Quote By Robert J. Hanlon "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
Janill Gilbert stashed this in Interesting
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
The adage was popularized in this form and under this name by the Jargon File, a glossary of computer programmer slang. In 1990, it appeared in the Jargon File described as a "murphyism" parallel to Occam's Razor. The name was inspired by Occam's razor. Later that same year, the Jargon File editors noted lack of knowledge about the term's derivation, and the existence of a similar epigram by William James. In 1996, the Jargon File entry on Hanlon's Razor noted the existence of a similar quotation in Robert A. Heinlein's 1941 short story "Logic of Empire" ("You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"), with speculation that Hanlon's Razor might be a corruption of "Heinlein's Razor".
In 2001, Quentin Stafford-Fraser published two blog entries citing e-mails from one Joseph E. Bigler about how the quotation originally came from Robert J. Hanlon of Scranton, Pennsylvania, as a submission for a book compilation of various jokes related to Murphy's law published in 1980 in Arthur Bloch's Murphy's Law Book Two: More Reasons Why Things Go Wrong!. Subsequently, in 2002, the Jargon File entry noted the same, though not definitively.