James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Murphy's Law and the Constitution

This is my latest at the Partial Observer. Excerpt:
Murphy's Law is a statement on the capacity of humans to inflict disaster on themselves, willfully or not. I recall this illustration: if it is possible for an individual to drown in a 2-inch pool of water, somebody eventually will. The most unlikely of accidents will eventually happen, and fools will always find a way to mess up anything that's "foolproof."

Perhaps it is better to say that if anything can go wrong, sooner or later, it will. A machine might work fairly well for a long time, but it will not withstand persistent abuse, and may destruct or cause injury if used by people who don't follow instructions. And somebody will abuse it; somebody will fail to follow instructions.

Things go wrong because of human stupidity; things get worse when stupidity is mixed with pride, greed, envy, or some other "deadly sin." And that is how organizations "go wrong."

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