22 December 2009




KISS! = "keep it simple and stupid", also read as "keep it simple, stupid!" and as "keep it short and simple".

It is an acronym and principle - meant to be read by the discerning in its first or third rendering - that arose in programming, not as a damnation, but as a very basic principle of design: Avoid all unnecessary complexity.

Of course, the intended meaning is "Avoid all unnecessary complexity - when programming something", in which case it is excellent advice that is rarely heeded, and indeed difficult to follow with many programming languages, since these tend to be based on complicated abstract structures.

Unfortunately, it also is much abused in the media, especially in political and religious propaganda and in advertisements, and in much writing and speaking for the masses, where it becomes an important fallacy and deception:

That one can deal with many human, scientific and social problems in the terms, concepts and presuppositions the majority finds obvious or appealing.
This is like praising the virtues of majority-voting as regards the solutions of differential equations.

Note on literature and background:

See the Wikipedia on KISS-principle.

Maarten Maartensz

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