BERGGREEN'S LAWS CONCERNING COMMUNICATION: 1. If you try to call a BBS, no matter what hour, it is busy. 2. When you have been downloading for more than an hour, a major powerbreak will occur just as you are transferring the last bytes. 3. If you are a sysop and want to use your machine, a 300-baud user will call just as you are about to enter DOS. 3.1 His first choice will be to download something. 4. If you forget to turn off the chat-function, someone will page you just after you have fallen asleep. 5. When you have called the most impossible and distant BBS's to avoid him, you can be sure that ** ** has left some smartass messages there. MURPHY'S LAWS THE PRIME AXIOM: In any field of scientific endeavor, anything that can go wrong, will. 2. If the possibility exists of several things going wrong, the one that will go wrong is the one that will do the most damage. 3. Everything will go wrong at one time. 3.1 That time is always when you least expect it. 4. If nothing can go wrong, something will. 5. Nothing is as easy as it looks. 6. Everything takes longer than you think. 7. Left to themselves, things always go from bad to worse. 8. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw. 9. Given the most inappropriate time for something to go wrong, that's when it will occur. 10. Mother Nature is a bitch. 10.1 The universe is not indifferent to intelligence, it is actively hostile to it. 11. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something. 12. If in any problem you find yourself doing an immense amount of work, the answer can be obtained by simple inspection. 13. Never make anything simple and efficient when a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful. 14. If it doesn't fit, use a bigger hammer. 15. In an instrument or device characterized by a number of plus-or-minus errors, the total error will be the sum of all the errors adding in the same direction. 16. In any given calculation, the fault will never be placed if more than one person is involved. 16.1 In any given discovery, the credit will never be properly placed if more than one person is involved. 17. All warranty and guarantee clauses become invalid upon payment of the final invoice. ^L LAWS RELATING TO DESIGN: 1. In any given price estimate, the cost of the equipment will exceed estimated expenditure by a factor of 3. 2. Dimensions will always be expressed in the least useable terms. For example, velocity will be expressed in furlongs/fortnight. 3. If the breadbox trial model functions perfectly, the finished product will not percolate. 4. In a mathematical calculation, any error that can creep in, will. It will be in the direction that will do the most damage to the calculation. 5. In any collection of data, the figures that are obviously correct, beyond all need of checking, contain the errors. 6. The probability of a dimension or value being omitted from a drawing is directly proportional to its importance. 7. In specifications, Murphy's Law supersedes Ohm's. 8. Information necessitating a change in design will be conveyed to the designer after, and only after, the plans are complete. 9. In simple cases, presenting one obvious right way vs. one obvious wrong way, it is often wiser to choose the wrong way so as to expedite subsequent revisions. 10. The more innocuous a modification appears to be, the further its influence will extend and the more plans will have to be redrawn. ^L LAWS RELATING TO ASSEMBLY: 1. If a project requires n components, there will be n-1 components available. 2. Interchangeable parts won't. 3. Components that must not and cannot be assembled improperly will be. 4. The most delicate component will be dropped. 5. The construction and operation manual will be discarded with the packing material. The garbage truck will have picked it up five minutes before the mad dash to the rubbish can. 6. The necessity of making a major design change increases as the assembly and wiring of the unit approach completion. 7. THE LAW OF SELECTIVE GRAVITATION: A dropped tool will land where it will do the most damage. 8. A component selected at random from a group having a 99% reliability will be a member of the 1% group. 9. Tolerances will accumulate unidirectionally toward maximum difficulty of assembly. 10. The availability of a component is inversely proportional to the need for that component. 11. If a particular resistance is needed, that value will not be available. Furthermore, it cannot be developed with any series or parallel combination. 12. After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench. ^L LAWS RELATING TO WIRING, TEST, AND OPERATION: 1. Any wire cut to length will be too short. 2. Milliammeters will be connected across the power source, voltmeters in series with it. 3. The probability of an error in the schematic is directly proportional to the trouble it can cause. 4. Identical units tested under identical conditions will not be identical on the final test after being buried under other components and wiring. 5. A self starting oscillator won't. 6. A crystal oscillator will oscillate at the wrong frequency -- if it oscillates at all. 7. A p-n-p transistor will be found to be an n-p-n. 8. A fail-safe circuit will destroy others. 9. If a circuit cannot fail, it will. 10. A transistor protected by a fast-acting fuse will protect the fuse by blowing first. 11. Probability of failure of a component is inversely proportional to the ease of repair or replacement. 12. A KEY RULE OF STARFLEET OPERATIONS: Some idiot has left open the number two impulse vent.(Check the position of all switches, knobs, and dials before turning on a piece of equipment. Both you and the equipment will live longer.) LAWS CONCERNING TROUBLE SHOOTING: 1. After the 24th cabinet-to-chassis screw has been removed to replace the under chassis fuse, it will be observed that the line cord plug has become disengaged from the a.c. receptacle. 2. After the 24th cabinet-to-chassis screw has been replaced, the driver tube will be found under the schematic on the bench. 3. The bleeder resistor will quit discharging the filter capacitors as the operator reaches into the power supply enclosure. ^L PECK'S PROGRAMMING POSTULATES: 1. In any program, any error which can creep in will eventually do so. 2. Not until the program has been in production for at least six months will the most harmful error be discovered. 3. Any constants, limits, or timing formulas that appear in the manufacturer's literature should be treated as variables. 4. The most vital parameter in any subroutine stands the greatest chance of being left out of the calling sequence. 5. If only one compiler can be secured for a piece of hardware, the compil- ation times will be exorbitant. 6. If a test installation functions perfectly, all subsequent systems will malfunction. 7. Job control cards that positively cannot be arranged in improper order will be. 8. Interchangeable tapes won't. 9. If more than one person has programmed a malfunctioning routine, no one is at fault. 10. If the input editor has been designed to reject all bad input, an ingenious idiot will discover a method to get bad data past it. 11. Duplicated object decks which test in identical fashion will not give identical results at remote sites. 12. Manufacturer's hardware and software support ceases with payment for the computer. 13. At least one critical test tape will be lost, misplaced, destroyed, or written over. 14. What goes up must come down---and can be expected to do so in the middle of your job. 15. Any given program, when running, is obsolete. 16. Any given program costs more and takes longer. 17. If a program is useful, it will have to be changed. 18. If a program is useless, it will have to be documented. 19. Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the programmer who must maintain it. ^L MISCELLANEOUS LAWS AND THINGS THAT ARE TRUE: FINAGLE'S LAWS: 1. No matter what result is anticipated, there is always someone willing to fake it. 2. No matter what the result, there is always someone eager to misinterpret it. 3. No matter what happens, there is always someone who believes it happened according to his pet theory. FINAGLE'S CREED Science is Truth; don't be misled by facts. THE FINAGLE FACTOR (Sometimes called the SWAG(Scientific Wild-Assed Guess) Constant) That quantity which, when multiplied by, divided by, added to, or subtracted from the answer which you got, yields the answer you should have gotten. [note] Items such as 'Finagle's Constant' and the more subtle 'Bougerre Factor' are loosely grouped, in mathematics, under constant variables, or, if you prefer, variable constants. Finagle's Constant, a multiplier of the zero-order term, may be characterized as changing the universe to fit the equation. The Bougerre (pronounced 'bugger') Factor is characterized as changing the equation to fit the universe. It is also known as the 'Soothing Factor'; mathematically similar to the damping factor, it has the characteristic of dropping the subject under discussion to zero importance. A combination of the two, the Diddle Coefficient, is characterized as changing things so that universe and equation appear to fit without requiring a change in either. FINAGLE'S COROLLARY On a seasonally adjusted basis, there are only six months in a year. IGGY'S RULE OF SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES All scientific discoveries are first recorded on napkins or tablecloths. Engineering advances are drawn inside matchbook covers. Keep supplies of them handy at all times. THE FOUR LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS 1. You can't win. 2. You can't break even. 3. You can't get out of the game. 4. THE LAW OF ENTROPY: The perversity of the universe tends towards a maximum. ^L ALLEN'S AXIOM When all else fails, read the directions. RULES OF THE LAB 1. When you don't know what you're doing, do it neatly. 2. Experiments must be reproduceable, they should fail the same way each time. 3. First draw your curves, then plot your data. 4. Experience is directly proportional to equipment ruined. 5. A record of data is essential, it shows you were working. 6. To study a subject best, understand it thoroughly before you start. 7. To do a lab really well, have your report done well in advance. 8. If you can't get the answer in the usual manner, start at the answer and derive the question. 9. If that doesn't work, start at both ends and try to find a common middle. 10. In case of doubt, make it sound convincing. 11. Do not believe in miracles---rely on them. 12. Team work is essential. It allows you to blame someone else. 13. All unmarked beakers contain fast-acting, extremely toxic poisons. 14. Any delicate and expensive piece of glassware will break before any use can be made of it. (Law of Spontaneous Fission) ^L FURTHER HINTS ON WRITE-UPS: 1. In any collection of data, the figures that most closely confirm the theory are wrong. 2. No one you ask for help will see the mistakes either. 3. Any nagging intruder who stops by with unsought advice will see them immediately. 4. If an experiment works, you must be using the wrong equipment. 5. An experiment may be considered successful if no more than half the data must be discarded to agree with the theory. 6. No experiment is ever a complete failure. It can serve as a bad example. 7. Always leave room, when writing a report, to add an explanation if it doesn't work (Rule of the Way Out). CLARKE'S LAWS 1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he says it is impossible, he is very probably wrong. 2. The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. 3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. THE NO HAIR THEOREM Black holes have no hair. GUNNERSEN'S LAW The probability of a given event is inversely proportional to it's desirability. GLASSER'S COROLLARY If, of the seven hours you spend at work, six hours and fifty-five minutes are spent working at your desk, and the rest of the time you throw the bull with your cubicle-mate, the time at which your supervisor will walk in and ask what you're doing can be determined to within five minutes. WEILER'S LAW Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. O'TOOLE'S COMMENTARY ON MURPHY'S LAWS Murphy was an optimist. MESKIMEN'S LAW There's never time to do it right, but always time to do it over. THE FIFTH RULE You have taken yourself too seriously. ^L JONES'S LAW The man who can smile when things go wrong has thought of someone he can blame it on. LAW OF COMMUNICATION The inevitable result of improved and enlarged communications between different levels in a hierarchy is a vastly increased area of misunderstanding. LORD FALKLAND'S RULE When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision. THE ARMY AXIOM Any order that can be understood has been misunderstood. SEVAREID'S LAW The chief cause of problems is solutions. JONES' MOTTO Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate. MATSCH'S LAW It is better to have a horrible ending than to have horrors without end. ALLISON'S PRECEPT The best simple-minded test of expertise in a particular area is the ability to win money in a series of bets on future occurrences in that area. McNAUGHTON'S RULE Any argument worth making within the bureaucracy must be capable of being expressed in a simple declarative statement that is obviously true once stated. KIRKLAND'S LAW The usefulness of any meeting is in inverse proportion to the attendance. BECKER'S LAW It is much harder to find a job than to keep one. O'BRIEN'S PRINCIPLE (The 357.73 Theory) Auditors always reject any expense account with a bottom line divisible by 5 or 10. THE FIRST LAW OF OFFICE HOLDERS Get re-elected. ^L THE NIXON PRINCIPLE If two wrongs don't make a right, try three. BELSKY'S COROLLARY Never trust anyone who volunteers to assume authority. WEIKER'S LAW Government expands to absorb revenue and then some. PARKINSON'S LAWS 1. Work expands to fill the time available for its completion. 2. The thing to be done swells in perceived importance and complexity in a direct ratio with the time spent in its completion. 3. Expenditures rise to meet income. 4. If there is a way to delay an important decision, the good bureaucracy, public or private, will find it. 5. The number of people in any working group tends to increase regardless of the amount of work to be done. GUMMIDGE'S LAW The amount of expertise varies in inverse proportion to the number of statements understood by the general public. FITZ-GIBBON'S LAW Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved with the broth. SHANAHAN'S LAW The length of a meeting rises with the square of the number of people present. RUDIN'S LAW In a crisis that forces a choice to be made among alternative courses of action, most people will choose the worst one possible. HAGERTY'S LAW If you lose your temper at a newspaper columnist, he'll get rich, or famous or both. ROSS' LAW Never characterize the importance of a statement in advance. ZYMURGY'S SEVENTH EXCEPTION TO MURPHY'S LAWS When it rains, it pours. ^L TOPPER'S COROLLARY TO MURPHY'S LAWS The shortest distance between two points is under construction. THE 14TH COROLLARY OF ATWOOD'S GENERAL LAW OF DYNAMIC NEGATIVES No books are lost by loaning except those you particularly wanted to keep. THE PETER PRINCIPLE In every hierarchy, whether it be government or business, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. Every post tends to be filled by an employee incompetent to execute its duties. PETER'S THEOREM Incompetence plus incompetence equals incompetence. PETER'S INVERSION Internal consistency is valued more highly than efficiency. PETER'S PARADOX Employees in a hierarchy do not really object to incompetence in their colleagues. PETER'S PLACEBO An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance. JENKINSON'S LAW It won't work. PUDDER'S LAW Anything that begins well ends badly. LES MISERABLES METALAW All laws, whether good, bad, or indifferent, must be obeyed to the letter. OESER'S LAW There is a tendency for the person in the most powerful position in an organization to spend all his time serving on committees and signing letters. KITMAN'S LAW Pure drivel tends to drive off the TV screen ordinary drivel. DOW'S LAW In a hierarchical organization, the higher level, the greater the confusion. SATTINGER'S LAW It works better if you plug it in. ^L THE LAW OF THE PERVERSITY OF NATURE You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter. MALINOWSKI'S LAW Looking from far above, from our high places of safety in the developed civilization, it is easy to see all the crudity and irrelevance of magic. THE HARVARD LAW Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables the organism will do as it damn well pleases. VARIOUS TRUTHS OF MANAGEMENT 1. Think before you act; it's not your money. 2. All good management is the expression of one great idea. 3. No executive devotes effort to proving himself wrong. 4. Cash in must exceed cash out. 5. Management capability is always less than the organization actually needs. 6. Either an executive can do his job or he can't 7. If sophisticated calculations are needed to justify an action, don't do it. 8. If you are doing something wrong, you will do it badly. 9. If you are attempting the impossible you will fail. 10. The easiest way to make money is to stop losing it. PARETO'S LAW(The 20/80 Law) 20% of the customers account for 80% of the turnover, 20% of the parts account for 80% of the cost, and so forth. STURGEON'S LAW 90% of everything is bull. ZYMURGY'S FIRST LAW OF EVOLVING SYSTEM DYNAMICS Once you open a can of worms, the only way you can recan them is to use a larger can. (Old worms never die; they just worm their way into larger cans.) OSBORN'S LAW Variables won't, constants aren't. ^L THE SNAFU EQUATIONS 1. Given any problem containing N equations, there will be N+1 unknowns. 2. The object or bit of information most needed will be least available. 3. The device requiring service or adjustment will be least accessible. 4. In any human eneavor, once you have exhausted all possibilities and failed, there will be one solution, simple, obvious, and highly visible to everyone else. 5. Badness comes in waves. JOHNSON'S FIRST LAW OF AUTO REPAIR Any tool dropped while repairing an automobile will roll under the car to the vehicle's exact geographic center. PUPIN'S LAW The elevator is NEVER going in the direction you want to go. PROFESSOR GORDON'S RULE OF EVOLVING BYROGRAPHIC SYSTEMS While byrographic systems are typically encountered in substrata of earthy or mineral matter in concreted state, discrete substrata elements occasionly display a roughly spherical configuration which, in presence of suitable gravitational and other effects, lends itself to combined translatory and rotary motion One notices in such caes an absence of the otherwise typical accretion of byrophyta; we therefore conclude that A ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS. CANADA BILL JOHNE'S MOTTO It's morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money. CHEOP'S LAW Nothing EVER gets built on schedule or within budget. ^L FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF LAZARUS LONG Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it. If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion. Most 'scientists' are bottle washers and button sorters. An elephant: a mouse built to government specifications. The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility. And vice versa. Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning, while those other subjects require merely scholarship. Expertise in one field does not carry over into other fields. But experts often think so. The narrower their field of knowledge the more likely they are to think so. Natural laws have no pity. Climate is what we expect. Weather is what we get. A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. THE GIGO LAW Deductive logic is tautological; there is no way to get a new truth out of it, and it manipulates false statements as readily as true ones. If you fail to remember this, it can trip you --- with perfect logic. This is known as 'Garbage In --- Garbage Out'. Copyright (C) 1978 by the Columbia Science Fiction Society ^L Care of Omni Mag.: 1) Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take Hofstadter's Law into account." 2) Morton's Law: "If rats are experimented upon, they will develop cancer." 3) Epstein's Axiom: "With extremely few exceptions, nothing is worth the trouble." 4) Mathis' Rule: "It is bad luck to be superstitious." 5) Laura's Law: "No child throws up in the bathroom." 6) "If there is a opinion, facts will be found to support it." -- Judy Sproles. 7) "Rich folks get more strokes." -- Greg Beil. 8) "If A = B and B = C, then A = C except where void or prohibited by law". -- Roy Santoro. 9) Preudhomme's Law of Window Cleaning: "It's on the other side." -- Doug Preudhomme 10) "Anything that happens enough times to irritate you will happen at least once more." -- Tom Parkins 11) Slick's Three Laws of the Universe: "(1) Nothing in the known universe travels faster than a bad check. (2) A quarter-ounce of chocolate = four pounds of fat. (3) There are two types of dirt: the dark kind, which is attracted to light objects, and the light kind, which is attracted to dark objects." -- Ely Slick 12) The two laws of Frisbee: "(1) The most powerful force in the world is that of a disc straining to land under a car, just out of reach (this force is technically termed 'car suck'); (2) Never precede any maneuver by a comment more predictive than 'Watch this!'" 13) (Sam) Goldwyn's Law: "A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on." 14) (Murray) Gell-Mann's Law: "Whatever isn't forbidden is required; thus, if if there's no reason why something shouldn't exist, then it must exist." 15) (Mark) Twain's Rule: "Only kings, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial 'we'." 16) "Bodies in motion tend to remain in motion. Bodies at rest tend to remain in bed." -- Dave Tewksbury 17) "The probability of someone watching you is proportiox'h:a t/VL4hhhhhPtupidity of your action." -- A. Kindsvater 18) "Infl\a.ki 86YYV:le proportional to the cost of the periodical that reports it." -- Jack Rosenberg 19) Hurewitz's Memory Principle: "The chance of forgetting something is directly proportional to....to....." -- Lane Hurewitz 20) Corry's Law: "Paper is always strongest at the perforations." -- Carolyn M. Corry --------------------------------------------------------------------------- PUPIN'S LAW The elevator is NEVER going in the direction you want to go. PROFESSOR GORDON'S RULE OF EVOLVING BYROGRAPHIC SYSTEMS While byrographic systems are typically encountered in substrata of earthy or mineral matter in concreted state, discrete substrata elements occasionly display a roughly spherical configuration which, in presence of suitable gravitational and other effects, lends itself to combined translatory and rotary motion One notices in such caes an absence of the otherwise typical accretion of byrophyta; we therefore conclude that A ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS. CANADA BILL JOHNE'S MOTTO It's morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money. CHEOP'S LAW Nothing EVER gets built on schedule or within budget.