01 August 2007

Thoughts on "The Simplicity Cycle "

All my books are basically experiments. They are attempts to understand something, to make something, and to communicate at least some of that something to the world outside my own head. I write them for my own amazement and my own amusement, and am always thrilled to hear that other people find them worthwhile.

Chet Richards' recent review of The Simplicity Cycle got me thinking about that book in particular. His review really captured what the book was about and what I was trying to do with it. A positive review is nice to have, but a positive review that praises the book for all the right reasons - that's priceless.

The Simplicity Cycle, as Dr. Richards pointed out, is not a cookbook. I wasn't trying to instruct and inform so much as to guide and stimulate. The "examples" are really provocations intended to plant seeds of ideas which can flourish if given time and thought. I was aiming to remind more than to instruct, and, in the original sense of the word educate, to draw-out ideas and concepts from within people's minds. I was aiming to lead people forward, to the next step of design wisdom.

The book is theory, not practice, but it's practical theory. It is, in a sense, metaphysical, or at the very least philosophical. It is about subjective judgments, opinions, and shoulds, rather than objective analyses of mechanical optimization.

And it was a ton of fun to write!

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