How Would You Explain Nietzsche to a 5 Years Old?
Why do we expect a simple theory of a complex world? Don’t. If you find something complex, something strange — don’t try to conclude it too soon.
My response is that we should acknowledge our ignorance and expect more complexity beneath.
Explanations to fit our mental models. Is that a way to learn or limit?
Did Einstein really say this:-
If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself
My argument is — some subjects are complex and will remain so, and let it be so. There is a radical beauty in that complexity.
Coming back to my question — How would you explain Nietzsche to a 5 years old?
Answer is — You don’t. You can’t. You should not
Try simplifying consciousness, and you end up over-simplifying , and then, you dilute the actual meaning.
Yes — Stories, analogies, and metaphors allow us to simplify the complexities of this world. Simple narratives might help the other person to understand the concept better.
But that might also build a wrong foundation for learning. Learning is a step-by-step exploratory process in which the learner also plays an important role.
Human beings, viewed as behaving systems, are quite simple. The apparent complexity of our behavior over time is largely a reflection of the complexity of the environment in which we find ourselves.
Herbert A. Simon mentioned that in his book — The Sciences of the Artificial.
Complexity — Complicated — Chaotic
Complexity is different from complication or Chaotic. Complex system self-organize over time. They have emergent properties that arise from the relationship between its subcomponents.
What’s the meaning of life? First, you explain How you define “meaning” and how you define ‘life”. What “meaning” means to you? If you get an answer, how would you know that the meaning, or the answer, is correct? Would you judge the explained meaning from your current mental framework that is looking for known patterns only?
Don’t let a reductionist explain the Meaning of Life
Casual over simplification is simply bad. Keep on explaining, just don’t break the laws of physics — and you are good — not a good strategy.
You should listen to everybody, every expert — but don’t just take their answers to be true. As Robert A. Heinlein once said
Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done, and why. Then do it.
Distorted understanding is not a good way to start. When facing a complex topic —
1️⃣Widen your focus,
2️⃣look beyond the obvious answers,
4️⃣don’t skip history,
5️⃣admit your bias,
6️⃣avoid one-sided solutions,
7️⃣use variety of tools,
8️⃣use multiple sources of information,
9️⃣learn from emerging factors.
Making Use of Complexity
Numerous subcomponents of a complex system creates complex relationships among themselves — increasing resilience of the overall system. Such a system is always ready to reach to unforeseen opportunities and threats.
Diversity of elements and their redundancies also increase adaptability and capacity in strange but coordinated ways.
So, If you want to understand Nietzsche work— the First step should be reading something on “How to understand Nietzsche work?” — and that is your first step.