.

Hind's Laws of Computer Programming
1.The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output.
2.Any non-trivial program contains at least one bug.
3.Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in contrast to detectable errors, which by definition are
4.Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.

Historian's Rule
Any event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear inevitable by a competent historian.

First Rule of History
History doesn't repeat itself -- historians merely repeat each other.

Hoare's Law of Large Programs
Inside every large program is a small program struggling to get out.
Rhode's Corollary to Hoare's Law
Inside every complex and unworkable program is a useful routine struggling to be free.

Hoare's Law of Larger Problems
Inside every large problem is a small problem struggling to get out.

Hofstatler's Law
Things always take twice as long as you anticipate, even if you take into account Hofstatler's Law.
(This corollary is often elevated to the rank of a law. Since it is only a special case of Murphy's
Law, though, it provides further justification for elevating Murphy's Law to a demi-law.)

Hogg's Law of Station Wagons
The amount of junk is in direct proportion to the amount of space available.
Baggage Corollary - If you go on a trip taking two bags with you, one containing everything you
need for the trip and the other containing absolutely nothing, the second bag will be completely filled
with junk acquired on the trip when you ret

Holsworth's Laws
1.If you can only do one thing well there is no market for it.
2.You can never do just one thing.

Holten's Homilies
1.The only time to be positive is when you are positive you are wrong.
2.The chief cause of problems is solutions.
3.The one who does the least work, will get the most credit.

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

Horngren's Observation (generalized)
The real world is a special case.

Horowitz's Rule
A computer makes as many mistakes in two seconds as 20 men working 20 years.

Horticulturists Two Laws
1.Grass growing from sidewalk cracks never turns brown.
2.The life expectancy of a house plant varies inversely with its price and directly with it's ugliness.

Howard's First Law of Theater
Use it.

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

Hubbard's Law
Don't take life too seriously; you won't get out of it alive.

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

Hull's Warning
Never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river.

Hunter's Theory of Personnel Recruitment
Far-away talent always seems better than home-developed talent.

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