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Occam's Razor
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Quinnykins
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Post: #1
Occam's Razor

This is something I've come up with... there's an episode where this idea comes up, I believe it's where Jack gets hit on the head and people start disappearing from Eureka in a flash of light.

Occam's razor is a principle that 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.

This is often paraphrased as "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best." In other words, when multiple competing theories are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities.

The example from the show is: "If a tree falls in a forest during a storm what caused it? Two theories are: Strong winds caused the tree to fall, or the storm knocked an alien spaceship off course, causing it to crash into the tree."

Right - now take a situation and turn it on it's head, rather than USING the theory, twist it around. Should make for a fun exercise!


I woke up one morning and the garden was covered in various birds' feathers. The cat also had feathers sticking out of it's mouth. Occam's razor states that I should assume the cat killed the birds. HOWEVER I'm going to think that there were aliens testing lazors in my garden and using birds as target practice. My cat was watching with his mouth open in shock and suprise and some feathers floated in it.

Kinda believable! So, what situations have you seen that you could completely turn on their heads!?

08-15-2008 01:37 AM
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safehaven
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RE: Occam's Razor

Henry first mentions Occam's Razor in "Alienated" when Jack asks him if he believes in aliens. Henry says no, he believes in Occam's Razor and explains the theory. And then he reminds Jack of it in "Games People Play." But at 6:16 AM, I don't think I am up to this task yet. Let me get my coffee and contemplate it on the tree of woe. . . ;)




"Well, you overestimate me!"
08-15-2008 02:17 AM
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av8r1
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RE: Occam's Razor

I like Jack's summary of the Razor in 'games people play.": "Err, things that are simple...are true." "Close enough."

So you're saying take a simple situation and make it wacky and absurd, eureka style. Okay.

I come home to find my lawn beautifully mown. I assume my Dad mowed the lawn, but in fact a freak windstorm blew open the door to the shed, a blue jay landed on the ignition key of the mower, turning it on. Having left it in reverse in order to park it, it backs itself out of the shed. The blade engage lever catches on the door jamb on it's way out, engaging the mower deck. the lawnmower then steers wildly about the lawn due to the uneven terrain and the turning tendency from one tire being low. After covering the entire lawn, it eventually makes it's way into the shed, where it hits the back wall. The impact vibrates the cheap metal shed, knocking the door closed again. The mower eventually stops when it runs out of gas.

That was entertaining.




A little knowledge is a dangerous thing...
...so is a lot.
--Albert Einstein.
08-27-2008 09:10 PM
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denmutha
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MrGreen  RE: Occam's Razor

I was so happy to discover this wasn't just a 'Eureka-ism'. It just sounds cool- 'Occam's Razor'. :) It actually has quite a fascinating history. Here's the link I have from everyone's favorite 'know it all', Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_Razor

Happy reading! And this being my first post, hi everyone! Glad to be here!

wisted

08-28-2008 02:36 AM
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av8r1
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RE: Occam's Razor

Occam's razor is tempered by Hiccam's Dictum, usually stated in medical terms as: "Patients can have as many diseases as they d-- well please."

I've studied Occam's razor and several other similar concepts for my book, a DIY motorcycle service/repair guide. They're useful for diagnosing failures.




A little knowledge is a dangerous thing...
...so is a lot.
--Albert Einstein.

This post was last modified: 08-28-2008 04:47 PM by safehaven.

08-28-2008 09:36 AM
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