There’s a fundamental issue in solving problems. Many are intractably complicated, so we build models to address them. But the models are just that, simplified representations, not reality.

An example that happened years ago: a contractor had taken on a job of remodeling a basement into an apartment. The architect insisted on ordering the kitchen cabinetry rather than allowing the contractor to do so. The cabinets came in and didn’t fit, because the architect ordered them to the dimensions on the drawings and didn’t come down to measure. The irate contractor went on to explain that no one in their right mind would do that. Instead, you’d order the cabinets slightly smaller and then a spacer that could be trimmed to fit as necessary.

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