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Posers and Puzzles

Posers and Puzzles

  1. Donation belgianfreak
    stitching you up
    04 Oct '02 12:37
    I always had the impresion that any "Murpheys law" is self
    propogating. Take Mr. Murpheys 1st law, something about "if a
    system can be put together wrongly, it will" - but I bet he focused on
    the 1 bad connection, not the 1000 correct ones.
    What I'm trying to say (badly) is that once we start to fixate on
    something, expecting it to go wrong, then we'll notice every time it
    does go wrong and remember it, but won't notice when the opposite
    happens.
    eg. I have a thing against French drivers - if I see French number
    plate on a car I'll watch them to see what they do wrong. When they
    do something worng, I'll think "yes, another bad French driver". Now, if
    they had a different number plate I wouldn't have been watching them
    so wouldn't have seen the mistake that any driver of any nationality
    could have made (such as signalling off roundabouts, which NOONE
    does here).
    Hope that long drivel makes some sense - if not, I blame it on the
    nicotien withdrawel.
  2. Donation Acolyte
    Now With Added BA
    04 Oct '02 15:01
    Your prejudice against French drivers probably has some element of truth in it.

    On the other hand, Murphy's law is one of several beliefs that emerge as a result of the way
    we think. They emerge spontaneously, and are very difficult to shake off, even if you know
    them to be false. For example, my parents both have PhDs in scientific subjects, and my dad
    particularly is fairly anti-religion, and yet they talk about "commentator's curse" when
    watching sport, say continually that England are playing badly and are about to lose, no
    matter how well they are doing, and think that rain is caused by leaving washing out to dry!

    The same phenomenon explains why some people have relatively little fear of driving, but an
    immense fear of GM food, even when the former carries a significant risk of death or injury
    and is definitely unhealthy in terms of the exhaust fumes you're breathing in and the lack of
    exercise involved, while the latter might possibly be 'bad for you' in an ill-defined way,
    simply because it's 'unnatural', as if any kind of agriculture is 'natural'. Death is scary, but
    the unknown is even scarier.