Hanlon’s Razor and Other Adages

I am in New York City freezing my ass off. I come every year to see the Veterans Day Parade (which was a huge disappointment this year). I hate cold weather, but I voluntarily came to NYC, so who can I blame?

I can only blame myself which brings me to my thought for today. We often look for difficult explanations to simple things.

Case in point is something called Hanlon’s Razor. Hanlon’s Razor (like Murphy’s Law and Occam’s Razor) provides us with wisdom when we are looking to explain something we believe to be complicated and transcendental.

Hanlon’s Razor goes something like this:

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

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In Praise of Skepticism REVISITED

The other day a chap accuses me of being a “skeptic” about matters pertaining to the Chinese. I stand, say, “Guilty as charged.”

The police come, march me away and I decide to write a blog post to explain why being skeptical is the adult position on many things.

Then, I recall that back in 2015, I had written a blog post: In Praise of Skepticism.

It captured exactly what I thought then and now. So, I have copied it and am reposting it unchanged, below.

Things like this make me wonder if I have gotten better or worse at this blogging thing, now going on 8 years.

In Praise of Skepticism REVISITED

Big Red Car here. It rained yesterday in the tropical rain forest formerly known at Austin, Texas.

We are starting to like the daily rains. Everything is green. It is like the Amazon valley.

I am skeptical as to whether it will continue, which brings me to my thought for today — skepticism. Continue reading



As a kid, I never had ambitious dreams. I did what was offered to me by life, which turned out to be a lot, but I never really had ambitious dreams. I wish I’d been more ambitious.

People tell me I was and am ambitious, but I know I wasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I challenged myself and did a lot of hard things as a kid that enabled me to do harder things as a young man and as an adult until I got used to doing hard things as if they weren’t hard, but still I never had ambitious dreams.

I want you to dream better than I ever did.

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Things I Have Learned

Your Big Red Car is traveling to Savannah to see My Perfect Grand Child. This is a slightly old pic, but it is a favorite because it captures that Southern girl’s mischievous personality. So, we go for a splendid trip to Forsyth Park and romp in the grass because all of us know how to walk these days. And we do some thinking.

A pal of mine and I exchange emails in which he poses to me: “Tell me some stuff you’ve learned. Not deep stuff, but stuff.” It is a corollary of “Tell me stuff you believe in.”

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Oh, my God, please learn how to give a toast.

So, I’m with a few pals in a festive mood — summer in Texas is a festive occasion. Why not?

I offer a toast and somebody looks at me and says, “I’ve never given a toast. How do you do that?”

When I stop laughing, I ask, “You’re serious?”

He says, “Yes. Deadly.”

“You’re an idiot.”

Image result for leonardo dicaprio giving toast

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The Energy Source v The Energy Sink Theory of Life

Big Red Car here on a wet Austin By God Texas day. It is May, y’all, and it is time to contemplate the Memorial Day floods.

Here is a pic from the 1981 Memorial Day floods, my first personal intro to the phenomenon. This pic is taken at the bridge in front of Hut’s Hamburgers, home of some of the best burgers on the planet. There were car lots next to Shoal Creek and hundreds of cars ended up in the creek.

Image result for images austin texas memorial day floods

When you come to Austin, you are going to want to get a Hut’s Hamburger. Trust me on this. Get the hickory burger.

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Cut the Toxic Behavior II

So, a psychologist sends me an email in response to our blog post on toxic behavior of yesterday, says, “Good start, Big Red Car, but you left out a few key ideas.”

“Oh, I did?” says I.

“Yes, don’t be such a snowflake. Take criticism as it’s intended — for your own good.”

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Cut the Toxic Behavior

So, under the influence of a pal who I accused of being a bit toxic in his behavior and the power of craft beer, here are some rules with which to lessen the toxicity.

He asked, “Why don’t people like me?” Here is what I told him, with the profanity edited. [Actually people do like him, but he needed a good kick in the ass.]

 1. Stop comparing yourself to others who are better positioned from any perspective. Cut the envy, but do study how they became better positioned and, if you want that outcome, do what they did. Earn it.

Have you done the best you can with what you have? If you take that attitude, you own your own life.

 2. Stop being such a snowflake and taking everything so damn personal. If somebody disagrees with you — trust me, this will happen — it is not because they hate you. It is because they have a different view of things that may be based on different facts or a better analysis.

Stop taking everything so damn personal.

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