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OCKHAM’S RAZOR Written by Michael Kaiser Creative Project 2: PHIL 101 Reyes Espinoza, Instructor A KEYBOARD types furiously. Then stops. INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT A disheveled college student sits at a messy desk frowning at his laptop. He is OCKHAM. He looks like he hasn’t slept in weeks. He sighs weakly and his head droops. EXT. CAMPUS – DAY SUBTITLE: Three weeks earlier Ockham, wearing a stuffed backpack, rides his bike, weaving between students on the busy campus. He passes a low brick wall engraved with the words “Purdue University.” OCKHAM (V.O.) It was my freshman year and I had caught the bug of intellectual inquiry. MONTAGE: Ockham in the front row of a lecture hall, diligently taking notes. OCKHAM (V.O.) It was all so fascinating! Ockham scans the library shelves for books, already carrying a huge pile of them. OCKHAM (V.O.) I found myself in a sanctuary of knowledge. No problem was too daunting, no solution out of reach. Ockham at a study cubicle, pouring over the books. OCKHAM (V.O.) I was unstoppable. INT. BEDROOM – DAY Ockham sits at his desk eating a pizza and working on his laptop. INSERT: COMPUTER SCREEN A course web page with the heading “First Philosophy Essay”. OCKHAM (V.O.) The first paper would be a cinch, I thought. A simple treatise was all. BACK TO: Ockham at his desk. He opens a new Word document on the computer and begins to type. Then stops, thinking. OCKHAM (V.O.) Of course I would need to do research first. A little Plato couldn’t hurt. MONTAGE: In a series of DISSOLVES, we see Ockham in various positions around his room reading texts from the philosophers he mentions. OCKHAM (V.O.) But Plato wasn’t enough. I needed Aristotle and Epicurus. Anselm and Aquinas. Berkeley and Locke. Hume and Kant. And, oh! It was too much. And finally: Ockham sleeps on the floor with a book over his face. CUT TO: Ockham at his laptop, exhausted, but typing furiously. OCKHAM (V.O.) But I knew I couldn’t stop. I needed to get it all down, every last piece of philosophical truth. MONTAGE: QUICKLY CUT between scenes of Ockham writing in a notebook while performing everyday household chores: washing the dishes, frying an egg, brushing his teeth, etc. OCKHAM (V.O.) For three weeks, I spent every waking moment packing more and more information into the essay. But no matter what, it never seemed right. 2. INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT Ockham sits frowning at his laptop exactly as in the beginning. INSERT: COMPUTER SCREEN A document with the heading “TREATISE ON THE NATURE OF EXISTENCE AND THE MEANING OF LIFE” with a terribly lengthy subtitle. At the bottom it says: by William Ockham. CUT TO: Ockham’s head droops and comes to rest lazily on his desk. INT. BEDROOM – THE NEXT DAY An ALARM CLOCK rings. Ockham wakes up, still at his desk. OCKHAM (V.O.) I’d reached my deadline. And I was all out of ideas. Ockham grabs a thick wad of typed papers and walks to the: BATHROOM – DAY Ockham places the pages on the counter. He applies shaving cream and begins shaving. He cuts himself with his razor. Droplets of blood fall onto the papers on the counter, blotting out some of the words. Ockham curses and drops his razor into the sink. More blood drips onto the paper. Ockham grabs the paper and holds it up, horrified. OCKHAM (V.O.) How could this happen! My one printed copy, due in an hour, ruined by bloodstains! (calmer) But, wait… Ockham looks intently at the paper. OCKHAM (V.O.) Un-bel-iev-able… The essay read… perfectly. Ockham’s face lights up as he reads his bloodstained paper. 3. INT. CLASSROOM – DAY A TEACHER stands in the front collecting papers from a line of students. INSERT: PAPERS The teacher grabs each student’s neatly-typed paper one-byone. Suddenly a bloodstained paper is placed in his hand. CUT TO: Ockham, with several bandages on his face, smiles up at us. The teacher looks down at the bloodstained paper skeptically, then at Ockham. OCKHAM (V.O.) The blood drops had blotted out precisely the unnecessary words. My paper was never in need of more, but in fact needed less! The teacher reads the first few lines of the paper. He nods, satisfied, and continues collecting the papers. EXT. CAMPUS – DAY Ockham rides his bike along the same busy path as before. INT. LIBRARY – DAY Ockham scans for books on the shelves. He grabs a copy of Does The Center Hold? He sits down at a study cubicle and opens the book. INSERT: PAGE IN BOOK A finger scans through the text, coming to rest on a definition of Ockham’s Razor. OCKHAM (V.O.) And thus I learned that “what is done with few words is done in vane with more.” FADE TO BLACK. THE END.Ockham%27s Razor (1)

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