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Idaho State University

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Hanlon's Razor
  • A corollary of Finagle's Law, similar to Occam's Razor, that reads "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. " The derivation of the common title Hanlon's Razor is unknown; a similar epigram has been attributed to William James. Quoted here because it seems to be a particular favorite of hackers, often showing up in sig blocks, fortune cookie files and the login banners of BBS systems and commercial networks. This probably reflects the hacker's daily experience of environments created by well-intentioned but short-sighted people. Compare Sturgeon's Law.