Complexity, what are the stakes?

Yet another discussion at the EES conference was about complexity. It was said that perhaps there are those who have a vested interest in portraying things (policies, projects, programmes, evaluations) as more complex than they actually are. Complexity draws money and is an argument for increased funding – be it right or not. I see the point, but on the other hand, almost everything can be used as a self-serving argument – obviously also complexity. Special methods, read RCTs are an obvious case in point. Unfortunately all skills, including conceptual skills, compete on a market and almost everything can be construed as – and often is – self promoting behaviour and rent-seeking in one way or the other. Not only complexity.