I’m enjoying Duncan Watts’ Everything is Obvious. It’s a lucid takedown of the many easy mistakes we make in explaining how things happen in the world. To summarise it very crudely we come up with simplistic explanations for complex phenomena and ignore evidence that challenges our view.
It reminds me a great deal of the friction that arises in meetings, especially when things get sticky. There’s usually someone who impatiently and/or patronisingly announces that we’re wasting time and there’s obviously a better way of doing things. We humans so easily forget that we’re only small parts of complex systems with rather limited information about what’s really going on. We miss the distinction spotted by Oliver Wendell Holmes
I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.
… and end up like John Cleese’s schoolmaster.