[svlug] This mess is surely a conspiracy, my brain hurts and I don't like complexity or live long and prosper

Karen Shaeffer shaeffer at neuralscape.com
Fri Jan 2 16:02:31 PST 2015

On Fri, Jan 02, 2015 at 03:03:43PM +0100, Ivan Sergio Borgonovo wrote:
> On 01/02/2015 03:17 AM, Karen Shaeffer wrote:
> > Agreed.
> > But Einstein believed the simplest solution to account for all constraints
> > was far more _likely_ to be 'more correct' than the more complex one. That
> > when human beings indulge in adding unnecessary complexity that exceeds the
> > known constraints, this is inherently an error prone process. I believe, in
> It is a quite interesting ontological problem and we just pretended to
> agree on what "complex" means.
> This is a bit derailing from the original point that complex systems are
> generally more valuable than simple one and well that reality is complex.

Hi Ivan,
Einstein's advice to engineers and scientist says nothing about the absolute
complexity of a solution. It simply states, during initial development of
novel technology, the simplest solution that accounts for all known bounding
constraints is most likely to be more correct than a more complex solution.
I believe anyone who has done development of novel technology will certainly
agree with that advice.

Disruptive technology that has persistence in the marketplace has a life
cycle. My comments pertain to the early part of that life cycle, when the
technology is on the bleeding edge. Bleeding edge technologies do not have
unnecessary complexity associated with them. Certainly true of linux in the
early part of its life cycle. And certainly true of Google search as an
example. As such technology matures, then the profit motive of corporations
spurs on the implementation of added complexity to enhance their profits.
Google search was bleeding edge simple in the early days. The multitude of
users who flocked to google for their search needs did so based on the core,
minimal functionality. All the complexity that has been built up around google
search is all about profit. The same is true of linux. I believe the entangled
complexity associated with contemporary linux is all about profit as well. I
personally don't see it as good or evil. It's just the way business works.
Corporations have invested a lot of money in their linux based businesses, and
they are going to do whatever they believe will maximize their long term profits.

I've broadened the scope of this discussion to account for the life cycle of
disruptive technology, because I think it enables our points of view to
co-exist in considerable harmony. In that broadened context, there appears
to be considerable commonality in our perspectives.

I am very busy and have no more time for this discussion. Very much enjoyed
your comments.

Karen Shaeffer                 Be aware: If you see an obstacle in your path,
Neuralscape Services           that obstacle is your path.        Zen proverb

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