Simple things

Posted by on Apr 24, 2007 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Oscarwilde

Great thought on Simple things about the appeal of simple things to the complex mind.

Which made me think how hard it is for us to see that complexity arises from very simple causal factors, interacting with each other (see previous post)

We want to imagine we see the mechanism behind complex phenomena but it doesn’t reveal itself so easily (it lies beneath – as the simulations here and here suggest).

Another thing: it seems our brains are blessed with pattern recognition abilities that are quite extraordinary but not always the best.

Take for example the following;

xxoxxoxxxoxoxoxoxooo

This is a randomly generated series of marks (I just made tem up).

Look at the series.

Doesn’t it seem like there is some kind of pattern, or like there should be here? Like it isn’t quite random.

This is the down side of the same mechanism which allows us to navigate through our lives with what Daniel Kahnemann calls “schema” – a much more efficient brain than any computer…

Oh happy day. Garden greenshoots doing their thing and sun emerging from the clouds. Dinner with old friends tonight. Simple things, alright. They rock.

2 Comments

  1. Jon Howard (Living Brands)
    April 24, 2007

    Have a read of this: http://plus.maths.org/issue31/features/stickland/
    Makes some good points about coincidences and pattern recognition…even when there isn’t a pattern to recognise.

  2. Holycow
    April 24, 2007

    Keep it simple – always. Complexity is the refuge of the socially inept. Harsh perhaps but think about it.
    Mark – tea next week perhaps?