By Brian George
The theft of Occam's Razor
“Those who move neither near nor far, who are not real Brahmins nor pressers of Soma; using speech in a bad way, they weave on a weft of rags, without understanding…”—From “The Origin of Sacred Speech”, the Rig Veda
On December 9th, 2009—one day before President Obama was scheduled to give his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo—a rotating white spiral appeared in the pre-dawn sky over Norway. It was seen by thousands of people, and was visible for several hundred miles. The bright “pinwheel” at the center was surrounded by a series of harmoniously spaced rings. A blue cone could also be perceived to emanate from the center, or else to originate from a point on the horizon from which the spiral was projected. As the spiral pulsed and expanded, it looked at times like a Yin/Yang symbol and at other times like a nautilus shell. After 15 or so minutes, it collapsed into what many have described as a “black hole.”
Hi Stace (Tussel),
You wrote, "Of course, 'official' explanations are beginning to filter out into the media, including what I expect to eventually be the popular explanation: that the spiral was comprised of fuel debris from a failed Russian rocket launch—a launch which Russian officials have denied. What motive would exist to deny the rocket launch, especially when the evidence was hanging there in the air for 10 to 20 minutes, at least?"
You would think that it might be difficult to come to terms with such an event—you would think. Perhaps one should take a few moments to allow it to sink in—or out and down—and to filter through the archeological strata of the mind? But even before its afterimage faded, small armies of “debunkers” had set fire to their keyboards. Indeed, we are living in strange days. It is rare for each government press-release to be taken at face value; to be many times repeated, almost word for word, by those who should know better.
As if their very survival were at stake, and the Earth might decide to collapse into a hole—leaving only a smudge where a hieroglyph used to be. As if disinfomation were a breastplate against death.
Occam wrote, "Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem," which translates as, "Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity." What else is this "Russian missile" if not an unnecessary "entity" that has been conjured out of the small amount of evidence at hand? As if this weren't enough, there are two "official" Russian versions of the cover story—that the "failed missile launch" did not exist, and then, later, that it did. Such "entities" would indeed appear to have "multiplied" beyond necessity.
People are always putting words in poor Occam's mouth, as well as claiming to have inherited his razor! But which side in the debate about the Norway Spiral would Occam actually be on? It always amazes me that supposedly "hard-headed" observers can somehow fail to take into account their own ontological fears; if the evidence does not add up in one's favor, then one has only to throw out bits and pieces until it does.
The “simplest explanation” is that we do not know what we are looking at, and that it falls outside of our current framework of “reality." To say as much, however, would be to justify the ways of the “big mind” to the “little mind”; it would be for the Ego to capitulate to Terror. It is we who are the innocent balloons! To defend against the pin invasion any slight-of-hand is justified.
Fate “took from our eyes the day of our return”—and thus no such day can be permitted to exist.
False analogies are productive; because they both involve "spirals," the Norway Spiral is "like" a failed missile launch. This is like saying that there is no difference between a sheet of notebook paper and an interstate highway, because they are both more or less "2-dimensional." One's opponents are by definition "flakey." If all else fails, one can always appeal to the God of the Hermetically Sealed Observer—which, in its role as both a "participant" and a "judge," is uniquely suited to place its thumb upon the scales.
Perhaps the Norway Spiral is a kind of "sky-art," an atmospheric version of a "crop circle," in which plasma is a substitute for wheat? No; no way; not a chance; don't even think about it! As you listen to my voice, you are getting very sleepy...Such things cannot "exist" because we know that such things are not "real." Because—well—Occam said so!
I am not at all convinced, however, that Occam would jump to dismiss the Norway Spiral as an "out of control rocket." Too often, these days, it is the conventional scientific explanations that fly in the face of common sense, and that are actually the screwiest and most implausible. My own sense is that certain "skeptical reductionist" elements have hijacked the once flexible concept of "Science"—keeping only the shell of the methodology of "Empiricism"; to which lip-service must be paid, after the manner of all orthodox religions. A true "Enlightenment" position would be one that argues in favor of open-ended inquiry; it would put Curiosity always at the forefront of its virtues.
We should not regard an explanation as the "simplest" simply because it corresponds to our existing system of beliefs. Conversely, we should not regard an explanation as "far-fetched" simply because it calls attention to the limits of our knowledge, and thus forces us to question everything that we believe ourselves to "know."
In New Age circles, almost everyone feels free to heap abuse upon the 18th century; as if a group of long dead explorers were responsible for our own outdated habits of perception, and for our failure to respond with focused intuition to the challenges that confront us. But Newton—who spent 40 years in the study of Alchemy and Kabbalah—was not as far from Blake as we imagine, or as Blake imagined then; stealth concealed the extent of his revolutionary impulse. Even now, perhaps, he continues to experiment with “spooky action at a distance,” as his followers attempt to imitate the blank perfection of his marble bust.
Newton did what he was able, as must we. Fixed laws must be once more set in motion. “Here is the Tropic of Cancer,” we will say, “and here is the Tropic of Capricorn—but how does the 3rd dimension intersect with the 8th?” Daring ourselves to conceptualize and to test a new 10D version of “longitude,” we must set forth on the sea of the 64 cube tetrahedron.