Don’t Go Too Simple!


A quote famously attributed to Albert Einstein (although I would love to have been there when he said it so I can understand the full context) : “Make things as simple as possible. But no simpler.”

I’ve been thinking about this quote a long time and I seem to have a different way to interpret it every time I think about it.

So I wanted to note this down because I want to remember the interpretation that I like the most.

Again, the quote is, “Make things as simple as possible. But no simpler.”

This implies that there is something simpler than the initial definition of simple. (Interesting note: as I write this into WordPress, the word ‘than’ in the previous sentence has been underlined red, the AI telling me there is an error in my use of language. But having gone back over it several times, I can’t see one. This suggests that that sentence has not been written much during the history of online data collecting, which may or may not be related to why I want to write this down.)

Anyway let’s start again. My interpretation of the Einstein quote that I want to write down. The quote suggests that there is a state beyond what has initially been defined as the final state. In other words, there is a possibility beyond the realm of possibility.

Think about the words, ‘as simple as possible,’ paying particular attention to ‘… as possible.’

This quote suggests that there is a state beyond that.

Furthermore, if Einstein said it, he apparently didn’t believe that state should be explored. He wanted to make things as simple as possible. But no simpler.