The SIMPLE Advantage


You are about to be asked a few simple questions. In fact, to make it as simple as possible, how about the exact same question 5 times? Then, we will explore the size of the advantage that is available from simplicity.  

Next, of the 3 statements below, which one is the most simple and which ones are the most complex?


A) The sun radiates the earth with heat.

B) Well, okay, maybe the sun radiates the earth with heat, yes, but the sun does it in the wrong way because sometimes the sun can cause sunburn, which should not exist because I personally do not like to experience sunburn and therefore the sun is an evil villain which we need to prevent from gaining power over us and ruining everything.

C)  No, actually, the sun provides the earth with salvation by protecting the earth from the shadows which are attacking the earth with cold and darkness, causing hysteria and panic and antagonism among people.

Next, of the 3 statements below, which one is the most simple and which ones are the most complex?


A) Sometimes when people have dry skin on a certain part of their body, they will put cream on that part of their body to moisturize the skin.

B) The fact that we can find cream in areas where the skin is dry is irrefutable scientific proof that cream causes dryness, therefore, in order to prevent dry skin, it is essential that we make sure that no one ever puts cream on their skin (and certainly does not eat any cream). Also, it is impossible to catch the disease of dry skin if I am vaccinated against cream, so therefore I want everyone around me to be vaccinated against cream so that my vaccinations will protect me from cream and the dryness that it causes.

C) That is clearly ridiculous. The only way for people to have moisturized skin is for everyone to cover their bodies in cream twice every day so that no one ever catches the disease of dry skin from someone else.

Next, of the 3 statements below, which one is the most simple and which ones are the most complex?


A) The bodies of lots of animals have an important organ called a liver that produces an important nutrient (with the chemical structure shown above) that can repair and rebuild damaged tissue.

B) One time, this one really expert researcher noticed that there can be a lot of that so-called “important nutrient” in the areas of the body where there is damaged tissue. So, according to that expert and the pharmaceutical companies that sponsored that very independent research, the presence of that nutrient (cholesterol) near damaged tissue is irrefutable scientific proof (and therefore does not need to be verified by actual tests because I already tested the truth of that idea by writing down that answer on a test in 5th grade and receiving credit for that answer as the only correct one). Therefore, it has been tested by my 5th grade science teacher that cholesterol is the only thing that has ever damaged tissue and therefore obviously people should always completely avoid eating cholesterol. Of course, in extreme cases, people also should attack their liver with expensive statin medications so that their liver can no longer be possessed by the demon of cholesterol which is attacking them and killing them from the inside and eating them away and it is all very, very scary and sad and it should not be like that, so it sure is a good thing that we have smart pharmaceutical companies to protect us from evil, stupid liver organs that make suicidal poison because those livers clearly hate us for our freedom.

C) Really? Seriously? That is like you know the most hysterical thing I have ever heard, right? Here is the truth about cholesterol. It is only natural for livers to make cholesterol! However, it is horrible to eat anything with cholesterol in it (such as cream) because that would be disgusting and immoral and spiritually impure and the healthiest people, like me, are obviously those who avoid hysteria and paranoia by never ever eating any animal products from animals that have a liver that manufactures cholesterol, especially dairy from cows because it is unnatural for mammals like humans to consume dairy products (unless the infant’s mother is breast-feeding the infant in private so that no one can see the disgusting nipples of these naked infants that are ruining everything these days with their ignorant naïveté and hysterical paranoia).

Next, of the 3 statements below, which one is the most simple and which ones are the most complex?

A) Government bailouts and subsidies temporarily favor a particular market by increasing demand (thus increasing prices).

B) Governments should not take money from the general public to temporarily redirect to a particular market, like by providing billions of dollars in grants to greedy disabled veterans who are buying their first home, because that program will tend to increase real estate prices and make renting a home more expensive, at least until the subsidy program expires. Since I am a renter, governments should not do the wrong thing (as in they should not increase my costs). The government should not make things harder for me because I do not like that and I do not want to change my actions.

C) Governments should definitely take money from the general public to temporarily redirect toward that particular market of real estate because I borrowed lots of money for high-risk real estate speculation and I do not like the huge losses that my actions produced (in fact, I was not just disappointed but actually terrified and embarrassed about my terror), so now I want governments to do what they obviously should, which is to increase demand for real estate and raise prices so that my past actions will produce better results through government intervention to reward everyone who took the actions that I took because I have compassion for the disabled veterans (or whoever) who deserve a massive subsidy that incidentally will greatly benefit me personally. Also, the temporary bail-out should be made in to a permanent subsidy because otherwise the benefits to me will discontinue… I mean because we need to make more disabled veterans every year in order to justify a permanent subsidy to the most deserving people of them all. The government should make things better for me (I mean, for disabled veterans who really need it and deserve it) because I do not want to change my actions.

Next, of the 3 statements below, which one is the most simple and which ones are the most complex?


A) Governments regulate or limit economic growth by creating disincentives, such as penalizing certain activities with taxes or even criminalizing certain activities.

B) Sure they do, but they should not do that at all because it is always a bad thing.

C) Sure they do, but they should do that even more because it is always a good thing. By the way, we raised your tax rate because we need to spend more of the money that you recently earned for us.


So, there was the same question 5 times. Was it easy for you to see the contrast between simplicity and complexity in all 5 items?

Now, what exactly is the size of the simple advantage?

First, when we understand the simplicity of things, then other people’s confusion will not confuse us. When other people call their confusions “the truth,” we will at least recognize that their “truth” is a tangle of complex presumptions that might not be entirely accurate (or even relevant to us).

When other people are stressed or confused, they can make statements that are based on complex presumptions. In fact, the more hysterically passionate that someone is about their “truths,” then the more likely it is that they are confusing their confusion for “the truth.” By understanding the simplicity of things, we can also recognize the kinds of presumptions that are behind their actions (including the social activity of how they are communicating).

So, what people do say can point to what they are not saying out loud, but are thinking. However, the best way to find out what someone is thinking might be to directly ask or, instead, might be to test them. In fact, testing someone may be a more direct way to identify what they are really thinking than to just ask them. They may not be aware of their own presumptions (since many people confuse mere presumptions for actual established realities). They may even be embarrassed about their presumptiveness and their confusions, so they attempt to hide it from others and even to hide it from themselves.

When people are tangled up in unexamined presumptions and embarrassing confusions, it is possible for someone else to rapidly identify simple points of clear agreement (no controversy). A person who is clear about what is simple (if they wish to take the time to do so) can even help others to get untangled from complex webs of presumptions.

It is one thing to recognize simplicity and a distinct thing to be able to communicate it. Further, to communicate simplicity to someone who is tangled up in confused complications can be… less simple than when interacting with someone who is free of confusing presumptions. However, sometimes, like in important relationships, it can be attractive to find the simplicity that can quickly untangle complex issues and emotions.

So, what is the exact size of the simple advantage? Absolutely every advantage that is available to you will be easier to get when you are using the advantage of simplicity.

Besides simplifying interactions between two or more people, are there other massive benefits available, like for investors who recognize the simplicity of things (or who at least partner with experts who respect the simple fundamentals)? Sure! Also, simplicity can contribute to much more effective (and much less expensive) practices for promoting physical health as well as emotional maturity, healthy communication, and healthy relationships.


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