Friday, June 17, 2005

Occam's Razor....

Have you ever heard of Occam's Razor? Its a logical principle which states:

One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.

This principle is attributed to the medieval philosopher William of Occam (or Ockham). Put another way, the principle states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed. This principle is often called the principle of parsimony. (Check out this page defining Occam's Razor on Principia Cybernetica Web.)

I first heard about this principle in the movie Contact which starred Jodie Foster as Dr. Ellie Arroway, an astronomer who receives a message from intelligent life forms in distant space. This movie is one of my favorites. It still is.

Going back to the topic at hand, Occam's Razor was quoted in the movie and even further simplifed to mean that the simplest or mostly likely explanation is probably the correct one. On a whim, I tried applying this principle to the issues and events surrounding the Gloriagate controversy. I have to say I have made some shocking conclusions. I thought about posting them here, but considering some of them are rather brutal and potentially libelous, I have opted not to. Sooner or later, hopefully, the true facts will emerge.

Why don't you try doing it yourself? In all likelihood you and I will probably reach the same conclusions, assuming we start with similar premises. Of course, we have to remember that anything we come up at this point is just speculation. While it is very easy to make a conclusion, particularly if the proverbial shoe fits, but we all have to remember that things are not always what they seem. So while speculation by itself may be harmless, outright presumption of the truth is downright foolhardy, more so if we do not know all the facts. Like they say: "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

One thing is for sure. Sooner or later we will find out just how accurate Occam's Razor really is.

Quaere Verum.





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