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Not Complex Enough

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One time a professor asked me about a problem and I suggested a simple solution. He shot down my idea because it wasn’t complex enough. He said my idea would work, but it wasn’t something he could write a paper about in a prestigious journal.

I imagine that sort of thing happens in the real world, though I can’t recall an example. On the contrary, I can think of examples where people were thrilled by trivial solutions such as a two-line Perl script or a pencil-and-paper calculation that eliminated the need for a program.

The difference is whether the goal is to solve a problem or to produce an impressive solution.

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