Feb 2, 2008

Ockham's Razor

The good news is that I made it to work on time this morning. The bad news is that I made it to work on time this morning. When I signed up for this gig and agreed to work on Saturday, I breezily told everyone, that it didn't matter if I work on Saturday, because when you're retired everyday is Saturday. Not quite true. On Saturday, I have to be at the store at 7:00am, which seems somehow earlier than it used to. I have to get up before six to make sure that I have time to read the paper, etc. This puts the kibosh on going out on Friday night, which to a hipster like me, is bad news. Luckily I have no peeps with which to hang, so I bear it. A funny thing happened at the store today. A lady came in and asked me about how to wire a day-night sensor to an outside floodlight. The kind of light you might have over a garage. She said that her light had just stopped working, neither bulb would light. She had tried changing the day-night sensor to no avail, so she thought that maybe she was wiring it incorrectly. We went over how it should be done and she said that she thought she had done it correctly. She asked if she could just bring the fixture in, which she did later in the morning. I wired the sensor like the wiring diagram showed and we rigged an appliance cord to it, in order to plug it into a wall outlet. Nothing. I removed the sensor and and tried the fixture without it. Still nothing. Then I asked her, almost jokingly, if the bulbs were any good? We had an instant moment of clarity. We got new bulbs and of course it worked perfectly. There is a concept in logic called Ockham's Razor, which says when faced with a problem, look to the simplest solution first. Or as doctors say, "When you hear hoof beats think of horses, not zebras." The customer got fooled because she didn't think that both bulbs could burn out at nearly the same time and I made the mistake of not testing it with new bulbs first. We both were working from complex to simple, not simple to complex. Live and learn. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

5 comments:

Kurt said...

I fixed the toilet this week.

dennis said...

Dennis doesn't fix things, Dennis breaks things.

dennis said...

Dennis wonders what there is to eat in the desert. Dennis likes rodents and little snakes.



Dennis likes Merle.

Steve said...

Funny! This is the same principal that doctors use when confronted with a neurotic patient and they say, "Well, it COULD be pneumonia, but it's probably just a cold." And usually they're right. I hope.

d. chedwick bryant said...

How weird that both lights would go at the same time!