By Fabio Zaniboni
The Oxford English Dictionary defines simple as "of very low intelligence.”
It is fascinating to me how much the meaning and interpretation of symbols (semiotics) say about a culture. I grew up in a cultural divide where my western friends praised and searched for greater complexities as a challenge to their intelligence and my mathematical studies were taking me to undecipherable levels of complexity and my nights spent at reading Eastern Philosophy books were taking me to ethereal and unreachably simple truths.
I truly believe that the definition of simple should rather be “of very high intelligence.”
The most intelligent people I have ever met were able to make the most apparently complex subjects look simple and within the grasp of the average person. The most skilled artist make their work look easy and simple. We unconsciously recognize the professional, the master and the intelligent because of their ability to convey simplicity in their domain.
This is not just my perspective. It is a view shared by many, including some of the top thinkers and artistic talents the world has known.
“The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” ― Albert Einstein
“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” ― Isaac Newton
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ― Confucius
“Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.” — Plato
"Simple can be harder than complex, you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple" — Steve Jobs
“Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.” — Frederic Chopin
I am very interested in your take on minimalism and would love to see your comments.