Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Occam's Scary Razor

Poor William of Ockham,
Poor Brother Will,
Friar who sold his soul,
Who sold our souls.
Not Faustus, and not

Forbidden Knowledge,
That luscious fruit that
Ought to grow. No.
Only the paltry wisdom—
Numquam ponenda est

Pluralitas sine necessitate,
Meaning roughly—cut
The crap; roughly meaning,
Forget the folderol. Meaning,
It’s simpler than that.

Lex parsimoniae:
Yes, it’s a law:
Parsimoniousness—
The cause is paltry;
Be a cheap bastard

With your speculation.
Poor Brother Ockham
Sold his soul,
Sold our souls.
Nobody likes a razor

So damn simple,
So damn sharp.
Why can’t we be Faustus?
Why isn’t anything
Forbidden? Why must

There be always
A simpler answer. . .

2 comments:

WriterLin said...

Superfluity is out and sparse is in? I like that... It's like tight writing.

WriterLin said...

There’s a certain (delicious) irony in penning a 7 verse poem denouncing, nay, even raging against simplicity. Yes, complexity has its place. But folderol? Only if it’s utterly fascinating folderol. Does that imply that sparsity tends to be dry and humorless? Maybe it does indeed…