The Sweet Spot of Success

Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.

-A. Einstein

Yeah, yeah. And the government is best that governs least so long as it attends to fundamental social needs while preventing anarchy. Also your car should have just enough safety features to keep you alive, but not so many as to make driving unreasonable. Ice cream sundaes should come in sizes that are large enough to let you savor their deliciousness, but not so big as to give you a stomachache. And so forth. First appearances to the contrary, the Einstein quote and its cousins are compelling not because they are helpful instructions on how best to go merrily Goldilocksing your way through life. Instead they are compelling because they are just this side of being vacuous truisms. “Just enough” is barely less than “too much” by definition. Their only real content lies in the unsupported assertion that such a sweet spot exists.

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2 Responses to The Sweet Spot of Success

  1. Yulia says:

    So they( the quote&cousins) seem to be deepities but actually aren’t?

  2. W.P. McNeill says:

    They’re pretty much deepities. Maybe not exactly if you call a deepity a truism that disguises its vacuity in obscure language, since this quote isn’t particularly obscure. But there’s definitely less here than meets the eye.

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