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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Occam's Razor

It is bitterly cold, grey and rainy today. But it might as well be warm and sunny with birds singing. This is the fourth consecutive day without a sinus headache and significantly less congestion because of my new regime of frequent saline rinses. I finally feel like I have my mojo back! And yet I am also feeling somewhat sheepish about the fact that the solution was so simple, painless and much less risky than the approach I was taking before. If only I had really listened to my brother's advice a few months ago!

Actually this seems to be a theme in my life lately. The solution to what seems to be a major problem is quite simple. Look at what happened with Big A? Things between us have been so much better since the consultants came. It really is quite astonishing!

It makes me wonder if all sorts of common problems and dilemmas we face really have very simple solutions - weight loss, marital problems, debt, etc. and it is just our emotions, prejudices and cognitive distortions that complicate things and inhibit us from reaching our goals. It's a weird paradox that humans have an innate survival instinct but are also somewhat self-destructive. Of course, one problem is that as pleasure seeking beings, it doesn't help that we derive pleasure from all sorts of things that are destructive to us (junk food, cigarettes, unprotected sex, etc.). But that doesn't explain why we often do things that cause ourselves pain. I guess no matter how smart or educated we are, we all have a limited awareness and cognitive understanding of the world around us and we are complex emotional beings who do not always behave rationally, even if we do possess all of the relevant information. I'm not arguing that the Middle East crisis could be solved with a handshake, I'm just saying it may be worth considering small, simple solutions to a problem you are facing before you try more drastic ones or give up and conclude it is unsolvable.