Complicated vs complex

chryston watercolor close up

I am still working my way through this Arthur C Brooks podcast. I mostly want to save this here so I can find it later; it’s so good:

My dad believed not that what we know is what we should pay attention to, but to marvel at what we can do and still not know anything.

So my father would explain, it had a big impact on me, that there’s two kinds of problems in life. There’s complicated problems and there’s complex problems. […]

Complicated problems are all the things that you can solve with computational horsepower and tech.

Complex problems are super easy to understand, but you can never solve them.

Like who’s going to win between the Patriots and the Dolphins? I know what winning looks like, it’s more points on the scoreboard, but I have no idea and that’s why it’s beautiful to watch the game and you don’t want to simulate it on a computer because it’ll be inaccurate.

Love is complex. A jet engine is complicated.

A cat is complex, a toaster is complicated.

…the reason that we’re always unsatisfied in life is because we have complex problems. We want love, and all we have is complicated solutions that the world is offering us like computers and the internet and social media and blah, blah, blah, blah. And you’ll never be satisfied because the wrong kind of solution for the wrong kind of problem.

Arthur C. Brooks — How to Be Happy, Reverse Bucket Lists, The Four False Idols, Muscular Philosophies, Practical Inoculation Against the Darkness, and More (#692) – The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss

Comments welcome!

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