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Ringdev's Razor

RingDev (879105) writes | more than 7 years ago

User Journal 3

Ringdev's Razor: "When there are two possible explanations for a given situation, one that requires a large amount of knowledge, skill, and luck, and another that requires gross incompetence; go with the incompetence explanation."

Ringdev's Razor: "When there are two possible explanations for a given situation, one that requires a large amount of knowledge, skill, and luck, and another that requires gross incompetence; go with the incompetence explanation."

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3 comments

You've been beaten to it! (1)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 7 years ago | (#16306845)

Linky [wikiquote.org]

Re:You've been beaten to it! (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#16322629)

I am familiar with the quote, its nice to see the originator get credit for it. In this case though, the meaning is slightly different.

In this case we are not looking to explain malice, but to explain unexpected positive results. Penicillin for instance. I'm not sure if there is truth to it or not, but I had heard that it was first discovered in mold growing on cheese. Now, there are two explanations of how that could come to pass. Either someone intentionally cultured mold from cheese based off of some insight into the properties of this mold and came to this conclusion (ie: skill, knowledge, experience), or someone was eating cheese and contaminated the sample (ie: incompetence).

The vast majority of time incompetence seems to be the correct answer.

-Rick

Re:You've been beaten to it! (1)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 7 years ago | (#16324101)

Heh. Reminds me of this famous quote [kroah.com] by Linus Torvalds! Speech. [kroah.com]

Well, now we appear to have Rick's razor as a generalisation of Hanlon's. Hurrah! Great explanation of why we need evolutionary mechanisms (ie. markets) over constructed ones, BTW. Happy accidents are designed out of the latter, and since most mutations are harmful, unhappy accidents will be likely inflicted society-wide.
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