Intelligence Shows By Ignoring

Publicity agents and marketers flood my email inbox promoting the latest new product or technology application. They use many big words. Usually I can delete the first paragraph. It tells me nothing. Then I delete other $50 words and keep the $1 ones. Thousands of readers come to my technology blog (unlike the dozens who come here) because I try to make sense and place a context for the news.

I gain by subtracting.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes in his book of aphorisms (sort of like proverbs) The Bed of Procrustes, “They think that intelligence is about noticing things that are relevant (detecting patterns); in a complex world, intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant (avoiding false patterns).”

A philosophical razor (rule of thumb) attributed to the 13th Century philosopher William of Occam (Occam’s Razor) tells us that when choosing among competing hypotheses about the same prediction, the simplest one is to be preferred.

I’ve seen people (preachers, teachers) take a simple teaching of Jesus or of Paul and expand it beyond all proportion. 

Maybe when Jesus said “they will know my followers by their love” what he meant was people will know my followers by their love.

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