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Murphy's Law Calculator


Murphy's Law Calculator

by Kenneth Lyen

"If anything can go wrong, it will."

This law was named after Captain Edward A Murphy when he was working as a crash engineer at Edwards Airforce Base in 1949. The law had probably been around for many years before, but the project manager named it after the engineer, and Murphy’s Law was born.

There are now literally hundreds of Murphy’s Laws. Among my favourites are: "To err is human, to forgive is not company policy," "It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious," "All great discoveries are made by mistake."

And now there is a breakthrough which is comparable to Einstein’s realization that everybody’s a relative, culminating in his famous Theory of Relativity. There is now a foolproof mathematical method of calculating to the zillionth degree of accuracy, Murphy’s Law. For simple-minded non-mathematicians, it is now available online as a calculator, free. I have used this Murphy’s Law Calculator and can vouch for its accuracy. I have told this story previously. So those of you who have heard it before, please stop laughing.

I once composed 12 songs for a musical, and recorded them as instrumental pieces on a minidisc. Everything was going brilliantly. I only needed one more piece, the 13th. There was a high degree of urgency as it had to be submitted the next day for a very important audition. The nature of the musical, and hence the music, was very complex. I am no great recording expert, but the Sony minidisc recorder I was using, was idiot-proof. Moreover, in the past I have made many recordings with this minidisc recorder. But unfortunately this recorder had just run out of (rechargeable) battery power. So in a rush, I had to replace it with an old minidisc recorder that I had not used for over a year.

At this stage, let us enter this raw information into the Murphy’s Law Calculator. And voilB, I get a score of 8.26 out of 10. This means that the chances of a major cockup is as high as a well known bank accidentally destroying its active safety deposit boxes containing priceless valuables.

The result? You guessed it. I erased all 12 songs that I had originally recorded. And what’s more?

You hit the head on the nail again! I had no backup! Ouch! That really hurt!

So I have personal evidence to support the validity of Murphy’s Law, and the usefulness of the Murphy’s Law Calculator. Quod erat demonstrandum!