Gapingvoid Complexity


Continuing with this week’s ‘Back to School’ theme, my first prescription for coping with the Dark Ages of Black Boxes was “Education”. Scott Adams makes an insightful case that in today’s world, Education has to actually be reformed to cope with the increasingly black box nature of the world which he dubs the Education Complexity Shift. One can’t just teach rote subjects in conventional ways to prepare a young mind for the real challenges of the world and workplace…

“As I wrote the article, I wondered why our school system is so mismatched to the educational needs of modern students. This leads me to a hypothesis that I will call the Education Complexity Shift. I’ll begin by stipulating that any field of study is helpful in training a student’s mind to become more of a learning machine. Two hundred years ago, when life itself was simple (feed the horse, plant the corn) you needed to make school artificially complicated to stretch a student’s mind. Once a student’s mind was expanded, stressed, stretched and challenged, it became a powerful tool when released back into the relatively simple "real world." The Education Complexity Shift observes that the real world has become more complicated than school. Imagine trying to teach a young child how to do the routine adult task of planning the most efficient trip by plane, or getting a mortgage, or investing. How about planning a wedding? How many pieces of software do you use for your job? Today, life is more complicated than school. That means the best way to expand a student’s mind is by teaching more about the practical complexities of the real world and less about, for example, the history of Europe, or trigonometry.”