Murphy's Laws and Mathematics

    Here are some ways in which Murphy's law applies to mathematics:
  1. The harder you study, the farther behind you get.
  2. Every problem is harder than it looks and takes longer than you expected.
  3. When you solve a problem, it always helps to know the answer.
  4. Any expression can be made equal to any other expression if you juggle it enough.
  5. Knowing mathematics and teaching mathematics are not equivalent.
  6. Teaching ability is inversely proportional to the number of papers published.
  7. Proofs don't convince anybody of anything.
  8. An ounce of example is worth a pound of theory.
  9. What is "obvious" to everyone else won't be "obvious" to you.
  10. Notes you understood perfectly in class transform themselves into hieroglyphics at home.
  11. Textbooks are written for those who already know the subject.
  12. Any simple idea will be expressed in incomprehensible terms.
  13. The answers you need aren't in the back of the book.
  14. No matter how much you study for exams, it will never be enough.
  15. The problems you can work are never put on the exam.
  16. The problems you are certain won't be on the test will be.
  17. The answer to the problem you couldn't work on the exam will become obvious after you hand in your paper.


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