Sturgeon’s Law: “90% of everything is crud.”
Often now quoted as crap.
Crud, crap: whatever negative word you want.
Garbage, low quality.
90% of everything.
This was started by science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon, although many authors have said this throughout history, but he’s the one who got his name attached to it.
A science fiction writer.
Was repeatedly told how science fiction is crap.
It’s just not a respectable genre of literature.
And so his defence of science fiction was like, well 90% of everything is bad.
So yeah, 90% of science fiction is bad, but that’s the same with everything, with all genres, all types of products, even people, he said.
It’s just 90% bad.
So a couple things I can take from this.
One is, it’s pretty easy to get a law.
You know, you can just say something, and maybe somebody will name a law after you.
So you never know what’s going to come out of your mouth, that you have some observation that just happens to hit at just the right time and be catchy and just fit in just the right way, and you can get So-and-So’s Law named after you.
So there you go.
But the other thing ,it makes me think that if we can really take this in and really accept this way of looking at things, I think it can be helpful for simplifying our life.
Because we have so much input.
So much is coming in.
We have so many things to deal with.
And I think it’s often so hard to just say “I don’t care about that.
It’s like I feel kind of off even responding like that a lot of the time.
Because it seems like, well, am I dismissing this thing unfairly?
Am I wrong?
I mean, am I missing something important?
The fear of missing out, that oh, if I don’t take this in, if I don’t deal with this, if I don’t see what it’s all about and join in, maybe I’ll be missing out on something good.
And so it’s hard to just say no.
I just have no interest in this.
I’m not going to bring it into my life.
I’m just going to completely ignore it.
I don’t need to explain in detail why.
I don’t need to justify why I choose to ignore this.
I simply choose to ignore it.
It’s just not relevant for me.”
Being a filter.
I see Sturgeon’s Law as a reminder to be a strong filter.
We need a strong filter, in terms of what we’re going to let in.
Most things are not worth letting in.
We have to be very selective about what we are even going to deal with, and we have to be ready and able to turn away anything that would attempt to take some time and energy from us.
There’s just so many demands in all directions.
“Care about this.
Pay attention to this.
This is important.
This is good.
This is fun.
This is exciting.
This is an important new thing.”
It’s hard to know what is the 10% that’s good.
And that maybe is the real challenge.
But just even having the idea that OK, at least- OK, I don’t necessarily know which 10% is good, and which 90% is no good, but just knowing that it’s probably something around that, that’s probably the approximate ratio of useful versus useless.
And if we can look at things that way, it can maybe help us to be more ready to say “No.
Maybe it’s even good.
Maybe it’s even good, and I’m wrong to dismiss it, but since 90% is not really worth my time, I am comfortable making the gamble that no, I don’t need to put my attention on this particular thing.”
It’s true that being too ready to dismiss things can leave us- it can bring the risk that we do dismiss something good.
So that’s true.
But I think that the fear of missing something good is so strong that it leads us to let in so many things.
It’s up to us to be a strong filter, to be selective, very selective, about what we choose to let in.
Because there’s already enough to deal with, and we have to find some ways to stem the flood of new things.
So I’d be curious to hear what you think of this idea.
Also if you have your own law, please let us know.
And do you think that 90%: is that the right number?
Is it 99%?
Is it 50%?
What is the percent of things that are actually useful?
I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.
#sturgeonslaw #90percentcrap #personalcrapfilter