Friday, June 21, 2013

In Need of a BS Cutter?

In a recent debate I had with another writer*, he pulled out a variation of Hanlon's razor. He did it, typically as is the case, not to disprove my point, but to evade it and all evidence that supports it.

I now have a quick response to such lines as "Never attribute to malice what can be passed off as stupidity."

Discard your trite old Hanlon's Razor and buy Heinlein. It's sharper.
--- Copyright Pascal Fervor, 2013.

For the record, Heinlein's razor is Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. But do not overlook malice.

*Separately so as to not to detract from the new quip.
What is particularly humorous about this incident is that this author writes for an organization that you would recognize as the publisher of more conspiracy theories in the last 60-70 years than any other. Until Og asked me, I had forgotten that connection. Og knows what questions to ask.

1 comment:

  1. There are two perspectives, two ways to view the use of Hanlon's razor.

    The most common recitation has the appearance of sage advice. "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." Well, sage except for the Never part. Because "never say never" is also sage advice for anyone who knows it is not wise to presuppose the unexpected is impossible.

    The less common recitation of Hanlon's Razor is more revealing.
    "Never permit malice be attributed to possible schemers when it can be passed off as stupid, since schemers who are foiled often seek revenge."


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