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Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:53 pm
by James S Saint
Occam's Razor is merely a method for choosing between two equally true ontologies (or statements). It is not a denial of one, but rather a preference of the other.

Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:08 am
by Amorphos
Ok, firstly my apologies for using 'occam's razor' in that way, my thinking stems from Buddhist thinking which is similar in a way;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_description_length
from the wiki link:
The minimum description length (MDL) principle is a formalization of Occam's Razor in which the best hypothesis for a given set of data is the one that leads to the best compression of the data.

____________
In Buddhist thinking we always attempt to reduce things down to their naked elements, and remove all the clutter – so to speak.

Flannel Jesus wrote:That being said, I actually have a point to make here that I take quite seriously: I'm very much annoyed that you're promoting the myth that sentence length has anything to do with Occam's Razor. 'Simplicity' in the sense of Occam's Razor has nothing to do with natural language sentence length. One can compress any amount of complexity into a single word. The word 'cube' and the word 'human' are both only one word; the concepts are not of equal complexity. This is part of the power of words -- the ability to wrap up complex concepts into easy-to-say/write/read symbols/sounds/etc. A sentence of 100 words may be less complex, in the Occam's Razor sense, than a sentence of 3 words.

Eg take the explanation for thunder, of 'Thor did it', with a full explanation of Maxwell's Equations. Maxwell's Equations take much more time to explain, but in the end, they're much much less complex than the mind of a god. Word count is not a good measure of complexity.


maxwell's equations are saying it in the shortest way imho, but thunder is a complex thing involving many factors, so naturally the description of that will be complex and long. The descriptions for each aspect of thunder could be shorter, and if we keep reducing we eventually end up with the smallest set of meanings. Keep going and we get down to forces of nature, and then to the fundamental nature of reality, ergo 'the process' of finding the 'simplest thing' ends up with the simplest explanation of what everything >is<!

Perhaps 'witch' and 'thunder' are abstractions? whereas the full description is the real reduction. ...and probably composed of many meanings.

Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:13 pm
by Ierrellus
Curiosity expands statements.
John shot a bear.
Who's John?
Did he kill the bear?
What kind of bear was it?
Why did John shoot the bear?
Did John use a bow & arrow? A shotgun? A rifle?

Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:13 pm
by Ierrellus
Human thought has physical underpinnings.
Say what?

Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:38 pm
by Stuart
Ierrellus wrote:Say what?


This:

Human thought has physical underpinnings.


That's one way of saying it.

Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:41 pm
by Ierrellus
Stuart wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:Say what?


This:

Human thought has physical underpinnings.


That's one way of saying it.

Are there other ways of saying it?

Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:48 pm
by Stuart
Yes, and many you may have heard of such as... not. But, I wouldn't got hat far, I only found your statement to be someone inaccurate, being the Sartrean existentialist that I am, but couldn't quite say why. Now I know, the 'underpinnings' need not be pluralized, physical is the underpinning of thought, thought creates the divergence into plurality.

Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:40 pm
by Moreno
Maia wrote:
Stuart wrote:Flannel, I've been running across debates on Occam's Razor, and yet don't know what it's about; I realize here and now is a very ideal time to ask for a short explanation of the term.


The simpler the better.
That's not the OR, though it is a pretty common misinterpretation of it.
If you have a choice between two explanations and Z needs only three entities in its explanation while Y has 4, as long as Z adequately explains phenomenon B, then it is better to work with and test Z until further notice. It is a metholodological suggestion. Neuroscientists and particle physicists would have a problem if simple explanations were better than more complicated ones.

Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:26 am
by Amorphos
Metholodological = methodological ^^

Ierrellus wrote:Curiosity expands statements.
John shot a bear.
Who's John?
Did he kill the bear?
What kind of bear was it?
Why did John shoot the bear?
Did John use a bow & arrow? A shotgun? A rifle?


That is asking questions endlessly, not answering them in the shortest way possible. It is true though that you can do that. So are both statements true even if conflicting? What if the world has two or more truths about a thing? That perhaps just gives us categories of truth rather than absolutes ~ I quite like that philosophy.

Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:19 pm
by Arcturus Descending
Maia wrote:No verb, no sentence, no meaning.


Eureka!
Ah!
Holy Cow!
Mira!


and one that I absolutely hate...
Whatever!

Sometimes one word carries with it more meaning than a whole phrase, sentence, paragraph ad continuum.

To be or not to be - a Kurt Vonnegut or a Charles Dickens and William Faulkner.

Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:29 pm
by Ierrellus
Amorphos wrote:Metholodological = methodological ^^

Ierrellus wrote:Curiosity expands statements.
John shot a bear.
Who's John?
Did he kill the bear?
What kind of bear was it?
Why did John shoot the bear?
Did John use a bow & arrow? A shotgun? A rifle?


That is asking questions endlessly, not answering them in the shortest way possible. It is true though that you can do that. So are both statements true even if conflicting? What if the world has two or more truths about a thing? That perhaps just gives us categories of truth rather than absolutes ~ I quite like that philosophy.

Totally agree that there are categories of truth.

Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:07 pm
by Fixed Cross
Maia wrote:I never use just one sentence.

Don't get clever, girl.

Re: If you cant say it in one sentence...

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:37 pm
by Arcturus Descending
Vonnegut's Style

Kurt Vonnegut's own style of writing tends to be minimalist and dry, utilizing short sentences and avoiding wordy run-ons. His lessons on writing reflect his own style of crafting stories.

Simplicity in language is something highly regarded by Vonnegut. He believed that simplicity is a lost art, one that when utilized correctly could convey every emotion in human language in only a few words.

He likened this skill to William Shakespeare and James Joyce, who with only simple words and phrases, could break the hearts of their readers or send them into a metaphysical rabbit hole. When Shakespeare's Hamlet famously utters, ''To be or not to be'', his use of words no longer than three letters still resounds with readers today as one of the most meaningful and powerful questions.

Shakespeare and Joyce, to continue with Vonnegut's own examples, mastered their own voice. They wrote in a voice they were familiar with as children to best get their message across.

Vonnegut describes himself in contrast to the musical beauty of some other more geographically blessed authors. He stated: ''I myself grew up in Indianapolis, where common speech sounds like a band saw cutting galvanized tin and employs a vocabulary as unornamental as a monkey wrench.''

http://study.com/academy/lesson/kurt-vo ... hemes.html


Of course, this is only one perspective.
At times, we need to fill that canvas with many different brush strokes of many different hues and colors.