Call for Simplicity that Adds Intelligence

When entire systems such as finances, health care or higher education, break down, corrupt and confound intelligent people, it’s time to power up the brain and reboot ethical practices to simplify. How so?

Let’s fact it – taxes today tax your brain! Beyond the clutter of financial policies, written to confuse honest tax payers, lies opportunity for a simply stated and ethical economy. Who will lead the charge to remove tax related clutter in ways that transform financial practices from fear tactics

Behind convoluted bureaucracies, that cling to bloated barriers, awaits supreme innovation for brilliant systems – in simply stated tenets. Those who call for  systemic excellence, will want to support smart skills that cut through bureaucratic debris with unpretentious style. Who do you support?

Past broken secondary schools that gasp for breath amidst rows and increasingly complex money demands, stand highly intelligent teens. Learners come to class daily armed with multiple intelligences, and mental wealth to solve complex problems. Who will simplify neuron pathways to capitalize on their real riches?

Ahead of universities in crisis, where tenured faculty fight for crooked benefits and complex myths shape tired traditions more than human brainpower, curious leaders-in-training await straightforward solutions. Who will lead a higher education built on human brainpower without confusion or disadvantages across entire communities?

Some experts say that complexity,  confusion and cynicism will drive any system into corruption, and we hear daily of the scams that result.  Greed follows from that few in that field who learn deceptive ways through its mazes for personal gain.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow added that, “In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”

I propose that pretentious prose may remove accountability checks that otherwise come form honest people, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Amazing brainpower flows beyond current seas of complex cynicism. Let’s toss simplicity back into the ring – the kind that mixes intelligence with ethics and splashes hope. You?

18 Comments

  1. WDF says:

    Your piece got me thinking about how you can’t satisfy everyone. And there will always be a group that doesn’t like a simplified way for one reason or another. So my proposal is to have two systems – one that is simple and the other mind numbingly complex. The task would be to blend it so that there is some equity between the two. Any beneficial skewing could go to the simple system. Then we would have a choice and we could see how it could work. I think a lot of people just need to see the choice and maybe this would help get some traction for making improvements.

  2. eweber says:

    Thanks for stopping by WDF. What an interesting idea, and it means a great deal to me – since I see roles for intelligent people to transform the language and jargon in these mazes we created – to communicate honestly with the rest of us.

    Imagine the jobs this new career could create. I refuse to call it dumbing down, since for geniuses like Einstein simplicity reigned! When genuine intelligence gets involved – simplicity reaches beyond the complexity that bloats meaning and prevents transparency.

    You said it far better than I though!

  3. Wally Bock says:

    Another wonderful post, Ellen. I think one part of the problem is that we use complexity as a surrogate for “sophisticated.” When that starts to happen, I think of one of my heroes, the physicist Richard Feynman. Feynman won the Nobel Prize. He conceptualized the (reversible) arrow of time. He was always among the brightest in any room. But he was also known for his ability to make the abstruse concepts of physics understandable. His basic physics lectures at Cal Tech are models of lucidity. “Simple” doesn’t mean “simplistic.”

    Wally Bocks last blog post..Leadership development the less expensive (and more effective) way

  4. eweber says:

    Thanks for your kind words, Wally. Wow – you hit that nail on the proverbial head! We speak of “dumbing down” when our message was misunderstood because it lacked clarity:-)

    Madeleine L’Engle often said that kids get what adults mostly miss and even though she won awards for books she wrote for adults, she loved writing books like “A Wrinkle in Time,” for kids.

  5. Wally Bock says:

    Precisely, Ellen. “Dumbing down” says it’s the listener’s fault. But, as I tell my coaching clients, “If they don’t understand, it’s your fault, not their fault.”

  6. Ellen Weber says:

    I like that and concur 100%:-) It flips the dumbing down metaphor as it should be:-)

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  16. linda jackson says:

    i enjoy reading a variety of books, but they only interest me if there is a good story line that keeps my interest. as for the writing i dont want to read a book that i need a dictionary for but i also dont want to read a book where the writing is for my 4 year old niece.

  17. linda jackson says:

    what i got out of this piece is that it didnt quite get a point across, it was trying to say something and taking the long way and ended up nowhere.

  18. naranjandev says:

    simplicity accrues while understanding the apparent complexity in our material world.Understanding is at lower level of comprehension,but realizing simplicity is highest level and linked with the inherent wisdom of human mind.Intellectual pursuits ultimately provide glimpses of simplicity embedded in complexity as perceived.

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