Human beings are limited in their capacities to learn, think,
and act. Luckily complex artifacts -- like computers -- do
not have to be the product of one person's hands or mind.
If an artifact can be divided into separate parts, and the
parts worked on by different people, the "one person"
limitation on complexity disappears. But this implies that
techniques for dividing effort and knowledge are fundamental
to the creation of highly complex manmade things.
The word “complex” in this context has the following
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These definitions clearly contemplate a spectrum ranging
from the starkly simple to unimaginably intricate. If we
think of arraying artifacts along this spectrum, two
interesting points arise as we move from simple to complex:
(1) the point at which an artifact can no longer be made by
a simple person; and (2) the point at which an artifact can
no longer be comprehended by a single person. Crossing into
the first region requires a division of labor; crossing into
the second requires a division of the knowledge and effort
that go into creating a design.