|WikiProject Engineering||(Rated Start-class, High-importance)|
|WikiProject Popular Culture|
- 1 Differentiating Finagle's Law and Murphy's Law
- 2 Shute lead on the history of Murphy's law
- 3 Origin - The history and true story of Murphy law
- 4 Tech Support Corollary
- 5 Variations referencing
- 6 Timing of the Muroc scenario; Point of view of the Association with Murphy section
- 7 Untitled
- 8 Dubious
- 9 Merge
- 10 Requested move
- 11 File:A History of Murphy's Law Revised Cover.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion
- 12 "Thus Stapp's usage and Murphy's alleged usage are very different in outlook and attitude."
- 13 Suggestions for reordering the article.
- 14 Merge with Sod's law
- 15 Self fulfilling prophecy
Differentiating Finagle's Law and Murphy's Law
I think we need to draw the line between Finagle's Law and Murphy's Law. Essentially, Finagle's Law is the law of pessimism, stating that there is effectively no point trying something because it will always go wrong. Murphy's Law is a law of hope, in many ways, in that it refers to the fact that if there is more than one way to do something, someone will do it the wrong way. I don't have any problems with people removing the bit that I added, given that it would require a slight redress of the article as well as sourcing of reliable references. This may also influence whether we consider the Plenitude principle outlined above. Cyril Washbrook 00:20, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
- I agree with this completely. I have long believed that the original statement of Murphy's Law was made by Murphy himself and went "If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it.", but my only source for this is the Jargon File entry here, which in turn makes no citations at all. Since the entire article is essentially based on the more general Finagle's Law, I didn't feel like I could Be Bold and change the article based on a single tertiary source that in turn makes no citations. Any other sources for the "two or more ways" version? Proginoskes (talk) 16:03, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
- I also agree with this (rather late I know...). I read it in Karl Kruszelnicki's book "Fidgeting Fat, Exploding Meat & Gobbling Whirly Birds", the section on Murphy's law is freely available here http://www.abc.net.au/science/k2/moments/gmis9906.htm That said, he doesn't have any further references either. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 05:18, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Shute lead on the history of Murphy's law
I have heard that Murphy was a Wartime Air Ministry official who signed off a directive to the aircraft manufactueres which demmaded that all parts must be made so that they could only fit one way around when connecting them. This is mentioned in Nevil Shute's autobiography Slide Rule, which deals with his life in England, and hids time in teh aircraft industry.
- Checked Slide Rule and couldn't find the above, though I may have missed. Nrlsouza (talk) 10:50, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
- I think the OP is referring to a book by that title, not the calculating instrument. SpinningSpark 15:10, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
- There is no doubt that the OP is referring to Nevil Shute Norway's autobiography, entitled Slide Rule. I have checked the OP lead that this autobiography might suggest a (presumably) British origin for Murphy's law, within the aeronautical industry context and yet pre-dating the American origin described in the article which the present talk page is about. None of this is to be found in this autobiography, though I may have missed. Nrlsouza (talk) 13:39, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Origin - The history and true story of Murphy law
This page claims to have information regarding the history and true story of Murphy law. Anyone can confirm it??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rahul286 (talk • contribs) 18:44, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
- This is basically what's in the article now, in the Association with Murphy section. Lexicographers, incidentally, view the Edwards Air Force Base story with great skepticism, noting that the "law" itself is older, that early explanations of the name "Murphy" make no reference to the incident and sometimes give other explanations, and that the supposed origin was not presented as such until long after the event. However, it has not been categorically disproved. John M Baker (talk) 19:11, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
- wouldn't if anything can be done wrong, it will be done wrong (eg in the apparent paraphrasing of robert murphy's recollection) be a more precise form of the law in the context both holt and murphy are said to have meant it, if not implicitly what Dr. Stapp meant when he is said to have coined it (on the page previously referred to), as distinct from "sod's law" and the futility of planning against the unknown? you could substitute 'incorrectly' or even 'disastrously incorrectly' for 'wrong' to be perhaps even closer to his (ie murphy's) presumed intention (or just more grammatically correct), to the effect that things should be engineered such that mistakes with serious consequences cannot be made. 126.96.36.199 (talk) 13:42, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Tech Support Corollary
Some of the referencing in the "Variations" section is a bit dubious (or missing altogether). For instance the claim that Sod's law is a superset of Murphy's is referenced to Chambers dictionary. I cannot find this in my copy of Chambers under either "Murphy" or "sod". Admittedly, my copy is a bit ancient and not the edition cited. Can someone with a recent edition look it up and report exactly what they say? SpinningSpark 08:33, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Timing of the Muroc scenario; Point of view of the Association with Murphy section
Here are two separate items bundled in one section, relating each to consistency issues of the present article, and which can hopefully be fixed easily:
- In the History section, the Robertson interview is said to predate the Muroc scenario, the latter being indicated to occur in or after June 1949. However in the last paragraph of the Association with Murphy section, reference is made to the '1948 incident' at Muroc. Before someone familiar with the relevant literature fixes this, I think it is important to ensure that events of a similar nature are timed relative to each other, and perhaps to make this choice explicit: Either the time of the Robertson interview (Q1 1949) relative to that of the actual incident at Muroc (a few months in 1948 or 1949?); Or the publication time of Robertson's interview by Roe (05/1951) relative to the first press conference where Stapp mentioned Murphy's law (1949?).
- The first four paragraphs in the Association with Murphy section seem to be derived from Spark's research and that is fine by itself. However I find that the following sentences lack neutrality in the fourth paragraph, for the reason described below:
- 'Stapp's usage and Murphy's alleged usage are very different in outlook and attitude. One is sour, the other an affirmation of the predictable being surmountable, usually by sufficient planning and redundancy.'
The end of the third paragraph relates accounts of 'others, including [...] Robert Murphy' but these accounts are not pursued in the fourth paragraph, which effectively wraps up the bit of history under consideration. Is one side more credible than the other as far as 'Murphy's alleged usage'? Aren't Stapp's usage and Murphy's other alleged usage similar in fact, rather than 'very different'. This lack of consensus is more clearly apparent when reading the bio articles for John Stapp and Edward Murphy in their respective versions, current per the time of this talk contribution. While again it is fine to echo Spark's research, I think the Association with Murphy should convey the consensus (or lack thereof) more accurately.
This second item does not question that Stapp may have done most or all of the work to promote Murphy's law in engineering, and actually this could be clearly stated in this article.
It is my personal opinion that Murphy's Law is imbecilic because every thing that could go wrong hardly goes wrong. For instance I will most likely never get in a car crash and then be anally raped immediately after the crash. It is embarrassing as an engineer to see this pseudo-scientific "law" being related to real, empirically based, scientific laws such as the second law of thermal dynamics. I am a proponent of removing any content in this article that hints at "Murphy's law" being a valid scientific law or having any relation to logical science in general.
"I will most likely never get in a car crash and then be anally raped immediately after the crash"
Entropy has fuckall to do with disorder. On the contrary, increasing entropy is the decline of disorder, not it's rise. Entropy is movement towards equilibrium. The stupidity marked dubious is borne of people conflating the colloquial meaning of entropy with the scientific definition. 06:41, 13 July 2011 (UTC). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk • contribs) 06:41, 13 July 2011
I've proposed the article A History of Murphy's Law be merged into here (if not deleted completely); it's hard to see why it merits and article of its own. --jpgordon::==( o ) 21:34, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
- Delete - We're already using the History of Murphy's Law as a source here. It doesn't need its own page. Jojalozzo 01:24, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
- Merge or Delete - The substance of A History of Murphy's Law is already in the Murphy's Law article, so there isn't much difference between the two. John M Baker (talk) 16:52, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
File:A History of Murphy's Law Revised Cover.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion
|An image used in this article, File:A History of Murphy's Law Revised Cover.jpg, has been nominated for speedy deletion at Wikimedia Commons for the following reason: Copyright violations
Don't panic; deletions can take a little longer at Commons than they do on Wikipedia. This gives you an opportunity to contest the deletion (although please review Commons guidelines before doing so). The best way to contest this form of deletion is by posting on the image talk page.
"Thus Stapp's usage and Murphy's alleged usage are very different in outlook and attitude."
This seems a bit like original research. Stapp just says that he keeps Murphy's law in mind when designing his experiments. If the Wright Brothers told the world that they followed the law of "what goes up must come down" would we say their usage was different than the intent of the law? Citation needed, please. Fotoguzzi (talk) 19:47, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Suggestions for reordering the article.
The kernel (or Colonel) of the story is Stapp using Murphy's name. I would recommend something like: 1) Short definition of the "law." 2) History of the law 2a) Stapp's public comment. 2) Summary of conflicting stories about Murphy and the origin of the law. 3) Prior expressions of the Murphy's law concept.
This gets the undisputed facts of the story first: Stapp mentioned Murphy, there was a Murphy, there was a story that can kind-of be put together. Then the rest of the article can explain that the idea is not by any means old. Fotoguzzi (talk) 20:15, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
- There are templates (Template:Merge/doc) that are supposed to be placed at the head of articles proposed to merge. Please use them. The templates on both articles should link to the same discussion. Please choose one talk page or the other and close down the other discussion. Opening two parallel discussions has the possibility that they will come to different conclusions which will not be useful. SpinningSpark 11:16, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
- Oppose. It might be that the two adages have the same meaning (but there is discussion on the Sod's law talk page disputing that and the article itself says they are not the same) but they are not the same adage. There are many such adages: "the law of Cosmic Buggery" is one used in my part of the world. If you want an article covering all these sayings you should create Laws of universal pessimism or some such title. Further, Sod's law is completley unreferenced. I don't see the point of polluting this article with unsourced material when we have the benefit here of Spark's book on the subject and Shapiro's research. At a minimum, good sources saying these are the same or demonstrating that one was derived from the other are required. SpinningSpark 13:01, 19 May 2014 (UTC)