If both simplicity and complexity can be "weaponised", should we first look the reasons behind the weaponising?
Weaponising seems unlikely to be anything to do with improving understanding.
- I stayed clear on reasons for weaponisation. Perhaps the use of combative language is misleading here. I guess what I'm asking for is consideration to how information will be utilised to help people make informed decisions. But people can benefit from ensuring information is simplified with an agenda by excluding counter arguments, or made inaccessible through complexity forcing us to instead fully trust the decision making of others.
It seems to me that you could argue that the answers to genuinely big and important questions can be both "it's simple..." and "it's complex...", and both would be right.
- I think that's right. There can be layers to complexity from simple onwards. You can deliver a simplified explanation and still appreciate there is more complexity. If more information is required to make crucial decisions, then its worth investing the time to onboard an individual into that complexity.
The thing is - and you're gonna love this - the simple point is that it's a bit more complex than that, right?
- That can definitely be correct. And it can be super important for enabling a person to gain understanding.
Both answers - and the explanations that follow - could be genuinely positive depending on who's asking, why they're asking, what their existing understanding and assumptions are, and so on.
- Absolutely! If you caught me at the right time in my life or right mood, you could persuade me with either argument. If you don't have a mental model for appreciating the unknowns in all things and potential complexity, I think its harder to decide if you can make an informed decision.
Both answers could also be used in a dishonest and negative way, trying to gain an advantage at the expense of the truth. (Using conspiracy theories as examples in the case against complexity seems like a bad idea, come to think of it, because all it takes is a single "why?" and you open a whole new world of complexity.)
- If we can get them to why that's already a great start in my opinion.
"Anti-simplicity for simplicities sake, and pro-understanding for understanding’s sake."
How about making this sentence simpler by removing the first half?
- Agreed! Done.