Simplicity Is Beauty

In my blog post regarding “Game Theory,” I noted that the one concept which overshadows game theory – with game theory amounting to the study of rational decision making and strategies aimed at achieving optimal outcomes – is the concept known as “Nash Equilibrium.” But “Nash Equilibrium” is also at the core of virtually every other social science, especially politics and economics. What “Nash Equilibrium” essentially amounts to is a singular axiom, which is that one’s decisions and strategies in life are essentially the “best response” to the decisions and strategies of others when taking the decisions and strategies of others into account, thus establishing “Nash Equilibrium” between one’s own decisions and strategies and the decisions and strategies of others. For example, when a woman snubs you after giving your heart to her, the best thing to do would be to broaden your horizons – and your options.

Reducing the entirety of the social sciences to just one concept may seem absurd. But that is essentially what it comes down to, given that a firm grasp of a subject and a deep understanding of things can lead to an explanation of complex issues through simple terms. Making complicated things appear simple is the mark of genius and expertise. If an expert cannot communicate things based on the level of the layman, not only will the understanding and grasp of the subject and the issue on the part of the expert come into question, but also the credibility and the reach of the subject and issue will be limited in scope. Experts have a language and a means of communication between themselves. But when experts communicate to the common man, the language and the explanations have to be brought down as simply as possible in order to make the subject or issue understandable to as many people as possible. For subjects and issues to be effective and acceptable in society, they have to be brought out of ivory towers and high towers and explained in simple terms.

            Thus, a concept or a theory would not be very effective if it could not be communicated to as many people as possible and as simply as possible. Even the core theories of politics and international relations – namely, realism and economic interdependence – come down to “Nash Equilibrium.” For instance, in terms of realist theory, the response to American global hegemony was the rise of China, the resurgence of Russia, Iranian pressure on Israel, and the rise of Donald Trump, thus establishing “Nash Equilibrium” between the decisions and strategies behind American global hegemony and the decisions and strategies of those who contained American global hegemony over the course of the last two decades. And in terms of economic interdependence theory, equilibrium is established in the international system when the “division of labor” – which is now global and international in scope – is not upset or upended, thus maintaining equilibrium within both domestic, regional, and international markets. In addition to the suggestion that “simplicity is beauty,” simplicity can also lead us to the most basic concepts and truths behind complex subjects.

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