Monday, August 09, 2004

The Gospel according to Murphy

For the benefit of those who already read this before (while it was in print)... i added a bunch of new Murpyisims at the last part of this post. Damn im slowly becoming a murphologist :)

You have a big date tonight with the girl of your dreams. For the past few days, you've spent most of your time and energy in trying to make it the perfect one. You've checked and double-checked your reservations at the classiest joint in town. Likewise, your best suit is just fresh from the cleaners, your new sports car in tip-top shape and you just acquired a bouquet of the most expensive flowers money can buy. All that there is left is to meet your date. What can possibly go wrong?

Well, something does. Because after you drop by the florist, some student driver runs his car into yours and messes up the whole front end of your Porsche. And thats just the start of it. You find yourself in a streetfight with the biggest student driver you've ever seen and within
the next few seconds, your best suit gets totaled, your nose broken, and your face slammed against your car's windshield. You squeal like a girl as he pummels you senseless, after which he leaves laughing. By this time, it's too late to go back.

When you pick up your date, she takes one good look at your flowers and she announces her allergy to them. Your heart rips in two as she quickly flings them out of the car. You quickly explain your appearance and she laughs in obvious disbelief even as you enter the cafe.
Here the maitre d' stops you and sadly informs you that you do not have any reservations. You check his listings and find that the guy who booked you spelled your name wrong. And Mr. Wrong is already sitting in your place.

Hastily, you look at the goddess beside you and explain what happened. Luckily, there is an empty table and she talks the maitre d' into letting you have it. With your head down in shame, you move towards it.

After your meal, you realize you lost your wallet in the fight. You stammer about this to your date who suddenly glowers at you. She reaches for her purse, throws a wad of bills at your, slaps your stupefied face and screams "I never want to see you again!!" at the top of her lungs, all to the enjoyment of nearby onlookers. As she leaves you, you realize that the nearby onlookers are your next of kin.

What the hell went wrong?

Congratulations. You have just had a first-hand experience of Murphy's Law. Murphy's law states that if anything can go wrong, it will. And at the worst possible moment. This is a law that probably explains more about the way the world runs than Einstein's best works. Actually, there has been a whole science dedicated to this: Murphology.

Capt Edward A. Murphy, a prominent engineer in post-World War US Air Force, to whom Murphy's Law is formally attributed to, originally coined it as "If there are two or more ways of doing something and one of them will lead to catastrophe, then someone will do it." He declared the above statement when, during a study concerning the effects of rapid deceleration on pilots, he noticed that all vital equipment had been wired incorrectly in one of the experiments. At
a later press conference, his observation was presented as a working assumption in safety-critical engineering.

Years later, on October 1977, Arthur Block , in his book, Murphy's LAw and other Reasons why Things Go Wrong, revealed to the world the existence of a previously undocumented body of theory which he called Murphology. Murphology deals with breaking down Murphy's Law into specific daily life. He compiled a series of Murphy's Law-type phrases, most of which were contributed by ordinary people, in his book. Here are some of the best excerpts most applicable to DLSU Life.

DLSU Ala Murphy

The Extended Murphy's Law:
If a series of events can go wrong, it will do so in the worst possible sequence.

Conway's Law:
In any organization, there will always be one person who knows whats going on. This person must be fired

Devrie's Dillemma:
If you hit two keys on the typewriter, the one you dont want hits the paper
Finagle's Eighth Rule:
Teamwork is essential. It allows you to blame someone else.

Glyme's Formula For Success:
The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made.

Hilade's Law
If you have a difficult task, give it to a lazy man. He will find an easier way to do it.

Laws of class scheduling:
1. If the course you wanted most has room for 'n' students, you will be the 'n+1'th to apply
2. Class schedules are designed so that every student will waste the maximum time between classes
Corollary: When you are occasionally able to schedule two classes in a row, they will be held in opposite ends of the campus.
3. A prerequisite for a desired course will be offered only during the semester following the desired course.

Laws of Applied terror:
1. When reviewing your notes for an exam, the most important ones will be illegible.
2. The more studying you did for the exam, the less sure you are of what they
3. 80% of the final exam will be based on the one lecture you missed about the one
book you didnt read.
4. The night before the English history midterm your Biology instuctor will assign
200 pages on planaria
Corollary: Every instructor assumes you have nothing else too do except study for
that instructor's class.
5. If you are given an openbook exam, you will forget your book
Corollary: If you are given a take home exam, you will forget where you live
6. At the end of the trimester, you will recall having enrolled in a course at the beginning of the semester... and never attending

Drew's Law of Highway Biology:
The first bug to hit a clean windshield lands directly in front of your eyes.

Ruby's Principle of Close Encounters
The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone
you dont want to be seen with.

Cheits Lament
If you help a friend in need, he will be sure to remember you... The next time
he's in need.

The Last Law:
If several things that could have gone wrong have not gone wrong, it would have been ultimately beneficial for them to have gone wrong.

Ever wondered why "It always rains after you wash your car?" or why "You always find the thing you're looking for in the last place you search for?" All these and more could be explained by Murphology as we have seen above. From business to pleasure, to social life, to school, to politics, from life to death and probably even stuff we never usually think of, Murphy has a say to it.
The Law that binds..
You dont have to be a pessimist to understand the principles of Murphology. Nor do you have to hate it if you are an optimist. Murphology is for everyone and most of its axioms have been
scientifically proven (by Murphologists of course). However, unlike scientific laws, Murphy's Laws are not cause and effect driven.

In science we are always taught in terms of post hoc. In Murphology, this is not always the case. For example, if you drive through the highway with the intention of hitting a bug, the first one will not always hit the windshield in the space between your eyes. Noe would you be more sure of your answers if you study any less.

Adrian's Laws
Since most of the axioms derived from Murphy's law have been contributed by the common man. the writer also wishes to add these new theories to the existing ones. These have been proven and tested based on the writer's experience. The writer assumes these as his original ideas and would appreciate any feedback if these were not so.

Deadline Dilemma:
It's hard to start anything when the deadline seems so far.
Corollary:When the deadline seems so near, and the project not going anywhere, someone will move the deadline. Which starts the Deadline Dillemma again

Takeout Law
When with a group lunch, you always wish you had the other guys order
Law of the Bus
No matter how full the bus is, there is always room for more
LRT corollary: The LRT is a bus at heart

The Girl Theorem
If some guy's fooling around with a girl, theres usually another one pining for him.
Corollary:You are not this guy.

Color Coding Paradox
The best gimmicks are scheduled when you cant use your car
Adrian's Law:
When writing an article about Murphy's Law, everthing that can go wrong, will. And at the nearest posssible deadline.
Corollary:After writing this article, you will find out that there has already been one done before and in the one issue of your favorite magazine that you did not read this year.
This was my first published work, which appeared in The LaSallian in 1998. It's also one of my favorites and most memorable, because if i remember correctly, I went through 3 days of Murphy hell just to get it published. If it wasnt near death accidents, crashing hard disks or lovelife-related escapades, it would be insta-exams or sudden bursts of homework. But all's well that ends well :)
On a lighter side to this lighter side, I've compiled yet another series of Murphology gems over the years. I'm still adding, but here are some of my favorites (again if you can prove they're not original, feel free to send me a note)
The Damn Jeepney Law:
It is only when you tailgate them that Jeepneys come to a screeching halt in the middle of the road.
Corollary: FXs are jeeps at heart
Law of the YM Booboos
When chatting with someone who you sorely want to impress, the probability of having killer typos increases dramatically
Corollary: This happens especially to Perfectionits like me
Plagiarism 101
Whenever someone excitedly swipes your favorite work and makes it a chain letter or something, he always forgets include your name in the article.
Corollary: Except for crappy work. Your worst works will be forwarded to everyone in the world proudly sporting your byline.
Corollary to the Corollary: You will be forever known as the idiot who forwarded crappy work to the world
Law of The Mistaken Identity
You will always look, talk or act like an ex-boyfriend of the girl you're dating.
Corollary: She will constantly remind you about this.
Corollary to the Corollary: You charm her so much, she'll fall for him again.
Gargantuan Mail Problem
No matter how much free space we get in Yahoo, spammers will always ensure our quota's used up within a week.
The MMDA Paradigm
While blatantly cutting through traffic, beating red lights, defiantly driving while color-coded and tailgating every vehicle in front of you, you will never be caught. However, innocently taking the wrong turn in a one-way seldom used sidestreet will bring upon you the full wrath of a whole MMDA patrol.
The Iraqi Hostage Anti-Virtue
Years of working abroad will get you nothing but crap. However, getting threatened with having your head chopped off and begging for mercy will net you a house and lot, scholarship for your eight kids and a movie about your life.

Paradox of the Writer's Blog
When possessed with the sudden urge to make your literary masterpiece, your writing skills will desert you... but not enough NOT to have a blog entry
Corollary: When you want to have a great blog entry, all you can come up with is a one-liner, a song excerpt, a stupid "I am a...." quiz or one of your previous works which no-one ever read.


Anonymous said...

"When chatting with someone who you sorely want to impress, the probability of having killer typos increases dramatically" .... so true!

Anonymous said...

nakakatuwa naman ang post na ito.-saxi

Anonymous said...

hehe ma-forward nga sa e-mail. i credit kita =)


Anonymous said...

An attemp to humiliate myself. haha. i think the law did a good number on me just now. i just posted this to your other bloggie but, heck with it. i shall cut and paste. i should have posted it here...where people post. haha. well, here goes...


interesting. haha

in light of all the pessisist exisbition. i find the article humorous and extremely entertaining not to mention with a sudden awareness of the paranoia ahead of my day. hahaha. a good way. i vouch for that.


...and to that, i leave your judgement for me as an sick idiot. LOL.


jactinglim said...

Haha! Funny ;)

kei said...

"You charm her so much, she'll fall for him again."


"While blatantly cutting through traffic, beating red lights, defiantly driving while color-coded and tailgating every vehicle in front of you, you will never be caught. However, innocently taking the wrong turn in a one-way seldom used sidestreet will bring upon you the wrath of a whole MMDA patrol."

hahaha! you crack me up, dude :)

April said...

Man, as I was reading this I thought to myself, "This should be an artcile in a magazine or something..." and then at the end, you said that it was published, lol. I'm going to permalink you cuz this article rox.

cathy said...

if you don't mind, I copied your quotations with the proper credit-and so is your pic. if it is not okay with you, I can remove the pics.

The Ca t

angel said...

Heheh, enjoyed reading this. So true.

badong said...

very entertaining indeed!
coroLLary: by far, you've outdone yourseLf!

dahek, if its been pubLished. part of it was stiLL yours.;)

Mike. said...

nice post, adrian.

Anonymous said...

Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

yup, always happen to me. the worst was when there was a bus strike then i have to go to my volunteer work then i forgot to tell my parents about my overtime then they picked me up and told me they nearly called the police to report about a missing person (i.e. me). the sermon going home was a blur.

great post btw. :)

Anonymous said...

ah dyan pala galing ang Murphy's Law. akala ko they just invented that in the movie Robocop haha! --Orbital

Jen S said...

hehehe... murphy's law strikes me at the worst possible time :p

i think i read your article before :p i'm going to go through some old LaSallian issues (yup, i still keep them somewhere - packrat eh :p)

Anonymous said...

In the Ateneo, when things go wrong they go to La Salle. Bakit ganun: is this Murphy's Law, or just how the cosmic is governed?

Berto [nagtatanong: Ano ba yang Murphy's Law? Bakit hindi tinuro sa amin noong nag-P.E. kami sa Loyola?

Berto [sinagot ang tanong: Gago. Para lang yun sa mga nag-aaral paano tumawid sa Taft.]

Mitch said...

More Murphy-derived laws:
1. If you f**k around with something long enough, you'll break it.
2. If you're late, your boss is early, and vice versa.
3. If you drop your toast, it always lands jelly-side down.
4. There are always parts left over when you reassemble something you took apart.
5. Murphy was an optimist.

Anonymous said...

Haha, excellent. Everything you said is so true. Especially that last one. Pwehehe.

Anonymous said...

So what's the difference between Murphy's Law and Chaos Theory? --Orbital

markku said...

Nice, this is a really insightful and funny piece. Science at its finest. :)

ItsieBitsie said...

wow this is nice and very informative (haha!) can i link this to my blog? =)

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