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Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Doug Jognson riffs on a post from Dilbert author Scott Adams on what he calls Complexity-Induced Mental Illness, The point is that there are so many numbers, controls, options and doodads in society that it's causing people to stop being able to cope. But what about the 25% who do cope? I think there's an attitude here that's important, and it's one of letting go. Focus on what you need, forget the rest. It's OK if your VCR blinks 12:00 on and off if you are not using it to tell the time. It's fine if you don't understand file format options if you're happy to read and write regular Word documents. If you know which button makes the door go up and down and what's all you want to do, who cares what the other buttons do? And if you can't let it go, experiment and simplify. When I meet a new faucet in a new hotel room (something I've done hundreds of times) I just fiddle with it until I've figured out hot-cold, fast-slow and shower-tap. Letting go, experimentation and simplification are cognitive skills, and we should teach them.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jun 22, 2024 10:01 p.m.

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