The U.S. Government’s Stupidest Mistake -Mental Model 023

Hanlon’s Razor*

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by carelessness or stupidity.

 

Hanlon’s Razor Example:

The failed Bay of Pigs Invasion was planned to be a combined effort between U.S. trained mercenaries in Cuba with U.S. air support flying in from Nicaragua. But the air support arrived 1 hour late. Government conspiracy? No. They were late because nobody accounted for the time difference between Cuba and Nicaragua.

 

Wisdom:

“Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.” — Napoleon Bonaparte, leader of the French revolution in the early 1800s & one of the greatest military Generals to ever live

 

Read more:

> Hanlon’s Razor on Wikipedia

> Hanlon’s Razor on Farnam Street Blog

 

* A razor is a fancy philosophical way of saying ‘rule of thumb’ or ‘principle’.