The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is the most likely to be
correct.
-- William of Occam




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Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers
in heavy weather for several days. I was serving on the lead battleship and
was on watch on the bridge as night fell. The visibility was poor with patchy
fog, so the Captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities.
Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing of the bridge reported,
"Light, bearing on the starboard bow."
"Is it steady or moving astern?" the Captain called out.
Lookout replied, "Steady, Captain," which meant we were on a dangerous
collision course with that ship.
The Captain then called to the signalman, "Signal that ship: We are on
a collision course, advise you change course 20 degrees."
Back came a signal "Advisable for you to change course 20 degrees."
In reply, the Captain said, "Send: I'm a Captain, change course 20
degrees!"
"I'm a seaman second class," came the reply, "You had better change
course 20 degrees."
By that time, the Captain was furious. He spit out, "Send: I'm a
battleship, change course 20 degrees."
Back came the flashing light: "I'm a lighthouse!"
We changed course.
-- The Naval Institute's "Proceedings"


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