Friday, 5 September 2014


A most useful tool

I have been reading Steven Pinker's new book, The Sense of Style, and very good it is too.

Why do I think that this book so good? Because, even though coming from a different background and having had a rather different history of experience from my own, he brings forth all sorts of things that I think too. I find that rather comforting...

Here's one little snatch that especially made me chortle.
In explaining any human shortcoming, the first tool I reach for is Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Know what he means?

In a footnote he attributes this insight to Robert J Hanlon, who contributed it to Arthur Block's Murphy's Law Book Two: More reasons why things go wrong, Los Angeles, Price, Stern, Sloan, 1980


Pinker, S. (2014) The Sense of Style, London, Allen Lane

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