Yun Yi's Stuff

Complex vs. Profound

Posted on: April 11, 2012

International draughts board
International draughts board (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once again I managed some energy trying to read Edgar Allen Poe’s famous mystery “The Murders In The Rue Morgue”, but (again) I failed to reach even the half of it. More and more, I found the books I tried to read were all boring (what’s going on with a self-claimed book lover?). However, the unfinished short story stimulated my interest to checker game, and made me thinking a little about “complex and profound”(did I just decide to quit think?)

The stimuli was just a short paragraph of original story, where Allen Poe compared chess game with draughts game (checker in USA): “In this latter (chess), where the pieces have different and bizarre motions, with various and variable values, what is only complex is mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound.” He believed that it was the games like draughts, who had only simplest rules, can exhibit the highest power of intelligence. (This is the exactly how I feel about Wei Qi).

I found this is indeed a genius thought. As matter of fact, all the modern life seems to become more and more “complex”, yet mistaken as “profound” by modern people. A simple example of this is “technology”. The computer technology produces more and more technicians, engineers and programmers, who spend most of life time to deal with “complex” of machine, or machine languages, yet end up being utterly puzzled by some basic ideas or language of life itself. Or, if they had ideas about life, they would simply have no time to enjoy it.

Nonetheless, I think this “complex” is unfortunately the direction led by modern life style –  we humans are going to that way. Maybe, in another several centuries (or millenniums), we humans would FEEL less, calculate more, and eventually nothing “profound” exist, only “complex”, which handled perfectly by machines – a possible more powerful species by then. And whoever still know how to FEEL, would be the slaves of machines.

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1 Response to "Complex vs. Profound"

It's true, yunyi. As Mark Twain said: “Civilization is an endless multiplication of unnecessary necessaries.” So the more gadgets we invent and ultimately need to survive, the further removed we become from our own needs and bodies and the simple pleasures and joys of living.

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