Friday, March 23, 2012

Ockham's Razor Burn

Though the thought was around much earlier, it is attributed to 14th century logician, theologian, and Franciscan friar Father William Ockham. Is it more important that you think the thought first or that you get it named after you? I'm thinking the latter. Simply stated, Ockham's Razor boils complexity down to the essential. All other things being equal, the simplest explanation is probably right. I ran across this theorum twice yesterday. Quoted in the movie Contact and in the afterword of Stephen King's latest novel, 11/22/63. In Contact we are dealing with the argument of Science vs Religion. In 11/22/63, we are pondering the details of the Kennedy assassination, conspiracy theories, and time travel. Disparate sources, to say the least. There is a common plot point to both involving the main character hopping through space and time. One is gone eighteen hours while only a second or so elapses for the observers, the other is gone just over five years while back home at the door to the wormhole only two minutes go by. With all of this drama rattling around in my brain I didn't sleep particularly well. But I did come up with an idea. You know how aggravating it is that your man can get ready to go pretty much anywhere in under fifteen minutes? If I had a wormhole, I could duck through it, deal with wardrobe choice and hair and everything, and be ready in two minutes flat. All I have to say is, if we could get Mr. King and Carl Sagan in the same room, that would be an interesting dinner conversation. I would want to be there. I'd be ready in two minutes flat.

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