Simplicity

Of the many things that humanity has picked up over the years, the ability to recognize simplicity as something positive is an interesting and rather intriguing phenomenon. This has even gone to such an extent that brevity and simplicity have an almost aesthetic appeal. We just have to look to the world’s most successful technology companies to find evidences of the growing appreciation for simplicity. Questions cannot be raised about Apple Inc.’s emphasis on simplicity and subsequent aesthetic appeal of their products. Google is characterized by a homepage that simply features its logo and an input field. A growing trend on website designs is the use of clean and simple methodologies to efficiently convey information.

Brevity is arguably the one factor that determines how the intended audience is going to judge a piece of information. This ‘No Bullshit’ filter in man seems to have been imprinted into our DNAs as society changes with time. We use it to evaluate and categorize anything that might be posed at us albeit a long, winding newspaper article that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere or a presentation riddled with technical jargon that makes no sense whatsoever. I argue that this filter is one of, if not, the most useful qualities of man as it significantly improves the efficiency of his information processing. Below is a quote by Albert Einstein that supports my argument:

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Most scientific and technological fields have accepted the supremacy of simplicity and have made conscious efforts to make their products and services accessible. We need a revolution in fields like philosophy and literature where simplicity is finally acknowledged to be the one true asset. We have yet to move from the view that good literature is characterized by expansive vocabulary and complex grammar and wordplay. Most works of philosophy are notorious for their difficult and esoteric language. In my view, there must be concerted efforts by present day scholars to make their subjects more accessible to the general public.

The question that then arises is, why does the general public need this philosophy? That’s because some of these works can significantly change the way a person thinks about the world and right now that’s exactly what the world needs. Even changing the smaller and seemingly insignificant aspects of a person’s thought processes can make a difference to the way he or she thinks about the bigger picture.

Many people attribute the complexity and the esoteric nature of these works to the ‘charm’ of the subject. I disagree and I have to say that if there indeed exists a ‘charm’, it can only arise out of the subject matter. The language is merely a medium of expression and should not be given undue importance. As an aid to understanding why I think this way, I ask you as the reader, to think about why languages were created.

For the sake of maintaining a consistency with my appreciation of brevity and the length of this write up, I will conclude here and leave a graph that you can study:

Simplicity

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