Cut to the Chase

Shiny silver razor.

Ooof! The conspiracy theories. This is the time to sharpen Occam’s Razor. You know

The simplest explanation is usually the right one.

and, also

Other things being equal, simpler explanations are generally better than more complex ones.

Why would this be? Not because truth is inherently simple–even though that might be.

It’s really about piling on. Complex explanations are based on more and, sometimes, more complex, assumptions. This means that as you build your theory, you are building in dependencies that have to fall just the right way to make your explanation work. Any one of those assumptions going awry means the entire house of cards comes crashing down. So, it’s most likely that the simple thing is closest to true.

I watched this man on TV this morning tie himself up in logic pretzels based on whack innuendo. He almost started foaming at the mouth as he built on one tenuous link upon the prior convoluted premise. Even the host, who generally lets the madness flow, had to stop him and call him on his fantastical yarn.

But what do you do when the facts point to bonkers?

This is the hard part. Occam’s Razor does not mean that the impossible cannot be true. True is true. But that doesn’t mean that all the other flaky, implausible or unhinged are ipso facto true.

Need more data.

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