Occam’s razor: The weaknesses of simple-looking explanations

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.

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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.

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Categorisation of gender: Gordon’s art exhibition, part 2

By Gordon Rugg

I have an art exhibition at Keele University until October 25th. The exhibition consists of twelve canvases.

The first six examine depictions of women in epic texts, described in my previous article.

Canvases seven to twelve examine ways of categorising gender, which will be the topic of this article. image8

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Depictions of women in epic texts: Gordon’s art exhibition, Part 1

By Gordon Rugg

My art exhibition consists of twelve canvases.

The first six examine depictions of women in epic texts.

The second six examine ways of categorising gender.

One unifying theme of the exhibition is gender; another is the way that outputs from technology and from formal representations can be artworks in their own right.

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This article unpacks those concepts, and goes through the first six canvases.

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Gordon’s Art Exhibition: Visualisations, women and epics

By Gordon Rugg

I have an art exhibition opening next week in Keele University, which will feature some of the topics that we’ve blogged on here.

The official opening is on the evening of Wednesday 9th October, starting at 6.00, with a talk about the exhibition starting around 6.30. Refreshments will be provided. The exhibition will run from Monday 9th October to Friday 25 October.

Entry is free.

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There’s more information about the event here:

http://www.keele.ac.uk/artskeele/visualart/title,97521,en.php

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