Occam’s Razor Versus Somali Pirates

Occam’s Razor is the principle that among competing theories the simplest one is the most likely.  It’s not rocket science.  For example, when one of my chickens goes missing I could theorize that an uprising of Bolivian peach farmers absconded with it or I could assume it wandered off and a coyote ate it.  I vote for the coyote and only my vote counts.  (The chickens are too stupid to point to Bolivia on a map so they don’t get a vote.  I wouldn’t mind a similar test for American voters.)

I prefer the same approach when seeking solutions to problems.  All other things being equal, the simplest solution is usually the best.  Which brings me to Russia.  I’m not a real fan of Russia.  (Growing up in the Cold War with that whole mutually assured destruction thing can do that to you.)  But the Russians’ approach to piracy shows a simplicity far superior to our Nation’s hand wringing cluelessness.

This month an American judge released six captured Somali pirates because…and I’m not making this up…they hadn’t succeeded at the attempt.  According to the Judge you’re a pirate if you run off with the ship (and have a parrot).  But if you attack and fail you’re just a redneck in a rowboat.

This guy is only a fisherman.

(Source of photo is here.)

Russia, when faced with the same situation this May, announced something like; “Uh…something happened and all the pirates are dead.”  When pressed for details they responded “I dunno’ what happened but I’m real sure they’re not alive anymore”.  (I’m paraphrasing but not by much.)  I assume they were laughing when they wrote the press release.  Good job gentlemen!

Small Dead Animals is the source of this blinding flash of simplicity.  I encourage you to check it out because there’s no way I’d believe a loser like me telling such an outrageous story.  Besides, any blog with the word “Roadkill” in the title is pure gold.

The only thing I’ve got to add to Small Dead Animals’ brilliant juxtaposition is this:

…in 1999, water-borne rogues dressed as Chinese officials seized a cargo ship near Hong Kong waters and murdered twenty-three crewmen.  The ship was never recovered, but the Chinese authorities caught thirteen of the pirates and executed them.

By amazing coincidence, after this pitiless demonstration of non-leniency, incidences of piracy in the waters off Southern China dropped dramatically.

Who’s with me on this?  The Russians have it figured out.  The Chinese have it figured out.  The coyotes that chase my chickens have it figured out.  What the hell are we doing schlepping pirates to trial in Virginia?  The matter of pirate trials was settled international law a long time ago and it involved rope and a yardarm.  (Note: I’m not nautical enough to know what a yardarm is but if it’s over ten feet high I know how I’d apply it in a pirate rehabilitation program.)

About AdaptiveCurmudgeon

Adaptive Curmudgeon is handsome, brave, and wise.

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0 Responses to Occam’s Razor Versus Somali Pirates

  1. cakethief says:

    If I had read this a day earlier, I might not have stolen someones cake. However courage, ruthlessness, and an element of surprise can lead to a wonderful pile of loot.

    Cheers!

  2. Doctor Mingo says:

    So by a simple extension of logic, if one fires on a Federal Building but causes no damage, the FBI is cool with that. But somehow, I just don’t see that outcome.

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