Murphy's Laws W


Waddell's Law of Equipment Failure
A component's degree of reliability is directly proportional to its ease of accessibility (i.e., the
harder it is to get to, the more often it breaks down).

Waffle's Law
A professor's enthusiasm for teaching the introductory course varies inversely with the likelihood of
his having to do it.

Wain's Conclusion
The only people making money these days are the ones who sell computer paper.

Wakefield's Refutation of the Iron Law of Distribution
Them what gets, has.

Waldo's Observation
One man's red tape is another man's system.

Walinsky's First Law of Political Campaigns
If there are twelve clowns in a ring, you can jump in the middle and start reciting Shakespeare, but to
the audience, you'll just be the thirteenth clown.

Walinsky's Law
The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants.

Walker's Law
Associate with well-mannered persons and your manners will improve. Run with decent folk and
your own decent instincts will be strengthened. Keep the company of bums and you will become a
bum. Hang around with rich people and you will end by picking up the check and dying broke.

Wallace's Observation
Everything is in a state of utter dishevelment.

Walters's Law of Management
If you're already in a hole, there's no use to continue digging.

Washington's Law
Space expands to house the people to perform the work that Congress creates.

The Watergate Principle
Government corruption is always reported in the past tense.

Watson's Law
The reliability of machinery is inversely proportional to the number and significance of any persons
watching it.

Watson's Law of Cleaning
If you start to clean your desk in the spare bedroom you will probably have to clean the garage to
find what you need to finish cleaning the desk.

Rule of the Way Out
Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.

Law of Wealth
Victory goes to the candidate with the most accumulated or contributed wealth who has the financial
resources to convince the middle class and poor that he will be on their side.

Weaver's Law
When several reporters share a cab on an assignment, the reporter in the front seat pays for all.
Corollary (O'Doyle) - No matter how many reporters share a cab, and no matter who pays, each
puts the full fare on his own expense account.
Corollary (Germond) - When a group of newsmen go out to dinner together, the bill is to be
divided evenly among them, regardless of what each one eats and drinks.

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

Weidner's Queries
1.The tide comes in and the tide goes out, and what have you got?
2.They say an elephant never forgets, but what's he got to remember?

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

Weinberg's First Law
Progress is made on alternate Fridays.

Weinberg's Second Law
If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came
along would destroy civilization.
Corollary - An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the Grand

Weiner's Law of Libraries
There are no answers, only cross references.

Weisman's Law of Examinations
If you're confident after you've just finished an exam, it's because you don't know enough to know

Wells's Law
A parade should have bands OR horses, not both.

Weskimen's Law
There's never time to do it right, but there is always time to d it over.

Westheimer's Law
A few months in the laboratory can save a few hours in the library.

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

Wethern's Law
Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups.

The Whispered Rule
People will believe anything if you whisper it.

White Flag Principle
A military disaster may produce a better postwar situation than victory.

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

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.

Whitehead's Law
The obvious answer is always overlooked.

Whole Picture Principle
Research scientists are so wrapped up in their own narrow endeavors that they cannot possibly see
the whole picture of anything, including their own research.
Corollary - The Director of Research should know as little as possible about the specific subject of
research he is administering.

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

Wilcox's Law
A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the pants.

Will's Rule of Informed Citizenship
If you want to understand your government, don't begin by reading the Constitution. (It conveys
precious little of the flavor of today's statecraft.) Instead read selected portions of the Washington
telephone directory containing listings for all the organizations with titles beginning with the word

Williams and Holland's Law
If enough data is collected, anything may be proven by statistical methods.

Willie Brown's Principle
People who love sausage and respect the law should never watch either one being made.

Wilson's Law of Demographics
The public is not made up of people who get their names in the newspapers.

The First Law of Wing Walking
Never let hold of what you've got until you've got hold of something else.

First Law of Wing-Walking
Never leave hold of what you've got until you've got hold of something else.

Wingo's Axiom
All Finagle Laws may be bypassed by learning the simple art of doing without thinking.

Law of Wisdom
Wisdom is considered a sign of weakness by the powerful because a wise man can lead without
power but only a powerful man can lead without wisdom.

Witten's Law
Whenever you cut your fingernails, you will find a need for them an hour later.

Wober's SNIDE Rule (Satisfied Needs Incite Demand Excesses)
Ideal goals grow faster than the means of attaining new goals allow.

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.

Wolf's Law of Decision-Making
Major actions are rarely decided by more than four people. If you think a larger meeting you're
attending is really "hammering out" a decision, you're probably wrong. Either the decision was
agreed to by a smaller group before the meeting began, or the outcome of the larger meeting will be
modified later when three or four people get together.

Wolf's Law of History Lessons
Those who don't study the past will repeat its errors. Those who do study it will find OTHER ways to

Wolf's Law of Management
The tasks to do immediately are the minor ones; otherwise, you'll forget them. The major ones are
often better to defer. They usually need more time for reflection. Besides, if you forget them, they'll
remind you.

Wolf's Law of Meetings
The only important result of a meeting is agreement about next steps.

Wolf's Law of Planning
A good place to start from is where you are.

Wolf's Law of Tactics
If you can't beat them, have them join you.

Woltman's Law
Never program and drink beer at the same time.

Woman's Equation
Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is
not difficult.

Wood's Law
The more unworkable the urban plan, the greater the probability of implementation.

Woods's Incomplete Maxims
1.All's well that ends.
2.A penny saved is a penny.
3.Don't leave things unfinishe

Woods's Laws of Procrastination
1.Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.
2.Procrastinate today! (Tomorrow may be too late.)
3.NOW is the time to do things later!
4.If at first you don't succeed, why try again?

Woods's Refutation of the First Law of Socio-Genetics
On the contrary, if you never procreate, neither will your kids.

Woodward's Law
A theory is better than an explanation.

Worker's Dilemma Law (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.

Wyszkowski's Theorem
Regardless of the units used by either the supplier or the customer, the manufacturer shall use his
own arbitrary units convertible to those of either the supplier or the customer only by means of weird
and unnatural conversion factors.

Wyszowski's Laws
1.No experiment is reproducible.
2.Anything can be made to work if you fiddle with it long enough.
3.Regardless of the units used by either the supplier or the customer, the manufacturer shall use his
own arbitrary units convertible to those of either the supplier or the customer only by means of weird
and unnatural conversion factors.

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