Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wednesday Wordage, Occam's Razor Edition

It's been over 100 days that Lord Damp Nut has been my president.  Pretty much every one of those days, I have listened to some news on the radio, or read some in the paper or on this very screen.  About as often, some commentator or analyst or wise person has been interviewed about the latest outre behavior of our president, and the answers have always been pretty wild.  He did this crazy thing: well, perhaps it was a strategic move to keep his opponents off balance.  He said this bald lie: well, perhaps he misinterpreted this actual, obscure, and irrelevant fact.  He proposed this egregious policy:  well, there's no doubt that that will appeal to his base, and strengthen his position for further bargaining.

The commentariat spend a lot of time and effort finding polite and acceptable ways to explain our president's behavior.  There is generally the assumption that he is a rational actor, has some strategic vision, intelligence, and understanding.  A myriad of erratic behaviors and statements have generated an equal number of inadequate explanatory hypotheses.

As a body, the folks who try to explain Lord Damp Nut's behavior on the radio have either forgotten or chosen to ignore Occam's Razor, which urges us to avoid unnecessarily complicated explanations (I know this is not the original formulation, but it will suffice).  All the questions asked of these learned analysts, political insiders, journalists, and talking heads--all of them--can be answered by one statement:  Our president is ignorant, unintelligent, willfully uninformed, a narcissistic pathological liar, and a bigot.  Seriously, I have heard hours of radio where dozens of people have danced around these questions, and seem to be unable or unwilling to point to the elephant in the room, indeed, even adamantly deny the existence of the elephant ("There's no doubt that President Trump is a very intelligent man" is one statement I have actually heard from a pundit, despite all evidence, and which has led me to write this).  It is frustrating.

So let us remember William of Occam and his razor, and let us cut through the next four years of BS. Keep it sharp.

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