Saturday, April 07, 2007

Benefits of Murphy’s Law

People can associate uneventful outcomes to the lack of luck, karma, or plain stupidity, but Murphy’s Law says that it is inevitable.

Murphy’s Law is a law stating that if something bad is possible, then it will be actualized. All of us have experienced bad days when we can’t really figure out what’s wrong with ourselves. We tend to end up doing all the wrong things and giving the wrong decisions.

There are days, for example, that a person goes out of his home for a walk without taking an umbrella. After a few days of scorching heat, he wouldn’t mind bringing an umbrella because raining is uneventful. However, the moment he steps out of the house and gets too far to go back, the droplets pour in; slowly at first, then the speed increases as the drops become bigger. This is referred by many as bad luck, but it’s actually a common explanation of Murphy’s Law.

Creation of the Law
Murphy’s Law states that if there are several ways of doing a certain thing and one of these ways would lead to a catastrophe, then one will eventually do it. The said Law originated in 1949 and was quoted from Captain Edward Murphy, a military engineer who was working on a project that attempted to test the capacity of human life amidst the G forces. The team of Captain Murphy was working on a mechanism that would measure the level of stress that would have been experienced by humans as they let a sled down a certain height. As they tested the contraptions, they didn’t work because the wires weren’t properly connected. Murphy made a comment about the technician who was responsible and this became the origin of the Law.

There are different versions of the Murphy’s Law; however, these versions are the same because they all pertain to the possibility of things to go wrong. The law can be easily mistaken to be a quote that is treasured by pessimists. Yes, it may seem that way, but it really is a very important Law that is not supposed to be put in a box together with pessimism. It is a Law that has given birth to one important principle, the principle of defensive design.

The Good in Murphy’s Law
Murphy’s Law provides a basis for anticipating the worst things that can happen given a certain situation. It makes us aware that we must do things right to get the right results. This is not necessarily the motto of a pessimist or a paranoid person; it’s a principle that is taken into consideration by people who would want to get the right things done.

It is actually applied in the design of different things such as electrical appliances, automobiles, personal computers, and others. It is used in the design of all the things that are all around us. The principle of defensive design prevents worst-case scenarios from being actualized. As a result, the level of these worst-case scenarios goes a notch lower. It builds the foundation for continuous improvements in our world.

Murphy’s Law may be a very negative-sounding proposition; however, it is a very important law that should always be remembered when engaging in any task or activity.

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