Better laugh at pessimism, especially when it says nonsense!

Arthur Bloch - Mandarin - 1979 - 96 pages

Murphy's Law

2022 September 22 | by Arduino Mancini Critical thinking - Resilience

Is it worth buying a worldwide best seller, which even today is influencing the way millions of people think?

Before answering, it is important to know more about the book.

In 1949, US Air Force aircraft engineer Captain Ed Murphy, observing the progress of some of his experiments, said:

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong!

A statement that he became world-famous for, which soon spread as Murphy’s Law.

In any case, Ed Murphy was not the first to disseminate aphorisms full of pessimism; as early as 1786, the Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote that The best-laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley, while in 1884 the novelist James Payn had already discovered that a slice of toast always falls on the buttered side.

Today, thanks to the speed with which negativity spreads, Murphy’s Law has established the principle that

any event that is likely to go in an adverse direction will end up taking it.

In short, this book is a genuine guide for anyone wishing to take a good chance at succumbing to impotence.

The set of Murphy’s Law was collected in this booklet by Arthur Bloch in 1977.

Now, I want to ask you a couple of questions:

  • What is the basis of Murphy’s Law?
  • Is it true that if something can go wrong, it will?

Before we go any further, watch this video; then we will make a reflection together.



What can we learn from this video?

Some very interesting things:

  • Murphy’s Law has much more to do with statistics than with luck;
  • Since nothing lasts forever, eventually the components of any object will inevitably break;
  • The longer activity or project lasts, the more likely it is that a mishap will occur;
  • Bad luck has no role in that your queue is slower than the others: you simply chose the queue with the most people in it;
  • Carrying an umbrella with you does not reduce the probability of rain: you are simply unlikely to be caught in the rain if you live in a region with low rainfall and only spend short distances outdoors;
  • It is not true that we always find lost things in the last place we have looked, simply because after finding something we stop looking for it;
  • As demonstrated by scientist Robert Matthews, for a slice of toast not to fall on the buttered verso, the table should be about 250 cm high: a bit high don’t you think?

The survival instinct makes us more likely to remember adverse events and to forget the positive ones.

So, what about Murphy’s Law? Do we trash it and then forget it forever?

Absolutely not, because this book is a genuine inventory of existential pessimism, which also offers the oldest and surest antidote against bad moods and pessimism:

a big, healthy laugh!

Happy reading and… fun!


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