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Jan 25, 2019 02:33:55

Murphy's Law is Nonsense

by @yaki | 334 words | 🐣 | 59💌

Yaki

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Total posts: 59💌
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Anything that can go wrong will happen.

Chances are you know already what Murphy's Law is. It's our most favorite excuse we use when things go awry. Ever lost your precious key just in time when you needed it the most? Then once you already forgot about it a few days later, suddenly the goddamn key appeared? Oh boy, Murphy's law is the culprit. But is it even really a law?

Back in the 19th century, an engineer named Edward Murphy was performing some test for testing the human tolerance for g-forces during rapid deceleration when it failed because Murphy's assistant did the wirings backwards. "Disgusted Murphy" then exclaimed, "If that guy has any way of making a mistake, he will."

However, Robert Murphy, son of Edward Murphy denied that statement and his father actually said along the lines of: "If there's more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then he will do it that way."

No matter how Murphy said it, the same message stems from both statements: Things can always possibly go from bad to worse.

True or False

However, according to Richard Dawkins and David Hand, Murphy's law is not real. In fact, it does not even have any mathematical or scientific calculation to prove it. It's only a matter of "confirmation bias" wherein people only look for evidence that validates their assumptions or formed ideas; and "selection bias" wherein people tend to only highlight the miserable things that happen to them.

Personally, I think Murphy's Law can also be compared with luck. There are people who really work hard to get promoted in their job, yet the employee who does the least action is the one who gets to climb up the ladder. There are those who love truly all the time but still get screwed up in the end, and there are those who studied hard for an exam but still failed the test. 

**to be continued**

  • 1

    @yaki I always associate "Anything that can go wrong will happen" with "Regression to the mean" phenomenon as it is the closest mathematical explanation for his statement in terms of probability.

    So, given any situation, any new environment, there are more chances for any action to turn out average than best(good luck) or worst(bad luck).

    Average: Below our high expectations. So, relatively we interpret average as the wrong action or a mistake.

    And I guess that's what Murphy meant if we have to give him the benefit of doubt.

    Aravindh Balasundaram avatar Aravindh Balasundaram | Jan 25, 2019 06:55:43
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