This has me thinking Dave. I’m not sure that the basics aren’t really complex not because of what they look like when taught, but more so, because humans are trying to learn. And perhaps part of the trouble is ‘the basics’ are situated as a simple matter that can be encapsulated. Think about the lines of flight that can/do emanate from what appears to some (depending on where you are situated) as basic and how those lines of flight–sparks of creative musing allow us to contemplate, experience that which we had not intended, did not know, are wowed by.
Complexity is a matter of how we come to name the experience, just as simple and complicated are. The seemingly simplest of algorithms can be complex, depending on how we situate it. Nothing is actually stable, including that which we classify as simple, complicated, and complex. That’s the rhizome.