The problem with “never blame on malice what can be blamed on stupidity” is that if everyone followed that, all anyone has to do to get away with something malicious is to make it appear to be out of stupidity.

I think that, as a meme, “Never blame on malice what can be blamed on stupidity”, it is destructive to truth and gives people a false illusion of thinking they can use it to magically decipher the truth out of a situation. People always prefer heuristics to details, so this convenient heuristic allows people to ignore the details.

For example, if a study by a pharmaceutical company says a drug doesn’t hurt somebody — how many of us read the data? I don’t. I use heuristics and look at bias — the study was BY the pharmaceutical company, so of COURSE they’re going to say that it’s not harmful. And while heuristics may be right in some of these situations (Vioxx, Anti-Depressants, etc), me thinking this way doesn’t magically make what I think true. I can certainly be wrong. The devil’s in the details. If I don’t actually read the actual study, I could end up coming to the wrong conclusion.

Herustics are absolutely necessary for us to understand the world, but we must be careful not to let them dominate our search for the truth.

There are no tautologies for truth in motives in situations… all combinations can and do happen.

Situations that appear to be stupidity but are actually stupidity;
Situations that appear to be stupidity but are actually maliciousness;
Situations that appear to be stupidity but are actually maliciousness AND stupidity;
Situations that appear to be stupidity but are actually neither;
Situations that appear to be maliciousness but are actually stupidity;
Situations that appear to be maliciousness but are actually maliciousness;
Situations that appear to be maliciousness but are actually maliciousness AND stupidity;
Situations that appear to be maliciousness but are actually neither;
Situations that appear to be both but are actually both;
Situations that appear to be both but are actually neither;
Situations that appear to be both but are actually stupidity;
Situations that appear to be both but are actually maliciousness;
Situations that appear to be neither but are actually both;
Situations that appear to be neither but are actually neither;
Situations that appear to be neither but are actually stupidity;
Situations that appear to be neither but are actually maliciousness.

If you catch me using this phrase — please remind me of this blog post. It’s a mental shortcut that I’d rather not take. I think it’s dangerous becuase propagating the meme of this saying acutally makes people more likely to use a hueristic than to think for themselves.

Mood: ready to party
Music: Kreator – Storm Of The Beast