How tricky is complex? — 3 Comments

  1. I also have difficulty with the complexity rating of models. I believe that this is partly due to the fact that the upper end of complexity has increased over the years. If you look at the most complex models that were readily available in diagrams 20 years ago, they mostly pale in comparison to some of the beasts you can find in books and online today.

    I was thinking about this recently when I looked at the number of models in each year’s OUSA convention collection. In general, over the last 20 years, there has been a fairly steep decline in the number of models in each collection and I believe this is mainly a function of the increasing complexity of the models being presented.

    I guess my point is that almost every categorization system I can recall for origami complexity has had a finite ceiling, but I think either potential complexity is infinite or we haven’t found the ceiling yet.

  2. You might be interested in seeing this thread over at the origami forums.

    I think that including the folder’s experience in the rating is unnecessary. It should be left to the folder to determine their own level of experience. They can then judge whether the model is suited to their ability.

    Models in a book, as you mentioned, can be rated using a relative scale. It may even be possible for a single creator to use a relative scale over the entire library of their own models/books, but the problem, I think, is getting everyone to adhere to a scale in which all models can be judged relative to one another. I don’t think it’s a very feasible idea, though. For everyone to be able to accurately apply a rating to their own model, in such a way that everyone’s models can be compared accurately with each other, there would have to be some list of criteria to use. On the one hand, it would have to be complex enough to be used effectively, but on the other hand it would have to be simple enough to be easy to apply to a handful of models, without being a burden.

    As I see it, a more sophisticated system would have to be more detailed, including an overall rating of the model, details of complicated steps, suggestions for paper size and type. And as Malachi says, using a numerical scale could be problematic in the future when models surpass current limits of complexity. I suppose you could always just make it go up to 11 instead, though.

    • Wow, there are serious discussions on Saj’s forum 😉

      It may be that there is no perfect solution. I like the Spinal Tap idea of a model going up to 11 (“No, you can’t fold it. In fact, don’t even look at it”…

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