Plug and play

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What a great idea someone came up with when they first coined the term plug-and-play. Easy peezy, right? Plug the device in and it just works.

If you own a Mac you already know what this feels like. Windows 10 owners finally get a taste, but most people on the planet never really get to experience this miracle of technology.

Wouldn’t it be something if someone managed to figure out a small stereo system that would fit that bill? Plug it in, it auto corrects for the room, knows your musical preference, begins to play music you already have approved.

As Buck Rogers as this sounds, I predict within the next decade this will happen. How you ask? Through the miracle of complexity: building blocks stacked over time.

Our meager minds can only understand small snippets of complex structures. We can visualize how a computer system does math and we understand the language it uses, but more than that and we’re lost. Try visualizing the path required for you to read these words on a screen from a device in your pocket. I am sitting in my basement office in Boulder, Colorado, typing. Tomorrow my thoughts spread around the globe. To us, it’s magic because no one person understands how it all works.

Imagine other complex systems. You are a perfect example. We can figure out down to a molecular level how small systems within us work but not the whole.

Once a system exceeds a certain level of complexity it becomes unknowable by any one person. This means that with each layer of added complexity we can only build with ever-increasing complex blocks—never knowing the whole. Block-upon-block until it all seems like magic. A miracle.

Which is why I predict the miracle of a plug-and-play system is within our horizon. How exciting is that?