"Murphy's Law" Lead

Dave Hause dwhause at JOBE.NET
Mon Nov 14 04:09:36 UTC 2005

    "The etiology of Murphy's Law lies in the human factors research of
Colonel John Paul Stapp at Edward's Air Force Base at mid-century.  Murphy
was one of his rocket sled technicians.  Murphy was the fountainhead from
whose fertile mind the wording of the infamous Law sprang."

    The rest of the article segues into a discussion of chaos theory which
Stine says he first ran across in 1953.  There are no references.  (He does
refer to a book by Lee Correy as if this were a different person.)  My
Astounding collection doesn't go as far back 1955.
Dave Hause, dwhause at jobe.net
Ft. Leonard Wood, MO
----- Original Message -----
From: "Fred Shapiro" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>

I wonder whether someone on this list can help me with a "Murphy's Law"
lead.  Barry Popik discovered "Reilly's Law," identical to Murphy's Law,
mentioned in a story by Lee Correy in Astounding Science-Fiction, Feb.
1955; this is the third oldest documented version of ML I am aware of.  I
have just learned that Correy, writing under the name G. Harry Stine,
published a 1994 essay entitled "Murphy's Law Revisited" in "The Alternate
View" Vol. 114 No. 10 of Analog Science Fiction / Science Fact.

Does anyone have ready access to the 1994 Analog Science Fiction / Science
Fact and can look there to see whether Correy gives any solid information
supporting the Edwards Air Force Base connection with ML?  It appears to
me now that Correy was not an unrelated science-fiction vector of ML, but
rather was probably familiar with John Paul Stapp and his work at Edwards.

Fred Shapiro

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