A Conversation for Murphy's Law

Practical use of Murphy's law

Post 1


Disappointed not to see discussion of the practical application of Murphy; Remember "If there is a wrong way to do something, then someone will do it"? It is a good engineering principle to include in your design provision to STOP PEOPLE DOING IT WRONG. Therefore, if a widget has to be fitted into a machine, and it has to be fitted a certain way round in order to work, design it that it can only be fitted when put in the right way round!

Practical use of Murphy's law

Post 2


In other words, stop accidents being possible? It'd be hard. Someone may try to fit the widget in the wrong way and break it, or something similar.

Practical use of Murphy's law

Post 3


Well, no it isn't. But the principle remains: try to envisage how someone might muck it up and re-design so they can't. It'll avoid at least some disasters.

A real-life application: Computer programmers often sit someone down with the express intention of trying to break a new programme - before the customer gets the chance.

Practical use of Murphy's law

Post 4


Ah yes, the process of making things 'idiot proof'.
Perhaps the law needs a corollary stating that people are stupid?

Practical use of Murphy's law

Post 5


Design and ergonomics is an age-old battle between designers/engineers/programmers etc creating more and more idiot-proof systems and nature creating bigger and better idiots.

So far, nature is winning.

Murphy's Law doesn't work!

Post 6


Arthur Bloch, The famous Murphologist noted that by its very nature it is not applicable in a practical sense. In fact if you try to use it based on observation of how it works, it won't. Someone else said "if Murphy's Law can go wrong, it will."

Practical use of Murphy's law

Post 7


Nothing is foolproof, because fools are too ingenious...

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