Friday, July 07, 2006

I have had a blog since late 2001 (as have children as yet unborn) but have never before used the following term: Occam's Razor.

To the extent that I give a shit (I can't be bothered to check this), this is a "philosophical" thingy urging us to remember that, whenever we are confronted by some sort of mystery, we should latch on to the most probable of all possible explanations. Very Scooby Doo.

Forget, for a moment, the razor.

I haven't managed to support a winning sports team since putting my genetic proclivity towards the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team on the backburner (after they last won it all). By "winning", I refer to "it all". I don't count my support of the Green Bay Packers back when they twopeated. That was just me supporting a fellow former USM Golden Eagle. I haven't ever really given a shit about the NFL anyway. But . . .

* I lost bets in support of the Buffalo Bills FOUR times.
* I lost a bet in support of the Philadelphia Phillies.
* I have been an ardent fan of the Chicago Cubs since 1984. They have sucked far more often than not.
* I support USM and the West Virginia University Mountaineers in college football (in addition to the Tide) because I attended those fine institutions. They haven't won it all.
* I support the US men's soccer team, and openly rooted for them to make it out of the group round this year. They didn't.
* I predicted the Mexican men's soccer team in this World Cup to win it all. They didn't.
* After Mexico lost, I switched allegiance to my adopted homeland, Germany. They haven't won it all.

Granted, the Tide have won it all a few times during my lifetime, and I passively supported the US women's soccer team during their runs, but I'm not counting those because they don't fit with what I'm getting at.


Teams suck or simply disappoint because I support them.

This fits nicely with Occam's Hammer: when a collection of facts seem, when you hold your mouth right, to form a vague pattern, then they can be made sense of ONLY in terms of the most ridiculously self-centered explanation possible.

Occam's Hammer thus dictates that Italy will defeat France in the game on Sunday.

Occam's Garlic Press, by the way, is when you take a big, difficult-to-digest thing and squeeze it in to tiny, and much more palatble (but unrecognizable) things. For example, the history of the Roman Empire (all 2000 or so years of it) becomes a series of anecdotes about fiddling, horse promotion, collapse, lions, and hand washing.

Did/does Occam have anything else?


At 12:54 AM, Blogger eldan said...

Dear Greg,

Thank you for the enlightening article explaining the true significance of William of Occam's less-well-known household items. However, I fear the list is incomplete. I, for one, would like to know the meaning of Occam's Cheese Grater.

At 1:07 AM, Blogger Greg said...

Occam's Cheese Grater was, funnily enough, the thing with which he shaved. He also used his pitching wedge to drive nails.

Mr of Occam was quite mad.

At 5:22 AM, Blogger Carlton said...

I heard that Occam's Bucket had something to do with a dry well the old guy had behind his house. Occam couldn't get his lazy ass in gear to fill it in or brick it up, so he just put a couple of boards over the hole, and they of course rotted. Children used to fall in every once in a while, and sometimes you could lower the bucket down to haul them out, if the kids weren't too broken or unconscious to grab on. After a while, of course, the bucket itself rotted away. In later years, Occam's Bucket came to symbolize an inadequate solution to a problem that could have been easily forseen and prevented.

Or I could be thinking of something else.


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