Complexity Bias

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”

Ernst F. Schumacher

Complexity bias is why people believe vaccines are a government plot. Or that 9/11 was an inside job. Humans have this awesome and powerful ability to conjure stories out of nothing. It is imagination that let us dominate every other species on the planet. Complexity bias is preying on our ability to ignore the simple for the fantastical.

“Human beings are pattern-seeking animals. It’s part of our DNA. That’s why conspiracy theories and gods are so popular: we always look for the wider, bigger explanations for things.”

Adrian McKinty, The Cold Cold Ground

I try to think about complexity bias when I'm about to add anything. Do you really need that modal? Are you creating more complexity and muddying the story for your users?

"Most geniuses—especially those who lead others—prosper not by deconstructing intricate complexities but by exploiting unrecognized simplicities.”

Andy Benoit

The world is complex enough as it is