Dixie Darr

Go With the Simple Solution

In creativity, Home, Learning on February 14, 2011 at 7:18 am

The lamp on my desk wouldn’t come on when I turned the switch. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem. I’d just change the light bulb and move on. This, however, was one of those energy-saving curlicue bulbs which are supposed to last five years, so that couldn’t be the problem.

I checked to make sure it was plugged in. Because I live in an ancient house with too few outlets, the lamp plug was piggybacked on the plug for my digital phone modem. (I swear I’m getting rid of the damn land line and going cellular. I might as well get some use out of the cell phone that I pay for and never use. But I digress.) The phone was working, and I deduced that the outlet wasn’t the problem.

Hmmm. Could be the switch. I bought the lamp at Target less than a year ago. Maybe I could exchange it for a new one.

After getting by for two days with just the overhead lamp, which threw my shadow onto anything I tried to read at my desk, I decided I had to quit overthinking this and do something. I replaced the light bulb with a new curlicue and it lit right up.

Maybe the fact that my desk lamp is on roughly 12 hours a day used up it’s life in less that the promised five years. Whatever. This was a reminder of Occam’s Razor: the simplest solution is usually the best. At least it’s the best place to start.

So, the next time you find yourself overcomplicating things, remember Occam’s Razor and try the simplest solution first.

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