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Friday, 2 August 2019

The complexity bias (9) - choices and flavours

Every city has an (Italian) ice cream parlor which invokes a binary choice: yes or no? The more flavours they offer, the more difficult our choice will be. I often pick only one flavour (stracciatella) and sometimes two. A choice of 2 (or more) flavours complicates finding a combination that tastes well. In our minds, simplicity wins from complexity.

In mathematics, there are (very) many fractions between the binary digits of zero (0) and one (1). Our clocks have 24 hours of 60 minutes and 60 seconds each (my Base-60 blog). In some situations, clocks show the time between seconds (eg, sports). These fractions are only necessary for deciding who won but are meaningless in human history. Simplicity rules.

The above also applies to politics: Left vs Right or Nationalism vs Globalism (my 2016 blog). Nevertheless, there are many flavours within these two main alternatives. Even in a bipartisan political system, each party has several factions, "a group of individuals within a larger entity" (eg, the Squad). These factions and/or fractions represent the many shades of gray - or flavours.

People like having a choice although not too much. In Dutch, we have an expression: a choice from one is none ("een keus uit één is geen"). A similar expression is: Two is One and One is None (Forbes). This (Dutch) expression is better known as Hobson's choice:
Wiki: "A Hobson's choice is a free choice in which only one thing is offered. Because a person may refuse to accept what is offered, the two options are taking it or taking nothing. In other words, one may "take it or leave it". The phrase is said to have originated with Thomas Hobson (1544–1631) [ ]".

Several factors are accountable and/or responsible for driving our civilizations and societies towards ever-increasing complexity, like technology and urbanization. Our minds must simplify that complexity for making choices and decisions:
NewScientist: "Heuristics and emotions help us subconsciously focus on what matters. This is just as important when we make conscious decisions. Even the most basic everyday situations are too complex for our brains to compute all the necessary information. Instead, we must simplify." (bold markings by LO)

The Beliefs stage of societies, including the 7 Belief systems, the transformation from trialism to dualism, our binary thinking, and our binary choices may be the (logical) result of the above.

Back To The Earth (2014) by Jason Mraz

I try to stop the world from moving so fast
Try and get a grip on where I'm at
To simplify this dizzy life
And get my feet in the grass


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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