Talk:Occam's razor

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Removal of Primary Source Embellishments[edit]

How did all this crap get added to this article? Occam's razor is "Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem," which translates to "Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity," clearly referring to the complexity of a description, and having nothing to do with the number of assumptions made in a hypothesis. Somebody just made that assumption crap up, and somehow got it to stick in Wikipedia.

Sorry, but you are mistaken. The entia that should not be multiplied without necessity are assumptions. The statement Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem is a statement about avoiding unnecessary compounding of premises or assumptions about uknown factors, which has direct bearing on the number of assumptions made. Hoopes (talk) 17:27, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

The intro should have the exact quote, the most direct translation, and the exact meaning of the words in context, without all of this primary source embellishment. Wikipedia is a tertiary resource, not a place to make stuff up. Unless anyone has a problem with it, I'm cleaning this crap up, making the article straight forward according to the tertiary resource verifiability rules of Wikipedia, and deleting all the vague and nonsensical uncited primary source embellishment about hypothetical assumptions. —Jack Autosafe (talk) 07:38, 24 June 2017 (UTC)

"Infinite" was an incorrect choice[edit]

The last sentence of the intro is:

"For each accepted explanation of a phenomenon, there is always an infinite number of possible and more complex alternatives, because one can always burden failing explanations with ad hoc hypothesis to prevent them from being falsified; therefore, simpler theories are preferable to more complex ones because they are more testable.[1][10][11]"

I have changed the words “there is always an infinite number…” to “there may be an extremely large, perhaps even incomprehensible, number….” Although in ordinary prose the word infinite is often used metaphorically as a synonym for “extremely large,” this is probably an unwise thing to do in a scientific article. Assuming, therefore, that the word is being used scientifically, rather than metaphorically, it is an incorrect choice. Nothing in the real universe is infinite, not the number of particles nor even all possible permutations of the number of particles (although the latter is too large a number for us to give even an approximate value for, much less comprehend). --Wikifan2744 (talk) 23:08, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Off-topic chat (WP:NOTAFORUM)[edit]

Extended content

Too many philosophers

There is too much made of philosophy here, counting angels on the head of a pin, and people making too much of a simple thing. Friars are the pragmatic bunch. Sometimes people saying the simplest solution is usually correct can be made recursively or self referentially. This is the case with Occam's Razor. The simplest meaning is usually the correct one. All you bozos making a mountain out of a molehill about something that is meant to help simplify a problem... YOU are the problem here. A couple thousand words on this topic is freaking ridiculous. If one has the time to make a topic on a simple idea about simplifying something into another thing so complex requiring an article of this size... then get ye gone to McDonald's and do something useful with that philosophy degree and sling french fries. Because the meaning is that the simplest solution is usually the correct one. And the simplest solution for this Wikipedia article is to send the authors of it to their jobs at their drive through window and let Occam save himself with simplicity denied by these pompous asshats. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 104.245.226.203 (talk) 08:01, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

The problem with you razor fanatics is that you make at least two assumptions for each hypothesis, necessarily making the one assumption that you need an explanation at all. Incidentally this is ironic since at least several of your kind would assert that a few major observations people make don't need an explanation. Indeed, the simplest explanations are no explanations. You should be dead. You should have no hypotheses, which would otherwise serve your necessarily biased ends . . . So since heretofore you're not in the ground where you coherently only belong, i.e., since you're not a true razor fanatic . . . just please, stfu . . . while the rest of us pay for your high-tech company's existence where you slave away all-smug-in-yourself as an engineer in the delusion that you have superior knowledge. Huesont (talk) 23:07, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

This article talk page is for discussing improvements to the article, not for general discussion of the article's topic. - SummerPhDv2.0 19:40, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Too complicated?[edit]

Here you go. Yes I'm being serious. Cheers, --217.81.145.171 (talk) 05:00, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

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Lead seems too detailed[edit]

I stumbled across this article from a link in this story about a baseball player and his son. Anyway, after reading through the lead, it seems to contain quite a lot of detail and more information than is need in my opinion. Per MOS:LEAD, the lead should simply summarize what comes later in the article, providing a general overview but leaving detailed discussion to rest of the article. The second and third paragraphs of the lead discuss Alan Baker and ideas, but neither Baker nor his concepts are not covered later in the article. I think such information might be fine for later on and summarized in the lead if needed as is done for Solomonoff, but it seems out of place and a bit WP:UNDUE when it's only included in the lead. This kind of detail does not, in general, seem appropriate for the lead. Maybe the bulk of paragraphs two and three should be added to "Other philosophers" in a subsection titled "Alan Baker" and then briefly mentioned in the lead if necessary, but I am interested in hearing what others think about this. -- Marchjuly (talk) 06:49, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

Time to archive[edit]

I think it might be time again to archive some of the posts on this talk page. It looks like the last time it was done was in January 2010 by Athaenara. It might also be a good idea to set up automatic archiving, so that it's done on a more regular basis. -- Marchjuly (talk) 07:05, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

I've transferred the older material. Anybody who wants to is welcome to set up automated archiving, but I'm not sure this page gets enough activity to require it. Looie496 (talk) 13:56, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

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Corollary: Rozar's Razor[edit]

A corollary of Occam's Razor is Rozar's Razor, which is: Among competing hypotheses, the one that exhibits the greatest amount of symmetry should be selected.

Mseanbrown (talk) 23:44, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

Source? - SummerPhDv2.0 00:11, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
Nearly two years later I see your request for source. I just looked and cannot find whatever it was back then that encouraged me to post this. I am seeing that Rozar is backward for Razor, hence the "symmetry" of Rozar|razoR, and I may have fell for someone else's post rather than coming from a citable source. If that's the case, what's the Wiki policy when the person who posts questions the source of their own post in Talk? Do I take this down because it may be unsourceable, or do I leave it up showing the progression of the discussion in case people come back to question it? Mseanbrown (talk) 13:58, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
You should not delete this section, but feel free to move it to the latest archive (Talk:Occam's razor/Archive 5). Looie496 (talk) 14:18, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

Trump's Law[edit]

I have come across this variously - if there are various possible options in connection with Donald Trump the most stupid one is the most plausible. [1] is one pointer in looking for a more reliable source). 193.132.104.10 (talk) 15:28, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

This has briefly existed as Trump's razor. The article was deleted at AfD last year and it's about to be speedy-deleted as a recreation of a deleted article. - SummerPhDv2.0 16:02, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
As with Rozar's Razor above and similar 'very low key' things elsewhere an 'acknowledgement that the concept exists' on the relevant talk page probably suffices (as will be picked up on searches). 193.132.104.10 (talk) 14:44, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

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Reverted edit[edit]

My edit was reverted for being self referential. Whoops. In order to avert an edit war I'm writing here. Found a journal article that has what I think the passage in question is paraphrased from. It's in item 3 of the 'Models, revolutions, and the struggle for understanding' section and can be found here: http://www.hyle.org/journal/issues/3/hoffman.htm

Thoughts @User:Headbomb? Rap Chart Mike (talk) 12:38, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

I'm gonna throw it in and see what happens. Rap Chart Mike (talk) 13:02, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 17 August 2018[edit]

Can you change the first reference of the word "razor" to link to the page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_razor ? Jkumorek (talk) 09:45, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: The page's protection level has changed since this request was placed. You should now be able to edit the page yourself. If you still seem to be unable to, please reopen the request with further details. Danski454 (talk) 20:40, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

Edit using 'stuff you should know'[edit]

This edit was reverted because it is based on a blog called "Stuff you should know' which is not a WP:SECONDARY source. Please see WP:SCIRS where a scientific review is needed for this topic. --Zefr (talk) 20:08, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

It seems the issue here is not whether the blog is a secondary source (it is) but whether it is a reliable secondary source. What are the rules for the reliability of blogs and podcasts? Hoopes (talk) 17:34, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Hoopes - I agree the main point is whether the source was reliable and also feel that a solid secondary source needs to be based on identifiable reliable primary sources which the SYSK podcast does not provide; I would disqualify it as a good secondary source. Besides being long-winded (44 min), playing the podcast requires sign-up, which users generally don't want. WP:NOTBLOG and WP:EVAL cover why Wikipedia doesn't use social media as sources. --Zefr (talk) 21:25, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Zefr - The podcast was based upon other literature that I think is likely to fit the criteria of solid sources. I will encourage User:Garnetp to make use of those. The points about Occam's Razor are valid, but they should reference more reliable sources. Hoopes (talk) 22:06, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

Dubious[edit]

It is sometimes misrepresented in pop culture and other media by some form of the statement "The simplest solution is most likely the right one." [1]. This is not a form of Occam's razor, but instead is known as the law of parsimony (Latin: lex parsimoniae)) or the law of simplicity.

German version of the article (which is a Good Article) says they are synonyms --Bageense(disc.) 14:36, 13 June 2019 (UTC)