Sunday, February 28, 2010

Search for Simplicity and Mediocre Minds

Jack Dikian


September 2003

For mediocre minds there is horror in the simple. And I don’t even mean mild unease, distress or discomfort when faced with something simple but an absolute horror. It may be that the mediocre mind finds threatening the inability to distinguish between something that is simple because there is nothing behind it, and something that is simple because there is a great deal behind it. This can be a distressing situation. Since the mediocre mind cannot see beyond the limits of its vision, such a mind must insist, vehemently, that there can be nothing behind the simple appearance: if I cannot see anything then there cannot be anything there. The uneasy feeling that there might be something lurking there, but invisible, is a standard component of horror.

Mediocre minds are therefore reactive and often prefer to be describers, needing something to describe. The richer the picture placed before them the richer their reaction and the greater the sense of achievement. If you have not much to say then say it in the most complex and impressive way you can.

This brings us to the difference between those who are doers and those who prefer to describe. The doers like simplicity because simplicity means effectiveness and are too busy doing rather than writing.

Simplicity (or simplifying things) can be very effective in action, secondly, anything worth saying can usually be said in a simple manner, and thirdly, something that becomes obvious once it has been said may not have been so obvious beforehand.

This work is an attempt to describe how complex ideas and thoughts can be presented in simple ways – predominately diagrams. It is envisioned that the examples serve two purposes:- that they can be used as self-standing representations of ideas or thoughts the reader may wish to convey, and secondly, as a method by which new ideas and thoughts can be better described.