Last week I attended an excellent conference in Singapore, which had the intriguing title of “A Crude Look at the Whole”. The title was attributable to Murray Gell-Man who was one of the founding fathers of the Santa Fe Institute and also the winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physics. Gell-Man is famous for a few things, including being the first to postulate the existence of quarks. Another is the idea of coarse-grained cognition. This is the (to me sensible) idea that reality is extremely fine-grained in terms of detail, like a ultra-high definition movie, whereas human cognition is very crude (or coarse) by comparison, like a blurry still picture. Gell-Man was at the conference as were two other giants of the complexity community, John Holland and Brian Arthur.