Occam's Razor, Example #5,812,973

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Occam actually didn't invent "Occam's Razor, but no matter; it's still an excellent logical tool for sorting out the wheat from the chaff, the gold from the dross, etc. According to Wikipedia, "The [Occam's Razor] principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory." In other words, when "multiple competing hypotheses" are in play, select the one "that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities." In short, Occam - or whoever invented his "razor" - wasn't a big fan of convoluted explanations when simple ones would do.

In today's Roll Call, we have example #5,812,973 (approximate - lol) of Occam's Razor in action, this time about Terry McAuliffe's dastardly "out-of-state money" (yeah, the same kind that all politicians collect, or would love to collect, and the same kind that Jim Webb sought in 2006 when he traveled to meet with those infamous "Hollywood movie moguls" Felix Macacawitz talked about). Here's what Roll Call has to say:
The influx of out-of-state money to McAuliffe’s campaign has been widely criticized by his opponents...

But [Rep. James Langevin, D-RI) said this week that McAuliffe’s broad base of support stems from his being “a national figure” who has been “a friend to so many Democrats” over his long political career.

Langevin, who donated a total of $10,000 to McAuliffe from his Congressional and political action committees, said that in the month and a half left before the primary he would be willing to hit the campaign trail for his “longtime friend” if McAuliffe asks. But that call has yet to come.

“Terry has my number, and I know he’s not shy about asking for what he needs,” Langevin said.
In short - as in, not long or requiring convoluted explanations to explain a simple phenomenon - Terry McAuliffe helped a LOT of Democrats over the years and now those Democrats want to help him. A simple explanation requiring no mental convolutions or parlor tricks. My god, what a concept (slaps forehead)! Thank you Mr. Occam (or whoever came up with your razor)!! :)

P.S. The same article reports that Bobby Scott "hasn’t announced who he is supporting but indicated that an endorsement could be forthcoming." For his part, Tom Perriello indicated that he and Creigh "go way back," that "Brian’s been out there working hard on the stump in areas that people didn’t think he could play," and that "Terry is a force of nature." Rick Boucher of course has endorsed Creigh Deeds. Finally, Jim Moran says, "Brian is my brother, so of course I’m going to help him if I can."