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Postings from February 2018
From: Karl Williamson
February 13, 2018 05:05
Message ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
On 02/12/2018 02:28 PM, Andreas Koenig wrote:
> Thank you Steffen, Thank you very much. I'll probably answer this in
> more depth but not too quickly, as you suggest I'll take a step back.
> For now I just want to say thank you.
I'm fond of this quote:
"Sometimes I get the feeling the whole world is against me, but deep
down I know that's not true. Some of the smaller countries are neutral."
by Robert Orben
It reminds me of how I thought before my delayed onset emotional
maturity happened. When that happened, I realized a vital truth that I
had not considered before: that most people really don't have very much
interest in me, and certainly not enough to care to be against me. And
that's how it should be.
I worked for probably the most prestigious R&D organization in the world
at the time, and I saw how many many mistakes were made, and they tended
to be made through poor communication, and people having various blind
spots, or different viewpoints and priorities etc. They weren't
generally deliberate; and still we muddled through. Most people just
muddle through in the world.
What I realized was that most everything negative that happened wasn't
malicious, but due to some sort of incompetence. I stopped taking
Years later I found some similar principal had been written down, by a
Victorian British diplomat or somebody like that. But this weekend when
I went searching for it, I couldn't find it. Instead I found Hanlon's
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by
And I was pleased that the name may be a corruption of one of my
favorite childhood authors: Robert Heinlein.
It gives in the article an earlier quote from Goethe, which is actually
more accurate in my view:
".. misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world
than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much
Misunderstandings and neglect. Everybody has their lives and their
priorities, and what looks to me like neglect may simply be someone
busily getting on with their life. Their priority is breathing, and
eating, and sleeping, and earning enough money to enable them to
continue to do these things, and lots of other things that are required
to maintain their existence, and to make it worthwhile.
I think the moderators should have replied earlier to Andreas, with a
work-in-progress message. Something like, "You bring up some good
points, and it may take a while for us to all find the time to
adequately discuss it." But they didn't. I know some of them
personally, and I don't think they did so with malice.
The original forwarded letter is full of flagrant disregard for Hanlon's
razor. If Marc could learn to apply that principal before he hits Send,
what he would write would have a much better reception here.
And the world in fact doesn't operate as he appears to see it.
Misunderstandings and neglect, misunderstandings and neglect, that's the
way the world really operates.