Re: Re[2]: This is not The National Inquirer

Kennita Watson (
Mon, 28 Apr 1997 23:22:28 -0700

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
>Actually I find the political claim--the idea that some unnamed agency
>of government might be capable of supressing a spectacularly valuable
>invention, that it would be in their interest to do so, and that the
>effect on the economy would be anything but positive--even more ludicrous
>that the pseudo-scientific claims, and strong evidence that the author
>is not merely a harmless crackpot but trying to perpetrate a deliberate
>fraud upon his readers for some purpose I can only speculate. And while
>I might have some sympathy for innocent dupes, I have none for criminals.
Here we go name-calling again.

This calls to mind a corollary to Murphy's Laws that I read long ago,
called something like Wilkinson's Razor: "Never attribute to malice
what is adequately explained by stupidity." (substitute "ignorance" if
you like). My own personal law goes like this: "Whenever you think
'Nobody could be that stupid!', you're wrong.". I just thought of it;
if you quote it, please to refer to it as "Watson's Law". Perhaps I was
inspired by watching an episode of "The World's Dumbest Criminals". If
you find that somebody's claimed it already, let me know and I'll credit
them from now on.

That aside, I'm not saying that the original claimant was stupid, though
I think he's sorely mistaken, likely having missed some fallacy in the
argument presented to him -- I use my laws mainly to remind me that
there's no percentage in thinking that people do bad things on purpose.
As Worf once said on ST:TNG, "A siege mentality is ultimately self-
defeating." (my favorite quote of his, after perhaps "They roar -- and
hurl heavy objects." -- but I digress).

No sense beating on hundreds for believing in water-powered cars when
there are still billions who believe in God.

Nerds on their little nets agree... :-)


Kennita Watson | The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,| but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do
| members of the same family grow up under the same roof.
| -- Richard Bach, _Illusions_