The Other Shoe Can’t Drop if You Aren’t Wearing Any

One of my largest “issues” is that something can occur (either good or bad) but then there is this…some sort of…  Pause.  Who knows why it happens? It has a name, though: Life.

So, there I sit, waiting for what seems like forever and beyond (if forever could have a beyond) expecting the worst outcome possible.

If only I could somehow gain some sort of clarity and perhaps apply something like…Occam’s Razor? Or Ockham’s Razor, if you prefer. That is how you spell his last name. However, I don’t think that would work so well a lot of the time. Most of the time?

If you didn’t click on the link, I’ll give you the first, little snippet from the top (and I will not get into all of its applications–that is not part of this post–plus, I’ll fuck them all up and someone will probably yell at me.)

Occam’s razor, also Ockham’s razor,[1] is the principle that “entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.” It is apocryphally attributed to 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar, William of Ockham. The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory. The principle is often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae (“law of parsimony“, “law of economy“, or “law of succinctness“): entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, roughly translated as “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.” An alternative version Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate translates “plurality should not be posited without necessity.”[2]

When multiple competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities. It is in this sense that Occam’s razor is usually understood.

To straightforwardly summarize the principle as it is most commonly understood, “The simplest explanation for a phenomenon is most likely the correct explanation.”

Alright.  Did you get through that? Here is, perhaps, a good example:

You are driving your car down the road and all of the sudden, it just stops.  It completely breaks down.  You have no idea why.  So, you pop open the hood.  You check your oil, your radiator, look to see if you’ve been leaving a trail of fluid behind you.  You check your belts and see if they are worn or need to be tightened, you look at your battery to find the date when you bought it and if it needs to be replaced…

What’s the most important thing necessary for a car to run? Did you bother to look at your gas gauge? Aha!

Now, back to me.  And why shaving with Ockham’s Razor would leave cuts all over my entire body.  Recall, I said, “Life?” Well, indeed, “Life” is a “phenomenon,” as said word was mentioned above but come on! Isn’t that being a bit broad? Can we really sit around (well, I suppose we can) hypothesizing about life, theorizing about it, making assumptions (well, that we can definitely do!) and then…reduce it all to the “simplicity” required so we will then be more “comfortable?” Not worry so much?

NOTE: By mentioning the word “reduce,” I am not treading anywhere near “reductionist philosophy.” Although it is interesting–especially since this is all about “philosophizing.”

And now, “reducing” it to people.  Ditto.  People are just as grossly unpredictable as life! Maybe even more so!

However, there may be some people who could manage all of this.  Maybe if they were living in some kind of rubber ball and things could just bounce right off of them! Not, for worry-worry-worry-PA! Perhaps those sorts of types could build some models regarding life situations and say: “Yep, that really important person in my life is more likely to act that way.  Works for me.  I’m not going to worry about it anymore!”

If you can bottle it and sell it, I’m first in line.

So…waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I wonder what kind of shoes Ockham preferred…?


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