The effective complexity of spaghetti. Spaghetti is a dish that is pretty decent if one were just to boil it and serve it as is. It definitely wouldn’t be memorable. However, introducing more complexity can bring some interesting things to the dish. If you make a sauce to add to the spaghetti, like say Fra Diavolo, then you can get some really delicious flavors out of your dinner. You can get even more complicated. You could chop some mushrooms and make a francese sauce- you could mix other foods into the spaghetti, like meatballs or sausage or mixed vegetables.
Spaghetti can really be messed up though. There’s a degree of order that needs to occur- you need to let the spaghetti boil for a certain period of time, and going longer or shorter can risk under-cooking or burning the pasta. You can also mess up all the other ingredients of your dish, and that would really screw things up. Worst of all, if you just randomly toss things into your dish, you could probably end up serving something that tastes awful, and should NEVER have been prepared in the first place.

This is what I’m talking about when I say I wouldn’t eat something due to its lack of complexity.


The problem of meaning is something I am dealing with personally with the kind of art I’m interested in making. I think about games a lot and after reading the article they add something that complicates generative art, in terms of giving the player something to work in/with to accomplish some kind of goal. Games can use generative systems, and they can give the games meaning. By acting in a generative system, the player can experience tension due to the unpredictable nature of where they are/how they will accomplish their task. The article quotes truth to process as being important because, in generative systems, there would be no intended form, and this ruins traditional, deeply planning game design. Instead, the generative game would embrace what has always separated games from other media- dynamism, action, verbs, creation- rather than playing what could have been a film or animation because of deep formalist planning. It makes me think about what kinds of meanings can be derived by forcing the player to act, and thinking more about that.