The full set of laws is as follows:
1. Communication usually fails, except by accident.
— If communication can fail, it will
— If communication cannot fail, it still most usually fails
— If communication seems to succeed in the intended way, there’s a misunderstanding
— If you are content with your message, communication certainly fails
2. If a message can be interpreted in several ways, it will be interpreted in a manner that maximizes the damage.
3. There is always someone who knows better than you what you meant with your message.
4. The more we communicate, the worse communication succeeds.
— The more we communicate, the faster misunderstandings propagate
5. In mass communication, the important thing is not how things are but how they seem to be.
6. The importance of a news item is inversely proportional to the square of the distance.
7. The more important the situation is, the more probably you forget an essential thing that you remembered a moment ago.
While these laws are funny, they’re useful when designing computer based communications tools for humans.