When I was younger, I was quite amazed by the dense wall of dials and controls in an airplane's cockpit. It was so overwhelmingly complex. I always wonder how is it humanly possible for the pilots to comprehend it all and to control the components of a machinery as complex as this.
Now that I work with computer system, I have to look at pages and pages of dashboard to keep tab on many different aspects of the computer systems across a cluster of machines. We also have some of these dashboards showing in a large screen on a wall. Does it reminiscent of the wall of meters on a cockpit?
I think our computer system actually have far more control than a airplane. Each computer have tens to hundreds of tools (like basic Unix tools and other software). Compares to the switch and knobs on an airplane, each computer tools can support a wide array of parameters so that you can do complex things than just turning it on or off. Thinking about it this way, perhaps the cockpit control isn't so complex after all.