In which I use different terms for the same argument.
Some readers will have had the chance to buy a house. When they go shopping for an existing one, or look at houses being built, choices are limited. You are stuck with the lot, the foundation and the supporting walls. I had a friend who was shopping and was complaining about the color of the walls. When I mentioned that they could paint the walls, it was like a new dawn. In the new developments, you basically get a choice of 5 house types and then your choice of tile.
For those lucky enough not to have gone shopping, nearly everyone has gone through a suburb or development where row after row of houses looks the same. It’s like a bad movie.
Compare that to 25 years ago where builders would work with architects and planners to custom build a house. Go to most neighbourhoods built in the 80s or before, and the houses are generally different than each other. You can certainly still do that today but it’s hard. You need to find land, an architect, a lawyer, a general contractor and run through enough permits to choke a horse. It’s hard but at the end, you have a house that’s your own.
That’s the argument behind complexity. Given people the illusion of choice is not really a choice, not when beneath that choice there were dozens of choices taken already. Imagine being able to make those foundational choices. Being able to make mistakes and then learning from them. If there’s no real chance at failure, then there’s no real progress.