Philosophical Razors & Why You Should Always Take a Flashlight on Nighttime Walks in Arizona

No items found.

Click the image above for the full gallery.

I'm a big fan of philosophical razors. Recently, Tae stumbled across a new one to add to my Big Bad Toolbox of Very Sharp Things™. You may already be familiar with Hanlon's razor, which states, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." It is said to be named after Robert J. Hanlon, who submitted the statement to Murphy's Law Book Two (1980).

Interestingly, a similar quotation appears in Robert A. Heinlein's novella Logic of Empire (1941), when the character "Doc" describes the "devil theory" fallacy, explaining, "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity." Looks like Heinlein beat Hanlon by nearly four decades.

Anyway, the razor Tae came across is apparently called "Fred Clark's Law." It draws inspiration from Arthur C. Clarke's laws (known as Clarke's Laws): "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Fred Clark's Law modifies Clark's Third Law: "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice."

I like it.

Hanlon's razor and Fred Clark's Law pair well together.

While doing some digging into who the hell Fred Clark was, I also found another philosophical razor created by RichardStinks that says, "Unrepentant ignorance is absolutely malicious."

Now I'm starting to build a meal of razors, as they all complement each other well.

In other news, I'm not sure if I've made it abundantly clear yet or not that Arizona is a pretty dangerous place compared to some other places I've lived. Take this, for instance:

A huge ass spider in the dark.
Huge spiders roam the pavement at night.

You can't see the banana-for-scale because the spider is just that big. This is one of the reasons why it's a good idea to always carry a flashlight on nighttime walks in Arizona.

If you get too close to one of these giant spiders, you'll draw aggro and suddenly find yourself in a real-life MMORPG starting zone, only you're level 0 and have no weapons. (Cue battle music.) This isn't even the biggest, baddest mob you can draw in the AZ starting zone, either. There are also rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and packs of feral coyotes. Don't even get me started on the cutthroat bandits, dry bones undead, or seriously overpowered elite earth elementals.

What's New?

  • I'm on a roll with novel revisions and have completed several more chapters. I can see the light at the end of the revision tunnel now. I'm very close.
  • Next Week: A Gothic-style castle in Ireland with a few incorporeal residents.