In the annals of programming lore, two kinds of complexity are defined: Intrinsic and Accidental. Intrinsic Complexity is complexity that cannot be helped. It results from the minimal needs of business logic, programming tools, or even physical systems. Accidental complexity, on the other hand, results from poor decisions to use the wrong tools, the wrong techniques, or the wrong mental model while solving a problem. Alexander proposes that there is a third kind of complexity called "Pathodental." This is really accidental complexity about which we pathologically lie to ourselves, often "through our teeth," claiming it's intrinsic.
In his talk, Alexander will present three major examples of what he believes to be Pathodental Complexity. One of these examples is something he deeply believed was intrinsic for many years, so attendees should prepare to have some of their assumptions challenged!