The comment illustrates the meaning of: "(Simple and clear are steps to good.)".
I showed how to make the code simpler and clearer.
I deliberately refrained from making it better.
Simple and clear can reveal mistaken assumptions and inspire improvement.
Thus, someone realized that the code assumes an integer argument, by looking at the simple, clear expression.
But looking at the obscure expression of the equivalent code, failed to evoke this realization.
(Even when obscure and gratuitously complex were contrasted with clear and simple.)
In the given context, the assumption that the argument is an integer, is not necessarily a mistake.
But the assumption that the obscure code succeeds with an argument of 1.5, whereas the clear code fails with an argument of 1.5, is definitely a mistake.
The statement "The only problem with the original is that the OP didn't understand the obscurity of shell commands." contains two assumptions that bear examining:
1. The assumption that the original code has no inherent problems.
2. The assumption that "shell commands" are inherently obscure.