Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Complex systems

Six Colors readers may or may not know that I’m a bit of a fan of space and astronomy and science stuff, and have been since I was very young. I have a clear memory of sitting on a chair at the front of my first-grade classroom, boring all of my classmates by reading statistics out of a book about the Solar system. (I replicate this experience fortnightly on the Liftoff podcast.)

In any event, sometimes when I think about technology issues, I liken them to space-related issues. And so when Walt Mossberg posted his column complaining about the quality of Apple’s first-party software, I thought about the Space Shuttle.

Bear with me here.

The Space Shuttle is famously the “most complicated machine ever made,” with more than 2.5 million parts and 230 miles of wiring. And yet sometimes complexity is not a triumph, because complexity leads to complications.…

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