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Occam’s Razor

Most people who’ve known me for any length of time know my fondness for Occam’s Razor—particularly when trying to decipher possible security problems in software. For many years, I had to explain the reference and its significance. Lately, though, I’m seeing references everywhere (the latest was on Buzz Andersen’s blog via Daring Fireball this morning).

In my own mind, I use it as a test: in the absence of differentiating evidence, the explanation with the fewest unknown dependencies—in other words, the simplest one—is likely correct.

October 28, 2007