Have you ever ever thought of how little we actually know?
In our 21st century world, we depend on things that we actually know absolutely nothing about. Think about a typical weekday. From the moment an individual gets up until the time they go to bed, a lot of the things they use look like quite simple. For example my point, I thought I'd take us through some of the things that regularly appear in my day. All of them seem quite simple to me and I believe I understand them, but do I actually?
I get up within the morning and since Christmas of 2007, I clap my hands together two times and magically, the lamp on my nightstand suddenly illuminates. Using a nifty gadget (The Clapper) that my family gave me for Christmas, I not have to activate my lamp using the switch. I simply clap my hands together two times and the lamp comes on. I take a shower using hot water that magically comes out of a pipe when i turn a knob. I put into my eyes these little pieces of plastic that somebody named contacts. My contacts are called gas-permeable lenses. They're presupposed to let my eyes breath. In the primary place, I used to be not aware that my eyes needed to breathe, and in the second place, how can that be done through a bit of plastic. No clue! What I do know is that by putting this piece of plastic in my eye, I go from almost blind to 20/20 vision. Simple, huh? I then go outside to get into a big chunk of steel with wheels attached. When i touch switch for lamps pedals and move a device called a steering wheel, this chunk of steel magically gets me where I wish to go. Off to the office, dumb, fat and simple!
Upon arriving at my office, the fun really begins. With a purpose to perform my job, I use several devices that come to life when i touch, move or push various switches. A full color picture appears on a device called a screen. The image on the screen changes as I move a device called a mouse. I use a device called a keyboard to arrange letters onto the screen in a specific order. When i finish arranging the letters, I click on an "icon" and what was just on the screen appears on a chunk of paper, in living color, from a great little device called a printer. Oh yeah, did I mention that the mouse and the keyboard weren't connected to the screen and operate through thin air with something called wireless technology. You've got to be kidding me!
Wait there's more! I can take that piece of paper that I just saw on my screen and send it over something called the Internet with just a few "clicks" of the mouse. In a matter of some seconds, that full color document might be in an office anywhere on the earth, on a different screen and all I needed to do was click a mouse. And do not forget that printed copy; if I need the person looking at it on the screen to sign an original, that's no problem. I simple put it in this magic device called a next day envelope, write some stuff on a label, leave it out front in my mail area and by tomorrow morning at 10:00, the original document will arrive at its destination. If I am really nervous about it getting there, I can watch its progress by putting a series of numbers into a selected place on that screen we talked about earlier and it'll show me exactly where it is. How do it know? (pardon my grammar and did you notice that I never mentioned anything like derivatives, sub-prime mortgages, bridge loans and 90 days same as cash)
The entire things I described above seem very simple. We use them every single day with little or no thought. But, are they really simple? They seem simple on the surface, but should you look underneath, the small print are almost beyond comprehension. You see, the less we know about something, the simpler it seems.
In case you, like me, are feeling just a little mentally challenged about now, do not fear! There's a "website" dedicated 100% to explaining the small print to us! How Stuff Works, started in 1998 by Professor Marshall Brain of North Carolina State University, is a multi-million dollar operation. You can go on that site and find out anything you ever wanted to learn about the main points of how something works. (just "Goggle" How Stuff Works?) For the really curious, there may be even a television show on cable under the identical name!
So what are we to remove from all of this nonsense? The moral of the story is that in personal finances, business and life, if something seems simple, before you go "all in", remember Law # 03 - The Less You Know about Something, the Simpler it Seems!