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



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