The Merriem-Webster dictionary defines parsimony as follows:
b : the quality or state of being stingy
From Wikipedia’s article on Maximum Parsimony:
Occam’s razor, a principle of theoretical parsimony suggested by William of Ockham in the 1320s, asserted that it is vain to give an explanation which involves more assumptions than necessary. When applied to computational phylogenetics, maximum parsimony describes a particular non-parametric statistical method for constructing phylogenies. In this application, the preferred phylogenetic tree is the tree that supposes the least evolutionary change to explain observed data (hence maximally parsimonious).
While I am not a computational phylogeneticist, I certainly believe in the principle of maximal parsimony. I seek maximum economy in the use of means to an end with respect to lifestyle design. The end goal is none other than the intangible concept of happiness in life. The means are all of my experiences, including all of the ideas that I’ve inherited from my contemporaries and those who have come before me.
Nikola Tesla once said:
Life is and will ever remain an equation incapable of solution, but it contains certain known factors.
This space exists to record and share my outlook on the age-old, ever-evolving, optimization problem of life. While its solution is impossible, it is fun to think about. To begin, let us summarize a few potential perspectives. We shall discuss:
- stoicism and other philosophies of happiness to understand the elusive nature of the problem.
- money management as it relates to financial independence and the maximization of free time.
- fitness and nutrition based on the assumption that the mind and body are linked and thus affect each other.
- sociology and psychology based on the assumption that human-human interaction is a necessary condition for fulfillment in life.
These discussions will occur both in the abstract and rooted in examples from my own experiences. If a reader rejects an assumption, then I invite them to read on with a skeptical eye. We shall attempt to justify these assumptions by demonstrating the simplicity, harmony, and parsimony that results from embracing these seemingly disparate perspectives.