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How was your day today? Fine.

If you were ever a teenager in another life or a parent in this one, this standard greeting will sound very familiar to you. It harks back to an era of simplicity, where everything was fine – no taxes, car on its last leg, shingles falling off the roof, or fear as to how event X happening in country Y will affect Z and how that will trickle down to you.

So how was your day today, battling against this thing that we will call Complexity? Defining Complexity is… well… complex – Ironically and literally. Complexity is defined as the “state of being Complex” (Dictonary.com), and being Complex is something “composed of many interconnected parts.” (Dictionary.com)

Using this definition, undoubtedly, we live in an age of unparalleled complexity – a fact agreed upon by myself, and, more importantly, Google and the Pentagon. A quick Google search will show that the usage of the term itself has grown exponentially, as authors and philosophers try to make sense of how to optimally get through each day (Google Books). While the debate rages on as to how we got here and how to cope with the monster we created, arguments to be discussed in another post, a representative from the Pentagon put it, as expected from a military representative, very succinctly: “It’s not just the nature of the issues that [we’re] working with – it’s the volume.” (DefenseOne)

So, how was your day today? Complex.

Jack Potter is an Associate working to connect the dots at the Food and Drug Administration. He has traveled the world, learning at each step how to make complexity simpler.