Sit Experiment 13: Welcome Constraints

  • Phil Hansen, Embrace the Shake.  TED Talk.I describe this video in the story for Sit Experiment 13 because I thought it the best story for the value of constraints that I could find. In workshops, people told me to make my story stand on its own without requiring people to stop and view the video.  But I still think the video is worth 11 minutes.  It’s amazing to see what he found worked for inspiring constraints.
  • Vikas Hazrati, Constraints are advantages in disguise.  InfoQ blog, October 6, 2010.
  • Jim Bird, Kanban, Scrum/XP and the Paradox of Constraints.These two blogs come from my old world, software engineering. It may seem odd to look to software engineering for articles about creativity. But as my professor, Fred Brooks, used to say, programming is working with pure thought stuff. Writers can learn from the ways that programmers respond to constraints.
  • Free Readability Checker.This particular tool gives  you a box to insert 100 to 3000 words of text.  It then calculates the reading level using several different measures.  Here’s what I got using the Observation section of this experiment.  The consensus is helpful because the 7 different measures all come up with slightly different results.  Aiming for seventh or eighth grade readers is a pretty good aim.  I do find that different tools give me different numbers for the same block of text, so don’t take the specific scores too seriously.  The question is whether you are in the readability ball park, or perhaps need to simplify explanations and shorten sentences.

Readability Consensus

Based on (7) readability formulas, we have scored your text:

Grade Level: 8

Reading Level: standard / average.

Reader’s Age: 12-14 yrs. old (Seventh and Eighth graders)

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 7.3

  • Laura Kelly. What is the Average Person’s Reading Level? August 21, 2020.This article explains what reading level means and includes a checklist for making writing easy to read.  “The average reader can fully comprehend a text with a reading grade level eight. If your text has an eighth grade Flesch Kincaid level, your text is easy to read and accessible.”