Another dot in the blogosphere?

Not so simple 

Posted on: October 17, 2021

Spoiler: One quick takeaway from this Build For Tomorrow podcast episode is that the simplest action you can take is to embrace complexity.

How did podcast host, Jason Feifer, arrive at that conclusion? 

He investigated “the complexity of simple things” by examining what seems like a simple hobby — knitting. In doing so, he uncovered that knitting:

  • likely originated in Africa in the 11th century
  • was a way for women to make a living
  • had guilds where only men could be master knitters
  • was feared by clergy because the sexes could mingle as they knit

What is the relevance of these factoids? They worked against the assumptions that knitting was: 

  • a white or Western thing
  • merely a simple hobby
  • mostly what women did
  • free from controversy

The narrative that linked these concepts was a black woman who became a champion for challenging the assumptions that fuelled sexism and racism. 

The same woman also fought against the idea that politics or other complexities should not be part of the conversations around knitting. Why? In the eyes of those simpletons, knitting was pure and simple.

The fact of the matter is that knitting — for that matter, just about anything else — is not simple.  Whether we are knitting or creating content, we bring our biases and perspectives with us. To ignore that is to wear blinders.

That is why Feifer suggested that the simplest thing we can do is to embrace complexity. It is a fact of life. To ignore that is to blind ourselves to reality.

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