Murphy’s Law (“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong and at the worst possible time.”) is a well-known adage, especially in engineering circles. However, its implications are often misunderstood, especially by the general public. It’s not just about the universe conspiring against our systems; it’s about recognizing and preparing for potential failures.

Many view Murphy’s Law as a blend of magic and reality. As Site Reliability Engineers (SREs), we often ponder its true nature. Is it merely a psychological bias where we emphasize failures and overlook our unnoticed successes? Psychology has identified several related biases, including Confirmation and Selection biases. The human brain tends to focus more on improbable failures than successes. Moreover, our grasp of probabilities is often flawed – the Law of Truly Large Numbers suggests that coincidences are, ironically, quite common.

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