From Simple To Complex

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin — Photograph Philippe Halsman

Facebook — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s Noosphere — Not

Today Sunday, February 12, 2017 marks the passing of exactly 4000 blogs since I started in January 2006. When I wrote those early blogs I had no idea what a blog was or why I was doing it. I have written a few blogs on why I blog and now today looking back, what comes to mind is one of the most influential books I have ever read. It was Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s The Phenomenon of Man. I bought it in the late 60s in Buenos Aires.

In hindsight some folks believe Chardin predicted the world wide web with his concept of a Noosphere which would envelop the world in pure thought. Chardin was an avid believer of evolution. But within his idea he championed the idea that organisms evolved from simplicity to complexity. While Chardin, a Jesuit, was prohibited from publishing his books were alive, in the photographs of him taken by Philippe Halsman I gaze on the face of an extremely intelligent man who is looking at a rose future. I am not sure

Against the background of the modern evolutionary world view, Teilhard de Chardin depicted the cosmos as a process of ascent, a series of unions. From very simple beginnings the path leads to ever greater and more complex unities, in which multiplicity is not abolished but merged into a growing synthesis, leading to the “Noosphere”, in which spirit and its understanding embrace the whole and are blended into a kind of living organism.

Of late as I am plagued by en ever more complex world I do not see that Chardin rosy future.

My old computer (a PC) has a 14 year-old Photoshop that works beautifully for my needs. I calibrate my cathode ray tube monitor for colour by matching it to the gray background of my web page and blog.

Today when I finally was able to figure out how to download from my PC to my brand new Microsoft Surface laptop/tablet the colour was accurate and whites were whites and grays were grays.

But I cannot transfer my old Photoshop. I have to (and I will not) buy a subscription and then download it. I cannot transfer my perfectly serviceable Word for the same reason. I had to pay $50 for a year’s subscription.

Tell me is things are better. Tell me if this is an improvement.

While I do not hark back to land lines (I have one) with dialing black phones, it seems that the improvements are just a case of making stuff more complex just to make it more complex.

I was not able to download the new Microsoft Office product to my Surface today. I was with a computer expert (Powersonic on Bridgeport Road). I was told xx, whatever. So I called the tech number for help:

1. The number was answered immediately. Odd?

2. I mentioned what a pleasure it was not to have to wait. Silence on the other side.

3. I explained the problem. I was told that he was going to talk to a supervisor.

4. He came back to tell me that he had to get into my computer.

5. I said, “Oh, you want to hack into my computer!”

6. The man said, “I am pissed.

7. I asked him to repeat that. He did.

8. I hung up.

I went to the folks at Best-Buy who told me the Microsoft website that I had gone to was one they had never seen before.

Tell me that things are better just because they are more complex.

By the way my Microsoft Surface does not come with an operating manual. They say it is far more convenient to go for the information on line.

Link to: From Simple To Complex

Originally published at

Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at: