First a definition from Wikipedia, not the most respected source, I know, but handy:
“Occam’s razor (or Ockham’s razor), often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae, translating to law of parsimony, law of economy or law of succinctness, is a principle that generally recommends selecting the competing hypothesis that makes the fewest new assumptions, when the hypotheses are equal in other respects. For instance, they must both sufficiently explain available data in the first place.”
When an hypothesis is framed and tested out, in my view, it tends to invite agreement if it explains each new development simply or if it proves supple enough to take into account each additional new fact.
But if it must be made more complex with each new development, if one must take a new board and hammer it onto the structure in a haphazard fashion to take into account new information learned, and if there is a simpler explanation that explains things better, then the simpler explanation is to be preferred.
In my case, I found myself making my own theory more complex to adjust to the discovery of new facts or to account for the new information I learned about existing facts. The structure I was building was looking increasingly haphazard and inelegant and that is an indication that I may be barking up the wrong tree.
There comes a point where one has to acknowledge that one is twisting oneself into a pretzel to maintain one’s theory and I was reaching that point with mine.
In that circumstance, the simpler explanation, the explanation that does not require one to twist oneself into a pretzel, is to be preferred. The simpler explanation was that the President and his inner circle do indeed believe Osama bin Laden to have been at Abbottaford.
I don’t agree with their estimation of the situation but I can’t maintain my theory in the face of the need to complexify it to account for what I’m reading and viewing. So I acknowledge instead that my theory is not accounting for known facts and I need to find a new explanation or at least drop mine.
I now rest in unknowing and uncertainty and accept for the time being the actual explanation that Leo Panetta and the President are offering as being the one that they (but not I) sincerely believe in.