A Letter to Myself

Dear Me,

Elegance is good. A design that has all the rules it needs, and none that it doesn’t, plays well and is easier to learn. Creating something elegant is a valuable accomplishment, and is much to be desired.

Keep in mind, though, that not all solutions are found at the system level. Go is an incredible game. So too is chess, even though it has a bunch of pieces that work differently. Chess’ extra rules don’t make it inelegant; they provide much of its incredible, lasting appeal. Queens and knights and rooks all add play to a simple system, without needing to distort that system in order to create 8 x 8 go.

Give yourself permission to add on when you need to add on. Don’t undermine a system that works in the name of perfecting it; sometimes, the elegant system really does need one more rule.

All best,



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