October 2012

Complexity and scams

All of us use gadgets—cars, phones, computers, what have you—that we don’t really understand.  We can use them, and use them very effectively, but only because a great deal of effort has been put into making them seem simple.  That’s all well and good—until suddenly you have to deal with the complexity.  Sometimes, that happens because something has broken and needs to be fixed; other times, though, scammers try to exploit the complexity.  The complaints released today by the FTC illustrate this nicely (the press release is here; it co