Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We're Out To Get Them

Lots of smart people, including Reg Braithwaite, think Kanye's dick move was part of some conspiracy. Nobody seems to notice that this violates Occam's Razor and YAGNI.

If you stick to strict rules of logic, you have to throw out anything which violates Occam's Razor. If you want good code, you have to throw out anything which violates YAGNI. Occam's Razor and YAGNI are basically the same thing viewed from different angles. Why are so many smart people disregarding these important rules?

One thing that's important to realize is that it's not a generic group of smart people. It's programmers, and it's only programmers. I know smart people in entertainment. None of them are crying conspiracy. Is it possible Kanye wanted attention? Duh, of course it's possible. But anything beyond that is just silly.

Conspiracy theories fall into two categories: theories with evidence and pure mythology. Mythologies exist to share important stories between generations of a culture. But what's important about this story? The "staged" idea is implausible to me - but given that I think Occam's Razor / YAGNI are pretty important, I wouldn't believe it even if was plausible.

Reg even went further and hinted at a dark, shadowy Nipple Conspiracy (which presumably includes dark, shadowy Nipple Overlords). Paris Hilton's allegedly unintentional ascension to infrared porn stardom also came into the discussion. Here's what I don't get. If we can presume conspiratorial motives in all these cases, absent evidence, why aren't there rumors of a Batshit Britney Conspiracy? Why doesn't anyone suggest that she was faking it too?

If you're going to believe in a conspiracy theory, at least choose a cool one. I only heard one conspiracy theory cool enough to consider at all: Obama put Kanye up to it, so that Obama could call him a jackass, and thereby imply that Joe Wilson is a jackass too, without having to actually say so in public.

That is a conspiracy theory I can buy into. If we're going to throw logic out the window and build a new mythological worldview on magical thinking, let's start by declaring ourselves the winners. Because if I can't have a world where Obama uses his magic puppet powers to manipulate MTV behind the scenes, all just to give an ignorant douchebag the metaphorical finger, then I'd rather just live in reality and be governed by logic.