Thursday, February 13, 2014

Simplexity: Why Simple Thing Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple)

KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid

My office mate is a big fan of simplification.  He can take any issue, boil it down to a single yes-or-no question, and declare victory when the person with whom he's arguing cannot give a 100% positive answer.  He should probably read Sipmplexity, but I doubt he ever will.  Jeffrey Kruger has an interesting premise - everything exists on a bell curve, between complete chaos and complete order, and the sweet spot is in the middle.  Every system needs enough flexibility to accommodate the variations from the norm, but not so much so that predictability falls too low.  Human perception complicates matters - we place too much value on the rare event (like plane crashes) because they stand out and not enough on common events (like car crashes) because they fade into the background.  Kruger applies the rules of simplexity to several situations, from language acquisition to sports scores and from consumer electronics to why low paid jobs aren't actually low skilled.  I don't know (and it may be impossible to know) how accurate his conclusions are, but it's an interesting book.

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