Over the past decades, people have supposed that the rapid expansion of the mass media, and the vast informational availability made possible by the internet, would lead to increased complexity of human thinking: there was an idea that the human mind was being constrained by the availability of information.
Yet - so far as we can see - the opposite has happened, and human discourse has become greatly simplified over the past several decades.
I concluded a few years ago that it is primarily when our brains are 'offline', including asleep, that complexity is generated - in other words complexity of ideas does not come from the environment but from inside.
This is not quite right, of course, since such relationships are reciprocal - but the usual idea is that human ideas 'come into the brain' from the environment, and complex thoughts from a complex environment.
However, as a first approximation, it makes more sense to see complexity as coming from within, and this complexity being typically constrained by the environment.
So when a person is immersed in a highly information-rich environment, the response is to simplify, not to complexify.
A clear example would be mass media journalism. When smart people work in journalism (which must be the most information-dense environment in human history) their evaluation processes become greatly simplified, down to a level of gross stereotypy. With experience, no matter how much information of whatever type is deluged onto such people, they can effortlessly weight and filter it. The more complexity of input, the simpler is the output. It is only when the information flow slows or stops, and they are thrown back onto their own resources, that they are at a loss.
Extraversion is a similar phenomenon - when social interactions are continuous and diverse and absorbing, thought is simplified.
This also fits with creativity. As a generalization, primary creativity comes from sleep and sleep-like states of consciousness such as trances or daydreams.
Pure creativity is a psychosis-like phenomenon, inner, subjective - and typically of little interest or relevance to others (except as an object of study).
But uncreative discourse (i.e. the mass media outputs, and the outputs of bureaucracy) is likewise of little intrinsic interest - and the vast output of uncreative discourse must be made sensational (that is, must grab attention via 'sensory' means - by being a direct bribe, threat, or appealing to visceral emotions - rather than by its being of intrinsic interest).
The creativity that interests other people is a balance between the complexity of inner generated creativity and the simplicity imposed by the environment - but the root of creativity is inner and personal - thus individual; and substantially happens during off-line states when the human mind attenuates or shuts-down the overwhelming flood of sensory impressions from outside (informational and social); and builds ideational complexity according to their internal logic; these complex ideas later being tested and simplified - not complexified - in environmental interactions.
Build soil. Turn the farm in upon itself
Until it can contain itself no more,
But sweating-full, drips wine and oil a little.
I will go to my run-out social mind
And be as unsocial with it as I can.
The thought I have, and my first impulse is
To take to market— I will turn it under.
The thought from that thought—I will turn it under
And so on to the limit of my nature.
We are too much out, and if we won't draw in
We shall be driven in...
From Build Soil by Robert Frost