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Have you heard of the FK score, as it pertains to writing? Called the Flesch-Kincaid score, it is available on all Microsoft Word programs on Windows and Macs. I only came across this recently.

The FK score is pretty cool. It takes any written material, like a bunch of paragraphs, and grades it. A grade of 8 for instance, would mean that the average 8th grader American student would be able to fully understand the writing. A grade of 33 (it’s possible!) would mean the student would have to be in the 33rd grade to fully grasp the content.

Ideally there should be an FK score in life too. We are all too easily swayed by the complex. There’s a name for it too – complexity bias. A 300-page book is preferred over a 30-page one, even if the latter has much better content. An all-organic shampoo that boasts of aloe vera, ylang-ylang and lavender is immediately preferred to a more effective homemade mixture. A doctor that prescribes 1 tablet for each day of the week is considered more knowledgeable than one that asks you to exercise and eat healthy. An investor would prefer to throw his hard-earned cash at a start-up with no proven business model but spewing complicated jargon like AI, ML and Big Data compared to a well-established business.

One thing is for sure. Complexity sells. But buyer beware. The challenge with complexity is that it is unsustainable. And when that becomes the case, we feel drained and worn out. As Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Let us return to simplifying our lives, in whatever little way we can.

And just in case you were wondering, this blog post has an FK grade of 6.5. Not bad 🙂

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