How Complicated is Too Complicated?

7)If it’s too simple it’s boring

6)If it’s too complicated it’s chaotic

5)If it’s the right degree of complicated you see the simple rules behind the complexity but your mind is overwhelmed by multiple ways those simple rules generate forms.

4)Like life itself

3)Wallace Stevens says the poem must resist the intelligence almost successfuly.  This experience of the mind’s power on the brink of being overwhelmed is the only experience of transcendence we ever have.  So we should be happy with it.

2)Like life itself

1)How can you tell the difference between being overwhelmed by complexity and just being confused?

0)If you find that the effort to overcome the complexity outside yourself and reduce it to simple rules creates a functional harmony within yourself, you’re good.


9 thoughts on “How Complicated is Too Complicated?

  1. Simcha says:

    Seth Bernadeti would comment on #3 that the Poet and the Philosopher must learn to converse internally; Socrates was also a poet, Homer also a philosopher. Is this not how we must all approach Wisdom: Revelation/Insight and Formal Thought?

  2. An interesting non-linear sequence of thoughts. Very stimulating.

    I might add that we need not understand life in order to live it, nor overcome complexity in order to find the harmony it conceals.

  3. Mikey says:

    I once had the idea that I could probably write a pretty good Belle and Sebastian imitation by getting a book and randomly taking a few sentences out of it from random pages, then jiggling them about a bit. Since they would all be from the same book, they’d feel a bit like they fit together but obviously there would be bits missing so you’d have to do a bit of thinking to make any sense of it. And as long as you didn’t know the book, you’d probably be wrong. I never got round to it because it was too much hassle. And it probably wouldn’t have worked.

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