= F =
Finagle's Law n.
The generalized or `folk' version of
Murphy's Law, fully named "Finagle's Law of Dynamic
Negatives" and usually rendered "Anything that can go wrong,
will". May have been first published by Francis P. Chisholm in
his 1963 essay "The Chisholm Effect", later reprinted in the
classic anthology "A Stress Analysis Of A Strapless Evening
Gown: And Other Essays For A Scientific Eye" (Robert Baker ed,
Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0-13-852608-7).
The label `Finagle's Law' was popularized by SF author
Larry Niven in several stories depicting a frontier culture of
asteroid miners; this `Belter' culture professed a religion
and/or running joke involving the worship of the dread god Finagle
and his mad prophet Murphy. Some technical and scientific cultures
(e.g., paleontologists) know it under the name `Sod's Law'; this
usage may be more common in Great Britain.
One variant favored among hackers is "The perversity of the
Universe tends towards a maximum"; Niven specifically referred to
this as O'Toole's Corollary of Finagle's Law. See also
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.