By Gordon Rugg
So what is Occam’s razor anyway, and why should anyone care?
The core concept is brief: Other things being equal, we should choose the simplest valid explanation whenever possible.
Amateurs often view this concept as a clean blade of truth, cutting straight to the heart of the matter. It’s widespread in politics, often phrased as “common sense” analysis.
That’s a nice idea, but reality is more complex, and Occam’s razor often causes more problems than it solves. Like the damaged, time-worn razor in the picture below, it’s far from being a flawless blade.
This article is about why simple-looking explanations often turn out to be complicated in reality, and why apparently complicated explanations often turn out to be simple.