Elections: The unbelievable complexity of our lives

My son David voted today. He is 19 and an HFA (Highly Functional Autistic).

For those of you who don't live in US, please go to this link and have a look at a sample voting ballot. You rarely have seen such a complex mumble jumbo.  There are many many pages with small fonts names of candidates to Senate, Congress, etc and numbered propositions described in 4 to 5 lines.

It is hard, said David.  He knew about Obama and Romney. We advised him to vote for the president and ignore everything else. He did, and as walked out, all  volunteers and every one in the voting center applauded.

I realized David is not alone. Probably as much as 50% of people need to be somewhat trained to vote, and this is happening in the most powerful country in the world. Everything we do is immensely complex. I gave up the idea of filling a tax return without a professional help. Reading a bank statement, operating a piece of software, the so called "Enterprise" or even "Cloud" is not for everyone.

While we see buildings and software with accessibility features for the disabled, this is referring to having ramps for wheelchairs, hearing aids, signs in Braille characters, large fonts, etc

But we never thought of making the life easier for HFA segment of the population. Their power of understanding sequences and ability to execute instructions is a great asset for many occupations.

Imagine we can make a voting ballot that HFAs can understand. Or we have a tax return, a bank statement, a software managing grids and cloud resources that HFAs can learn much easier. The later means the ability to hire many system administrators who are HFA and create lifetime jobs

The borderline between HFA and mainstream population is fuzzy. Every one of us, looking at a mirror, can recognize traits that make us think we were are one step away for being also an HFA. If  HFAs can understand anything we create, everybody will understand much easier

Open Source has been glorified in the popular culture as very perfection for democratic access to software creation. But open source movement did not think much about  who needs what they make, or whether it easy or hard to use. And certainly the open source did not consider HFA as potential users and administrators..

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