Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Implications of Trump's Razor

Looking for the simplest explanation:
Over the weekend, I outlined my heuristic of Trumpian action which my high school classmate John Scalzi has now dubbed 'Trump's Razor' in honor of 'Occam's Razor', the foundational mode of reasoning devised by the 14th century scholastic theologian William of Occam. According to Trump's Razor: "ascertain the stupidest possible scenario that can be reconciled with the available facts" and that answer is likely correct. Last night ran very late at TPM thanks to the Melania/plagiarism debacle. As I was walking to my apartment well past midnight I started considering the implications of Trump's Razor and I shuddered and recoiled at what it told me. To phrase the principle in Occam's terms, it tells us 'the stupidest scenario is always to be preferred'. And what was the stupidest possible scenario? Right: Melania wrote the speech herself.

...Two people briefed on the process ... said that a contract speechwriter, Matthew Scully, had written an early draft of Ms. Trump’s speech several weeks ago. Ms. Trump then took that speech and made substantial changes to it, according to this person, with help from someone working at the Trump Organization.

...Anything is possible. But this does not seem like a mistake someone like Scully would make. Not remotely. According to these sources, Scully wrote the speech "several weeks ago" and then passed it off to Melania who "made substantial changes to it ... with help from someone at the Trump Organization."

...Admittedly we're dealing with a small portion of information, albeit from two sources, who remain unidentified. We can't know what happened yet. But the power of Trump's Razor is strong. It commands us to go in directions too imbecilic or stupid to be imagined. And yet those who will not go willingly are often dragged later where it beckoned them.

We can't know yet. But the now available evidence suggests Melania perhaps being the plagiarist herself....

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