Tuesday 8 November 2011

Sod's Law And Some Of His Friends

Dilbert's Principle - Scott Adams

You know when you say something and then you have to kick yourself (hard) because, by saying it out loud, fate will hear and then come crashing down and rain on your parade (if fate could rain) the day after you left your umbrella on the bus. That. Aka Sod's Law, not to be confused with Murphy's Law where if something can go wrong it will.

Most of these instances inevitably involve children. This sort of thing: 

  • While they are quiet I'll just... *tea gets cold. again*
  • Don't run around in your socks. You'll...  *wheeee..THUD*
  • Be careful. Don't drop it. *CRAAAAASH*
  • Oh he'll eat anything. *except what you are giving us for lunch*
  • So you are absolutely sure you don't need a wee. *Does the wee jiggle after queuing in post office for 30 minutes*

Then there are the ones that cannot be blamed on the ankle biters much as we would like to blame them.

  • I know the fuel light is on but we're only going a couple of miles. *Repeat for every subsequent car journey until fuel runs out in Waitrose car park*
  • We don't need these receipts do we? *shred receipt for new shredder as it self combusts*
  • There's no need to set the alarm. The Wee One always wakes us up. *except this morning*
  • I won't buy it now. They have loads of them. *Sells out in 30 minutes*
  • I'll buy it now. *50% off the next day*

Just for a laugh and because I didn't know, I googled Sod's Law to see if I could find out who Sod was. I didn't but I am easily distracted. Instead I found a fascinating list of eponymous laws on wikipedia.

I have a few highlights (because many of them are dull as a very dull thing that lives on a dull street on a very dull day). Having said that, if you even have the remotest interest in anything scientific, the list could keep your scientific juices flowing for days.

  • Amara's law – "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run."
  • Dilbert principle – Coined by Scott Adams as a variation of the Peter Principle of employee advancement. Named after Adams' Dilbert comic strip, it proposes that "the most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage: management."
  • Dunbar's number – A theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. No precise value has been proposed for Dunbar's number, but a commonly cited approximation is 150. First proposed by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar.
  • Littlewood's law – States that individuals can expect miracles to happen to them, at the rate of about one per month. Coined by Professor J E Littlewood, (1885–1977).
  • Muphry's law – "If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written." The editorial equivalent of Murphy's law, according to John Bangsund.
  • Parkinson's law – "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." Coined by C. Northcote Parkinson (1909–1993), who also coined its corollary, "Expenditure rises to meet income." In computers: Programs expand to fill all available memory.
  • Rothbard's law – Everyone specializes in his own area of weakness.
  • Sturgeon's law – "Ninety percent of everything is crud." Derived from a quote by science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon (1918–1985).
  • Wirth's law – Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster.
This got me thinking...

If a law was to be named after you, what would that law be? Tricky I know but to get you started here is mine (it could equally apply to any parent).

Mrs Five's Law - "The quieter the child in the next room, the larger the repair bill."



  1. Oh I did the alarm clock one this week. They never do what you expect do they?

  2. The Generator Law - The less power you have, the less likely it is your generator will work.

  3. I loved this post. If you get chance come link up for my Tuesday Tea and Sympathy linky



Oooh, I do like a good comment :-)