Sod's Law

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MB Enthusiast
Nov 24, 2003
S211 E320Cdi Avantgarde Estate & Toyota Land Cruiser
"Sod’s Law - that if something can go wrong, it will and most likely at the worst possible moment - has caused consternation down the ages.

But now a team of freelance academics has come up with a formula,:

The saviour of the hapless and the accident-prone - assuming they have access to a calculator - is:

((U+C+I) x (10-S))/20 x A x 1/(1-sin(F/10))


U=urgency, C=complexity ,I=importance , S=skill (S) and F=frequency.

A score of between one and nine is applied to each of these factors, with a 0.7 score for aggravation (A), and then the formula can be used to find a Sod’s Law rating of between zero and ten.

The higher the number, the more likely it is that someone will fall foul of Sod’s Law.

Dr Keelan Leyser, a London-based economist who also performs as a magician, the psychologist Dr David Lewis, formerly of Sussex University, and a consultant mathematician, Philip Obadya, also based in London, worked out the formula after studying the experiences of 1,000 Sod’s Law victims and also helpfully came up with a seven-step guide on how to perform the calculation.

For instance, wearing a new shirt when going on a first date only increases the chances of spilling a drink on it before meeting the person, and, despite having a drawer full of spare lightbulbs, none of them ever matches the bulb that has just blown.

Dr Lewis said: "The lesson from this is that, to cut the seemingly unbeatable Sod’s Law gremlins down to size, change one of the elements in the equation.

"If you haven’t the skill to do something important, leave it alone. If something is urgent or complex, find a simple way to do it. If something going wrong will aggravate you, make sure you know how to do it.

"For example, you spill a drink on yourself before a date because in making the important decision of what to wear, you forget all you know about getting a cup to your lips and spill tea down yourself. So concentrate harder on drinking."

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