A friend and I were discussing the way our minds lean toward complicated explanations and eventualities rather than simple ones that are more likely.
This brought up Occam’s Razor.
“Occam’s razor, Ockham’s razor, Ocham’s razor ~or~ the law of parsimony is the problem-solving principle that “entities should not be multiplied without necessity”, or more simply, the simplest explanation is usually the right one.”~Wikipedia (duh right, as if I use any other source…I do sometimes but still.)
*a superfluous note that would probably upset William of Ockham: I am drinking wine, water, and coffee with cream in rotation as I type this. Arguably the epitome of multiple posits without necessity.*
It is not that I don’t believe in simple explanations. It’s just that my mind doesn’t gravitate toward them. Instead of the most likely explanation, along the lines of ~ my cat who is not returning home as quickly as normal because she became caught in one of those hallucinatory feline loops. Instead, my mind tends to begin a Machiavellian political spin, something like ~ my feline is angry at me and attempting to articulate a complex passive aggressive statement by remaining out despite her normal feeding time and my stress surrounding her absence. My mind will accept the simple explanation when it is proven, but in the liminal space before the outcome is defined, I think heavily on the intent and eventuality rather than the most likely explanation.
All of this makes me think I should be writing more. Purging stories instead of imposing them conceptually on the innocent bystanders in my mind and life.
Now springs to mind an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in which Chief O’Brien is sentenced to prison by a Cardassian tribunal. The sentence is enacted over the course of hours by implanting memories of the experience in O’Brien’s mind. An experience that feels like years to him and leaves him in Post Traumatic Stress, hoarding food from his own dinner table and distressing friends and family. The fact that the sentence was not enacted in real time does not matter from O’Brien’s perspective.
Even as a teen the gravity of this concept struck me. It leads me now toward the idea of a sort of holodeck~style experimentation in which we could learn about the future by playing out possible outcomes in artificial time. Similar to the way predictive algorithms are intended to work, but through an interface our minds might engage directly.
We could call it Occam’s Blunt Instrument. In all seriousness…
I’m going to leave this here for now.
Right now I am reading a swift and fun fantasy novel my sister sent me called Graceling
I’ve made a playlist pairing for this post called ‘Occam’ (weird right?) ~ it can be found here:
I just finished the fifth season of Broad City and I’m feeling the loss as if it were a close friend fading away.
Thank you for being here, I am already looking forward to composing once again next week. =)