Simplexity

Damn! What a great word. Wished I had coined it. Kudos to Jeffrey Luger though. He’s the mastermind behind the book of the same name.

Luger’s point is that the world around us filled with examples of things that appear simple and are enormously complex in their operation and vice versa. He cites a common houseplant with its microhydraulics and fine-tuned metabolism as being more complex than a manufacturing plant.

I particularly like his example of how very complex algothirms and systems can make something very simple e.g. the experience of shopping at Amazon. From the actual searching for what you want, to the ordering and it shipping to your doorstep. In addition, the system is smart enough to make useful recommendations based on what you’ve ordered. The systems that make this possible is enormous in their scope and complexity but once set up (after much trial, error and evolution) are effective and very efficient.

This got me thinking of how complex it seems to set up the systems/routines and practices in my life that work. The trial and error, the monitoring of what works and what doesn’t, the research to see what tools are available etc., etc. However, once the systems are set up the experience of using them can make life silky simple.

The next time you see someone or something operating very smoothly, remember that the underlying systems and operations may have been very complex to set up. So don’t give up on yours. 😉

Any thoughts? Contributions/acknowledgments welcome.