Thursday, August 02, 2007

Brilliant and Dense...

Following The Golden Rule was an explicitly stated core value at a previous company, and I've previously mentioned an admiration for the age-old maxim. It bears so many marks of what I consider brilliant.

The brilliance of the moral imperative shines through in its simplicity, its scope, its power, its compactness. It is brilliant, yet simple, and dense.

How many thick-enough-to-stun-an-ox moral treatises written by great, learned minds will stand test of time as aptly, and how many work as well?

When rules become too complicated, the simplest minds fail to understand and the cleverest minds find open invitation to rationalization and debate. When this happens, it seems all is in vain.

Many intelligent minds are capable of complex and exhaustive moral theorizing that runs on and on through a thousand pages, but the truly brilliant mind, I think, is one that can produce a more powerful model orders of magnitude simpler: a mere sentence overpowering volumes.

Discovering and describing complexity can be a difficult task, but distilling boundless complexities into fundamentals, principles or simple equations is much harder. So it is with many intellectual pursuits.


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