Tag Archives: Simplicity

Simplicity Is Elegance, Not Stupidity

“Something that looks very simple indeed can be incredibly complicated, especially if I’m being paid by the hour. The Sun is simple. A sword is simple, A storm is simple. Behind everything simple is a huge tail of complicated.”Terry Pratchett

“Simplicity of reading derives from a context of detailed and complex information, properly arranged. A most unconventional design strategy is reveled: to clarify, add detail.—Ed Tufte

“God is in the detail.”—Mies van der Rohe, or Warburg, or maybe even Flaubert

“Simpleness is another aesthetic preference, not an information display strategy, not a guide to clarity. What we seek instead is a rich texture of data, a comparative context, an understanding of complexity revealed with an economy of means.”—Ed Tufte

“Ye said she’s a bit simple: find a teacher who can bring out the complicated in her. The girl learned a difficult language just by listening to it. The world needs folk who can do that.”Terry Pratchett

“The devil is in the details”—Common lore

“Confusion and clutter are failures of design, not attributes of information. And so the point is to find design strategies that reveal detail and complexity—rather than to fault the data for an excess of complication. Or, worse, to fault viewers for a lack of understanding.”—Ed Tufte

“If we’re going to be sapient, we might as well get good at it. Come on.”– Terry Pratchett 

Dealing with Stupidity – Part 2

“No matter what, the operating moral premise of information design should be that our readers are alert and caring; they may be busy, eager to get on with it, but they are not stupid. Clarity and simplicity are completely opposite simple-mindedness. Disrespect for the audience will leak through, damaging communication.”

—Ed Tufte

So, in my interpretation, the best way to avoid stupidity is for oneself to not be stupid in the first place. That is, stupid is as stupid does. Or, in other words, acting stupidly invites further stupidity.