Les "lois" énoncées ci-après sont non traduites pour préserver
toute la saveur de la formulation originale.
Everything goes wrong at once.
There is an exception to all laws.
Under the most carefully controlled conditions of pressure,
temperature, humidity and other variables, the system will perform as it
damn well pleases.
Social innovations tend to the level of minimum tolerable well-being.
If an experiment works you must be using the wrong equipment.
Nothing is ever a compete failure ; it can always serve as a bad
An experiment may be considered a success if no more than half you
data must be discarded to obtain correspondence with your theory.
The amount of work done varies inversely with the amount of time
spent at the office.
CLARKE'S THIRD LAW
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
CUTLER WEBSTER'S LAW
There are two sides in every argument, unless a person is personally
involved, in which case there is only one.
The probability of a given event occurring is inversely proportional
to its desirability.
There is always an answer to every human problem --neat, plausible,
Make three correct guesses consecutively and you will establish
yourself as an expert.
MURPHY'S LAWS :
If anything can go wrong, it will.
Nothing is as easy as it looks.
Everything takes longer than you think it will.
It won't work.
In every hierarchical organization the higher the level, the greater
Power tends to corrupt ; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Don't take life too seriously ; you won'tt get out of it alive.
It works better if you plug it in.
LAW OF THE PERVERSITY OF NATURE
You cannot determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.
Anything that begins well will end badly. (note : the converse of
Pudder's law is not true.)
A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the pants.
Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it makes it worse.
No matter what results are expected someone is always willing to
No matter what the results someone is always eager to misinterpret
No matter what occurs, someone believes it happened according to
his pet theory.
When all else fails, read the instructions.
In every hierarchy, each employee tends to rise to the level of his
Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
PARKINSON'S LAW, MODIFIED
The components you have will expand to fill the available space.
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do the job.
A theory is better than its explanation.
In a crisis that forces a choice to be made among alternatives,
people tend to choose the worst possible course.
If it happens, it must be possible.
The quality of the correlation is inversely proportional to the
density of control. (The fewer the data points, the smoother the curves.)
The more time you spend on reporting on what you are doing, the less
time you have to do anything. Stability is achieved when you spend all
your time reporting on the nothing you are doing.
LAW OF CONTINUITY
Experiments should be reproducible. They should all fail in the same
LAW OF THE TOO SOLID GOOF
In any collection of data, the figures that are obviously correct
beyond all need of checking, contain the errors.
No one you ask for help will see the error either.
Any nagging intruder, who stops by with unsought advice will spot it
All laws are basically false.
The obvious answer is always overlooked.
Adapted from the USC Engineer, (University of Southern
California), April 1978