The way the words “simple” and “simple-minded” are used today, a simple or simple-minded person is a stupid person. You wouldn’t count on a simple person to analyze a complex situation, or creatively solve a problem. When you think simple-minded, you probably think of the kind of person who would mistake “no mayonnaise” for “extra tomatoes” and ruin your sandwich.
Simple and simple-minded don’t get a very good rap. Yet, most problems are best solved by simplestartllc simple solutions. Sure, you might dress a great solution up by calling it elegant, streamlined, or outside the box, but in the end, I’m betting you love it because it’s simple. It’s obvious. It makes your life easier.
I first started thinking about the often overlooked merits of simplicity while reading Linus Torvalds and David Diamond’s “Just For Fun” (a little outdated, but a good read for geeks and geeks alike). Torvalds writes “you should absolutely not dismiss simplicity for something easy. It takes design and good taste to be simple.” Whether it’s an open source operating system or the structure of human language, Torvalds continues, simplicity implies not a lack of sophistication, but the reverse. You said it, Linus.