Dilbert - Complexity

If highly trained experts struggle to make sense of the world’s events, what hope is there for the average Joe (or manager per above). Scott Adams articulates the pervasive frustration of so many people dealing with ‘simple’ daily activities in today’s complex life…

“I don’t think my money actually disappeared. The real problem is that the world has become so complex that simple tasks are nearly impossible… A team of very smart and experienced technicians have been trying to solve [a] bug for a week. In the end, I’ll just live with it, or stop watching television, whichever is easier. Complexity transforms the simple into the impossible…I went to upgrade a family member’s cell phone the other day. I knew exactly what I wanted. The store even had it in stock. Still, the transaction took 90 minutes. It had something to do with using the upgrade of one family member for the phone of another, which ended up killing the wrong phone, hosing e-mail on my BlackBerry, and a host of other issue before we got it all working. Complexity made the simple nearly impossible…Lately I’ve been trying to get all of my insurance issues sorted out. I need about seven different types of policies for various car risks, house risks, business risks, and personal risks. So I ask my insurance guy a question, and he passes the question to the carrier, and by the time I get the answer, I forgot what I asked…The complexity has overwhelmed me. So I just stare at the pile and hope a meteor doesn’t strike the house.”

Education needs to up its game not just to provide professional skills, but to provide life skills.  Only education can counter the frustrations of the black box world in which we live.