Simplicity v. Complexity

Normally, I try to keep my comments on Facebook posts reasonably short, because I know that I, myself, don’t always read comments if I can’t even see them all at once (there are exceptions), but when I saw the headline from the Guardian “People with Extremist Views Less Able to do Complex Mental Tasks” it touched a nerve and I was off to the races.
After an extremely long (for me) comment, I went back and actually read the article. So, I added the second comment. Then, of course, I realized I had my blog for the day, so I’m just going to copy my two comments here and that’s that. Simple.

First comment: Some people think I have extremist views, but that is just from their point of view. I believe we need to have electric cars, and electric trains, and to cover the planet with solar panels and wind turbines, and ALL garbage should be recycled, and that we should plant about a gazillion new trees, partly because that would clean up the atmosphere, and partly because I really like trees. I believe everybody on Earth should have a home, and hot and cold running water, and electricity, and internet access. I believe that the U.S. government should spend about ten times as much as it does on NASA, and about 50% less than it does on the military, and all overseas military bases should be converted into refugee centers, complete with schools (especially schools for girls) and job training programs. I believe all drugs should be legalized and marijuana should be prescribed for anybody who feels too stressed.VBNMW plonkers and people who like describing their views as centrist say I am over simplistic, and the issues are much more complex than I think, but I’m not buying it. It seems to me the powers that be want us to be overwhelmed by complexity, so we will submit to whatever the powers that be want, unable to argue with what we don’t understand. Simplicity, in decision making, is a good thing. Reducing things to their lowest common denominator is a touchstone of mathematics. Science is dedicated to posing, and solving, binary problems.As to the scientific validity of this, maybe. I hated Gravity’s Rainbow, couldn’t even finish Ulysses, but loved the Harry Potter books. So, it’s true that I have what most people think are extreme views, and it’s true that I prefer simplicity. But, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Second comment: O.K., having read the article now, it seems by ‘extremist’ they meant ‘conservative.’ There is a difference, and they could have been clearer.

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