Math and Murphy’s Law
A panel of experts commissioned by British Gas has got the goods on Murphy’s Law; they’ve worked out the statistical rule for predicting the law of "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" as: ((U+C+I) x (10-S))/20 x A x 1/(1-sin(F/10)).
Five factors were singled out as building blocks for unnatural disasters: urgency (U), complexity (C), importance (I), skill (S) and frequency (F), and each given a score between one and nine.
Theoretically, if you reduce the impact of one factor, it might not all go to hell in a handbasket after all. Statistically speaking.
In practice, it might go a little like this: if you don’t know how to use a chainsaw (S), while on roller-skates and blindfolded (C), but it’s crucial that you cut down a tree in the next 10 minutes before it comes crashing down on your house (U) – even if it seems like a good idea at the time, just don’t do it. The odds, as it were, are not stacked in your favor.
A sixth factor, aggravation (A), was set at 0.7 by the experts – a mathematician, psychologist, and an economist. Why? To address that inevitable corollary to Murphy’s Law: “Things don't just go wrong, they do so at the most annoying moment.”
Ain’t it the truth.
Source: “The Courier-Mail”
Find more real-life odd news, in the OCT/NOV issue of "Arte Six".