Laws of the Universe

Big fat announcement: James finally blogged! I urged him to blog at least once a week during our vacation, so now you can see his side of things and admire his humour just as much as I do. ♥️

Earlier this evening I was talking to Lilian about cleaning out my websites. I have decided that I need to consolidate. It is much nicer having just a few websites than having so many scattered everywhere. That said, I will most likely be moving my writing portfolio and A Letter To A Domain project here. I also mentioned to Lilian that I would get rid of any superfluous visitor content, to which she responded, “I bet as soon as you get rid of them, people will want it back!”

I realised this was partially true of my old free layouts, which I thought were horrid, so I took them down, replacing them with new ones. People asked me for the old ones because they liked them. Ah, oops.

This got us discussing Murphy’s Law:

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.

Of course, this is relatively similar to Sod’s Law and Finagle’s Law:

“Anything that can go wrong, will”.
“Anything that can go wrong, will—at the worst possible moment”.

Sod’s Law is more commonly related to fate – such as Beethoven being a deaf composer, or athlete Lou Gehrig developing the neurological disorder known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Finagle’s Law was made popular in science fiction, such as Star Trek, and can often be seen expressed as “Inanimate objects are out to get us”. Now that would be the worst of it, wouldn’t it?

Often, I find myself expecting the worst. Seb always told me to expect the worst, but hope for the best. In all situations I worry about, I find myself excessively expecting the absolute worst to happen, even if it is something ludicrous and, though possible, is very, very, very unlikely.

Being very curious about these laws, I looked into more of them, including Sturgeon’s Law, which will probably relate to everyone who thinks that knowledge is pointless.

“ninety percent of everything is crud” or “ninety percent of everything is crap”

My high school friend Karen used to say – the more you learn, the more you know; the more you know, the more you remember; the more you remember, the more you forget; the more you forget, the less you remember; the less you remember, the less you know; so why learn? I suppose Sturgeon’s Law summed that up nicely. And this too reminds me of a boy I used to know who thought that high school and the HSC (in my state) was the most important thing. It isn’t. Everyone who has graduated high school will probably agree with me that a lot of it was useless. Oh, thank you Sturgeon.

Now, this one is for the ones who are angsty about grammar and spelling. Ever felt like slitting a throat or killing a kitten every time someone misuses “you’re ugly” and writes “your ugly”1 instead? Or perhaps you’re like me, and feel compelled to correct every apostrophe catastrophe you see on someone’s forum post?

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 name is a deliberate misspelling of Murphy’s law.)
Skitt’s law – A corollary of Muphry’s law, variously expressed as, “Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself,” or, “The likelihood of an error in a post is directly proportional to the embarrassment it will cause the poster.” (Thus often referring to the internet.)

I find it rather ironic that people like to correct spelling and grammar and boast about it, when I see that they make their own spelling and grammar mistakes…

One that I probably have to be a little sad about, being a fan of Doctor Who and Back to the Future, is the following law. I mean, I never really wished I could change the past anyway, but sometimes rewinding just a bit into the past, just ten minutes, to buy myself a bit of time or to fix just one mistake that ends up rolling down the hill into a chain of unfortunate events later on (Sod’s Law, dude!)… is all I really wished for. 😚

Niven’s laws: “If the universe of discourse permits the possibility of time travel and of changing the past, then no time machine will be invented in that universe.”

I also find myself thinking too much at certain times. I have to tell myself to relax, take a break from whatever it is, and come back to it later… because by then it’ll be clearer. I used to question the silliest things, like why I have a reflex, or how I learn to read a word in a foreign language so easily. Not only is the answer painfully obvious, but sometimes it’s just not. There are, of course, things more mundane, like walking and brushing teeth and showering, which don’t need to be thought about. Don’t think. Just do:

Humphrey’s law – conscious attention to a task normally performed automatically can impair its performance.

And to end, a few other favourites, of which I think the first two would benefit to people dealing with a relationship breakup:

Stein’s law – If something cannot go on forever, it will stop. If a trend cannot go on forever, there is no need for action to make it stop, much less to make it stop immediately; it will stop of its own accord.
Sayre’s law – “In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the stakes at issue.”
Herblock’s law – “If it’s good, they’ll stop making it.”
Hutber’s law – “Improvement means deterioration.”

So, got any favourite laws? Found some in this post that you could live by? Found some you already swear by but could never find a name for?

  1. My ugly what?

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