The Razor of Occam

10 Mar

Occam’s Razor states that ‘entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily’. In Science this has been taken to mean: of two competing theories the simplest one is preferred. Unfortunately, we humans multiply entities unnecessarily on a daily basis; problems, conflicts, worries, requests, emails….. yet simplicity is what we crave. 

Sometimes you can try to buy simplicity and convenience – a nice new smart phone, a clever piece of technology, a package holiday – on the outside these will be nice and shiny and labour saving until you have to programme them, read the instructions or change your hotel because it hasn’t been built yet.

Perhaps simplicity can only be achieved by involving our hands in the equation – simplify by making it yourself, taking it to bits by yourself and reconstructing it by yourself. We are naked apes not consumers, liberated by a quirk of evolution which freed our forelimbs to make tools, fire, Idols, chairs, boats, houses ….. using plant material and wood.

Cleaving an oak log to make fencing using wedges and a maul


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