• niki wonoto
    17
    I suddenly remember back again this particular quote from the movie Interstellar: Murphy's law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." Does this apply to life as well?

    The quote might sounds too negative, pessimistic, & depressing for most people today, with even the phrase "toxic positivity" have become popular & well-known now, because of how most people in this world always try to be as positive, optimistic, or happy as possible. It's not only religions and its god(s), but also spirituality, especially espoused by self-help, motivational gurus who have brainwashed people nowadays to practice things like positive energy, positive vibrations (or "positive vibes only"). Today we can see this 'positivity' basically almost everywhere & every time.

    People keep saying now that if you have a positive attitude/mindset, then positive or good things will come to your life. It's the same with prayers, or "if you believe, there will be a miracle", or "think positive", or "ask then you shall receive", and many others of those toxic positivity, or optimism bias.

    The problem is what about people who have actually tried all those things above, but still doesn't work? In other words, what about people who have actually tried to pray, believe, hope, & even try to be positive or optimistic, yet problems, hardships, pain & sufferings are still present everyday? And sometimes things could even got worse, in reality. This is where I'm starting to think that all those toxic positivity and optimism bias are just a bunch of BS or nonsense, which is unrealistic, and people just ignore or deny the cold, harsh reality of life.

    Which again reminds me back of Murphy's law. "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong". I wonder if this is also true and also apply to everyday life as well? From my own personal life's experiences, at least this quote seems to be much more realistic. It portrays the harsh reality of life, at least in my case. Some people in this world have 'bad lucks' so much, that they have a hard life, or a sad, depressing life. That's just the reality.

    What do you think? Hope to hear the responses and thoughtful discussions.

    (Sorry if my English is not good, as I'm from Indonesia, so English is not my first language)
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    I think Murphy's Law originated in the US military and was a rule of thumb for minimising the amount of complexity required in a military operation or strategy. Like, if you planned a battle, don't rely on everything going right, you have to allow for the fact that someone will make a really basic mistake or some piece of equipment will break. (It's related to KISS, 'keep it simple, stupid!') In that context, I think it's a sensible attitude, but it definitely is not a philosophy of life. For you to even be in a position to write that OP, a highly improbable number of things had to go right, which they apparently must have done - like, you have the technology to do it, and it works. It is not reproducing your ideas unintelligibly and you can post them OK (and don't worry about your English it is perfectly OK). As for the harsh reality of life, you are speaking about it in the abstract, and no doubt you can find many examples to point to, and even have had many of them happen. But regarding them as 'typical' or 'what always happens' is, I'm sure, a recipe for unhappiness. It doesn't mean being unrealistically cheerful, but at least try a 'glass half full' approach rather than expecting the worst of everything.
  • BC
    11.5k
    Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

    "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." Does this apply to life as well?niki wonoto

    The idea that "if something can go wrong, it will" reflects the fact that the universe was not organized for our convenience or happiness. We exist, but we have no evidence that the universe actually intended us to happen. It's possible that the universe resents us, and wishes to be rid of us.

    We, smart apes that we are, can attempt to arrange our world to our liking, but we don't have the last word. Physics, chemistry, and biology (let alone human behavior) are complicated, and long term results can not be predicted accurately. Never the less, we proceed merrily along our way, thinking everything is just fine, until we come to a bridge and it collapses. We end up dead or near to it. Why?

    Well, there were undetected flaws in the construction 40 years ago that were leading to collapse. Finally it happened. It wasn't personal -- the bridge wasn't out to get us. Our being on the bridge just then was a matter of chance.

    Now, there is another axiom: Inanimate objects are out to get us." I believe this. Everyone has unpleasant experiences with physical objects that result in injury. Even very careful well protected people are injured by inanimate objects. You go to a soccer game. You are cheering your team. All the happy, excited jumping up and down causes a brick to take that opportunity to fall off the stadium and land on your head. Inanimate object 1, human 0.

    I hope this helps explain certain aspects of reality.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Inanimate object 1, human 0.BC

    :lol:

    It could be the other way round. Look at what we're doing - crushing, melting, banging, breaking, twisting, and the list goes on ... inanimate object 0, human 1. I guess there should be a Murphy's Law for inanimate objects too! Have you heard of The Pauli Effect? Apocryphal accounts circulated among laboratories that Pauli's mere presence could make machines stop working. Scientists even went so far as to cancel experiments when Pauli came a-visiting.
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.4k
    Does this apply to life as well?niki wonoto
    I believe that Murphy's law applies to everything.
    I also believe that it is wrongly considered pessimistic. It simply says that if something can go wrong, it will sooner or later. Which is consistent with the laws of probability. So, when this something doe go wrong Murphy's law is confirmed and you say "See, this is Murphy's law!". But this is silly. It's distorted logic.

    I personally use it sometimes just for joking, e.g. when something goes wrong although the chances of this happening are small.

    (You can always read Murphy's law history in Wiki, of course.)
  • unenlightened
    7.2k
    Because Murphy's law, therefore fail-safe design.

    Thus airbrakes are designed so that the pressurised air is required to keep the brakes off, rather than put the brakes on. If When the brake lines fail, the lorry stops.
  • javi2541997
    2.7k
    I personally use it sometimes just for joking, e.g. when something goes wrong although the chances of this happening are small.Alkis Piskas

    I tend to use it as jokes too. I don’t see it pessimistic either. It is Interesting that, myself, use this theory to explain random situations or scenarios that I don’t understand. For example: the sky is cloudy but I say to myself: nah, zero chances of raining and I leave home without an umbrella. Then, starts raining. I laugh and start thinking about Murphy’s law.
  • BC
    11.5k
    Systems that apply brakes to passenger cars when they get too close to substantial objects (like the car immediately in front of them) are another example. Elevators that don't move until the doors are completely closed helps keep us from getting ripped apart by being half in and half out of the car when it moves. People hate it when that happens.
  • BC
    11.5k
    You've identified another aspect of reality. it isn't Murphy's Law that causes it to rain -- it's Sjogrin's Law. Forgetting your umbrella, or even just leaving the house, actually causes it to rain on you. Your lack of an umbrella, or me mounting the bike, causes perturbations in the atmosphere which results in immediate rain. This summer, it started to rain every single time I got on my bike to go to the grocery store.
  • javi2541997
    2.7k
    Thanks BC! Appreciate how you make clear the distinction between the two laws. It is an interesting topic, but I must admit that I am not confident enough to speak about. Anyway, it is always worthy to debate here about such philosophical topics even if some of us are not so acknowledged in them!
    Always grateful when someone helps me here to understand whatever. :up:
  • BC
    11.5k
    You'd be well advised to take my explanation of Murphy's and Sjogrin's Laws with quite a bit of salt. Sjogrin's Law was made up on the spot, but it ought to exist.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Problem: Murphy's Law

    Solutions:

    1. Ranging by which I mean unlike the universe which would be impossible if any of the physical constants were off the mark by a billionth, we should build systems that can function within a certain range of relevant values. The human body is known for homeostasis (self-balancing) and it tolerates deviations from the ideal mean.

    2. Built-in alternative pathways: Our cells can generate ATP (energy currency) for short periods of time in anerobic (low/no oxygen) conditions, buying us time to correct the oxygen deficit.

    3. Redundancies: Two kidneys, ya know what I mean.

    4. Left to the reader as an exercise.

    In short, Eros (life) is fully aware of the fact that les choses sont contre nous (things are against us), Murphy's law in French, and has taken appropriate measures which, from the looks of it, seem to doing a pretty good job of keepin' us alive.

    Design?
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.4k

    :smile:
    This makes me think of another misconception and/or bad interpretation of ML: its relativity.
    About the rain and the umbrella ... One feels unlucky or stupid because he (for brevity) didn't bring with him an umbrella leaving his home and then it rained. But if the guy were a farmer who grows foodstuff would feel lucky about the rain that he expected to come for some time, if it rained and he had no umbrella with him!

    In short. some things are considered bad under certain circumstances and good under other circumstances.
    Also, a lot of things that are considerd bad for some people are considered good for others. Which brings up another characteristic of ML: its subjectivity!

    That's why, the only correct interpretation of Murphy's law is the probabilistic one, which is universal and objective.

    Well, I never had a need to or thought of analyzing such a naive law as Murphy's to such an extent. These things happen only in here! :grin:

    And it's your fault! ... Bringing up this umbrella example! :grin:
  • javi2541997
    2.7k
    I am agree with your argument :up:

    There is a saying in Spanish who says: nunca llueve a gusto de todos. This means that the interpretation of situations and circumstances are relative and subjective to each individual.
    I felt like a stupid for forgetting the umbrella, but it is true that a farmer would be happy with the rains because it helps to his crops.

    That's why, the only correct interpretation of Murphy's law is the probabilistic one, which is universal and objective.Alkis Piskas

    Is this why they use the example of the toast right?
    If you're eating toast, and you accidentally bump it to the floor, it seems more likely to land buttered side down. This is one of the most common formulations of Murphy's Law--the tongue-in-cheek axiom that states "If something can go wrong, it probably will." If you [we] examine the toast problem rationally, surely you'd expect a fifty-fifty outcome, much like flipping a coin.
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.4k
    nunca llueve a gusto de todosjavi2541997
    It never rains as everyome likes, right? (I can also Google it of course.)

    If you're eating toast, and you accidentally bump it to the floor, it seems more likely to land buttered side down.javi2541997
    Ha,ha,ha! It always lies with the butter down! Hate this! :grin:
    But there's a simple explanation for this: The surface of the toast that is spread with stuff is heavier!

    "If something can go wrong, it probably will."javi2541997
    It's a more certain than "probably": it will eventually happen at some point.

    Generally, we tend to be more pessimistic than optimistic. Of course, since there are more tragedies, misappenings, etc. in life than the opposite. In fact, I realized here that there is no actual opposite of "tragedy" and "drama"; It's not "comedy" (as it appears in literature), neither "humor" or "happiness" or fortune ... Also, bad health is much more common than well-being. And so on and so on. I believe this is why ML is so "popular" and viewed in a pessimistic sense.
  • javi2541997
    2.7k
    It never rains as everyome likes, right?Alkis Piskas

    Exactly :up:

    But there's a simple explanation for this: The surface of the toast that is spread with stuff is heavier!Alkis Piskas

    Ha! I didn't realise that point. Now, it is clearer to me. I understand how is about, this goes more interesting every post.

    It's a more certain than "probably": it will eventually happen at some point.Alkis Piskas

    So, there are 100 % of chances to actually happen X situation in Y moment. Then, we could assume there is not margin of error applying Murphy's law.
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.4k
    So, there are 100 % of chances to actually happen X situation in Y moment. Then, we could assume there is not margin of error applying Murphy's law.javi2541997
    Margin of error has to do with statistics. And statistics have to do with the use of mathematical theories of probability. So, theoretically, if have a 1/1000000 chance to win a lottery and buy a lottery ticket 1000000 times --assuming that this is possible-- it is almost certain that I eventually win. This "almost" means that there's always a chance that I won't. There is a margin of error, as you said. But I wouldn't go that far ...
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    if have a 1/1000000 chance to win a lottery and buy a lottery ticket 1000000 times --assuming that this is possible-- it is almost certain that I eventually win.Alkis Piskas

    That's why the prize money < the total cost of all the tickets.
  • Hanover
    9.5k
    Thus airbrakes are designed so that the pressurised air is required to keep the brakes off, rather than put the brakes on. If When the brake lines fail, the lorry stops.unenlightened

    I just watched a number of videos to better understand pneumatic brake systems, and if I have this right, the air pressure exerts pressure on the drums which causes the braking, so it's not the release of air that causes the friction.

    I did see that the parking brake is spring activated and the air pressure counters the spring pressure, resulting in the wheels coming unlocked. Without adequate air pressure, you would never move the vehicle because the parking brake would be engaged. What this means is that in air failure, the springs will lock back down and engage the parking brake as a fail safe if there's compression failure.

    But as i understood it, the parking brake and driving brake were separate units, so it's not the pressing of the brake pedal that reduces the air pressure counteracting the spring and causing the spring to exert friction to slow the vehicle.

    I just got interested because I've done a lot of hydraulic brake repairs, and it was interesting to me if pneumatic brakes worked off negative air pressure countered by a spring. That would force a heavy load on the spring with a lot of wear I'd think along with heat problems, so it makes more sense to me that the parking brake engagement upon compressor failure would be an emergency and rare failsafe, but not part of normal function.

    But yeah, the emergency protections on air brake systems make them almost bulletproof from what I saw. If the truck compressor fails or a line bursts, the truck is coming to a screaming stop it looks like.
  • Torbill
    4
    “If anything can go wrong it will” is embedded in engineering culture and seems to have originated with an engineer named Murphy (Wiki).

    “Depressing”? No. Cautionary. Ignore Murphy at great peril. Fail to take into account all possible failure modes and/or exogenous situations and the bridge collapses, the airplane falls from the sky.

    What seasoned engineers know: “Murphy was an optimist”. So many things can go wrong with a complex design that has to work in all possible real world conditions that Murphy’s Law sometimes can seem to understate the situation.

    Never thought of Murphy as a topic of philosophy.
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.4k
    That's why the prize money < the total cost of all the tickets.Agent Smith
    Right. The lottery operetor must be sustained in a way so that they can offer you the thrill of hope.
    (And take it back on the lottery draw day.)
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Right. The lottery operetor must be sustained in a way so that they can offer you the thrill of hope.
    (And take it back on the lottery draw day.)
    Alkis Piskas

    You're forced to take a risk, but a simple way of ensuring a greater than 50% chance of winning is to buy up > 50% of the tickets. I'm sure the lottery operators have a disincentive for that too: the jackpot < the total cost of half the tickets which means the profit in lotteries is 100%.
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.4k

    Well, there are various ways of interpreting probabilities. Yet, there's only one probability theory. And its laws are merciless! :smile:
  • Benj96
    1.5k
    I suddenly remember back again this particular quote from the movie Interstellar: Murphy's law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." Does this apply to life as well?niki wonoto

    What about "anything that can go right will go right." What exactly is the difference in the two possibilities?

    For Murphys law to actually be correct, reality would have to be inherently biased towards failure, chaos and destruction.

    But thats not strictly the case. Many systems, especially living ones, appear to be highly organised and coordinated and self regulated. Plenty of " things that could go right and did go right".

    So Murphys law applies most to people with intense perfectionism, OCD about control and order or a job that requires creating complex systems that work. If you ask an engineer they will for sure understand Murphy law.

    However if you as a mathematician or someone dealing in probabilities, a physicist or accountant maybe, Murphys law woukd likely be more of a fallacy for them.

    It's a matter of opinion on a world where we apply good or bad to virtually every outcome we observe.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Well, there are various ways of interpreting probabilities. Yet, there's only one probability theory. And its laws are mercilessAlkis Piskas

    The laws of chance are merciless, true mon ami! When it rains, it pours, oui?
  • Alkis Piskas
    1.4k

    Yes, it always pours! At least in my place. Can't have a break. Just a small rain, Mr Murphy!
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Yes, it always pours! At least in my place. Can't have a break. Just a small rain, Mr Murphy!Alkis Piskas

    Rain has always been viewed as bad luck - picnic cancelled, game cancelled, concert cancelled. It's the classic case of Murphy's law in action - rain on someone's parade. :smile:
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    Presumably the Original Poster thinks his thread has gone wrong.....
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Presumably the Original Poster thinks his thread has gone wrong.....Wayfarer

    :lol: He was well-prepared ... fled at the first sign of trouble.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.