okhams razor sucks.

ferrets's picture

it sukcs harder then a vietnamese hooker who has been told he will recieve one million dollars if he can make the man he is sucking off cum in less then a minute. it really does. becuase you know what, the simplelest explanation is not always the best or most accurate. in fact often times, it isnt the best or most accurate. so why should we use it just becuase it makes things simple? let my produce a few situation that, if okhams razor was used, would be very bad.
situation A. a man is found lying on the ground in th forest, dead, with a gunshot wound in his head, and a shotgun in his hand. police come to investigate...
okhams razor explantion: the man shot himself in the head, which killed him.
real explanation: the man had witnessed his brothers best friend murder her daughter. he confronts her later that week, in her home, and threatens to call the police. the woman flies into a rage, retreives her shotgun from her cabinet, and shoots the man in the head. she then takes the body, places it in the forest, and places the shotgun in his hands to make it look like suicide.
situation B. life and the universe as we know it exists.
okhams razor: god made it.
real explanation: Quantum fluctuation. Inflation. Expansion. Strong nuclear interaction. Particle-antiparticle annihilation. Deuterium and helium production. Density perturbations. Recombination. Blackbody radiation. Local contraction. Cluster formation. Reionization? Violent relaxation. Virialization. Biased galaxy formation? Turbulent fragmentation. Contraction. Ionization. Compression. Opaque hydrogen. Massive star formation. Deuterium ignition. Hydrogen fusion. Hydrogen depletion. Core contraction. Envelope expansion. Helium fusion. Carbon, oxygen, and silicon fusion. Iron production. Implosion. Supernova explosion. Metals injection. Star formation. Supernova explosions. Star formation. Condensation. Planetesimal accretion. Planetary differentiation. Crust solidification. Volatile gas expulsion. Water condensation. Water dissociation. Ozone production. Ultraviolet absorption. Photosynthetic unicellular organisms. Oxidation. Mutation. Natural selection and evolution. Respiration. Cell differentiation. Sexual reproduction. Fossilization. Land exploration. Dinosaur extinction. Mammal expansion. Glaciation. Homo sapiens manifestation. Animal domestication. Food surplus production. Civilization! Innovation. Exploration. Religion. Warring nations. Empire creation and destruction. Exploration. Colonization. Taxation without representation. Revolution. Constitution. Election. Expansion. Industrialization. Rebellion. Emancipation Proclamation. Invention. Mass production. Urbanization. Immigration. World conflagration. League of Nations. Suffrage extension. Depression. World conflagration. Fission explosions. United Nations. Space exploration. Assassinations. Lunar excursions. Resignation. Computerization. World Trade Organization. Terrorism. Internet expansion. Reunification. Dissolution. World-Wide Web creation. Composition. (insert things to conect each of theses events, becuase god and jesus and thor im not going to!)
situation C. what was the symbolism of the prince prespero in the masque of the red death, a famous short story by edger allan poe?
okhams razor explanation: he represented a princewho locked himself in his castle.
real explanation: the prince symbolizes the end of feudalism. Prospero's inviting only wealthy knights and ladies to his castle at the expense of peasants and commoners represents the socioeconomic divide between landowners and peasants that existed during the feudalistic period. It is not coincidental that the Black Death, which reduced the number of workers, led to a demand for labor and played an important role in ending feudalism in Europe.

so you see, my children, the simple explanation is often far off from what the reality of the situation is.

i view okhams lovley razor as being a tool similar to newspeak, in 1984. to those who may not be familiar, the goal of newspeak was to simplify human communicatio so far as to create a situation in which saying anything bad about the party or anything unorthodoxy, was simple impossible. you would not be able to articulate negative thoughts about the party. okhams razor, similarly, leads us to take the most generic and seemingly obvious track possible, stifiling any creative though or aproach to a situation.


swimmerguy's picture

There are interpretations

of Occam's razor to take it to mean "between 2 separate explanations for something, the one that makes the fewest new assumptions is more likely superior".
That definition does work a lot better, because, for example, then it wouldn't mean God exists, (because for one thing, God is not a simple explanation for anything, of course, as he himself requires far more explanation than the thing he's supposed to explain), because to assume God exists you need a host of new assumptions outside of science. We're talking Russel's Teapot here, if you're familiar with it.
Evolution, inflation, a lot of those things, make new assumptions, but can be shown to be supported by data, and make fewer new assumptions than God does (Namely, the massive, massiven assumption of his existence...)
(Some people say there is no evidence for God, but he lies outside of science so he doesn't need evidence. That drives me crazy, it's like, well than what led you to hypothesize his existence in the first place if you admit there's no evidence for it?)

However, it isn't very good, I'd say. Because, for an example, does intelligent life exist? Occam's Razor would say no, that's an unwarranted assumption to make. I would say probably, it's a big universe out there, and if the chances of life arising on this particular planet were enough, it would strike me as really weird that the chances were calculated just so that intelligent life would evolve on just one planet, if the circumstances are favorable enough for intelligent life to evolve on this planet, I'd say it's incredibly likely that somewhere on at least a few other of the 1000 billion billion other planets there's life, even if we never find it, which I doubt we will, or at least in my lifetime, which is all that really matters to me.

Anyway, Occam's razor either way would say no, I'd say probably.
So yes, it's pretty fucking stupid, as it doesn't really say anything, because there are so many exceptions to the rule as to make it nearly meaningless.
It does make a point though, that if you're going to assume something, simplicity would make more sense, as by definition, more simplicity should exist than complexity, being easier to produce.


jeff's picture


You can go way under a million for the same level of diligence in Southeast Asia.

"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)