77. Incorrect application of Occam's razor

Occam's razor is the scientific heuristic that “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity”. However, this is just a guideline, and is subjective. In the hands of a clumsy operator, Occam's razor can simply be used to exclude ideas that are too complicated to understand, but nonetheless valid failure modes. As mentioned earlier, catastrophes tend to involve the confluence of improbable scenarios, which breach a hole in safety mechanisms. So, overlapping and combinatorial failure sequences ought to be considered. Occam's razor may be suitable when it comes to deriving naturalistic explanations for complex natural phenomena, but isn't as useful when it comes to considering complex failure modes or scenarios or global risk.