Who would ever have guessed someday I’d have a job interview that included the question “How would you describe The Sweat Band to someone who’d never heard them?”
Or that I’d get a chance to interview with a real live Sand Ruby?
Oh, the glamourness of my life…
“The punk rock’ll kill you if the government don’t get you first…”
-Rhett Miller of The Old 97s
(where people send in their deepest secrets on the back of a postcard and somebody posts it.)
Context is Optional: www.corbid.net
History of Occam’s Razor
William of Ockham (also spelled Occam) was a Franciscan theologian born in Surrey, England, around 1285. He studied at Oxford and later at Paris. His philosophical views made him a polemic scholar. He died in Munich, Germany, around 1349.
Although the general idea of the preference for simplicity is attributed to William of Ockham, there are some precedents. Some writings by Duns Scoto, Ockham’s teacher, mention similar principles. A french Dominican named Durand de Saint-Pourcain used this idea before. Even earlier, Aristotle made statements such as “nature operates in the shortest way possible”, “the more limited, if adequate, is always preferable”, and “if the consequences are the same it is always better to assume the more limited antecedent”.
In the history of Science we find the principle has often been cited to argue in favor of one theory over others. It has played an especially successful role in physics. One example is the preference for Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation over Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. Although both theories made essentially the same predictions about the motions of the planets, Newton’s law is simpler and more general, requiring fewer assumptions, and was hence preferred. Newton’s theory was later empirically confirmed when its predictions led to the discovery of the planet Neptune.
An earlier application of Occam’s Razor, also in astronomy, was the controversy between heliocentric and geocentric models of the solar system. Ptolemy explained the observed movement of the stars using a rather complex model with the Earth in the center, and the planets orbiting around invisible spheres which themselves were orbiting around the Earth. Aristarco of Samos in Greece, and later Copernicus, convincingly argued for a simpler model in which the sun is in the center and the planets orbit around it.
Thought this was a bit amusing. Perhaps the journalistic standards of the day were not so very high? And yes, I did shamelessly steal this link from Neil Gaiman’s blog, but most likely none of you would have noticed, since you don’t read it every day in spite of my ceaseless implorings.
The results of a Google search for “Cthulu Christmas.” Plus, alternate spelling.
Listening to They Might Be Giants and cleaning up my own Pit Of Chaos from my living room floor right now. Merry December 27th.
1. requiring immediate aid or action; urgent; pressing: “I understand that you’ve driven with faulty brakes for several weeks now without incident, but you don’t want to wait for the problem to become any more exigent.”
2. requiring significant effort or expense; demanding
adverb form: exigently
Approximately 1670; a back formation of English, ‘exigency’; from Middle English, ‘exigence’; borrowed from Middle French, ‘exigence’; from Late Latin, ‘exigentia’; from Latin, ‘exigentem’ (nominative ‘exigens’), from ‘exigere’: to demand.
…as I watched my friends get eaten and dismembered by Great Cthulu. Played Munchkin last night at game night, and it was pretty damn fun. Who says geeks don’t have a sense of humour? Also discussed the pitfalls of retail real estate negotiations. Myself, I have no knowledge. I’m just here for moral support and to distill every statement into a short and clever catchphrase. Diviniations provided upon request.
Realized we have not yet achieved an elctronic universe yet when it comes to money, at least in some choice locations. Drove all the way downtown then realized I had no change for the friggin parking meters. contemplated finding an ATM machine, then spending some cash somewhere, then said fuck it, I have a sleeping baby in the car and left. Maybe next time…
Try typing the name of any well known Greek mythological figure into Google, and odds are it’ll turn out to be the name of a web application. Just as a general rule of thumb.