Thursday, April 4, 2013

Occam the Ripper

Top-down, pixellated, simplified, cut-and-dried
Lacerated, macerated, ground-and-milled, truly killed,
Occam made the complex fun by simplifying, but he's done
More harm than Monsieur Guillotine could manage with his sharp machine.

Gotta mention: good intentions paved the road that bears the load
Of symbols stored that represent reality without a dent
Which, having been idealized, left potent matter bowdlerized
And, being therefore sterilized, leaves nature's hopes unrealized.

Of course, old Bill of Ockham's goal was shaving off the heavy toll
Of hanging threads and fireless smoke to clarify of what we spoke,
And wise he was - for sure no fool - in bringing forth this handy tool,
But mightier than any sword, it left deep details unexplored.

And so we come to modern-day when cyber-simple is the way
We choose to see and think and play while telling nature, "go away."
We keep it simple, make it clear, detail's all we have to fear,
Until we try to rip apart our thinking from our beating heart.

This doesn't change the simple fact that Occam brought a strength we lacked,
But when it's used exclusively to measure all reality,
A hard-edged snapshot of a thought is all that's left - that's not a lot
Compared to beauty, joy and truth, the depth of age, the hope of youth.

So, shave with care, and don't forget: the universe has never yet,
By such heuristics, been exposed to total knowledge - it stays closed
With ever-deeper, fractal sides and mystery that still abides
And, should we shave the last detail, then we, and not the truth, would fail.

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