Simple and Stupid


Once upon a time, I went to college. I was taking an economics course and having a difficult time understanding the stuff. In the economics course, the textbook used many unknown terms and language that I not only did not understand but, when I looked up the definition of something, I could not understand that either.

I realized that economists were using their own language, a difficult language, so that normal people would not be able to understand the subject matter. Why? To make themselves elite, to make themselves more money. And to make it difficult for me (and everyone else) to learn.

For weeks I was frustrated at not being able to learn economics. And fearful of failing the course. One evening, as I was struggling with my economics homework, I looked up to the heavens and cried, "Why is this stuff so complicated??? Why didn't they explain economic theories by using "apples and oranges" instead of complicated math and language formulas??? Suddenly, a light bulb went off in my head. Apples and oranges? OK, let's see if that works. I applied simple apples and orange examples to economic formulae. It worked. Instead of the economic language used to explain the "Multiplier Effect" I made it into, "If you cut an apple into four parts and those four parts were cut into four more parts, etc. that's the Multiplier Effect." It worked! From that point on, I applied the simple (and stupid) "apples and oranges" concept to economics ... and got an A in the course!

From that point on, when faced with complicated stuff, I try to simplify it -- by applying my "apples and oranges" concept. "apples and oranges" is my own version of the old adage: "keep it simple, stupid". I keep it simple AND stupid. You can too.