11 September 2006

Never ascribe to malice

As it became customary in the days around 9/11, various conspiracy theories are being pulled from the musty drawers, closets and other corners to be dusted, aired and embroidered.

Time is a great healer of wounds, they say. Time is also of great assistance to conspiracy theorists, allowing new juicy details to be added unchallenged.

One of the sites flourishing in the sweaty underarm atmosphere of conspiracies, Above Top Secret, conducted a poll amongst its members and followers. 1650 responses produced a picture of almost uniform belief in US government complicity in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It does not seem that the latest video released by Al Jazeera made a dent in the wall-to-wall consensus of that crowd. Rather the opposite: a new blame, that of falsifying a new video, is added to the long list of the accusations thrown in the direction of the usual Bush/Cheney/CIA/Mossad/... cabal.

No surprise that various anti-Western groups, prominent among them the Muslim sources, made the "Jooz done it" their ticket out of guilt. But that is another story. This one is about the conspiracy nuts.

Hanlon's razor solves the conspiracy of 9/11 quite admirably:

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

The only conspiracy there is, as far as the tragedy of 9/11 is concerned, is about a cover-up of negligence, immovable bureaucracy and plain stupidity. Which is, of course, too boring even to be considered by the conspiracy loonies. But then, they must be excused. After all, the Hanlon's razor applies to them exactly as it applies to 9/11. Again:

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com