Chunking: How The Brain Surmounts Complexity

Simplification By Generalization And Predictability

The primary way the brain deals with the unlimited complexity of the world is by "chunking": grouping large amounts of data under a single tag with predictable behavior and from then on dealing only with the "chunk", not the details.

Chunking implies generalization and predictability.

This simplification underlies the essentials of how the brain successfully copes with an increasingly complex world. The simplification is only valid when all the objects grouped under a rubric behave in similar enough ways that the outcome of any interaction is predictable.

For programmers, this has two extremely important deduced rules:

Special Cases Are Wrong

Generalize! DO NOT Specialize

"Objects" imply specialization. They may superficially appear to simplify systems. In fact they complicate systems.

©2009 Geoff Steckel All Rights Reserved