Can you think like Einstein?

What does this quote by Albert Einstein mean to you?

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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Ahmadov

The first time I read that quote, I couldn’t help but think that it was an example of Einstein’s ironic humor. After all, if everything has already been made as simple as possible, isn’t it logically impossible to make anything any simpler?

I later read that the quote is actually a paraphrase of something (less simple) that Einstein said.

In case you’re interested, here are a few other quotes attributed to Einstein:

[i]- “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”

  • “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
  • “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.”
  • “What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world.”[/i]
    .
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Hi Amy,

Here is another quote I find interesting although this one is not attributed to Einstein but to Ed Foreman: “The mind is never blank, if it were how would we know?”

He had a point. :lol:

Here is another Einstein quote – one about relativity:

When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes. When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours. That’s relativity.
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Ok, going back to the quote I posted I just wanted to understand where the border between the simple and the simpler… Does anyone know?

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I’m not sure I understand your question, Ahmadov.

Did you only want to know whether simple has (or should have) comparative and superlative forms?
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I think he meant that things should be made as simple as possible, but not oversimplified. If you oversimplify, you lose some of the substance of what you’re presenting.

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Well, I think I meant something different. For instance, when you say something was simplified, how do you know that that particular thing was not oversimplified or vice versa, when you say something was oversimplified, how do you know that that particular thing was not just simplified.

I just think the border is not clear, which makes that Einstein quote a tad invalid.

I can give you examples if you think I still failed to make my point clear.

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There’s no clear dividing line as to when something has been simplified and when it has been oversimplified. However, things that are oversimplified become untrue, whereas something that is merely simplified will still retain its truth.

This is why, for example, one of the most effective types of lie is one that is an oversimplification and takes a complicated answer to refute. People tend to believe whatever’s simple, and they think that the complicated answer is a lie, even though it’s true.

Also, one of the funniest ways to joke is almost the same thing. You oversimplify something and get the person to argue back.

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I gave you my opinion of the quote in my very first post, and in essence, it was not really that much different from what you’ve just written. When you asked again, I then thought you possibly wanted some other type of answer.

By the way, I’d just like to repeat that it is my understanding that your quote is a (simplified) paraphrase of something Einstein actually said. So, perhaps the person who paraphrased over-simplified Einstein’s words. :shock:
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I think you both helped me much to understand the quote. By the way, I started thinking about that quote after I attepmted to solve this puzzle.

One of these words is not like the others,
One of these words just doesn’t belong.
Can you tell which word is not like the others,

  1. Evening
  2. Growth
  3. Center
  4. Exist
  5. Magnet
  6. Venom

I resorted to a very simple solution, but I did not know whether that solution was an oversimplified one.

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Did you by any chance pick ‘exist’?

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Hi, Amy

You picked “exist” because it is a verb and the rest are nouns, didn’t you? :wink:

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Great minds think alike. :lol:
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No, I did not and that is not the right answer. The answer I gave was also wrong. I want you and other people try to solve it and then I will return back to that Einstein quote…

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One can immediately guess that Amy is a teacher from the reason for chosing “exist” :slight_smile:

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In fact I don’t see any other possibilities, except for “exist”, either :frowning:

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But that answer IS right, whether or not it’s the answer intended by the person who cooked up the puzzle.

Now this reminds me of the movie about Casper Hauser, the man they found in a town square in Germany, who had been kept isolated from infancy to adulthood, and who had not learned to talk yet. (He was a real person, and he was really found that way.) After he’d learned to talk, philosophers wanted to interview him and test their theories about the mind of a man who was untouched by human society. There’s one scene where a philosopher poses Casper this conundrum:

Casper told the philosopher that he would ask the person if he was a tree frog. If the person said “yes”, then he was obviously from the liar’s town, because he was clearly not a tree frog.

This is a perfectly functional solution to such a problem, but the philosopher was quite upset with it, calling it “completely unacceptable” on philosophical grounds.

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Hi, Jamie

I think I understand why the philosopher rejected that lad’s solution to the riddle. What if the population of the said towns consist only of tree frogs? Or, more probably, it is part of their religious beliefs to call themselves “tree frogs” It was not stated in the conundrum that they are NOT tree frogs !
Actually, I can’t see the solution. Probably it does not exist. But it gives one a bone to chew on, figuratively speaking.

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Then watch this space to see a very interesting solution :wink:

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