Talk:Hanlon's razor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Psychology (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Psychology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Psychology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Anthroponymy (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Anthroponymy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the study of people's names on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

German General[edit]

The paragraph about German general is a clever anecdote which, among other things, speaks of stupidity, but it demonstrates no relation to the subject, i.e., Hanlon's razor. Therefore it must be deleted.

This was clearly stated in edit summary. Please don't revert other people contributions without stating the objections to the presented argument. "a bit high handed" -- I suspect it is not a valid argument, although I have no idea what you mean. Also, its idiomatic phrasing is unclear for non-native English speakers. Muslim lo Juheu (talk) 15:29, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

What I meant was that the anecdote had stood for some time and that it added to the average reader's understanding of the adage (perhaps only by way of comparison) and that to remove it without some discussion would diminish the value of the article. However, I won't die in a ditch if you remove the paragraph because its inclusion is inappropriate. Silent Billy (talk) 23:24, 9 May 2011 (UTC)


Malice is equally common as stupidity, and all too often appears in the same person at exactly the same time, therefore I propose a change to Hanlon's Razor:

"Don't attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

This would take the form of two utterances held dynamically in equiposition, Hanlon' Razor and its converse, "Don't attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by malice."

These two statements, intelligently applied to situations calling for them, when held in the mind together like Schrodinger's Cat in a box, are capable of effectively explaining, all by themselves, nearly every important human interaction.

Here they are again, together:

Don't attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Don't attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by malice.

See? See how so much becomes clear?


(This greatly applies to the Wiki talk world, incidentally, more than words can say. I think we all here can see that.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.186.123.63 (talk) 23:21, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Notability/ref tags added[edit]

This article seems to be nothing more than "cool Internet trivia" and not a topic that meets Wikipedia rules for articles. I see no coverage of this topic by sources that meet our rules on reliable sources, and inclusion in some jargon files is a far cry from demonstrating notability for a Wikipedia article. For a sentiment that is demonstrated (albeit through what appears to be original research) to be very old, it also seem wrong to give it the modern name. This article needs to be renamed and reliable sources on the topic found so it can be rewritten largely from scratch, or it needs to be deleted. DreamGuy (talk) 19:44, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Reference link broken[edit]

Reference 5: "Napoleon I on Incompetence - Quotation - MSN Encarta", is no longer valid. Encarta has been shutdown WebCite apparently does not have a mirror. Sakshale (talk) 21:52, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Name[edit]

Article is wrong. It is Heinlein's Razor. Needs to be fixed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.5.26.19 (talk) 06:50, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

The book referenced as a source ISBN 0-417-06450-0 is by Arthur Bloch (http://www.amazon.com/MURPHYS-LAW-OTHER-REASONS-THINGS/dp/0417064500/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370069892&sr=1-1&keywords=0417064500) not Hanlon. There is no adequate sourcing for Mr. Hanlon beyond a supposed email on a site. Contrast that with Heinlein's well-known, long published book. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.5.26.19 (talk) 07:00, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

There is no good evidence that Hanlon existed. How did this page past muster? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.5.26.19 (talk) 07:05, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

There is no proof Hanlon existed besides one anecdotal email from some guy for whom there is also no proof of real identity. This article name needs to be changed to Heinlein's Razor or deleted. 172.5.26.19 (talk) 18:25, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

I clarified things somewhat; the actual claim is that Hanlon made a submission that was published under his name in Bloch's book. Are you disputing that, and if so, based on what? Granted, neither Stafford-Fraser nor Raymond say they actually researched this to verify it, but they still reported it. Indeed, you should present a source that clearly attributes the razor to Heinlein rather than Hanlon. Deletion is unwarranted in any case, the topic is generally notable, whatever the origin. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 21:51, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
I have a copy of the book, it indeed lists it as Hanlon's Razor. A published book is a perfectly adequate source for a wikipedia page- not everything is online. The email adds details such as Hanlon's first name that I don't see in the book, but this doesn't change the fact that the name 'Hanlon's Razor' itself is well sourced. --Noren (talk) 16:13, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Attribution to Napoleon[edit]

I see from this page that a very similar saying ("Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.") is attributed to Napoleon. I see above that a Napoleonic connection was deleted when the source went offline? Is this a real earlier instance? If so, it should be possible to find a cite. Noel (talk) 18:18, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Alternate law also called Hanlon's Razor[edit]

I have seen the following as an alternate Hanlon's razor, "Do not invoke conspiracy as an explanation when ignorance and incompetence will suffice, as conspiracy implies intelligence."

Maybe it should be added to the page as an alternate? 12.229.13.226 (talk) 17:29, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Where have you seen it? Google just turns up some anonymous forum usage and a journalist using that exact quote but calling it Finagle's law. --McGeddon (talk) 17:41, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

links[edit]

In the main text, there is the phrase "Robert J. Hanlon of Scranton, Pennsylvania", in which "Scranton, Pennsylvania" is a link to another wiki site. But the focal point here, if any, is Robert J. Hanlon (no wiki page), not Scranton, Pennsylvania... I think that the link to Scranton, Pennsylvania should be removed since there is no obvious relevance for the link. Sure Scranton, Pennsylvania has a wiki page, but so do so many other things (the word "name" as an absurd example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name ), so it is not worthy to argue that it *can* be linked and therefore it *should* be linked. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.246.45.195 (talk) 00:17, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done "Anyone can edit", be WP:BOLD. Face-wink.svg Paradoctor (talk) 07:22, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Gray's Law?[edit]

So why is it called Gray's law if it paraphrases Arthur C. Clarke and/or Porter Clark? (The Clark's Law page was deleted: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Clark's Law and apparently not merged in here). Now there's no way to tell if this was done maliciously! --Theodore Kloba (talk) 20:48, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Reverted citation[edit]

FTR, if someone wants to research this then there's a discussion with many links here that goes quite far back in time about the origins of this, and it doesn't even mention "Gray's law".

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!search/Vernon$20Shryver$20incompetence$20malice/rec.arts.sf.fandom/1JaqxckrAOc/xO5jzyejK1UJ

--Attila.lendvai (talk) 06:07, 16 May 2014 (UTC)