Ants, Symphonies and Honeycombs


Do you know the difference between complex and complicated?

I'll give you my definition.

Complex means there are a great many elements involved.

Complicated means there are a ton of rules and criteria to take into account.

The first explains how skyscrapers are built.

The second explains why it is impossible to stay in a relationship more than a few days.

Complex is amazing. It's mindblowing.

It's ants traveling back and forth in neat little lines. It's bees building their symmetrical combs. It's a Mozart symphony.

Complicated is a pain in the ass.

It's government bureaucracy. It's that boy(girl)friend that needs to do sixty things before leaving the house. It's getting a publishing deal.

Let's talk about simple.

Do you think simple is the antonym of complex or complicated?

Complicated, of course.

When we say something is simple, we mean that it's devoid of a billion different rules and options. It's straightforward.

Complex structures are built, mostly, out of simple material following simple processes.

Following a simple algorithm, these structures complexify over time.

Watch it in action:


It's surreal.

And did you pay attention to the music in the background?

It was composed using only 12 notes.

Think about this: to this day, humans are still composing new music following brand new patterns using just these 12 building blocks.

Surreal!

It also works for you and your career.

You can build an entire career out of a single skill.

Just one.

Think of sushi chef Jiro Ono.

Think of soccer defenders.

Simple. Done over and over and over.

Amazing structures. Amazing results.

Forget complicated. Forget too many moving parts.

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