Occam’s Razor

According to the principle known as Occam’s Razor, the simplest explanation is always the best one. For months I have bitched ceaselessly about the unsteady nature of my cable Internet connection. In all that time, I had not, until Sunday afternoon, paid heed to the logic imparted in the 14th century by William of Occam. The simplest explanation for my shitty cable Internet connection, a technology infamous for its uncooperativeness with low-grade splitters, was that the cheapo Radio Shack splitter sitting in my office wall had finally shit the bed. But had I ever tried to fix that particular problem?


Part of that was that the only way to access the splitter was from a panel in our spare bedroom (which sits adjacent to the office). When we moved in, there hadn’t been a cable outlet in the office, so we simply poked a hole in the wall large enough for one cable to get through. To do any real work with the connection, you still had to get into the spare bedroom.

The trouble was that the panel in the spare bedroom was blocked off by a collection of tables and organizers that were quite heavy and cumbersome. A bad splitter may have been the simplest explanation for our problem, but getting to that splitter would be anything but easy. That, I would like to think, is why I hadn’t tried it until Sunday. It wasn’t stubborness. It was laziness.

In any event, the fact that I finally broke down and replaced the splitter on Sunday ended up solving the problem. In the process, we lost the ability to watch cable TV in the spare room, but, seeing as that’s not something we do much of anyway, it was a fair trade-off. The Internet was available to Stephanie all day on Monday, which made for a much more productive day of job searching than she’s had of late.

The principle of Occam’s Razor could also be applied to our car situation. All things being equal, the simplest explanation for the way the car acted on Friday was that the battery was dead. And, in the end, despite all my worrying this weekend, that was the explanation. The alternator was involved as well, but we’ll still chalk up another win in Occam’s column and another loss in the column of the Clark.

The moral: Chris should calm the heck down.