Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Quote of the Day: Simplicity vs Complexity

Nassim Taleb in his new book "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder"

A complex system, contrary to what people believe, does not require complicated systems and regulations and intricate policies. The simpler, the better. Complications lead to multiplicative chains of unanticipated effects. Because of opacity, an intervention leads to unforeseen consequences, followed by apologies about the “unforeseen” aspect of the consequences, then to another intervention to correct the secondary effects, leading to an explosive series of branching “unforeseen” responses, each one worse than the preceding one.
Yet simplicity has been difficult to implement in modern life because it is against the spirit of a certain brand of people who seek sophistication so they can justify their profession.
Steve Jobs figured out that “you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”
Essentially, he talks about one of the basic differences between problems and puzzles: problems are open-ended, while puzzles have pre-defined solutions. A typical school test is a puzzle. Over the years, we are trained to solve increasingly sophisticated puzzles using increasingly sophisticated solutions. By contrast, solutions to open-ended problems lead to new problems: the more complex the solution, the more complex the resulting problem.

tags: problem, solution, quote, puzzle, quote

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