by Asim Jalis
Here is an excerpt from an interview of Ward Cunningham, on the
nature of complexity and simplicity:
I actually enjoy complexity that's empowering. If it challenges
me, the complexity is very pleasant. But sometimes I must deal
with complexity that's disempowering. The effort I invest to
understand that complexity is tedious work. It doesn't add
anything to my abilities.
A friend of mine once said that there are problems and there
are difficulties. A problem is something you savor. You say,
"Well that's an interesting problem. Let me think about that
problem a while." You enjoy thinking about it, because when you
find the solution to the problem, it's enlightening.
And then there are difficulties. Computers are famous for
difficulties. A difficulty is just a blockage from progress.
You have to try a lot of things. When you finally find what
works, it doesn't tell you a thing. It won't be the same
tomorrow. Getting the computer to work is so often dealing with
The complexity that we despise is the complexity that leads to
difficulty. It isn't the complexity that raises problems. There
is a lot of complexity in the world. The world is complex. That
complexity is beautiful. I love trying to understand how things
work. But that's because there's something to be learned from
mastering that complexity.
Martin Fowler alluded to this in his post about enabling versus