In In Defense of Hard PJ Onori questions the oversimplification of interfaces, issues, and software. One quote especially stood out:
If a subject is naturally complex, work to make it no more complex than it needs to be, but no less.
It reminds me of another quote by the famous Astrophysicist and educator Neil Degrasse Tyson. Roughly paraphrased, Neil argues that chemistry, biology, and most other forms of science (I’m looking at you economics!) over-complicate science by giving new ideas and discoveries complex, fancy-sounding names. But in astrophysics, they name things simply. You can’t see and objects that enter its radius are lost forever? We’ll call it a black hole. It sends out a pulse of intense radiation periodically? We’ll call it a pulsar.
I’ve always loved that about space - how approachable the subjects are. A 6 year-old can read about topics at the forefront of science, how amazing is that? If only all systems and subjects were designed to be as accessible as space. So while I understand PJ’s point of view, and I agree that some products are oversimplified, I think that erring on the side of oversimplification is safer than designing for complexity.