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How Is Simplicity Similar to Playing Tetris?

October 23, 2014 - 7:30am -- goldlilys
How Is Simplicity Similar to Playing Tetris?

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

What is simple? Is there a magical activity that allows simplicity to happen? Why are there some people who make complex tasks simple while others make simple tasks complicated? How does simplicity happen?

From Wikipedia, simplicity is the state of something that is easy to understand depending on how someone describes it. Everyone chooses whether to make their life simple or complicated by how they understand what goes on around them. Reality is different for everyone because ones understanding depend on a lot of factors.

The world is both simple yet complex at the same time. Why? Because the more you know, the more you think you do not know since there is an infinite amount of new ideas to learn. But if you take time to reflect on what you already learned, the better you get at identifying the connections among each idea.

What Is Tetris?

For example, Tetris can explain how to make something simple. Tetris is a puzzle game that uses Tetromino shapes or squares that are attached together to make five other shapes. The purpose of Tetris is to move, rotate and connect different shapes to other shapes so that it forms and covers a whole line.

Clearing an entire line makes that whole line disappear and you earn points. But if you keep making mistakes and build up a structure with holes, you will lose once you arrive to the very top of the screen. As you can tell, reaching the top is not always considered winning. Everything depends on the purpose and rules of the game.

The rules of the game may seem simple. But if you play the game so much, you start seeing patterns and how it reflects upon your life and who you are. The beginning of the game starts easy where the shapes (problems) go down slowly and you have better control of where to place it. As the game progresses and you level up, the shapes fall faster and faster with the player needing quick reaction time to decide where to put it.

First Reflection

Clearing a line is similar to balancing your life, which clears your mind. If you are free from problems, you can think quicker and have more control of your daily activities. But if your life becomes unbalanced and full of holes, you will keep building unfinished tasks that push you closer to stress mode.

Second Reflection

Keep making mistakes, but never learning from them causes more mistakes. Why? Because my anxiousness increases the more I make errors and the higher I reach the top of the screen. However, when I learn from my mistakes and entire lines balance out in a combo fashion (4+ lines in a row), the more points I earn and the happier I feel.

Third Reflection

Be patient for the straight line to arrive because that allows combos to happen. Think ahead and create a strategy that builds up structures that purposely have holes. Make sure you have enough patience to not cover that hole with too much mistakes so that when the straight line does appear, you are ready for it.

What Does This Have To Do With Computers?

When a computer starts running sluggishly, the usual causes are too many fragmented files. Fragmented files waste storage space because some parts of the files are spread out that causes the performance to lag. The solution to this is to defragment your computer.

This mostly applies to old Windows computers, but if you have used defragment maintenance with the viewable mode, you can observe something similar to the Tetromino shapes. As I remember it, red shapes are fragmented while green shapes are defragmented. The goal of defragmentation is to combine chunks of the same file and put them closer together, while separating it from parts that do not.

Once all the files are defragmented, it forms whole lines side by side with all of them green in color. With all of them green, it becomes difficult to tell the files apart, but at least the storage space is now optimized and the computer has improved performance. Why? Because defragment allows the computer to find an entire file without searching for missing pieces since they are now all together.

In addition to simplifying fragmented files, optimizing is a web developer’s way to create a simple website. Not only from the Front-end user interface, but also from the Back-end’s database architecture. What do you think supports simplifying data for websites?

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