Abridged Collection of Interdisciplinary Laws

Collection of modern proverbs. The collection started in 1974, when Conrad Schneiker first typed in Murphy’s Laws to explore the workings of a new computer at the University of Arizona Computing Center.

He added a couple of pages of other laws encountered in the course of his compulsive use of the campus libraries and campus bookstores. When he posted the list on his door, people started adding their own favorites and the list grew quickly.


Andrews’s Canoeing Postulate:
No matter which direction you start it’s always against the wind coming back.

Law of Annoyance:
When working on a project, if you put away a tool that you’re certain you’re finished with, you will need it instantly.

Anthony’s Law of Force:
Don’t force it, get a larger hammer.

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  • Law of Raspberry Jam:
    The wider any culture is spread, the thinner it gets.

  • Finagle’s First Law:
    If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

  • Peter’s Paradox:
    Employees in a hierarchy do not really object to incompetence in their colleagues.

  • Katz’s Law:
    Men and women will act rationally when all other possibilities have been exhausted.

  • Darrow’s Observation:
    History repeats itself. That’s one of the things wrong with history.

  • Stock Market Axiom:
    The public is always wrong.

  • Peers’s Law:
    The solution to a problem changes the problem.

  • Cole’s Axiom:
    The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

  • Peter Principle:
    In every hierarchy, whether it be government or business, each employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence; every post tends to be filled by an employee incompetent to execute its duties.

    1) Incompetence knows no barriers of time or place.
    2) Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.
    3) If at first you don’t succeed, try something else.

  • Mrs. Parkinson’s Law:
    Heat produced by pressure expands to fill the mind available, from which it can pass only to a cooler mind.

    Dolly Parton’s Principle:
    The bigger they are, the harder it is to see your shoes.

  • First Law of Debate:
    Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.

  • Cole’s Axiom:
    The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

  • Clyde’s Law:
    If you have something to do, and you put it off long enough, chances are someone else will do it for you.