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We need an America-specific corollary to Hanlon's razor: "Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by an attempt to avoid liability in a maximally litigious society."

So many of these disturbing developments, that people are quick to attribute to an intentional campaign to desensitize people to government surveillance, are really caused by people trying to CYA. That doesn't make them OK, not by a long shot, but if you misunderstand their causes you're not going to get anywhere in pushing back against them.




I agree 100% this is about CYA and not a true interest in preventing bad things. However it is a bad thing in itself, in addition to profanity they police illicit sex contact such as normal underage high school sex, attempts, or discussion. What a nightmare to have that sort of thing be monitored by some private quasi-police security agency (even worse a private company masquerading as a police agency that doesn't have to follow the bill of rights).

I want to throw out though that every fascist and totalitarian movement in the 20th century also had nothing but the best of intentions and was guided by truly moral people who genuinely had the best interests of the people in mind. So saying someone is a good person with well-intentions doesn't mean nothing, it's actually a huge red flag.

Also this is obviously a third party interception of private communications between two parties without consent. It's wiretapping. Wiretapping laws need to be extended to cover textual representations of conversational discourse.


In france some people are using as a defense the line : We prefer to be judged as stupid than criminals ...

So the Hanlon razor can be abused ...

https://www.nouvelobs.com/opinions/20071004.OBS7990/malhonne...


What do you mean, it "can be abused?"

Hanlon's Razor, paraphrased, dictates always to underestimate your enemy and be lethargic. Of course it can be abused.

How on Earth this crap came to be regarded as a piece of "wisdom" is beyond me.

The strategically sound approach is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to always assume the actual outcome was the intent, and respond accordingly.


>How on Earth this crap came to be regarded as a piece of "wisdom" is beyond me.

It's fairly true on small-scale interpersonal relations. Still true _sometimes_ on large scale, but that shouldn't make it excusable or remove accountability from the culprits.


> in the absence of evidence to the contrary, always assume the actual outcome was the intent

This is a great maxim and deserves to have a name. Maybe Nolnah's razor?


An even more strategic position would be to assume the outcome was the intent even in spite of evidence to the contrary (which could be faked). And to assume that the worst potential outcome, rather than the actual outcome, was the intent. Those changes are both more strategically sound, so long as we define most strategically sound as 'most resistant to attack'.

For most people, I would argue, the most strategically sound wisdom is that which is most likely to be correct. For this, Hanlon fits the bill. While absolute paranoia is safer, benefit of the doubt is morally better and more rewarding.

If you believe your enemy's actions can be adequately explained by stupidity, I wonder on what basis you've declared them your enemy in the first place.


we do not live in a super litigious society. You're just brainwashed.




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