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# Occam's Causation Razor

 (+2) [vote for, against]

Correlation is not causation. However, perhaps we can get a bit of help with Occam's razor:

- Every system has a specific degree of complexity. For example: a morning alarm of an an alarm clock has a higher complexity than a sun rise. The reasoning is that alarm clock's operation, construction and it's existence depends on precarious arrangement of human though, culture and action. In contrast a sun rise does not.

- System with higher complexity can not be the cause of observed behavior in a lower complexity system. For example an alarm can not be the cause of the sun rising in the morning.

- Nothing can be said of the reverse relationship. For example it may, or may not, be true that the sun causes certain alarm clocks to ring.

- Nothing can be said about a hidden variable. The yet to be discovered hidden variable may cause both. The only thing that can be said that this hidden variable must have a lower complexity than the previously considered variables.

This rule doesn't identify causes, but it helps to shrink the search space when searching for causes of a phenomenon.

 — ixnaum, Dec 04 2017

William Paley https://en.wikipedi...ument#William_Paley
Watch your spelling ... [8th of 7, Dec 04 2017]

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 Isn't this just a badly-reasoned reworking of Paley's Watch ?

 How does this deal with a purely solipsist position ?

 If the sunrise is not observed, does it, in fact, occur ?

 If the alarm clock was immediately rewound and reset, where is your evidence that the alarm clock actually went off at all at sunrise ?

 Where are the snows of yesteryear ?

Where is the steam road-roller of the policeman 's grandmother ? (Use du, de la, des. The subjunctive may be appropriate, but avoid gerunds). Sumon an artisan, there appears to be some derangement of the magneto.(future imperative, page 186 & ff.).
 — 8th of 7, Dec 04 2017

Other than the alarm clock example, this has very little in common with Paley's watch. Perhaps what you're getting at is the question of how do we measure complexity. As Paley's watch illustrates there is controversy over the relative level of complexity of various systems.
 — ixnaum, Dec 04 2017

 // Palay //

 Sp. "Paley".



 Well, at least you understand our point. Bravo.

 We are now, to our surprise ,convinced that you are probably not an idiot, but genuinely capable of understanding a philosophical disputation.

 This is something of a shock. We are not used to such things on the HB. We may have to go and have a little sit down for a bit.

 // a sun rise does not. //

Jedi yet you are not. Sun rise, it does. Much to learn, you have.
 — 8th of 7, Dec 04 2017

[+]
 — LimpNotes, Dec 04 2017

 //- System with higher complexity can not be the cause of observed behavior in a lower complexity system. For example an alarm can not be the cause of the sun rising in the morning.//

And when we get a fusion reactor online ?
 — FlyingToaster, Dec 04 2017

One day, the sun comes up twice, and then you go looking for bits to show to the Board of Enquiry.
 — 8th of 7, Dec 04 2017

 I think this is actually the opposite of Paley's watch, isn't it? Isn't it Paley's contention that a watch, being complex, must be the effect of an even more complex cause? Whereas Ixnaum's watch must, ex hypothesi, be the effect of a simpler cause?

Neither of these general assumptions is cogent; I'm just pointing out that they are opposites.
 — pertinax, Dec 05 2017

 Indeed.

 Paley's watch is an argument for intelligent design, in that a watch demonstrates intentional complexity.

 The sunrise -alarm clock relationship is different. In fact, the two phenomena are decoupled. The clock is manifestly the product of intelligent design; its existance cannot be otherwise explained, I.e by the existence of clock trees or clock volcanoes. The sunrise is a simple physical event requiring no a priori action by a system of higher complexity and can be entirely described (as per Occam's razor) via a sequence of simple, stochastic events, right back to the condensation of the proto -star from an isotropic gas cloud.

 The problem with [ix]'s idea is that the assertion "Systems with higher complexity can not be the cause of observed behavior in a lower complexity system." is fallacious.

Now, can anyone explain why this is so ?
 — 8th of 7, Dec 05 2017

//If the sunrise is not observed, does it, in fact, occur?//

If Milli Vanilli fall down in a forest, does someone else make a noise?
 — hippo, Dec 05 2017

There should be occam’s teapot.
 — Ian Tindale, Dec 05 2017

Yes, but how do you sharpen a teapot ?
 — 8th of 7, Dec 05 2017

 Or a Teasmaid. If you don't wake up, did it make tea?

If a tree falls in the forest and kills a solopsist, do we all disappear?
 — RayfordSteele, Dec 05 2017

 Only if it kills us. You, however, do not exist outside our perception. You are merely a mental construct we have created to account for certain phenomena which we appear to percieve, but for which there is no objective evidence.

 Now, go and make us some tea. The stuff that teasmade produces tastes awful, and besides it doesn't seem to have worked today.

Are there any biscuits ?
 — 8th of 7, Dec 05 2017

Bertrand Russell ate them all. Bastard.
 — Ian Tindale, Dec 05 2017

Well, if he ate the biscuits, who ate all the pies ?
 — 8th of 7, Dec 05 2017

David Icke?
 — Ian Tindale, Dec 05 2017

How do you in fact assimilate a non-entity?
 — RayfordSteele, Dec 05 2017

Noncorporeally of course.
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 06 2017

 //Bertrand Russell ate them all//

Ah, now this one we can help with; here in Australia, one can buy Russell Set groceries. There's a chain of supermarkets called "Independent Grocers of Australia". By implication, it's the chain of all the supermarkets that don't belong to a chain. They should stock the right kind.
 — pertinax, Dec 06 2017

 //can anyone explain why this is so ?//

Yes, but probably not in the way you meant.
 — pertinax, Dec 06 2017

 // probably //

 So, 0 < n(P) < 1 for n > 0 ?

 // By implication, it's the chain of all the supermarkets that don't belong to a chain. They should stock the right kind. //

 That would be packets of biscuits that are always at least one biscuit short. The consumer must however accept that if they want packets of biscuits that comply with the axioms of formal mathematical logic, then they also lose out on the overall total of biscuits purchased.

A grocery store that was run by a logician would be an interesting place to shop.
 — 8th of 7, Dec 06 2017

 Nah, it would be stocked with nothing but pinkish-grey stew, some cheese, victory coffee, day-old bread and a bit of saccharine.

I'm still confused by the idea of a hegemonic swarm that flies around the universe assimilating species that don't exist outside of its perception yet whose existence is compiled of those assimilated species. It seems a little bit like a make-work program created by a typographical error on a budget sheet. You don't happen to work for the Defense Ministry, do you?
 — RayfordSteele, Dec 06 2017

 //A grocery store that was run by a logician would be an interesting place to shop//

I'm guessing the shop would be staffed by competitive long distance cyclists, according to the "one thing for me, and 'fuck you!' paradigm". Ah, Tebbit and Thatcher, how they screwed the world.
 — bigsleep, Dec 06 2017

 // I'm still confused //

 Don't worry, you're only a figment of our imagination anyway. We'll think of you as being more confident, certain and better informed.

Now, is that better ?
 — 8th of 7, Dec 06 2017

 //the assertion "Systems with higher complexity can not be the cause of observed behavior in a lower complexity system." is fallacious. Now, can anyone explain why this is so ?//

Why would it be correct? The proof that it isn't is tautological.Is that the right word? The concept holding that it isn't correct is as simple as it can possibly be.
 — Voice, Dec 08 2017

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