Scott Shenker gave a talk in my networking class where he shared an anecdote that went something like this:

To give some background, I did my training as a theoretical physicist: I took a postdoc in physics and then I joined Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Xerox PARC was basically where Modern PCs and interfaces were invented: it's where Apple.. I don't want to say stole, since Steve Job visited and we showed him all the technology. But that's what the Macintosh was built on, was copying these ideas.

I arrived in 1984 and a year and a half after I joined Don Norman, the lead UI designer at Apple, came to visit Xerox PARC. Now I was a physicist so my ego was not involved in this but certainly the computer scientists thought 'we invented this stuff! we know about user interfaces! how could somebody come and tell us, you who built the Mac--this cheap piece of shit--how dare you come and try and tell us how to build user interfaces!'

The auditorium was packed with 300 Engineers, lots of energy in the room. Don Norman, this charismatic man who's even older than I am, just walks up to the podium and looks out at us for for what felt like forever (but it was probably 30 seconds) before asking "How many of you drive a stick shift?" And it's a bunch of male engineers so a bunch of hands went up and you could tell it was 'well I drive a stick shift!'

He looks at us and says "None of you should Ever design a user interface!"

Mastering Complexity is valuable: it is crucial when developing novel systems. It is also an indicator of enjoying the process--learning the skills, nuances, mindset--needed to cope with said complexity.

Driving stick embodies the act of Mastering Complexity, and for the sake of itself: the practice is a feedback loop of constant refinement, sharpening the axe by focusing the subtle nuances. Van argues it is a creative exercise; an endeavor that (in the states) is the inconvenient, non-default route -- you must yearn to pursue the practice. In the same vein, you are "that guy" if you learn drive stick (ala colemake-dh).

These motivations, may be creative in spirit, yet are orthogonal to the goal of design: to extract simplicity; abolish complexity. If you are an enjoyer of Mastering Complexity, your innate state will blind you from recognizing the mental grooves you've developed alongside constructing [software, user experience, etc.]. You cannot succeed in design if you do not consciously curb this ethos.