[svlug] This mess is surely a conspiracy, my brain hurts and I don't like complexity or live long and prosper

Karen Shaeffer shaeffer at neuralscape.com
Sat Jan 17 21:52:30 PST 2015

On Sat, Jan 17, 2015 at 09:33:43PM -0800, Michael Eager wrote:
> On 01/17/15 20:53, Karen Shaeffer wrote:
> > On Sat, Jan 17, 2015 at 04:27:48PM -0800, Michael Eager wrote:
> >> On 01/01/15 17:31, Karen Shaeffer wrote:
> >>> Indeed, but Albert Einstein said keep it simple. Paraphrasing, Einstein
> >>> said: Never construct a theory that is more complex than it needs to be.
> >>> If you have two theories, and one is more complex than the other, while
> >>> both fully account for all observed data, then always pick the simplest
> >>> of the two.
> >>
> >> William of Ockham?
> >
> > Hi Michael,
> > Certainly an interesting guy. But I am personally a big fan of AE. He had a
> > lot of character flaws -- so he was human... If only AE had lived during our
> > time, he would have had a lot of fun with his very own linux cluster. AE is
> > an amazing human being in my opinion. He didn't have any computers. All he
> > had was paper, pencil, and his imagination.
> Einstein was interesting and 1905 was an excellent year.  But he didn't
> say what you attribute to him.
> Occam's Razor predates Einstein by some 500 years.

Hi Michael,
Fair enough. I'm not suggesting AE was the first to make the observation.
It's actually an intuitive notion that generalizes to all of life. And
so, I doubt William of Ockham was the first to contemplate the notion
either. But he does get credit for it in Wikipedia. (chuckles ;)

Albert Einstein made the comment exactly as I stated it, in the context
of developing theories and hypotheses. I don't think he cited Ockham
either... I am certain he didn't consider his statement to be novel. He
simply was stating the obvious. But I guess back in Ockham's day, back
in his life's context, it was a significant concept for folks to chew
on. Point well taken.

enjoyed your comments.
Karen Shaeffer                 Be aware: If you see an obstacle in your path,
Neuralscape Services           that obstacle is your path.        Zen proverb

More information about the svlug mailing list